Day 1: Jerusalem
After pickup from your Jerusalem hotel in the morning, your first day kicks off with a city sightseeing tour by air-conditioned coach. Admire views from the Mt of Olives, gazing out at the Dome of the Rock at Temple Mt Esplanade, and journey through Kidron Valley past the monumental burial tombs at the Garden of Gethsemane. This is where Jesus was said to have prayed before his crucifixion.
Arriving at the walls of the Armenian quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City, hop off the coach to stretch your legs and walk along the old Byzantine main road, stopping to admire the Western Wall, nicknamed the ‘wailing wall’ after the hoards of worshipers who use it as an open-air synagogue.
Continue driving through the Jewish quarter to the Christian quarter, where you'll stop for a stroll along the Via Dolorosa, a road believed to mark the route that Jesus took to his crucifixion at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Leaving the Christian quarter behind, head to the bustling Muslim bazaar. Browse the stalls with your guide to see Hebron glass and Armenian pottery knickknacks being sold alongside spices and coffee.
Then, make your way into the newer part of the city for a visit to Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum – a poignant Holocaust memorial and exhibition center. Spend time exploring on your own before meeting your guide and heading to your hotel for check-in.
Overnight: 3-star hotel in Jerusalem
Day 2: Jerusalem – City of David – Jerusalem (B)
After breakfast at your hotel, embark on your second tour of Jerusalem’s Old City filled with in-depth narration about each of the sights. Visit the Mt of Olives before heading to Kidron Valley to view an ancient cemetery and visit the tombs of Absalom – King David’s son – as well as Zechariah, a revered temple priest.
See the Church of All Nations in the Garden of Gethsemane and visit Mt Zion, where you can pay your respects at the Tomb of King David. You'll then venture through Zion Gate into the heart of the Old City.
In the Jewish quarter, spend time strolling around the four Sephardic synagogues and along the Byzantine main street. See the excavations of an ancient wall that stood nearly 2,700 years ago during the reign of King Hezekiah.
Wander around with your guide and hear insights into the people’s lifestyle at the time. As you'll discover, this area is home to some amazing 2,000-year-old Herodian mansions, featuring their original mosaics. Stop to place a prayer note in the cracks of the Western Wall before leaving the Old City through Dung Gate.
You'll have time for lunch (own expense) before setting off to explore the walled City of David by foot. Steeped in fascinating religious history, this is one of Jerusalem’s most ancient neighborhoods, often cited as the birthplace of Jerusalem, for it was here that Kind David founded his kingdom. In fact, the City of David is where some of the most famous biblical stories are believed to have taken place.
Today, the neighborhood is an extensive archeological park, home to an array of temples, ruins and relics. Spend time here at your leisure or enjoy a guided tour (excluded), during which you can see highlights such as Gihon Spring – an ancient water source – and the tunnels that were built by the Canaanites to channel water around the City of David.
At the end of your full-day tour, you'll be dropped off at your hotel. The rest of the evening is yours to spend as you wish.
Overnight: 3-star hotel in Jerusalem
Day 3: Jerusalem – Masada – Dead Sea – Jerusalem (B)
Fuel up with breakfast at your hotel before traveling through the barren Judean Desert that stretches around the city. First, pass by the Inn of the Good Samaritan – the setting of one of the New Testament’s best-known parables – and then marvel at the desert's sultry barren hills giving way to the stone towers of Jericho, one of the oldest cities in the world.
Admire the serene blue water against the sun-baked desert canyons as you journey along the shores of the Dead Sea. Arrive at the cable car station that leads to Masada, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Hop in the cable car and enjoy a scenic ride to the mountain’s flat-topped summit while gazing down over Snake, a winding walkway that leads to the top. Masada is home to the ruins of King Herod’s ancient fortress, a palace complex that later became a besieged Jewish stronghold against a bloody Roman invasion.
You'll get to explore these excavations with your guide while learning about their fascinating history, from the days of King Herod to the Roman attack of 73 AD to today. Discover the ruins of stone houses, bathhouses, a 1st-century synagogue and more. After your tour, head back to the base by cable car, followed by a quick break for lunch (own expense).
In the afternoon, you'll travel to a resort on the Dead Sea. Learn about what attributes to the Dead Sea's famous buoyancy from your guide before stopping at the northern coast for a swim. Float effortlessly in the mineral-rich waters and enjoy the therapeutic mud at your leisure. After a bit of relaxing, hop in the coach and return to your Jerusalem hotel.
Overnight: 3-star hotel in Jerusalem
Day 4: Jerusalem – Nazareth – Sea of Galilee – Jerusalem (B)
After breakfast on your fourth day, embark on a full-day tour to Nazareth and the Sea of Galilee. Start by traveling north to Nazareth, a city nestled in the Galilean Hills that's home to a revered Christian shrine, the Church of the Annunciation. This is where the Angel Gabriel is said to have appeared to the Virgin Mary.
Enter the basilica to admire the architecture and learn about the church's significance as a Christian pilgrimage site. Then walk to a nearby sacred site, St Joseph’s Church, built on the spot where Joseph of Nazareth’s carpentry workshop is said to have stood. Explore the network of crypts beneath its main hall and walk around the exterior with your guide.
Leaving Nazareth behind, continue through the village of Cafa to Church of the Multiplication on the Sea of Galilee, where you'll stop for photo opportunities. It was here that one of the New Testament’s parables – the feeding of the 5,000 – took place.
Your tour continues around the foot of Mt Beatitudes to the ancient fishing village of Capernaum. On a guided walk here, see the ruins of Jesus’ much-celebrated synagogue, and then break for lunch (own expense) before heading toward the Jordan River.
In Yarendit, stop to saunter along its sacred river banks and learn about the baptismal rituals that take place at the water’s edge. Soak up the tranquil ambiance and participate in a baptism if you wish; simply speak to your guide ahead of time to see if it can be arranged. It's then time to check in to your kibbutz on the Sea of Galilee for your overnight stay.
Overnight: Nof Tavor hotel in kibbutz near the Sea of Galilee
Day 5: Sea of Galilee – Caesarea – Haifa – Rosh Hanikra – Acre – Jerusalem (B)
Enjoy breakfast at your kibbutz before traveling north along the coast to Caesarea, your first of today's five destinations. As you'll discover on a guided walking tour, this town is lavished with architectural remains from the Crusader period, when Emperor Caesar gave the town to King Herod as a gift. Learn about the town under his rule and pause to take photos in front of Caesarea’s old Roman theater; it’s said to be one of the largest amphitheaters of the Roman era!
Break for lunch (own expense) and then continue driving to Haifa, where you'll stop for a walk around Baha'i Gardens, stacked into the hillside of Mt Carmela. This UNESCO World Heritage Site features terraced gardens built around the Shrine of the Báb – a lavish domed building where the founder of the Bábism faith is buried.
Hop back in the coach and continue to Rosh Hanikra along the coast. Take a guided stroll through the maze of underground caves of this geological formation of spectacular limestone grottos, and pose for photos by the vibrant blue pools of water that appear around every turn.
Your last stop of the day is Acre, a UNESCO World Heritage-listed town. Admire the impressive city walls on a guided walking tour before traveling back to Jerusalem, where your 5-day tour finishes.