Price range
From $10900 per person
Upcoming Date
10-23 January 2022
Tour Time
14 Days (Inc. Arv./Dpt.)

Bobbi and Cliff Malzman trip to Israel  – January 2022

Israel, as a local (except the hitchhiking)

Total price for the trip – $21,800

Room types:

Efendi – Grand Deluxe

Mamilla – Executive

The Norman – Grand Deluxe

Highlights

2 live concerts: Idan Reichel with the Philharmonic (Orchestra seating), and Youth concert
Off the Beaten Path - the Insiders' Version of Israel
Arts and Culture experiences with the Experts
Tu Bishvat Ceremony with a Local Community
Tour of the Land of Monasteries, closed to the public
Special Tour of the Rooftops of Jerusalem

Itinerary

1 - Monday (January 10) : Welcome to Israel

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Activities:

  • VIP Arrival - Arrival at Ben Gurion airport. Your VIP agent will be waiting to greet you at the sleeve of the plane. After assisting with arrival procedures, collecting your baggage, and relevant Covid testing, you will be taken to meet your driver.

  • Day to rest

  • Efendi Hotel

Overnight: Efendi Hotel

2 - Tuesday (January 11) : The Mosaic of the Galilee

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Hike on Mount Meron - Mount Meron is the tallest peak west of the Jordan, offering superb views towards Lebanon, the Galilee, and the Hula valley. Take the Summit Path for an easy, circular hike around the entire mountain, pausing at the frequent viewing points to gaze at the panorama. The path is suitable for all ages, but not accessible to wheelchairs or strollers.

  • Tour Peki'in including the Peki'in Synagogue - According to tradition, Peki'in has maintained a Jewish presence since the Second Temple period. The elderly sole remaining member of the Zinati family cares for the ancient synagogue as best she can. Grandma Jamilla, the founder of family owned olive oil soap made from local oil and medicinal herbs is a local legend.

  • Akko - The ancient city of Akko, on the Mediterranean, is one of the oldest ports in the world, a city shared by Jews and Muslims. Walk narrow streets past towering ramparts, deep moats, green domes, venerable synagogues, slender Muslim minarets, secret passageways. Discover the subterranean city built in the Middle Ages by the Crusaders beneath Akko. Learn about the city’s ancient history as well as its important role in Israel’s modern history.

  • Amer Saleem - Try your hand at stone carving with local stone artist Saleem.

  • Dinner at Uri Buri, and meet Uri - For the past 20 years , the popular Uri Buri restaurant has been offering different kinds of delicately prepared fresh fish and seafood dishes served with more than 100 different kinds of fine Israeli wines.

  • Efendi Hotel

Overnight: Efendi Hotel
Meal Plan: breakfast, lunch, dinner

3 - Wednesday (January 12) : Spiritual and Physical Heights

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Safed - Safed, pronounced Tzfat in Hebrew, sits at a higher altitude than any other city in Israel and has been known since the 16th century as a major center of Kabbala, Jewish mysticism. Safed’s mystical aura adds to its special status as one of Israel’s four holy cities, along with Jerusalem, Tiberias and Hebron. The old synagogues, narrow alleyways and artists’ studios add to the hilltop city’s unmistakable charm.

  • Safed Artist Colony

  • Explore the Golan Heights by Jeep or ATV - Learn about the recent history of the region and explore the issues that have confronted Israel during the civil war in Syria. Stop at Har Bental, an extinct volcano and an army stronghold.

  • Assaf Winery - Assaf Winery a wonderful example of a family-owned fine winery built in the spirit of elevating the wine culture of Israel through unique Israeli wines.

  • Optional: Banias National Park - Take a refreshing walk around the Banias, one of Israel’s most beautiful nature reserves. The Banias spring feeds into the Jordan River, the reserve’s large waterfall tumbles down a 33-foot precipice year-round, and a nearby cave houses remains of a temple to the Greek god Pan. In the wars of 1948 and 1967, when the Golan was held by Syria, the site housed a Syrian officers’ club.

  • Mount Bental - Drive to Mount Bental for a geopolitical discussion overlooking the Israeli-Syrian border. The Golan Heights are a geological and biogeographical region and is a plateau formed by a volcanic action.

