Israel Travel Itinerary : A Pilgrimage

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Last month of last year 2014, my husband and I did an 8 days 7 nights pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Today I'll be sharing with you the places we went to in Israel. In a way, my blog is like an online public diary of my travel experiences wherein I get to share the memories I have had on my personal wanderings with my awesome husband.

Israel Travel Itinerary

So here it goes...

FLIGHT

We took a connecting flight from Singapore to Thailand which took 2 hours and 20 minutes and another 11 hours and 20 minutes flight from Thailand to Israel.

TIP : El Al (Israeli airlines) strictly allows 1 check-in luggage not exceeding 20kg. Any additional check-in bag is deemed as excess baggage and charges will apply accordingly. Carry on baggage should not exceed 7kg weight limit.

SECURITY

Security is extremely tight when you go and visit Israel. At Bangkok Airport we were screened by Israeli security officers before we could enter the boarding gate. They will ask you a few questions like who pack your bag, where will you be staying, how many days are you staying and the like. Our hand carry bags were also sent to their security room located in Bangkok Aiport to check for items that are deemed dangerous. Some items may be confiscated at this point. So it's very important to bring things that are only needed. But this is nothing to worry about as long as your going there with good intentions. I do understand why they do what they do and I appreciate the high security they provide for the locals as well as for the visitors going to Israel.

TOUR ITINERARY

DAY 1
  • Flight Touch down at Israel's Ben-Gurion International Airport.
  • Breakfast at the Port Cafe at Caesarea Maritima
  • Caesarea Maritima (Great Harbour City built by Herod with an ancient Roman aqueduct and theatre)
  • Mount Carmel
  • Tel Megiddo + Lunch at the Cafe in the vicinity
  • Mount of Precipice with Nazareth view
  • Cana in Galilee (Drive by)
  • Check-in at Leonardo Club Hotel in Tiberias
Check out our journey at Israel Pilgrimage : Day 1.

DAY 2
  • The Sea of Galilee (Boat Ride Experience)
  • Ancient Boat Museum
  • Mount of Beatitudes
  • Capernaum
  • Lunch at St. Peter Fish & Grill Restaurant in Capernaum
  • Kursi (Drive by)
  • Bethsaida (Fisherman's House)
  • Church of St. Peter's Primacy
For more information about this itinerary check out Israel Pilgrimage : Day 2.

DAY 3
  • Mount Arbel with a view of Mount Hermon
  • Olea Essence Visitor Center in Golan Heights
  • The Golan Heights
  • Lunch at Hagoshrim Kibbutz
  • Caesara Philippi (Banias)
  • Dinner at the Leonardo Club Hotel
  • Short movie watching about Israel's History + Shopping in the evening at Tiberias
For more information about this itinerary check out Israel Pilgrimage : Day 3.

DAY 4
  • Leonard Club Hotel Check-out
  • Harod Spring (Ein Harod) / Gideon's Spring
  • Beit 'Araba / Jordan River
  • Wadi Qelt
  • Haas Promenade
  • The Shepherd's Field (View) + Bethlehem view
  • Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum + Lunch at the Cafe in the vicinity
  • Check in at Dan Jerusalem Hotel
  • Christmas party with our fellow church mates at the Hotel meeting room
For more information about our Day 4 itinerary check Israel Pilgrimage : DAY 4.

DAY 5
  • The Mount of Olives
  • Dominus Flevit (Latin for "The Lord Wept")
  • Garden of Gethsemane
  • Church of all Nations
  • The Pool of Bethesda
  • The Via Dolorosa (The Way of the Suffering) + Muslim Quarters + Arab Christian Quarters
  • Lunch at a Chinese Restaurant on a road leading to Jaffa
  • King David's Tomb
  • The Upper Room (the Room of the Last Supper)
  • The Church at St. Peter Gallicantu
  • Shopping for souvenir items at Jerusalem
To find out more regarding our Day 5 itinerary check out Israel Pilgrimage : DAY 5.

DAY 6
  • Ein Gedi (literally "The Spring of the Kid")
  • Qumran where the 2,000 Dead Sea Scrolls where discovered
  • Lunch at a cafe in the Qumran vicinity + Shopping (Dead sea products)
  • Dead Sea (Float)
To find out more regarding our Day 6 itinerary to Israel check out Israel Pilgrimage : DAY 6.

DAY 7
  • The Temple Mount
  • The Dome of the Tablets / Spirits
  • The Western Wall
  • Southern Steps
  • The Jewish Quarters + The Aramean Quarters
  • Lunch at a restaurant near the Jaffa Gate
  • Israel Museum + Shopping; Note: I wasn't able to continue with the afternoon site visit because of emergency health reasons. :(
To find out more about our Day 7 itinerary check out Israel Pilgrimage : DAY 7.

DAY 8
  • Check-out at Dan Jerusalem Hotel
  • Mount Scopus / Kidron Valley
  • The Garden Tomb
  • Yad Hashmona Biblical Garden + Lunch with a Passover Meal Experience
  • The Road to Emmaus (Drive by)
  • The Valley of Elah ("oak")
  • Joppa (Drive by)
  • Dinner at Authentic Jaffa Restaurant
  • Airport check-in at Ben-Gurion International Airport
To find out more about our Day 8 itinerary check out Israel Pilgrimage : DAY 8.

This is where it gets emotional. I was crying at the airport on the way home. It was such a beautiful country. I can't explain it but there is a strong connection I have made with this country. Both me and my husband agreed that we would come back to Israel someday.

WEATHER

We went on December which is the beginning of the winter season. That time period is also their rainy season. The weather to the different places we went to are very inconsistent. In the mountain tops it could get very cold but to some places it could be a bit warmer. So it's very important to bring proper attire as well as water-resistant clothes like raincoats and an umbrella.

WINTER SEASON - December to February
SPRING SEASON - March to May
SUMMER SEASON - June to August
AUTUMN SEASON - September to November

TRAVEL COST

We went to the tour together with our fellow church goers at New Creation Church. Omega Tours & Travel Pte Ltd arranged everything from our flights to and fro, hotel, tour itinerary, tippings and the likes. There are many churchgoers interested to join this tour, so 6 months before the trip we paid $1500 SGD per pax to secure our spot and by early December, a few more weeks before the trip, we paid for the remaining balance.

All in all the tour costs $3230 SGD (base on a minimum group size of 40 pax) including the downpayment we've paid 6 months before the trip. It includes everything from the flights, hotel, food (breakfast, lunch and dinner), tips, bus for the tour and itinerary. You'll only need to bring a minimum of $300 SGD for your pocket money for shopping, souvenirs, bottle of water during the tour and knick knacks.

The tips are already included in the tour cost however if you want to bless the bus driver and tour guide with more you may do so graciously.

TOUR COMPANY

As mentioned Omega Tours and Travel Pte Ltd took care of the bookings from our flights to and fro, to the hotels, tips and the likes to Israel. You might be interested to check out Omega Tours and Travel Pte Ltd website from this link.

And the company who toured us around in Israel is called Sar-El Tours & Conferences. You might want to check them out from this link too. Just in case you'll want to book your own flights and hotels and need a tour guide for your trip in Israel.

FOOD

The food is awesome! I've grown to love it. And I was actually craving for it now. Israeli cuisine offers a great variety of tastes and its richness comes from its diverse ethnic groups and cultures.

Israel Travel Itinerary

WHAT ELSE?

Need I say more? Do let me know your questions and queries in the comment section below. I believe I've covered most of it here. :D

Have a blessed day ahead.



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