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From the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea, Nazareth to Jerusalem, journey beyond the reach of typical Jerusalem walking tours.

Follow the footpaths of figures from three of the world’s major religions during one epic walking adventure. In this storied region, we found the most rewarding and inspirational trails, and some fascinating people to reveal the real Israel to you – a date farmer, a Jew and an Arab who run a hostel together, residents of kibbutzim and moshavim, and wine growers. Ancient pilgrim paths upon sacred soils deliver you to Masada and Nazareth … the Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee … Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, Qumran, and the Valley of Elah … and finally to the very heart of the Holy Land, Jerusalem. This is so much more than other Jerusalam walking tours. This is a meditative journey unlike any other you’ll ever take.

Highlights

  • Walk the Israel National Trail to Caesarea, the remarkable ancient Herodian port city on the Mediterranean.
  • Rise early for a sunrise hike up to the heights of Masada National Park, where you marvel at sweeping views of the Dead Sea.
  • Sail in the wake of Biblical legends during a private cruise on the Sea of Galilee in a replica traditional wooden boat.
  • Stroll the scenic Valley of Elah, where David famously confronted Goliath, rewarding yourself with a wine tasting and lunch in a Judaean vineyard.
  • Follow in the footsteps of Jesus along the Gospel Trail to the Biblical towns of Nazareth and Capernaum.
On all Guided Adventures you can count on...
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Expert local guides to introduce you to the best of your destination
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Off-the-beaten-path places you’d never find on your own
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Delicious multi-course meals—a majority are included
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A maximum of 18 fun-loving fellow travelers to share the journey
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Gracious accommodations that are a clean, comfortable home away from home
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Experts to handle all the details
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Flight + Tour Combos include plane tickets, airport shuttles, and pre- and post-tour accommodations

Itinerary

Sat, Mar 19 to Mon, Mar 28 - 2022

Show Itinerary:

All you have to do is get to the airport. On our Flight + Tour Combos, we’ll take care of the rest, handling all the logistics, so you can travel with peace of mind. Spend your first night aloft and arrive refreshed for an unforgettable trip.

Start off your first day in Tel Aviv right by having a Country Walkers representative greet you at the airport. A complimentary car service will whisk you to your centrally located hotel. From here, you are perfectly positioned to explore this charming city at your leisure.

Israel National Trail to Caesarea; 4 miles, easy. Nazareth; 1 mile, easy

Begin your day with a typical Israeli breakfast, perhaps including a selection of breads, olives and cheeses. You meet your guides in the hotel lobby at 9:00 a.m. to get underway with your walking adventure. They’ll be wearing Country Walkers shirts.

Head out of the city to the small seaside town of Jisr az-Zarqa. Located within Israel’s Haifa District, this modest settlement has been the site of some fascinating archaeological finds ranging from 1st-century pottery to tall amphora vessels dating from the 4th to the 7th centuries. It is also the start of your four-mile walk on the Israel National Trail, or INT.

Inaugurated in 1995, the INT stretches 631 miles from the northern Lebanese border to the southern Red Sea shores of Israel. National Geographic recognizes it as one of the world’s Top 20 “epic trails” and it has been hailed for delivering walkers to a mix of revered Biblical landscapes and the everyday lives of today’s Israel.

Your destination is the old city of Caesarea. Along the way, you pass an Arab village and pause to talk with your guide about the coexistence between Jews and Arabs. It’s a complex issue with a long past that is sure to be illuminated during this compelling discussion. You also visit a local hostel owned by a Jewish woman and an Arabian man. They share their stories with you and reveal how their talents and dedication complement each other to run a dynamic business.

As you approach Caesarea, you stroll the soft sands of a Mediterranean beach. Walk right into the remains of ancient Caesarea Maritima. The city and harbor were constructed under the rule of Herod the Great around 20 BC and became an important Roman capital and center of Christianity until the Muslim conquest of 640. Today, its treasures include a vast amphitheater, hippodrome, an aqueduct that once brought water from Mount Carmel and other remarkably preserved structures.

After lunch here, you travel to Nazareth, said to be the childhood home of Jesus. At Mt. Precipice, where nonbelievers tried to push him from the summit, you marvel at the surrounding vistas from a magnificent lookout. Then follow the Gospel Trail for a mile in the direction of your next destination: the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus is believed to have walked on water.

This region is renowned as the Cradle of Christianity. No matter your faith, it is impossible not to be moved when you visit the places where Jesus is believed to have visited and as you gaze upon the landscapes that he witnessed. You experience more tomorrow. This evening, settle in to your hotel and enjoy a traditional dinner at the rooftop restaurant and bar.

