Day 1: Arrival Day
Welcome to Tel Aviv and your Holy Land in Israel Tour! Our trusted travel representative will be waiting for your arrival at Tel Aviv’s International Airport. Once customs formalities are completed, you will be transferred to your hotel of choice, in your private, air-conditioned vehicle.
Day 2: Megiddo, Nazareth, Bet She’an
Your tailor-made pilgrimage tour kicks off with a drive to the Valley of the Armageddon – Megiddo stands atop the Jezreel Valley and was the prophesized spot where all the armies would converge for the battle to end all time. A UNESCO heritage-listed site of cultural importance, Megiddo oozes historical importance from every single one of its ancient stones. It sat at an important junction on the road from Assyria to Egypt and saw many fierce battles over the dominance of the region. Ruins here predate 600BC and archaeological excavations, believe it or not, are still ongoing. Nearby, we will visit Nazareth, the childhood hometown of Jesus. Visit the impressive Church of the Annunciation (the largest of its kind in the Middle East) where the Virgin Mary received news from St Gabriel the Archangel that she was expecting a child and that he would be the Son of God. Nazareth may have been a small village, once upon a time, but being one of the most popular pilgrimage sites on Holy Land Tours in Israel, it has transformed into a thriving city offering a bevy of attractions and activities. We’ll complete our day with a visit to Beit She’an. This amazingly preserved Roman city is one of the most underrated highlights of Israel so we always enjoy a quiet and contemplative visit. Learn all about the extraordinary 6,000year-old history and exceptional prominence of this once formidable place, which today is one of Israel’s largest archaeological sites. Stroll the colonnaded avenue, visit the ancient public baths and discover stores, workshops, and dwellings that seem to be older than time itself. Finally, we will drive to the beautiful ancient city of Tiberias, set along the shores of the Sea of Galilee, where you will spend a lovely evening and stay overnight.
Day 3: Tiberias, Capernaum, Tabgha
We’ll start our day with a beautiful drive to the Golan Heights, where we can visit Syrian fortifications and stop by one of four remaining Druze villages, Majdal Shams, to learn more about the local culture and enigmatic religion. You’ll then travel via Banias, the site of the ancient spring at the feet of Mt Hermon, and drive along the shores of the Sea of Galilee. We’ll visit Capernaum, another village of biblical importance in Israel. This is where Jesus taught and you can see the ruins of the old synagogue, as well as Peter’s house where his mother-in-law was healed by Jesus – just one of several miracles he performed here. Showcasing a beautiful and poignant marriage of ancient and new, Capernaum is where you’ll find stunning ruins of ancient churches and a brand-new Catholic Church built in modern times. This is one of the most meaningful stops on Holy Land Tours in Israel so we can spend as much time here as you desire. Continuing, we will head just 3km away to Tabgha, at the foothills of the Golan Heights. This was the biblical site where the Miracle of the Multiplication of Fish and Loaves took place, as well as being the spot of Jesus’ third apparition after his Crucifixion when he called on St Peter to lead the Christina Church. This is a wonderfully calm and contemplative place to visit on any tour of Israel’s best highlights. No biblical tour in Israel would be complete with a visit to the Mount of Beatitudes, where Jesus gave his Sermon. From here, you will continue on back to Tiberias where you can enjoy a tour of the gorgeous town. You’ll spend one more night here.
Day 4: Acre (Akko), Haifa & Caesarea
Start your day with a visit to the Old Market and Knight’s Hall of Acre (Akko), an ancient small town known for its well-preserved old city walls and considered the Crusader’s Capital in the North. Take a tunnel tour to retrace the steps of ancient residents and visit the amazing Treasures in the Walls Ethnographic Museum, which depicts life, as it was, from Ottoman times to the turn of the 20th century. For exceptional vistas, we will then into the Carmel Mountains, where we’ll soak up all-encompassing vistas of Haifa, followed by a visit to the exquisite Baha’i Gardens, also affectionately known as the Hanging Gardens of Haifa. Next on our Christina Holy Land Tour in Israel itinerary is Caesarea, an ancient city built by King Herod the Great over 2000 years ago. The town served as a key Mediterranean transport hub for centuries and the historic port, along with its nearby national park, is an outstanding highlight to discover. The park houses a Roman amphitheater and hippodrome once used for chariot racing. Our day will end in Jerusalem, where you will enjoy an overnight stay in your hand-picked hotel.
Day 5: Jerusalem Old City
Our day in Jerusalem starts with a visit to the Mount of Olives (Mt Olivet), for panoramic views that are simply out of this world. The all-encompassing vistas offer an excellent overview of this immensely unique city. Our next stop is the Tomb of King David atop Mount Zion, one of the most important biblical highlights on Holy Land Tours in Israel. This illustrious King of the Old Testament was one of Jesus’ direct ancestors. We’ll then have the chance to enter the city through the 16th-century Zion Gate, one of the seven ancient gates of Old Jerusalem. Our trail into the center allows us to explore the enchanting Armenian and Jewish quarters. We’ll continue to the remaining wall from Solomon’s Temple – the Western Wall (Kotel) – and take your time exploring the intricate alleyways of the Christian Quarter. Walk along the Via Dolorosa, the processional route that showcases the Stations of the Cross where Jesus carried the cross on his back, and pay homage in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, perhaps the holiest site in Christianity. Spend another wonderful night in Jerusalem!
