Israel/Palestine Harp Tour Private tours only until further notice.
• Tel Aviv • Jerusalem • Bethlehem • Sea of Galilee • Kibbutz • Jordan Valley • Nazareth • Haifa • Dead Sea
3-day optional Jordan extension • Petra • Kerak • Wadi Rum •
• Small Group • Meet Local Harpists • Concerts • Workshops • • Boutique hotels & Guest Houses • Harp Builder • Guided Tours • Historical sites
Day 1 - Thursday - ARRIVAL
Participants will arrive at the airport and take a taxi to the Margosa Hotel in Jaffa and meet the rest of the group. There will be an orientation meeting and a festive welcome dinner at the Babai restaurant by the shore of the Mediterranean Sea. Overnight Margosa Hotel
Day 2 - Friday JAFFA - KIBBUTZ
This morning the group tour Old Jaffa. Feel free to choose to go at your own pace and wander through the Flea Market or relax at the beach, or shop and meet the group for lunch. The sights, sounds and contrasts of this ancient city will come alive through a walking tour with a professional guide. After lunch at a local cafe, the group will travel by coach to Kibbutz Palmachim, just a 30-minute drive south from Jaffa. There will be a tour of the kibbutz with a local resident and professional harpist, Tali Glaser. She performs with the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra, and has worked together with Sunita on some innovative projects. Later in the afternoon, Tali and Sunita will give a harp concert in the Kibbutz Museum.
After the concert we'll return to Jaffa for a traditional Shabbat (Sabbath) Dinner at Sunita and Fred's home, together with a few invited friends. Overnight Margosa Hotel
Day 3 - Saturday TEL AVIV - BETHLEHEM
After breakfast the group will check out of the hotel, and travel across Tel Aviv to the harp center, Ayelet's String, where Sunita will conduct a harp workshop. The focus of the workshop will be creativity.
Non-harpists are invited to join Fred on a walking tour of the Neve Tzedek neighborhood of South Tel Aviv where his mother grew up. Even though it is in the morning, you may want to visit the best ice cream shop in all of Israel .
At noon we'll travel by coach to Bethlehem for lunch and a tour of the biblical city with a local guide, visiting the Church of Nativity and Shepherds' Field. There will be time to wander the Old City of Bethlehem and visit an Olive Press in action--it will be Olive Harvest Season.
We end the day at the home and guest house of the Banora family, local Palestinian Christians who provide comfortable and welcoming accommodations with home cooked meals. Dinner & Overnight at the guest house & home of Mirvate & Anwar Banora
Day 4 - Sunday BETHLEHEM
All are invited to the morning church service at the local Lutheran Church, where a few tour participants can perform during the church service. After lunch in the Old City the group will explore other parts of Bethlehem with a local guide, including the Youth Center Music Program at Aida Refugee Camp and the separation Wall erected by Israel. You'll hear about the hardships and challenges that Palestinians face due to Israel's ongoing Occupation of the West Bank. There will be time to relax for a drink at the Walled Off Hotel that faces the Wall! Dinner & Overnight at the guest house & home of Mirvate & Anwar Banora
Day 5 - Monday BETHLEHEM DEAD SEA JERUSALEM
Today is a very early start, probably about 4am, to catch the sunrise at Masada, a truly magical experience. We'll take a harp along so you can play on the mountaintop if you like. Masada was King Herod's winter palace, overlooking the Dead Sea, and is seeped in history and ancient lore.
After breakfast on the mountain, we will descend by cablecar, and travel to a Dead Sea beach where you can experience floating in the dense salt waters, more than 400 meters (1,300 feet) below sea level. Then we'll travel along the length of the Dead Sea to the Biblical city of Jericho. After lunch you can relax at the pool and spa of the luxurious Oasis Hotel, or take a taxi to the Mount of Temptations. There is a Cable Car and then a bit of a walk up to the Monastery at the Mount of Temptations, but the view is extrao6dinary! Dinner & overnight, Oasis Hotel, Jericho
Day 6 - Tuesday JERUSALEM
Our Jerusalem guide will meet us at the hotel and speak about the Beduin and the history of Jerusalem as you are driven by bus up to the Mount of Olives above the Old City of Jerusalem. By foot, you'll visit all four quarters of the Old City and see selected sites, including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Western (Wailing) Wall. Lunch at traditional local cafe, Morduch, in the West Jerusalem market area of Machene Yehudah.
