Stretching from northern highlands to the southern Negev desert, between coastal plains in the west and the last miles of the Great Rift Valley to the east, Israel is as varied in its terrain as it is complex in its history and heritage and culture.
A paradoxical mix of past miracles and present political volatility, Israel is the hub of the Holy Land, at the heart of the three Abrahamic faiths; its history and culture interwoven in the tapestry of its landscapes, dotted with ancient city ruins, and sprinkled with the sacred sites of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
Jerusalem today is a much-contested city, but for every era since biblical times it has been a primary place of pilgrimage. With the 4th-century Christian Church of the Holy Sepulchre, 7th-century Islamic Dome of the Rock, and ancient Western (Wailing) Wall the holiest of Jewish sites, the capital straddles the centuries and the Israeli/Palestinian border with Old City souks and a contemporary downtown.
Unabashed modernity takes its place in the uber-cool metropolis of Tel Aviv, with seafront skyscrapers hemming its sweeping promenade, convivial roof bars, live music clubs, and a 24-hour culture. Heritage comes in the form of the thousands of Bauhaus buildings of the White City.
Haifa looks out to sea from multi-tiered streets on Mount Carmel’s slopes, known for its merged Arabic / Jewish cultures, the pretty façades of the German Colony, and the UNESCO listed Baha’i Gardens.
Ottoman architecture marks the maze of alleyways in Old Jaffa, and forms the walled city of Acre, hemming the Med with mosques and subterranean Crusader structures. Ancient ruins include the Roman/Byzantine town of Beit She’an, and King Herod’s fort of Masada, on a clifftop by the Dead Sea.
Spreading between the sea and the eponymous lake, Galilee is Israel’s most beautiful landscape; home to biblical sites from Nazareth, now the country’s largest Arab city, to Jordan River baptisms, the House of St. Peter in Capernaum, and the miracle sites of Cana (water to wine), and Tabgha (loaves and fishes).
Jules Verne teams Israel with Jordan to visit the Red Sea and Dead Sea shores, the desert wilderness of Wadi Rum, the fantastic façades of Petra’s ‘pink city’, Madaba’s mosaics, and ancient Jarash; and we combine Israel with Cyprus on a luxury cruise, blending the highlights of the Holy Land with the island’s medieval sites in Limassol and Larnaca, and the Archaeological Park in Paphos.
Temperate in the interior hills, with a Mediterranean climate on the coast, Israel typically has hot and sunny summers with temperatures around 32°; balmy warmth in spring and autumn, averaging 26°; and mild winters with some rainy spells.
Jules Verne tours are timed for the seasons which best suit the journeys’ destinations.
With its ancient ruins, medieval towns, and modern cities; historic places of worship marking the milestones of Christian, Jewish, and Islamic faiths; and the waters of the River Jordan, Dead Sea and Lake Galilee; a tour in Israel displays every aspect of the country and its culture, the landscapes and their legends, resulting in an all-round experience and meeting the varied interests of travellers on our small-group tours.
With 45 years’ experience and a passion for creating extraordinary adventures, Jules Verne takes you to iconic landmarks and lesser-known sites, with expert tour guides who share their local knowledge, and show you hidden gems. Special experiences on our journeys in the Holy Land include an authentic Shabbat dinner at the home of a Jewish family in Jerusalem, a visit to Bethlehem University for an insight of Palestinian life, and wine tasting with the Catholic priests of Cremisan Winery.
All our guided tours to Israel are ABTA and ATOL protected, and we offer a 100% price guarantee, so you can book with complete confidence.
Treasures of the Holy Land
From Tel Aviv, Haifa and ancient Acre, all on Israel’s Mediterranean shore, to Nazareth, the Dead Sea, biblical sites by Lake Galilee, and sacred sights in Jerusalem, this tour through the centuries dips into Palestine for Bethlehem and the world’s oldest city, Jericho
From Jerusalem to Petra
A journey through time, where past and present seem intertwined, this intriguing tour visits Roman ruins and biblical cities, desert camps and mystical monuments, and Red Sea and Dead Sea shores, on its crossing of Israel and Jordan, landmarks and legacies