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Explore Israel Tour – with Optional Eilat/Petra Extension

Availability: all year round

15 days / 14 nights


Private Tours Available

Explore Israel Tour – with Optional Eilat/Petra Extension

Wednesday – Depart USA

Thursday– Going up into the Land

  • Arrive in Israel to be met and assisted by your ITC representative (today’s program depends on arrival time).
  • Tour of Neot Kedumim, Israel’s biblical landscape reserve to learn about nature and agriculture in the Bible and try your hand at a challenging ancient leadership activity – shepherding a flock of sheep or goats.
  • Guided tour of the Ayalon Institute – An underground bullet factory in Rehovot used by Jewish forces before the founding of the State of Israel.
  • Tour Old Jaffa, the ancient port city once known as Zion Gate from which Jonah tried to flee and where Solomon brought the Cedars of Lebanon on the way to Jerusalem.  Today paintings and sculptures have been installed in its ancient alleys.
  • Shekhiyanu-Welcome ceremony on top of Tel Jaffa overlooking modern Tel Aviv.
  • Check-in to the Carlton Hotel on Tel Aviv‘s Mediterranean Coast.
  • Welcome dinner at Maganda Restaurant in Tel Aviv’s old Yemenite Quarter.
  • Overnight: Carlton Hotel, Tel Aviv

Friday – Going up into the Land  – The Hebrew City and the Jewish State

  • Dialogue in the Dark at the Holon Children’s Museum – In this special program blind guides lead visitors in the darkness to discover a rich sensory world with in each person, which is different but not deprived.
  • Hear about the establishment of Tel Aviv standing at the Founders’ Monument on Rothschild Boulevard and see the Bauhaus architecture for which central Tel Aviv was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Visit the new Israeli Innovation Center located in the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange to learn how Israel became the Start Up Nation.
  • Lunch on your own and free time to explore the Nachalat Binyamin crafts fair. While there checkout the nearby Carmel Market and bohemian Sheinkin Street All Three of these Tel Aviv icons meet at the “Magen David Junction”.
  • Free time to relax and get ready for Shabbat.
  • Shabbat Candle Lighting
  • Friday evening services with Rabbi.
  • Festive Shabbat Dinner at hotel
  • Overnight:  Carlton Hotel, Tel Aviv

Shabbat/Saturday And on the Seventh Day…in Tel Aviv

  • Shabbat morning services – To be determined with Rabbi.
  • Visit the “Aliyah Bet” Memorial in London Square to hear the story of the illegal immigration operations which rescued Jewish refugees before the founding of the State of Israel.
  • Shabbat Lunch at hotel.
  • Walking tour to Tel Aviv Port, stop along the way at the Chaim Arlozorov Memorial, to learn about a forgotten, but visionary Zionist leader who once was considered only second to Ben Gurion. Then hear about the brave pilots who saved Tel Aviv during the War of Independence.
  • Free time to walk along beachside Promenade and watch the people of Tel Aviv stroll, folkdance, play racquetball and enjoy Shabbat afternoon by the sea.Free time to explore on your own and watch Tel Aviv’s residents folkdance, play raquetball, walk the coastal promenade and enjoy Shabbat afternoon by the sea.
  • Havdallah with Rabbi
  • Free evening
  • Dinner on own
  • Overnight: Carlton Hotel, Tel Aviv

Sunday Cradles of Jewish Civilization in the Galilee

  • Depart for northern Israel.
  • Visit the ruins of Caesarea, including its Roman Theater, Amphitheater, Hippodrome and Promontory Palace.  Ponder a rabbinic debate over Jews attending gladiator games.
  • ITC Touch:  Learn about a rabbinic debate over Jews attending gladiator games.
  • OR:  Explore the ruins of Tzippori, the city where Rabbi Judah Hanasi sealed the Mishna.  Discover Tzippori’s remarkable ancient mosaic pavements, including Mona Lisa of the Galilee, Nile Flood Festival and Orpheus, who looks like King David (?).
  • ITC Touch: Ponder why an ancient synagogue floor features a wheel of the zodiac.
  • Lunch on own
  • Tour mystical Tzfat’s old synagogues and picturesque alleyways. Tzfat was the cradle of Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism) in the 16th century.  Judaism’s Friday night service, Kabbalat Shabbat, and the hymn Lecha Dodi originated in Tzfat a that time.
  • Meet a kabbalistic artist to hear how Jewish spirituality influences his work.
  • Boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, followed by lakeside dinner at Decks Restaurant.
  • Check–in to the Ramot Resort Hotel overlooking the Sea of Galilee.
  • Overnight: Ramot

Monday – Ancient and Modern Geopolitics and Israel’s Finest

  • Walk in the lush Tel Dan Nature Reserve, one of the sources of the Jordan River, where you’ll discover biblical intrigue and see one of the oldest arches in the world.
  • Lunch on own
  • Jeep tour in the Golan Heights for a special perspective on Israel’s complex geopolitics as we “look down at Israel” the way the Syrian army once did and then look out at the border from the top of strategic Bental.