  • Dinner at Pereh, or Sharabic (not included)

  • Efendi Hotel

Overnight: Efendi Hotel
Meal Plan: breakfast, lunch

4 - Thursday (January 13) : Treasures

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Option 1:

  • The Bahai Gardens - The Baha'i religion originated in Iran in the 19th century with two "Devine Messengers" - the Bab ("The Gate"), and the Baha' U'llah ("The Divine Light"). The Baha'i suffered severe persecution and in 1850 the Herald of the Baha'i faith, The Bab, was executed by Persian authorities. As a result, the community's main prophet - Baha' U'lla - and his 19 followers fled to the Land of Israel, where they were able to operate under the watchful eye of the Ottoman governor. in the 1950's, the Baha'i decided to build their World Center in Haifa: incredible gardens stretch on 19 terraces from the top of Mount Carmel to the bottom, with a golden-domed Shrine in the heart of it - the burial place of the Bab. The Gardens were recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2008.
    From the Louis Promenade, on the top of Mount Carmel, we will admire the stunning scenery. Nicknamed the Balcony of the Country, a 400 meter long promenade at the top of the Baha'i Gardens offers a view of the entire Haifa Bay, all the way to the border with Lebanon. This impressive spot offers a truly spectacular view, so have a camera ready!

  • Caesarea National Park - Continue to Caesarea, built by Herod, was the Roman capital of Palestine as well as important seat of early Christianity. Although it boasted a Jewish community in late antiquity, in the 3rd c., Jewish sages exempted the city from Jewish law (Halacha) because by this time most of the inhabitants were non-Jewish. The extensive seaside ruins here date back to Roman, Byzantine and Crusader times. Explore the 2,000-year-old Roman theater, Crusader harbor and 12th-century ramparts.

  • Option 2:

  • Private Tour of the Land of Monasteries of the Judean Desert - This area is not open to the public, and has been closed off for over 50 years. It requires a special permit to enter, and a specific guide to join us.

  • Check in to the hotel, and glass of wine at the Mirror Bar

  • Mamilla Hotel

Overnight: Mamilla Hotel
Meal Plan: breakfast

5 - Friday (January 14) : Timeless Jerusalem

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Mount of Olives - The Mount of Olives offers a panoramic lookout over the city. There are countless Jewish, Christian and Muslim traditions about Mt. Zion, including that from here the Messiah will come, and from here the dead will be resurrected in the vision of the End of Days.

  • Concert of the Youth Group in Ein Karem - This is a concert for only 50 guests, semi private

  • Ein Kerem - Tucked into the hills of Jerusalem is the biblical Ein Kerem, whose name means "the spring in the vineyard." Step into another world while you visit this quaint neighborhood.

  • Drive back to the Old City

  • Jewish Quarter - The Jewish Quarter is best known for the Western Wall, but there’s a lot more to see and do here. See archaeological finds from First and Second Temple periods, Roman ruins, and vibrant synagogues, learning institutions which jostle for space in these busy stone streets. The central plaza offers an excellent place to contemplate the power this quarter holds for so many.

  • Western Wall - Proceed to the Kotel, (The Western Wall), sacred because it is the last remnant of the Second Temple that was destroyed by the Romans. Feel the stones that have witnessed so much in the history of the Jews. Place your special and personal prayer in the cracks of the stones.

  • Optional: The Western Wall Tunnels - Explore what’s under the Kotel through the Kotel Tunnels Tour. The Western Wall is impressive, but its greatness is truly discovered when you descend underground to the Western Wall Tunnels. The tunnels run along approximately 488 meters (1601ft) of the Western Wall, giving visitors a taste for the challenge that stood before Herod the Great during this biggest of all his immense building projects - the expansion of the Temple Mount.

  • Home Hospitality and Culinary Encounter - Shabbat dinner

  • Mamilla Hotel

Overnight: Mamilla Hotel
Meal Plan: breakfast, dinner

6 - Saturday (January 15) : Jerusalem-Holy to All

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Ramparts Walk - Discover the Old City on the Rampart Walls which were built in the 16th century for patrolling by the Ottomans. Today you can enjoy a bird's eye view of the old city and the surroundings.

  • Muslim Quarter - Extending from the Damascus Gate to the Via Dolorosa, the Muslim Quarter is the largest of the Old City’s quarters and has been home to Palestinian Arabs for centuries. Meet people who have lived in the Old City for generations, practicing their crafts and raising their families. Browse the famous Arab shuk (market) in the Muslim quarter. Its many stalls sell spices, pastries, pottery, sheepskin, embroidered clothes and so much more.

  • Arab Market - Browse in the famous Arab shuk (market) in the Muslim quarter. Check out the local humus and sweets Its many stalls sell spices, pastries, pottery, sheepskin, embroidered clothes and so much more. Meet store-owners whose stores have been in their family for generations.