Accommodation: Sofia Sea of Galilee Hotel, Tiberias
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

6 miles, moderate, 650-ft. elevation loss

After breakfast, you stop by a local kibbutz to spend time with its gracious residents. These collective communities sprang up around Israel in the early 20th century; today there are hundreds and they comprise almost 10% of the nation’s industry and 40% of its agriculture. During your visit, you learn what it’s like to live in this unique type of society.

Leave the kibbutz on foot, picking up the Gospel Trail for a four-mile walk through legendary landscapes, the Sea of Galilee shimmering in the distance. Your footfalls lead to stunning views of the Horns of Hattin, a pair of extinct volcano peaks overlooking the plains. Some scholars believe this is where Jesus delivered his Sermon on the Mount. Continue traversing these arable lands and stop to visit the tomb of Nabi Shu’ayb, a religious prophet associated with the Arabic-speaking Druze religion, followed by almost a million believers in the Levant.

You pause in Arbel, a small moshav, or cooperative agricultural community of individual farmers. Your guide accompanies you to a charming tavern on the Sea of Galilee where a delicious lunch and friendly hosts await. After, you hike the final section of The Gospel Trail.

Begin the two-mile stretch in Tabgha, where legend says that the miracle of the multiplication of loaves and fishes occurred. You conclude your walk at Capernaum on the northwestern shores of the Sea of Galilee and the center of Jesus’ ministry. There’ll be time to explore the remains of two ancient synagogues here, one built atop the other, and the house-turned-church that is thought to have been the home of Saint Peter.

Next you embark a replica of a traditional boat for a cruise along the Sea of Galilee. There may also be time to visit the Yigal Allon Museum, home of the so-called “Jesus Boat,” a wooden hull dating to Biblical times that was discovered in the sea’s waters during a 1986 drought. (Note that the entrance fee to Yigal Allon Museum is at your own expense).

Later, you arrive at your Tiberias hotel on the sea’s shores. Dinner is on your own at the hotel or at a restaurant in town.

Accommodation: Sofia Sea of Galilee Hotel, Tiberias
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

3 miles, moderate with some challenging sections, 1,050-ft. elevation gain and 900-ft. elevation loss. Qumran; 2 miles, moderate with challenging sections

After another delicious breakfast, you hike to the magnificent peak of Sartaba, with spectacular views of the Jordan Rift Valley, carved over millennia by the flow of the revered Jordan River. A hilltop fortress known as Alexandrium crowned this summit from the 1st century BC to the 1st century AD. As you walk, take in the stark beauty of the undulating terrain, ideal for growing a profusion of dates. Later, you learn all about this sweet meaty fruit from a local farmer. During your chat, he provides insight into the intricacies and challenges of agriculture in the arid Judaean Desert, with ample dates for sampling.

Next, you visit Qumran and its stunning desert cliffs. After lunch at the site, venture on foot to its most famous spot – the Qumran Caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in the mid-20th century. Your walk is as inspiring as the parchments themselves as you’re surrounded by hulking red-stone walls. It’s easy to understand that the highly ritualistic Essene Jews who are believed to have lived here centuries ago were inspired to settle amidst this beauty for religious purposes.

After your invigoratingly scenic hike, arrive at the famed Dead Sea, the lowest land elevation on Earth and almost ten times as salty as the ocean. You might have a refreshing float in its mineral-rich waters before settling into our oasis just five minutes from its shores. Savor a well-earned and delicious meal at the hotel this evening, part of a working kibbutz.

This very special place on the shores of the Dead Sea evokes a resort-style atmosphere in the middle of the desert. Operated by professional staff, it boasts beautiful swimming pools, lush botanical gardens, dramatic baobab trees, an indulgent spa offering treatments and wellness activities, and two restaurants serving delicious Israeli cuisine. Hoteliers here are fond of saying that the Ein Gedi Hotel was founded by guests, not by owners, when members of the nearby Ein Gedi Kibbutz frequented the then-undeveloped shores. Word of the secluded spot spread, and soon other members followed until wooden cabins and other facilities were gradually brought in. Today, it offers a taste of luxury on the Dead Sea.

Accommodation: Ein Gedi Hotel, Dead Sea
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

2 miles, moderate, 1,500-ft. elevation gain and 650-ft. elevation loss or 3 miles, difficult 1,500-ft. elevation gain and 650-ft. elevation loss. Ein Gedi Nature Reserve; 3 miles, easy

Early risers can join a spectacular sunrise hike to Masada, an ancient fortress perched atop a secluded rock plateau. Herod the Great had these fortifications and two palaces constructed between 37 and 31 BC. One legend tells of Sicarii Jewish rebels who jumped to their deaths from Masada’s great height rather than face capture by Romans who had summited the rock. Today, it is a splendid archaeological site on its own, made more breathtaking by its dramatic setting. A cable car is also available for those who prefer to skip the morning hike. After time to explore, descend by cable car.

