Israeli Odyssey

  • 4 Weeks

Explore the best Israel has to offer from the Lebanese border to the Red Sea.

After four or five days in and around Jerusalem, including a couple of days exploring the Old City and a half-day visit to the Israel Museum, take a trip down to the wondrous caves at Beit Guvrin–Maresha National Park, stopping at a winery on the way. Next, stir it up in Tel Aviv for a few days, strolling along the beachfront promenade to historic Jaffa, biking along the Yarkon River and working on your Mediterranean tan. On your way north to Haifa, stop at the Roman ruins of Caesarea and the quaint old town of Zichron Ya’akov, famed for its vintage winery. After touring Haifa’s sublime Baha’i Gardens, visit Mt Carmel and the Druze village of Daliyat Al Karmel. The next day, continue north to Akko, with its enchanting mixture of Crusader ruins and Ottoman relics. Next, go as far north as politics permit, to the subterranean grottoes of Rosh HaNikra, before heading inland for a couple of days in Nazareth, exploring Christian sites and dining on traditional Arab delicacies and East-West fusion dishes. Based in Tiberias for a couple of days, relax around the Sea of Galilee, combining ancient synagogues and Christian sites with quiet beaches and, perhaps, white-water rafting on the Jordan River. Loop east to the Golan Heights, visiting the hilltop ruins of Gamla, the Golan Archaeological Museum in Katzrin and towering Nimrod Fortress. Circle west via the lush vegetation of Banias Nature Reserve to the wetlands of the Hula Valley, beloved by migrating birds; the quaint, cobbled streets of Rosh Pina; and Tsfat, suffused with the spirituality of the Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism). Finally, head south through the Jordan Valley, strolling the colonnaded Roman thoroughfares of Beit She’an. After a starlit night on the shores of the Dead Sea, rise early to catch the sunrise from high atop Masada. Continue south into the Negev Desert for a day or two around Mitzpe Ramon, including a hike into Makhtesh Ramon. The last stop, for a spot of sea, sun and snorkelling, is Eilat.