Israel FAM 2023

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FAM Details and Pricing

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Day 1 – Saturday, January 28

Tel Aviv skyline at sunset

Land at Ben Gurion airport. Pass through passport control, where you will be issued your entrance visa – be sure to keep this safe in your passport for the duration of your stay. Regroup in Baggage Claim and exit together to the Arrivals Hall where an IWorld Travel representative will meet you. Enjoy welcome drinks in the city that never sleeps; the New York of the Middle East. After checking in we will have a welcome dinner in Tel-Aviv, TBD.

Overnight – Carlton Hotel, Tel Aviv

Day 2 – Sunday, January 29

After breakfast, we start our day by driving to the newly renovated ANU Museum of the Jewish People where we delve into the mosaic of Jewish Identity over the past 4,000 years around the world. We return to the city and have a quick tour in central Tel Aviv along the iconic Rothschild Boulevard. Here we discover the legends and stories relating to both the founding of this city and the founding of the State of Israel as we view the Founders Square Memorial and Independence Hall. Traveling through Tel Aviv we are astounded by the variety of architecture including the Bauhaus architecture that has won the city UNESCO World Heritage Status as The White City. We will take a short drive to the Carmel market for a lunch tasting to sample all the goods the market offers.

After lunch, we will head to the ancient port city of Jaffa. We will explore both the ancient alleyways and the modern artist’s colony that today makes Jaffa a vibrant gem on the Mediterranean coast. We will visit Peres Innovation Center, a unique introduction to the foundation of the start-up nation. We finish the day with drinks in the luxury Carlton Tel Aviv Hotel overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. 


Bell tower, Jaffa, Tel Aviv

Overnight – Carlton Tel Aviv Hotel, Tel Aviv

Day 3 Monday, January 30


Old aqueduct in Caesarea

We will check out of our hotel and after breakfast, start our day with a visit to Machon Ayalon, which was for many years the best kept secret in the country. After the visit we will arrive for a site inspection and lunch at the Hilton Hotel in Tel Aviv. We travel north along the spectacular Mediterranean coast to see the remains of Caesarea, the ancient site built by King Herod more than 2000 years ago. Our visit includes the Roman Amphitheatre, Hippodrome, and a much later crusader city. We will continue to Haifa to see the enchanting Bahai Gardens. On our way to Galilee, we visit Nazareth which is today a large sprawling city; in its center is the old city, where Jesus spent his childhood. We will visit the Basilica of the Annunciation, designed by Giovanni Muzio, marking Mary’s home and the appearance of the Angel Gabriel to her. We will check in to our hotel in Kibbutz Kfar Blum for dinner and overnight.

Overnight – Pastoral Hotel, Kfar Blum

Day 4 – Tuesday, January 31

After a good night’s sleep and breakfast, we start our day visiting Tel Dan Nature Reserve. Here we take a short hike through the luscious woodland reserve with fresh water all around. We continue to the ancient city of Caesarea Philippi, or Banias as it’s called today. For lunch, we stop in Masada, an authentic Druze village where we enjoy traditional Druze cuisine and learn a little about the community. Climb to the dizzying Golan Heights, a volcanic plateau overlooking the Sea of Galilee. Here we see for ourselves this strategic highland and understand the crucial role it has played in the security of the modern State of Israel. Visit the extinct volcano of Mount Bental with its vantage point over the Syrian border. After Mount Bental we return to our hotel for a short rest before driving to Rosh Pina to visit the Spa Hotel Mizpe Hayamim, one of the most luxurious hotels in Israel. We will have dinner and visit the hotel facilities.

Overnight – Pastoral Hotel, Kfar Blum

Day 5- Wednesday, February 1


Capernaum Ruins

Today after breakfast we start our day exploring the ancient city of Safed. Home to Jewish Mysticism, or Kabbalah, and now an artists’ colony where every alleyway holds a secret story.


