Israel Gardens & History Tour 2019

Israel Gardens & History Tour 2019

Tel Aviv – Jaffa – Safed – Tabgha – Capernaum – Haifa – Jerusalem

November 3rd – November 13th, 2019

Fall in Love with Tel Aviv, your holiday in the vibrant city of Tel Aviv can be anything you want it to be, especially since your hotel is just across the road from the Mediterranean Sea. Named by The New York Times “The Mediterranean Capital of Cool”, Tel Aviv is modern, vibrant and cosmopolitan. Its art scene, UNESCO recognized Bauhaus architecture, award-winning cuisine, colourful markets, friendly laid-back atmosphere and gorgeous beaches all earned the city its rightful place as one of the world’s top travel destinations.

Touring foreign cities can be rough on vegans, who adhere to a diet free of animal-based dishes. Not so in Tel Aviv, home to an all-vegan culinary school and scores of vegan-friendly eateries. It was here in Tel Aviv – the first Hebrew-speaking city in modern times – that the State of Israel was born.  

The smells of the sea flavored with black coffee and spices from the markets, Levantine culture combined with European, ancient mixed with new – this is Jaffa. One of the oldest port cities in the world whose history dates back to the great flood, today’s Jaffa is a vibrant city that never ceases to surprise and innovate. Picturesque alleys, art galleries, unique boutiques, ancient buildings, wonderful landmarks and an abundance of authentic middle-eastern restaurants – a trip to old Jaffa is a must-do multi-sensory stimulating experience for anyone visiting Israel. Prepare to fall in love.

With endless views that extend into distant horizons and pristine mountain air, Safed will instantly captivate you the moment you arrive. Known as the capital of Jewish mysticism past and present, this breathtaking ancient hilltop city is the highest in the Galilee and all of Israel – geologically and spiritually. One of the four sacred cities in Judaism, Safed offers a palpably mystical journey that will leave you in awe of its profound energy. A short drive from the revered Sea of Galilee, Safed welcomes you with quaint cobblestone alleys and numinous architecture. Listen as the many souls of history share their secrets through an old fortress erected by the Crusaders, the Mamluk, Ottoman and British influences, the War of Independence Monument, as well as a deep sacred history embodied by extraordinary synagogues and ancient tombs.

Discover the overwhelming power of the 3,000 year old city of Jerusalem – its innumerable historic sites and archeological wonders, its magical walkways and magnificent views which are guaranteed to leave a lasting impression. At the same time, the city’s strikingly modern attractions promise around the clock excitement and pleasure for all lovers of culture, arts, music, and culinary delights. The Old City of Jerusalem is a favourite for all visitors from first timers, seasoned visitors as well as the locals. Surrounded by an ancient wall that has been rebuilt throughout history, there are 7 gates allowing access to historical and holy sites here. Make your way down the stone cobbled streets and find yourself walking through four thousand years of history, leaving you humbled and yet excited.

When I visited Israel, I felt something different…a sense of real excitement I guess as I had never been here before and was so looking forward to actually seeing the many places I had only heard about. I was so taken with it all, such wonderful people, excellent food and countrysides and landscapes that took my breath away. It is such a unique place to visit, steeped in such history that makes one feel very small and humble. Each place I went to just kept making me happy and there were a lot of things that I saw and so many memories that I have now and trust that if you come along with me, you will indeed make your own memories too. It has a way of getting to your heart and your soul. You will come home feeling different too…

Pack your memories home with you as gifts…spices, dates, teas, unique jewelry, dead sea mineral products…they are all here.

***Please note that you arrive into Tel Aviv and Depart from Jerusalem.

Please click on each day to bring up the itinerary for that day

Sunday, November 3, 2019: Your Day of Arrival

You will be met at the airport and assisted immediately after immigration at baggage collection. Once you have your bag our driver will deliver you to our hotel where you will rest until our Welcome Dinner this evening.

