After early afternoon pickup from your central Tel Aviv, travel by air-conditioned coach to Jerusalem, one of the world’s oldest cities and central to the Christian faith down the ages.
After roughly an hour on the road, arrive at the Mount of Olives. Gaze out from here over Old Jerusalem, and then keep your camera ready as you drive around the walls of the UNESCO-listed Old City. On route, see the Kidron Valley and pass the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus and his disciples spent time the night before his crucifixion.
Stop at the walls and enter the Old City on foot. Follow your guide into the alleyways of the Christian Quarter, and visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, built on the site of Jesus’ crucifixion. Wander around the revered church and see the treasures and Stations of the Cross that make it one of Christianity's most sacred spots.
Afterward, leave the Old City for a panoramic drive around New Jerusalem. Drive by top Jerusalem attractions such as the Knesset, the Israel Museum and the Valley of the Cross, home to the magnificent 11th-century Monastery of the Cross. As darkness falls, stop at the Mount of Evil Counsel viewpoint to behold views of Jerusalem below, just as the city lights twinkle to life.
Then, continue by coach to Bethlehem. On arrival, take a break for light refreshments at a prettily decorated Christmas souvenir shop, before strolling into Manger Square to enjoy the traditional celebrations. Admire the Christmas tree and floodlit Church of the Nativity, built on the site of Jesus’ birth, and listen to the carols sung by locals and pilgrims.
Then, if time permits, head inside the church to soak up the deeply spiritual atmosphere that comes with Christmas night. Afterward, sit down to a delicious Christmas dinner in a restaurant overlooking the square. Soak up the emotion of the evening and setting as you eat, and watch the live outdoor screen broadcasts of the Church of the Nativity midnight mass.
Take your leave of Bethlehem and finish your trip with a drop-off at your Tel Aviv hotel.