21 August 2017, 01:00
21 August 2017, 01:00
NEW: A Journey into Israel
Tour ‘the Land of Milk and Honey’ - from cosmopolitan Tel Aviv to ancient Biblical sites
Saga’s revelatory tour of Israel takes guests to cosmopolitan Tel Aviv, on the Mediterranean coast, and the ancient cities of Nazareth and Jerusalem.
The landscapes are steeped in Biblical stories and the itinerary also includes the Caesarea ruins and Capernaum, beside the Sea of Galilee. Here’s a snapshot:
The tour starts with a two-night stay in Israel’s second largest city, Tel Aviv, a fusion of cultures and history where the tree-lined Rothschild Boulevard runs like a green river through the city of glossy skyscrapers and 1930s Bauhaus architecture.
A city tour includes the 4,000-year-old Jaffa, where cobblestone streets and archways lend a medieval atmosphere with galleries and a flea market adding a bohemian edge.
Further along the coast is Caesarea, the capital of Judea in 6 AD. By the 14th century, shifting sands had laid claim to the port but excavation since the 1950s has revealed magnificent ruins and a Crusader city which Richard the Lionheart once ruled.
The tour continues to Tzipori, another important archaeological site which has an amazing water channel and 4,500-seat theatre.
In Nazareth, the birthplace of Christianity, guests visit the modern Church of the Annunciation and Mary's Well, where it is told Mary was visited by the Angel Gabriel.
There’s a two-night hotel stay in Galilee and a boat ride across the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus is believed to have walked on water, takes guests to Capernaum to visit the ruins of a 2nd century synagogue and Mount of the Beatitudes, where Jesus delivered the 'Sermon on the Mount'.
The itinerary also features a scenic drive to the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights and the chance to visit a kibbutz, traditionally communal farming settlements that have diversified into capitalist enterprises.
After a drive through the desert to the Dead Sea, which at 400 metres below sea level is the lowest point on Earth, guests can float in the therapeutic waters before taking a cable-car from Masada to the UNESCO-listed ruins of the palace complex that was built by Herod the Great, King of Judaea.
Guests stay three nights in a hotel on the new side of Jerusalem with time to explore and walk along the Avenue of the Righteous to visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum and the Israel Museum, home to the Dead Sea Scrolls.
In the heart of Bethlehem, guests visit Manger Square and the Church of the Nativity which is said to be positioned over the birthplace of Jesus.
A Jerusalem Old City tour includes the Mount of Olives and Kidron Valley to see Temple Mount which is crowned by the golden-roofed Dome of the Rock. The tour also takes in the sacred ‘Wailing Wall’; Pontius Pilate’s Judgment Hall at the Antonia Fortress; Lithostrotos, upon which Jesus was tried; Via Dolorosa, said to be the path Jesus took on the way to his crucifixion and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which has been identified as the place of the crucifixion and tomb of Jesus.
For details call free on 0800 056 0464 or visit http://travel.saga.co.uk/holidays/destinations/asia/a-journey-into-israel.aspx
Seven nights from £1,399 departing London Heathrow on April 22, June 17, September 9 and October 7, 2018. Price includes return flights and transfers, accommodation in 3Q-rated Prima Hotels, half-board meals (all breakfasts and all dinners), Saga tour manager, porterage at hotels, optional travel insurance and additional cancellation rights, or a discount if passenger has own insurance.
Saga has created four new ‘Time to’ holiday styles: Go for it, Stay & Explore, Discover and Unwind. Each style helps guests decide on a holiday that feels right for them. A Journey into Israel is Discover (Pace 2).
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