Travel Notices

Discover Israel

Tel Aviv and the ancient Jaffa seaport, Galilee, the Golan Heights, Masada, ancient and modern Jerusalem, opportunity to visit Bethlehem; Optional extension: Eilat & Petra


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Style Value VacationTravel in larger groups than our Small Group tours, but at fantastic value prices. These group tour packages are operated by our carefully selected partners and may be shared with other English speaking passengers ensuring guaranteed departures. More of these packages
Dedicated tour escorts & guides throughout
Departures Group Size 24 travelers max
Themes History & CultureCity Stays
Activity Level Moderate
What to Expect This fast-paced, escorted tour includes a reasonable amount of walking and requires an average level of physical fitness. This tour also includes long scenic drives between destinations and may have limited rest stops. Travel safely and confidently with our new health & safety protocols.
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Shalom, and welcome to Israel, a country that deeply draws the inquisitive traveler like few other destinations on earth. From the soft chanting of Hebrew prayers at the Western Wall, the Muslim call to prayer and the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem, to the ancient olive groves of Galilee and the stunning gardens of the Baha'i in Haifa, it’s impossible to miss the presence of religion in this holiest of lands. But as you’ll discover, a visit to Israel takes you well beyond faith, creed and politics.

Israel is both the setting of ancient history and modern future. The tech start-up culture in Tel Aviv echoes millennium-old Roman innovation evident in the ruins of Caesarea. Posh wine tasting or the country’s dynamic food scene (including unparalleled vegan options) trace their roots to the foods of the Jewish Sabbath and holiday festivals, copious and spicy Arab meze, pita and lamb kebabs and even Kibbutz dining hall concoctions from the early days of rationed food in the young Jewish state. The Dead Sea scrolls and Akko’s Arab bazaar coexist alongside more recent history, like the world’s preeminent Holocaust museum and Tel Aviv’s collection of international and Bauhaus architecture. Even the geographic locations which hold religious significance are stunning natural sites in their own right: consider the Dead Sea, the Judean Desert, the Sea of Galilee and the Golan Heights to name just a few.

And of course, you’ll experience all of this and more in true Friendly Planet Travel style:  high-quality and centrally located hotels throughout your trip; licensed, local, English-speaking guides who will share a wealth of knowledge, and comfortable and convenient coaches to whisk you away to your next destination! Our Discover Israel small group tour will challenge and intrigue you with an up-close-and-personal look at this surprising country and leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.

Package includes

  • Flights
  • Coach
  • Transfers
  • Hotel
  • Meals
  • Guides
  • Round-trip airfare from JFK or Newark (EWR) to Tel Aviv, including taxes & fees
  • All ground transportation and transfers
  • 8 nights’ accommodations in superior class hotels
  • 14 Meals: 8 breakfasts plus 1 lunch and 5 dinners
  • Comprehensive touring program including entrance fees
  • Professional English-speaking guide on all tours

Optional add-ons

  • Optional Eilat & Petra extension

Why you'll love it

  • Taste the eclectic flavors of Israeli cuisine during a Carmel Market tasting tour or Vegan culinary tour.
  • Experience a traditional Shabbat dinner with an Israeli family.
  • Ride a cable car to the desert fortress of Masada, the last stronghold of the Jewish Zealots in their struggle against the Romans in 73 CE.
  • Enjoy a tour and wine tasting at a family-owned boutique winery in Galilee.
  • Float in the extraordinarily buoyant waters of the Dead Sea, Earth's lowest elevation on land at 1,388 feet below sea level.
  • Explore ancient and modern Jerusalem, including the City of David, the Western Wall, the Muslim Quarter, and the Church of Holy Sepulchre.
  • Gain a true understanding of the Holocaust's impact at Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center.