Midday, relax at the hotel, perhaps lounging or swimming at the pool or in the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea Ein Gedi Botanical Gardens are also nearby for strolls among some 900 species of flora from around the world. It is the world’s only Botanical Garden shared by the homes of community residents. If you’re feeling creative, indulge in an indigo-dying workshop.

After lunch on your own at one of the hotel’s cafes or at the beach, you walk one of the most picturesque areas in Israel – the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve. Your leisurely three-mile amble follows the spring-fed David Creek to its source, passing acacia, jujube and poplar and a profusion of bird species. You might even spot the Nubian ibex or the rodent-like rock hyrax.

After, continue to the ancient synagogue, once central to the region but destroyed by Byzantine emperor Justinian.

Enjoy tonight’s dinner at the hotel

Accommodation: Ein Gedi Hotel, Dead Sea
Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

6 miles, moderate, 1000-ft. elevation loss

Depart the Dead Sea after breakfast and head to the spellbinding Wadi Qelt, a scenic valley in the Judaean Mountains cut from perennial springs. You begin at the incredible Haritun Monastery, carved into the face of a towering rock wall on a ridge. This stunning structure surrounded by orchards, terraces and former housing for pilgrims was built by the monk St. Haritun in the 4th century at the site where he was miraculously saved after being imprisoned in a cave by highway robbers.

A Palestinian guide accompanies you today during your six-mile walk to the natural spring Ein Maboa, whose pool empties and refills with the ebb and flow of the water underground. Tracing rocky terrain, you traverse deep-cut canyons, waterfalls washing over stone walls and other natural pools ideal for a refreshing swim or dunk. Remarkable desert vistas stretch to the horizon and ancient aqueducts wind a path through canyons like serpents. This is one of the most exciting walks in the region.

You pause for a traditional lunch in a Bedouin tent. Perhaps you will savor a typical delicious tender chicken and rice cooked in the ground accompanied by fresh salads. Later, you travel to St. George Monastery, another stunning structure etched into canyon rock. Enjoy a brief tour and a visit with some of the resident monks.

After, you leave the Judaean Desert and head to Mt. Scopus, which shares the same ridge with the famed Mount of Olives. From here, you take in sweeping views Jerusalem. A short hike takes you to a unique excavation site where you can help sift through debris from the excavations from the Temple Mount. Though you are unlikely to find priceless treasures, you will surely discover clay, stone, or perhaps an ancient coin or two.

Later, you arrive at your Jerusalem hotel. There are multiple restaurants onsite, and your guides can recommend nearby spots in the city. However, because you arrive on a Friday, many eateries will be closed for the start of Shabbat.

Accommodation: American Colony Hotel, Jerusalem
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

5 miles, easy. Kidron Valley; 1-2 miles, easy with steep sections

Begin your final full day with another delicious breakfast of Israeli specialties. Then you head to the starting point of our walk at Tel Azekah along the revered Pilgrim’s Trail. The tel – an artificial mound built up from millennia of subsequent abandoned settlements – dates to the Canaanite period and today is part of Britannia Park, a vast recreation area in the Judaean lowland. As you get underway, you marvel at sweeping vistas of the green Elah Valley.

This is the land of David and Goliath. The Philistine giant Goliath is largely believed to have been enlisted to fight the United Monarchy of Israel and Judah. Famously, the young shepherd boy David defeated the giant single-handedly.

Pause for lunch at a winery at Givat Yeshayahu, a tiny moshav in the valley. This region is ideal for wine makers; its ancient wine presses attest to its long history of viticulture. The village was settled in 1958 by Hungarian immigrants and named for a renowned Israeli researcher Yeshayahu Press. Various breads, vegetables and fruits will be on hand, along with other farm-fresh delights. And of course, you enjoy some locally made wine.

This afternoon, continue your walk in the Kidron Valley, starting your next leg at the Mount of Olives, where Jesus is said to have ascended to heaven. The mountain ridge rises alongside the Old City of Jerusalem, providing splendid views of this deeply spiritual place, the gilded Dome of the Rock glittering in the Mediterranean sun. Your footpath delivers you to the Garden of Gethsemane, site of the Agony in the Garden the night before the crucifixion. Tidy olive groves rest on the properties of various churches here; many of the trees are the oldest in the world, dating to the 11th century. Your enlightening journey concludes at the Western Wall in the Old City. There’ll be time to observe the Jewish tradition of prayer at this revered site, keeping your distance as strict religious observation requires.

