A land of extraordinary beauty and belief, of spirit and story, history and hospitality, Israel is nothing short of entrancing. From hip, happening Tel Aviv to the stunning scenery of Upper Galilee, the ancient, crumbling ruins of Tiberias, the Biblical town of Nazareth to Jerusalem, the City of Gold, there’s plenty here to keep you entertained for a couple of weeks or more. We have some super engaging guides to accompany you throughout your travels or specialists to join you in specific areas.

  • Known as the Holy Land by Jews, Christians and Muslims across the world, a trip to Israel is a chance to encounter a land of dazzling contrasts, complexities and contradictions. Whilst Tel Aviv forges ahead – a bustling city of cutting-edge tech, bold Bauhaus architecture, laid back beaches and a liberal dose of hedonism – Jerusalem retains an air of mystery. Its sacred sites are a principal draw for many, sprinkled liberally across Jerusalem’s Old City: the Dome of the Rock shrine, the historic Western Wall, Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Then there’s the West Bank which reveals more historical treasures.

    For a relatively small nation, Israel is extraordinarily diverse and the heady scents of the spice markets, the delights of Levantine cuisine and the sound of the call to prayer drifting over golden spires, will engage all your senses. There’s plenty of opportunity for adventure too, not least in the desert where, over the millennia, numerous civilisations have lived. We’ll be sure to add plenty of colour to your itinerary so that, besides the main sites, you’ll get to experience the kaleidoscope of Jewish life, whether that’s through mingling with the crowds at the Western Wall on Shabbat or sitting down to dinner with a local family.

    Wix Squared has some exceptional guides to get you under the skin of the country including:

    • Art historians to take you through the history and development of art in Israel with visits to truly outstanding museums and galleries
    • Members of the intelligence community to uncover the secrets of the country’s geo-political situation
    • Foodie enthusiasts with whom to sample the plethora of offerings at Mahane Yehuda and other markets and to discuss Israel’s culinary trends
    • Academics to show you different perspectives on each region through visits to private homes and diverse neighbourhoods
    • Specialist guides with intimate knowledge of Israel’s melting pot of religions
    • Adventure guides to take you hiking, mountain biking, camel riding or on a desert expedition
    • Friendly locals to introduce you to everything from secret artisan workshops to Tel Aviv’s legendary nightlife
    • Expert guides to accompany you off the beaten track to discover the history and current day reality of kibbutz life

  • Itinerary Starting Price

    From £5,000 per person, for 7 days including accommodation, private guiding, entrance fees and private transfers (not including flights).

    Random Fact

    At 0.2 km below sea level, The Sea of Galilee is the lowest freshwater lake in the world.

    Festival

    Layla Lavan, or the Tel Aviv White Night, is an annual evening of revelry on 30th June with concerts, beach parties, special exhibitions and tours continuing well into the small hours.

    What to Eat

    The traditional Middle Eastern sandwich, falafel and salad in a pita bread, is still almost ubiquitous. Visit Abu Ghosh for authentic Lebanese/Yemenite salads where the grills are also hugely popular.

    What to Read

    Jerusalem, The Biography, Simon Sebag Montefiore’s masterful history of the Holy City focuses on the struggle between the Abrahamic religions, tracing the city’s story through the lives of its inhabitants.

    What to buy

    Freshly ground Mediterranean spices are available in outdoor markets up and down the country.

  • Jerusalem

    Jerusalem

    The most exclusive address in the city, the King David Hotel has welcomed guests through its doors since 1931. Within walking distance from the Old Town, its extensive grounds and pool area are a huge draw. The David Citadel is a close runner up in a great location and slightly further afield is the American Colony Hotel which is a tranquil, colonial-era oasis where courtyards enclose palms and trickling fountains. For something more contemporary, we love the Mamilla, whose rooftop restaurant looks over the Old City walls.

    Tel Aviv

    Tel Aviv

    Tel Aviv’s hotel scene ticks all boxes. Here, you will find large, facility-filled, seafront hotels such as Royal Beach and the David InterContinental, as well as heritage properties like crusader fortress The Setai. Just down the street is The Jaffa, a historic former hospital and monastery whose arched colonnades and hefty stone walls are juxtaposed with slick modern interiors designed by John Pawson. We also favour some stylish boutique properties including the Montefiore, The Norman, Rothschild 65 and The Drisco located in the city’s coolest neighbourhoods.

    Northern Israel

    Northern Israel

    Kibbutz guesthouses dot the landscape of Israel’s northern reaches and a few nights’ stay is a great chance to experience the local hospitality, wholesome food and informal atmosphere. For traditional accommodation, Scots Hotel, set in beautiful gardens with unrivalled views over the Sea of Galilee, is steeped in history. Established by the Scottish Church in 1999 in the historical compound of the Scottish Hospital, it’s surrounded by relics from the Roman and Byzantine periods. The Setai in Tiberias also deserves a mention.