Safed in the evening

We will tour the old city visiting antique synagogues in the area, dedicated to some of the great Jewish thinkers and writers of the last half a millennium, for example, the Caro and Ari synagogues. On our way to Jerusalem, we see the amazing view of the Sea of Galilee. Around it, there are many sites associated with Jesus’ ministry. Important on pilgrimage trails, we will visit the Mount of Beatitudes commemorating the Sermon on the Mount, the villages of Capernaum and Magdala, and visit Ginosar where we will view a first-century fishing vessel, the Galilee Boat, preserved for 2,000 years on the muddy shores of the Sea of Galilee. South of the Sea of Galilee, we will visit in Yardenit Baptismal site, where everyone will have the opportunity to enter the waters of the Jordan River for baptism. We will drive through the ancient city of Beit Shean, including its tel from the biblical period and its sprawling Roman-Byzantine remains, the most extensive city from that time excavated in Israel. We enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.


Ancient city of Beit Shean

From there we drive to Jerusalem and before entering the city we will pause at the Mount Scopus observation platform for a breathtaking view over the city. Today you have the option to have dinner at the hotel or we will recommend a great restaurant in the area.


Western Wall, Jerusalem

Overnight – Orient Hotel, Jerusalem

Day 6 – Thursday, February 2


Western Wall, Jerusalem

We start our day with a rich Israeli breakfast followed by a study session with a Rabbi and a Pastor who will give a talk about the importance of each of the religions to the city of Jerusalem. 

We start our tour at the top of the Mount of Olives in the Mosque of the Ascension. Visit the beautiful courtyard of the Pater Noster Church where the Lord’s Prayer is displayed in 100 different languages. View the Jewish graveyard of the Mount of Olives and continue to the Garden of Gethsemane where we visit the Church of All Nations. We continue on foot to explore the Old City of Jerusalem. We traverse the various quarters of the city visiting the important historical, religious, and cultural sites along the way. We visit the Temple Mount to view the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque from the outside. In the Muslim Quarter, we visit the Church of St. Anne, with its unparalleled acoustics, and the adjacent Pools of Bethesda. We follow the Via Dolorosa, stopping at some of the Stations of the Cross, to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, believed by most Christian denominations to be the place of Jesus’ crucifixion, burial, and resurrection.  

Lunch in the Christian Quarter, before exploring the Jewish Quarter including the Cardo, Hurva Square, the Broad Wall, and the Western Wall. 

We will visit the Inbal Hotel to see the hotel facilities and have dinner.

(Optional)

After dinner, we will meet at the Tower of David to enjoy the Night Spectacular Sound & Light Show, as the story of Jerusalem unfolds in breathtaking moving images projected on the ancient walls and archeological ruins of the Citadel. 

Overnight – Orient Hotel, Jerusalem

Day 7 -Friday, February 3


The Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem

Today we will visit Yad Vashem, Israel’s national memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, where we will tour the museum including the Hall of Names. We will walk along the Avenue of the Righteous, enter the Hall of Remembrance and visit the Children’s Memorial. 

Enjoy the Machane Yehuda Market, the main produce market of the city. We will drive to Bethlehem for lunch followed by a visit to the Church of the Nativity including the grotto of the church revered as the place of Jesus’ birth. Visit a local olive-wood factory, and Shepherd’s Field if there is time

Time-permitting – Enjoy the special experience of Jerusalem at night, before returning to your hotel. 

This evening you will be hosted by a local English-speaking Jewish family in their home for the Sabbath Dinner; you will be able to not only experience the special meal but also gain insight into life in Israel with a Shabbat of a Lifetime.

Overnight – Orient Hotel, Jerusalem

Day 8- Saturday, February 4 


Masada

After breakfast and checkout, we shall descend to the lowest point on earth, the Dead Sea Basin. Visit Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, and time permitting stop for a short hike in the Judean Desert oasis of Ein Gedi. Continue to Masada, a tabletop fortress dating back more than 2,000 years. Viewing the famous Snake Path, we will ascend by cable car to the top of the mountain to tour the site and hear the incredible story. 


Dead Sea coastline

Continue to the shores of the Dead Sea for lunch and the opportunity to float in the mineral-rich lake. We will continue driving south to Sde Boker to our hotel for this evening. 

Overnight – Kedma Hotel, Sde Boker

Day 9 – Sunday, February 5 


Mitzpe Ramon

We start the day with a drive to Mitzpe Ramon and hike the short trail overlooking Makhtesh Ramon from Mt. Gamal (The Camel Summit) to the Makhtesh Ramon visitor center. We will take a short drive to Avdat National Park for a brief visit to meet Shahar Shilo, an expert on the Negev, focusing on the story of the Ancient Nabatean kingdom and the blossoming economy of the Incense Route. We will have lunch in the Bedouin tent of Salem Al Wadj in the village of Abde (facing Avdat National Park).

