JUNE 2-10, 2017 ITINERARY

JERUSALEM · GALILEE · TEL AVIV GAY PRIDE
9 days from $5999

Day One ~ Arrival / Jerusalem
Upon arrival at Ben-Gurion airport, you will be met by your Zoom Vacations representative before transferring you to your hotel in Jerusalem.

Evening Welcome Dinner at one of Jerusalem's best restaurants. 

Accommodations:  Mamilla Hotel, Jerusalem
Meals Included:  Dinner

   

Day Two ~ Jerusalem
Breakfast is included at the hotel.

Morning / Afternoon:  Tour of Jerusalem
After breakfast visit the Israel Museum to see the Model of Jerusalem as it was 2000 years ago, as well as the Shrine of the Book where the Dead Sea Scrolls are housed. Then we visit the Temple Area of the Old City of Jerusalem. At the Western Wall - the Kotel, you will see prayers and rituals of intense worship. Continue towards the Southern Wall excavations to see the Davidson Center and its superb 3D exhibit,  which illustrates how life revolved around the Temple in ancient times. 

Lunch included in historic Jerusalem.

We will also see the Old City from the Mount of Olives. At the foot of the hill is Gethsemane, the olive grove where Jesus spent his last night and was betrayed by Judas. Then enter the walled old city via Zion Gate and proceed to the Jewish Quarter. At the Cardo see the ancient Roman road at the heart of the city and visit the restored Sephardic synagogues. View the unearthed main Roman thoroughfare and ancient marketplace lined with columns. Walk through the Arab Bazaar and along the Way of the Cross to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher where you see Pilgrims from across the world venerating the Tomb of Christ.

Evening at leisure

Accommodations:  Mamilla Hotel, Jerusalem
Meals Included:  Breakfast and Lunch

 

Day Three ~ Jerusalem / Dead Sea
Breakfast is included at the hotel.

Morning / Afternoon:  Masada and the Dead Sea
After breakfast start the day with a dramatic view of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives and Gethsemane below. Then we depart overland down the Jordan Valley and the moonscape of the Judean Desert and down to the Dead Sea (the lowest point on Earth) to Masada, where you continue by cable-car up to the last stronghold of the Zealots.  Some 2000 years ago, Roman legions stormed one of the two paths to the top of this sandstone mountain to reach the Jewish Zealots headquartered there.  The brave Israelite soldiers held out for three years against the invading Roman army before taking their own lives to avoid capture and enslavement.  Many of their fortifications, originally built by King Herod, still stand.

After visiting Masada, drive to Ein Bokek where you have lunch and the opportunity to use the hotel pool and swim in the Dead Sea.  Return to Jerusalem in the late afternoon.

Evening at leisure

Accommodations:  Mamilla Hotel, Jerusalem
Meals Included:  Breakfast and Lunch

 

Day Four ~ Jerusalem / Acre / Caesarea / Galilee
Breakfast is included at the hotel.

Morning / Afternoon:  Caesarea, Acre, and an Israeli Artist Village  
We will begin our tour today with a visit to Caesarea, where you see the contrast from "new" to "old".  This 2000 year old city - built to honor Augustus Caesar - was once the capital of the Roman province and was later occupied by the Crusaders. 

Today, you find a wealth of Roman, Byzantine, Arab and Crusader ruins in the area, as well as the harbour from which St. Paul was taken prisoner to Rome,  an event that brought Christianity to the West.  Near the excavated theater, you can view a partial inscription mentioning Pontius Pilate – this is the only secular reference of his existence. 

After Caesarea, we will visit a picturesque artists’ village, the only one of its kind in Israel and one of the few such villages in the world. Nestled in natural vegetation and bordered by an ancient olive grove, it lies on the western slopes of Mount Carmel, in a breathtaking landscape looking out toward the sea and the Crusader fortress of Atlit. Here will we see artists at work and be surrounded by one of the largest collections of Israeli art.

