Israel ~ Land of Cultural Treasures

Israel ~ Land of Cultural Treasures

Israel’s abundant blessings are yours to discover on this eight-night program that spans some of the world’s holiest and most spiritual landmarks. From trendy Tel Aviv to beautiful Tiberias and captivating Jerusalem, encounter a spectrum of dramatic terroir and stirring sites brimming with religious and historic significance. Begin in Tel Aviv with its stunning Bauhaus-style buildings, followed by ancient Akko, Caesarea and Jaffa, one of Israel’s old-world gems. Witness Tabgha and the Mount of Beatitudes and walk a poignant path in Megiddo. Jerusalem offers memorable moments at the Western Wall and Yad Vashem, and a journey through the Judean Desert reveals Masada and the Dead Sea. Along the way, enjoy opportunities to engage with a Druze family, speak with a Holocaust survivor and delight your senses with the region’s iconic flavors, such as olive oils and locally produced wines. From ancient fortresses to historical mosques and temple walls to the Sea of Galilee, each day presents unparalleled insights and inspiring memories. This rewarding, small-group adventure features six UNESCO World Heritage sites, expert-led discussions, first-class accommodations and an extensive meal plan including wine with dinner.

Trip Itinerary:

March 12 Depart gateway city

AHI FlexAir passengers depart for Tel Aviv, Israel. Please check your luggage from your gateway city to your arrival city. Your claim checks should have the following airport code: TLV.

Meals - Appropriate in-flight meal service

March 13 Tel Aviv, Israel

Arrive at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport. Proceed through immigration to the baggage claim area and retrieve your luggage. After completing customs, AHI FlexAir passengers traveling on flights that qualify for the group arrival transfer and Land Program passengers who have purchased seats on the group transfer should exit the baggage claim area and proceed to the designated meeting spot, where an AHI Travel representative will meet them. The meeting location will be provided with your final documents.

Transfer to the Carlton Tel Aviv. Please note, if you arrive at the hotel before check-in time, your room may not be immediately available.

Tonight, meet your fellow travelers at an exclusive Welcome Reception and Dinner at the hotel.

Accommodation - Carlton Tel Aviv
Meals - Appropriate in-flight meal service and dinner

March 14 Tel Aviv

Enjoy a full American-style breakfast buffet at your hotel each morning.

Discovery: The Ancient Port of Jaffa. Located just a few miles up the coast from Tel Aviv, Jaffa is one of the most enchanting, old-world places in Israel. Founded in 1909, on the dunes north of the old Arab city of Yafo (Jaffa), the newly built, middle-class suburb of Tel Aviv experienced rapid growth and an influx of wealth as Jews moved out of the overcrowded city. Experience this captivating Old Town atmosphere as you stroll the cobbled alleyways, browse the flea market and visit with local artists. (Moderate)

Discovery: Neve Tzedek and the Center for Israeli Innovation. Enjoy a walking tour of the artsy Neve Tzedek neighborhood, known for its avant-garde design stores, fashion boutiques and handicraft shops, as well as a restored railway station. Trendy European restaurants sit alongside stylish bistros and al fresco cafes. The area, considered to be one of Tel Aviv’s prettiest districts, attracts legions of walking visitors thanks to its amazing architecture, cultural legacy and village-like atmosphere. Visit the Center for Israeli Innovation, which celebrates the country’s achievements in agriculture, medicine, outer space, transportation and more. While browsing the center’s interesting exhibits, learn about Israel’s cutting-edge innovations and profound contributions in areas of entrepreneurship and research and development. (Moderate)

Free Time: Spend time at leisure, and sample fare at a local restaurant for lunch or browse the stalls of local merchants.

Accommodation - Carlton Tel Aviv
Meals - Breakfast

March 15 Tel Aviv | Caesarea | Akko | Tiberias

Enrichment: Contemporary Israel: The Old-New Land. Learn about events that have shaped modern Israel.