Dan Panorama Hotel, Tel Aviv 4 Nights, Tel Aviv Room

The Dan Panorama Hotel offers easy access to everywhere you want to be. Across the street is the Mediterranean sea. A leisurely stroll along the waterfront promenade to the north will lead you to the Tel-Aviv Port. The Port is the city’s newest entrainment hub and has outstanding restaurants, shops and nightclubs. The promenade to the south will take you to Jaffa which is famous for its association with the biblical stories of Jonah, Solomon, and Saint Peter as well as the mythological story of Andromeda and Perseus. Its ancient port has been in use since the Bronze Age and you can still watch the fishermen going out to sea. Furnished with contemporary flair and highlighted by splendid views, the Dan Panorama Hotel features elegantly appointed guestrooms. Room has coffee/tea making tray, free wifi, hairdryer, toiletries, safe, balcony, mini bar.

https://www3.danhotels.com/TelAvivHotels/DanPanoramaTelAvivHotel

Welcome Dinner this evening……

Monday, November 4, 2019: Walking Tour Tel Aviv, Jaffa and Lunch in Jaffa

After breakfast we head out to discover parts of Tel Aviv including Independence Trail, then on to Jaffa where the Neve Tzedek neighbourhood entrances us and then Lunch…and finally back to hotel where the rest of the day is yours to enjoy. 

Independence Trail https://www.independencetrail.co.il/ It was here in Tel Aviv – the first Hebrew-speaking city in modern times – that the State of Israel was born. 

Jaffa, a port city dream…. The smells of the sea flavored with black coffee and spices from the markets, Levantine culture combined with European, ancient mixed with new – this is Jaffa. One of the oldest port cities in the world whose history dates back to the great flood, today’s Jaffa is a vibrant city that never ceases to surprise and innovates. Picturesque alleys, art galleries, unique boutiques, ancient buildings, wonderful landmarks and an abundance of authentic middle-eastern restaurants – a trip to old Jaffa is a must-do multi-sensory stimulating experience for anyone visiting Israel. Prepare to fall in love. Jaffa streets are full of surprises. Stroll in the narrow stone-paved streets of old Jaffa, discover hidden courtyards and notice the small details – painted ceramic tiles, small sculptures and upper open terraces.

Tucked inside one of Tel Aviv’s oldest districts, lies an architectural gem with a young, beating heart. Established in 1887, Neve Tzedek, the first Jewish neighborhood outside of the old port city of Jaffa, has recently become a trendy stomping ground for artists of all modalities, who fit in perfectly with the district’s restored quaint Oriental architecture. 

Breakfast and Lunch included with Dinner on own

Tuesday, November 5, 2019: Visit to Carmel Market, Nachalat Binyamin Craft Market, Caesarea National Park and Dinner in the Dark!

Visit the Carmel Market, the city’s largest most centrally located and hugely popular food market.

https://en.shuktlv.co.il/category/carmel-market

Nachlat Binyamin Craft Market is the first and biggest of its kind in Israel and one of the most beautiful markets of its kind in the world. Surrounded by beautiful historical buildings, some recently passed strict preservation processes and now can be seen in their original beautiful historical design. Full of unique hand made creations and designs, street  performances, live music and coffee shops –  all of that makes the Market a must during your stay in Tel-AvivIt’s a great place to find original and special gifts, all made in Israel for the people you love and for yourself.

https://exploreisrael.com/israel-attractions/nachlat-binyamin-arts-crafts-fair

Caesarea National Park is one of, if not Israel’s, most impressive archaeological sites. The beautifully restored port city harbor was built by King Herod and is a work of engineering marvel. The restored Caesarea amphitheater hosts modern-day concerts now but was the scene of some horrific executions. http://www.touryourway.com/caesarea-amphitheatre.html

The Blackout Restaurant is unique and we are going to experience what it is like being blind. The entire meal is served in total darkness. Every table is assigned a waiter. The waiters are all visually impaired and all wear bells so that you can hear them coming. They are supposed to help you if you find you need any help. Patrons are led to their seats with each holding the shoulder of the person in front of them and the waiter leading – a sort of paraphrasing of the expression – the blind leading the blind. ‘In sum, for a unique and very moving experience, this restaurant is definitely a must. The food is rich and very enjoyable despite the dark. The darkness is also a great way to discover new things about yourself’ All proceeds go to furthering to support the visually impaired…so we will have fun with it, learn a bit about ourselves and leave knowing the time was well spent and helps others.

https://theculturetrip.com/middle-east/israel/articles/find-your-true-sense-of-taste-at-the-blackout-restaurant/

Breakfast and Dinner Included with Lunch on your own at the market

Wednesday, November 6, 2019: Your Leisure Day in Tel Aviv

After Breakfast enjoy this day as you discover it…

This is your last night here so please make sure you check your safe and anything you have plugged in.