Dates & Prices

Dates & Prices

Dates & Prices, with flights
per person, double occupancy*
Dates Price
Departs U.S.: Sun, Sep 15, 2024
Finishes: Tue, Sep 24, 2024
Sep 15 – Sep 24
$4799 Sold Out
Departs U.S.: Sun, Oct 27, 2024
Finishes: Tue, Nov 5, 2024
Oct 27 – Nov 5
$4799 Sold Out
Departs U.S.: Sun, Nov 17, 2024
Finishes: Tue, Nov 26, 2024
Nov 17 – Nov 26
$4799 Sold Out
Departs U.S.: Sun, Dec 15, 2024
Finishes: Tue, Dec 24, 2024
Dec 15 – Dec 24
$4799 Sold Out
Dates & Prices, tour only
per person, double occupancy*
Dates Price
Starts: Mon, Sep 16, 2024
Finishes: Tue, Sep 24, 2024
Sep 16 – Sep 24
$3999 Sold Out
Starts: Mon, Oct 28, 2024
Finishes: Tue, Nov 5, 2024
Oct 28 – Nov 5
$3999 Sold Out
Starts: Mon, Nov 18, 2024
Finishes: Tue, Nov 26, 2024
Nov 18 – Nov 26
$3999 Sold Out
Starts: Mon, Dec 16, 2024
Finishes: Tue, Dec 24, 2024
Dec 16 – Dec 24
$3999 Sold Out

Options & Fees

Double Occupancy included
Single Occupancy $999
Carmel Market Tasting Tour included
Vegan Culinary Tour included

1. On day 3, choose between one of two culinary tasting tours.

Late Check-out in Jerusalem1
Late check-out in Jerusalem $165
Double Occupancy included
Single Occupancy $165

1. Regular checkout time is 11am. Subject to availability.

Eilat & Petra Optional Extension
Eilat & Petra Extension
Dec 15, 2024 $999
Oct 27, 2024 $1149
All other dates $1049
Double Occupancy included
Single Occupancy $399
Departure taxes and visa fees $125
Late check-out in Eilat $250
Double Occupancy included
Single Occupancy $155

1. Regular checkout time is 11am. Subject to availability.

So that we can offer you the best deals, our packages are, like most hotels and cruises, priced based on double occupancy rooms or cabins. We charge solo travelers an extra fee to cover the extra costs of single occupancy rooms or cabins. (Consider: if you booked a $200/night hotel room solo, you would pay the $200 yourself; but if a couple booked the same room, each one would pay only $100.) But you only pay extra for the rooms or cabins, nothing else, including meals, sightseeing, tips, etc. Why are single rooms more?

Flights & Departure Cities

Departure Airports
New York City (NYC)

This package includes round-trip flights from the city listed above.

Want to fly from another city? If you select the Eilat & Petra extension and request flights from a different city, an additional overnight in Tel Aviv may be required. Ask us for a quote for flights from your preferred city when (or after) you book, and we'll get back to you with the price and availability within 3 business days. Of course, you can also book your own flights. More information

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 Depart USA/Overnight flight

  • Depart the USA on your overnight flight to Tel Aviv, Israel

Day 2 Arrive Tel Aviv

  • Arrive in Tel, Aviv, and after following customs and immigration formalities, meet our representative and transfer to your hotel

Tal by the Beach or similar Dinner

Full Day Itinerary
Aerial view of Tel Aviv

Shalom, and welcome to Israel. Upon arrival in Tel Aviv, the bustling "White City," you will be met and transferred to your centrally located hotel. Tonight, meet your fellow travelers over dinner at your hotel. 

Day 3 Tel Aviv

  • Walk in Jaffa, the world’s oldest seaport
  • Enjoy a culinary tasting tour
  • Admire the Bauhaus architecture on Tel Aviv’s Rothschild Boulevard
  • Witness Tel Aviv's Street Art and Graffiti Scene

Tal by the Beach or similar Breakfast

Full Day Itinerary

After breakfast, meet your guide and set off to discover Tel Aviv. Visit Jaffa for a short walk in the Old Port, the oldest seaport in the world and home to a vibrant multi-ethnic community of Muslims, Christians, and Jews. Next, stroll along Rothschild Boulevard in the heart of Tel Aviv. Here, you will see some of Tel Aviv's most prominent collection of Bauhaus (International Style) buildings built during the 1930s and 1940s. The distinctive and functional architecture has created an unparalleled urban landscape.