    Desert Hideaways

    Desert Hideaways

    Deep in the starkly beautiful Negev desert lie two pioneering properties. The original Beresheet Hotel sits on the edge of the Ramon Crater, its rock-clad walls blending seamlessly into the dramatic scenery surrounding it. Offering similarly panoramic views over the rolling dunes is the newer Six Senses Shaharut. The brand’s signature style is suffused through all 60 suites and villas, many with private pools, and fresh produce is provided by its organic farm.

  • Art & Architecture

    Flamboyant and eclectic, Israel’s flourishing art scene covers everything from the dazzling Islamic mosaics at the Dome of the Rock to spirited street art, rich in symbolism. You’ll find it on and in structures ranging from Roman ruins dating back 4000 years, Crusader fortresses and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre to the trendy Bauhaus architecture which gives Tel Aviv its moniker, the White City. Through meetings with local artists in their studios to specialist architectural guides and private access to rare archaeological sites, we’ll show you the best the country has to offer.

    Family fun

    One of the world’s most family-friendly nations, Israeli’s welcome children with open arms and there’s no shortage of suitable activities for younger visitors. Miles of coastline boast wonderful, well-staffed beaches with excellent facilities while interactive museums will keep young minds engaged. Hands on excursions to take part in live archaeological digs or farm visits where kids can milk goats and make their own cheese are also possible. Our highly experienced guides come armed with treasure hunts and quizzes to keep everyone entertained along the way.

    History & Religion

    For many, a trip to Israel is a pilgrimage to bring alive Biblical history and walk in the steps of Jesus. Visit familiar sites such as Nazareth and Bethlehem, the Mount of Olives and the Garden of Gethsemane and follow Jerusalem’s Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Discover the sacred sites of Israel’s two other principal religions: the Western Wall, the Temple Mount and Masada Fortress plus numerous archaeological sites. Modern and living history can be studied at the moving Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum or through a visit to the Ultra-orthodox Jewish neighbourhoods.

    Gastronomy

    Where food is concerned, Israel excels, inspiring culinary legends such as Yotam Ottolenghi. On every corner there’s another praise-worthy eatery, professing to have the secret combination of ingredients for its hummus, falafel or halva. A mélange of influences, the dining scene in the major cities is dynamic and exciting, the emphasis firmly on fun and flavour, not a white tablecloth in sight. We can arrange chef-led market tours, cooking classes and meetings with food historians or local food bloggers to shine a light on the vibrant stories of this sizzling cuisine.

    Geopolitics

    The complexity of this region cannot be underestimated but by meeting those who populate it and experiencing it first-hand, we’ll ensure you leave with some fascinating insights. Besides trips into the West Bank to meet both Palestinians and Jewish settlers and hear more about the tensions between them, we can arrange encounters with local activists, journalists, academics and young soldiers from the IDF. We can even organise for you to visit the Gaza envelope where you’ll learn about the day to day realities of those who live there.

    Intrepid adventures

    Travellers seeking an action-packed itinerary will be in their element here. We can organise multi-day adventures where you’ll bike, hike and even rappel through the country’s most dramatic scenery, stopping off at historical, cultural and gastronomic highlights en route. Head out into the desert for a jeep or camel safari, surf Tel Aviv’s best waves, kayak on the River Jordan and even learn about counter-terrorist techniques. Down south, you can snorkel and dive in Eilat or enjoy a mud bath and take a dip in the Dead Sea.

  • With less than an hour’s flight or short road transfer between them, Jordan is an obvious destination to combine with Israel. Both countries offer fascinating historical, cultural and religious insights into the Holy Land. An abundance of ancient monuments, Biblical sites and busy cities await.

    The direct flight from Tel Aviv to Hong Kong bridges the gap between the Middle East and Asia. Spend a few nights enjoying the very best of this oriental metropolis before heading on to some of the world’s best beaches.

    A shared land border makes Egypt and Israel a great travel pairing, not to mention each country’s treasure trove of ancient wonders. Once you’ve absorbed all that Israel has to offer, you can cruise the River Nile and marvel at the Pyramids of Giza and the Statue of the Sphinx.

  • If there’s one thing Israeli’s love, it’s a good party. Naturally, Tel Aviv, Israel’s city that never sleeps, opens up all sorts of possibilities for a celebration, complete with tantalising menus from world-class chefs. Thinking outside the box is what we do and we have a wide range of contacts who can help us plan alternative, exclusive setups in altogether spectacular settings.

    Perhaps a private dinner in the middle of the desert, or an al fresco barbecue on the sandy shores of the Mediterranean or maybe even a five-course dinner and wine tasting at a bucolic vineyard, hosted by the vintner himself.

    Find out more about Events by Wix Squared

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