Day 1: Arrival to Tel Aviv
Upon arrival you will be met at the airport by your dedicated Israeli Archaeology professional who will accompany your group and serve as your guide during the complete trip. Overnight in Tel Aviv.
Day 2: Tel Aviv Introduction
This will be your first morning in Israel and your first chance to enjoy Israel’s famous breakfast tradition – an unusually rich selection of dairy, pastry, eggs, smoked fish, vegetables, fruit and beverages. After breakfast you will be taken on a guided walking tour of Old Jaffa, Tel-Aviv’s multicultural, ethnically diverse, history-soaked and colorfully attractive neighborhood. In Jaffa you will have a chance to learn about the City’s distant archaeological beginnings from the Bronze Age and through Egyptian, Biblical, Medieval and Ottoman rule. You will have a chance to learn about excavations on Rabbi Pinchas Street in the flea market that revealed walls and water conduits dating to the Iron Age, Hellenistic period, early Islamic period, Crusader period and Ottoman era. In the evening you will have a chance to explore Jaffa’s eclectic mix of contemporary galleries, shops, Churches, and Mosques, enjoy dinner at one of Jaffa’s exceptional restaurants and return the short distance to your hotel for your second overnight in Tel-Aviv.
Day 3: Departure to Haifa
After breakfast and an early start you depart Tel-Aviv and drive north about twenty minutes along the coastal road to Herzelia.
Day 3: Arrival and Arsuf, Caesarea, Haifa tour
After breakfast and an early start you depart Tel-Aviv and drive north about twenty minutes along the coastal road to Herzelia to visit Arsuf - an important Roman settlement between Jaffa and Caesarea along Via Maris which was later the site of a battle between Richard the Lionheart and Saladin. Arsuf National Park is a relatively new and highly interesting addition to Israel’s list of archaeological wonders.
Then you proceed to Caesarea. This sprawling excavation, one of Israel’s preeminent archaeological sites, will be your first chance to explore the country’s rich and diverse ancient history. Caesarea, named after Augustus Caesar, served as the Roman Empire’s Israeli capital and later as an important seaport and metropolis during Byzantine, Crusader, Arab and Ottoman periods. You will receive a guided tour and detailed explanations about Caesarea’s core findings such as Herod’s Palace, the Tiberium, Hippodrome, Harbor and of course Caesarea’s famous Amphitheater – used today as one of Israel’s most lucrative concert venues.
After concluding the comprehensive visit to Caesarea, you will continue north for about thirty minutes along the coastal road to Haifa – capital of northern Israel and the country’s largest commercial seaport. In Haifa you will ascend Mount Carmel along a panoramic road that overlooks northern Israel and the Galilee. On clear days Mount Hermon, the tallest peak in the Middle East is clearly visible. You will do a quick photo-op stop at the lower entrance to the Baha’i Shrine & Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and then continue on to your hotel where you will enjoy dinner and an evening stroll along the Carmel panoramic walkway overlooking the city.
Day 4: Free day in Haifa
Today is reserved for your leisure and relax. You can explore the area on your own.
Day 5: Explore Acre and Tzippori and departure to Tiberias
After breakfast at your hotel in Haifa, you will board your driver will bring you north to the ancient port of Acre for an in-depth exploration of this important location. One of the oldest continuously inhabited sites in Israel, Acre was politically and culturally affiliated with Phoenicia and was renamed Antiochia Ptolemais by Alexander the Great. The city was captured by Cleopatra VII of Egypt, Herod built there a gymnasium, and the Romans established there a colony named Colonia Claudii Cæsaris.
After a comprehensive tour of Acre you will travel to Zippori. This ancient town is considered in Christian tradition to be the home of the parents of the Virgin Mary, in what was then a Hellenized town. Notable structures at the site include a Roman theater, two early Christian churches, a Crusader fortress that was renovated in the 18th century, and upwards of forty different mosaics.
Tzippori once served as a center of Jewish religious and spiritual life in the Galilee - remains of a 6th-century synagogue have been uncovered in the lower section of the site. A Roman villa is arguably the centerpiece of the discoveries, containing one of the most famous mosaics in all of Israel. It was built around the year 200 and shaped in the traditional form of a triclinium in which seats would have been arranged in a U-shape around the mosaic. The mosaic, for the most part, is devoted to Dionysus, God of Wine, and is seen along with Pan and Hercules in several of the 15 panels.
Following your visit to this amazing excavation your driver will bring you to east to Tiberias where you will check in at your hotel located right on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Dinner will be served this evening at a shoreline restaurant in Tiberias.
Day 5: Arrival and Evening free
Upon arrival you check-in and have the rest of the evening free.
