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What People Are Saying About Us

I have come to expect excellence from Odysseys Unlimited and have never been disappointed.

Michael E. Leahy
Oak Lawn, IL

We have been to many, many places all over the world, with many different tour companies.  None of them compare to the Odysseys Unlimited small group experience.

Nancy & William Sondervan
Sherrills Ford, NC

The small group is wonderful and the quality of tour directors is exceptional.

Bill Jones
Vancouver, WA

All that was advertised was delivered. Consider this tour to be a real value as to sites visited, itinerary, hotels, and travel between sites.

Susan & Paul Krupp
Georgetown, TX

Odysseys does everything with style, but without pretension. Beautiful meals and hotels. Excellent guides.

Barbara Schoetzau
New York, NY

Very early in the tour we saw we got much more for our dollar than anything we could have put together ourselves. The value exceeded our expectations.

Tara Malmberg
Quitman, TX

Good value for $ — accommodations, food, guide, itinerary, and [small] size of group. Have traveled with other tour groups ... and like you best.

Jean Hall
Prairie Village, KS

We like the model – small groups, excellent tour directors, solid hotels, good mix of group/independent activities.

Roger Soder
Seattle, WA

The combination of excellent hotels with a small group is the way I like to travel. I would highly recommend Odysseys to everyone I know.

Patricia Joyce
Peoria, AZ

We love the small group experience.

Dave & Alice Wilson
Williamstown, MA

Odysseys is the best company we have traveled with. You have first-rate tours at affordable prices, with great itineraries, excellent guides, and outstanding accommodations.

Jane & Ronald Decker
Chicago, IL

Odysseys tours are just right for us: great value, nice group size, complete trips, sufficient free time.

Laurin & Phyllis LeTart
Shepherdstown, WV

This trip far exceeded our expectations: the small group size, the quality of the tour director (the best we’ve ever had), the ability to have dinners on our own, the lower cost without a significant reduction in the quality of the accommodations.

Barry & Bobbi Rosner
Somerset, NJ

I thought I would not like traveling in a group but I was wrong! [Our tour director] was so good at making the group seem as one that it turned out to be the best part of the trip.

Donna Stevenson
Dublin, OH

It was the best value in travel we’ve ever had. It was a wonderful experience.

Trish Merrill & Mac White
Austin, TX

This was my 7th trip with Odysseys and they keep getting better and better.

Merle Frank
Miami, FL

Love the small group format and the ease of traveling with arrangements made for us.

Ken & Carolyn Helm
Newburgh, IN

Tour exceeded my expectations having never taken a group tour. An excellent experience – can’t wait for my next one!

Ronni Goldberg
New York, NY

Absolutely the best bang for the buck – organization, quality, consistency.

Harvey Wine
Dallas, TX

I like the small size of Odysseys tours. [You] have excellent Tour Directors, great itineraries and spend more time in areas than some of the other tour companies.

Lynn Bafaloukos
Glendale, AZ

Because of the group size and outstanding guides, you make travel easy for us!

Sharon Irwin & John Akamatsu
Kent, OH
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Small Group Tour Highlights
  • Tel Aviv touring, including “White City” of Bauhaus architecture
  • Jaffa’s ancient port
  • Artists’ village of Ein Hod
  • Overnight stay on a working kibbutz
  • Biblical sites of Tiberias, Nazareth, Mount of Beatitudes, Sea of Galilee
  • Winery visit and cooking class
  • Five-night Jerusalem stay at legendary King David hotel
  • Jerusalem touring, including Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, Old City, Western Wall, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Israel Museum, Ein Karem
  • Dead Sea Qumran Caves
  • Fortress ruins of Masada
Day-by-Day Itinerary

Day 1: Depart U.S. for Tel Aviv, Israel

Day 2: Arrive Tel Aviv We arrive today and transfer to our hotel. As guests’ arrival times may vary greatly, we have no group activities or meals planned and are at leisure to explore or relax as we wish.