Then, take part in a culinary tasting tour of your choice:

  • Carmel Market tasting tour: Enjoy a fascinating variety of culinary riches, where colorful spices, flavors, and market scents combine with the bustling atmosphere of the city's central market and exciting new restaurants and food counters run by chefs reinventing Israeli cuisine.
  • Vegan culinary tour: Discover why Tel Aviv is the #1 vegan destination in the world and a place where traditional vegan and vegetarian cuisine combine with innovative young chefs to create a one-of-a-kind savory adventure.

Later, witness Tel Aviv's international street art and graffiti scene. Take a magical tour that will take you through the side streets and alleyways of this colorful urban underground scene. Explore the best works of street art and graffiti that cover the walls of Tel Aviv's public space. Enjoy an evening at leisure in Tel Aviv.

Day 4 Mediterranean Coast & Western Galilee

  • Explore the ancient city of Caesarea, capital of the Roman province of Judea
  • Learn about the kibbutz way of life
  • See where drip irrigation was pioneered
  • Take a stroll in the picturesque town of Zichron Yaacov

Hotel Schumacher or similar Breakfast & dinner

Full Day Itinerary
Amphitheater, Caesarea

Leave Tel Aviv and head north along the Mediterranean Coast. Visit the ancient city of Caesarea, built by Herod the Great. The city became the administrative center of the Roman Empire for the Province of Judea and later was a critical Crusader stronghold. See the ancient port, the Roman hippodrome, and the amphitheater, which is still a concert venue today.

Continue to Ein Shemer Kibbutz Museum and learn about this unique way of life in the past and present. Immerse yourself in the stories of pioneers who transformed barren land into a flourishing community and Marvel at Artifacts that tell tales of resilience, hard work, and dedication to building a sustainable future.

Next, head to the southern end of Mount Carmel, between Zikhron Ya'akov and Binyamina, lies Ramat Hanadiv Gardens, a natural gem dedicated to the memory of Baron Edmond de Rothschild. The Memorial Gardens beckon guests into a place of rare tranquility. The Gardens reflect Baron de Rothschild's legacy of dignity and modesty and a gracious combination of European formality and Mediterranean-style vegetation.

Take a stroll in the picturesque town of Zichron Yaacov en route to the hotel in Haifa. Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant in Haifa.

Day 5 Galilee and Golan Heights

  • Visit Safed, the city where Kabbalah flourished
  • Enjoy a wine tasting in the Galilee
  • Take a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee

Hotel Schumacher or similar Breakfast & dinner

Full Day Itinerary

This morning, head to Katzrin, the “capital of the Golan Heights.” Walk through a reconstructed Talmudic village and get a sense of life in ancient times. Explore ancient ruins that date back thousands of years, marvel at the well-preserved synagogue with its intricate mosaic floors, and wander through the charming streets lined with stone houses.

Continue to the mystical city of Safed, the center of the Jewish mystical Kabbalah school of thought. As you stroll through the narrow, winding alleys, take the opportunity to peek inside some beautiful synagogues, workshops, and galleries in the flourishing artists’ quarter. Later, enjoy a tour and wine tasting at a family-owned boutique winery in Galilee.

End the day at the Sea of Galilee with a boat ride on the calm waters. Return to Haifa. Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant in Haifa.

Day 6 Western Galilee & Jerusalem

  • Admire the Baha'i Gardens in Haifa
  • Discover the Crusader port of Akko, a UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Explore the Druze village on Mount Carmel
  • Join an Israeli family for a traditional Shabbat dinner

The Lady Stern or similar Breakfast & dinner

Full Day Itinerary

This morning, visit the fantastic Baha'i Gardens in Haifa, the holiest place in the Baha'i faith and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Then, explore the Crusader port city of Akko, a UNESCO World Heritage site, with its new excavations revealing what life was like 1000 years ago. Visit the Crusader Halls and follow the underground tunnels, see the port and fortifications that helped the inhabitants resist the invasion by Napoleon Bonaparte, and spend some time walking through the active Arab Bazaar.

