Perched at the crossroads of Middle Eastern history for centuries and the spiritual home to Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike, Israel remains a must-visit destination for anyone eager to understand this dynamic, always-changing region. Explore the historic towns of Bethlehem and Nazareth, tune into the rhythm of daily life in the Golan Heights, visit Bedouin communities in the Negev Desert, and experience a soul-stirring visit to a refugee camp. Thousands of incredible moments, one comprehensive trip.
Local Living: Druze Village Visit and Traditional Lunch , Isfiya Druze Village
Local Living: Bedouin Camp Overnight, Negev Desert. Tel Aviv city tour including Old Port of Jaffa. Akko and Nazareth visits. Sea of Galilee region tour. Golan Heights visit. Kibbutz stay. Masada guided tour. Dead Sea visit with swim. Bethlehem visit. Refugee camp visit. Jerusalem sightseeing including the Western Wall and Holy Sepulcher Church. Old Jerusalem guided tour. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Swim in the Dead Sea, live like a local on a kibbutz, explore the biblical towns of Nazareth and Bethlehem, Overnight in a Bedouin Camp, wander through the streets of Old Jerusalem.
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.
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.
For 2018 “Israel Explorer” departures from May 01st, 2018 will start in Jerusalem and end in Tel Aviv.
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 15, avg 10
7 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
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, walking
About our Transportation
On this trip we will travel by air-conditioned private minivan 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 (6 nts), camping (1 nt, Bedouin-style camp).
My Own Room Exceptions
Day 5 (Bedouin camp).
For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
If you have not booked pre-booked an arrival transfer, you can take a public bus for around 35 ILS, or a metered taxi which will cost about 150 ILS.
If you have paid in advance for an arrival transfer, a G Adventures representative will be at the airport to meet you. If for any reason you are not met at the airport, please call our local support line. If you are unable to make contact for whatever reason, please make your way to the joining point hotel via taxi.
Please note that Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned for that day other then your welcome meeting in the evening, so you can arrive at any time. Similarly the last day is a departure day during which no activities have been planned.
A G Adventures Representative 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. A welcome note will be left for you in the hotel so you have all the necessary information regarding the meeting time. If you arrive late, s/he will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning.
We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier and contact us as soon as possible. If you have a pre-booked transfer, and you 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 Starting Point 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 through G Adventures 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.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Local Representative (Israel)
Emergency Phone Number: +972 54 554 4905 (Simon)
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.
At the end of the tour, we can locally arrange departure transfers to Tel Aviv. Distance from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv : 1 hour (approx 1 hr 30 with traffic)
What to Take
We recommend using a backpack for your convenience, or a medium-sized suitcase 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.
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
Sleep Sheet and Pillow:
• Sleeping bag liner/sleep sheet
• Travel pillow
• 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 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.
DRINKING WATER: It is advisable to drink bottled water in Jordan.
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 jewelery 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 group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it deemed necessary, due to safety concerns. Your Chief Experience Officer (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 and 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 judgement 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.
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. Read more about travel safety for ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling.
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 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 leaders 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.
Please note that all passengers traveling to Antarctica are required to fill out this questionnaire.
The medical questionnaire can be found online at www.gadventures.com/medical-form.
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 group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
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 leader, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy we require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency evacuation and repatriation. A minimum coverage of USD200,000 is required. G Adventures can provide you with the appropriate coverage. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Some tours include adventure activities that require extra coverage (e.g. crampon use); please review your itinerary and make sure that you are covered for all included activities. 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.
Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation
The Planeterra Foundation planeterra.org is a Canadian non-profit organization that helps empower local people to develop their communities, conserve their cultures, and create humane and supportive systems for their endeavours. Planeterra provides capacity building and catalyst grants to get community social enterprises off the ground. These businesses address local challenges by providing benefits for indigenous people, empowering marginalized women, and granting disadvantaged youth access to education, employment, and brighter futures. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating programs into G Adventures’ itineraries globally.
G Adventures is Planeterra’s largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need.
G Adventures’ Dollar-a-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar for every day you are on trip. 100% of these donations go directly to support community development projects worldwide that are implemented by Planeterra.
While visiting 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.
After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we’ll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at email@example.com and we will send it on to you.
Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/
Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation – Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra’s monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.
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.
PRODUCT_LINE: DOIE, ID: 22851
Day 1 Tel Aviv (1B)
There will be the chance for the group to head out for an optional local dinner.
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Day 2 Tel Aviv/Nazareth (1B, 1L)
Enjoy a quick driving tour of Tel Aviv before continuing to historic Jaffa to visit the old markets and the Old Port.
After, make a unique visit to a Druze village and enjoy lunch with a local family.
Continue on to Akko to visit the old markets, Aljazar Mosque, and the unique underground crusader castle before journeying on to Nazareth for the night.
Tel Aviv Orientation Drive and Jaffa Port Tour
Druze Village Visit and Traditional Lunch
Akko City Tour
Make stop along the way.
Day 3 Nazareth/Galilee (1B)
Travel to Golan Heights and learn more about this history of the area.
Visit the Sea of Galilee, including sights like the Church of Transfiguration and the Mount of Beatitudes.
Later, travel to a kibbutz for the night. Learn about this unique communal way of life unique to Israel.
Golan Heights Visit
Sea of Galilee Area Tour
Day 4 Galilee/Dead Sea (1B)
Travel to Masada, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and visit the famous rock fortress. Opt to hike (or ride) to the top and learn more about this ancient place.
Continue on to the fascinating Dead Sea. Cover yourself in the healing mud, bob like a cork in very salty water, or enjoy a little sunbathing on the shore. Spend the night in Jericho.
Masada Guided Tour
Dead Sea Visit (Israel)
Day 5 Dead Sea/Negev Desert (1B, 1D)
Travel to the Negev Desert and visit a village to learn firsthand about Bedouin culture before sleeping overnight in a Bedouin- style camp.
Bedouin Camp Overnight
Day 6 Negev Desert/Jerusalem (1B)
Travel to biblical Bethlehem and visit the Church of the Nativity before heading to Duhaishe Camp for Palestinian refugees. The camp has become something of a permanent town. Learn more about the situation of the Palestinians in Israel and what life in the camp is all about.
In the late afternoon, travel to Jerusalem for the evening.
Duhaishe Palestinian Refugee Camp
Day 7 Jerusalem (1B)
Visit the four quarters of the Old City on a guided walk: the Christian, Jewish, Armenian, and Muslim quarters.
After, walk the 14 stations of the Dolorosa, ending at the Holy Sepulchre Church, and visit the Western Wall.
Spend some free time exploring in the afternoon.
Old Jerusalem Walking Tour
Day 8 Jerusalem
Depart at any time.