Day 6: Visit to Tel Dan and the Golan Heights
After breakfast at your hotel in Tiberias, you will drive towards Israel’s northern border and your first stop at Tel Dan. Dan, a town first settled in the Neolithic age more than 4000 years ago, was an important settlement in the Bronze and Iron Age during the Phoenician and Assyrian periods. Excavators of Tel Dan uncovered a city gate made of mud bricks estimated to have been built around 1750 BCE, presumed to be from the period of the Biblical patriarchs. The gate was extensively excavated and then restored in the late 2000’s. Within the remains of the city wall, close to the entrance of the outer gate, parts of the Tel Dan Stele were found.
From Tel Dan you will travel to the Golan Heights, ascending gradually to the high volcanic plateau from which the Syrian army once terrorized Israel’s Northern Galilee. On the way to your first stop your guide will highlight points of interest and discuss the region’s unique geography and history. Your first stop on the Golan will be at Nimrod’s Fortress, built around 1229 by a nephew of Saladin to pre-empt an attack on Damascus by the Sixth Crusade.
From the Nimrod site your driver will bring you to the Golan’s central town of Katzerin. The ancient Jewish farming village of Katzerin was built around a spring, which still flows but was also occupied from the Middle Bronze age, continuing into the Iron, Hellenistic and Roman periods. Although there were standing ruins on the site, archaeological excavations increased the number of accessible ancient buildings. An ancient synagogue was discovered in 1967 and other parts of the village were excavated beginning in 1983.
Following the archaeological segment of your visit you will be able to visit the Kesem Hagolan Center and the Golan Winery where you will be able to learn some more about the Golan’s geological attributes and enjoy a light snack, wine tasting and a beer sampling from one of Israel’s finest Breweries. Then you return back to the hotel for dinner and another overnight stay in Tiberias.
Day 7: Free day in Tiberias
Today is reserved on your leisure and exploration of the area on your own.
Day 8: Capernaum, Belvoir and Beit Shean tour
After breakfast you will take on a short drive along the Sea of Galilee to Capernaum where excavations revealed an ancient fishing village, synagogues and a church. Your guide and on-site information will provide detailed insight about this amazing location, continuously under study since 1838, which represents a fascinating porthole to early Jewish history and the beginnings of Christianity.
From Capernaum you will proceed to Kibbutz Ginosar, where in 1986 a 2000 year old fishing boat was discovered buried in shoreline mud. After a complex restoration the boat, now named the Jesus Boat, is displayed at the Yigal Allon where you will hear about the discovery, recovery and reconstruction of this amazing archaeological find.
From Ginosar your driver will bring you southward along the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan River to one of Israel’s most dramatic, beautiful and oft overlooked ancient sites – the Fort Belvoir National Park. Overlooking the Jordan Valley, Fort Belvoir was built by the militaristic Christian order Knights Hospitaller to defend the northern Crusader kingdom from Saladin’s encroaching armies. Belvoir represents one of the finest examples of medieval architecture in the Holy Land. The fort’s eastern ramparts, perched high above the Jordan valley, offer magnificent views of the Jordan Rift Valley, the river and the adobe Mountains of western Jordan.
From Belvoir you will travel along the Jordan River to Beit Shean, another Israeli archaeological marvel. An Israeli National Park, Beit Shean was strategically important from the early Egyptian period through all consecutive ancient history periods of Israel. The extent of findings and archaeological data produced by excavations at Beit Shean is mind boggling with multiple levels revealing Egyptian hieroglyphs, numerous temples, a cardo, an amphitheater, bath houses, churches, tombs, and countless artifacts. Canaanites, Egyptians, Philistines, Israelites from the time of David, Assyrians, Scythians, Greeks, Seleucids, Hasmonean Maccabees, Romans, Byzantines, Crusaders, Mamluks, and Ottomans - all occupied this historically complex area at different times and to different extents.
After the tour you will proceed to Jerusalem. Upon arrival in Jerusalem you will check in at your hotel for your overnight stay.
Day 8: Arrival and Evening free
Upon arrival you check-in and have the rest of the evening free.
Day 9: Jerusalem - the Old City
Welcome to another breathtaking day and to the amazing city of Jerusalem. This morning, following breakfast you will be introduced to the Old City, whose history and global importance undoubtedly rival those of Athens and Rome.
You will explore the Old City’s Jewish Quarter where you will visit the Western Wall and descend underground to view the foundations of the Temple Mount. You will learn about the city’s architecture, development, inhabitants, governance and physical layout during each period – pre Temple, 1st Temple, 2nd Temple, Herodian, Roman, Byzantine, Islamic, Crusader, Mamluk and Ottoman. You will learn about the structure and function of the Temples in each period and the city’s walls and fortifications. You will learn about commerce and residential life during each period. Each issue will be reflected in the excavations and finds you will visit. You will walk through and learn about ancient Jerusalem’s market street, the Cardo, and about the city’s urban design since the time of King David. You will visit the Burnt House – from the time of Jerusalem’s destruction by the Romans and a variety of additional archaeological and biblical exhibits.
