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. Explore Jerusalem and Bethlehem before heading north through the old city of Nablus to reach Nazareth, Galilee, and the historic coastal towns of Acre and Haifa.
Arrive in Tel Aviv and transfer to Jerusalem.
Meet your guide and take a walking tour of the Old City visiting Al Haram Al Sharif, home to the Dome of the Rock and the Western Wall. Walk along the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre built on the location of the Crucifixion and explore the winding alleyways in the Jewish and Armenian quarters. (B)
Spend the morning at leisure in Jerusalem. Perhaps walk along the Ottoman built city walls or visit the Holocaust memorial at Yad Vashem. In the afternoon, transfer to Bethlehem stopping to visit Herodium, a hilltop fortress built by Herod. (B)
Bethlehem is renowned throughout the world as the birthplace of Jesus and now a West Bank city playing its part in the modern conflict. Today's sightseeing will start in the old city where stone houses line narrow streets and busy shops sell spices and traditional bread. Visit the Basilica of the Nativity and head to the Shepherds' Field in the village of Beit Sahour on the edge of the city. In the afternoon, visit the Separation Wall and look around a refugee camp to learn about the inhabitants’ lives. (B)
Drive east to Jericho stopping along the way at St George’s Monastery hidden deep in a desert valley. In Jericho, it is possible to visit Jesus’ baptism site as well as Hisham’s Palace and the Mount of Temptation where a small monastery perches on the cliff face to remember the place in which Jesus refused the devil. Visit an archaeological site where the remains of ancient Jericho have been found before returning to Bethlehem. (B)
Drive north to the village of Taybeh. Spend time exploring this quaint village before continuing to Nablus. Visit Jacob’s Well and explore the old city, a network of alleyways home to all kinds of shops and stalls. Visit the traditional spice sellers and see the process of knafeh making - a syrup and cheese dessert. (B)
This morning, drive into Israel and on to the Sea of Galilee, a beautiful stretch of water. Dotted around its shores are various sites mentioned in the Bible. Stop to visit some of these including the Mount of Beatitudes, Tabgha and Capernaum. Continue to Nazareth and visit the Basilica of the Annunciation in the old city of Nazareth. (B)
This morning visit Haifa, a busy modern port built on hills. Stop en-route to visit the Bahai Gardens and temple. Drive to the nearby city of Acre with its small old town perched on the coast surrounded by thick walls. Visit the Ottoman fortress, walk through the underground tunnels and admire the coastal views from the sea walls before returning to Nazareth. (B)
After breakfast, make your way back to Tel Aviv stopping at Caesarea, a port city built by Herod. Here, wander through to the Cardo and the ruins of bath houses still home to some incredible mosaics. Transfer to the airport for the flight back to the UK. (B)