Day 3: Tel Aviv Today we encounter the vibrant modern city of Tel Aviv, Israel’s arts and culture capital. Our tour features independence Hall, where the state of Israel was declared in 1948; the “White City” district of distinctive Bauhaus architecture, a UNESCO World Heritage site; and the recently renovated neighborhood of Neve Tzedek. We end the day visiting the nearby ancient port of Jaffa. Tonight we enjoy a welcome dinner at our hotel. B,L,D

Day 4: Tel Aviv/Upper Galilee We travel north along the coast today to Caesarea to see the ruins of an ancient Roman amphitheater and harbor. We continue on to the artists’ village of Ein Hod, set amidst olive groves at the foot of Mt. Carmel overlooking the sea. Here we have the opportunity to visit the homes of some local artists and tour their workshops. Then we travel through the hills of Galilee to our hotel on the grounds of a kibbutz adjacent to a national park. Later we visit a working farm. B,D

Day 5: Mount Bental/Tiberias Today begins with a special tour of the kibbutz, followed by a visit to a local winery. We continue on to Mount Bental in the Golan Heights for a panoramic view of Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan. Next: the ruins of Capernaum, where Jesus taught in the synagogue on the Sabbath; Tabgha, site of the Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes; and Kibbutz Ginosar, where we see the “Jesus Boat” carbon dated to 100 BCE. We travel on to Tiberias and our historic hotel on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Important in both Judaism and Christianity, this ancient city has attracted visitors, settlers, and invaders for more than two millennia. B,D

Day 6: Tiberias/Nazareth This morning we visit the Mount of Beatitudes, where Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount. Then the New Testament comes to life as we travel to Jesus’ boyhood home of Nazareth, now a center of Christian pilgrimage. Here we visit the Church of the Annunciation, the largest church in the Middle East and where the archangel Gabriel told the Virgin Mary that she would give birth to Jesus. We enjoy lunch at a family-run dairy farm then continue to Safed, center of Jewish mysticism, home to many artists, and where we stroll the medieval streets. We visit some of the galleries here before returning to our hotel, where we dine tonight. B,L,D

Day 7: Tiberias/Jerusalem En route to Jeru­salem today, we stop to tour the archaeological site of Beit Shean, where ongoing excavations have revealed the ruins of numerous cities dating as far back as the 4th century BCE. Then we travel on to Jerusalem, the 3,000-year-old “City of Gold,” sacred to the world’s three major monotheist religions. We get our first look of this holiest of places from a panoramic lookout on Mt. Scopus. After lunch at a local restaurant, we check into our hotel and have the rest of the afternoon at leisure. We dine tonight at our hotel. B,L,D

Day 8: Jerusalem/Masada/Dead Sea Today we travel to the shores of the Dead Sea to explore the Qumran Caves, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered between 1947 and 1956. We continue on to the ruins at Masada, the celebrated mountain stronghold (and UNESCO site) where outnumbered Jews held out against a three-year Roman siege in the first century CE then committed suicide rather than surrender. We ascend the mountain fortress by cable car to tour the ruins, which overlook the desert and the Dead Sea. Then we have the oppor­tunity to swim in the Dead Sea at a hotel beach with indoor and outdoor pools before lunch together at the hotel. We return to Jerusalem this afternoon. B,L

Day 9: Jerusalem We start today’s touring with a visit to the Haas Promenade overlooking Jerusalem for panoramic views of the city before we continue to Jerusalem’s Old City for a tour of the excavated tunnels beneath the Western Wall. Then we visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, traditional site of Golgotha where Jesus is believed to have been crucified and buried. This afternoon, we get acquainted with the New City, dating from the late 19th century. We absorb some of the flavor of this multicultural enclave at the bustling outdoor market of Machane Yehuda (“Shuk”), encountering local residents as they shop for fruit, vegetables, meat, and more. The remainder of the day is then free to explore Jerusalem independently. B

Day 10: Jerusalem Our day begins with a tour of haunting Yad Vashem, Israel’s living memorial to the Holocaust set on a 45-acre site on the Mount of Remembrance. Then we travel to the Judean Hills to the picturesque village of Ein Karem, where we enjoy an ethnic cooking class followed by lunch served with local Israeli wines. We return to Jerusalem where the remainder of the afternoon is free to explore as we wish – or we may choose to join in a complimentary optional excursion to Bethlehem, the biblical birthplace of Jesus. Dinner tonight is on our own. B,L

Day 11: Jerusalem/Old City We return to the Old City today, starting at the original settlement of the City of David, dating to at least the Middle Bronze Age of 1800 to 1550 BCE. Our guide gives us an in-depth account of Jerusalem’s role throughout history before we embark on a walking tour through the Old City: the Jewish Quarter; the ancient Cardo marketplace still in use today; and the Western Wall, sacred to Jews as the last remaining trace of the wall that enclosed and supported the Second Temple on the Temple Mount. We spend the afternoon at the Israel Museum, the nation’s leading cultural institution, whose treasures include the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Shrine of the Book, a unique sculpture garden, and a scale model of Jerusalem from the Second Temple era. Tonight, we celebrate our Israel adventure over a farewell dinner at our hotel. B,L,D

Day 12: Depart Tel Aviv for U.S. Very early this morning we transfer by motorcoach to Tel Aviv for our connecting flights to the United States. B

Please note: This trip involves considerable walking on uneven or cobblestone streets and at sites of ancient ruins. You should be in good physical condition to enjoy the tour to the fullest.

