8 Day Israel Itinerary (Can be made into 7)
The perfect mix of archeological sites, outdoor activities, biblical places and natural landscapes. Tried and tested, by me. The easiest way to get around is by Car. Car hire is quite cheap in Israel, and allows you to squeeze so much more into a short timetable. Allow extra time if taking public transport, possible one of two extra days as buses are not as regular as they would need to be, for a compact schedule. Hitch hiking is relatively easy in Israel, maybe faster than public transport if not hiring a car. Many of the detailed stories surrounding each day, I have written about so feel free to check them out in the Israel section for more information.
Arrive in Tel Aviv (skip this place, seriously). Drive North towards Haifa and stop to admire the Bahai Gardens. To quote the Israel Tourism description “Beauty, grandeur, and inspired design combined with the painstaking gardening of generations create the unique atmosphere of the Bahai shrine and gardens”.
Continue driving to Akko (Acre) and take the afternoon to walk through the old city, visit the mosque, climb the old city walls and eat dinner in a waterfront restaurant.
Travel from Akko, to Nazareth. Spend the morning in Nazareth whos highlights include the Basilica of the Annunciation where Mary’s house lies, Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation (source of Marys Well), and the Centre International Marie de Nazareth.
In the afternoon drive to the Sea of Galilee and see important sites of Jesus’s ministry in the area. Sleep on one of the beaches at night. Its free. See Walking on Water – Following in the footsteps of Jesus – Part One for a more in depth description.
In the morning, walk up to the Mount of Beautitudes where the Sermon on the Mount was delivered. Then take a short drive to the Yehudiya Nature Reserve (south of Katzrin) in the Golan heights. A leisurely walk is the Upper Yehudiya canyon trail. Crossing farmland and walking down into the canyon. Swim in the hexagon pools, and see an impressive waterfall to finish off, in a relaxed 3 hours.
Couchsurf the night in Kiryat Shmona or surrounding area.
Convince the people you stayed with overnight, to guide you around the area. Take a short hike to see the Nimrod Fortress, or complete another small valley hike in the Golan Heights – one that you wont find in a guide book. See this link.
Drive towards the border of Syria in the afternoon and see the Druze culture in Mas’ada. Stay another night in Kiryat Shmona
Get up early and drive towards the Dead Sea. Stop in Jericho if you have the chance, but you will need to leave the car outside the city and cross the borderpost by foot as the area is under Palestinian Control.
See the outdoor botanical gardens of Ein Gedi, and hike for a few hours into the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve. Optional – skip the hike and drive down to hilltop fortress Masada instead. Arrive back the Dead Sea before Sunset and enjoy a magical view while floating on the saline waters. Sleep on the beach at night. Guess what, its free!
Leave early again and drive towards Jerusalem. Spend the day exploring the city.
Jerusalem exploration See here for an in depth Jerusalem 2 day itinerary or Jerusalem 3 day itinerary.
Jerusalem exploration, return to Tel Aviv to fly home!