Sample tasty local eats at the very cool Machane Yehuda Market where you can use your your bite card at any of the vendors. Kick back in our central hostel in Jerusalem, complete with movie room and rooftop terrace. Discover for yourself the town that everyone knows from the Christmas carol – Bethlehem – and find out about daily life in the epic city of Jerusalem as you chat with locals on the way to the Western Wall. Graffiti has filled the walls in Bethlehem by many artists over the years, including British Artist Banksy. Check it out on a walking tour with your leader
A place of miraculous conceptions, thwarted crucifixions, 40-year slogs through desert and a fair few stoushes – you could say Israel’s seen quite a bit in its days. Reckon it might be time to come see what all the fuss has been about? Kick off your Israeli and Palestinian adventure eating your heart out at Jerusalem’s lively Machane Yehuda Market. Walk the Ramparts for a different perspective of the Old City of Jerusalem. Hike the Iconic Masada Snake Path before taking a float in the rapidly evaporating Dead Sea. Head to Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity, and go on a Graffiti tour with your leader. Finish this short but sweet trip in cosmopolitan Tel Aviv, known for its nightlife.
Breakfast Included: 4 Lunches Included: Dinner Included: 1
Shalom! Welcome to Jerusalem, Israel. You’ve got the whole day free to explore this vibrant city (depending on when you get here of course) before you join up with your crew at a Welcome Meeting this afternoon (make sure you’ve got all your important docs and deets on you). Until then, hit the streets. Grab a coffee from one of the cafes, or a cold one from the many bars and restaurants near your hostel. Meet your leader at the hostel at 4.30 pm. After your meeting finishes head out on an orientation walk up to the very cool Machane Yehuda Market. Here you can sample tasty local eats using your bite card at any of the vendors. Your leader will leave you here so you can kick-on after dark. We recommend grabbing a beer in one of the many laneway bars and watch the market come to life in the evening, bar hop, or go for a wander to check out the amazing graffiti popping up on shop shutters.
This morning drive to Jaffa Gate where you will start a walking tour of the Old City from above and below! Start with the Ramparts Walk from Jaffa Gate all the way to Herod’s Gate. This will take about 45 minutes. Go down at Herod’s Gate and walk along the Via Dolorosa (Stations of the Cross), stopping at the Austrian Hospice for a short break and go up to the rooftop for a view of the Old City, before continuing to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Walk to the Wailing (Western) Wall stopping at the 'Cardo' in the recently restored Jewish Quarter. The rest of the afternoon is free.
Rise and shine nice and early to drive out to the spectacular cliff-top fortress of Masada, near the Dead Sea. Kick off the day with an early morning hike up the Masada Snake Path which winds its way up approximately 400 meters from the lowest point on earth (The Dead Sea) to the Peak. This UNESCO site is super important to the Jewish people, a symbol of their exile from the Holy Land and of bravery and self-sacrifice. The story goes that here a Jewish sect called the zealots held out against the Roman army in AD66. Rather than surrender, they either fought to the death or committed suicide, every last man, woman and child. It's kind of like Gallipoli for the state of Israel. Catch the Cable Car back down then drive to the Dead Sea for a float in the salty waters.The story goes that Cleopatra used products from the area as part of her beauty regime, which also allegedly included asses' milk and almond extract! Return to your hostel in Jerusalem.
This morning check out of your hostel and head to the Mount of Olives for a panoramic view of the Old City.
From there, drive to Bethlehem – no doubt you're familiar with it from all the Christmas carols and nativity plays. Drop by the Church of the Nativity (on top of the cave where Mary popped out Jesus) and the Shepherds’ Fields (where the angels appeared and told them to get their gold, frankincense and myrrh out).
On a walking tour with your leader, check out this slow-paced town in the West Bank, one of the world’s longest continually inhabited cities, and just try and wrap you head the fact that people have lived here for 11,000 years. Here Graffiti has filled the walls by many artists over the years, including British Artist; Banksy. Learn the personal stories behind some of the more prominent pieces. The walk will also take you past one of the largest refugee camps in the West Bank and previous conflict hotspots. Continue on to Tel Aviv. Check out the ancient port city of Jaffa, the basis of modern Tel Aviv. Your guide will then check you in at your hostel before bidding you farewell. Perhaps check out what else the cosmopolitan city has to offer on an optional 3-hour orientation bike tour. If that's not your cup of tea then we recommend a stroll to the Sarona Market. One of Israel's largest indoor culinary offerings, Sarona Market features premium imported goods, alongside the best local fare. Tel Aviv is known for its nightlife, so maybe get amongst it tonight.
Your adventure in Israel will come to an end today after breakfast.