TEL AVIV, NAZARETH, GALILEE, JERUSALEM, MASADA, THE DEAD SEA, AND EILAT PLUS EXCURSION TO PETRA
From dazzling Tel Aviv to the inspiring sights of 3,000-year-old Jerusalem, our enriching Israel tour with airfare included, reveals incredible beauty, history, and spirit—and our guides are passionate about telling its stories! Our Holy Land tour takes you from uplifting places of faith to the mineral-rich waters of the Dead Sea. We also feature a tour of a traditional kibbutz, which includes a lunch and interesting lecture about their unique way of life. Continue your tour in Israel’s southernmost city, Eilat, filled with picturesque beaches. While in Eilat enjoy an excursion to Jordan where you’ll visit the famous archaeological site, Petra, which is often called the “Rose City”.
Shorten Your Trip! Enjoy our 11-day Wonders of Israel tour visiting Israel’s highlights from Tel Aviv to the Dead Sea.
For COVID-19 updates, please scroll down to our Before You Depart section.
Did you know that you can make this tour private? Find out about pricing and options for groups of 10 or more travelers.
- 2 nights in Tel Aviv
- 2 nights in Galilee
- 5 nights in Jerusalem
- 3 nights in Eilat
- 1 night in Jerusalem
- Tel Aviv
- Basilica of the Annunciation (Nazareth)
- Sea of Galilee
- Golan Heights – Winery Visit & Lunch
- Kibbutz experience with lunch
- The Western Wall (Jerusalem)
- Church of Holy Sepulcher (Jerusalem)
- Mount of Olives (Jerusalem)
- Yad Vashem (Holocaust Museum)
- Dead Sea
- Excursion to Petra
- Round-trip airfare from the NY Area (passengers may also book this tour without flights)
- Airfare taxes, fees & fuel surcharges
- All intra-Israel ground transportation and transfers
- Accommodations at superior first-class hotels
- 19 meals: 12 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners
- Comprehensive sightseeing tours and entry fees
- English-speaking Tour Director throughout
Day 1: Depart from the U.S.
Depart for an overnight flight to Israel. Your tour includes airfare from the U.S.
*Passengers who did not purchase flights will join the tour in Tel Aviv on Day 2.
Day 2: Arrive in Tel Aviv
Welcome to Israel! You’ll be greeted at the airport and escorted to the vibrant city of Tel Aviv, which has made a name for itself with its exciting culinary scene, trendy culture, colorful markets, and Mediterranean beaches. You’ll see Rabin Square and the memorial to Nobel Peace Prize-winning Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on the drive, which follows the seaside promenade, to our beach-facing hotel. This evening, enjoy a welcome dinner.
Renaissance Hotel or similar | Dinner
Day 3: Tel Aviv/Jaffa
After a morning briefing, we’ll explore two of Tel Aviv’s unique neighborhoods. We’ll start with a guided walk of the beautifully restored Neve Zedek, a picturesque neighborhood dating back to the early 1900s. It feels a bit like southern France, with its narrow streets lined with Bauhaus and Art Deco buildings, galleries and great restaurants. After a free afternoon to delight in the seaside promenade or an outdoor café, we’ll gather for a tour of Old Jaffa. We’ll see traces of Jaffa’s ancient history, as well as the intriguing Artists Quarter.
Day 4: Caesarea/Haifa/Nazareth/Galilee
Today we’ll gain insights into Israel’s diverse history, religions and scenery as we leave Tel Aviv and travel north along the coastal road. Our first stop is ancient Caesarea, where we’ll dig into its amazing archaeological discoveries and see its ancient Roman port and aqueduct, Byzantine streets and Crusader ruins. The next leg of our journey takes us up scenic Mount Carmel for splendid bay views, as well as a visit to a Druze village’s colorful market. The Druze are a unique religious and ethnic minority in Israel. In Haifa, we’ll see the world headquarters of the Baha’i faith, the imposing golden-domed Baha’i Shrine and its terraced Persian gardens. We’ll continue to Nazareth and the Basilica of the Annunciation. Tradition holds that the Basilica stands over the cave that was the Virgin Mary’s home and where the imminent birth of her son was proclaimed to her.