Then on to Acre, one of the world’s oldest seaports, mentioned as far back as 3,500 years by the Pharaoh Tuthmosis III and now designated an UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs, and a succession of Crusaders occupied the town but Napoleon famously failed to conquer it. Acre was the main base for the Crusades and today you can see the stunning Halls and buildings of the Knights Hospitaller and Knights Templars.  

Late Afternoon:  We will arrive at our luxurious hotel, which offers a serene landscape with beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. 

Evening at leisure to enjoy the nearby countryside, explore more of the region, or simply relax by the pool. 

Accommodations:  Bayit Bagalil, Galilee
Meals Included:  Breakfast and Lunch

 

Day Five ~ Galilee / Golan Heights/ Winery
Breakfast is included at the hotel.

Morning / Afternoon:  Tour of Golan Heights and visit to Winery  
After breakfast we will explore the nearby Golan Heights region, which is historically and strategically very important to Israel. We will notice the stark contrast of geography versus the desert, as the increased altitude allows for much milder temperatures and greener areas. Many types of grapes grow well in this climate, and we will explore (and taste) the offerings of the thriving Israeli wine industry, which has been expanding greatly over the years. 

Lunch included.

Visit Tel Dan, the ancient Biblical city home of the Tribe of Dan; now a nature reserve but also a fascinating archaeological site.

Accommodations:  Bayit Bagalil, Galilee
Meals Included:  Breakfast and Lunch

 

Day Six ~ Galilee / Armageddon / Tel Aviv
Breakfast is included at the hotel.

Morning: Tour of Megiddo
After checking out of the hotel, we will head to Megiddo, an ancient city-state now designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its historical, geographical, and theological importance, as its Greek name, Armageddon, illustrates. Excavations here have unearthed 26 layers of ruins.

Lunch included.

Late Afternoon: Check in to the Tel Aviv Hilton, located in the heart of all the Gay Pride events, as well as right in front of the gay beach. 

Accommodations:  Tel Aviv Hilton
Meals Included:  Breakfast and Lunch

 

Day Seven ~ Tel Aviv
Breakfast is included at the hotel.

Morning:  Introduction to Tel Aviv and Old Jaffa.  We will see the differences between the ancient area of Tel Aviv, Old Jaffa, and the modern architecture of what is possibly the most progressive city in the Middle-East. Jaffa is argued to be the oldest seaport in the world. From the Bible, it is also where Jonah was swallowed by a whale, so be careful when swimming. Nowadays it is one of the most diverse and heterogenous parts of the city of Tel Aviv and has a thriving arts scene.

Afternoon: At leisure to explore the incredible city of Tel Aviv.

Evening:  Enjoy a special dinner at one of the best restaurants in Tel Aviv.

Many Gay Pride events and parties are happening tonight. We will provide more information on these when it becomes available. 

Accommodations:  Tel Aviv Hilton
Meals Included: Breakfast
and Dinner

 

Day Eight ~ Tel Aviv Gay Pride
Breakfast is included at the hotel.

1:00 PM to 3:00 PM: Tel Aviv Gay Pride Parade
Our hotel is conveniently nestled in between part of the parade route, and near the beach where the official beach after-party will be.

3:00 PM to Late Evening: Pride Beach Party at Gordon Beach, just a short walk from our hotel.

Accommodations:  Tel Aviv Hilton
Meals Included:  Breakfast

 

Day Nine ~ Tel Aviv & Departure
Breakfast is included at the hotel.

Airport Transfer for your flight home
Meals Included: Breakfast

 

Air: International and domestic airfare not included.

Passports: Your valid passport should have at least two blank visa pages and should be valid for at least six months after your planned departure from the country you are visiting. 
Note: Passport pages titled "Endorsement Pages" are not visa pages.

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*Land only Introductory rate, based on double occupancy. Prices are subject to change. Need a roommate? Zoom Vacations® is happy to match you with someone, at no additional charge. Or, you may pay a single supplement and go as a single.

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