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Israel & the Holy Land

(Tour code: HOL17)The Biblical Heritage of the Near East

The 'Promised Land' of Israel has strong connections to many different religions, especially Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Discover an exciting and enlightening journey to the major cities of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, the iconic towns of Nazareth and Bethlehem, as well as the enchanting Sea of Galilee and the infamous Dead Sea.

Tour Highlights
  • Tel Aviv including a guided tour
  • Sightseeing in Haifa and Nazareth
  • Cruise across the Sea of Galilee
  • Ancient Capernaum & Roman Caesarea
  • City tour of Jerusalem
  • Garden of Gethsemane & site of the Last Supper
  • The Holocaust Museum
  • The Dead Sea
What’s Included (Full details)
  • Standard Class Rail
  • 7 Nights Hotel Accommodation
  • Selected Porterage
  • Return Scheduled Flights

Itinerary & Map

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Departure Times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.

Fly Options

Regional Departures Available

To make your travel arrangements even more convenient for you, we are excited to announce that we are now offering some regional airport options outside London for this tour.

To view prices and flight options, please click the 'View Dates & Prices' button and select the departure that you are interested in as options may vary. Alternative, click the image on the left to see flight options and call us on 01904 734 111 to book.

Day 1

London to Tel Aviv

Our adventure begins as we fly directly from London Heathrow to Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion airport. Here we will be met for a private coach transfer to our hotel for the night.

Day 2

Haifa and Nazareth

We begin our exploration of Israel's second largest city with a guided tour, starting with Independence Hall, where Prime Minister Ben Gurion declared the State of Israel in 1948. We continue to Rothschild Boulevard, one of the city's principle streets and Israel's financial centre, during which our guide tells us about the Bauhaus architecture of the 'White City' for which Tel Aviv is famous. We then travel past Ha-Bima, Israel's national theatre, to Rabin's Square - the site of the assassination of Israel's 5th president, Itzhak Rabin. Later we head to Arlozoroff railway station for the train to Haifa. On arrival, a delightful sightseeing tour takes us through the city, offering superb panoramic views of the world-famous Baha'i Gardens, whose beautiful terraces are also known as the Hanging Gardens of Haifa. We continue to Nazareth, the town where Jesus grew up, which has since become a centre of pilgrimage filled with religious associations. Next we visit the Basilica of the Annunciation, a holy place for the Franciscan Order since 1390, and Mary's Well, reputed to be the spot where the Archangel Gabriel visited the Virgin Mary. We continue to the Galilee where we spend the next two nights in a Kibbutz, a Jewish Collective community.

Sea of Gallilee
Day 3

The Sea of Galilee

This morning we take a boat ride across the Sea of Galilee, the largest freshwater lake in Israel and the supposed site of one of Jesus's miracles - walking on water. From here we continue to Capernaum, located on Galilee's north shore, and an incredibly ancient town that played a significant role in Jesus Christ's ministry. Here we visit the area where archaeologists uncovered two 4th century synagogues, thought to be the oldest in the world. Next we make our way to nearby Tabgha, said to be the town which inspired the miracle of the five loaves and fishes, and the place where Jesus made his fourth appearance after the resurrection, to visit the Church of the Multiplication. One of the church's main attractions are its restored 5th century mosaics - the earliest known examples in the Holy Land. Following this, we make our ascent of Mount Beatitudes, renowned as the site of the Sermon on the mount. Here we enjoy panoramic views of the entire Sea of Galilee. Afterwards, a short drive takes us to Acre, an age-old crusader city that is one of the oldest continuously inhabited places on earth. Here you can walk through a remarkable tunnel, discovered in 1994, that was built by the Knights Templar to join their fortress in the west of the city to the port area in the east. Much of it is carved out of natural stone and its upper section is covered by a semi-barreled dome.

Day 4

Caesarea and Jerusalem

Today we drive to Caesarea to explore the ancient capital of Judea that was built by King Herod the Great. This was an important Roman settlement, as our visit to the huge amphitheatre and impressive aqueduct shows. From here we board the train to Jerusalem, via Tel Aviv, for a three-night stay at the Leonardo Hotel, just a ten-minute walk from the Old City.

Day 5

Historic Jerusalem

After breakfast we ascend Mount Olives for magnificent vistas of the surrounding area. After a short walk through the Garden of Gethsemane, famed as the site where Judas betrayed Jesus and home to some of the world's oldest olive trees, we cross the Kidron Valley and enter the Old City. One of the most magnificent sights here is the golden dome on Temple Mount, one of the most religious sites in the Old City and used for centuries by Jews, Romans, Christians and Muslims alike. The Western Wall is the last remnant of the temple and the holiest site to the Jewish people. From here you can follow the Stations of the Cross at the Via Dolorosa where you will also find the Crusader Church of St Anne and the Pool of Bethesda, which is mentioned in the Gospel of St John. Next we arrive at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where Jesus was supposed to have been buried and which now, understandably, holds UNESCO World Heritage status. From here we proceed to Mount Zion to visit the King David Tomb and the room where the Last Supper took place. This evening we enjoy a guided tour of Jerusalem.

Day 6

The birthplace of Christianity

Today we drive past the Knesset, Israel's parliament, and see the menorah, a five-metre high bronze monument gifted to the country by Britain in 1956, before visiting the Israel Museum to view a remarkable and detailed model of Jerusalem as it would have been during the time of Jesus. The museum is also home to the Dead Sea Scrolls, the second oldest surviving religious manuscripts in existence, discovered in the Qumran Caves between 1946 and 1956. We continue with a visit to the moving Yad Vashem, Israel's memorial to the Holocaust victims of World War II. Here you can walk along the Avenue of the Righteous, visit the Children's Pavilion and tour the museum complex, which houses the Museum of Holocaust art and the Institute of Holocaust Studies. After a poignant morning, we drive to Bethlehem to visit the Church of the Nativity - originally commissioned in 327 AD by Emperor Constantine and situated over the site that is traditionally considered to be the birthplace of the Son of God. This is possibly the oldest Christian church in the world, surrounded by Manger Square, which also contains the Mosque of Omar, the city's only mosque, and the Palestinian Peace Centre.

Dead Sea
Day 7

Masada and the Dead Sea

The highlight of today is a descent to the lowest place on earth - the remarkable Dead Sea. Our route takes us firstly to Masada, King Herod's winter castle and fortress, located on top of an isolated rocky plateau with a precipitous drop. This was also the last stronghold against the Roman army of the Jewish zealots, who committed suicide rather than surrender and be sold to slavery. We climb the mountain by cable car and tour the ancient storage areas, living quarters and synagogue. On the way down, we enjoy a swim (or a float) in the buoyant, mineral-rich therapeutic waters of the Dead Sea, said to be an excellent tonic for the skin.

Later we visit Mitzpe Ramon, a peaceful town on the edge of the Negev desert for an overnight stay at the Beresheet Hotel, a delightful stone building seated on the perimeter of the Ramon Crater.

Homeward Bound
Day 8

Homeward Bound

Today we say goodbye to the Promised Land as we make the journey back to London, driving from Mitzpe Ramon to Beer Sheba for the train to Ben Gurion Airport, where we connect with our return flight back to Heathrow.

Please note

Please note that while every departure of this tour features the same excursions, they may not necessarily be in the order listed above.


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Helping you plan your holiday...

Lynne Broadley
Julie Longfield
Phil Conde
Lori Mcclaren



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