Ron Beach Hotel (2022) or Nof Ginosar Hotel (2023) or similar | Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5: Golan & Galilee Excursion
Enjoy the tranquil Sea of Galilee from two different perspectives: first, on a delightful boat cruise, and then from the Golan Heights, a volcanic plateau, which affords spectacular vistas. Here, we’ll tour a local winery and sample the wines. After lunch, our excursion continues to Safed, a center of Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism) and a thriving artists’ colony, before returning to your hotel late this afternoon.
| Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6: Capernaum/Tabgha/Beth Shean/Jerusalem
Our travels take us to Biblical sites, including Capernaum, home of the church believed to be built on the location of St. Peter’s house, and Tabgha, the traditional site of the Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes. Later, we’ll proceed to Beth Shean to view the stunning remains and amphitheater of a well-preserved Roman city. We’ll also stop in Beth Alpha to admire the magnificent mosaic floor of its sixth-century synagogue. And passing through the lush Jordan River valley and climbing the Judean hills to Mt. Scopus, today’s awe-inspiring pilgrimage ends with our first unforgettable views of Jerusalem.
2022 Departures: After visiting Capernaum, enjoy a kibbutz experience—tour a traditional kibbutz and then enjoy a lunch and interesting lecture about the community’s unique way of life. 2023 departures will stay at a kibbutz in Galilee instead.
Lady Stern or similar | Breakfast, Lunch
Day 7: Jerusalem
Count on emotions running high today because Jerusalem is a city that will lift your spirits, make you weep, and leave an impression you’ll never forget. This holy city is unique in so many ways, and we’ll have the opportunity to see some of its storied sites with an expert local guide, including the Mount of Olives and Western Wall (admission to tunnels included for 2023 departures). We’ll also explore the excavations at the Archeological Park – Davidson Center which features artifacts from the First and Second Temple periods, the Byzantine Muslim period, the ancient Crusades period, and more (interior of the center including multimedia presentation currently closed). Stroll a magnificently restored cardo (old Roman road). And follow the ancient Via Dolorosa and the Stations of the Cross to the Christian Quarter and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the traditional site of the Crucifixion. Later we’ll tour Mount Zion and view King David’s Tomb and the Room of the Last Supper. The remainder of the day is yours to explore or relax.
Day 8: Masada/Dead Sea Excursion
We’ll see a symbolic site of Jewish cultural identity and experience a timeless therapy with a full-day excursion to Masada and the Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth and containing a whopping 34% salt concentration! But first, we’ll drive along its shores past Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. In Masada, we’ll stop to ride a cable car up the mountain for a tour of a mountaintop fortress built by King Herod, a UNESCO World Heritage site where Jewish rebels held off a Roman siege and committed mass suicide rather than surrender. At a spa hotel on the Dead Sea’s shores, we’ll enjoy lunch, pool and beach, as well as the chance to “float” on the therapeutic waters of the Dead Sea. The sense of buoyancy is amazing! After several relaxing hours, we’ll tour Ahava Laboratories, which makes beauty products with Dead Sea minerals, before returning to Jerusalem late this afternoon.
| Breakfast, Lunch
Day 9: Jerusalem
We’ll visit Yad Vashem—the moving, heartbreaking memorial dedicated to the remembrance of the Holocaust—tour the Israel Museum’s renowned Shrine of the Book, which houses the 2,000-year-old Dead Sea Scrolls, and stroll through the peaceful Billy Rose Sculpture Garden. See Optional Tours for more information.
Day 10: Jerusalem
Our exploration of Jerusalem continues with a guided walking tour of the Old City. Highlights include the colorful bazaar (where you’re sure to find unique souvenirs), David’s Citadel and the Tower of David Museum, which spans the entire history of Jerusalem. This afternoon is at leisure or join the Bethlehem & Nativity optional tour. Tonight, enjoy dinner with your fellow travelers.
| Breakfast, Dinner
Day 11: Jerusalem/Eilat
After breakfast, travel to Eilat, Israel’s sun and beach destination. Located on the calm waters of another very salty sea, Israel’s southern-most city offers pure relaxation and exciting activities. Arrive at your resort hotel and enjoy free time to relax at the pool or on the beach, stroll along the seafront promenade and dine in outdoor cafés and restaurants.
