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14 January 2016 @ 09:59 am
Off to Israel!  
Today we are headed out on our Israel adventure!

https://www.smartours.com/tour/wonders-of-israel/

Day 1
Depart USA.
Your fascinating journey on our Israel tours begins this afternoon with an overnight flight to Israel.

Day 2
Arrive Tel Aviv.
Welcome to Israel! Upon arrival at Ben Gurion airport this afternoon you’ll be greeted and escorted to nearby Tel Aviv, a bustling seaside metropolis representing the modern face of Israel and the center of commerce and culture. En route, see Rabin Square and the memorial to Nobel Peace Prize winner, Yitzhak Rabin. Drive along the road hugging the promenade stretching along the Mediterranean seafront before arriving at your upscale sea-facing hotel. Dan Panorama Hotel

Day 3
Tel Aviv/Jaffa.
This morning your tour director holds a welcome briefing. Following the briefing, enjoy a guided morning walk of the picturesque neighborhood of Neve Zedek, dating to the early 1900’s. Walk along the maze of narrow streets lined with restored historic Bauhaus and Art Deco buildings, galleries and quaint shops. The afternoon is at leisure to stroll along the lively seaside promenade or relax at an outdoor cafe. This evening delight in a tour of Old Jaffa where you’ll visit the Artists Quarter and savor dinner. (B,D)

Day 4
Caesarea/Haifa/Nazareth/Galilee.
This morning depart Tel Aviv, traveling north along the coastal road. Visit Caesarea, with its ancient Roman port and aqueduct, Byzantine streets and Crusader ruins. Visit the fascinating archeological discoveries and learn about the rich history of Caesarea. Ascend scenic Mt. Carmel for splendid views of the sparkling bay below and visit the colorful market of the Druze village. Arrive in Haifa and see the impressive golden-domed Baha’i Shrine and the stunning surrounding Persian gardens. Proceed to Nazareth and visit the Basilica of the Annunciation, traditionally built above the home of the Virgin Mary and the place where the imminent birth of her son was announced to her. Arrive at your hotel located in the scenic Galilee region, within a short driving distance of the Sea of Galilee. After dinner attend a lecture about one of Israel’s most unique traditions, the Kibbutz, where members follow communal living. Lavi Kibbutz Hotel (B,D)

Day 5
Optional Golan & Galilee Excursion.
Enjoy a full day at leisure. We suggest you join an exciting full day excursion ($89, lunch included) to some of northern Israel’s prime attractions. Start with a delightful boat ride on the tranquil Sea of Galilee. Then, ascend the Golan Heights, a volcanic plateau, and enjoy spectacular vistas of the Sea of Galilee and fertile valley below. Here, tour a local winery and sample the wines. After lunch continue to Safed, the mystical Kabbalah center and a thriving artists’ colony before returning to your hotel late this afternoon. (B,D)

Day 6
Capernaum/Tabgha/Beth Shean/Jerusalem.
Start your day with a guided tour of Kibbutz Lavi, then drive to Tiberias and visit Capernaum, site of an ancient Byzantine synagogue and a church believed to be on the site of St. Peter’s house. Continue to Tabgha, traditional site of the Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes. Later, proceed to Beth Shean to view the stunning remains and amphitheater of a well-preserved Roman city. You’ll also stop in Beth Alpha to admire the magnificent mosaic floor of the 6th century synagogue. Voyage through the lush Jordan River Valley and ascend the Judean Hills to Mt. Scopus for a traditional welcome to Jerusalem. Arrive at your hotel, centrally located near the Old City walls. Dan Panorama Hotel (B)

Day 7
Jerusalem.
It is difficult to imagine a city quite as unique as Jerusalem anywhere in the world. Tradition has it that Jerusalem is where King Solomon built the great temple, Jesus was crucified and Muhammad visited on his Night Journey. From the Mount of Olives, admire the stunning views of the city below. An expert guide leads you today on a walk of the Old City. View up close the Western Wall (Wailing Wall), the remnants of the Second Temple and visit the Davidson Center, where fascinating multi-media exhibits, including a reconstruction of the Herodian Temple Mount, bring to life the various periods in Jerusalem’s history. Later, stroll through the magnificently restoredCardo, the old Roman Road. Follow the ancient Via Dolorosa and the Stations of the Cross to the Christian Quarter and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the traditional site of the Crucifixion. Later tour Mount Zion and view King David’s Tomb and the Room of the Last Supper. Balance of the day is at leisure to enjoy Jerusalem’s unique atmosphere at your own pace. (B)

Day 8
Masada/Dead Sea Excursion.
Today’s included memorable full day excursion begins with a drive along the shores of the Dead Sea past Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. Arrive in Masada, an isolated mountain-top fortress. Ascend Masada by cable car and enjoy a guided tour to discover the remains of the fortress built by King Herod and the last stronghold of the Zealots resistance against the Romans. Proceed to the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth where you’ll enjoy several leisurely hours at the beach, pool and public facilities of a famous spa-hotel located on the sea shores. With an exceptionally high content of salt and minerals, the Dead Sea offers an opportunity to “float” on the water as well as therapeutic qualities. Enjoy an included lunch and float on the Dead Sea! Later tour Ahava Laboratories where beauty products are made with minerals from the Dead Sea before returning to Jerusalem late this afternoon. (B,L)

Day 9
Jerusalem.
This morning, visit Yad Vashem, a memorial dedicated to the remembrance of the Holocaust. Later, tour the renowned Shrine of the Book at the Israel Museum, where the exceptional 2000 year-old Dead Sea Scrolls are housed and stroll through the lovely Billy Rose Sculpture Garden. In the afternoon, you may choose an optional tour to Bethlehem, visiting the Church of the Nativity ($30). (B)

Day 10
Jerusalem.
Enjoy a guided walking tour of the Old City today. Walk through the winding alleys housing the colorful bazaar where you may find unique souvenirs. Tour David’s Citadel and visit the engaging Tower of David Museum where you can explore the entire history of Jerusalem. Afternoon at leisure. This evening celebrate with your fellow travelers at a farewell dinner. (B,D)

Day 11
Jerusalem/USA or Eilat.
Early this morning, transfer to the airport to end your holy land tours for your return flight to the USA, or continue your exciting journey with an extension to Eilat with an optional Petra excursion.