Breakfast included with Lunch and Dinner on your own

Thursday, November 7, 2019: Curatorial Tours of Ramat HaNadiv Gardens and Bahai Gardens, Lunch at Tishbi Wineries and Dinner in Safed.

Ramat Hanadiv Is a living memorial to Baron Edmond de Rothschild. The Memorial Gardens beckon guests into a place of rare tranquility. Stroll the pathways here among exquisitely designed gardens and breathe their fragrance ….

https://www.ramat-hanadiv.org.il/en/content/generalpage/garden-tour

https://www.ramat-hanadiv.org.il/en/content/listpage/walk-gardens

https://www.ramat-hanadiv.org.il/en/content/generalpage/garden-history

Haifa’s fantastic location at the slopes of the impressive Mount Carmel (an attraction in itself) has earned the city the nickname “the San Francisco of Israel”. In July 2008, the Bahá’í Shrine and Gardens were declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in recognition of their “outstanding universal value” as a holy place of pilgrimage for the followers of the Bahá’í Faith. The Bahá’í Shrine and Gardens are an inspired creation of beauty, grandeur, and exquisite design in a special and tranquil atmosphere like none other. A golden dome, marble walls, granite pillars and manicured gardens cascading down a slope of Mount Carmel make the Baha’i Shrine in Haifa a spectacularly colourful attraction. The shrine, built in 1953, contains the remains of Siyyid Al Muhammad (1819-50). Known as the Bab, he is revered as the prophet-herald of the Baha’i faith. The shrine’s nine sides represent the nine major religions of the world. Its dome is covered with 14,000 gold-coated bricks. The terraced gardens surrounding the shrine were designed by Iranian architect Fariborz Sahba and inspired by doctrines of the Baha’i faith. They are often called the Hanging Gardens of Haifa. There are 19 terraces, one for the Shrine of the Bab and the remainder representing the Bab’s first 18 disciples. The gardens are designed in nine concentric circles resembling waves extending out from the shrine. They include works of stone and metal as well as fountains, shrubbery and expansive lawns. The irrigation system is computer-controlled. The computer operates hundreds of valves to distribute water throughout the gardens by sprinkling and dripping, based on meteorologic data it receives. The irrigating is done at night and in the early morning, to avoid wasting water by  evaporation. http://www.ganbahai.org.il/en/

The Tishbi Winery opened in Shefeya, Israel in 1925 with the support of Baron Rothschild, and has since become extremely popular. In 2012, it was the 6th largest in Israel, and is still growing. It produces about one million bottles of kosher wine a year. This is where we will enjoy our lunch as well.

http://www.tishbi.com/en/the-tishbi-family-history/

Hotel Villa Galilee Hotel, 2 Nights, Superior Room

Located on Mount Canaan, Villa Galilee is just a few minutes’ drive from the historic city of Safed and Rosh Pinna. This beautiful boutique hotel offers peace and relaxation encircled by the sea of Galilee, Golan Heights, Mediterranean Sea and lots of forests, mountains, an ancient city, Druse villages and much more. Enjoy the special atmosphere and tranquility at this small and luxurious hotel.

https://www.villa-galilee.com/en/

Breakfast and Lunch Included and Dinner on your own

Friday, November 8, 2019: Introduction to Jewish Mysticism and Walking Tour of the Galleries and Synagogues in this Ancient City of Safed, Visit Tabgha and Mount of Beatitudes, Capernaum and Sabbath Evening Dinner in our hotel.

