Planning to visit Israel? There's so much to see and you wouldn't want to miss anything! Whether you're travelling alone or with your loved ones, we suggest you check out this itinerary before making any plans.
Begin your visit in Jerusalem at the Mount of Olives – the best place to start your Jerusalem experience, with its panoramic view of the Old City, its ancient Jewish cemetery and historic churches.
Take the Ramparts Walk – a walkway atop the Old City walls, with unforgettable views of the Old City from above and nearby areas of the New City (Entry points: Citadel moat, Jaffa and Damascus Gates).
Continue to the Western Wall, revered as Judaism’s most sacred site as the last remnant of the Second Temple. See Bar Mitzvahs on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
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, enjoy the high-definition film that depicts ancient pilgrimage to the Temple in a unique way and look into the possibility of seeing its virtual-reconstruction, high-definition interactive model.
Continue to Mount Zion, to visit King David’s Tomb, the Room of the Last Supper , and the Church of the Dormition - where by Catholic tradition Mary fell in to eternal sleep.
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.
Begin the day at the City of David, where Jerusalem started, includes exploring Warren’s Shaft, the new Visitor’s Center, the Water Fortress, Hezekiah’s Tunnel, through which water has flowed since the days of King Hezekiah some 2,700 years ago, and the Pool of Siloam.
Walk back up toward the Old City via the Valley of Hinnom and opposite the Sultan’s Pool, take the steps up to Zion Gate to discover the rebuilt Jewish Quarter including the old Sephardic synagogues, the Cardo, which was the main street of Byzantine Christian Jerusalem, the Broad Wall, the Burnt House with its captivating audiovisual presentation, the Herodian Mansions, and more.
Continue to the Christian Quarter, which sprung up over the centuries around the historic ancient Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where the Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Armenian, Coptic, Ethiopian, and Syrian Orthodox orders all maintain their own sections and can be identified by their distinctive dress and liturgy.
Visit the Tower of David Museum showcasing the history of Jerusalem from its beginnings to modern times.
Overnight in Jerusalem.
Today is devoted to the New City, beginning the day with a visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial. Walk through the astounding new Museum with its new and moving focus on the individual in the Holocaust, the Children’s Memorial and Hall of Remembrance.
Drive through the New City viewing old and new neighborhoods, the Knesset (The Israeli Parliament) (open for visits on Sundays and Thursdays) and the beautifully designed Supreme Court building.
At the nearby Israel Museum, among many other fascinating exhibits you can discover the mysteries of the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Shrine of the Book and see the 1:50 scale Model of Jerusalem from Second Temple times.
Enjoy a stroll around downtown Jerusalem - walk in the pedestrian malls of Ben Yehuda Street, Nahalat Shiva, a restored quarter of shops, galleries and cafes, and the Mahane Yehuda open-air fruit and vegetable market.
Overnight in Jerusalem.
Say farewell to Jerusalem today, and head for Tel Aviv, beginning with Old Jaffa, where you can wander the restored old lanes lined with galleries and shops.
Stop in at the Visitor Center, which showcases the long and fascinating history of this port city to which Solomon brought the cedar wood from Lebanon to build the Temple and from which Jonah set sail to be swallowed by the whale. See St. Peter’s Church, recalling Peter’s famous vision on the rooftop of Simon the Tanner. There’s also a great view of Tel Aviv from here, to whet your appetite for your next stops.
Tour Tel Aviv’s White City to see the preservation of buildings of Bauhaus architecture (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) including Independence Hall, where Ben-Gurion declared independence in 1948. Sheinkin Street is famous for its fun shopping, dining and people-watching in a youthful atmosphere, while the open-air Carmel fruit and vegetable market is a treat for all the senses.
On Tuesdays and Fridays, the Nahalat Binyamin pedestrian mall comes alive with stalls selling handicrafts of every type.
Art buffs will enjoy the Tel Aviv Art Museum, with its fascinating changing and permanent exhibits of contemporary Israeli art, French Modernist and other collections.
Then, from the 49th floor of the Azrieli Tower, the Azrieli Observatory offers an incomparable view of Tel Aviv and miles beyond in every direction, great any time of day and fabulous at sunset.
Take a walk through Tel Aviv’s Yarkon Park and head to the nearby Tel Aviv Portfor sunset and a fish dinner.
Overnight in Tel Aviv.