  • Christian Quarter - One of the four neighborhoods of Jerusalem’s Old City, the Christian Quarter is home to a rich tapestry of Christians of many denominations. The historic and impressive Church of the Holy Sepulcher, encompassing the last 5 Stations of the Cross, dominates the area. Retrace the footsteps of generations of pilgrims, or eat some of Israel’s best hummus at one of the authentic restaurants in the quarter.

  • Church of the Holy Sepulchre - The Holy Sepulcher is situated on the hill called Golgotha or Calvary. The Church contains the last five Stations of the Cross including the sites of Jesus' crucifixion and burial. Several Christian denominations claim ownership to various parts of the site so holy to Christendom.

  • Dinner at Majda

  • Mamilla Hotel

Overnight: Mamilla Hotel
Meal Plan: breakfast, lunch

7 - Sunday (January 16) : The Lowest Place on Earth

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Nahal Prat - Ein Prat - National park - Nahal Prat - Ein Prat - National park

  • Optional: Dead Sea Boat Ride - Take a boat ride on the Dead Sea in a small group motorboat or in kayaks and see amazing salt formations and scenery. During this unique experience you will enjoy the wondrous muds, salt pearls, salt diamonds, water springs streaming to the sea and sink holes filled with sweet water. Learn about the ecosystem and the environmental issues connected to the Dead Sea.

  • Masada National Park - Ascend the mountain from the west to explore Masada, scene of the epic stand by Jewish rebels at the end of the Great Revolt against Rome nearly 2,000 years ago. The new museum at the Visitor Center reveals the secrets of the daily life of the rebels, the story of the excavations, and how the site became one of Israel’s most important symbols.

  • Mamilla Hotel

Overnight: Mamilla Hotel
Meal Plan: breakfast, lunch

8 - Monday (January 17) : Tu B'shvat is Here!

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Celebrate Tu BiShvat with a local English Speaking Community - Join them for half day holiday celebration

  • Ella Valley - Almond Tree Blossom

  • Dinner at Hamotzi - Israeli Master Chef winner Avi Levy combines a North African cooking style with a Jerusalem flare to create a rich kaleidoscopic of flavors using local ingredients from the nearby Machane Yehuda market.

  • Mamilla Hotel

Overnight: Mamilla Hotel
Meal Plan: breakfast

9 - Tuesday (January 18) : Art in the Heart of Jerusalem

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • The Workshop by Muslala - Muslala is a nonprofit organization established in 2009 by artists, residents, and community activists. The organization runs art exhibitions, urban “art-tracks”, guided tours, and art workshops. Muslala wishes to produce a new model that combines artistic activity with a social orientation. Tour the center, learn about the activities, and choose a workshop.

  • Machane Yehuda Market - In the heart of Jerusalem, a bustling multi-ethnic market bursting with life, art, and flavor, a tasting tour through Mahane Yehuda market is an adventure for your taste buds. Enjoy the hustle and bustle with all the rich fragrances, colors, and sounds this iconic Jerusalem market offers.

  • Visit Sinsila, the Palestinian women that grow bees and produce honey on their roofs

  • Gallery hopping on rooftops in Jerusalem

  • Israel museum - Visit the unique collections and expansive grounds of the Israel Museum, the country’s national museum. Linger over the renowned international and Israeli art, the world’s most complete Judaica collections and the charming Billy Rose Sculpture Garden. You can also visit the Shrine of the Book, home to the exceptional archaeological finds of the Dead Sea Scrolls and other rare ancient manuscripts.

  • OR - Yad Vashem (optional) - Visit the museum at Yad Vashem, Israel’s National Memorial to the Holocaust. Tour this memorial to the darkest moment in world and Jewish history, its children’s memorial, and exquisite gardens. Yad Vashem is an unforgettable place of tribute and remembrance. You'll be guided by a member of the Yad Vashem staff.

  • Mamilla Hotel

Overnight: Mamilla Hotel
Meal Plan: breakfast, lunch

10 - Wednesday (January 19) : Digging the South

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • 2 Options: - 1. Visit and tour Bezalel, the known Arts College, and talk to the students
    2. Visit to HaMifal - "The Factory" is an art community that turned an abandoned 19th century building in the heart of Jerusalem into a shared platform for art and culture

  • Beit Guvrin - Explore Beit Guvrin National Park where you will be able to take part in an archeological dig. The caves of Beit Guvrin hold a rich trove of artifacts that visitors like you have uncovered over the years. Don’t forget to check out the amazing Bell Caves too.

