Israel and Beyond
Israel holds a unique place in the Middle East. With sacred sites central to three of humanity’s major religions, you could spend a lifetime exploring its wonders of history and culture. Look over Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, stay at the Sea of Galilee, walk the ruins at Capernaum, and eat lunch at the home of a Palestinian family. Make your own pilgrimage to this beloved and complex place.
Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included.
Take a specially designed walking tour of the Old City of Jerusalem with both Israeli and Palestinian guides an experience exclusively designed by National Geographic Emerging Explorer Aziz Abu Sarah. This unique dual-narrative tour allows travellers a deeper understanding of the diverse cultural, religious, and political aspects of Israel. Visit key sites including the Temple Mount, Dome of the Rock, and the Al Aqsa Mosque. Continue to the Western Wall, then walk through the Stations of the Cross to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. This afternoon, visit the Mount of Olives for stunning views of Jerusalem, then enjoy free time to wander on your own or opt to visit the Garden of Gethsemane. Later, enjoy a discussion with a local scholar on conflict resolution and local interfaith issues.
Take a sobering visit to Yad Vashem Memorial to learn about the Holocaust and its ramifications today. In the afternoon, visit the famed Israel Museum. View the Dead Sea Scrolls, housed in the Shrine of the Book and observe one of the greatest archaeological finds of the past century. After, opt to walk through the museum’s state of the art archeological exhibition on your own.
Enjoy a second exclusively designed dual-narrative tour of Bethlehem with Israeli and Palestinian guides. Visit Manger Square and the Church of the Nativity. Walk through a nearby Palestinian refugee camp and then head to a local Palestinian family's home for a cooking class and lunch.
Start the day with a guided visit to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Masada with stops at Herod’s Palace, the Bathhouse, and the Synagogue. After that, it’s off for a visit to the Dead Sea, continuing along the Jordan Valley north to the Sea of Galilee. Also enjoy a visit and talk at a local Kibbutz community.
Visit the Mt. of Beatitudes, for gorgeous views of the Sea of Galilee and visit the church that was built atop this hill, where Jesus is believed to have delivered his “Sermon on the Mount” speech. Continue to the ruins of Capernaum, where Jesus lived and preached, and where many apostles, including Peter, made their home. Learn about the lives of Israeli Arabs on the way to Nazareth, where we visit the Basilica of the Annunciation, one of the largest churches in the Middle East.
Continue to the Mediterranean, visiting the coastal city of Haifa and then south to Caesarea Maritima to see the ruins of Herod’s harbour city. After, continue toward Jaffa, an ancient port city dating back to the Bronze Age. Continue on to the bustling city of Tel Aviv for our last evening.
Depart at any time.
National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Old Jerusalem Dual-Narrative Walking Tour, Jerusalem
National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Lecture with Local Expert, Jerusalem
National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Bethlehem Walking Tour, Jerusalem
National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Palestinian Family Meal, Jerusalem. Arrival transfer. Entrance to Yad Vashem (the Holocaust memorial). Visit the Israel Museum and view the Dead Sea Scrolls. Tour Bethlehem. Visit a Palestinian refugee community. Guided visit to Masada. Explore the Sea of Galilee area including Capernaum and Nazareth. Kibbutz tour. Visit Haifa, Caesarea Maritima, and Jaffa. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
Please see the itinerary for information on optional activities, descriptions and estimated pricing.
The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
Please note that this trip is part of a combination of multiple tours. As such, the CEO, staff and/or particular vehicles operating your tour may change between tour segments. You may also expect some group members to join or leave the tour, between tour segments.
According to the lunar cycle, Ramadan will fall between May 15th and June 14th, 2018. Please note that Ramadan is a month of fasting observed by Muslims throughout the world, during which time the followers of Islam should not eat or drink between sunrise and sunset. There may be some limitations to services and disruptions to schedules during Ramadan, but generally our tours still operate effectively during this period and food is available to non-Muslims throughout the day. It is very important to display increased cultural sensitivity during Ramadan. Please wear loose fitting clothes, that cover knees and shoulders, and try to avoid eating, drinking or smoking in public out of respect for those who can't at that time.