This evening at a local restaurant, gather with your fellow walkers to recount your time in the Holy Land. Stories, delicious cuisine, wine, and some shabbat traditions put a final and inspirational point on your walking adventure.

Accommodation: American Colony Hotel, Jerusalem
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After a final breakfast, travel to Bethlehem for a morning visit. You first stop at the Church of the Nativity. Not only is this one of the oldest continuously operating churches in the world; it marks the spot where Jesus was born. Enter the site through the Door of Humility and pass remarkably preserved wall mosaics that date back a millennium. If time permits, pause to reflect at the Grotto of the Nativity, the cave in which Christ was born.

After, there may be time to visit the Shepherds’ Field and its sacred chapel in the village of Beit Sahour. Legend tells of the angels who came here to announce the birth of Christ to Jewish shepherds. The chapel, designed by Italian architect Antonio Barluzzi, stands on a rock and over a large cave and overlooks the ruins of temples erected here through the centuries to commemorate the event.

Note: Depending on the season, you might experience a long queue at the Church of the Nativity and the checkpoint leaving Bethlehem.

The tour ends back at the hotel around lunchtime. We provide detailed city information to help you plan your day. Perhaps you’ll try a make-it-yourself falafel on Ben Yehuda Street, followed by sweet cardamom coffee at a café. You might also walk the ramparts of the Old City or find the perfect Palestinian embroidery on Christian Quarter Road. Dinner is on your own tonight.

Accommodation: American Colony Hotel, Jerusalem
Included Meals: Breakfast

After an included breakfast this morning, complimentary transportation is provided to Ben Gurion International Airport, based on your departure time.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Mon, Mar 21 to Sun, Mar 27 - 2022

Show Itinerary:

Israel National Trail to Caesarea; 4 miles, easy. Nazareth; 1 mile, easy

You meet your guides at 9:00 a.m. in the lobby of the Market House Hotel in Tel Aviv, Israel. They’ll be wearing Country Walkers shirts. Plan to have a hearty breakfast beforehand.

Head out of the city to the small seaside town of Jisr az-Zarqa. Located within Israel’s Haifa District, this modest settlement has been the site of some fascinating archaeological finds ranging from 1st-century pottery to tall amphora vessels dating from the 4th to the 7th centuries. It is also the start of your four-mile walk on the Israel National Trail, or INT.

Inaugurated in 1995, the INT stretches 631 miles from the northern Lebanese border to the southern Red Sea shores of Israel. National Geographic recognizes it as one of the world’s Top 20 “epic trails” and it has been hailed for delivering walkers to a mix of revered Biblical landscapes and the everyday lives of today’s Israel.

Your destination is the old city of Caesarea. Along the way, you pass an Arab village and pause to talk with your guide about the coexistence between Jews and Arabs. It’s a complex issue with a long past that is sure to be illuminated during this compelling discussion. You also visit a local hostel owned by a Jewish woman and an Arabian man. They share their stories with you and reveal how their talents and dedication complement each other to run a dynamic business.

Your destination is the old city of Caesarea. Along the way, you pass an Arab village and pause to talk with your guide about the coexistence between Jews and Arabs. It’s a complex issue with a long past that is sure to be illuminated during this compelling discussion. You also visit a local hostel owned by a Jewish woman and an Arabian man. They share their stories with you and reveal how their talents and dedication complement each other to run a dynamic business.

As you approach Caesarea, you stroll the soft sands of a Mediterranean beach. Walk right into the remains of ancient Caesarea Maritima. The city and harbor were constructed under the rule of Herod the Great around 20 BC and became an important Roman capital and center of Christianity until the Muslim conquest of 640. Today, its treasures include a vast amphitheater, hippodrome, an aqueduct that once brought water from Mount Carmel and other remarkably preserved structures.

After lunch here, you travel to Nazareth, said to be the childhood home of Jesus. At Mt. Precipice, where nonbelievers tried to push him from the summit, you marvel at the surrounding vistas from a magnificent lookout. Then follow the Gospel Trail for a mile in the direction of your next destination: the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus is believed to have walked on water.

This region is renowned as the Cradle of Christianity. No matter your faith, it is impossible not to be moved when you visit the places where Jesus is believed to have visited and as you gaze upon the landscapes that he witnessed. You experience more tomorrow. This evening, settle in to your hotel and enjoy a traditional dinner at the rooftop restaurant and bar.

Accommodation: Sofia Sea of Galilee Hotel, Tiberias
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

6 miles, moderate, 650-ft. elevation loss

After breakfast, you stop by a local kibbutz to spend time with its gracious residents. These collective communities sprang up around Israel in the early 20th century; today there are hundreds and they comprise almost 10% of the nation’s industry and 40% of its agriculture. During your visit, you learn what it’s like to live in this unique type of society.