Caesar Premier Hotel Eilat or similar | Breakfast
Day 12: Petra Excursion
Take an unforgettable full-day excursion to mystical Petra, Jordan. Built over 2,000 years ago as the Nabatean capital, Petra is one of the world’s most marvelously preserved archaeological sites. Join a local expert to explore the rose-colored city carved out of rock face and view the imposing facades of palaces, temples and tombs before returning to Eilat late today.
*Please note: Jordan visa and border crossing fees are not included in the price and will be collected at the border.
Day 13: Eilat
Today is all about soaking up Eilat’s famous sun and surf. Additional options are a visit to the Coral Reef Underwater Observatory, the Dolphin Reef (snorkel with dolphins!) or a jeep excursion to view desert wildlife.
Day 14: Eilat/Jerusalem
Today, travel back to Jerusalem where the remainder of the day is at leisure.
Lady Stern or similar | Breakfast
Day 15: Jerusalem/U.S.
After an early-morning transfer to the airport, your Holy Land tour ends with your return to the U.S.
*The tour will end for passengers who did not purchase flights today, on Day 15, in Jerusalem.
Prices and dates below include round-trip airfare from the New York area (EWR or JFK). Travelers may choose to purchase the tour only, and arrange their own arrival in destination.
|2022 Tours||Tour Only||With Flights|
|Flights not available||
Call to book
|Flights not available||Select|
|2023 Tours||Tour Only||With Flights|
* Departures designated as "Guaranteed" may be canceled or rescheduled only under Extraordinary Circumstances, for example in situations deemed to be unsafe or nonviable due to local conditions. See Terms & Conditions for full details.
Rates are per person based on double occupancy.
Single supplement applies when not sharing a room. Select a date above to see the rates for that specific departure.
A border crossing fee is required and can be paid at the border.
Reservations and Payments
Reservations can be made online or by phone (1.800.337.7773) and will be confirmed upon receipt of your non-refundable, non-transferable deposit, which must be received at the time of reservation. Deposits are $300 per person. Full payment is due 90 days prior to departure. Space and prices subject to availability. Please see the smarTours Terms and Conditions for complete booking information.
Optional Tours Customize your trip with these optional tours.
Enhance your trip with our recommended optional tours. Indicated optional tours are available to pre-book when you reserve your trip and can be added to your reservation up to final payment. This is the best option to guarantee your spot on your preferred optional tour! Optional tours require a minimum number of participants. Optional tours are non-refundable unless they do not operate.
Some optional tours can be purchased in-destination and may cost extra. The payment methods and currency information to purchase tours in-destination will be provided on final documentation.
Bethlehem/Church of Nativity Tour
- From approx. $50 Per Person
The Bethlehem tour will involve leaving the State of Israel and crossing the border into the Palestinian Authority. Once you arrive in the West Bank, you will be met by your Palestinian guide, who will accompany you on this tour. You will visit the Church of the Nativity, commemorating the birthplace of Jesus Christ, where you will see meticulously restored mosaics.
- From approx. $55 Per Person
On this optional excursion, you’ll witness the beginning of the Sabbath services at the Western Wall before proceeding to the Hass Promenade for amazing views of Jerusalem and the illuminated walls surrounding the old city.
Departing the U.S.: For the safety of everyone in the group, smarTours has implemented COVID-19 travel requirements which apply to all tours regardless of destination. To learn more, click here.
- All travelers must be vaccinated against COVID-19. Travelers must provide smarTours with a copy of their vaccination card that will be kept on record 20 days from return of travel.
- Upon arrival, all travelers must take a serology test at Ben Gurion Airport. The cost of the test is approximately $30 if purchased at the airport. Travelers will be tested again at the Dead Sea in Jordan, the cost of the test is approximately $100.