Stop at the graves of Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion, and his wife, Paula, near the desert kibbutz of Sde Boker, where Ben Gurion spent the last years of his life. We will start on our way back to Tel Aviv for our last night in Israel. 

Farewell dinner (surprise location!)

Overnight – Royal Beach, Tel Aviv

Day 9 – Monday, February 6 

Filled with memories and new lifetime experiences, we say goodbye and look forward to meeting you and your guests in Israel again soon.

***
The itinerary is subject to change due to weather conditions, sites availability, and timing.

Day 1 – Monday, February 6 

After breakfast, your Israeli driver will drive you to the Allenby Bridge border crossing to Jordan. Your Jordanian guide will welcome you and assist with your visa. Once past immigration, head towards Madaba to discover the amazing Byzantine mosaics excavated from throughout the town. See the ‘Madaba Map,’ the oldest preserved mosaic map of the Holy Lands, dated from around the 6th century. It was found during excavations of the floor of St. George’s Byzantine Church. Next, we will visit Mount Nebo and gaze in wonder at the view. This is where Moses first looked across to see the Promised Land. It is believed this is where he later died and was buried. We will end our day in the city of Petra. Enjoy a delicious welcome dinner this evening at the hotel, followed by Petra at Night.

Hotel: Movenpick Resort Petra
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

 

Day 2 – Tuesday, February 7 

After breakfast at the hotel, we begin today’s tour of Petra, the most popular attraction in Jordan. Petra was first established around the 6th century B.C. by the Nabateans, a nomadic tribe who settled in the area and laid the foundations of a commercial empire that extended up to Syria. We begin the trip with a hike through the 2.5-mile canyon, called the Siq. This entrance has hidden the city for centuries. Following the hike, you will be rewarded with a view of Petra’s most beautiful monument: The Treasury. This incredible structure, with its decorative front, is carved into the enormous red sandstone cliffs. The purpose of the Treasury is still unclear. Some archaeologists believe it was a temple, while others think it was a place to store documents. However, the most recent excavation here has unearthed a graveyard beneath the Treasury. Among other monuments you will see are the Street of Facades, the Royal Tombs, and Pharaoh’s Castle. We will have lunch in the Basin Restaurant inside Petra. Afterwards, we proceed to Wadi Rum and check-in at the selected camp. Wadi Rum, also known as the “Valley of the Moon,” was where Prince Faisal bin Hussein and T. E. Lawrence set up their headquarters during the Arab Revolt against the Ottomans during the First World War. Learn about the Bedouins of the desert, who have preserved their traditional way of life. Explore the canyons and grottoes to discover 4,000-year-old rock drawings and other wondrous treasures of the vast desert. Later in the camp you will have a Bedouin-style dinner and enjoy stargazing with a telescope into the dark night sky.

Hotel: Bubble Luxotel – King Suite
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 3 – Wednesday, February 8 

After a restful night, enjoy a delicious breakfast before heading out on an exhilarating jeep tour of Wadi Rum desert. Imagine what it must have been like for Nabatean traders to cross this space in antiquity. Visit sites made famous by the many Hollywood blockbuster movies filmed in this location. Climb the dunes and see ancient hieroglyphics. Following your tour, head south to Aqaba where you will cross the southernmost border between Jordan and Israel. This time, the process will be in reverse. Your Jordanian guide will assist you through immigration, and you will be met on the other side by your Israeli guide. Proceed to Eilat Airport where you can relax and check-in for your 1:30 PM flight to Tel Aviv where you will connect with your return flight to the United States.

Package Includes:

  • Meet & assist upon arrival/departure
  • Accommodation in Movenpick Resort Petra on half board basis (1 night)
  • Accommodation in Bubble Luxotel in Wadi Rum on half board basis in a stargazing tent (1 night)
  • Transportation during your stay
  • Entrance fees to Madaba, Mount Nebo, Petra & Wadi Rum
  • Qualified private accompanied English-speaking guide
  • Lunch in Basin Restaurant in Petra
  • Departure tax
  • 4X4 jeep tour in Wadi Rum
  • Return flight from Eilat to Tel Aviv

NOT Included:

  • International return flight to the U.S.
  • All gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature