Day 1: Arrival in Israel
Flight to Tel Aviv. Our friendly, English-speaking tour guides will meet us at the airport. Transfer to our comfortable hotel on the Israeli coast.
This fantastic cultural trip will take us to some of Israel’s most spectacular highlights: a fascinating UNESCO World Heritage site, historical excavations and magnificent landscapes. Experience the many exciting facets of the “Holy Land” in person – you will find the birthplace of Christianity and Judaism inspiring.
Flight to Tel Aviv. Our friendly, English-speaking tour guides will meet us at the airport. Transfer to our comfortable hotel on the Israeli coast.
We will make our way towards Safed, one of the 4 holy cities in Israel. We will walk through the narrow alleyways past both the noteworthy synagogues. In Acre we’ll stroll through the picturesque old town (UNESCO Word Heritage site). We will marvel at the old crusader harbour and also the hall of the legendary Templar order which is concealed below ground (admission included). The trip continues onwards to the port of Haifa and the fascinating Baha’i Gardens – quite rightly also a UNESCO World Heritage site. The next 2 nights in Galilee.
Today we’ll learn about the original way of life in an Israeli kibbutz (admission included): A settlement in which the residents live and work collectively. We will then make our way to the sparkling Sea of Galilee where you can enjoy magnificent views during a boat trip should the mood take you. The northern banks of the sea is where you’ll find the former fishing village of Capernaum, the home of St. Peter. We will also marvel at the „Church of the Multiplication“ with its unique mosaic floor in the town of Tabgha. Soon thereafter we’ll arrive at the „Mount of Beatitudes“ where Jesus gave the unforgettable Sermon on the Mount. Our route back to Galilee will take us through a breathtaking landscape.
Today we will visit Nazareth with the famous St. Joseph‘s Church, Mary’s Well and the renowned Basilica of the Annunciation, where the archangel Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary. We will pass through the fertile Jordan Valley on our way to Beit She‘an, the ancient city of Scythopolis. At the archaeological national park (admission included) we will explore the excavations of this once magnificent town. Continuing to the south takes us to Jericho, the oldest inhabited city in the world today. Wandering through the old town, the ”Mount of Temptation“ will never be out of sight. Another highlight are the excavations of Qumran (admission included), known for the discovery of the oldest known biblical writings to date. In Betlehem (Palestine) we will visit the Jesus Christ Manger Square and the Church of the Nativity. We will spend the next 4 nights at our comfortable hotel in Jerusalem.
The journey to the Mount of Olives will take us through a magnificent landscape. There is a fantastic view of Jerusalem to be had. We will make our way into the Old City of Jerusalem (UNESCO World Heritage site) and observe the golden Dome of the Rock as well as the holy Wailing Wall. We will take a stroll to the Church of St. Anne, the oldest preserved church of the Crusaders. Right next to the Pool of Bethesda, the place where Jesus is said to have healed a paralysed man. We will follow the „Via Dolorosa“ with the Stations of the Cross up to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Then we’ll enter the Jewish Quarter – an unforgettable site of antiquity. We pass the Cardo Maximus, once the main street of Byzantine Jerusalem. Our next stops will be the world-renowned Mount Zion and the Abbey of the Dormition, the Cenacle and David‘s Tomb.
There will be plenty of time for relaxation and new discoveries today. You can relax around the hotel or head out for a walk. There is also the opportunity to explore natural and cultural treasures in the surrounding area on your own. Some of the sights worth visiting include the Mea Shearim Orthodox Quarter, the Knesset – the Abbey of the Dormition, Jerusalem Israeli parliament building – as well as the Knesset Menora, a bronze seven-branched candlestick.
Today is the day that a unique, optional all-day excursion will become an unforgettable experience. On the western banks of the Dead Sea we will begin by exploring the ruggedly picturesque oasis landscape of the „Ein Gedi“ national park. The UNESCO World Heritage site of Masada sits proudly nearby atop an isolated, rocky plateau. A ride on the cableway will take us up to the once mighty mountain fortress, which in 70 A.D. was the last stronghold of the Jews in their heroic battle against the Romans. We’ll have the chance to bathe in the Dead Sea before making our way back. The high salt content keeps you afloat and makes swimming a unique experience.
Today it‘s time to say goodbye to the “Holy Land”. Transfer to the airport and return flight to the UK.
3 e.g. scheduled flight with Turkish Airlines (Best European Airline 2011-2016 according to the Sky Trax World Airline Award) with change in Istanbul to and from Israel.