Leave the kibbutz on foot, picking up the Gospel Trail for a four-mile walk through legendary landscapes, the Sea of Galilee shimmering in the distance. Your footfalls lead to stunning views of the Horns of Hattin, a pair of extinct volcano peaks overlooking the plains. Some scholars believe this is where Jesus delivered his Sermon on the Mount. Continue traversing these arable lands and stop to visit the tomb of Nabi Shu’ayb, a religious prophet associated with the Arabic-speaking Druze religion, followed by almost a million believers in the Levant.

You pause in Arbel, a small moshav, or cooperative agricultural community of individual farmers. Your guide accompanies you to a charming tavern on the Sea of Galilee where a delicious lunch and friendly hosts await. After, you hike the final section of The Gospel Trail.

Begin the two-mile stretch in Tabgha, where legend says that the miracle of the multiplication of loaves and fishes occurred. You conclude your walk at Capernaum on the northwestern shores of the Sea of Galilee and the center of Jesus’ ministry. There’ll be time to explore the remains of two ancient synagogues here, one built atop the other, and the house-turned-church that is thought to have been the home of Saint Peter.

Next you embark a replica of a traditional boat for a cruise along the Sea of Galilee. There may also be time to visit the Yigal Allon Museum, home of the so-called “Jesus Boat,” a wooden hull dating to Biblical times that was discovered in the sea’s waters during a 1986 drought. (Note that the entrance fee to Yigal Allon Museum is at your own expense).

Later, you arrive at your Tiberias hotel on the sea’s shores. Dinner is on your own at the hotel or at a restaurant in town.

Accommodation: Sofia Sea of Galilee Hotel, Tiberias
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

3 miles, moderate with some challenging sections, 1,050-ft. elevation gain and 900-ft. elevation loss. Qumran; 2 miles, moderate with challenging sections

After another delicious breakfast, you hike to the magnificent peak of Sartaba, with spectacular views of the Jordan Rift Valley, carved over millennia by the flow of the revered Jordan River. A hilltop fortress known as Alexandrium crowned this summit from the 1st century BC to the 1st century AD. As you walk, take in the stark beauty of the undulating terrain, ideal for growing a profusion of dates. Later, you learn all about this sweet meaty fruit from a local farmer. During your chat, he provides insight into the intricacies and challenges of agriculture in the arid Judaean Desert, with ample dates for sampling.

Next, you visit Qumran and its stunning desert cliffs. After lunch at the site, venture on foot to its most famous spot – the Qumran Caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in the mid-20th century. Your walk is as inspiring as the parchments themselves as you’re surrounded by hulking red-stone walls. It’s easy to understand that the highly ritualistic Essene Jews who are believed to have lived here centuries ago were inspired to settle amidst this beauty for religious purposes.

After your invigoratingly scenic hike, arrive at the famed Dead Sea, the lowest land elevation on Earth and almost ten times as salty as the ocean. You might have a refreshing float in its mineral-rich waters before settling into our oasis just five minutes from its shores. Savor a well-earned and delicious meal at the hotel this evening, part of a working kibbutz.

This very special place on the shores of the Dead Sea evokes a resort-style atmosphere in the middle of the desert. Operated by professional staff, it boasts beautiful swimming pools, lush botanical gardens, dramatic baobab trees, an indulgent spa offering treatments and wellness activities, and two restaurants serving delicious Israeli cuisine. Hoteliers here are fond of saying that the Ein Gedi Hotel was founded by guests, not by owners, when members of the nearby Ein Gedi Kibbutz frequented the then-undeveloped shores. Word of the secluded spot spread, and soon other members followed until wooden cabins and other facilities were gradually brought in. Today, it offers a taste of luxury on the Dead Sea.

Accommodation: Ein Gedi Hotel, Dead Sea
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

2 miles, moderate, 1,500-ft. elevation gain and 650-ft. elevation loss or 3 miles, difficult 1,500-ft. elevation gain and 650-ft. elevation loss. Ein Gedi Nature Reserve; 3 miles, easy

Early risers can join a spectacular sunrise hike to Masada, an ancient fortress perched atop a secluded rock plateau. Herod the Great had these fortifications and two palaces constructed between 37 and 31 BC. One legend tells of Sicarii Jewish rebels who jumped to their deaths from Masada’s great height rather than face capture by Romans who had summited the rock. Today, it is a splendid archaeological site on its own, made more breathtaking by its dramatic setting. A cable car is also available for those who prefer to skip the morning hike. After time to explore, descend by cable car.