Please choose one of the following two “touring and tasting” options.  Both located on nearby Kibbutz Ein Zivan (Possibility of splitting the group):

  • Chocolate making workshop at the De Karina Chocolate Factory.
  • ORTaste wines and liqueurs at the boutique Bahat Winery.
  • Dinner with young Israeli soldiers who are giving some of the best years of their lives to the defense of Israel – Meet the young men and women of the IDF.
  • Overnight:  Ramot

Tuesday – Across Israel: A Multicultural Jewish Society

  • Discover Ethiopian Jewish culture at the Germachin Center in Beit Shean.  Hear about this community’s modern Exodus story through the personal story of Chava Almo, who made aliyah through Operation Moses as a young girl.
  • Lunch on own
  • Continue south through the Jordan Valley and ascend to Jerusalem.
  • Discover the archaeological story of the Western Wall and episodes of Jewish life in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago at Robinson’s Arch and the Southern Wall Excavations, including a new discovery connected to the Hanukkah story.
  • Visit the traditional prayer area of the Western Wall.
  • Walk through the Western Wall Tunnels to discover underground Jerusalem.
  • Check-in to the Inbal Hotel, Herbert Samuel Hotel or Dan Panorama Hotel in Jerusalem.
  • Free evening
  • Dinner on own
  • Recommendation for the evening: Visit the First Station Compound, Jerusalem’s restored Ottoman railway station turned restaurant – cafe area.
  • Overnight: Inbal Hotel, Herbert Samuel Hotel or Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem

Wednesday New City – Old City: Jewish Legacies in Jerusalem

  • Meaningful visit to the Mt. Herzl Cemetery to discover chapters in the history of Israel at the graves of Yitzhak Rabin, Golda Meir, Theordore Herzl and Hannah Senesch.
  • Engage in hands on tzedakah preparing food packages for distribution to some of Israel’s neediest people at Pantry Packers or Yad Ezra Veshulamit.
  • Tasting tour of the bustling Machane Yehuda Market to discover Jewish delicacies from east and west.
  • Lunch on own, if still hungry
  • Tour of Jewish Quarter including rooftop lookout, Herodian Mansions, Cardo, Broad Wall and Israelite Tower (the latter is an ordinarilly closed archaeological site which will be opened specially for the group).
  • Free time to shop and explore on own.
  • Geopolitical briefing by an AIPAC representative in Jerusalem.
  • Dinner on own
  • Overnight: Inbal Hotel, Herbert Samuel Hotel or Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem

Thursday – Masada and the Dead Sea: Freedom Fighters or Fanatics?

  • Set out early across the Judean Desert and ascend Masada by cable car to tour the ruins of Herod’s palace and the last outpost of Jewish independence. Discussion: Which Jewish Legacy – Masada or Yavne?
  • Swim in the Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth, at a local resort.  The resort also has a fresh water pool and spa facilities.  Massage and spa treatments available by prior reservation at own expense.
  • Lunch at Dead Sea resort.
  • Time permitting:  Walk in Ein Gedi Nature Reserve opportunity to bathe in waterfalls and hear how David hid there from King Saul.
  • Stop off at “Abraham’s Tent” for a Camel ride and biblical dinner before returning to Jerusalem.
  • Overnight:  Inbal Hotel, Herbert Samuel Hotel or DanPanorama Hotel, Jerusalem

Friday– Holocaust, Remembrance and Continuity

  • Tour of Yad Vashem – Israel’s national Holocaust memorial and museum, including the Historical Museum and Children’s Memorial. (Children under age 10 are not permitted in Yad Vashem’s historical museum).
  • Alternate for younger children: Visit Jerusalem’s Biblical Zoo, where you’ll see animals which lived in Israel during biblical times. (Children must be accompanied by an adult.)
  • Lunch on own
  • Free time to relax and prepare for Shabbat.
  • Shabbat candle lighting

