12 Day Archaeological Israel Tour

Bar or Bat Mitzvah Tour? Anniversary Celebration? Adventure Traveler? Every tour is crafted to our clients exact specifications. The below itinerary is just a small sample of what is possible! Contact us and we'll create your custom Israel tour!

Day 1 Sunday

WELCOME TO HOLY ISRAEL!

 VIP Welcome at Ben Gurion Airport

After landing, a Shalom Israel Tours representative will be waiting to welcome you as you exit the plane. Your party will be transported in a private vehicle to the flight staff passport control, continue to luggage identification and transfer to your luxury chauffeured vehicle.

 Welcome Transfer to Tel Aviv

Stretching along a beautiful beach strip of the Mediterranean Sea for 100 years, Tel Aviv is considered the face of modern Israel. Nicknamed “The White City” for its abundance of Bauhaus style architecture, Tel Aviv was declared a UNESCO World Heritage City in 2003.

The Tel Aviv North Port

Relax & stroll the north port, also known as the “Namal.”  The remodeled port won the European Biennial of Landscape Architecture, a prestigious European award for landscape architecture. Here you’ll find live performances, art, shopping, and great restaurants.

Overnight: Tel Aviv Hotel Options

Day 2 Monday

TEL AVIV – ISRAEL’S MODERN JOURNEY

The Diaspora Museum

Located at Tel Aviv University, this museum houses displays from the days of the Second Temple to the present day. Explore Jewish identity via the six “gates” of family, community, faith, culture, the Jewish people among the nations, and the return to the land of Israel.

Eretz Yisrael (Land of Israel) Museum

The Eretz Israel Museum features a large display of archaeological, anthropological and historical artifacts organized in a series of exhibition pavilions on its grounds. Each pavilion is dedicated to a different subject: glassware, ceramics, coins, copper and more.

Neve Tsedek Neighborhood

One of Tel Aviv’s first neighborhoods, Neve Tzedek was built in 1887. This area has housed several famous artists and writers, including Nobel Prize winner S Y Agnon. Today, Neve Tzedek is home to several boutique art galleries, independent cafes and cultural centers.

Old Jaffa Port & Market

Built 4,000 years ago, the Jaffa Port is the oldest in the world. The prophet Jonah embarked on his ill-fated journey from this port, and building materials for the First and Second Temples were delivered to Jaffa. The metropolis of Tel Aviv is largely an extension of Jaffa.

Overnight: Tel Aviv Hotel Options

Day 3 Tuesday

ISRAEL’S COAST – ANCIENT PORTS

Ancient City of Caesarea Ruins

The Caesarea National Park contains the remains of a prestigious city established by King Herod the Great. Prepare to be amazed when you visit the mighty Roman Amphitheatre, the Hippodrome, a 20,000 seat horse racing arena, as well as the impressive Roman Aqueducts!

“Hamam al-Basha” Turkish Baths

Jazzar Pasha, the governor of Acre, built the city’s bathhouse at the end of the 18th century. The Turkish bath’s construction was part of the transformation of Acre during the Ottoman Period from small fishing village into teeming port city, a center of regional commerce.

Acco Tunisian Synagogue

At this exquisite Tunisian synagogue, you are surrounded by mosaics on every possible surface area. Since 1955, local Acre resident Zin Badasche has been busy decorating the place with mosaics and stained glass windows crafted at Kibbutz Eilon in the Galilee.

Yechi’am Fortress National Park

This intact crusader fortress from the 12th century, was used during the War of Independence to protect the Jews who had established their kibbutz within its walls. Explore the remains of the fortress, and climb up the watchtower to take in the views.

Peki’in Synagogue

At Peki’in you will see a fascinating synagogue at the heart of a remarkable village. Surrounded by local villagers – Jews, Muslims, and Christians – the facility houses an ancient Torah scroll and stone carvings saved from the Romans who pillaged the region.

Dinner & Overnight: Northern Israel Hotel Options

Day 4 Wednesday

GALILEE HISTORY & ARCHAEOLOGY

Mount Arbel National Park

The Arbel National Park offers breathtaking trails and streams overlooking the Sea of Galilee, the Golan Heights and Mount Hermon. Here, an ancient settlement provides visitors with an opportunity to see the remains of a synagogue as well as a cliff-nestled fort.

Megiddo National Park

Get ready to learn about one of the most fascinating cities in the Middle East, where Egyptian, Assyrian and Israeli leaders have all fought for control. Dating back near 5,000 years you learn about this important site while enjoy the breathtaking views of the Galilee.

Beit Shearim National Park

An excavated ancient Jewish town, famous for, according to the Talmud, being the burial site of Rabbi Judah HaNasi.  Other sites that can be seen include an ancient glassmaking industrial site and two caves, one which contains a relief of a menorah with seven branches.

Zippori National Park

Explore the grounds that were inhabited by Romans, Jews, and Crusaders at different points in time, and discover the ancient structures that remain in this fascinating historical park. View the beautiful mosaic floors including the “Mona Lisa of the Galilee”.

