Israel: Timeless Wonders

Discover a land steeped in history, from ancient biblical times to the creation of the modern-day State of Israel in a small group of no more than 24 particpants. This  CAA Travel Study Program is an air-inclusive adventure that presents a great value for those interested in an in-depth exploration of Israel.

Israel

In a small group of no more than 24 fellow travelers, discover a land steeped in history, from ancient biblical times to the creation of the modern-day State of Israel. Travel from the coastal plain to the mountain region and Jordan Valley rift, and experience the myriad cultures, customs, and traditions that make up this fascinating country.

Begin in Tel Aviv, Israel’s arts and culture capital. Take a guided tour including Independence Hall and the “White City” district, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Travel north along the coast to Caesarea to see ancient Roman ruins before continuing on to the artists’ village of Ein Hod, set amidst olive groves at the foot of Mt. Carmel overlooking the sea. In the hills of Galilee, stay at a hotel on the grounds of a kibbutz founded in 1916.

Visit Mount Bental for a panoramic view of Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan. Continue to Tiberias on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Explore Nazareth with visits to the Church of the Annunciation, the Mount of Beatitudes, and the ruins of Capernaum. For those with interests in Judaism, take a walking tour though medieval Safed, center of Jewish mysticism, and participate in a Kabala workshop.

Conclude the tour with a six-night stay at the King David Jerusalem Hotel. Our in-depth discovery of this intriguing city includes the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, the Old City, the Western Wall, the Church of Holy Sepulcher, the Israel Museum and Ein Kerem.

Shared with participants from a cosponsoring associaiton, this tour is sure to fill quickly. Please call us toll-free at (866) 325-8664 or email us at travelstudy@columbia.edu for more details.

Dates & Prices

Dates: March 30 - April 10, 2019

Price: land only  $5,295* per person based upon double occupancy

          air-inclusive from $6,484* ($5,695 air & land inclusive plus $789 airline taxes and departure fees)


Single space is limited. If available, there is a single supplement charge of $1,795 per person. Please contact us to check single availability prior to sending your reservation, or to inquire about possible roommate options.

Airline upgrades on round-trip Trans-Atlantic flight:

  • Business Class – $3,995 per person
  • Premium Economy – $995 per person

(Upgrades are subject to availability and pricing is subject to change). Upgrade prices are in addition to the economy air-inclusive rates as listed in the brochure.

*Rates will vary depending upon your departure city. Please see the program brochure for full details. Rates are per person based upon double occupancy.


Itinerary

Day 1: Depart U.S. for Tel Aviv, Israel

Depart the US and fly overnight to Tel Aviv

Day 2: Arrive Tel Aviv 

We arrive this afternoon in Tel Aviv then transfer to our hotel in the heart of the city. Tonight’s welcome dinner is at the hotel. D

Day 3: Tel Aviv

Today we encounter the vibrant modern city of Tel Aviv, Israel’s arts and culture capital. Our tour features Independence Hall, where the state of Israel was declared in 1948; the “White City” district of distinctive Bauhaus architecture, a UNESCO World Heritage site; and the recently renovated neighborhood of Neve Tzedek. We end the day in nearby Jaffa, visiting the ancient port, flea market, and Artists’ Quarter of galleries and shops. B,L

Day 4: Tel Aviv/Upper Galilee

We travel north along the coast today to Caesarea to see the ruins of an ancient Roman amphitheater and harbor. We continue on to the artists’ village of Ein Hod, set amidst olive groves at the foot of Mt. Carmel overlooking the sea, where artists of all media come to live and work in a stunning natural setting. Here we visit the Janco-Dada art museum featuring the work of founder Marcel Janco and other artists of the Dada movement. Then we travel through the hills of Galilee to our hotel on the grounds of a kibbutz founded in 1916. Later we visit a working farm. B,D

Day 5: Mount Bental/Tiberias

Today begins with a special tour of the kibbutz followed by a visit to a local winery. We continue on to Mount Bental in the Golan Heights for a panoramic view of Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan. Next: the ruins of Capernaum, where Jesus taught in the synagogue on the Sabbath; Tabgha, site of the Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes; and Kibbutz Ginosar, where we see the “Jesus Boat” carbon dated to 100 BCE. We travel on to Tiberias and our historic hotel on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Important in both Judaism and Christianity, this ancient city has attracted visitors, settlers, and invaders for more than two millennia. B,D