Day 6: Jerusalem New City and Bethlehem
For a somber but important way to start your day in New Jerusalem, we’ll visit Israel’s official Holocaust homage: the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial. Afterward, we will visit the biblical birthplace of John the Baptist, Ein Karem. What is now an outer suburb of Jerusalem was once a separate village, inhabited since the Bronze Age. The Church of St John the Baptist, Church of Visitation, and Mary’s Spring are the top three highlights you can visit in this charming village. Finally, we will take an afternoon drive to Bethlehem, where you will finally discover the biblical village of Jesus’ birth. Cast your eyes over Shepherd’s Field and visit the Church of the Nativity - undoubtedly the single most prominent highlight in town. A church has been on this site for almost 1,800 years – the importance and architectural details are outstanding. Our day ends back in Jerusalem, where you will enjoy another overnight stay.
Day 7: Masada Fortress and the Dead Sea
This morning, we’ll take you through the Judean hills to the desert, stopping by the Inn of the Good Samaritan, an ancient caravanserai built along the Jericho to Jerusalem trading route. We will then move to one of Israel’s historical highlights and a place that is very close to our hearts. A fortress that inspired our company’s founder! Enjoy a cable-car ride and guide tour of the spellbinding Masada Fortress, a magnificent castle built by King Herod over 2,000 years ago. Next on our schedule is a visit to the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, where wild ibex roam free and glorious walking trails lead to waterfalls and sensational views across the Dead Sea. We can also visit Qumran where we’ll find the Dead Sea Scrolls caves. Afterward, you will not want to miss your chance for a therapeutic bathing experience in the Dead Sea – cover your whole body in mud, lie back and enjoy the sensation of floating on air, on one of the world’s saltiest bodies of water. We will enjoy an overnight stay on the shores of the Dead Sea.
Day 8: Timna Valley
South of the Dead Sea basin lies the Arava, a desolate region home to the spellbinding Timna Valley, also known as Timna Park, or the Red Canyon. This most striking desert oasis is home to some truly arresting rock formations and ethereal landscapes that will take your breath away. This copper-rich area has been mined for thousands of years and full of mystical landscapes – you’ll feel as if you’ve landed on another planet! Take a guided walk, climb some rocky cliffs and enjoy the spellbinding scenery. A truly unmissable desert experience for families who love dramatic landscapes. Finally, we will continue to your Eilat hotel, where you can refresh, relax and enjoy a gorgeous evening and overnight stay.
Day 9: Free Day Eilat / Petra
Eilat is perhaps the best seaside vacation spot in Israel and offers a kaleidoscope of seafaring adventures: from snorkeling and SCUBA diving to swimming with dolphins, sightseeing boat rides, and a wonderful underwater observatory. If you’d prefer, you can choose to take a full-day side trip to Jordan’s UNESCO-listed heritage site of Petra instead. Remarkable Petra, prescribed as ‘a precious cultural property of man’s cultural heritage’, is impossible to oversell. The rock-carved ancient city, believed to have been created in the 3rd-century BC and inhabited by the Nabateans, is undeniably one of the most extraordinary places you could ever visit. Unknown to the Western world until the early 1800s, this wonder of the world makes for an exceptional Petra Extension Tour from Israel. Your tour includes a horseback ride through the ethereal Ciq (canyon), one of Petra’s most iconic sights, emerging to a breathtaking view of the Pink Stone Treasury. We can guide you on a day-trip to Petra and have you back in your Eliat hotel by evening.
Day 10: Mitzpe Ramon, Sde Boker, Tel Aviv
We will depart in the morning, northbound, to another famous Negev Desert attraction, Mitzpeh (or Makhtesh) Ramon. Often mislabeled as a crater when in fact it is a unique, glacial eroded valley, Makhtesh Ramon is an extraordinary place to explore by 4WD and often dubbed Israel’s answer to the Grand Canyon. Makhtesh Ramon is a geological wonder and aside from jaw-dropping views, a visit on a Family Tour in Israel also offers chances to spot elusive desert fauna, like the Nubian Ibex, a subspecies of Europe’s Alpine Ibex that has evolved particular traits to enable it to thrive in such a dry environment. Makhtesh Ramon is Israel’s largest national park and one of the country’s most unmissable attractions on our family tours in Israel! Next on our itinerary is a visit to a desert kibbutz, Sde Boker, originally founded by pioneering families (including the father of Israel, David Ben Gurion) and eventually (and famously) became his retirement destination of choice. Agriculture, wine-making and tourism are not the backbone of the settlement. In the late afternoon, we will head back to Tel Aviv, so you can enjoy your last night in Israel.
Day 11: Departure Day
This morning, after your delicious breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for your return trip home. At Mazada Tours, we thank you for planning your unforgettable Holy Land Tour in Israel with us and eagerly await your next visit!