This itinerary is all about the natural beauty of Israel. Visit amazing parks and reserves, immerse yourself in breathtaking vistas, and allow yourself to be one with nature.
Begin your day in Israel’s far northern Hula Valley 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.
In the spring of 1994 another stage in the campaign to restore natural balance in the Hula Valley was completed: the re-flooding of 250 acres now known as Lake Agmon, located approximately two kilometers north of the Hula Nature Reserve. Visitors can visit the re-flooded area to appreciate nature’s powers.
While at the Hula Valley Nature reserve don’t forget to stop at Oforia, a fun multimedia display that tells the story of the migratory route across the region and the millions of birds that use it.
Continue south to Israel’s largest fresh-water lake, the Sea of Galilee. This afternoon, enjoy a breathtaking view of the Sea of Galilee from the top of Mount Arbel. For an adventurous end to the day, take the cliff trail from the top of Mount Arbel to the Sea of Galilee.
Overnight in the Sea of Galilee area.
Drive to the Carmel ridge via the Druze towns of Daliat El Carmel and Isfiya. Enjoy a morning hike in “Little Switzerland,” a nature reserve dedicated to the preservation of Israel’s Mediterranean forest.
Drive southeast through the Jezreel Valley, passing the ancient city of Megiddo. Continue to the Beit She'an Valley and visit one of the most impressive archaeological sites in Israel: the ancient biblical city of Beit She'an, which the Greeks and Romans knew as Scythopolis.
Continue to Kibbutz Kfar Rupin and join one of the tours offered by the International Bird Watching Center of the Jordan Valley. (Tours must be prearranged; for more information see: http://www.birdwatching.org.il/index2.htm) Proceed to Jerusalem via the Jordan Valley.
Overnight in Jerusalem.
Drive east towards the Dead Sea and then south along its western shore. Your first stop is Metsoke Deragot (stepped cliffs), offering a variety of extreme sports activities, safari, jeep tours and rappelling. (Must be prearranged; for more information see: http://www.metzoke.co.il/English.aspx).
Continue to explore Massada, 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 daily life of the rebels, the story of the excavations, and how the site became one of Israel’s most important symbols.
Before returning to Jerusalem, take a dip in the Dead Sea, the lowest, saltiest lake in the world, with its unique buoyancy and beneficial combination of 21 minerals.
Overnight in Jerusalem.
Enter the Old City via the Dung Gate to visit the Western Wall, the holiest site in the world for Jews. Tour the excavations at the Southern Wall, including ritual baths and the original streets of Jerusalem from the time of Jesus. Sit on the southern steps of the Temple, used by hundreds of thousands of pilgrims 2,000 years ago as they ascended to the Temple Mount. Visit the Davidson Center, in the basement of an eighth-century CE palace, and make arrangements to visit its virtual reconstruction, high-definition interactive model.
Walk through the Jewish Quarter to see evidence of First-Temple Jerusalem at the Broad Wall, as well as the Late Roman Cardo and other attractions.
Wander the markets in the Old City’s other quarters, steeping yourself in its sights, sounds and aromas, and try your hand at hunting and bargaining for treasures.
In the late afternoon, get a taste of the New City by driving through its neighborhoods past the Knesset, and the Israel Museum with its landmark Shrine of the Book, home of the Dead Sea Scrolls (open Tuesdays until 9:00 P.M.).