Korazim National Park

Get ready to connect with the past! At Korazim National Park, archaeological ruins made of black basalt rock will amaze you. Discover the beautiful synagogue decorated with elaborate carvings and sculptures, a ritual bath and olive presses used by its ancient inhabitants.

Bar’am National Park

Come see why the Bar’am National Park site is one of the Galilee’s hot spots to celebrate special events. It includes a well-preserved synagogue from the times of the Talmud. The park also includes the Bar’am oak forest, as well as a contemporary Israeli Maronite church.

Dinner & Overnight: Northern Israel Hotel Options

Day 5 Thursday

THE GOLAN HEIGHTS & TZFAT – ADVENTURE & MYSTICISM

Tel Dan National Park

Tour the historical site built and conquered by the Tribe of Dan. In the center of the park, there is a fascinating archaeological site with the remains of the biblical city of Laish. Get your feet tickled by fish as you wade through the Dan River, one of the Jordan’s sources.

The Famous Banias Spring

Paneas (Banias) was first settled in the Hellenistic period following Alexander the Great’s conquest of the east. Later, King Herod built a temple here; the ancient remains still stand in front of the cave. After Herod’s death, his son Philip founded his capital near the Banias.

Ancient Katzrin Talmudic Park

The ancient village of Katzrin highlights daily life in the Talmudic period. Visit an early synagogue, reconstructed homes and an olive press. View an immersive film across six screens and learn about the tools and kitchen implements mentioned in ancient Jewish law.

Gamla National Park

Known as the “Masada of the North,” Gamla is a symbol of heroism. The Jews of Gamla fought against the Romans during the Great Revolt, until they were eventually defeated. The site includes remains of one of the earliest synagogues and ruins of the original village.

Tel Hazor National Park

Take a trip back through time at this national park steeped in biblical and ancient history. Tel Hazor sits on land that was conquered by Joshua and later became a major city under King Solomon. Today, the acropolis, the lower city and hundreds of objects are on display.

Dinner & Overnight: Northern Israel Hotel Options

Day 6 Friday

THE JORDAN VALLEY – HIGHWAY OF KINGS

Belvoir (Kokhav HaYarden) National Park

Explore a rebuilt and thoroughly excavated 12 century Crusader fortress. See how the Crusaders used a moat and towers to fend off Saladin’s forces for a year and a half. Don’t miss the sculptures by German-born Israeli artist Yigael Tumarkin, which adorn the site.

Beit Alfa Synagogue

Built during the Byzantine era, this excavated synagogue is most well known for its miraculously preserved mosaic. The mosaic vividly portrays the Binding of Isaac, the Temple of Jerusalem and the Zodiac, demonstrating Roman influence on Jewish culture.

Ascend to Holy Jerusalem

End the day with a beautiful drive through the Jordan Valley and ascend to Jerusalem. We’ll stop at Mount Scopus as you enter the city to say the blessing of “Shehechiyanu” to celebrate the joyous occasion of entering the holy capital. Welcome to Jerusalem, our eternal Capital.

Friday Night Tour to the Western Wall

On the eve of Shabbat, Jerusalem transforms; stores shut down, and streets and alleyways fall silent, as all begin to anticipate the weekly Shabbat. Our 2000-year-old tour will pass through Jaffa gate and the Golden Menorah, and end at the Wall right as Shabbat begins.

Shabbat Dinner & Overnight: Jerusalem Hotel Options

Day 7 Shabbat

SHABBAT IN HOLY JERUSALEM

Shabbat Morning at Leisure & Lunch

Enjoy breakfast and your morning at leisure and Shabbat lunch at your hotel.

Jerusalem Old City Shabbat Tour

Explore the Old City’s ancient quarters with an experienced guide. Visit the historical sites of the Old City, including synagogues, churches, markets and squares. Learn about the 3000 year-old history of the city of Jerusalem, from King David’s conquest until the present day.

Old City Jewish Quarter

The Jewish Quarter remains one of the single most-visited spots in all of Israel. Nestled within one square kilometer of land lay millennia of ancient history. The Old City dates back to the 8th century BCE and is home to numerous landmarks of historical significance.

Tower of David Night Spectacular

In the evening you’ll head back to the Tower of David’s rooftop to view an epic nighttime extravaganza of sight and sound, depicting the conquests of the Greeks, Romans, Crusaders, Turks and others, as they tried to overtake Jerusalem. This show is simply “Spectacular.”

Overnight: Jerusalem Hotel Options

Day 8 Sunday

JERUSALEM – THE ETERNAL CAPITAL

Western Wall Tunnels Tour

These famous underground tunnels contain remnants of entire rooms from the Second Temple period. At Warren’s Gate, you’ll stand just a few feet away from where the Holy Ark stood, and feel the yearning of the Jewish people for the Temple for thousands of years.

