The tiny country of Israel is a destination that offers an immense amount of history, culture and religion all in one. You can hit all the hot spots in one trip allowing you to experience the rich history that Jerusalem, Masada and Golan Heights has to offer, as well as experiencing the bustling, modern city of Tel Aviv. Check out our complete ten-day itinerary for trip ideas and inspiration.
Northern Israel and Kibbutz Experience
Arrive in the small country of Israel and head north to the Kibbutz Gonen to immerse yourself in a cultural experience. A Kibbutz is a collective community in Israel that was traditionally based on agriculture.
If you arrive on a Friday you will have an opportunity to participate in Shabbat (Saturday is Judaism’s day of rest so Friday night kicks this off) – Kabbalat Shabbat (greeting of Shabbat), candle lighting followed by Shabbat dinner and finally “Oneg Shabbat” (Shabbat Pleasure) program.
Northern Israel Sights
If this is a Saturday during your stay, you’ll spend the day relaxing for Shabbat and getting to know others at the Kibbutz.
If it’s not a Saturday, you can explore and visit the following sites – Banias, the largest waterfall in Israel and remains of an ancient city; travel to the former military outpost at Har Bental and take in the vast views of Israel and Syria; enjoy an exciting jeep tour through Golan Heights!
Head south to visit the ancient and modern home of Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism) in Tzfat. During your visit tour ancient synagogues, artist quarters, window shop and grab lunch at one of the many falafel stands.
Tel Aviv and Historical Sites
Continue south into the bustling city of Tel Aviv.
Visit Rabin Square, a large public city square named after Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated at the conclusion of a massive peace rally held at the square on November 4, 1995. Stroll down Rothschild Boulevard, a long European style avenue in central Tel Aviv, built in 1910; the avenue offers a variety of cafes, restaurants, kiosks and different styles of architecture makes it one of the most popular and famous streets in Israel. Continue on to the trendy area of Nachalat Binyamin and the neighboring market “Shuk HaCarmel” where you’ll find many cafes, shops and unique gifts. Visit Independence Hall where David Ben-Gurion proclaimed Israel’s Independence in 1948. Explore Jaffa, one of the worlds ancient ports. Modern Jaffa has a heterogenous population of Muslims, Christians and Jews. Make sure to go through the local flea market called Shuk Hapishpeshim for all kinds of hidden treasures (and delicious treats!).
At night, take in the trendy restaurants, bars, clubs, cafes and shops.
Before leaving Tel Aviv, make sure to enjoy breakfast at a local café.
Head into the desert for a unique experience to partake in Bedouin tradition and culture. Spend the night at Kfar Hanokdim – Desert Experience – but start out riding camel-back as the sun sets over the desert. Then enjoy the tradition and culture of the Bedouins’ including a welcome ceremony of coffee and tea followed by a Middle-Eastern dinner served in the traditional style seated on rugs and pillows in a Bedouin style tent.
After dinner, enjoy an Israeli style bonfire and take a night hike.
Masada & the Dead Sea
Wake up early and head to Masada just after sunrise to climb via the earthen Roman ramp built 2000 years ago to storm this desert fortress and view the remarkable excavations including Herod’s Palace and stables, the ancient synagogue and the ancient water system.
Next, head to Tzel Harim – Dead Sea Spa. Don’t forget to purchase dead sea mud to use on your body while floating in the lowest place on earth and then head into the spa to clean up.
On your way into Jerusalem stop at Har HaTzofim (Mount Scopus) viewpoint to enjoy the stunning view of the city.
Visit Yad Vashem, Israel’s national memorial to the Holocaust. The museum presents the historic events that befell Europe following the Nazis’ rise to power in Germany and the fate of the Jews under Nazi rule in the occupied countries.
For lunch, visit Mahane Yehuda, Jeruselem’s largest “shuk” (outdoor market) where you can explore many different people and wares.
If it’s Friday during your trip, take part in Shabbat at the Western Wall (Kotel), one of the holiest sites in Judaism. If not, enjoy a night out in Jerusalem to explore and enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
If it’s Saturday during your trip, you will enjoy a relaxing day observing Shabbat.
Take a walking tour through the Rose Garden where you can see Israel’s Parliament building known as the “Knesset” which houses the legislative brand of government.
Spend the night out on Jerusalem’s vibrant pedestrian mall, Ben Yehudah Street. It’s an open-air mall with pubs, shops and restaurants with plenty of live music.
Visit Mount Herzl, Israel’s military cemetary and the burial place of Yitzhak Rabin, Golda Meir and Theodore Herzl.
Tour the Old City of Jerusalem. Visit the Jewish quarter and be witness to millennia of Jewish history, from the time of biblical kings and prophets to modern celebrations and conflicts. Walk to the Cardo, street built by the Romans in the sixth century, situated 20 feet below modern street level (one part is a restored arcade of Jewish galleries and shops, the other is an open air reconstructed street.
Finally, take time for personal prayer and reflection at the Western Wall (Kotel).
Depending on the days of your trip and where Shabbat falls, you may need this extra day to get all the sites to see in, as some are closed during Shabbat.
Terms, conditions and restrictions apply; pricing, availability, and other details subject to change and/ or apply to US or Canadian residents. Please confirm details and booking information with your travel advisor.