Midday, relax at the hotel, perhaps lounging or swimming at the pool or in the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea Ein Gedi Botanical Gardens are also nearby for strolls among some 900 species of flora from around the world. It is the world’s only Botanical Garden shared by the homes of community residents. If you’re feeling creative, indulge in an indigo-dying workshop.

After lunch on your own at one of the hotel’s cafes or at the beach, you walk one of the most picturesque areas in Israel – the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve. Your leisurely three-mile amble follows the spring-fed David Creek to its source, passing acacia, jujube and poplar and a profusion of bird species. You might even spot the Nubian ibex or the rodent-like rock hyrax.

After, continue to the ancient synagogue, once central to the region but destroyed by Byzantine emperor Justinian.

Enjoy tonight’s dinner at the hotel.

Accommodation: Ein Gedi Hotel, Dead Sea
Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

6 miles, moderate, 1000-ft. elevation loss

Depart the Dead Sea after breakfast and head to the spellbinding Wadi Qelt, a scenic valley in the Judaean Mountains cut from perennial springs. You begin at the incredible Haritun Monastery, carved into the face of a towering rock wall on a ridge. This stunning structure surrounded by orchards, terraces and former housing for pilgrims was built by the monk St. Haritun in the 4th century at the site where he was miraculously saved after being imprisoned in a cave by highway robbers.

A Palestinian guide accompanies you today during your six-mile walk to the natural spring Ein Maboa, whose pool empties and refills with the ebb and flow of the water underground. Tracing rocky terrain, you traverse deep-cut canyons, waterfalls washing over stone walls and other natural pools ideal for a refreshing swim or dunk. Remarkable desert vistas stretch to the horizon and ancient aqueducts wind a path through canyons like serpents. This is one of the most exciting walks in the region.

You pause for a traditional lunch in a Bedouin tent. Perhaps you will savor a typical delicious tender chicken and rice cooked in the ground accompanied by fresh salads. Later, you travel to St. George Monastery, another stunning structure etched into canyon rock. Enjoy a brief tour and a visit with some of the resident monks.

After, you leave the Judaean Desert and head to Mt. Scopus, which shares the same ridge with the famed Mount of Olives. From here, you take in sweeping views Jerusalem. A short hike takes you to a unique excavation site where you can help sift through debris from the excavations from the Temple Mount. Though you are unlikely to find priceless treasures, you will surely discover clay, stone, or perhaps an ancient coin or two.

Later, you arrive at your Jerusalem hotel. There are multiple restaurants onsite, and your guides can recommend nearby spots in the city. However, because you arrive on a Friday, many eateries will be closed for the start of Shabbat.

Accommodation: American Colony Hotel, Jerusalem
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

5 miles, easy. Kidron Valley; 1-2 miles, easy with steep sections

Begin your final full day with another delicious breakfast of Israeli specialties. Then you head to the starting point of our walk at Tel Azekah along the revered Pilgrim’s Trail. The tel – an artificial mound built up from millennia of subsequent abandoned settlements – dates to the Canaanite period and today is part of Britannia Park, a vast recreation area in the Judaean lowland. As you get underway, you marvel at sweeping vistas of the green Elah Valley.

This is the land of David and Goliath. The Philistine giant Goliath is largely believed to have been enlisted to fight the United Monarchy of Israel and Judah. Famously, the young shepherd boy David defeated the giant single-handedly.

Pause for lunch at a winery at Givat Yeshayahu, a tiny moshav in the valley. This region is ideal for wine makers; its ancient wine presses attest to its long history of viticulture. The village was settled in 1958 by Hungarian immigrants and named for a renowned Israeli researcher Yeshayahu Press. Various breads, vegetables and fruits will be on hand, along with other farm-fresh delights. And of course, you enjoy some locally made wine.

This afternoon, continue your walk in the Kidron Valley, starting your next leg at the Mount of Olives, where Jesus is said to have ascended to heaven. The mountain ridge rises alongside the Old City of Jerusalem, providing splendid views of this deeply spiritual place, the gilded Dome of the Rock glittering in the Mediterranean sun. Your footpath delivers you to the Garden of Gethsemane, site of the Agony in the Garden the night before the crucifixion. Tidy olive groves rest on the properties of various churches here; many of the trees are the oldest in the world, dating to the 11th century. Your enlightening journey concludes at the Western Wall in the Old City. There’ll be time to observe the Jewish tradition of prayer at this revered site, keeping your distance as strict religious observation requires.

This evening at a local restaurant, gather with your fellow walkers to recount your time in the Holy Land. Stories, delicious cuisine, wine, and some shabbat traditions put a final and inspirational point on your walking adventure.

