A place that’s stood the test of time and now looks to the future, Israel is an intricate story waiting to be told. From the deep history and sanctity of Jerusalem to the energetic pulse and changing landscape of Tel Aviv, spend eight nights travelling through Israel and discover all the influences that have come together to make the country what it is today. Along the way, you’ll be joined by expert guides and specialists in fields such as defence, cuisine and design to make sure you really get under the skin of the destination. Whether snorkelling through the ruins of Caesarea, rappelling down Ramon Crater or wandering the tunnels of the Kotor, you’ll unearth a side to Israel few others have seen. Dusted off with a few days out in the solitude of the Negev Desert, leave no stone unturned on this luxury holiday to Israel.
Touching down in the ancient capital of Jerusalem, we’ll be on hand to whisk you off to the stylish Mamilla hotel for the next three nights. Right on the fringes of the Old City, take the rest of the day at a leisurely pace, perhaps enjoying the sunset from the rooftop lounge before setting off on your first discovery tomorrow. Join an expert guide as you take a deep dive into Jerusalem’s Old City and join the dots between Holy Sites revered by the Jewish, Christian and Muslim faiths. From the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, we’ll head to the Dome of the Rock where, if you let us know in advance, we’ll arrange for you to go up into the Dome itself. From there, we’re taking you underground to the 485metres of the Kotel that sit hidden from view from the surface. It’s an up-close look at one of Jerusalem’s most iconic sights – but from a whole new perspective.
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The next day, the culture continues as you spend the morning taking in the weight of Yad Vashem, Israel’s monument to the Holocaust. In the afternoon, it’s back to the hustle and bustle of daily life with an expert tour of Mahane Yehuda market. Alongside your foodie guide, you’ll venture into the deepest corners of the market, unearthing hidden gems as you go – and fully sating your appetite. It’s then off to the Israel Museum, where we can arrange for the curator to join you for a private tour as you visit the home of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the oldest known copy of the Bible.
Desert Landscapes in the Negev
Deep dive into the history of Jerusalem complete, it’s time to head south into the Judean Desert, stopping off at Ein Gedi en route. A lush green oasis made up of a series of waterfalls and freshwater pools, it makes for the perfect point to stop off, stretch your legs – and perhaps even go for a dip. Keep your eyes peeled too, for you may catch a glimpse of a passing ibex or two. From there, you’ll continue onto the UNESCO mountaintop ruins of Masada and the healing waters of the Dead Sea as you get to know Israel’s interior. Having soaked in the views and the salt water, you have only Six Senses Shaharut to go from there. A stunning hotel built into the side of a dramatic cliff and overlooking endless horizons, it’s just you and the endless Negev wilderness here. Settle in and spend the next three nights flitting between the property’s camel ranch and local kibbutzim and dining beneath the stars in an authentic Bedouin experience.
Your trip ends with a final two nights amid the energy of Tel Aviv. But first thing’s first, we’ll whisk you off to the Ramon Crater on your way back from the desert. Making your way up the Atzmaut Ascent and across the crater floor, your expert desert guide will explain the history and formation of this impressive sight – before roping you up to rappel down the face of it. Adrenaline pumping, we’ll then set up a private lunch for you in the heart of the desert. One last piece of wilderness before the return to civilization.
The Tales of Tel Aviv
Check in at The Jaffa, a historic hotel rich in contemporary vs crusader design and scented by the lemon trees that fill its courtyard. Tucked between the old port of Jaffa and the sweeping curve of the Mediterranean, it’s a historic take on up-and-coming Tel Aviv. Tomorrow, you’ll get a feel for how the ancient and modern sides to the city play off against each other with an expert private guided tour through some of its most iconic sights. Wander through Neve Tzedek, perhaps browsing the shops of Shabazi Street or stopping by HaTachana Farmers’ Market, before heading across to Carmel Market, Rothschild Boulevard and Independence Hall. At every turn, Tel Aviv reveals its eclectic architecture, influenced by Bauhaus and the many immigrant communities that call the city home.
For one final splash, we’ll take you Caesarea, King Herod the Great’s ancient port town. A town that’s seen it all, from Byzantine beauty to Crusader conquests, today you’ll see it from a different perspective as you don snorkel and mask (or dive tank if you’d rather) to jump in and discover the hidden underwater ruins of this archaeological ruins. Dried off and having well and truly seen Israel from every angle, you’ll return home tomorrow. But in a country as culturally rich as this, there will always be plenty more to explore for when you return.