From North to South, Israel is filled with excitement for the whole family. Together you can experience the cities, beaches, nature and holy places in a holiday you will cherish forever.
Start your visit at Caesarea National Park, on the coast, with its magnificent remains of Herod’s city, the Roman capital and port and fortified Crusader town. Tour the Roman Theater and the renovated port area surrounded by 800-year-old walls, where you can see the Caesarea Experience, a multimedia presentation about the city's history that uses advanced computer techniques to bring the city’s history alive.
Dip your feet in the Mediterranean next to the ancient aqueduct before continuing north to Acre. This historic walled port-city has lots of interesting tunnels and towers to explore going back to Crusader times and beyond.
Visit the Knights Halls, the Al-Jazaar Mosque, the bathhouse with its multi-media display and the new ethnic museum, built right into the rooms of the old wall, showcasing the everyday implements people used in the old days. Have lunch at a seaside Mediterranean restaurant.
Drive to Rosh Hanikra, where the rocky cliffs descend steeply into the sea, allowing the waves to carve grottos of a thousand shapes. Take the cable car down to the grottos for fun exploring through the rocky passageways.
Drive along the scenic Upper Galilee road 899, through the forested mountains, stopping for an incredible view of the towering Crusader fortress of Montfortoverview in Nahal Kziv and continue to the Sea of Galilee area for dinner in Tiberiason the waterfront or in a country-style restaurant nearby.
Overnight in the Sea of Galilee area.
Head for Israel’s far north today, stopping at the Hula Valley Nature Reserve. The reserve has lovely walking trails, including a "floating bridge" over the wetland, and special lookout points where visitors can observe the avian wildlife. While at the reserve, include Oforia, a fun, experiential multimedia display that tells the story of the migratory route across the region and the millions of birds that use it.
Drive to the Manara Cliff and enjoy adventures including a cable-car ride, mountain-slide coaster cars, rappelling and a zip-line.
Continue to the Golan Heights and Mount Bental, a volcanic cone with a fabulous view into Syria, and explore real army bunkers. Get an overview of the Syrian city of Kuneitra and enjoy the featured whimsical outdoor exhibit of “found art” by a local artist.
Then, it’s on to the Talmudic village of Katsrin to visit the restored house and synagogue and see the audiovisual presentation linking past and present in a way that’s fun for all ages.
Overnight: in the Tiberias area.
Start out today in the mystical city of Safed (Tzefat), where you can walk the old streets, tour historic synagogues and art galleries, and even visit a candle factory and store. At the charming Meiri House Museum, see artifacts of daily life dating back a century and more.
Continue to Tsippori National Park, with its remains of a Jewish city from Talmudic times, where you’ll see beautiful mosaics of a synagogue and the famous “Mona Lisa of Galilee,” and you can wander through its cave-like water system. Look into the possibility of joining a mosaic-making workshop on weekends and holidays.
In the late afternoon drive via the coastal road to Jerusalem.
Overnight in Jerusalem.
On your first day in the Holy City spend the first part of the morning the Jewish Quarter, including the Broad Wall; the Cardo and the Burnt House with its captivating audiovisual presentation; and the Western Wall, sacred to the Jewish People as the last remnant of the Second Temple.
While at the Western Wall, arrange your schedule to join a public tour of the Western Wall Tunnels by enquiring at the Western Wall Heritage Foundation.
Visit the Southern Wall Excavations, walking on the original two thousand-year old street and climbing the ancient steps. At the Davidson Center, in the basement of an eighth-century-CE palace, look into the possibility of seeing its virtual-reconstruction, high-definition interactive model, and enjoy the high-definition film open to all visitors that depicts ancient pilgrimage to the Temple in a unique way.
Tour the City of David, including Warren’s Shaft, the new Visitor’s Center and Hezekiah’s Tunnel. An unforgettable Jerusalem adventure is walking along in the tunnel through which water has flowed since the days of King Hezekiah some 2,700 years ago. There are also some newly discovered dry tunnels whose dramatic lighting also highlights this amazing ancient feat of engineering.
In the late afternoon, explore some of the interesting churches in the Old City, including the Russian Orthodox Church with its basement ruins, and the tranquil Ethiopian courtyard and humble chapel.