Time permitting, continue to the Druze village on Mount Carmel. The Druze are Arabic-speaking citizens of Israel and are renowned for their hospitality. Enjoy a guided tour of the village's alleys and quarters.

Leave Galilee behind as you drive to Jerusalem and check into your hotel in the city's heart.

Tonight, experience a special Shabbat of a Lifetime with a traditional dinner at the home of a local Israeli Jewish family as you learn and observe the customs of the Jewish Sabbath.

Day 7 Masada & the Dead Sea

  • Tour the stronghold of Masada built by Herod
  • Float on the Dead Sea
  • Enjoy the Sound and Light Show at the Tower of David, Jerusalem

The Lady Stern or similar Breakfast & lunch

Full Day Itinerary
Cable car, Masada

This morning, setting off east from Jerusalem, descend through the Judean Desert towards the Dead Sea. Continue to the legendary mountaintop plateau of Masada overlooking the Dead Sea, the last stronghold of the Jewish Zealots in their struggle against the Romans in 73 CE. Ascending via cable car, explore the site, including its synagogue, bathhouse, and winter palace built by Herod the Great.

Then, enjoy lunch and a leisurely afternoon at the Dead Sea, the lowest point at 1,388 feet below sea level. Cover yourself in mineral-rich mud and float in the buoyant water. Return to Jerusalem. En route, stop at a lookout point for a view of Wadi Qelt and the cliff-hanging Monastery of St. George, which was founded in the 5th century and is still active and inhabited by Greek Orthodox monks.

In the evening, attend the Sound and Light Show at the Tower of David, a creative depiction of the history of the city of Jerusalem projected onto the ancient stones.

Day 8 Jerusalem's Old City

  • Discover the various quarters of the Old City of Jerusalem
  • Explore the tunnels and excavations that reveal the ancient city
  • See the Western Wall
  • Visit the Church of Holy Sepulchre

The Lady Stern or similar Breakfast

Full Day Itinerary
Western Wall, Jerusalem Photo by Noam Chen © IMOT

Start the day by taking in the view of Jerusalem's Old City from the Mt. of Olives. Then, begin your exploration of the Old City, starting at the City of David. See the exciting tunnels and excavations revealing Jerusalem during the First Temple Period. Then, walk through the Old City, beginning with the Western Wall (also known as the Kotel and the Wailing Wall) and the Cardo, a commercial street during Roman times where you can still shop today.

Next is a rooftop tour of the Old City neighborhoods for a behind-the-scenes look at the various communities in the walled city. Stroll through the Muslim Quarter's bazaars before walking along the Via Dolorosa to the Church of Holy Sepulchre. According to 4th-century traditions, the two holiest sites in Christianity are located here: the Crucifixion of Jesus, known as Calvary or Golgotha, and Jesus's empty tomb, where he was buried and resurrected. Enjoy the evening at leisure.

Day 9 Jerusalem New City

  • Visit Yad Vashem, The World Holocaust Remembrance Center
  • See the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Israel Museum
  • Have the opportunity to visit Bethlehem
  • Enjoy a farewell dinner with your fellow travelers

The Lady Stern or similar Breakfast & dinner

Full Day Itinerary
Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem

This morning, visit Yad Vashem, the world’s primary Holocaust memorial and museum. Tour the new Holocaust History Museum, which occupies over 4,200 square meters, much of it underground. Next, visit the moving exhibit at the Children’s Pavilion, commemorating the death of over 1.5 million Jewish children in the Holocaust. From here, a short drive brings you to the Israel Museum, where you will see the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition and the Model of Jerusalem depicting the city as it was during the Second Temple Period.