Group Leader Description
This G Adventures group trip is accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting - we think it's the best of both worlds.
Group Size Notes
Max 16, Avg 10.
7 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners
Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. The above information applies to G Adventures group trips. For Independent trips please check the itinerary for details of meals included. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.
Private van/bus, walking.
About our Transportation
On this trip we will travel by air-conditioned private minivan/bus for most journeys.
We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Hotels (7 nts).
My Own Room
Please note that if you have booked the "My Own Room" option for this tour, you will receive your own single room for all night stops
For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
An arrival transfer is included when you arrive on Day 1, or if you arrive up to three days prior provided that you have booked your pre-accommodation through National Geographic Journeys in our joining hotel. Due to customer experience and quality considerations, all services related to the tour must be continuous. Arrival transfers will not be available to passengers who have booked pre-tour accommodations independently of G Adventures.
Our driver will be at Cafe Kakao (the cafe is immediately on the left as you enter the Arrivals Hall). The driver will be holding a sign with your name. Please check that your driver knows your name and the hotel you are going to. If in doubt ask them to ring their manager to confirm your transfer.
Please note that Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned, so you may arrive at any time. Similarly the last day is a departure day in which no activities are planned.
Your CEO will contact you at the hotel on Day 1 and make sure you are settled comfortably. If you arrive late, they will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning. Your CEO will organize a short meeting soon after arrival, during which you will meet other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip.
If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Joining Hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
If you have purchased an arrival transfer or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:
Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel.
At times the arrival hall at Ben Gurion is very crowded. The driver will be at Cafe Kakao (the cafe is immediately on the left as you enter the Arrivals Hall). The driver will be holding a sign with your name. If you need any help while at the airport , please call our coordinator in Israel, Mariana at 053-620-2977 (if calling within Israel) or +972-53-620-2977 (includes Israel's country code if calling from outside Israel).
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Local Representative (Israel)
Emergency Phone Number: 053-620-2977 (Marianne), 058-454-4847 (Abby). Use these numbers if calling within Israel.
+972-53-620-2977, +972-58-454-4847 (includes Israel's country code if calling from outside Israel)
G Adventures Local Office (Cairo, Egypt)
Emergency number: +20 122 221 16 99 (Mohammed, Middle East Regional Manager)
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
Finishing Point Instructions
We are able to organise extra accommodation post-trip should you require it. Please enquire at the time of booking.
What to Take
We recommend using a backpack or a medium-sized suitcase/duffle on wheels if you prefer. A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person. You will be responsible for carrying your own luggage and hotels may not have porters.
It is important to pack clothes for warm to hot days and cool evenings. A set of smart casual clothes is also advisable.
• Modest clothing that covers knees and shoulders (Long pants, long skirts, shirts that cover shoulders)
• Shawl or scarf (for temple visits)
• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
• Passport (required) (With photocopies)
• Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)
• Binoculars (optional)
• Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
• Cash, credit and debit cards
• Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
• Ear plugs
• First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
• Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
• Fleece top/sweater
• Locks for bags
• Long pants/jeans
• Outlet adapter
• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
• Reusable water bottle
• Small travel towel
• Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable)
• Watch and alarm clock
• Waterproof backpack cover
• Windproof rain jacket
• Smart outfit (For evenings out)
• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
• Sun hat/bandana
Note: For departures from Nov-Feb the weather can be cold, please bring warm clothing.
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
Visas and Entry Requirements
All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It is your own responsibility to have the correct travel documentation. Visa requirements for your trip will vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. We keep the following information up to date as far as possible, but rules do change and sometimes without warning. While we provide the following information in good faith, it is vital that you check yourself and understand that you are fully responsible for your own visa requirements.
Israeli hotels have new requirements due to the Israeli Value Added Tax (VAT) authorities regulation. According to the law, hotels must receive photocopies of passports and B2 visas of all visitors.
The B2 visa is a small document travelers receive upon entering Israel at passport control. Please hold on to that document as it will be requested at the hotels. If the hotels do not receive that information then they will charge an additional 17% to the rate of accommodation.
