View Dates & Prices

The Wonders of Ancient Israel

9 days
For an ancient spiritual epicenter, Israel still feels surprisingly contemporary and fresh. Uncover cosmopolitan Tel Aviv’s laid-back vibe and hip Haifa’s Bauhaus style. Then, descend into the holy lands that set the foundations for many faiths—including Jerusalem, one of the oldest cities in the world.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Maximum tour group size: 35 travelers

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 7 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 4 three-course dinners with beer or wine

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Guided sightseeing and select entrance fees

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Israel today.

Tel Aviv 1 night Hotel info

Day 2: Arrival in Tel Aviv

Included meals: Dinner

Get to know Tel Aviv on your own before meeting your Tour Director and fellow travelers at tonight’s welcome dinner.

Lake Tiberias 2 nights Hotel info

Day 3: Travel to Lake Tiberias

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

While in Tel Aviv, get to know the city on a guided tour. Then, take in the sights on your way to Lake Tiberias.

• Walk through the Old Town of Jaffa

• Take in Bauhaus architecture at Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square, Independence Hall and Rothschild Boulevard

• Discover White City, named for its 4,000 buildings built in the Bauhaus and International styles

• Uncover Caesarea on a tour of the ancient theater, aqueduct and hippodrome

• Marvel at Mount Carmel and the Hanging Bahá’i Gardens in Haifa

• Get to know the ancient city of Acre on a guided tour featuring the Knights Halls in the Crusaders fortress and the local market

Day 4: Nazareth, Capernaum & Tabgha

Included meals: Breakfast

Discover some of the region’s legendary sites and living traditions.

• See the sights of Nazareth, including the Church of the Annunciation, where the Archangel Gabriel visited Mary

• Visit Capernaum to see an ancient synagogue and the home of St. Peter

• Stop in Tabgha, where Jesus performed the miracle of loaves and fishes

• Admire Galilee from the Mount of Beatitudes

• Visit a kibbutz to learn about the Israelis’ communal way of life

Jerusalem 4 nights Hotel info

Day 5: Jerusalem via Beit She’an & Jericho

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Soak in the history that pulses through the region as you travel to Jerusalem.

• Stop in Beit She’an, an ancient city with ruins dating to the Roman Empire

• Ride a cable car to the Quarantal Monastery and snap a photo of the Old Sycamore Tree

• Look over Jerusalem’s Old City from the Mount of Olives

• Pay visits to the Garden of Gethsemane and the Church of the Agony

After an included dinner, enjoy a free evening in Jerusalem or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Jerusalem by Night $75*pp Details

Witness Jerusalem lit up by night and gain a unique view of this historic city. Your tour departs after dinner, making its first stop in Mea Shearim, one of Jerusalem’s oldest neighborhoods. Your motor coach will bring you past illuminated walls and churches before arriving at the ruins of the Tower of David, where you'll enjoy a spectacular sound-and-light show.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $85)

Day 6: Holocaust History Museum & the Israel Museum

Included meals: Breakfast

Spend time at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust History Museum, a world leader in Holocaust education, commemoration and research. Then, visit the Israel Museum, where you will get a chance to see the Dead Sea Scrolls. 

Later, enjoy a free afternoon in Jerusalem or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Bethlehem & the Church of the Nativity $59*pp Details

Travel to Bethlehem, a Palestinian city known as the birthplace of Jesus. Inhabited by one of the world’s oldest Christian communities, the town is also believed to be the birthplace of King David and the final resting place of Abrahamic matriarch Rachel. Upon arrival, use your free time to grab something to eat. On your tour through the city, you’ll stop at the Church of the Nativity, where Christians believe Mary gave birth to Jesus. You’ll also explore the Old City and Manger Square. The remainder of your time in Bethlehem is free time for souvenir shopping. Please note: Travelers on this excursion must carry their passport in order to clear the security checkpoint at the Israeli-Palestinian border crossing.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $69)

Day 7: Free day in Jerusalem

Included meals: Breakfast

Spend the day exploring Jerusalem on your own or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Masada, the Dead Sea & Kfar Hanokdom Bedouin Camp $169*pp Details

Journey by cable car up to the desert fortress of Masada, a fortification high atop a plateau that served as the last stronghold of the First Jewish-Roman War. Though its history remains controversial for many Jews, this memorable site is well worth the trip. You'll then venture to the Dead Sea where you might have time to float in the famously salty waters before enjoying lunch. Later, you’ll visit the village of Kfar Hanokdim for a traditional Bedouin dinner and an evening of music and hospitality.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $179)

Day 8: Mount Zion

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Delve deeper into Jerusalem’s holy sites and cultural quarters.

