The Middle East is a region rich in history and the landscapes of Palestine and Israel are no different. Over millennia empires and armies have swept through laying claim to the cities and lands and leaving a legacy of palaces, harbours, forts and places of worship. This suggested itinerary takes the traveller from the holy city of Jerusalem, one of the most contested cities in the world and home to an astonishing amount of historical sites in to the West Bank to see more sites from Christianity, Roman and Umayyad times in Bethlehem and Jericho. Heading north through the old city of Nablus reach Nazareth and Galilee, from here visit the historic coastal towns of Acre and Haifa. For the visitor interested in the history of the region, the ancient cities and civilisations, this suggested itinerary gives an insight in to the past and takes you through some amazing scenery.
Board your flight to Tel Aviv, on arrival you will be met and transferred to Jerusalem to check in to your hotel in the old city.
Your city sightseeing will take you to the Mount of Olives where you will visit the Garden of Gethsemane and also enjoy the panoramic views. Returning to the old city visit the Citadel with its history museum before heading into the narrow alleyways to visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre built on the site of the crucifixion, the Via Dolorosa, Western Wall and the Dome of the Rock. (B)
Visit Manger Square this morning and the Church of the Nativity built over the stable in which Jesus was born, from here follow some of the bustling streets to explore the town. Head out to Beit Sahour and the Shepherds’ Field as well as taking time to walk along the Separation Wall and visit one of the Refugee Camps which have housed refugees since 1948. (B)
Head to Jericho today and visit the Baptism site on the River Jordan, nearby are the remains of Hisham’s Palace, notable for its mosaic of the Tree of Life. In the city centre visit the Tel – an archaeological site in which the remains of ancient Jericho are found. Take the cable car up the Mount of Temptation to the monastery and the place in which Jesus refused the devil. (B)
Drive to the hill top village of Taybeh home to a Byzantine church, whilst in ruins it is still used by the local population. Have lunch at the local hotel which is also a winery and brewery before driving on through the mountain landscapes covered in olive groves to the city of Nablus. Here explore the old city a network of alleyways home to the local bazaar. (B)
Leave the West Bank and head for the Sea of Galilee, known in the Bible as the location of the loaves and fishes miracle. Arriving in to Nazareth visit the old city home to the Basilica of the Annunciation, this huge church is modern in design but sits over remains from Biblical times. (B)
Head to the coast today to visit the port cities of Acre and Haifa. Acre has been a prominent city throughout Phoenician, Hellenistic and Crusader times and architecture from the time survives underneath the Ottoman fortress. Haifa has grown much larger and the port now is a busy working dock, visit the Bahai Gardens beautifully laid out up one of the hills with the Temple at the top. (B)
Drive to Tel Aviv for the afternoon flight stopping to visit the Roman city of Caesarea. Built by Herod as his port there is a there, hippodrome and plenty of mosaics to explore by the sandy coastline. (B)