Fly to Tel Aviv, on Israel's Mediterranean coast, and upon arrival meet your Tour Manager and transfer to the hotel for an overnight stay. Rest and relax after the journey, stroll along the seafront promenade or perhaps visit nearby bustling Jaffa. Dinner is served in the hotel this evening.
Board the coach this morning for the first fascinating day's touring, which will begin in the old port of Jaffa and take in some of the sites of Tel Aviv, modern Israel's hub of commercial and cultural activity. It will then head north to the ruins of the great Roman port of Caesarea, which was flourishing during the time of Christ. You'll also pay a short visit to the modern port-city of Haifa, before driving to the summit of Mt Carmel, from where you overlook the Bahii Shrine and gardens and have a stunning panoramic view of Northern Israel and beyond.
The day continues with visit to the Crusader city of Acre, or Akko, one-time fortress of Richard the Lionheart, and with some remarkably preserved architectural remains, before you drive to Tiberias, on Galilee's peaceful shore, for a two-night stay.
Today's tour journeys through a land familiar to Bible scholars everywhere, beginning with a forty five minute Pilgrim boat journey across the Sea of Galilee to Caper-naum, where Jesus recruited his first disciples, then Tabgha, site of the miracle of 'the Feeding of the 5000', beneath the Mount of the Beatitudes, from which the Sermon on the Mount was preached. Journey inland via Cana, where Jesus is said to have performed his first miracle, turning water into wine at a wedding, to bustling Nazareth, where the monumental Church of the Annunciation dominates the skyline, and where St Joseph's Grotto is a humble contrast. After a fascinating day, you'll return to Tiberias in time for dinner.
Another extraordinary day begins with a journey south, passing the site where John the Baptist anointed Christ, and the ancient town of Jericho, en route to the other worldly Dead Sea, the lowest place on Earth. En route to the mineral-laden waters, you'll visit the UNESCO-listed mountaintop fortress-citadel of Masada, where Jewish zealots held out against the Romans for three years following the fall of Jerusalem, and from which there is an extraordinary view of the rift valley and the waters of the Dead Sea below. The afternoon will bring the opportunity to enjoy the unique sensation of 'floating' in the Dead Sea, a truly strange phenomenon, before you make the climb up to the great city of Jerusalem and the first of four nights in the city.
A guided introductory tour lifts the veil on one of the world's most fascinating places, as you drive first to the Mount of Olives for a panoramic view of the city skyline, much changed since Christ stood on the same spot, close to the Garden of Gethsemane, but still a mesmerising, stirring sight.
Entering the city through the ancient Lion's Gate, you'll walk the Via Dolorosa with its Stations of the Cross, to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, site of the Crucifixion. Visits to the Western Wall, or 'Wailing' Wall, beneath the equally sacred Dome of the Rock, and to the Garden Tomb that was found empty on the first Easter morning, complete a truly fascinating day.
Today is spent relaxing in Jerusalem, giving you the opportunity perhaps to wander the colourful souks of the Arab market, to explore the Old City once again, or perhaps to visit the excellent Tower of David Museum, completely at your own leisurely pace.
Board the coach this morning for the short drive out of the city to Bethlehem, to visit Manger Square and the Church of the Nativity. One of the Holy Land's oldest churches, the church, as well as the underground 'grotto' in which Mary is said to have borne the baby Jesus, boasts several relics and centuries-old fragments of mosaics.
Returning to Jerusalem via the 'Shepherds' Fields', where the angels are said to have announced Christ's birth, you'll pay visits to the moving Yad Vashem holocaust memorial and to the Shrine of the Book, housing the historically priceless Dead Sea Scrolls recovered from a cave near ancient Masada. A last dinner at the hotel is the chance to look back on what will have been a thoroughly absorbing and enthralling week.
Drive back down through the scenic Judean Hills to the Mediterranean, making your way to Tel Aviv for the return flight to the UK, at the end of a marvellous holiday. The transfer time is approximately one hour.