• Head to Mount Zion to view King David’s Tomb and the Upper Room, where Jesus held the Last Supper

• Follow the Via Dolorosa to the Church of Holy Sepulcher

• Venture into the Muslim, Christian, Armenian and Jewish quarters of Jerusalem 

• Pay a visit to the Western Wall, also known as the “Wailing Wall”

Tonight, say goodbye to your group at a farewell dinner.

Day 9: Departure

Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home or continue your tour in Jordan.

Add Jordan $759 pp

Please note: Extension is not available on all departure dates.

Since July 1994, when Jordan's King Hussein and the Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin signed a declaration ending the animosity between their two countries, Jordan has opened its doors to the west. Encompassing sweeping verdant and arid landscapes and relics of some of the world's oldest civilizations, Jordan is one of the most warm and welcoming countries on earth. Not to be missed are Petra, the River Jordan and the Greco-Roman city of Jerash.

Petra 2 nights Hotel info

Day 9: Petra via Jerash

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Continue along the Jordan Valley, crossing into the Kingdom of Jordan.  Stop to visit Jerash, one of the world’s largest and best-preserved Roman ruins before continuing on to Petra.

Day 10: Petra

Included meals: Breakfast

Discover Petra, a city lost to the outside world for centuries. Carved into the red rocks of Mount Hor, Petra has fascinated visitors since its rediscovery in 1812.

Amman 1 night Hotel info

Day 11: Amman via Wadi Rum

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Drive to Wadi Rum, also known as the Valley of the Moon, and marvel at the region’s landscapes and petroglyphs on a desert safari. Later, arrive in Amman.

Day 12: Sightseeing tour of Amman & late-night departure

Included meals: Breakfast

Explore Madaba, the city of mosaics, and enter St. George’s Church. Next, head to Mount Nebo, Moses’ burial place. Return to Amman in the afternoon for a guided tour of the old city featuring the citadel and Roman theater.  

Later tonight, board your flight home.

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 13: Travel day

Arrive home after your overnight flight.

How's the weather?

  • Tel Aviv, Israel
  • Lake Tiberias, Israel
  • Jerusalem, Israel
  • Petra, Jordan
  • Amman, Jordan
Temperature Precipitation
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC

Passport & Visa Requirements

In order to enter Israel (as well as Jordan on the tour extension), U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of your return home. An onward or return ticket is also required for entry. A visa is not required for Israel, however a no-charge, three-month visa may be issued upon arrival and may be renewed. It is important to note that if travelers are continuing on the tour extension, a group visa will be provided at the border in Jordan. This entry visa is included in the price of your tour. The Go Ahead Tours itinerary crosses into Jordan via the Jordan Valley Crossing. If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.

Baggage Allowance

Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs.  Contact your airline for detailed information regarding luggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that Go Ahead travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other internal transfers, which may include train connections or flights. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 total inches (length + width + height).  Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on bag.

Clothing & Packing Tips

To ensure you’re comfortable while out exploring, we recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered. For sightseeing, we suggest bringing a sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers, as well as a lightweight sports jacket or rainwear. If you’re planning a visit to a high-end restaurant or performance, you may also want to bring dressier attire. Also, please remember that it’s preferable to avoid showing bare legs or shoulders during visits to churches or other religious sites (entrance may be denied on this basis).

Health

There are no major health risks associated with traveling to Israel. Especially during the summer months, take proper care for sun exposure. While no vaccinations are required for entry, be sure to check with your doctor or health care provider for the latest updates and overseas travel recommendations.

Cuisine

Israeli food is invariably fresh and very carefully prepared. A typical breakfast may consist of sourdough bread with sheep’s-milk cheese and olives, as well as jam or honey. The range of food choices throughout Israel is immense. You’ll find everything from Kosher meals to dishes with Middle Eastern and Mediterranean influences, as well as the international choices available in any major city. On the coast, fish is an excellent choice, including Ben-Yehuda Boulevard is known for its many delicious ice cream shops.