Accommodation: American Colony Hotel, Jerusalem
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After a final breakfast, travel to Bethlehem for a morning visit. You first stop at the Church of the Nativity. Not only is this one of the oldest continuously operating churches in the world; it marks the spot where Jesus was born. Enter the site through the Door of Humility and pass remarkably preserved wall mosaics that date back a millennium. If time permits, pause to reflect at the Grotto of the Nativity, the cave in which Christ was born.

After, there may be time to visit the Shepherds’ Field and its sacred chapel in the village of Beit Sahour. Legend tells of the angels who came here to announce the birth of Christ to Jewish shepherds. The chapel, designed by Italian architect Antonio Barluzzi, stands on a rock and over a large cave and overlooks the ruins of temples erected here through the centuries to commemorate the event.

Note: Depending on the season, you might experience a long queue at the Church of the Nativity and the checkpoint leaving Bethlehem.

The tour ends back at the hotel around lunchtime. Lunch is on your own.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Accommodations

Linger Longer with a Tour Extension

American Colony Hotel 5
Pre-Tour
Flight + Tour Combo Only
2022

2022 Pre-Tour Extension - Tel Aviv

  • One night at the Market House Hotel
  • Airport car service on arrival
  • City information
  • Daily breakfast

1 Night From $248
per person, double occupancy

Single Supplement: From $198

All you have to do is get to the airport. On our Flight + Tour Combos, we’ll take care of the rest, handling all the logistics, so you can travel with peace of mind. Spend your first night aloft and arrive refreshed for an unforgettable trip.

Start off your first day in Tel Aviv right by having a Country Walkers representative greet you at the airport. A complimentary car service will whisk you to your centrally located hotel. From here, you are perfectly positioned to explore this charming city at your leisure.

Accommodation: Market House Hotel, Tel Aviv

American Colony Hotel 5
Post-Tour
Flight + Tour Combo Only
2022

2022 Post-Tour Extension - Petra & Wadi Rum

  • One night at the Memories Aicha Luxury Camp
  • Two nights at the Movenpick Resort Petra
  • Flight from Ben Gurion Airport to Ramon Airport
  • Airport car services
  • Daily breakfast, two lunches, one dinner
  • Two guided tours of Wadi Rum and two guided tours of Petra
  • Three-day entrance ticket to Petra

3 Nights From $1798
per person, double occupancy

Single Supplement: From $498

After breakfast, transportation is provided to Ben Gurion International Airport. You fly to Ramon International Airport in the south of Israel, where a representative meets you and assists you to the Jordanian border.

You will have instructions to help you pass through the border on your own. Your Country Walkers representative will be holding a Country Walkers sign with your name on it. After formalities and obtaining a visa, you meet your Bedouin guide and driver.

The magical, mysterious desert of Wadi Rum is your first destination in Jordan. After a bountiful buffet lunch, you climb aboard 4×4 Jeeps for a thrilling drive into the lunar-like landscape of gentle sands and hulking rock formations that form this UNESCO World Heritage site. Visit Lawrence Spring, named for T.E. Lawrence – Lawrence of Arabia – the famous Englishman and writer who fought alongside the Arabs in their revolt against the Ottoman Empire from 1916 to 1918. Continue to Khazali Canyon, a breathtaking dry ravine of soaring red rock where you stretch your legs on a 20-minute walk, stopping to view Nabataean inscriptions and drawings etched into the walls. Wrap up your adventure at the massive sand dunes of Wadi Rum.

Later, settle in to your luxurious camp, where your private tent sits at the foot of giant massifs soaring from the desert floor. Explore this evening with additional sunset excursions at your own expense: a thrilling camel ride or a desert walk. After the sun disappears, there’ll be time to admire an endless blanket of stars. Enjoy an indulgent dinner in Bedouin style, a traditional preparation of foods cooked underground. Note that you are welcome to bring your own wine or beer; the camp does not serve alcoholic beverages.

Accommodation: Memories Aicha Luxury Camp, Wadi Rum, Jordan
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After a hearty breakfast at the camp, head back into Wadi Rum to the Jabel Burdah Rock Bridge, a massive stone archway connecting two hulking rocks. Your walk to this stunning natural phenomenon is among the most spectacular footpaths in the desert. En route, you pass medicinal plants used by the Bedouins and inspiring vistas. From the top of the archway, the desert spreads before you in yellow and red hues.

After, you stop to meet a Bedouin family and witness their bread-baking talent. There’ll be time for a visit and some conversation over tea. Then your guide takes you to a scenic spot for a picnic lunch of specialties he has prepared.

