Sample tasty local eats at the very cool Machane Yehuda Market where you can use your included bite card at any of the vendors.. Discover for yourself the city that everyone knows from Christmas, Bethlehem, and learn how (and why) graffiti has filled the city’s walls from artists over the years, including Banksy, on a leader-led walking tour.. Take a bird’s eye view of the Old City of Jerusalem as you walk the Ramparts – a great way to get a sneak peek into places you’d never see otherwise, and to take in the stunning views outside the wall.. Hike the iconic Masada Snake Path early in the morning for some epic views across Jordan, then take the cable car down to the Dead Sea for a seriously strange swim.
A place of miraculous conceptions, thwarted crucifixions and 40-day slogs through desert – you could say Israel and the Palestinian Territories has been through quite a bit. Kick off your five-day adventure eating your heart out at Jerusalem’s lively Machane Yehuda Market, then 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 seeing the works of Banksy. Finally, take a sunset bike ride in Tel Aviv, and get in and about the seaside city’s nightlife. You’ll get a taste of the highlights on this Middle Eastern jaunt.
Breakfast Included: 4 Lunches Included: Dinner Included: 1
Shalom! Welcome to Jerusalem. 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 at 4.30 pm. Before then, you could grab a coffee from one of the cafes, or a cold one from the many bars and restaurants near your hostel. After your important meeting, 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 getting the crew together at one of the many laneway bars and watch the market come to life in the evening 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 for you to do as you please.
Rise and shine nice and early (approximately 5 am) 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. Catch the Cable Car back down then drive to the Dead Sea for a float in the salty waters. Apparently, Cleopatra used products from the area as part of her beauty regime, which also allegedly included animal milk and almond extract! After soaking in the salty waters, transfer back to your hostel in Jerusalem for a free evening.
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, built on where it is said Jesus was born, and also head to the Shepherd’s Fields, where the angels appeared to bring the good news. You’ll also have time to explore the graffiti walls that have been added across the years, including by Banksy. Learn the personal stories behind some of the more prominent pieces. Afterwards, continue on to Tel Aviv via the ancient port city of Jaffa, the basis of modern Tel Aviv. Once checked-in to your hostel, join a sunset bike ride (approximately 2 hours) to get acquainted with this vibrant seaside city. Tonight, why not get the gang together and hit the town this evening – Tel Aviv is known for its happening nightlife scene.
There aren’t any activities planned for today, so you’re free to leave the hostel at any time. That doesn’t mean your Middle Eastern adventure has to come to an end! If you’re looking at spending more time in Tel Aviv, we don’t blame you. We’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation (subject to availability).