Transportation

Round-trip flights for the main tour arrive in and depart from Tel Aviv. Travelers on the post-tour extension will fly home from Amman, Jordan. All other included transportation is by private motor coach. In your free time, you may wish to explore the main cities by public transportation. Israel has an extensive—and remarkably inexpensive—transport system of bus, tram, train and metro lines. Purchase all-inclusive passes for the best deal and try to avoid peak periods of travel, when walking is probably your best bet. Taxis are also very inexpensive in Israel.

Electricity

Israel and Jordan operate on the European standard 220 volts.

Time Zones

Israel is two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and seven hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST). When it’s noon in New York, it’s 7 p.m. in Israel.

Currency

The Israeli new shekel is the currency you’ll be using on your tour. Better rates of exchange are usually available in Israel, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. We advise that you take credit cards and dollar bills in small denominations. We suggest informing your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so they don’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges. Exchange small amounts of Israeli new shekel at one time in order to compensate for inflation.

Tipping

At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalency of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6USD/CAD to $9USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalency of $2USD/ CAD per local guide. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping.

See what our travelers say about this tour—all reviews are authentic and unedited.

Have you been on tour with us? Visit My Account to submit a review.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 12/5/2014

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: OK

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Phenomenal Trip - recommend to anyone

This trip was much better than I expected. The tour guides in both Israel and Jordan were extremely knowledgeable. Food was great in both countries and the accommodations were way above expectations. We stayed busy the whole time and yet had plenty of time to shop and look around. We went at a great time - right after Thanksgiving (early December) and this was not the busy tourist season so we had places like Caesarea, Acre, Petra (in Jordan), and Bethlehem almost to ourselves. The Holocaust History Museum is a must see but be prepared for an intense experience there. The only things I really did not care for was the Bedouin Camp in Israel and the light show in Petra but others on the trip really enjoyed both. The people were friendly in Israel (except for the Kibbutz) and even friendlier in Jordan. Would recommend this tour (Wonders of Ancient Israel) to anyone.

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 11/7/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Excellent Exposure to Middle East

The Wonders of Ancient Israel Tour was educational and very informative. My wife and I enjoyed the small group and were able to interact and meet most of the 22 other travelers. Overall, it was a good cultural experience. The tour to Jerusalem and Petra were the highlights for us. Our guides, Raed Makhouli in Tel Aviv was excellent and Mohammed in Jordan was good. The food for the two of us was satisfactory in most restaurants and hotels but lacked flavor and the hot food was warm. Salad selection was very good. The hotel accommodations were fine and the Le Merdian hotel was excellent during our two night stay in Amman. Through out the tour we felt safe and comfortable. I would definitely recommend the tour to other travelers interested in the Middle East.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 7/4/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: TX

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Best Vacation Ever

Returned from Israel 7/13/14 with such wonderful memories. Our tour guide 'Miky' was excellent and extremely knowledgeable of the land. We floated peacefully in the Dead Sea, rode camels in the dessert, Ate fish @ St. Peter's fish by the Sea of Gaillee, walk the way of the cross, Baptized in the Jordan River.. The hotels were extremely nice, the food and wine was wonderful, and we felt safe the whole time. Would love to return today if i could!!

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 5/9/2014

Number of Past Tours: 3

From: NJ

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Best tour guide ever

This the first time I traveled solo in 23 years. Your tour guide Marina Kreymerzak knowledgeable and wonderful with the group. The only problem we had was a stomach virus that spread through the bus and half the tour were too sick to go to Messina. This is the first time I ever got sick on a tour and I have visited 30 countries.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 4/25/2014

Number of Past Tours: 7

From: NY

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Marina: Best Tour Director

We found the trip of Ancient Israel and Jordan exciting and informative. It was thrilling to visit all these sites we had heard about all our lives: Jerusalem's Old City, Jericho, Bethlehem, Gethsemane, Masada, and, best of all, Petra in Jordan. That was one of the most awe-inspiring places we have ever seen: huge, 200-300' cliffs with a whole ancient city carved into the sandstone from around the time of Christ. We were also particularly impressed with the sound and light show on the interior walls of King David's Citadel in Jerusalem. In Israel we had perhaps the best tour director we have ever had on one of your tours: Marina K. She was organized and kept us on schedule without being overbearing about keeping us moving along and not missing any of our appointments. This was truly an outstanding trip. Our only disappointment was about the number of meals that were included. It seems as if that percentage has been reduced in recent years.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 3/14/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: TX

