|28 May - 06 Jun|
12 Nov - 21 Nov
Our first small group tour to Palestine is a great introduction to the region, taking in the historical highlights, bustling cities and rural villages dotted among the tree-covered hillsides.
Travel to Bethlehem, home of the nativity and also a bustling Arab city with the separation wall cutting through. From here visit historical Hebron and rural Battir before heading for Jerusalem, the ancient, religious city fought over throughout millennia. Back in the West Bank visit tiny pretty Taybeh and the winery before exploring the alleyways of the old city of Nablus. Travel to Nazareth from where Roman ruins, the Sea of Galilee and the Golan Heights are within reach.
This small group tour crosses borders and checkpoints, visits old and new sites and stays in some charming accommodation while introducing you to this beautiful region.
Depart London Heathrow on a morning flight to Tel Aviv. Meet your tour leader at the airport and you will be transferred to Bethlehem, the drive will take you towards Jerusalem and on through the checkpoint in to the West Bank. In Bethlehem check-in to your guesthouse in the heart of the old city. This evening enjoy a welcome dinner in the restaurant of your guesthouse. (D)
Spend today with a local guide to see the main sights of this historic Palestinian city. Begin in the old city, a bustling Arab town going about its daily routine, wander the narrow streets to Manger Square and the Basilica of the Nativity built in the 4th century over the location of Jesus’ birth. Drive to the nearby village of Beit Sahour and the Shepherds' Field to see the traditional stables. After lunch visit the area of Bethlehem where the current conflict is more apparent. The separation wall runs through the city and there are three refugee camps filled with those who left their homes in 1948. We take time to see the wall and watchtowers and take a walk through one of the camps. (B,L,D)
This morning drive south to Hebron, a city divided in to two zones, one for the Israelis and another for Palestinians. In between the two and accessed from both sides lies the Tomb of the Patriarchs, said to be the resting place of Abraham, a synagogue sits on one side and a mosque on the other. Visit the old city where a once bustling bazaar lies quiet. This afternoon stop in the village of Battir, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the village is famed for its terraces on which the inhabitants grow produce. Stroll around the village and visit the small museum and a couple of the local craft shops and enjoy tea looking out over the hillsides. Return to Bethlehem in the afternoon. (B,L,D)
Today drive to Jerusalem through Checkpoint 300, on arrival check in to your hotel in the old city and embark on a walking tour this morning. Visit the Old City taking in the Dome of the Rock and walk along the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. In the afternoon visit the Mount of Olives once home to over 24 churches and now a burial ground, from here there are magnificent views over the old city. Also visit the Garden of Gethsemane in which Jesus was betrayed by Judas. (B,L,D)
This morning take a political tour of Jerusalem visiting areas of East Jerusalem. Learn about the way in which the settlements are built and the division of the region. This afternoon is at leisure in Jerusalem, you may like to take a walk on the city walls or do some shopping in the bazaar. (B,L)
This morning we head back in to the West Bank visiting Herodium, Herod’s first century fortress sitting atop a hill and also his burial place. Continuing on to Ramallah we take a walk around the city centre, a modern city with a bustling bazaar and also visit the Yasser Arafat tomb and museum. Our destination this afternoon is the village of Taybeh, a small village on top of a hill surrounded by olive groves. The village has a Byzantine Church and also a local brewery and winery, we take a winery tour and tasting after dinner. (B,L,D)
A drive through the hills takes us to Nablus which sits between two hills and where the old city is a weaving labyrinth of streets and Ottoman architecture. A walk around the city takes us through these narrow alleyways to spice shops, mosques and traditional knafeh makers where the sweet syrupy cheese dessert is made. We also visit the biblical sites of Jacob’s Well and Mount Jerzim and the Samaritan colony on one of the hillsides. From here we visit the Roman ruins in the village of Sebastiya before we leave the West Bank and drive to the city of Nazareth. (B,L,D)
In Nazareth’s old city is the modern Basilica of the Annunciation built on the site of the Annunciation, showing some of the archaeological discoveries as well as showcasing gifts from the Roman Catholic Church around the world. After drive on to Haifa - a large port city where we visit the Bahai Gardens and see the German Colony architecture. Driving up the coast brings us to Acre where the walled old city sits on a small promontory, here we explore the remains of the Crusader city as well as the Ottoman Fortress. (B,L,D)
The Lake of Galilee featured in a number of Biblical stories and we stop to see the sites of a couple of these and look out across the waters. Driving on in to the hills we cross the pre-1967 border and head in to the Golan Heights to visit one or two of the villages where the Syrians remain, the majority of them Druze. The hills here have a pleasant climate and we take a walk and learn about the local communities before returning to Nazareth. (B,L,D)
Heading back to the coast we visit Caesarea, a port city built by Herod and for a while the region’s capital. The impressive remains include a theatre, hippodrome and columns as well as some detailed mosaics, all sitting peacefully by the sandy beach and the gentle Mediterranean. After lunch we drive on to the airport for the return flight. (B,L)
|Itinerary Dates||From Price||Single Room Supp.|
28 May 2020
06 Jun 2020
12 Nov 2020
21 Nov 2020