  • Darom Adom - See the beautiful south blossom in the Gaza Envelope

  • Drive to Tel Aviv

  • Check in to the hotel and dinner

  • The Norman Tel Aviv- Boutique Hotel

Overnight: The Norman Tel Aviv- Boutique Hotel
Meal Plan: breakfast

11 - Thursday (January 20) : The Art-Up Nation

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Half day with : Everything Art - Tours and more with Shirel Horovitz - Using drawing, sculpting, video and sound, Tel Aviv based artist Shirel Horovitz, creates performances and installations exploring cities, communities and the relations between people and space. She earned her BFA from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem and her MA (with distinction) from The Interdisciplinary Art program in Tel Aviv University.
    Shirel exhibited in major galleries and art festivals in Israel and across the US and is currently exhibiting a new sculptural installation in Bat Yam Museum of Art.
    Alongside her art practice, Shirel lectures, leads art tours, teaches art and is an art consultant to a variety of private groups and institutions among them Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Alma Hebrew college, Classrooms Without Borders, Ashdod Museum of Art, Azrieli LTD, Hartman institute and more.
    Drawing from multiple fields of knowledge, Shirel weaves into each experience aspects of social issues, politics, economy, religion and more to create a vivid and nuanced image of the Israeli reality. Her knowledge, passion and love of all that is Art, Tel Aviv and Israeli history are nothing less than contagious.

  • Half day on your own

  • Dinner at Habasta - – "A tiny restaurant and wine bar, just a clutch of round tables on an alley just off Carmel Market, draws its inspiration from the market's fresh offerings". Greeted by Maoz Alonim, chef and owner.

  • The Norman Tel Aviv- Boutique Hotel

Overnight: The Norman Tel Aviv- Boutique Hotel
Meal Plan: breakfast

12 - Friday (January 21)

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • The White City - Explore Lev Ha'ir, the Heart of the City, where the first roots of Tel Aviv were planted in 1909. Lev Hair contains some of Tel Aviv’s most beautiful buildings, being at the center of the UNESCO designated “White City” known for it’s Bauhaus, Eclectic, and International Style architecture. The area is densely populated, rooted in history, and with a glance towards the future with impressive skyscrapers, and a high concentration of start-up companies. Bordered by Habima Theater in the north and Florentin and Neve Tzedek in the south, Lev Ha’ir is a gateway to almost every district in the city. Lev Ha'ir is a cultural hub, filled with galleries, restaurants and parks.

  • Carmel Market (Shuk HaCarmel) - The Carmel Market (Shuk HaCarmel), is the largest market in Tel Aviv. Touring the market reveals the taste of the ages of Tel-Aviv in the youthful atmosphere of the city's central market. The Polish, the Persian, and the Yemeni...in this case, it is not the opening line of a joke, but the fascinating culinary traditions that mix in this place. The established market that was founded over 90 years ago, can now reveal its secrets, stories, and legends to you. Enjoy tastes throughout the tour.

  • Nahalat Binyamin Arts and Crafts Market - If your tour is on a Tuesday or a Friday, visit Nachlat Binyamin, an open-air market in the heart of Tel-Aviv that has become synonymous with quality Israeli crafts and folk art. The market is comprised of over 100 stands representing specialty crafts and folk art in virtually every medium imaginable: wood, stone, sand, glass, ceramics, various metals with most if not all containing materials or themes found only in Israel.

  • Dinner at a restaurant TBD

  • The Norman Tel Aviv- Boutique Hotel

Overnight: The Norman Tel Aviv- Boutique Hotel
Meal Plan: breakfast, lunch

13 - Saturday (January 22)

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Day on your own

  • Evening-Idan Reichal and the Israel Philharmonic

  • The Norman Tel Aviv- Boutique Hotel

Overnight: The Norman Tel Aviv- Boutique Hotel
Meal Plan: breakfast

14 - Sunday (January 23)

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Transfer to the airport

  • Farewell-Lhitraot!

Overnight: Farewell-Lhitraot!
Meal Plan: breakfast

FAQ

What's the weather like in Israel?

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It is always best to check the weather forecast beforehand as the weather during Spring and Fall seasons can be unexpectedly warm or cold.

Spring (late March – May): Daytime temperatures are generally very pleasant - around 65-70°F, though it can still be hot in some areas (such as the Dead Sea and Eilat). There is a slight chance of rain, but it doesn't happen often. It can be cooler in the evenings in the North and Jerusalem - approximately 45°F.

