EXPLORE ISRAEL OUTSIDE OF TEL AVIV
There are many ways to explore Israel outside of Tel Aviv. You can join daily, group trips that deparat and return to Tel Aviv, customize a private tour with a group of friends or rent a car and create your own itinerary. For suggestions on tour groups and guides, see below.
Where you go will depend on how much time you have, but we've included a few suggestions below.
Drive to the Mount of Olives for a panoramic view of the city. Stop at Mount Zion to visit King David's Tomb, the room of the Last Supper and the Dormition Abbey. Enter the Old City and walk through the Armenian and Jewish quarters to the recently excavated and restored Cardo, the Roman road. See the Jewish Wailing Wall, the Kotel, and continue to the Christian quarter. Walk along the Via Dolorosa and visit the Church of Holy Sepulchre. Proceed to the New City and visit Yad Vashem, the memorial to the Holocaust. Visit Mea Shearim, the ultra-orthodox neighborhood in Jerusalem and learn about their unique lifestyle.
Note: Visitors to religious sites are required to dress conservatively (no shorts or sleeveless shirts) or use a cover up / sarong.
Enjoy a traditional Middle Eastern dinner at Machneyuda in the Jerusalem outdoor market, followed by the spectacular Sound & Light Show at the Tower of David Museum.
Where to Stay: We love the Mamilla Hotel because it is very centrally located.
MASADA, DEAD SEA & BEDOUIN VILLAGE
Drive through the Judean Desert to the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth, almost 1300 feet (400 meters) below sea level. Stop at Qumran to visit the site where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. Drive along the shores of the Dead Sea to Masada. Ascend Masada by cable car and tour the ancient fortress where the Zealots made their last stand against the Romans before committing mass suicide in 73 AD. Descend by cable car. Visit a Bedouin Village and ride camels. Stop for a traditional Bedouin lunch. Continue to the Dead Sea. Cover yourself with the mineral rich mud and experience a swim in the Dead Sea that many believe has therapeutic effects.
CAESEREA, HAIFA, ACCO & ROSH HANIKRA
Drive along the coastal plain to Caesarea, capital of Judea under the Romans. See the excavations of the Crusader city and the Roman port, aqueduct and the amphitheater that has been restored to its former glory as a concert venue. Proceed via Mount Carmel to Haifa for a panoramic view of the Haifa bay and the golden-domed Baha’i Shrine and gardens. Stop at the old port city of Acco and visit the ancient walls and market. Eat lunch here and enjoy the famous hummus. Continue on to Rosh Hanikra, located in the Western Galilee on the border with Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea, for an incredible view of Israel. Take the world’s steepest cable car to visit and walk through the grottos – cavernous tunnels and sea caves. Experience the Rosh Hanikra Sound & Light Show depicting the area’s history.
Where to Stay: There are lots of great boutique hotels and Tzimmer's (cabins) up north that you can stay at. A few of our favorites are: Pinhas & Gaston, Bayit Bagalil, Mizpe Hayamim Hotel, Scots Hotel Tiberias (Tiberias), Carmel Forest Spa Resort (Haifa),Elma Arts Complex Luxury Hotel (Zichron Ya’acov).
GOLAN HEIGHTS, GALLIL, SAFED & KUNEITRA
Drive to Safed, the center of Jewish mysticism, where you will visit the ancient synagogues and the artists’ colony. Continue to the Golan Heights to see the former Syrian bunkers, Kuneitra and the new Israeli town of Katzrin. Visit the Golan Winery for a tour and wine tasting. Option to go hiking, raft down the Jordan river or ride ATVs in the Golan heights. Proceed to "Kessem Hagolan", a multimedia presentation of the area and its history.
Where to Stay: See options provided in Tour 3 above.
The Beresheet Hotel is an incredible hotel built on a cliff overlooking the 200-million-year-old Ramon Crator located in the Negev, the Israeli dessert. The Beresheet Hotel has been selected by Conde Nast Traveler as one of the top hotels in the world and it recently appeared on the cover of the NY Times accompanying an article about Israel’s water desalination efforts. The weather is cool year round, but the summer months are particularly popular at this resort.
If you’re interested in winding down, you can visit the Beresheet Hotel by extending one of the day trips listed above into an overnight visit to the hotel, or organizing transportation with Gil Travel via helicopter (1 hour from Tel Aviv) or bus.
Desert activities at the resort include Jeep safaris into the crater, camel treks and picnics with llamas, but most guests are happy relaxing by the infinity pool overlooking the crater.
PETRA & EILAT
Many visitors to Israel also travel to Eilat, in southern Israel, and then continue on to Petra, Jordan, one of the seven wonders of the world. Please note that Visas are required and must be obtained before arriving. Gil Travel can assist with Visas and all travel details.
For pricing and additional details please reach out to Samantha at Gil Travel at Samanthas@giltravel.com or 215.568.6655 ext. 380 and mention that you’re part of our wedding group.
After assistance with visa and transfer to the Jordanian border, drive to Petra. Arrive in the astonishing rose-red city of Petra, which was built by the Nabateans (an early Arab tribe). Petra is famous for its huge monuments such as the Treasury, Royal Tombs, the Court, Roman theatre, Roman Street, Qassier El- Bint (Palace of Pharaoh’s daughter) and many other smaller monuments. The city itself is 45 square km and is considered to be the second wonder of the world. The visit begins with an optional, short horseback ride (~700 m) to the entrance of the Siq, which is about a 1.2 km long walk. After, you’ll stop for lunch and drive back to the Israeli border where there might be an option to stop at Aqaba and walk around. You’ll then be transferred to the border by 6pm.
PRE-SCHEDULED GROUP DAY TOURS
Prices are on average between $87-$120 per trip and the tours are guaranteed to take place on the dates listed. For additional details and to sign up, please contact Samantha at Gil Travel at Samanthas@giltravel.com or 215.568.6655 ext. 380 and mention that you’re part of our wedding group.