Israel and Palestinian Territories:
Most tourists to Israel and the Palestinian Territories will be issued a free visa, on arrival valid for 90 days, at air and land borders. Known exceptions to this are India, Singapore and many African countries. Please double check the requirements in relation to the passport you travel on.
Usually your entry and visa will not be stamped into your passport, but onto a separate piece of paper.
Please note: Egypt and Jordan have a peace agreement with Israel which allows travellers to cross boarders between these countries; having an Israeli stamp in your passport will not affect your ability to travel to Egypt or Jordan.
If you are planning to enter Israel via land from Egypt or Jordan, the exit stamps from these neighbouring countries will indicate that you have visited Israel. Even without an Israeli visa in your passport, these stamps will impact your ability to use the same passport to travel to Syria Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Saudi, Libya and Yemen.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
ATMs are found widely in Israel and will generally accept cards on the Visa and Mastercard networks. While this is the best way to get the majority of your money in Israel, and the vast majority of Cirrus network cards work fine, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will work in the Middle East. Check with your bank before travelling.
Credit cards are accepted by most larger restaurants and stores. W You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5-10% usually applies.
Cash advances can also be made with some banks.
Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money.
Cash is recommended for times when ATMs are not accessible. Euros and US Dollars are all easy to exchange to local currency.
Travellers cheques can be tricky to exchange and we do not recommend that you use them as your primary source of funds.
In large cities you can exchange them in some 5-star hotels and banks but this takes time and incurs a high fee. Thomas Cook or American Express travellers cheques in US or Euro currencies are the easiest to exchange.
Always take more funds rather than less, as you don't want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.
The currency in Israel is the Israeli Shekel(NIS).
As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com
Note that almost all local purchases (meals, souvenirs, most optional activities, etc) will be paid for in local currencies.
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
Included in airline tickets but there may be departure taxes if you are exiting at a land border.
Tipping is a way of life in the Middle East. Locals themselves will usually tip anyone who provides them with services. In many cases, people depend on the tips they receive to supplement the low salary and wages of the Middle East region. While on tour in the Middle East, it is customary and even expected to tip small service providers such as restaurant and bar waiters, hotel staff, reception, cleaning personnel, bell boys, taxis and van drivers. Tips are regarded as an essential means of supplementing income for those working in the tourism industry.
To make things as easy as possible and avoid embarrassing situations, G Adventures has developed a tipping kitty system where your CEO will collect a contribution from everybody at the start of your tour and use this kitty to tip anybody who has provided services to the group as a whole. A guideline for tipping is about $5-10 USD per day, depending on the quality of the service (this does not include your G Adventures CEO). On Day 1 of your tour, your CEO will be able to advise on the amount required from everybody to form the tipping kitty for your trip. You can pay in USD or the equivalent local currency (preferably local currency). The CEO will be able to advise you on the exchange rate and the total required in either currency.
If at any time you feel that any service provider failed in maintaining or delivering good service, please bring it immediately to the attention of your CEO so a deduction of tips can take place.
If you felt that your G Adventures CEO(s) did an outstanding job, tipping is also expected and appreciated. The precise amount is entirely a personal preference, however $35-40 USD per person per week can be used as a general guideline.
Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.
There are no specific health requirements for this trip. However, we recommend protection against typhoid, tetanus, infectious hepatitis and polio. You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit, hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities for some time during this trip, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc.
Safety and Security
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.
We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:
Trip Specific Safety
Like anywhere in the world, major cities have areas safer than others, use common sense, be aware of your surroundings and mind your personal belongings.
Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility' is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day's activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.
The medical questionnaire can be found online at:
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
While visiting temples, churches, mosques and other religious monuments you should dress modestly, cover your shoulders and you shouldn't wear short shorts or skirts. Outside of capital cities and the more touristic centres, local dress is often more conservative and as a matter of respect we ask that both men and women are aware of this and recommend loose-fitting clothes with your shoulders covered. Ask your CEO for more specific advice.
You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.
Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.
Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.
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