Ben Gurion Airport / Jerusalem
Arrival at Ben Gurion Airport where you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel. Overnight in Jerusalem.
Mt. of Olives / Old City / Bethlehem*
This morning enjoy the magnificent panoramic view from the Mount of Olives named for the olive groves that once covered the area and for the Biblical events that took place here. Head to the Old City to see the Tomb of King David on Mt. Zion. There is a separate entrance for men and women. Men must wear a kippah (they are supplied if you did not bring one). On an upper floor of the same building we find the Room of the Last Supper also known as the Cenacle, considered one of the holiest sites in Christianity. Enter the walled city and walk through the newly restored Jewish Quarter. Visit the Roman Cardo which was made up of a central laneway for carriages and animals flanked on each side by colonnaded sidewalks for pedestrians. Continue to the Herodian Quarter where wealthy people once resided in the 1st century CE. Moving on we come to the Western Wall, an ancient limestone wall in the Old City also known as the Wailing Wall or the Kotel. Take a somber walk along the Via Dolorosa, the Way of Sorrow that is believed to be the path that Jesus followed on the way to His Crucifixion. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre found in the Christian Quarter is built on the traditional site of Jesus’ Crucifixion and burial. Six miles southwest of Jerusalem is Bethlehem*, the birthplace of Jesus where we stop to view Rachel’s Tomb just outside of Bethlehem which is considered holy to all 3 major religions. It consists of a rock covered in velvet with 11 stones representing the 11 sons of Jacob who were alive when Rachel died. Continue to the Church of Nativity holding religious significance for Christians as the oldest church in the Christian world where pilgrims have to stoop low to enter the church. This was to deter looters in the past. Pay a visit to Manger’s Square where it was said Jesus was born before returning to Jerusalem.
Israel Museum / Knesset / Mt. Herzl / Yad Vashem
Our first stop today will be in Givat Ram at the Israel Museum with its Shrine of the Book housing the priceless the Dead Sea Scrolls. Consisting of a white dome over a building that is 2/3 below the ground, the building was designed to represent the containers in which the Scrolls were found. Across the way is the Holyland Model of Jerusalem as it was during the Second Temple period. Moved from the Holyland Hotel in Bayit Vegan to its current location in June 2006. In 1966, Hans Korch, a banker and owner of the Holyland Hotel commissioned the model in memory of his son Yaakov, who was an IDF soldier that was killed in the Palestine War in 1948. Not far away is the Knesset, Israel’s parliament. At the edge of the rose garden stands the large Bronze Menorah, a gift from the UK Parliament. Later on, we visit the Mount Herzl Cemetery (Mount of Remembrance) Israel’s national cemetery. To the west is Yad Vashem, Israel’s official memorial preserving the memory of the victims of the Holocaust. Its 9 chilling galleries use a range of multi-media to tell the story of the darkest days in the history of mankind. Drive through the ultra-Orthodox neighbourhood of Mea Shearim meaning “100 Gates” and learn about the unique lifestyle of the Haredi Jews who reside there. Please remember to dress modestly (men in trousers and shirts (no uncovered skin) women in dresses or skirts and tops with sleeves). In the evening enjoy a Middle Eastern dinner followed by the Night Spectacular “Sound and Light” show** at the Tower of David Museum.
Qumran / Masada / Dead Sea
Driving through the Judaean Desert we come to the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth at almost 1300 feet (400 meters) below sea level. Stop at Qumran to visit the site where the Dead Sea scrolls were found in 1946/47 in a cave by a young shepherd looking for stray goats. Follow the shores of the Dead Sea to Masada, the isolated mountaintop fortress of King Herod. Ascend by cable car and tour the ancient fortress declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001. See the remains of the walls, the palaces, the synagogue, and the bathhouse. Enjoy the breathtaking view of the Roman camps and the Dead Sea below. This was the last stronghold of the Jews after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 AD where the Zealots made their last stand. By the year 72, the Romans had succeeded in constructing a huge ramp on the western side of the rock plateau. By the year 73, the Jewish zealots totalling 960 who lived on the top chose to commit mass suicide rather than be enslaved. Descend by cable car and continue to the Dead Sea where you can cover yourself with the mineral-rich mud and experience floating in the Dead Sea** that many believe offers therapeutic benefits.
At leisure. The day is free. Overnight Jerusalem.
Jerusalem / Ben Gurion Airport
After breakfast, transfer to Ben Gurion Airport for departure. Today marks the end of your journey.
* Site under the Palestinian Authority Jurisdiction. Visit subject to situation.
** Weather conditions permitting *** Program sequence is subject to change without advance notice
Your land arrangements include:
– Sharing transfer on arrival and departure (from/to Ben Gurion Airport)
– 5 nights accommodation based on bed and breakfast
– 3 touring days as per itinerary with English speaking guide
– Dinner in Jerusalem on Thursday followed by a Sound and show at David Citadel
– Entrance fees to the sites visited as per itinerary
– The hotels might be replaced with similar ones.
Your land arrangements do not include:
– Airfare to and from Tel Aviv
– Departure taxes, fuel surcharges or airport improvement fees
– Porterage at the airport or hotels
– Early check-in/late checkout
– Single room supplement – a limited number of single rooms available on payment of supplement
– Meals and beverages not mentioned
– Optional tours not quoted
– Spa facilities at the Dead Sea available at additional cost
– Gratuities for individual services, laundry and valet service, and any other items of a purely personal nature
– Tipping to guide, driver, hotel or restaurant staff
– E. & O.E.
B – breakfast L= lunch D = dinner
For information and reservations contact, Janice Snider.