Head up the Mediterranean coast today, stopping first at Caesarea National Park to see the remains of the former Roman capital, including the ancient theater and hippodrome.
Walk the seaside promenade to the renovated port area within the Crusader walls. See the Caesarea Experience, a fascinating computerized presentation of the city's history and best-known historical figures. The beautiful arched remains of the Roman aqueduct are right on the beach, so you can dip your feet in the Mediterranean before leaving the area.
Head to Mount Carmel to visit a Winery including a guided tour as well as a taste of wines and cheeses.
Continue through the forested Carmel National Park to a Druze village on Mount Carmel, Isfiya or Daliat El Carmel, where you can enjoy a slice of Druze life and culture and a taste of traditional Druze home hospitality.
Then, it’s on to Haifa, Israel’s third largest city, to see the magnificent Baha’i Shrine and Gardens, the world center for the Baha’i faith. Enjoy a panoramic view of the city and the bay from the Louis Promenade (a beautiful sunset activity), and head to the renovated old German Colony neighborhood for dinner and a stroll.
Overnight in Haifa.
Begin your day at Acre, the ancient Phoenician and Crusader seaport (designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site) for a tour of the Knights Halls, the Al-Jazzar Mosque, the bathhouse with its multi-media display and the new ethnic museum, built right into the rooms of the old wall, and the covered markets.
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.
In the afternoon, head southwest across the Galilee mountains and the Jezreel Valley to Nazareth the boyhood home of Jesus, with its beautiful churches and colorful markets.
Continue to a bed-and breakfast in the Galilee mountains or in the Tiberias area near the Sea of Galilee.
Overnight in the Galilee Mountains or the Tiberias area.
Today you can take in the famous sites around the Sea of Galilee, including Tiberias - a historical resort town on the Sea of Galilee (Lake Kinneret) and one of Israel's four holy cities, the Mount of Beatitudes, traditional site of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount and Korazim, a Talmudic-era town also mentioned in the New Testament.
Heading north to the Hula Valley, at the Hula Nature Reserve you’ll enjoy the lovely walking trails over the last remnant of this protected wetland, and the special lookout points where you can observe the avian wildlife. While at the reserve, don’t miss 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.
This afternoon, chose from one of the many active or adventure attractions in the area: including cycling or jeep tours, kayaks on the Jordan River, horseback riding, hiking, and more.
Overnight in the Tiberias area.
Get an early start this morning, driving down the Jordan Valley to the Dead Sea. Your first stop can be Qumran, the ruins of an ancient settlement in whose nearby caves the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered and whose Visitor Center tells its fascinating story.
Continue to Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, a biblical oasis with a spring and waterfalls, where David hid from Saul.
Then it’s on to Massada, taking the cable-car up to explore this 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 Center reveals the secrets of the rebels’ daily life, the story of the excavations, and how Massada became one of Israel’s most important symbols.
End the day with a relaxing float in the healthful waters of the Dead Sea, the lowest, saltiest body of water on earth.
Overnight in the Dead Sea area.
Drive on down to Eilat today, stopping at the Hai Bar Reserve for a safari-like drive through the park where biblical animals are being fostered. Further south, visit Timna Park, geological wonders including Solomon’s Pillars, a full-scale replica of the biblical Tabernacle and ancient copper mines, whose story is showcased at the park’s exciting multimedia presentation “Mines of Time.”
Continue to Eilat, where a variety of activities awaits you on Israel’s Red Sea Riviera: you can tour the Underwater Observatory Marine Park, swim with the dolphins, ride a camel into the mountains, hike, Scuba-dive along the beautiful coral reef, bird-watch, or just veg out on the beach.
Settle into your bed-and-breakfast in the Eilat area or hotel right in Eilat.
Overnight in the Eilat area.
Head north today via the central Negev and the Ramon Crater, stopping at the Visitor Center in Mitspe Ramon, which tells the story of this amazing natural wonder.
Continue to Avdat, once a central city on the Nabatean trade route known as the Incense Route, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of the innovation of its inhabitants in agriculture and trade.
Just south of Kibbutz Sde Boker, where Israel’s first prime minister David Ben-Gurion and his wife Paula made their home in their later years, pay your respects at the tomb of the famous couple, which overlooks the magnificent desertscapes of the Tsin Valley.
Then, it’s on to biblical Be'er Sheba, the capital of the Negev, and points north.