Wander the Old City markets, steeping yourself in its sights, sounds and aromas, and try your hand at hunting and bargaining for treasures.
Overnight in Jerusalem.
Visit the Israel Museum where among many other treasures you can delve into the mysteries of the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Shrine of the Book and see the Model of ancient Jerusalem. Don’t miss the short movie at the Shrine of the Book that tells the story of the tumultuous days of the Second Temple period through the eyes of two youths of the time.
Visit the astounding new museum at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial (Volunteers at the entry pavilion can help with age-appropriate exhibits and approaches).
Spend the late afternoon at the Biblical Zoo, enjoying a peek at animals from the Bible that Israel is working to bring back, the Noah’s Ark Visitor Center and other attractions.
Overnight in Jerusalem.
Drive to the Dead Sea area and visit Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. Walk through the ruins with their signs illustrating how people used the various buildings, and see the audiovisual presentation that shows how the ancients lived and prospered in the desert and also has an exciting “flyover” segment.
Continue to Ein Gedi and hike through its Nature Reserve to the beautiful waterfall.
Check in at a hotel or bed and breakfast in the Dead Sea area and enjoy the rest of the day floating in the Dead Sea and relaxing in the hotel.
Overnight at the Dead Sea.
Hike up to Massada via the Snake Path right after sunrise while the weather is still cool, (or sleep in a bit and take the cable-car up!) and explore the fortress built by Herod the Great, which was the scene of the epic stand by Jewish rebels at the end of the Great Revolt against Rome nearly 2,000 years ago. The new museum at the visitor’s center reveals the secrets of the rebels’ daily life, the story of the excavations, and how the site became one of Israel’s most important symbols.
Drive south along the Dead Sea and the Arava Valley. Stop at the Hai Bar Nature Reserve, where biblical animals are being fostered and take a safari-like drive through the reserve and see its reptile enclosure, nocturnal animals and other four-footed and winged surprises.
Visit Timna Park to see the multimedia presentation “the Mines of Time,” and climb through “Solomon’s Pillars” among other attractions.
Overnight at a bed-and-breakfast near Eilat, or in a hotel in Eilat on the shores of the Red Sea.
Eilat on the Red Sea:
Snorkel at the Coral Beach Nature Reserve, visit the Underwater Observatory, swim with the dolphins, go bird-watching, camel-riding, hiking, chose from a host of other fun activities or just veg out on the beach.
Overnight in Eilat.
Fly from Eilat to Tel Aviv.
Tour the great sights of the city. Here are just a few of the highlights:
The Palmah Museum: This exhibit, in a series of especially hewn caverns will make you part of the founding of Israel’s pre-state underground defense force in a unique way as you follow the exploits of a group of young volunteers. (Visits by pre-arranged group only; www.palmach.org.il).
The Eretz Israel Museum: A variety of exhibits to chose from, indoors and out, with a number relating to the historic crafts of this land and others the whole family will enjoy.
Beach time anywhere along the fine stretch of Mediterranean sands at Tel Aviv’s back door.
Tel Aviv Port: The in-place to be for Tel Avivians of all ages, where a number of fish restaurants, ice-cream stands and snack bars, galleries, a wooden boardwalk a weekend open-air “swap-meet”-type market and gorgeous sunsets await.
Rent a paddleboat in the Yarkon Park: Just north of the Tel Aviv port, Yarkon Park, stretching along the Yarkon River is Tel Aviv’s urban nature experience where you’ll find the locals, from seniors to young families and teens gather to enjoy a variety of activities, including jogging, strolling, cycling, in-line skating or a picnic on the grass.
Jaffa: with its venerable art galleries and shops along picturesque restored lanes with beautiful vistas of the Mediterranean and Tel Aviv.
Neve Tsedek: A stroll through this gentrified part of south Tel Aviv with its restored homes, galleries, restaurants and cultural life.
Overnight in Tel Aviv.
Drive to Latrun and the impressive Armored Corps Museum with its unusual displays and moving memorial. Visit the nearby Mini Israel Theme Park, with its hundreds of precise scale models of everything you’ve seen in Israel and more.
Make arrangements to join a two-to-three-hour Archaeological Seminars excavation of the caves in Beit Guvrin National Park that once lay beneath Hellenistic dwellings.
Return to Tel Aviv or Jerusalem.