Jerusalem Archaeological Park

Experience Second Temple-era Jerusalem on the eve of its destruction by the Romans. See a virtual reconstruction of the Temple, visit the stores and walkways of the surrounding city and see the remnants of the staircase that led to the Temple Mount and the Holy of Holies.

King David’s Tomb

Located on Mount Zion in a 1,000-year-old building, people come here to pay tribute to the great King David, who is most notably famous for composing the Book of Psalms and establishing a unified capital for Israel. A medieval tradition places his tomb at this location.

Wohl Archaeological Museum – The Herodian Quarter

In 1967, six Herodian-era houses located beneath the Jewish Quarter were excavated. This amazing museum was built to tell the story of the homes and to exhibit the remains that were found. A private ritual bath, a palatial mansion and a mosaic floor are on display here.

The Temple Institute

This organization is dedicated to every aspect of the Temple in Jerusalem. After many years of effort and toil, the three most important and central vessels of the Holy Temple have been reconstructed. Priestly garments, incense and musical instruments are also on display.

Overnight: Jerusalem Hotel Options

Day 9 Monday

ARCHAEOLOGICAL DIG EXPERIENCE

Archaeological Dig for a Day Program

Beit Guvrin is the ancestral home of King Herod. You will have the opportunity to tour this national park, which includes First Temple and Roman remains, and a crawl through unexcavated cave systems. Dabble in archeology by digging, sifting and examining pottery.

Beit Guvrin Cave Exploration

Tour the ruins of important towns from the First Temple and Roman periods. In addition to the archaeological artifacts, enjoy the distinctive caves carved out of the ground for chalk. Enter beautifully decorated burial caves and see mosaics, public baths, a church and homes.

The Stalactite Cave Nature Reserve

An accidental discovery by local workers, this cave in the Judean hills contains an array of stalagmites and stalactites resembling branches, corals and clusters of grapes – to name a few. Some of these formations date back at least 300,000 years; many are still growing.

Overnight: Jerusalem Hotel Options

Day 10 Tuesday

UNITED JERUSALEM – THE NEW CITY

City of King David Excavations

In 1004 BCE, King David conquered this city and secured the place where the Holy Temple would eventually be built by his son, King Solomon. Remaining structures such as Warren’s Shaft and the Tunnel of Siloam exhibit the intricate workings of this ancient capital city.

The Temple Mount Sifting Operation – Just Dig It!

Be a part of the only archaeological excavation that ever took place in soil from the Temple Mount. Sift through dirt removed during construction on the site. Even the smallest piece of pottery conveys significant facts about the activities that took place on the Temple Mount.

Israel Museum & Dead Sea Scrolls

Founded in 1965, this is the largest cultural institution in the State of Israel and one of the world’s leading art and archaeology museums. Here you will find the oldest existing biblical manuscripts in the world, the Dead Sea Scrolls, which are housed in the Shrine of the Book.

Mount of Olives

Located on the eastern slopes of the Jerusalem mountains, near the Temple Mount and the City of David, this peak is named after the olive trees that covered its grounds in biblical times. Today, camels, monasteries, and ancient tombstones dot these scenic slopes.

Bible Lands Museum

Go back in time at this one-of-a-kind, family-friendly museum that educates visitors about the nations of the biblical era. Learn about ancient art, Canaanite tools and weapons, and ancient contributions to modern society. The museum is both educational and tons of fun!

Overnight: Jerusalem Hotel Options

Day 11 Wednesday

THE JUDEAN DESERT – KING HERODS FORTRESS

Qumran National Park

Learn about the Dead Sea Scrolls and the people who wrote them when you explore the Qumran National Park. Marvel at the table-like structures that are said to have been used to write the scrolls, the ritual baths and the caves where the scrolls were discovered in 1947.

Masada Mountain & Cable Car

Ride via cable car to the top of Masada and explore what remains of King Herod’s palace. See what it was like to live there as you view the preserved baths, cisterns and barracks. It was here that leader Eleazer Ben Yair kept the Roman Legion’s siege at bay for three years.

Dead Sea Float Experience

Yam Hamelach, literally meaning “Sea of Salt,” is 417 meters below sea level, making it the lowest place on earth. Its salty water contains unique healing properties, which, combined with the nutrient-filled mud found on its shores, creates one luxurious and healthy day.

Overnight: Jerusalem Hotel Options

Day 12 Thursday

FAREWELL FOR NOW…WE’LL MISS YOU!

Relax in Jerusalem

Filled with marvelous boutique shops, cafes, Judaica and souvenir stores, Jerusalem is the best place to relax, shop and indulge. Explore the store-lined streets of King George and Jaffa Street or head to the German Colony to the chic and fabulous Emek Refaim Street.

The Old Train Station

Jerusalem’s first train station has been transformed into a beautiful venue for culture and cuisine. Choose from 7 different eateries including cafés, specialty restaurants & ice cream.  Live musicians & artists present throughout, the train station is a great venue to explore!

Farewell Transfer…We’ll Miss you!

Transfer to Ben Gurion Airport for your temporary departure from Israel…Bye for now!

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