Later, you arrive at Petra, the magnificent ancient Nabataean capital carved in red sandstone that was lost to desert sands for centuries. You approach the UNESCO World Heritage site by foot, passing a necropolis and entering the siq, an immense split in the Nubian sandstone. The winding fissure is about a half mile long and leads you through a narrow corridor enclosed by walls up to 300 feet tall. Then, at one final turn at the end of the passage, the spectacular Treasury building appears – Al Khazneh, one of the most elegant remains from antiquity. It 140-foot-high and 90-foot-wide façade was carved into the cliffside in the 1st century.

The Treasury – so named because early Bedouins who came upon it believed it contained treasures – is just the beginning of Petra’s wonders that you explore. The Nabataeans carved hundreds of structures, soaring temples, elaborate royal tombs, burial chambers, houses and even a theater into the rock, inspiring Victorian poet Dean Burgon to call it “a rose-red city half as old as time.” There’ll be time to explore its endless marvels with your guide or on your own.

Your hotel is directly across from the Petra visitor entrance. You end your day here with a dinner on your own at one of the property’s seven restaurants.

Accommodation: Movenpick Resort Petra, Wadi Musa, Jordan
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast, you return to Petra for more exploration. But today, you arrive on foot via a little-known Bedouin walking trail through the magnificent mountain. You begin at Little Petra and its Siq al-Barid. Like at its larger counterpart, you enter through a narrow siq before wandering among its rock-strewn façades. This smaller city is thought to have been an agricultural center, trading post, and resupply depot for the camel caravans heading to Petra.

You depart Little Petra on foot, admiring this particularly picturesque region. You are walking among some of the oldest settlements in the world, including Al-Beidha, dating back to about 10,000 BC. Over 2-3 hours, you traverse open farmland, then follow a footpath across eroded sandstone. The Great Rift Valley opens up to the west and soon, you descend toward Petra, catching sight of one of its most impressive structures – the monumental carved façade of ad-Deir, the Monastery. Pause here for a rest and for some tea, exploring the ruins before following the stone steps of the Nabataean processional way to the heart of Petra, where more discoveries unfold.

After lunch on your own, explore further or return to the hotel for a relaxing afternoon. Perhaps partake of the resort’s hammam or Turkish bath treatments. Your evening is free to sample another of the hotel’s restaurants. If you wish, you may return to Petra for a night tour at an additional cost.

Note: Today’s guided walk from Little Petra to the Monastery is approximately six miles and is rated moderate, with a 950-ft. elevation gain and 750-ft. elevation loss. If you do not wish to join this walk you can be shuttled back to the hotel after exploring the archeological site of Little Petra.

Accommodation: Movenpick Resort Petra, Wadi Musa, Jordan
Included Meals: Breakfast

Wadaa’an! Enjoy a leisurely morning with an included breakfast today. You may wish to visit Petra one last time or relax at your hotel’s spa. Mid-morning, your driver will take you to the Avarba border where you will be met and escorted to Eilat Airport for your flight to Ben Gurion Airport for onward travels based on your departure time.

Included Meals: Breakfast

What's Included

Flight + Tour Combo
Tour Only
Exceptional boutique accommodations Check Check
15 on-tour meals: 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners Check Check
Local guides with you throughout tour Check Check
Local wine and/or beer with dinner Check Check
Entrance fees and special events as noted in the itinerary Check Check
Travel assistance available 24/7 provided by Allianz Global Assistance Check Check
Telescopic Walking sticks provided on tour Check Check
Roundtrip airfare Check
One extra night in Tel Aviv and one extra night in Jerusalem Check
Airport car service for arrival & departure Check
Pre- and post-tour breakfasts Check
Business-class upgrades available Check
Morocco: Marrakesh, Foothills of the High Atlas & Essaouira

Dates & Prices

Flight + Tour Combo

10 days. Includes round-trip international airfare, airport car service, additional hotel nights with included breakfast, and your tour.

Single Supplement: From $1,548

Departing From New York, NY (JFK)

Tour Only

7 days. Includes your tour only.

Single Supplement: From $1,148

Sat, Mar 19 - Mon, Mar 28, 2022

$6,448

Reserve Online

Mon, Mar 21 - Sun, Mar 27, 2022

$5,348

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Sat, May 7 - Mon, May 16, 2022

$6,548

Reserve Online

Mon, May 9 - Sun, May 15, 2022

$5,448

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Sat, Oct 22 - Mon, Oct 31, 2022

$6,548

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Mon, Oct 24 - Sun, Oct 30, 2022

$5,448

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Sat, Oct 29 - Mon, Nov 7, 2022

$6,548

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Mon, Oct 31 - Sun, Nov 6, 2022

$5,448

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