Safed, a rather small town located in Northern Israel, 900 meters (2952 feet) above sea level in the mountains of the Upper Galilee,  commands magnificent views east to the Golan, north to the Hermon and Lebanon, west to Mt. Meron and the Amud Valley, and south to Tiberias and the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee). Safed is one of the four holy cities in Israel, together with Jerusalem, Hebron and Tiberias. The old part of town consists of narrow cobblestone alleys revealing artists’ galleries, medieval synagogues, private homes and small guest houses.

Tranquil Tabgha, on the north-western shore of the Sea of Galilee, is best known for Christ’s miraculous multiplication of loaves and fishes to feed a multitude. But it is also remembered for Jesus’ third appearance to his disciples after his Resurrection, when he tested and commissioned St Peter as leader of his Church. Two churches commemorate these events, and pilgrims find the place a serene location for meditation, prayer and study. Tabgha is at the foot of the Mount of Beatitudes, about 3km south-west of Capernaum. The modern Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes at Tabgha stands on the site of a 4th-century church, displaying Byzantine mosaic decorations that are among the most elegantly executed in the Holy Land. The whole floor depicts flora and fauna of the area in vibrant colours — peacocks, cranes, cormorants, herons, doves, geese, ducks, a flamingo and a swan, as well as snakes, lotus flowers and oleanders. But the best-known mosaic, on the floor near the altar, refers to the miracle the church commemorates. It shows a basket of loaves flanked by two Galilee mullet. Beneath the altar is the rock on which it is believed Jesus placed the loaves and fish when he blessed them.

The Mount of Beatitudes, believed to be the setting for Jesus’ most famous discourse, the Sermon on the Mount, is one of the most beautifully serene places in the Holy Land. Overlooking the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee, it offers an enchanting vista of the northern part of the lake and across to the cliffs of the Golan Heights on the other side. The exact site of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1-7:28) is unknown.

We will enjoy a Sabbath evening Dinner at our hotel.

Breakfast and Dinner Included with Lunch on your own

This is your last night here so please make sure you check your safe and anything you have plugged in.

Saturday, November 9, 2019: Drive towards Jerusalem via the Sea of Galilee and Jordan River, Lunch and Jerusalem Hotel

Mediterranean-style lunch along the way to our hotel

Villa Ba’Moshava Hotel, Jerusalem 4 Nights Superior Room

Villa Ba’Moshave resides in the German Colony, a popular and well-established quarter founded in the early 20th century. The magnificent houses in the quarter have great cultural value and contribute to making it one of the most prestigious and well-kept neighborhoods in Jerusalem. The neighborhood’s main artery is the popular Emek Refaim street, which offers a variety of souvenir and handicraft shops, charming cafés and excellent restaurants. We highly recommend a stroll through the picturesque alleys by foot or bicycles, provided by the hotel. The architecture is impressive and simultaneously portrays both the ancient and the modern Jerusalem. Just a short walk from the hotel, at the fashionable Railway Complex on the site of the old train station, enjoy the many restaurants, shops, stalls and stands and of course live concerts taking place occasionally.
https://brownhotels.com/moshava 

Breakfast and Lunch Included with Dinner on your own

Sunday, November 10, 2019: Walking Tour of the Old City of Jerusalem including the Western Wall Tunnels, Shrine of the Book and Billy Rose Sculpture Garden at the Israel Museum

Judaism’s holiest place is the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem. Part of the retaining wall erected by Herod the Great in 20 BC to support the vast plaza on which he rebuilt the Temple Mount, it is venerated as the sole remnant of the Temple. The wall and the plaza in front of it form a permanent place of worship, a site of pilgrimage for Jews and a focus of prayer — often petitions written down and placed between the huge stones. The Jewish name for the wall is the Kotel. In the exposed part of the Western Wall today, the seven lowest layers of stones are from Herod’s construction. Most of these stones weigh between two and eight tons. Men and married women who approach the wall are expected to have their heads covered. At the left end of the Western Wall is the entrance to a tunnel which allows visitors to walk along 500 meters of the extended wall, under buildings of the Old City. Sights include the biggest stone in the wall, estimated to weigh 570 tons.