Day 6: Tiberias/Nazareth

This morning we visit the Mount of Beatitudes, where Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount. Then the New Testament comes to life as we travel to Jesus’ boyhood home of Nazareth, now a center of Christian pilgrimage. Here we visit the Church of the Annunciation, the largest church in the Middle East and where the archangel Gabriel told the Virgin Mary that she would give birth to Jesus. We enjoy lunch at a family-run dairy farm then continue to Safed, center of Jewish mysticism, home to many artists, and where we stroll the medieval streets. We visit some of the galleries here before returning to our hotel, where we dine tonight. B,L,D

Day 7: Tiberias/Jerusalem

On our way to Jeru­salem today we stop at the archaeological site of Beit Shean, where ongoing excavations have revealed the ruins of numerous cities dating as far back as the 4th century BCE. We travel on to Jerusalem, the 3,000-year-old “City of Gold,” sacred to the world’s three major religions. We get our first look from a panoramic lookout on Mt. Scopus. After lunch at a local restaurant, we get acquainted with the New City, Jerusalem’s downtown area. Then we spend the afternoon at the Israel Museum, the nation’s leading cultural institution, whose treasures include the Dead Sea Scrolls, Shrine of the Book, a unique sculpture garden, and a scale model of Jerusalem from the Second Temple era. B,L

Day 8: Jerusalem

Our day begins with a tour of Yad Vashem, Israel’s living memorial to the Holocaust set on a 45-acre site on the Mount of Remembrance. Then we travel to the Judean Hills to the picturesque village of Ein Karem, where we enjoy an ethnic cooking class followed by lunch served with local Israeli wines. We return to Jerusalem’s New City to absorb some of the flavor of this multi­cultural enclave at the bustling outdoor market of Machane Yehuda (“Shuk”), encountering local residents as they shop. After a visit to Haas Promenade for spectacular panoramic views of the city, the remainder of the afternoon and evening is at leisure. Dinner tonight is on our own. B,L

Day 9: Jerusalem

This morning we visit Jerusalem’s Old City for a tour of the excavated tunnels beneath the Western Wall. Then we visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, traditional site of Golgotha where Jesus is believed to have been crucified and buried. The remainder of the day is then free to explore Jerusalem independently or return to the hotel. B

Day 10: Jerusalem/Old City

We return to the Old City today, starting at the original settlement of the City of David, dating to at least the Middle Bronze Age of 1800 to 1550 BCE. Our guide gives us an in-depth account of Jerusalem’s role throughout history before we embark on a walking tour through the Old City: the Jewish Quarter; the ancient Cardo marketplace still in use today; and the Western Wall, sacred to Jews as the last remaining trace of the wall that enclosed and supported the Second Temple on the Temple Mount. Tonight we dine at a local restaurant. B,L,D

Day 11: Jerusalem/Masada/Dead Sea

Today we travel to the shores of the Dead Sea to explore the Qumran Caves, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered between 1947 and 1956. We continue on to the ruins at Masada, the celebrated mountain stronghold (and UNESCO site) where outnumbered Jews held out against a three-year Roman siege in the first century CE then committed suicide rather than surrender. We ascend the mountain fortress by cable car to tour the ruins, overlooking the Dead Sea. Then we have the oppor­tunity to swim in the Dead Sea at a hotel beach with indoor and outdoor pools before lunch together at the hotel. We celebrate our Israel adventure tonight over a farewell dinner at our hotel. B,L,D

Day 12: Depart Tel Aviv for U.S.

Very early this morning we transfer by motorcoach to Tel Aviv for our connecting flights to the United States. B

Please note: This trip involves considerable walking on uneven or cobblestone streets and at sites of ancient ruins. You should be in good physical condition to enjoy the tour to the fullest.


B = Breakfast included    L = Lunch included    D = Dinner included



Tour Price Includes:

  • Round-trip air transportation from listed cities
  • 10 nights’ accommodations in Deluxe, Superior First Class, and unrated hotels
  • 22 meals: 10 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 6 dinners
  • Extensive sightseeing as described, including all entrance fees
  • Services of a Professional Tour Director
  • Private motorcoach transportation throughout your trip
  • Luggage handling for one bag per person
  • Gratuities for local guides, dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers


What’s not included:
Taxes; passport, visas and associated fees; personal expenses such as laundry and telephone calls; accident/sickness, trip cancellation, and baggage insurance; excess baggage charges on aircraft; transfers and baggage handling to/from hotel on day of arrival and/or departure if you have booked as a "land only" participant or if you are arriving earlier or later than and/or departing earlier or later than the scheduled group transfer(s); any overnight on land due to flight schedule(s); meals, alcoholic or other beverages and all other services not specifically mentioned in the “Included Features” section of the program brochure.

Please call us toll-free at (866) 325-8664 or email us at travelstudy@columbia.edu for more details.