- Additional Medical Insurance covering COVID-19 related illnesses is required in Israel, even if you buy TripMate insurance for your trip, and must be purchased prior to departure.
- All travelers must fill out Declaration by Tourist & Consent form prior to departure.
Please note destination entry requirements are changing rapidly. smarTours will communicate entry requirements in your Tour Documents 10-14 days prior to departure. For up-to-date information, please click the links below.
- Entry requirements
- State Department Travel Advisory Updates (Israel, Jordan)
- Center for Disease Control Updates & Information (Israel, Jordan)
Flights from the U.S. and back are on the following schedules. Please make sure to allow sufficient time for clearing customs and immigration if you are planning a connecting flight. We recommend at least three-and-a-half hours. Please note that flight schedules are subject to change without prior notice.
|2022: Oct. 13||El Al Airlines||New York (JFK)||5:30PM||6:05PM|
|2022: Nov. 10
2023: Jan. 26, Feb. 9
|El Al Airlines||New York (JFK)||5:00PM||6:00PM|
|2023: Mar. 2||El Al Airlines||New York (JFK)||5:00PM||7:00PM|
|2023: Apr. 27, May 18||El Al Airlines||New York (JFK)||5:30PM||3:20PM|
|2023: Sep. 7, Oct. 12||TBA||TBA||TBA||TBA|
ADVANCE SEAT ASSIGNMENT
El Al Airlines does not assign seats in advance, and smarTours is not involved in seat assignments. Seat assignments can only be arranged at the airport upon check-in. El Al does not offer frequent flyer miles.
International flights to/from the U.S. are not included. Land-only travelers are responsible for arranging entry and exit flights, as well as their arrival and departure transfers. smarTours cannot be held responsible for any damage caused by air schedule changes and delays. Unused land services are non-refundable.
Main Tour + Extension: Land-only services start upon independent check-in at Tel Aviv hotel on Day 2 of the itinerary listed on our tour page. Land-only services end after breakfast at your hotel in Jerusalem on Day 15 of the itinerary listed on our tour page.
PASSPORT AND VISA INFORMATION
You must possess a passport valid for at least 6 months after the date of travel. U.S. citizens do not require visas. Non-U.S. citizens should check with the respective consulates for current visa requirements to all their travel destinations. For passengers taking the Eilat Extension and included Petra full-day excursion, you’ll have to pay both Israel and Jordan border fees as well as a Jordan visa fee (granted locally), which total approx. $107 USD per person (Israeli Departure Tax, Jordanian Visa Fees, Jordanian Departure Tax). These fees are not included and will be collected at the border. Please remember that it is your responsibility to obtain the necessary travel documents before the trip.
TICKETS AND FINAL DOCUMENTS
Final instructions and additional travel tips will be sent to you 14-21 days before the scheduled start of your tour via email. If you have not received your final documents, please check your spam folder or contact smarTours.
Immunizations are not currently required. However, you may wish to consult your personal physician, local public health authorities or Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as to their suggestions.
Expect temperatures as follows. Daytime temperatures in Eilat are warmer.
- Mid-50s and mid-60s in January, February and December
- 60s and 70s in March and November
- 70s and 80s in April and October
- 80s and 90s in June, July and August
Overnight temperatures are cooler
You may dine at the hotels or restaurants recommended by your Tour Director. Average cost for a hotel dinner (excluding drinks) in a casual restaurant is about $20-25 per person. Your hotel will accept credit cards for your non-included meals, but not all restaurants will do so.
CREDIT CARDS AND LOCAL CURRENCY
Hotels and some stores accept major credit cards. However, for “street shopping” you will need local currency (some markets may accept U.S. Dollars). There are plenty of ATMs, and your hotels will also be able to exchange cash to local currency. It is recommended that you bring along cash in small denominations.
Each passenger may bring one piece of checked-in luggage (suitcase) max. 44 pounds, and one carry-on not exceeding 18”x10”x8”. We recommend that you do not overpack and that you take a variety of casual separates with climate and comfort in mind.