The package includes comfortable half board, i.e. 6× ample evening buffet with international specialities and 1× evening snack on the day of arrival: only £149 per person.
The package includes an all-day excursion to the ”Dead Sea & Masada (World Heritage)“ as well as the ”boat trip along the Sea of Galilee“: only £139 per person.
£259 per person (subject to availability)
“Excellencent Good value.”
Jeremy S. from S., travelled 18 March 2018²
“Superb holiday, full of interest, extremely well organised and fantastic value for money.”
Alan A. from R., travelled 2 February 2018²
“Fantastic, very well though through organised and executed .”
Murila F. from W., travelled 20 May 2018²
“The history and culture was extremely interesting.”
Margaret A. H. from W., travelled 11 February 2018²
² RSD Travel Ltd. and RSD Reise Service Deutschland GmbH belong to a European group of tour operators that organises tours for customers from a number of European countries. The survey focused on tourists who travelled with RSD in 2017.
Israel has been independent since 14th May 1948. A parliamentary democracy, no written constitution but individual basic laws. Parliament: Knesset, unicameral parliament with 120 seats. Parliamentary elections every four years based on proportional representation. President of the State of Israel: Reuven Rivlin Accession to office 24/07/2014. State president elected every seven years by parliament.
74.9% Jewish, 17.52% Muslims, 1.9% Christian, 1.63% Druze, 3.98% other
Hebrew, Arabic. Trade language: English
Three climate zones: Coastal areas – hot and humid summers, mild and rainy winters (e.g. Tel Aviv); mountainous regions – hot and dry summers, cold winters (e.g. Jerusalem); desert – very hot and dry summers, mild winters (e.g. Negev)
230 volt alternating current, 50 hertz. An adapter is necessary.
Daylight saving time is observed in Israel. The time difference to the UK throughout the year is UTC +2 hours.
The dialling code for long-distance calls from the UK to Israel is 00972. Dial 0044 and drop the 0 from the local code when calling the UK from Israel.
In Israel, it is customary to give tips. Similarly to the USA, this forms part of their income for people working in the sector. Moreover, it symbolises recognition for the service provided. On group trips, we recommend around £1.70 to £2.70 per person per day for the tour leader, and around £1.30 per person per day for the bus driver. Of course, everyone may decide for themselves whether and how much of a tip they wish to give.
There are warnings in Tel Aviv and the surrounding area of very strong currents at times. Travellers should always stay near the beach and not swim out too far. It is recommended to only bathe in areas with lifeguards and to pay attention to the flags on the beaches and the lifeguard announcements and to obey them.
You do not need a visa to enter Israel as a tourist. On entry, visitors are granted leave to enter for a period of up to 3 months. Visitors entering via Ben Gurion airport are given an entry card instead of an entry stamp in their passport. While this practice is in place at other ports of entry, there have been instances where passports have been stamped for entry purposes. You should keep your entry card with your passport until you leave. This is evidence of your legal entry into Israel and may be required, particularly at any crossing points into the Occupied Palestinian Territories. If you’re refused entry into Israel, your passport may be stamped with an entry stamp and two red lines drawn across it to indicate the refusal. Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. It is for the Israeli authorities to determine the right of entry into Israel, if you have any particular concerns about visas or entry into Israel, you should contact the Israeli Embassy in London.
You should expect lengthy personal questioning and baggage searches by security officials on arrival and departure from Israel. Electrical items, including laptops, may be taken from departing passengers for security inspection and either stored in the aircraft baggage hold, or returned to you in the UK. Damage may occur.
If you arrive with valuable personal items (computers, camcorders etc.) you may be required to pay a deCitizens of other countries are advised to contact the Israeli Embassy in London for information on the applicable entry requirements: http://embassies.gov.il/london/Pages/default.aspx.
Whilst we endeavour to provide guidance where necessary, we can not be responsible for any problems encountered (whether at any point of entry or elsewhere) in the event that passport and visa requirements are not satisfied.
Your expert tour guides will be able to provide you with detailed information about the country, people, history, culture etc., and offer advice and assistance for organising your trip. They can also help with room allocation and look forward to welcoming you with initial information. Here you will find out all you need to know and useful information about the trip. We have put together a varied programme including numerous highlights, enabling you to experience the culture and diversity of landscape that Israel has to offer, and learn all about the country and its people. Although your trip already includes a comprehensive package, you also have the option of choosing added extras on arrival. We recommend booking the following packages when you get there:
Gourmet package: The package includes comfortable half board, i.e. 6× ample evening buffet with international specialities and 1× evening snack on the day of arrival: only £149 per person.
