Sponsored by: AIA Tours
Join acclaimed AIA lecturer and archaeologist Jodi Magness and revisit Israel on this active, small-group adventure to explore ancient and natural sites, many of which are off the beaten path. This is a more strenuous itinerary than our other Israel tour, Treasures of the Holy Land, as it includes several hikes in nature reserves to see wildlife and geological wonders in addition to visiting a variety of archaeological and cultural sites. Estimated distances and difficulty of the hikes are indicated in red in the itinerary’s daily headings, but every day with group activities will involve walking, whether around archaeological sites or through towns and cities. End most days at a 5-star hotel/resort, where you can rest your weary but fulfilled traveler’s head and perhaps refresh yourself in their luxury pools or spas.
• Two UNESCO World Heritage Sites:
o Tel Hazor National Park with the ancient city of Hazor which, twice in its history, was the largest fortified city in the area
o Ein Avdat, a vast canyon with caves where monks once resided, part of the “Incense Route – Desert Cities in the Negev”
• Walks and hikes in several nature reserves and national parks:
o Tel Dan Nature Reserve, with the ruins of a 5,000-year-old city and the world’s oldest-known gated archway
o Gamla Nature Reserve, home to Israel’s highest cascade (the 170-foot Gamla Waterfall), the remains of the ancient city of Gamla, and a Bronze Age field with 716 dolmens (megalithic structures of smaller vertical stones with one or more capstones)
o Banias Nature Reserve, where we find Israel’s largest waterfall and the ruins of a palace complex built by Agrippa II
o A walk on Mount Scopus, where we will visit the burial cave of Nicanor
o The lush oasis of Ein Gedi National Park, with a hike along sparkling David’s Stream and the ruins of an excavated ancient synagogue with a perfectly preserved mosaic floor
• Wadi Qelt’s monastery of St. George of Choziba, a breathtaking complex perched on the side of the valley’s walls
• A well-paced itinerary with four nights at our hotel in Tiberias, on the western side of the Sea of Galilee, including a boat ride; and four nights in Jerusalem, with visits to the Rockefeller Archaeological Museum, the and the excavations on the southwest
side of Temple Mount
• The desert town of Nitzana, with ancient petroglyphs and the remains of a Byzantine church, plus a chance to enjoy the hospitality of the Negev Bedouins.