Discovery: White City of Tel Aviv. Tel Aviv boasts the world’s largest collection of Bauhaus-style buildings with over 1,500 examples located throughout the city. In 2003, this Bauhaus District was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site under the name, “The White City.” Admire the district’s beautiful architecture during a panoramic tour. (Mild)

Discovery: The Mediterranean Coast. Depart Tel Aviv and travel to Tiberias. En route, visit Caesarea, an archeological park that was first settled in the fourth century B.C. See many of the city’s highlights, such as Herod’s massive Roman theater, and the magnificent hippodrome, which once hosted gladiator games and horse and chariot racing. Marvel at Herod’s spectacular aqueduct that carried spring water from the foothills of Mount Carmel and view the Crusader Wall and fortifications. Then watch a multimedia presentation about the history of the city. (Moderate)

Delight in local flavors during lunch with your group. Whether you’re dipping fresh pita into hummus or eating shwarma, a sliced grilled lamb often served with bread, your senses will succumb to the flavors of Israel. Finish your meal with sweet baklava or knafeh, a shredded pastry with cheese and sweet syrup.

Discovery: Ancient Akko. Visit the walled city of Akko (historic Acre), the most complete and well-preserved town in the Holy Land, outside of Jerusalem. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2001, this old Arab port sits on a spit of land jutting into the Mediterranean Sea. The city’s picturesque waterfront has magnificent stone buildings, beautiful archways, and a labyrinth of alleyways, churches and green-roofed mosques. The Old City is characterized by thick fortifications, imposing towers and splendid 18th-century ramparts. Situated underneath the city’s magnificent Turkish architecture is one of its finest attractions, the subterranean Crusader City (1104-1291). (Moderate)

Continue to Tiberias and check in to the U Boutique Kinneret Hotel by the Sea of Galilee.

Accommodation - U Boutique Kinneret Hotel by the Sea of Galilee
Meals - Breakfast, lunch and dinner

March 16 Tiberias | Tabgha | Capernaum | Golan Heights

Discovery: Upper Galilee and Capernaum. Embark on a scenic cruise on the Sea of Galilee (weather permitting). Visit the ancient fishing village of Tabgha. Christian tradition holds that Tabgha was the setting where Jesus of Nazareth urged his first disciples to leave their fishing boats and follow him in his ministry. Continue to the Mount of Beatitudes, believed by many to be the site of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. In nearby Capernaum, visit an impressive ancient synagogue, which boasts an exterior with Jewish motifs, and the House of Peter, a home where Jesus is believed to have lodged. (Mild)

Enjoy lunch at a nearby restaurant with your fellow adventurers.

Discovery: Golan Heights Winery. This area of Israel is recognized as one of the country’s most favorable grape-growing regions. From Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot to Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, let your taste buds explore the flavors of the local vintages during a wine tasting. (Mild)

Dinner is served at the hotel this evening.
Accommodation - U Boutique Kinneret Hotel by the Sea of Galilee
Meals - Breakfast, lunch and dinner

March 17 Tiberias | Megiddo | Haifa | Jerusalem

Discovery: Tel Megiddo — A Focus on Archaeology. Explore the archaeological mound of Megiddo, a UNESCO World Heritage site that dates back approximately 8,000 years. These impressive ruins have more than 25 layers of settlements! See the fortified cities and walk through an underground tunnel from the Iron Age, which once served as a water system. (Mild)

Discovery: Meet the People and Local Flavors. Enjoy an authentic Druze lunch in a family home. The Druze cuisine is often characterized by special blends of spices such as turmeric, cumin, cinnamon and paprika.

Discovery: On the Slopes of Mount Carmel. Haifa, Israel’s third largest city and a renowned high-technology industrial center, rests at the foot of Mount Carmel. Israel’s only natural harbor, the Bay of Haifa, has provided safe anchorage for ships since the second century, when the town was just a small trading port along one of the Mediterranean’s oldest sea lanes. One of Haifa’s most striking landmarks is the Bahá'í World Centre. The complex features the gold-domed Shrine of the Báb and magnificent terraced gardens with black iron gates, stone balustrades, fountains and manicured lawns. (Mild)

Continue your journey to Jerusalem and check in to the King David hotel.

