|from $8,990* per person||9 Days||Year-round
Exertion level: 3
|Operator: Artisans of Leisure
12 people max
Perfect for first-time and return visitors alike, “Essence of Israel” is the quintessential private tour of Israel. Our Israel tours are designed for travelers who want a sophisticated private tour that focuses on Israel’s rich history, culture and religious heritage—all with an emphasis on luxury. Daily touring is a mix of the most interesting neighborhoods, markets, architectural highlights, museums, archaeological sites, places of historical and biblical interest, natural wonders, UNESCO World Heritage sites, and our favorite lesser-known attractions.
Begin in Jerusalem, one of the world’s most historically important cities. A city of countless monuments of enormous significance to Jews, Christians and Muslims—the entire Old City is a UNESCO World Heritage Site—it is also a place of great beauty, with a balmy, Mediterranean climate and year-round sunny skies warming the golden hue of its limestone buildings. Today Jerusalem is a fascinating mélange of cultures, created by the traditions culled from the diverse backgrounds and religions of its varied citizenry. Your expert private guide will bring Jerusalem and its multi-layered history alive through comprehensive touring of the city. In addition to touring well-known attractions and areas such as the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Via Dolorosa, the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum and Israel Museum, and the Mount of Olives, also visit fascinating but lesser-known neighborhoods, museums, and markets. Walk along the ramparts of the Old City. Learn about the city’s varied architectural styles, including Roman, Byzantine, Romanesque, Islamic, and Art Deco. Browse art galleries, specialty shops, food markets and souks as your guide helps you experience the very best the city has to offer. One day, opt for an excursion to Bethlehem.
Enjoy a day trip to the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth. En route, visit Qumran, where the precious Dead Sea Scrolls were found, and Masada, a historic mountaintop fortress overlooking the Dead Sea. Spend the afternoon at one of our favorite Dead Sea beaches— beautiful and away from the crowds. While there, relax in the salt and mineral-laden water, famous for its buoyancy and therapeutic qualities. Advance reservations for spa treatments can also be arranged.
Spend the next two nights in the Galilee region at a luxury spa resort in Rosh Pina. Enjoy private touring around the Sea of Galilee (also known as Lake Tiberias and Lake Kinneret), an area renowned for its beautiful landscapes and proximity to a number of important historical and biblical sites. Opt to visit to the mystical town of Safed (Tfzat), one of the four holy cities of the Talmud and the birthplace of the Kabbalah. Browse art galleries in Rosh Pina, sample wines at local vineyards, visit a kibbutz, or enjoy active pursuits such as a jeep excursion in the Golan Heights—a fertile region of springs, waterfalls and Crusader ruins.
Conclude your tour in Tel Aviv, Israel's largest and most vibrant city on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. En route, choose to visit the beautiful Baha'i gardens in Haifa or the ancient city of Akko (Acre), opt to visit a kibbutz, explore charming Druze villages and sample wines in the Mt. Carmel wine region, or visit the Roman ruins at Caesarea. Spend two nights in Tel Aviv with private touring of the city's most interesting sites, such as Old Jaffa, Museum of the Jewish Diaspora, the Design Museum Holon, the Bauhaus architecture district, and the fashionable Neve Tzedek neighborhood. Enjoy reservations at Tel Aviv's top restaurants.
Throughout the tour, sightseeing is very flexible and tailored to your interests, and accommodation is at Israel's leading luxury hotels. Upon request, Artisans of Leisure can arrange additional activities, such as an afternoon in Jerusalem’s Old City with a geo-political expert, private wine pairing dinners with an Israeli wine expert, a cooking lesson with a Michelin-star chef, family-focused activities, and special religious experiences.
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