The Shrine of the Book in Jerusalem uses quirky contemporary architecture to house and display ancient manuscripts — including the first Dead Sea Scrolls to be discovered. The building’s white-tiled dome is shaped like the lid of the first jar in which the scrolls were found at Qumran. In contrast, nearby stands a black basalt wall. The black-white imagery symbolizes the theme of one of the scrolls — The War of the Sons of Light Against the Sons of Darkness. The rest of the structure, two-thirds of it below ground level, recalls the caves in which the scrolls were found. The Shrine of the Book holds all seven of the scrolls found in what is called Cave 1 at Qumran, near the Dead Sea. https://www.seetheholyland.net/shrine-of-the-book/

Billy Rose Art Garden at the Israel Museum

The Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi designed the space to resemble a Zen garden but with zigzagging sloping sections that display a wide range of diverse, international masterpieces. The oldest sculptures in the garden are by the bronze master Auguste Rodin, dating back to the 1880s. His human forms offer a classical juxtaposition to the more modern 20th century works. Pablo Picasso’s surreal and massive sculpture Profile (1967) has an undeniable presence, resting on the same plane as Robert Indiana’s famous piece LOVE (1977). There are works here by Henry Moore, David Smith, Magdalena Abakanowicz, Mark Dion, James Turrell, Fernando Boleroand, Micha Ullman and more. The garden is named for its founder, the American entertainer Billy Rose (1899-1966), among whose best-known pieces is the song “Me and My Shadow”.

Back to hotel for the rest of the evening on your own. (Optional visit to the Tower of David Light & Sound Show for additional fee.)

Breakfast included with lunch and dinner on your own

Monday, November 11, 2019: Our Day at the Dead Sea, Guided visit to Ein Gedi Oasis and Botanical Gardens and the Ancient Fortress of Masada with cable car

Ein Gedi’s multiple-prize-winning Botanical Garden in Kibbutz Ein Gedi is the only botanical garden in the world that integrates the homes of residents of the surrounding community. The landscaped grounds of the Kibbutz were recognized officially in 1994 as an International Botanical Garden. It is the only international botanical garden to have a community residence in it, which is a tribute both to the gardening staff and to the population of Ein Gedi. In fact, the development of the Botanical Garden and Kibbutz Ein Gedi are inseparable. Over the years more than 900 species of plants from various regions of the world have been planted and have flourished here. This was brought about through the vision, persistence and hard work of the founders and sons of the Kibbutz.

There are several prominent varieties of flora found in Ein Gedi, including:

* Date and ornamental palm – the leading motif (approx. 40 species).
* A wide range of desert plants from throughout the world.
* Tropical flora from various rainforest regions, grown with no exceptional cultivation techniques.
* Local species, such as the Sodom Apple, Moringa and Tamarisk.
* Unusual trees from various tropical regions throughout the world (several of which in Israel, are only found in Ein Gedi).
* Species referred to in ancient Jewish texts (such as the Myrrh and the Frankincense) which were then associated with Ein Gedi.
* The Cactus Garden – A place to visit at the end of the tour through the Botanical Garden. It includes more than 1000 species and serves as a source for the several small cactus gardens throughout the Kibbutz.

https://www.deadsea.com/explore/outdoors-recreation/nature-hiking/ein-gedi-botanical-garden/

Masada offers a moving historic story, dramatic desert landscapes, views over mountains, desert and the Dead Sea and incredible archaeological remains. Once a palatial refuge for Herod the Great, this massive plateau on the eastern edge of the Judean Desert is better known as the location of a Roman siege against Jewish rebels in AD 74.

http://masadatours.com/mount-masada

https://new.goisrael.com/node/148

The Dead Sea is set in the lowest dry land on earth, so it has no outlet. It is so loaded with minerals that no fish can live in it. It is so dense that bathers can lie back on its surface and read a newspaper. The ancient Hebrews called this body of water the Sea of Salt. By 2013 the Dead Sea was 50km long, 15km across at its widest point, and 430 metres below sea level. Its area was constantly shrinking and the water level was dropping by more than a meter a year. Because it has no exit, water is lost only through evaporation, which leaves behind the minerals. The Dead Sea is nearly 10 times as salty as the open seas. The high concentration of minerals (predominantly magnesium chloride) provides the buoyancy that keeps bathers suspended — as well as a very bitter taste. (I know as I tasted it).

