Jerusalem - Bethlehem (93 km)
Early in the morning, guests will be picked up from their hotels in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Today, we will be visiting important Biblical sites, beginning with a view of Jerusalem from the top of the Mount of Olives, which overlooks the Temple Mount Esplanade. Then, we will travel along the Kidron Valley to view the Garden of Gethsemane and the city walls. Moving through the Armenian Quarter, we will stop at the Wailing Wall before continuing to the Christian Quarter, following the Stations of the Cross until we reach the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Walking along the Cardo, the main street of the old city, we will reach the Jewish Quarter. Afterward, we will drive to the little town of Bethlehem to visit the Church of the Nativity, which is built over a cave that is believed to be the birthplace of Jesus. Then, we will go to Manger Square, and the Milk Grotto. As we leave, we will enjoy a beautiful view of the picturesque Shepherds' Fields. We will return to Jerusalem for the evening.
Over the past thousands of years, this city has seen some of the most defining moments in human history. It is where Jesus was crucified, Solomon built his temple, and Mohammed made his final pilgrimage.
Mount of Olives
A site of immense religious significance for both Judaism, as a cemetery, and Christianity, as the location of Christ's ascension to heaven, Jerusalem's Mount of Olives was named for the crop that grew over its slopes.
This prominent hill in the Old City of Jerusalem is the location of the Dome of the Rock. In ancient times, it was home to Solomon's Temple and Herodian walls.
Church of the Holy Sepulchre
This church within the Christian Quarter of Old Jerusalem was built in 335 on the site believed to be the location of Jesus' crucifixion and near his tomb.
Often referred to as the Stations of the Cross, the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem refers to the route that Jesus Christ took on his way to his crucifixion. An important spot for Christian pilgrims, it stretches about 2,000 feet.
This small section of the ancient wall of Jerusalem is one of the city's most popular spots for Jewish prayer. In ancient times, it was built to protect the second major temple that was constructed on the Temple Mount.
In ancient Roman cities, the Cardo was the main central street. The one in Jerusalem was built after most of the city was destroyed due to a Jewish rebellion in the 130s AD.
This quarter of Jerusalem was centered around the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The quarter is shared equally by Roman Catholics, Greek Orthodox, and Armenian Christians alike.
As one of the four quarters of Jerusalem, the Armenian Quarter contains a great deal of historical buildings and monuments. It was established in the 4th century after the Armenian diaspora.
This olive garden at the base of the Mount of Olives is believed to be the location where Jesus wept, prayed, and was arrested the night before His crucifixion. It is now a popular pilgrimage destination.
Located in the southeastern section of the Old City of Jerusalem, this quarter is filled with tight alleyways and numerous yeshivas and synagogues. It is home to about 2,000 residents.
Bethlehem is a Palestinian city located in the central West Bank, about 10 kilometers south of Jerusalem. Its population is approximately 25,000 people. it is the capital of the Bethlehem Governorate. The economy is primarily tourist-driven.
Church of the Nativity
This basilica on the West Bank of Palestine was commissioned in 327 by Emperor Constantine on the location believed to be the birthplace of Christ. The original church has been rebuilt since then.
This city square in Bethlehem gets its name from the manger where Jesus is said to have been born. The Mosque of Omar and the Palestinian Peace Center are the two most notable buildings in the square.
This shrine in Bethlehem was hollowed out from the rock and is sacred to both Muslims and Christians. Supposedly, Mary and Joseph stopped in this cave to nurse the baby Jesus.
This field just outside of Bethlehem has been used by shepherds to tend their flocks since ancient times, and is still used to this very day. In the Bible, this is where an angel announced the birth of Jesus.
Standard Hotel: Park Plaza Hotel in Jerusalem or similar
Jerusalem - Masada - Dead Sea - Jerusalem (353 km)
Departing Jerusalem in the morning, we will descend into the Judean Desert by way of the Inn of the Good Samaritan, which houses the world's largest mosaic museum. After that, we will take a cable car up a mountain to explore the ancient fortress of Masada. Then, we will head out to the Dead Sea, passing Ein Gedi and Qumran. We will then enjoy some time to bask in the sun while we swim in the mineral rich Dead Sea. It is that covering oneself from head-to-toe in the natural, mineral-rich mud of the Dead Sea has incredible therapeutic qualities and will leave our skin feeling soft and fresh. Leaving the desert, we will return to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv at the end of the day, wrapping up this tour. Please see "Departure and Return" for more detailed information regarding pickup and drop-off times and locations.
One of Israel's most popular tourist attractions, Masada is the ruins of an ancient fortress built by Herod the Great that sit atop a rock plateau in the Judean Desert.
Dead Sea, ISRAEL
This body of water that sits on the border between Israel, Palestine, and Jordan. The mineral-rich mud of the sea is said to have incredible therapeutic properties, and visitors are encouraged to cover themselves in it from head-to-toe.