Friday/Shabbat evening options:

  • Join hundreds of other Jews from around the world to Greet the Sabbath at the Western Wall. Option to join the new egalitarian Kabbalat Shabbat minyan at the Masorti Kotel, where men and women can pray together (begins at 6:00 pm).
  • OR: Attend Friday night services at a local Masorti (Conservative)
  • Festive Shabbat Dinner at hotel
  • Overnight: Inbal Hotel, Herbert Samuel Hotel or Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem

Shabbat/Saturday – And on the Seventh Day… in Jerusalem

  • Shabbat morning services at the synagogue of your choice (recommendations directions will be provided).
  • Shabbat Lunch at hotel
  • Walking tour to the historic Montefiore Windmill to discover the first neighbourhood built outside the walls of the Old City.
  • AND/OR:  Walking tour to First Temple period burial site at Ketef Hinnom – Where archaeologists discovered the oldest biblical text ever found.
  • Havdalah with Rabbi
  • Watch the Night Spectacular – Sound and light show at the Tower of David.
  • Dinner on own
  • Overnight: Inbal Hotel, Herbert Samuel Hotel or Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem

Sunday Digging Up the Past and Renewing the Present

  • Drive to Beit Guvrin in the Judean Lowlands, crossing enroute the biblical Elah Valley, where David and Goliath fought.
  • Dig up Israel’s past by participating in a hands on archaeological excavation with Dig for a Day in Beit Guvrin National Park.
  • Plant a tree in a JNF Forest in Israel to commemorate your visit and honor a loved one.
  • Lunch on own
  • Remainder of afternoon free to explore on own and get in last minute shopping.
  • Late Check out. Eilat – Petra extension participants remain overnight
  • Farewell Dinner at Olive and Fish Restaurant
  • Transfer to Ben Gurion Airport – See you again soon!

Monday – Arrive in USA

  • Begin planning your next Israel trip ITC Tours!

Optional Eilat-Petra Extension 

Monday Eilat on the Red Sea

  • Morning airport transfer for domestic flight to Eilat.
  • Descend into a Red Sea coral reef at Eilat’s Underwater Observatory where you look out the window at the surrounding marine life.  Continue exploring Eilat’s remarkable undersea world at the obesrvatory’s aquarium.
  • Lunch on own
  • Check-in to Dan Eilat Hotel, Eilat
  • Dinner on own
  • Overnight:  Dan Eilat Hotel, Eilat

Tuesday – The Wonders of Petra

  • Early departure for Petra to explore the amazing red sandstone structures carved by the ancient Nabateans.  Enter Jordan at the Arava Crossing and travel to Petra by bus (approx. 2.5 hours). Tour its Treasury (“Khaznieh”), Roman theatre, impressive caves and rock formations of this Nabatean City. Buffet lunch included.
  • Return to Eilat.
  • Dinner on own
  • Overnight:  Dan Eilat Hotel, Eilat

Wednesday – Red Sea Delight

  • Red Sea Sail – Board a touring yacht at the Eilat marina for a leisurely cruise and lunch on the Red Sea. Snorkeling equipment is available for a closer look with the most exquisite coral reefs and tropical fish to be found in the world.
  • Return to Eilat.
  • Evening domestic flight to Ben Gurion Airport.
  • Check-in for U.S. flight at Ben Gurion Airport Terminal 3.

Thursday – Arrive in USA

  • Begin planning your next Israel trip with ITC Tours!

Book your Explore Israel Tour

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Why Book With Us

  • +30 Years Experience

  • Private, Flexible & Personalized Trips

  • Authentic and Local Experiences

  •  24/7 Ground Support From Locals

Tour Overview

Day 1: Depart USA
Day 2: Old Jaffa, Tel Aviv
Day 3: Tel Aviv Stock Exchange
Day 4: Carmel Market
Day 5: Tel Aviv Port, Aliyah Bet Memorial
Day 6: Caesarea, Tzfat, Sea od Galilee
Day 7: Jordan River, Golan Heights, Chocolate Factory, Bahat Winery
Day 8: Jordan Valley, Jerusalem, Western Wall
Day 9: New City and Old City
Day 10: Masada, Dead Sea, Camel Ride
Day 11: Yad Vashem, Jerusalem Biblical Zoo
Day 12: Greet Sabbath at Western Wall, 
Day 13: Elah Valley, Beit Guvrin National Park, Petra
Day 14:  Arrive USA

Contact ITC

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