Explore some of Israel’s finest ancient cities and religious sites on a 2-day tour of Israel, led by a local guide! After visiting King Herod’s old stomping ground at the coastal town of Caesarea, stroll around the UNESCO-listed Baha’i Gardens in Haifa, and then discover the delights of the underground caves at Rosh Hanikra. Enjoy an overnight stay in a traditional Israeli kibbutz (family-run guesthouse) in Mizra and then spend the final day visiting sites in and around the Sea of Galilee, such as Nazareth, Capernaum and Yarendit.
Day 1: Tel Aviv – Caesarea – Acre – MizraLeave Tel Aviv and travel along the coast to your first destination of the day: Caesarea. The 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 on a walking tour and stop for photos in front of Caesarea’s old Roman theater; it’s said to be one of the largest amphitheaters built during the Roman era.After a break for lunch (own expense), continue to Haifa for a walk around Baha’i Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Stacked into the hillside of Mount Carmel, the terraced gardens were built around the Shrine of the Báb–a lavish domed building where the founder of the Bábism faith is buried.Continue by coach to Rosh Hanikra, a geological formation of spectacular limestone grottos that zigzag along the coast. Stretch your legs on a guided underground stroll through the maze of caves, and pose for photos by the vibrant blue pools of water that appear around every turn.Your final stop of the day is in Acre, a UNESCO-listed town with impressive city walls. Look around on a walking tour, and then travel to your kibbutz guesthouse to spend your night.Overnight: Nof tavor kibbutz in MizraDay 2: Mizra – Nazareth – Yarendit (B)After breakfast, leave Mizra and travel to Nazareth. The holy city, nestled into the Galilean Hills, is home to one of the most important shrines in Christianity–the Church of the Annunciation–where the Angel Gabriel is said to have appeared to the Virgin Mary.Head inside the basilica, and learn of the site’s significance as a Christian pilgrimage destination while admiring the architecture. Another sacred site–St Joseph’s Church–is nearby, so stroll over to it next with your guide. Built on the ground where Joseph of Nazareth’s carpentry workshop is said to have stood, the church is fascinating to explore with a network of crypts beneath its main prayer hall.After walking around the church with your guide, leave Nazareth and continue through the village of Cafa for a photo stop at the Church of the Multiplication on the Sea of Galilee. It was here that one of the New Testament’s famous parables–the feeding of the 5,000–took place.Continue around the foot of Mount Beatitudes to the ancient fishing village of Capernaum, and see the ruins of Jesus’ much-celebrated synagogue on a walk with your guide. Stop for lunch (own expense) and then travel toward the Jordan River.Stop at the baptismal site of Yarendit to walk along its sacred river banks, and learn about the baptismal rituals that take place at the water’s edge. If you want to get baptized, simply speak to your guide to see if it can be arranged during the stop. After enjoying the tranquil ambiance of the site, return to your coach and travel back to Tel Aviv where your tour finishes.