After the tour you will return to your hotel for your relax.
Day 10: Jerusalem Exploration
Today you will continue to learn about Jerusalem’s ancient history. You will tour and discuss the city's water systems and visit the Jerusalem Archaeological Museum and Temple Mount Excavations.
You will explore other regions of the Old City such as the Via Dolorosa, Tombs, Mount Zion, the Kidron Valley, Mount of Olives and the Hinnom Valley. Today’s agenda and schedule will be given to you during the lecture on day one of your Jerusalem visit.
Early afternoon your driver will take you to the Israel Museum – Israel’s most important museum, home to the Dead Sea Scrolls and a repository of exceptionally important archaeological and ancient history information and exhibits.
Following your museum visit your driver will return to the hotel, passing through the city’s business and residential quarters, by the Hadassah Hospital complex, the quaint neighborhoods of Ein Karem and Talpiot and the colorful Machane Yehuda market – West Jerusalem’s central open air market. The evening is free and reserved for your leisure.
Day 11: Masada and the Dead Sea
Following breakfast and an early start, you will see you the lowest point on Earth – the Dead Sea. The drive will take you on a descending journey from the Judean Mountains to the barren hills of the Eastern Negev. Your first stop will be at Qumran, the archaeological site where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in Cliffside caves. You will tour and receive a detailed talk on the history and significance of the finds at Qumran.
You will then proceed by car to the foot of Masada – Israel’s most historically significant and fascinating archaeological attraction. Ascending to the mountaintop fortification via cable car or the Roman assault ramp, you will visit the restored wonders of this marvelous fortress extensively excavated between 1963 and 1965. Herod the Great fortified Masada between 37 and 31 AD as a refuge for himself in the event of a revolt. After the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 AD, numerous Jewish families fled Jerusalem and settled on the mountaintop, using it as a refuge and base for attacking the Romans. In 72, the Roman governor of Judea headed a Roman legion that laid siege to Masada.
Day 12: Transfer to Ein Bokek
After breakfast you check-out from the hotel and your driver will bring you to the hotel in Ein Bokek.
Day 12: Arrival and Free day in Ein Bokek
Today is reserved for your leisure and relax. Spend great moments on the Dead Sea!
Day 13: Day Trip to Negev
After breakfast at Ein Bokek you will travel south along the Dead Sea and then ascend from the lowest point on Earth to the high desert plateau city of Arad. From Arad you will proceed across the central Negev to Beer Sheva, the capital city of Israel’s arid south. On the way you will stop at Tel Arad one of the oldest ruins in Israel dating back beyond the time of Kings David and Solomon, approximately 6000 years ago, to the Chalcolithic and Bronze Age Canaanites.
Your driver will tour Beer Sheva’s significant points of interest and proceed to Tel-Sheva another visit to an archaeological site regarded as the first planned settlement in the region dating back to the Assyrian campaign against the Kings of Judah one thousand years before Christ. Tel-Sheva, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an Israel National Park, was developed during the 1990’s and opened to the public in 2003. The excavations and finds at this location include an intricate water management system that was probably developed because of abundant underground water available during ancient times.
You will also cover Beit Govrin National Park, and the excavated Roman city of Eleutheropolis for a last chance to experience Israel’s dramatic past.
Day 14: transfer to Tel Aviv
After breakfast you check-out the hotel and your driver will bring you to the hotel in Tel Aviv.
Day 14: Arrival and Free day in Tel Aviv
Today is reserved at your leisure and relax. Take a chance to walk in Tel Aviv, get some souvenirs and enjoy the spirit of the town.
Day 15: Departure
Today after breakfast, your driver will bring you to the airport for your flight back home.
Not included: international flights, multiple arrival/departure transfers, other meals not mentioned in the program, optional tours and services, all personal expenses.
1. Hotels availability is subject to change. In case current hotels are booked out we will provide alternative hotels of an equal value for you.
2. We include 1 vehicle for your arrival and departure transfers. If multiple vehicles are required additional transfer costs will apply.
Stress-free Booking Book your journey without stress and at convenient pace. You can pay a deposit of 20% to book any tour in any major currency; the final balance will be due 90 days before start date. In event if you decide to change or postpone your trip, you can transfer your deposit to any other packages we offer. Cruise bookings and special offers may be subject to different booking terms.
Trip Assurance If you need our assistance during your trip, you can call our support line available from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. (CET) on weekdays and weekends.