The afternoon will include a visit to Yad v'Shem - the Holocaust Museum - to learn about the defining and horrific catastrophe of the 20th century. Dinner & overnight Jerusalem Hotel
Day 7 - Wednesday JERUSALEM
After two very full days, you'll be set free for the day. You can sleep late, go shopping, or visit sites of particular interest. I recommend a relaxing day with a visit to the Israel Museum between naps! You'll also be on your own for lunch. We will also offer optional tour to Hebron. Dinner & overnight Jerusalem Hotel
Day 8 - Thursday JERUSALEM AL AQABA VILLAGE GALILEE NAZARETH
We'll depart Jerusalem early and head off again through the Judean/Jerusalem Desert, this time going north through the West Bank to the Jordan Valley. Our first stop is the village of al Aqaba, in the northern West Bank, where we'll be hosted by Haj Sami, the Sheikh and Mayor or the village. We'll walk the village, learn about the challenges Palestinians face in a village under Occupation, and visit a local development project.
After lunch we'll descend again to the Jordan Valley, and continue north to the town of Rosh Pina, the home of Woodsong Harps. Peter the harpmaker will welcome the group and give a tour of the workshop. Overnight Michel's Guesthouse, Nazareth
Day 9 - Friday NAZARETH SEA OF GALILEE
We'll walk the Old City in the morning with a local guide, soaking up the ambience of this ancient city. After lunch we'll go back on the road for a visit to Capernaum, where Jesus preached, and a voyage on the Jesus Boat on the Sea of Galilee. And of course we'll take a harp along for music and photo ops on the water. Dinner and concert at the Liwan Cultural Cafe, in the heart of Nazareth's Old City. A local Oud player will join Sunita. Overnight Michel's Guesthouse, Nazareth
Day 10 - Saturday NAZARETH
This is a day to wander the Old City of Nazareth and explore it on your own, or join in on a walking tour of Nazareth with a local guide, aurthor and resident, Jonathan Cook. Lunch on your own. Dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight Michel's Guesthouse, Nazareth
Day 11 - Sunday DEPARTURE Departures for the airport.
OPTIONAL JORDAN EXTENSION - PETRA
Departures for the airport.
OPTIONAL JORDAN EXTENSION - PETRA Those of you who are participating in the optional 3-day Jordan extension will be picked up and transferred to Jordan via the The Jordan River/Sheikh Hussein Border Crossing . Our Jordanian representative will meet the group on the Jordan side of the border. You'll be transported to Mount Nebo for its fabulous views of the Dead Sea and the Jordan Valley. The story is told in Deuteronomy of God showing Moses the promised land from Mount Nebo. According to Jewish and Christian tradition, Moses is buried on the mountain although the site has never been identified.
Then on to Kerak and a visit to one of the largest crusader castles in the region. It fell to Saladin in the Battle of Hattin but remains remarkably intact due to this day. After visiting the castle you'll continue to Petra. Dinner & overnight Petra
Day 12 - Monday PETRA
After breakfast you'll visit Petra with a local guide and take an optional ride on horseback through the famous 'sik' a narrow gorge that is the only access. Whether you walk in, or ride by horseback, you'll see the famous Treasury building and the Monastery, Petra's largest monument which dates from the 1st century BC. The origins of Petra date back over 3,500 years, with countless invaders occupying and expanding the site since then. Dinner & overnight Wadi Rum
Day 13 - Tuesday PETRA WADI RUM
Today you'll explore Wadi Rum, a protected desert wilderness in southern Jordan. It features dramatic sandstone mountains like the many-domed Jebel Um Ishrin, and natural arches such as Burdah Rock Bridge. Many prehistoric inscriptions and carvings line rocky caverns and steep chasms, such as Khazali Canyon. The natural watering hole of Lawrence’s Spring is named after British soldier Lawrence of Arabia, who allegedly washed there.
You'll take a jeep tour into the desert and be hosted for lunch in a Bedouin encampment. After this adventure, the group will be driven west to the Aqaba/Eilat border crossing for transfer back to Israel. If you have booked a flight for that night you can be dropped off at the airport. Otherwise back to the Margosa for one more night.