Later, join an excursion to Bethlehem and the Church of the Nativity, or be dropped off at a convenient location in the center of Jerusalem for free time and make your way independently to the hotel.

Tonight, enjoy a farewell dinner with your fellow travelers at a local restaurant.

Day 10 Jerusalem & Tel Aviv/USA

  • Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the USA
  • Some flights are overnight and arrive in the USA the following day (Day 11)


Full Day Itinerary

Bid farewell and Le’hitra’ot to Israel as you transfer to Ben Gurion airport near Tel Aviv for your return journey to the USA, arriving later today. (Note that some flights depart at midnight and arrive in the USA the following morning).

Or, take advantage of your already included international airfare, and extend your journey to Eilat and Petra, Jordan.

Eilat & Petra Post-Tour Optional Extension

Why not take advantage of your already-included international airfare to visit Eilat and the lost city of Petra, Jordan? You'll return to the U.S. 2 days after the return dates listed.

Day 10 Jerusalem/Eilat

  • Board your flight to Eilat in the south of Israel
  • Enjoy your beach-side hotel on the Red Sea

Leonardo Plaza Hotel Eilat or similar Breakfast

Full Day Itinerary
Marina, Eilat

This morning, transfer to the airport for your short flight to the resort town of Eilat, situated on the southern tip of Israel on the Red Sea. Upon arrival, meet our representative and transfer to your beachside hotel for check-in. Enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure.

Day 11 Eilat & Petra, Jordan

  • Explore the incredible ancient city of Petra, carved out of the rose-colored rock

Leonardo Plaza Hotel Eilat or similar Breakfast & lunch

Full Day Itinerary
Monastery, Petra

This morning, transfer to the Arava border crossing to Jordan. After exit formalities, walk the short distance to the Jordanian entry terminal for entry formalities and meet your guide. Drive to Petra, the ancient Nabateans' lost "Rose City." After a short ride on horseback, followed by a walk through the Siq, a narrow gorge flanked by cliffs, the breathtaking Treasury with its elaborate carved façade comes into view. Explore the various tombs and structures at the site. After lunch in Wadi Mousa, the village next to Petra, return to the border crossings and transfer to your hotel in Eilat.

Day 12 Eilat/USA

  • Transfer to the airport for your flight to Tel Aviv and overnight flight back to the USA


Full Day Itinerary

After enjoying time at leisure, transfer to the Eilat airport for your return flight to Tel Aviv and overnight flight back to the USA.


Tal by the Beach
Tal by the Beach
First Class

Just a minute's walk from Tel Aviv's Metzizim Beach, the exquisitely renovated Tal by the Beach is the ultimate location for those seeking the most fun from this beautiful city. The hotel resides at the epicenter of all things Tel Aviv, including trendy restaurants, bars, nightclubs, the port, the designer boutiques of Dizengoff Street and the sprawling beaches.

More information

Hotel Schumacher
First Class

The Hotel Schumacher is located in Haifa, less than two miles from the Quiet Beach, Haifa's Municipal Theater, The National Museum of Science, Baha'i Gardens, and the Golden Dome. Extraordinary views of the Bahai Garden surround the hotel.

More information

The Lady Stern
The Lady Stern
First Class

The Lady Stern Hotel is located in the city center of Jerusalem, fully designed with an eclectic style incorporating various eras. The hotel property is next to the light rail tour station, where you can be guided to all of the city's attractions. It is also within walking distance of the Mahane Yehuda market, Israel Museum, Wohl Rose Park, and the fast train to Tel Aviv.

More information

Leonardo Plaza Hotel Eilat
Leonardo Plaza Hotel Eilat
First Class

The Leonardo Plaza Hotel in Eilat is a beachfront hotel with captivating views and luxurious amenities. This hotel location provides easy access to city attractions and entertainment options. 

More information

In the unlikely event that a particular hotel is not available, a similar or better hotel may be substituted.

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