Arrive Tel Aviv, Israel
Arrive in Tel Aviv, where you are met and transferred to your hotel overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.
Caesarea & Acre | Capitals & Seaports
Take a scenic coastal drive to the ancient Roman capital, Caesarea, where Herod laid out a classical city and constructed a revolutionary, artificial harbor. Near its amphitheater, view a partial inscription mentioning Pontius Pilate — the only secular reference to his existence. Then, visit the seaport cities of Haifa and Acre, the latter a UNESCO World Heritage Site that dates back to Phoenician and Crusader times. While at Acre, tour the Knights’ Halls, view the El Jazaar Mosque and explore the elaborate covered markets. Later, gather for a welcome dinner, savoring your first taste of the kinds of dishes that have become part of Israel’s vibrant culinary scene.
Sea of Galilee | In the Footsteps of Jesus
Begin a day that carries you back in history to the time of Jesus. Cruise the Sea of Galilee by private boat and stop at Capernaum, site of the synagogue where Jesus taught. See St. Peter’s House, now a converted church; Tabgha, where the miracle of the loaves and fishes is said to have occurred; and the commemorative fifth-century mosaic in the Church of Multiplication. Then, visit the Mount of Beatitudes, site of the Sermon on the Mount, perhaps imagining yourself as part of the crowd that was the first to hear a doctrine that changed the world. Shift perspectives from the ancient to the modern, as you continue to the Golan Heights, the much-disputed rocky plateau bordering Syria and Lebanon, overlooking the Sea of Galilee.
Nazareth | Sites of the New Testament
Visit Nazareth, where Jesus spent much of his life. See the Basilica of the Annunciation, built on the traditional site of Mary’s home; Mary’s Well, where an angel is said to have visited; and the basement of the Church of St. Joseph, with its cavern believed to have been the carpentry workshop of Joseph. Continue through the Jordan Valley to the Decapolis city of Beit Shean. Later, arrive in Jerusalem.
Jerusalem | Spiritual Epicenter
Explore the fascinating, history-rich Old City of Jerusalem, built by King David in 1004 BC. Start at the Mount of Olives for a view of the city. Visit the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus prayed with his disciples before his crucifixion. Stop at the Western Wall, one of Judaism’s most sacred sites and a tangible link between Israel’s past and present. View the Temple Mount area (Al Haram el-Sharif) with its Dome of the Rock; El Aksa Mosque, built on a site revered by both Jews and Muslims; and the Davidson Center, home to fine art and archaeological finds. In the Christian Quarter, stroll the Via Dolorosa, where Jesus carried the cross, and stop at the Convent of Zion Sisters, where Pilate tried Jesus. Passing the Stations of the Cross, arrive at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, traditional site of Jesus’ crucifixion, burial and resurrection.
Jerusalem | Yad Vashem
Pass the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) en route to the Israel Museum, which houses a portion of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Then, visit Yad Vashem, Israel’s poignant and moving memorial to Holocaust victims. Finish in Bethlehem, visiting the Church of the Nativity, birthplace of Jesus.
Masada | Zealot Stronghold
Drive to Masada, and take a cable car to the last stronghold of the Jewish Zealots; here, Israelite fighters held out for three years against the invading Roman army before taking their own lives rather than allowing themselves to be enslaved. Stop at the Dead Sea before returning to Jerusalem. Tonight, gather for a special farewell dinner.
Depart Tel Aviv
Transfer to Ben Gurion Airport for your flight home.
Travel Privately with A&K | This itinerary is available as a private journey, Signature Israel. Priced from $6,495.