Home to three of the world’s most important religions, and filled with significant historical and religious sites, Israel is unlike anywhere else in the world. Modern Israel is a rich mosaic of ethnic and religious groups, each with long-standing ties to the land. To offer a more in-depth understanding of these communities, our tour not only explores the landscape and history of Israel, but features interactions with representatives of some of Israel’s diverse groups. We start and end our tour in modern Tel Aviv. We will then drive around central and northern Israel to visit the Sea of Galilee and the Golan Heights. We will also explore the most famous sites in and around Jerusalem including: King David’s tomb, the room of the Last Supper, the Western Wall and the Arab market. Another day will feature the ancient fortress of Masada overlooking the Dead Sea. Join us on a journey to this unique land as we explore ancient sites and contemporary life and enjoy the hospitality of this gay-friendly nation during our gay Israel tour. And for those with more time, our three-night extension to Jerash, Amman and Petra, Jordan adds another rich chapter to your exploration of the region.
- Arrival Day in Tel Aviv +1 Upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport, transfer to our beachside hotel in Tel Aviv. Tonight we will enjoy a welcome dinner together.
- Old Jaffa and New Tel Aviv +2-3 Explore the vibrant city of Tel Aviv, including the old port of Jaffa and the Bauhaus-inspired new city of Tel Aviv. Because this day falls on Friday, the outdoor arts and crafts market is open, and Rothschild Blvd will be packed with shoppers. Nightlife should also be quite festive! On the second morning we offer an optional tour of Bethlehem or a Tel Aviv walking tour. During our time in Tel Aviv and/or Jerusalem, we will meet with representatives from Israel’s LGBT community to learn more about their lives and achievements in this highly religious but diverse land.
- Haifa and Caesarea +4 Drive north along the Mediterranean coast to Caesarea and see a Roman amphitheatre and aqueduct. Then visit Haifa and the renovated Bahai Temple with its golden dome and Persian gardens. Time permitting, pause at Akko, before heading east through lush hillsides toward the Sea of Galilee. Stay two nights in the modern guesthouse of a Kibbutz.
- The Galilee and the Golan Heights +5 Take a jeep ride to the Golan Heights, and visit the Banias, the major source of water for the Jordan River; visit the ancient synagogue at Katzrin; and stop for a wine tasting at a boutique wineries. Time permitting, we’ll visit Rosh Pina and the holy city of Safed, birthplace of the Kabbalah.
- On to Jerusalem! +6 Head south through the Jordan Valley toward Jerusalem, passing Gilboa and Jericho. A highlight will Beit Shean, one of the most magnificent archaeological sites in Israel. View Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives then check into our deluxe hotel just outside the city walls.
- Jerusalem: Old & New +7 A big day today, with lots to see: four quarters of the Old City of Jerusalem (Jewish, Arab, Christian and Armenian) beginning at the Jaffa Gate. Visit King David’s Tomb, the Room of the Last Supper, Western Wall, Southern Excavations, Broad Wall, Burnt House, Church of the Holy Sephulchre, Arab market, the Holocaust memorial. We’ll enjoy a dinner in Jerusalem together with some of the local LGBT community to get their perspective on daily life in Israel today.
- Masada and the Dead Sea +8 Head east across the desert to explore the Judean Desert and the Dead Sea, visiting Masada via cable car. Float in the rejuvenating waters of the Dead Sea. Return to Tel Aviv waterfront hotel to enjoy the beach and active weekend nightlife of this vibrant capital city.
- Departure Day or Start Jordan Extension +9 Today is a day to relax, recuperate and enjoy a sunny day in Tel Aviv before your flight home. Or join our rewarding extension to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, including Amman and Petra, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
- Jordan, Petra & Moses +10-12 Pack an overnight bag for three nights in Jordan and take a morning flight to Eilat, Israel to the border crossing to Aqaba, Jordan. After completing both Israeli and Jordanian border formalities we’ll meet our Jordanian guide then stop for lunch (on your own) in Aqaba before starting our drive north toward Petra. Pause for a 2-hour jeep ride at Wadi Rum. Our lovely hotel is just outside the gates of Petra.
- Important Notes
in a shared room
|Optional Single Supplement||
for solo travelers who wish to enjoy a private bedroom and bathroom
“The trip to Israel was an unforgettable experience, and one that I would highly recommend. Our tour guides were great, and really brought to life the places we were visiting. It was a good balance between holy sites and more contemporary Israeli places of interest”G. Izaguirre, Claremont CA
“…our guides were all terrific and went out of their way to make this tour a complete success. During the tour, I kept thinking, “this tour is going so well, how could it get any better?”, and then it did. Keep up the good work and thanks again!”Mike N., Sherman Oaks, CA
To fully enjoy this tour you need to be able to walk around unevenly paved ancient sites for 1-4 hours each day.
Accommodations for 8 nights, including 2 nights at a comfortable kibbutz hotel; All group ground transportation during the trip; Airport transfers between Ben Gurion Airport and our Tel Aviv hotel; Breakfast every day and four dinners; Wine or soft drinks at the Welcome and Farewell dinners; Services of a professional Israeli guide and (subject to minimum participation) HE Travel tour director; Entrance fees to all sites in the program; All hotel service charges, government taxes, porterage, and gratuities for drivers and included meals; and complimentary medical and evacuation insurance
What’s NOT Included
Airfare between home and Tel Aviv; International departure taxes; Meals that are not part of tour itinerary; Gratuities for guides and HE Travel tour director; Personal items such as alcoholic beverages, telephone calls and laundry.
: Dead Sea
: Golan Heights
* Start and end the tour in a beachfront hotel in modern Tel Aviv, near the gay beach * Enjoy in-depth tours of archaeological sites * Spend two nights in a gay-friendly kibbutz * Hike along the lush Sea of Galilee and take a jeep ride to the Golan Heights * Tour the Old City of Jerusalem including the most famous religious sites * Explore the ancient citadel of Masada, then float in the Dead Sea and enjoy the sights and sounds Israel has to offer * Meet a variety of Israelis to learn about Israeli gay life and to see how the people live and love their land, with discussions about contemporary life in Israel * Extend your stay to visit Jordan, including the Jordan Valley, Jerash, Amman, Petra, and Lawrence of Arabia’s desert abode. See Extensions tab for details
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