Cultural package: The package includes an all-day excursion to the ”Dead Sea & Masada (World Heritage)“ as well as the ”boat trip along the Sea of Galilee“: only £139 per person.
The unit of currency is the Israeli new shekel (ILS). 1 shekel = 100 agora. Exchange rate (April 2019): 1 GBP = 4.68 ILS; 1 ILS = 0.21 GBP.
We recommend exchanging money in Israel. This can be done in hotels, post offices, bureaux de changes and banks. Banks are generally open: Sun. – Fri. 8.30 am – 12 pm and Sun., Tue. and Thu. 4 pm – 6 pm.
Cash can be withdrawn from most ATMs using credit cards or EC cards. The latter is only possible when the ATM displays a Maestro or Cirrus logo. Fees may be charged. Most larger shops, hotels and restaurants accept credit cards. They may also charge fees. EC cards are rarely accepted as a payment method.
The transfer of money into or out of Israel (cash, cashier’s cheques, traveller’s cheques) equivalent to 80,000 LIS or higher must be reported. The required “Customs Form 84” can be requested by phone at +972 2 658 7777. Please contact the embassy of your destination country for customs information on importing goods. Only they can provide you with legally-binding information. Legally binding information can only be provided there. The customs regulations for the UK can be viewed on the British Customs (www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk) website or queried by phone.
There have not been any warnings to date that foreign visitors are the targets of violence. You should, however, be very cautious in Jerusalem and the West Bank. Travellers should avoid groups and get a local guide if visiting the Old City of Jerusalem or other exposed locations. It is best to avoid visiting the Old City of Jerusalem in the dark.
The West Bank has been occupied by the armed forces since 1967 and is divided into different administrative divisions. There are numerous checkpoints and roadblocks, especially between Israel and Jerusalem on one side and the West Bank on the other, but also in the West Bank itself.
Crossings from the West Bank to Israel can also be closed without advance notice. It is then impossible to cross the border towards Israel despite the intervention of the embassy in Tel Aviv or the representative office in Gaza City. Spontaneous protest rallies may suddenly occur, especially at the checkpoints and in the West Bank. You then need to be very cautious.
When staying in Israel, the embassy in Tel Aviv is your foreign representation as is the representative office in Gaza City when staying in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Your representation is in the administrative district where you will be spending most of your time. The security situation can change very quickly. It is recommended to keep up-to-date on the latest developments before and during the trip to Israel.
Homosexual activities by men are punishable in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. So far, however, there is no known case where foreigners have been prosecuted because of homosexual activities. Social discrimination, however carries more weight than prosecution. Homosexuality in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip is still a social and religious taboo.
Vaccinations: Vaccination against poliomyelitis (polio) is highly recommended. Prior to travelling, the Foreign Office recommends examining whether routine immunisations are up to date in accordance with the recommendations of the National Travel Health Network and Centre (see
www.travelhealthpro.org.uk) and supplementing them where necessary. This includes vaccinations against tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), possibly against mumps, measles, rubella, pneumococci and influenza. Hepatitis A is recommended as a travel vaccination and hepatitis B and rabies for long-term stays or special exposure.
Diarrhoeal diseases: Most diarrhoeal diseases can be avoided by appropriate food and drinking water hygiene. Here are a few basic rules: Only drink water from a safe source, e.g. bottled water, never water from a tap. In emergencies use filtered, disinfected or boiled water. Also use safe drinking water when cleaning your teeth at any time. With regard to food, cook it or peel it yourself. Be careful to keep flies off your food and drink. Wash your hands with soap as often as possible, always after visiting the toilet and always before preparing food and before eating. Regularly disinfect your hands and use disposable hand towels.
Infectious diseases: Some infectious diseases transmitted by mosquitoes or ticks do occur but are quite rare (e.g. leishmaniasis, West Nile fever, phlebotomus fever). Observe insect protection (e.g. repellents, mosquito net, long-sleeved clothing).
The level of care in Israel is good to very good, emergency care is carried out only by the wellestablished state health system. The level of care in the Occupied Palestinian Territory is considerably limited. Ambulances are not allowed to cross the border to Israel. Travel medical insurance with emergency return home coverage is recommended. If you have a pre-existing condition, you should get some advice from a clinic or doctor specialised in tropical and travel medicine. The customer must establish for himself that his physical and mental state is compatible with the selected journey. He is obliged to obtain information about the degrees of physical mobility and mental autonomy required for this journey.
All information is subject to change/Last updated: April 2019