7 Day Israel- Nature & Culture, 4x4 Jeep Tour
7 Day Israel- Nature & Culture, 4x4 Jeep Tour
"The weird solitude, the great silence, the grim desolation, are the very things
with which every desert wanderer falls in love."
The Desert / John C. Van Dyke 1901
Flamingo in migration over the Mts. of Eilat
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This tour of Israel covers Jerusalem, the Carmel Mountains, the Sea of Galilee, the Dead Sea and Masada. An excellent way to experience all of Israel's main attractions in just 7 days.
Day 1- We begin this tour in Israel's ancient Acco (Acre) with its colorful Oriental Bazaar and major historic sites. Here we have our briefing on Israel and on the week ahead. We set off to enjoy an off-road ride on the scenic route of Manot, this takes us through Upper Galilee. Here we leave our Jeep for a short hike up to the 12th century ruins of Montfort castle. Continuing along the mountain roads we reach the Druze Village of Beit Jan. We spend the night at the home of an authentic Druze family enjoying their warm hospitality and sharing their special way of life.
Day 2- We spend the morning walking in the area of Mt. Meron, a region rich in endemic flora and fauna. Moving on to Safed (Tsfat) the center of Jewish mysticism whose ancient synagogues have pasts shrouded in both history and legend. A 4x4 drive takes us through the canyon of Wadi Akbara, an important nesting-spot for vultures, on to the ancient Khirbet Shune ruins and the spring of Ein Livnim. Night spent at a local Kibbutz.
Day 3- Today we explore the historic and sacred Christian sites of the Sea of Galilee. Beginning on the summit of Mt.Beatitudes (site of the Sermon on the Mount) we hike down to Tabgha and the reconstructed church of the 'Bread and Fish (famous for its 6th Century mosaic of the Bread and Fish miracle). Visiting the ruins of Capernaum - the town in which Jesus spent most of his preaching years. We stop also at the site of the house of St. Peter and see an ancient yet well preserved synagogue that is mentioned in the New Testament. The afternoon finds us back in the 4X4 for a drive across the famous Golan Heights. Driving down the steep slopes and enjoying the elevated views across the Golan Heights, the Sea of Galilee and The River Jordan. Continuing (partly through streams) along the untamed Valley of Beth Zaida, where the tributaries of the Golan Heights unite into a river before reaching the Sea of Galilee. Then to the Meshushim-Pool (meaning Octangular Pool) an interesting volcanic geological phenomena where we can enjoy a refreshing bathe and set up camp for a night in nature.
Day 4- Continuing our 4x4 adventure over the Canyon of Nahal Meshushim and on to the town of Katzrin. Here we leave the road again to drive by the ancient ruins of Khirbet Sheikh Hussein. Further on a short hike takes us to the wild waterfall of Nachal Zavitan where we can bathe in the water. Onto the ruins of Umm El Kanatier (mother of arches), this fascinating archeological site was a wealthy Jewish Village during Roman times and its name comes from its two huge arches carved from local stone. Back on route the road widens as we cross the Canyon of Nachal Kanaf. We continue on a scenic 4x4 route all the way to the Eastern Shore of the Sea of Galilee. Once more we settle for the night on a local Kibbutz.
Spring in the Negev desert: Eilat jeep tour
Day 5- Today we drive up to The Holy City Jerusalem by the steep slopes of Mt. Carmel and along the “Carmel Scenic Route” to The Muchraka (where according to tradition Elijah fought the Prophets of the Baal). En route we stop at the Carmelite Monastery to enjoy views that span the Mountains of Galilee and Samaria. We pass Israel's most populated areas on the Coastal Plain and ascend to Jerusalem on the historic route ‘The Burma Road'. This road was discovered by chance during Israel's War of Independence in 1948 and was used by Israelis to bypass Jordanian army positions and break the barricade on Jerusalem. Today the “Burma Road” is marked with signs, images and exhibits that remind us of this turbulent period in the history of modern Israel. Before entering Jerusalem we hike in the Masrek Nature Reserve and visit the tomb of Sheikh Achmed el ‘Adjami a pious Sheikh acclaimed by many for cutting the hair of the prophet Mohammed!
Day 6- Visiting the most important sites of the Old City of Jerusalem including The Mount of Olives and its famous Cemetery and Churches, The Wailing Wall, The Temple Mount and it's great “Dome of the Rock” (if open to visitors), The Via Dolorosa (Way of the Cross), The Church of the Holy Sepulcher, which contains both the tomb of Jesus and the Hill of Calvary. We leave Jerusalem southwards bound and drive to the Amasa Reserve to go off-road again and drive through a hilly desert landscape to Brekhat Zefira a natural waterhole in the Judean Desert. The more nimble footed (and handed) can descend down to the waterhole which after rain is full of water. Journeying deeper into the desert we set up camp under the star spangled desert skies.
Day 7- By way of the Roman Ramp we enter the famous ruins of Masada (King Herod's Desert Fortress) and explore this fascinating site whose views span the Dead Sea and beyond before heading down to the lowest place on earth the Dead Sea. Following a brief float (swimming is impossible due to the complete buoyancy) we go 4x4 through the alien landscape of Mt. Sodom (Yeah... that Sodom...) and a final leisurely hike through the 'Flour cave'. With this our tour is complete and we enjoy a farewell briefing and tour summary. Return transportation provided.
Price of 7 days Israel tour: Private tour, up to 4 people- 395$ in total -per day, 5 people or more- 90$ per person per day. Incl. 4X4 vehicle and guide. Not incl. meals, hotels and entrance fees.
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