Israel is the same size as Wales. It’s not a big country but it’s packed with culture and history. The three major monotheistic religions converge in Jerusalem. There are so many biblical ruins to see it can overwhelming. On this trip, you’ll discover King David’s Tomb, the Room of the Last Supper, Via Dolorosa and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. You’ll also get the chance to float weightlessly in the Ded Sea.
Israel is the most gay-friendly country in the Middle East and Tel Aviv is the gay capital of the region. Tel Aviv Pride will be taking place so we’ll be paying a visit. You’ll expand your mind with all the history, eat the finest food and party at Pride. What more could you need? You’ll be staying in the best accommodation throughout the trip and travelling with destination experts.
Call our travel experts on+44 (0)20 7157 1570
- 10th June 2020 Wednesday
Group Trip Breakdown
Day 1: Arrival in Tel Aviv
You’ll be transferred from Ben Gurion Airport to our beachfront hotel in Tel Aviv. You’ll get to meet your fellow travellers over a welcome dinner and have a debrief on the adventures to come.
Days 2: Old Jaffa and New Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv is known as the “Manhatten of the Middle East.” It’s the most cosmopolitan city in the region and it has one of the world’s finest gay scenes. We’ll visit Independence Hall on Rothchild Blvd. This is where Israel’s independence was declared in 1948 by Ben Gurion. We’ll also visit the city’s first Jewish area, Neve Tsedek, in the Jaffa district. Over in Old Jaffa, we’ll see one of the key ports of antiquity. Solomon’s Temple was built with cedars shipped through this very port.
Days 3: Galilee
Today we’ll drive north to the ancient city of Caesarea. It was built by Kind Herod and dedicated to Augustus. That’s old! The amphitheatre and aqueduct are still intact (what have the Romans ever done for us?). On our way to Galilee, we’ll also visit the cities of Akko and Haifa. We’ll drive past the verdant landscapes of Galilee on the way to our new home for the next two days. A modern guesthouse of a Kibbutz. Don’t worry, it’s very comfortable.
Day 4: The Galilee and the Golan Heights
This morning we’ll take a jeep to the Golan Heights and visit the Banias, the main source of water for the Jordan River. The Golan Heights were annexed by Israel after the Six-Day War. We’ll learn about its strategic importance and visit the ancient synagogue of Katzrin. As well as being of great military importance, the Golan Heights are an emerging wine region. We’ll visit a boutique winery, taste some of Israel’s finest and then head back to the kibbutz.
Day 5: On to Jerusalem
Today we’ll drive to the Jordan Valley via Gilboa, passing by the Palestinian city of Jericho. We’ll visit Beit Shean, one of the most remarkable archaeological sites in the country. Our tour of Israel begins with panoramic city views at the Mount of Olives. We’ll check into our deluxe hotel just beyond the walls of the city. Evening at leisure.
Day 6: Jerusalem
We’ll explore both sides of Jerusalem, old and new. The four sides of the Old City include the Jewish, Arab, Christian and Armenian sections. We’ll visit King David’s Tomb, the site of the Last Supper, the Western Wall, the Via Dolorosa and more. Jerusalem is packed with history, so much so that it can be overwhelming. Jerusalem Syndrome is an ailment that has afflicted some visitors. Being so close to biblical history can be overwhelming. So, hopefully you won’t go potty and think you’re King David.
Day 7: Yad Vashem – Bethlehem
Yad Vashem is Israel’s major memorial to the victims of the holocaust. We’ll take a tour – it’s a very moving thing to see. We’ll also learn about the controversial wall surrounding Jerusalem. Today we’ll also visit Bethlehem and visit Church of the Nativity and Manger Square.
Day 8: Masada and the Dead Sea
Time to float weightlessly in the Dead Sea. We’ll drive east to the Judean Desert and take a cable car to Masada. This mountain fortress was the last stronghold against the invading Romans. We’ll check into our hotel overlooking the Dead Sea. Take a dip – or a float! – in the salty waves. The Dead Sea is over 1000 feet below sea level.
Day 9: Tel Aviv
It’ll be time to day goodbye to Jerusalem and head to Tel Aviv, the most cosmopolitan city in the Middle East. It’s also home to the best gay scene in the region. We’ll explore Tel Aviv’s vibrant arts scene, especially the graffiti.
Day 10: Tel Aviv Pride
Morning at leisure. Today is gay Pride in Tel Aviv. It’s the biggest Pride party in the region. The atmosphere is fabulous and men are out of this world.
Day 11: Departure
Hopefully not too hungover this morning! Your epic Israel adventure draws to a close. It’ll be time to head to the airport for your return flight. Unless you’re heading on the optional Jordan Extension, in which case a whole new adventure is about to begin.
Sounds good? Call our travel experts:+44 (0)20 7157 1570
Optional Extension: Jordan, Petra, & Moses – June 20 to 24, 2020
Take a trip across the border and see the highlights of Jordan. You’ll visit the city of mosaics, Madaba, passing along the ancient King’s Highway to Amman, Jordan’s modern capital. Overnight in Amman. The following day, we’ll take a trip to red sands of Petra, one of the great wonders of the world. We’ll visit the first century, 2000 seat Treasury theatre. On the last full day, we’ll drive to the dunes of Wadi Rum. This is where Lawrence of Arabia was headquartered during the Arab Revolt. You’ll also get to drive around the red sea port town of Aqaba. Combing Israel with Jordan is a great way to maximise your experience of the Middle East. You’ll see many of the most iconic sites in the region.