Cultural Sensations – 10 days, 9 nights

With a diverse population of immigrants from five continents and more than 100 countries, Israeli culture is a fascinating mix of cultures. The local tastes trace cultural trends and changes across the globe as well as expressing a unique spirit special to our unique land.  Take a glimpse into the unique mix that makes up Israeli society, its history, people, food, and religions – a feast for all sensations! This incredible journey will leave you with a lifetime of memories!

Day 1

Arrive at Ben Gurion Airport. Meeting and assistance by Amiel Tours representative.

Group transfer to the hotel and check in

Welcome Reception will be followed by a delicious dinner at a beautiful beach restaurant in Tel Aviv.

Optional: Violin player to be present for Welcome reception and play classical style music.

Overnight: Tel Aviv

Day 2

Visit Independence Hall, where David Ben Gurion announced the birth of the State of Israel. Follow this with a short walk along Rothschild Boulevard, part of Tel Aviv’s White City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Next visit the Old Port City of Jaffa (Yaffo), just south of Tel Aviv for tour and a scenic panoramic view of Tel Aviv, the first Jewish city of the modern era, established in 1909.  Have an authentic lunch at Dr. Shakshuka restaurant, where tasty and delicious North African Jewish food is served. In the afternoon visit the eclectic Ilana Goor Museum, named after the world-renowned artist. Free time to explore Neve Tzedek, Tel Aviv’s “hip” neighborhood, where the intellectual elite lived during Israel’s early days.

Optional : Evening outing to a dance or a musical performance.

Overnight: Tel Aviv

Day 3

Drive north to Caesarea National Park which includes visits to the famous synagogue, the Roman aqueduct, and the most-recent excavations. Continue to Zichron Ya’akov and head to the Carmel Winery for a tour of the winery and the 120 years old gigantic wine cellar, followed by delicious wine tasting and lunch. In the afternoon, visit the crusader port city of Akko, dating back 1000 years. The tour will include a stop at the Crusader Halls where you can walk through the underground tunnels and pathways. Enjoy a delicious dinner in the hotel dinning room or a recommended restaurant in the area.

Optional: In the summer, visit the Ein Hod Artist Village.

Overnight: Galilee

Day 4

Visit to the Mystical City of Safed; stroll through the narrow winding alleys, and visit some of the beautiful synagogues. Browse through the artists’ workshops and galleries found in the flourishing artists’ quarter. Next is a visit to Adir Boutique Dairy Center & Winery, for cheese making workshop and a dairy lunch that will be served with a delicious complimenting wine produced by Adir.  Continue to the Golan Olive Oil Mill for a tour and tasting.  Next, proceed to the Har Bental overlook for a tour of the Northern border. Meet with an local expert to explain the background on the history and geopolitical situation of this important region.  The tour will end with a cup of coffee at Coffee Anan, the highest coffee shop in Israel at 1,165 meters above sea level. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight

Optional: After dinner performance in a private room by a musician

Overnight: Galilee

Day 5

Drive to the top of Mt. of Beatitudes to see the gardens of the church and the breathtaking view of Sea of Galilee. Then, drive to Capernaum and a 2nd century synagogue which threw light on the life of the community of that era. Visit to Kibbutz Degania A and learn about kibbutz life, which is founded on values such as equality, sharing, strong worth ethic, and mutual responsibility. Stop for a delicious lunch followed by a tour at the Circassian Heritage Center. Here you will sit through an interesting and educational presentation on the heritage of the Muslim Circassian minority and their successful integration into Israeli society. Next, descend to the lowest land point on earth, the Dead Sea area at 1388 feet (423m) below sea level.

Check in and dinner at your hotel located by the shore.

Overnight: Dead Sea

Day 6

Tour of Massada. The fortress lies atop a lone rock cliff at the western end of the Judean Desert and was King Herod’s mountain get-away, which became the final stronghold of the Jewish Zealots following the destruction of the Temple in 70 BCE during the revolt against the Romans. Ascend/Descend Masada by cable car or choose to hike up the famous Snake Path. The remainder of the afternoon can be spent by floating in the buoyant waters of the Dead Sea. 

Optional: Take part in an exciting 4X4 Jeep tour to Sodom Mountain, a remarkable geological wonder made almost entirely out of Rock Salt.

Overnight: Dead Sea

Day 7

Late check out from the hotel and drive up the Judean Mountains to Jerusalem.

Stop at Mt. Scopus where you will enjoy a panoramic overview of the old city of Jerusalem from its most famous angle. This will be followed by a delicious and authentic falafel lunch. After lunch, walk through the old city and visit some of the renowned sites; including the Western Wall and the Cardo, an ancient commercial street where you can still shop today. Continue to the Arab Bazaar, where haggling has been raised to an art form, and walk along a portion of the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

Optional: Evening outing to see the Spectacular Sound & Light Show at the Tower of David museum.

Overnight: Jerusalem

Day 8

Drive by the Knesset (Israeli parliament building) and the famous Menorah. This will be followed by a tour of the Supreme Court of Israel, with its unique architecture.  This building is one of the most spectacular buildings in all the Middle East.  Proceed with a guided tour of the Israel Museum, ranked among the world’s leading art and archaeology museums. After lunch, visit Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial and Museum, designed by Moshe Safdie. This powerful remembrance to the Holocaust is situated atop Har HaZikaron, literally the “Hill of Memory.” The visit will be followed by a discussion about the architecture and design of the museum spaces.

Optional: Stop at the Israeli-Arab town Abu Gosh where you will taste some of the best hummus in the country and indulge in sweet Arab delicacies.

Overnight: Jerusalem.

Day 9

Tour around Jerusalem’s largest and most vibrant food market, Machane Yehuda, and Nachlaot, a cluster of neighborhoods in central Jerusalem, known for its narrow winding lanes, old-style housing, hidden courtyards and many small synagogues. Next, visit to an Israeli boutique winery in the Ha’Ella Valley, which will include a flavorsome lunch. After lunch visit a few homes and studios of artists living in this region. Prior to heading back to the hotel, drive through the picturesque green neighborhood of Ein Kerem, with its special atmosphere and explore its unique churches. The remainder of the afternoon will be at leisure.

Tonight, gathering for what will be an unforgettable Farewell Dinner at Notre Dame Rooftop with a breathtaking view of the Old City. The evening will be filled with wine and music, accompanied by a tasting of Israeli wines.

Overnight:  Jerusalem

Day 10

Transfer from the hotel in Jerusalem to Ben Gurion Airport for the departure flight.