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Each Cosmos faith-based vacation is limited to an average of just 24 guests per departure. There’s always room to roam with extra space between you and other travelers—while still getting up close and personal to the experiences you’ve been dreaming of. Small-Group Discoveries include all the features of a traditional Cosmos escorted vacation, complete with expert Tour Director, Driver, and Local Guides who ensure that your health and safety is our top priority. A Small-Group Discovery vacation is the perfectly sized tour—without the crowds.
Total meals included:
Welcome to Israel! Check into your hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. This evening, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers.
Enjoy a full day exploring some of the Holy Land’s ancient biblical and modern sights. Begin by driving to the old port of Jaffa, an atmospheric town, where Jonah set sail before he was swallowed by the whale. Continue to Caesarea, an ancient port turned incredible archaeological zone. Built by Herod the Great in the 1st century BC, the city was one of the most splendid in ancient Palestine and its capital for more than 600 years. Admire what remains of Herod’s grandiose building works, including the restored 3,500-seat Roman theater, the aqueduct, harbor, and the crumbled moat and towers from the 12th-century crusader fortress. From here, travel to the archaeological site of Megiddo, an age-old fortified town with 25 layers of archaeological findings and one of the world’s most important biblical sites. According to the New Testament, this is where the Battle of Armageddon will take place, the final struggle between good and evil, which will prompt the return of Jesus to defeat the Antichrist and cast Satan into the abyss. Continue to Nazareth to visit the Church of the Annunciation, where the Archangel Gabriel told Mary she would conceive and give birth to Jesus, the Son of God. This evening you may have an opportunity to join a candlelight procession starting from the Church of the Annunciation square.
Today's Distance: 121 mi / 195 km
Attend one of the early morning Mass services if you wish, then join today’s included excursion. Bet She’an is one of the best preserved archaeological sites of this region and well worth some time to wander around. Ongoing excavations at this UNESCO World Heritage site revealed time-worn colonnade-style streets, bathhouses, and a theater with perfect acoustics.
Today's Distance: 48 mi / 77 km
Today, celebrate M Mass in Magdala, home to Mary Magdalene, then skirt the Sea of Galilee, and enjoy its scenic beauty. Continue to Tabgha and visit the church commemorating the miracle of Jesus feeding 5,000 people with two fish and five loaves. On to Capernaum, home to the Apostles Peter, Andrew, James, John, and Matthew, and to Jesus himself. Here, you’ll see its ancient Synagogue and the House of St. Peter. Spend some time in the gardens on the Mount of Beatitudes, where Jesus delivered his famous sermon, and meditate its significance. On the way back to Nazareth, stop in Cana, site of the wedding miracle.
Today's Distance: 91 mi / 147 km
Enjoy a spectacular drive through the Jordan Valley. Stop at the Qasr el Yahud baptismal site where, according to tradition, Jesus was baptized by St. John the Baptist. Continue to Bethlehem, birthplace of Jesus and King David. Visit one of Christianity’s holiest places, the Church of the Nativity, built over the cave thought to be the spot where Jesus was born. Here, you will have time to pray and attend M Mass, if you like. Reach the holy city of Jerusalem in the late afternoon.
Today's Distance: 119 mi / 192 km
A day of reflection awaits as you set off on a walking tour of Jerusalem’s Old Town. From the Mount of Olives, take in memorable views over the city’s domes, walls, and rooftops before strolling in the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus prayed on the night before his arrest. Your guide will then lead you into the Jewish quarter, pointing out the Western Wall with its prayer notes tucked between the stones, and the Dome of the Rock, the gold-topped mosque on Temple Mount. Walk the famous Via Dolorosa (Way of the Cross), following in Jesus’ footsteps as he bore the cross to Calvary for his crucifixion and burial, where the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre now stands. Later this afternoon, attend M Mass, if you like.
Today is free to relax, explore Jerusalem at leisure, revisit some of the most significant places of worship, or join an exciting optional excursion to the Dead Sea, the planet’s lowest point on dry land. Travel through the mountainous Judean Desert and pass the Qumran Caves, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. Ride the cable car up to the magnificent Fortress of Masada, perched high on a clifftop plateau above the Dead Sea, where 960 Jewish rebels made their last stand against Roman forces in 73 AD. Later, head for the shores of the Dead Sea, where you’ll have some time to experience the incredible buoyancy in the salt water. Toward the end of the afternoon, return to Jerusalem.
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (The nearest airport is Tel Aviv.)
It may occasionally be necessary to use alternative hotels of a similar standard to those shown.
Located in the heart of Dizengoff, one of Tel Aviv's most renowned districts, this unique 83-room hotel is housed within an authentic Bauhaus building dating back to the 1930s. Once one of Tel Aviv's first movie theaters, named Esther Cinema, it captures the nostalgia of a bygone era with displays of original theater memorabilia showcasing the stories of classic films with regular movie screenings on the spacious rooftop terrace, where evening refreshments are served.
This 145-room hotel is a veritable art gallery that features an impressive display of 300-plus works of art from the Israeli Dubi Schiff collection. A seasonal rooftop pool and sundeck with a rooftop bar, offers panoramic views stretching from Gordon Beach down to Old Jaffa in the distance. Other amenities include a lobby bar, restaurant with sea views over the marina, a fitness room, and free Wi-Fi access throughout. All guestrooms are air-conditioned and feature a minibar, safety deposit box, and coffee/tea-making facilities.
Conveniently located in the heart of Nazareth's Old Town, within walking distance of the colorful market alleyways, bustling souk, authentic Middle Eastern restaurants, and historic churches. This hotel's authentic feel is matched by its warm hospitality. All 226 guestrooms are air-conditioned and offer free Wi-Fi access, coffee/tea-making facilities and an in-room safe.
This 287 room hotel is situated in the beautiful Jerusalem hills, in the peaceful Bayit Ve-Gan neighbourhood and offers warm hospitality, fine kosher dining with easy access to Jerusalem's key historical, cultural attractions. Stylish, comfortable guest rooms feature floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows and are equipped with orthopaedic beds and coffee/ tea-making facilities. A delicious Israeli-style breakfast buffet is served every morning in the modern dining hall and Kosher meals are available throughout the day. Other amenities include a seasonal outdoor semi-Olympic swimming pool, an all day lobby bar and Free Wi-Fi access is available throughout the property.
Our expert Tour Directors help you get the most out of every place you visit - and have a 96% customer satisfaction rating.
We’re delighted to have achieved the Good Housekeeping Reader Recommended endorsement for customer experience.
We are a member of ABTA and our flight-inclusive holidays are protected by ATOL. If your holiday is cancelled for any reason, you’ll receive a full refund.