Summer (late May - late September): Temperatures are usually in the high 80s-90s. At this time of year, humidity will be highest in Tel Aviv and Tiberias. Other areas such as Jerusalem are drier and cooler, particularly at night. The desert, Masada and Eilat are extremely hot, but dry. It will almost never rain in the summer in Israel!

Fall (late September – November): Same as Spring, but the rain can begin towards the end of the season.

Winter (December - early March): Winter can be mild and sunny, or severe and overcast. There's often heavy rain and, in January and February, even snow at times! Temperatures will be in the 50s-60s most places, but in the 40s in Jerusalem and the Galilee hills, and cold at night. Pack layers and be prepared for anything!

Weekly weather forecast

What are check-in /check-out times?

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Sunday through Friday, check-in time is generally 3PM. On Saturday, check-out is usually one hour after sunset (the end of Shabbat). These times may change depending on the season. It is important to note however, that check-in on Saturday will be at night (usually 2 hours after Shabbat ends - sunset). Check-out is generally before noon, no matter the day of the week (except Shabbat). Please take into consideration the check-in / check-out times when scheduling your flights. In most instances, we are able to arrange for early check-in / late check-out when needed.

If I have a question while in Israel, who do I call?

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Via Sabra is on call for all of our clients touring in Israel. We take customer support very seriously and we are here to help. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions while you are in Israel. A list of phone numbers will be sent to you approximately 3 weeks before your trip. And, while we take pride in getting to know our guests personally over the course of a trip, we would also love to meet you before you travel with us. Click here to schedule a Zoom / phone call with our staff - a short introduction will go a long way!

Is it safe to travel in Israel?

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Yes! It is safe for you and your family to travel in Israel. The Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have a vested interest in encouraging tourism. As a registered tour operator we receive security updates from the Home Front office and on rare occasions adjust our itineraries on their recommendations

Terms of Payment

Deposit is due immediately to secure the booking.

Balance for the trip is due no later than 45 days prior to first day of trip.

Please refer to our full Terms and Conditions here.

Cancellation Policy

Bookings can be cancelled within 48 hours, with a full refund.

Full refunds or changes will be possible for cancellations made as a result of force majeure circumstances, or due to Israel-imposed governmental or air flight restrictions related to COVID-19.

Cancellations up to 45 days prior to departure, the deposit per person will be charged (non-refundable).
Cancellations between 45 to 30 days prior to departure, entail a cancellation fee of 50% of the tour cost per person.
Cancellations between 29 to 8 days prior to departure, entail a cancellation fee of 75% of the tour cost per person.
For 7 to 0 days prior to departure entail a cancellation fee of 100% of the cost of the trip

Should members of a group booking cancel their participation, their deposits cannot be applied to the balance payment of other group members.

All cancellation requests must be made in writing.

What’s Included
A private, licensed, English speaking tour guide and transportation v
VIP services upon arrival & departure v
Hotels throughout the trip v
Meals as listed in the itinerary v
Fees for sites and activities listed v
Bottles of water, as needed, and snacks v
Airfare v
COVID-19 health insurance coverage (required) v
COVID-19 testing (when required) v
Tips for tour guides and drivers v
Travel Insurance (recommended) v
Testimonials
“Not only was the experience reflective of top-notch quality and superb attention to detail, you were treated like family. ”
Elizabeth
2019
“Best Vacation Ever! My wife and I just returned from our first trip to Israel. We've traveled domestically and overseas many times. This was absolutely the best trip we've ever taken. I know many people who have gone to Israel and made lots of recommendations to go here, go there, etc... Ros and the crew at Via Sabra were absolutely fantastic. From shaping the trip to meet our schedule, finances, desires, etc... Via Sabra hit the mark on the nose. They made the trip easy from the gitgo with VIP service to and from Israel; no long lines to wait in and an expert on both ends of the trip to help us navigate the airport, customs, passport control, VAT refunds, baggage and our transport to and from the airport. We had a magnificent guide, Mark Kedem, who was made the trip even more enjoyable; beyond our expectations. Mark has an uncanny knowledge of all aspects of Israel including the geography, history, architecture, food, how all the religions interact, etc. It was like a great history class in-country with great food. Mark also steered us to off the beaten path places and restaurants that were truly memorable and unique. We plan to go back to Israel soon (hopefully next year) and will definitely use Via Sabra and Mark again. They're worth every penny!!!!”
Joe M
2019

Early bird special - $200 off per person.

Available only between October 1-10, 2021!!

Registration for the trip will open on October 1. Fill out this form to be notified when registration for the trip opens, so you can take advantage of early bird special pricing!

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