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Israel/Jordan Tour

The tour directors for the Wonders of Ancient Israel and the Jordan extension were excellent, and I enjoyed the tours immensely. However, the true test of a tour company is when something goes wrong. On the day we were scheduled to return home from Jordan, an employee group with one of the airlines went on strike. This caused flight cancellations for most of our tour group. GoAhead Tours promptly began working on new flights for our group, and they took great care of us while our tour was unexpectedly extended for approximately 36 hours. GoAhead went above and beyond, and they earned my loyalty. I am already researching my next tour with them.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 3/14/2014

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: FL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Wonderful Israel

Enjoyed my trip through Israel and Jordan. Saw many interesting and historical places. Liked being exposed to the different religions in the country. Visited many Catholic churches and a mosque. Was wondering why we weren't shown a functioning synagogue? Jordan was very nice too. The people were very accommodating.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 12/1/2011

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: TX

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Can't wait to book again!

Incredible, Amazing, Life Changing and SAFE!

review photo review photo review photo review photo review photo review photo review photo
1 / 7

3 / 5

3 / 5

Traveled On: 2/21/2014

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: CA

Tour Director: 2 / 5

Tour Value: 3 / 5

Wonderful Jordan, Challenging Israel

Certainly the highlight of the trip was the amazing experience in Petra, the polite Jordania guide, and well worth the extension to Jordan. Unfortunately, the initial portion in Israel was smudged by a rather militant tour guide whose impatience, and irritation were on display. While I want to be an "open minded" rather than a stereotypically "ugly American", I am not sure I can contribute his, at times, shaming demeanor to be indicative of the directness and intensity that marks the style of communication sometimes prevalent in this part of the world. With respect to seeing things in a balanced way, I was injured during the trip in an attempt to help a fellow traveler and the tour guide was kind to me in asking how I was and helped me procure ice for my leg, for which I was definitely grateful. He took us to several extra locations like Qmran and a Sea of Galilee cruise, which were rewarding and worth appreciating. Overall, a mixed bag. One I definitely wouldn't want to reach all the way into again, but definitely still grabbed some goodies.

3 / 5

3 / 5

Traveled On: 2/21/2014

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: CA

Tour Director: 1 / 5

Tour Value: 2 / 5

Adequate, but Far from Ideal

Having an engaging Tour Director is critical to having a pleasant time on any tour. It's expected that the Director not only provide contextual information to help round out your appreciation of the sites you're seeing, but he should also elaborate on questions the group has posed in a thoughtful and respectful way. Unfortunately that is not what we experienced through our leader Hanaan. He just didn't seem that interested in providing information to us that was useful or always accurate (there were a number of occasions where details he provided were corrected by passerby or fellow members of our group). He did manage to add a few delightful stops to unplanned destinations along the way which we were grateful for. He also helped with a couple of medical situations (one where a member had bronchitis and another where a fall happened resulting in sprained ankles). Overall, I am still grateful that we got to see all of the essential Holy Land locations mentioned throughout the Bible and were safely transported all around the country as efficiently as possible. The weather at this time of year was perfect and everything got checked off everyone's bucket lists. Thankfully, I did my own archaeological research prior to departing for Tel Aviv which was my saving grace for understanding where I was and why it was historically significant. We all felt rushed at each site, which when coupled with the rudeness of the Director, made for a generally unpleasant experience. On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, Jordan and Petra were extraordinary! Our Tour Director, Hamzeh, was the real deal: engaging, warm, polite, funny, knowledgeable, patient, thoughtful. Basically he was everything our Israel guide was not. The whole day at Petra was just the right amount of time and although we didn't get to Wadi Rum as planned on the itinerary, we were all grateful to have more time to rest outside of the desert. I suggest that some of the sites in Jordan could be trimmed back to provide the option of visiting the Northern Red Sea while near Petra. That would have been a much better use of time in that part of the country than driving for hours on end with nothing to see. For the record, I take no sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict so my views on this tour do not reflect that crisis, just the differences in quality that we experienced. That said, I really wish the trip had been more balanced in showcasing more of the Islamic culture in tandem with Judaism and Christianity (one visit to a mosque in Acre was woefully inadequate to represent this critical faction in both countries). Thanks so much for the opportunity to provide feedback.

 

Jonathan, We certainly agree that a tour director is critical to an enjoyable and educational tour experience. We’re very sorry to hear that your experience with your tour director was less than fantastic. We will surely be following up on these concerns and addressing them as necessary.

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | February 09, 2015

Show More Reviews