Enrichment: Is it Finally Time for a Peace Deal? Listen as an expert presents an assessment of Israeli-Palestinian relations during a fascinating lecture and discussion at the hotel.

Accommodation - King David
Meals - Breakfast and lunch

March 18 Jerusalem

Discovery: In-depth Jerusalem. Situated in the Judean hills, to the west of the Dead Sea, the ancient walled city of Jerusalem is the spiritual heart of three world faiths — Judaism, Islam and Christianity. Discover the many religious shrines, temples, churches and mosques housed in the Old City of Jerusalem. See Temple Mount, believed to be the site of the Temple of Jerusalem, the holiest place in Judaism. Pause for a moment of reflection at the Western Wall. Walk along a portion of the Via Dolorosa, believed to be the route Jesus took between his sentencing by Pilate and his crucifixion, to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, traditionally believed to be the burial site of Jesus. During your tour, enjoy stunning panoramic views from the Mount of Olives, and see artifacts from excavations and informative multimedia presentations at the interpretive Davidson Center. (Active)

Discovery: Lunch on falafel at a popular restaurant in the lively Arab Quarter, a neighborhood famous for its colorful souks (markets) overflowing with spices, mint tea, aromatic coffees, leather goods and many other interesting goods.

Free Time: Spend time at leisure to explore the many wonders of Jerusalem.

Discovery: Celebrate Shabbat. Experience an authentic Shabbat dinner tonight with a local family in their home. Learn about key concepts of the weekly observance, including sharing challah, a delicious traditional bread.
Accommodation - King David
Meals - Breakfast and lunch

March 19 Masada | Ein Bokek | Jerusalem

Discovery: Judean Desert Drama and a Sea of Salt. Spend a poignant morning at the site of Masada, an isolated flattop rock overlooking the Dead Sea. King Herod chose this site to build a fortress for himself and his family. It is also the site of a significant time in history when brave Jewish rebels rose up against Rome in a fight for freedom. (Moderate)

After your tour, explore more of the fortress/museum during free time. Then descend 1,378 feet below sea level to Ein Bokek on the shoreline of the Dead Sea, the deepest hypersaline lake in the world. Relax on the beach, or enjoy a swim in the salty Dead Sea. (Mild)

Dine on local fare for lunch near the Dead Sea. Later this evening, craft your own itinerary during free time and dinner at your leisure.

Accommodation - King David
Meals - Breakfast and lunch

March 20 Jerusalem

Discovery: A Poignant Monument. Yad Vashem is Israel’s memorial and place of commemoration for the millions who perished in the Holocaust. Carved out of the hillside, the sprawling complex has 10 exhibition halls, each dedicated to a different chapter of the Holocaust. Tour the exhibition halls and galleries and see the Hall of Names, a touching memorial to the lives taken during the Holocaust. (Moderate)

Enrichment: A Survivor Speaks. Partake in a question-and-answer session with a Yad Vashem guide and hear a personal account of his/her experiences during World War II.

Free Time: Machane Yehuda Market. Journey to the bustling Machane Yehuda Market where you can shop with locals at open-air stalls. Sample tasty specialties, or shop for clothing and spices on your own.

Gather this evening for a Farewell Dinner with your fellow travelers and share your favorite experiences from your time in Israel.

Accommodation - King David
Meals - Breakfast and dinner

March 21 Depart for gateway city

After breakfast, AHI FlexAir passengers traveling on flights that qualify for a group transfer and Land Program passengers who have purchased seats on the group transfer depart for Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport for your return flights home. Your Travel Director will provide the details.

Meals - Breakfast and appropriate in-flight meal service

Note: This itinerary is subject to change due to operational conditions. You will receive an updated itinerary with your final documents. Your Travel Director will advise you of any additional changes on site. Excursions require walking on cobblestones, unpaved paths or other uneven surfaces.


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