We will enjoy lunch at ‘Rosemary’ at the Crowne Plaza Dead Sea and if you wish you can enjoy the magnificent swimming pool of the hotel or the private beach adjacent to the hotel with direct access to sea. NOTE: if you are planning on floating in the Dead Sea, do not shave any part of your body.

Back to Hotel where the rest of the evening is yours to enjoy.

Breakfast and Lunch Included with Dinner on your own

Tuesday, November 12, 2019: Curatorial tour of the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens, Lunch and Leisure Time in Ein Kerem, Visit the Chagall Windows, Farewell Dinner

The Jerusalem Botanical Gardens is a gem in the heart of Jerusalem.   It serves as an education, learning and research center, holds a diverse collection of plants from around the world which are displayed geographically and is a destination for tourism, recreation and cultural events. At around 30 acres, the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens is the largest in Israel. There are over 6,000 species and varieties of plants from around the world – Israel’s largest collection of live plants – displayed in 6 phyto-geographical sections – Southern Africa, Europe, North America, Australia, South-East and Central Asia and the Mediterranean. The sections simulate the landscapes of these areas and so there is always something blooming at the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens.  Touring the sections of the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens (JBG) is like visiting different geographical areas of the world: while most botanical gardens are organized by botanical grouping, JBG is arranged according to the plants’ geographical origin. This division enables you to wander between the sections experiencing the changing landscape of the different areas.   https://www.botanic.co.il/en/

Then we will head to  Ein Kerem for a bit of leisure time to have lunch on our own.  The village of Ein Kerem (Karem), on the west side of Jerusalem,   is according to tradition the birthplace of John the Baptist.

And finally to the Abbell Synagogue at the Hadassah University Medical Center to visit .. a truly one of a kind display, those of the Chagall Windows done by Marc Chagall and described as jewels of translucent fire.  12 windows representing the 12 tribes of Israel, each 11 feet by 8 feet. 

http://www.hadassah-med.com/about/art-at-hadassah/chagall-windows/the-windows.aspx

http://www.hadassah-med.com/about/art-at-hadassah/chagall-windows/the-inspiration.aspx

http://www.hadassah-med.com/about/art-at-hadassah/chagall-windows/chagalls-biography.aspx

Back to our hotel until our Festive Farewell Dinner

Breakfast and dinner included with lunch on your own

Wednesday, November 13, 2019: Day of Departure and Transfer to the Airport….

There is an optional 3-day add-on to Eilat and Petra. If this interests you please let me know and I will get the details to you.

We can also arrange pre and post tour nights, so if required, please let me know.

Highlights

  • Meet & assistance upon arrival at Tel Aviv Airport

  • Transfers to hotel in Tel Aviv and from Jerusalem hotel to airport

  • 10 Nights accommodation

  • 10 Breakfasts

  • 4 Lunches

  • 4 Dinners

  • 8 Days English speaking Israeli tour guide

  • All entrances as noted in itinerary

  • Tips to Guide and Driver

  • Unforgettable memories!

Notes:

***Please note that you arrive into Tel Aviv and Depart from Jerusalem.

Not Included:

Flights, insurance, meals and drinks not noted, items of a personal nature and extra hotel charges such as luggage porterage and daily maid servicing.

Israel Gardens & History Tour 2019

Tel Aviv – Jaffa – Safed – Tabgha – Capernaum –  Haifa – Jerusalem

November 3rd – November 13th, 2019

Land package 5872 U.S. per person for twin sharing or Double

For those wanting their own room please add 1645 US to above price (single rooms very limited)

Tour is priced in the currency we pay our suppliers at destination.  Due to exchange rate volatility, we only convert to Canadian dollars at time of final payment at the prevailing exchange rates at that time. Your final payment will be in Canadian Dollars.

Note: Minimum of 8 guests must be registered for this tour to run, so please do not book your air until you are notified that we have reached this.

Email: donna@icangarden.com

Tour is subject to changes in itinerary but not tour dates

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