B = Breakfast included L = Lunch included D = Dinner included

Tour Price Includes
  • Round-trip air transportation from listed cities
  • 10 nights’ accommodations in Deluxe, Superior First Class, and First Class hotels
  • 23 meals: 10 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 6 dinners
  • Extensive sightseeing as described, including all entrance fees
  • Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director
  • Private motorcoach transportation throughout your trip
  • Luggage handling for one bag per person
  • Gratuities for local guides, dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers
  • $100 frequent traveler credit towards your next Odysseys Unlimited tour ($200 after 3 tours; $300 after 10 tours)
Tour Dates & Prices

2019/2020 Tour Dates & Prices
including international airfare and all taxes, surcharges, and fees

2019Nov 16
Dec 5
Dec 7
2019Oct 17
Oct 19
Oct 24
Oct 26


2020Feb 29
2020Mar 14
Mar 21
2020Apr 16
May 2
Boston, New York$5,684$5,984$6,084$6,284
Miami, Wash, DC$5,984$6,284$6,384$6,584
Atlanta, Baltimore,
Char, Chi, Detroit,
Los Ang, Orlando,
Phil, Tampa
$6,084$6,384$6,484$6,684
Cinc, Cleve, Dallas,
Den, Hou, Minn,
Phoenix, Port (OR),
San Fran, Seattle
$6,184$6,484$6,584$6,784

Please call if your city is not listed or for land only prices. Prices are per person based on double occupancy and include airline taxes, surcharges, and fees of $789, which are subject to change until final payment is made.

Single travelers please add $1,795 Oct-Dec; $1,995 all other dates. Your $375 deposit is fully refundable up to 95 days prior to departure. All 2019/2020 tour prices above (excluding airline taxes, surcharges, and fees) are guaranteed.

Airline upgrades (subject to availability) on round-trip Trans-Atlantic flight: Business Class – $3,995 per person; Premium Economy – $1,495 per person

Post-Tour Jordan Extension: $1,795 Oct-Dec; $1,695 all other dates.

Accommodations
    Hotel Dan Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv / Days 2-3 / Deluxe

    A member of Leading Hotels of the World, Hotel Dan Tel Aviv sits on the city’s lively seafront promenade and close to the business district and main attractions.  The hotel has two restaurants and a bar/lounge; several shops and boutiques, including an art gallery and antiques shop; beauty salon; complimentary Wi-Fi internet access; laundry and dry cleaning services; and safe deposit boxes.  Recreational facilities include an indoor freshwater pool; outdoor seawater pool; sun deck; fitness center; and spa with Jacuzzi, massage, and sauna. Guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, minibar, TV, and phone.

    Hagoshrim Hotel & Nature, Hagoshrim / Day 4 / First Class

    Located in Kibbutz Hagroshrim, some 40 minutes north of the Sea of Galilee, Hagoshrim Hotel & Nature offers a lovely and comfortable retreat in Israel’s northeastern corner.  The hotel was built on the ruins of an Ottoman winter palace and sits surrounded by gardens, greenery, and small streams.  Amenities include a restaurant, lobby bar, health and sports center, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, full spa with a range of treatments, and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.  Air-conditioned guest rooms are decorated in bright, welcoming tones and offer private bath with hair dryer, coffee-making facilities, TV, and phone.

    The Scots Hotel, Tiberias / Days 5-6 / Superior First Class

    Sitting directly in the center of Tiberias fronting the Sea of Galilee, the unique Scots Hotel was founded as a hospital in the 19th century by Dr. David Watt Torrance, a young Scotsman dedicated to serving all peoples of the Holy Land.  Now owned by the Church of Scotland and converted to a 50-room boutique property in 1999 (the hospital closed in the 1950s), the hotel aims to “provide first class service in a place of reconciliation for all people, including Jews, Christians, and Muslims …” in keeping with Dr. Torrance’s beliefs.  Indeed, in addition to its guests, the hotel’s staff is ethnically diverse as well.  Hotel facilities include a restaurant and bar; complimentary Wi-Fi internet access; laundry and dry cleaning services; half-size Olympic outdoor pool and a beach garden with views of the Sea of Galilee and Golan Heights; an herb garden and ecological fish pond; spa; and gift shop with art and crafts created by local Jewish, Druze, Muslim, and Christian artists.  Guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, coffee-making facilities, in-room safe, minibar, TV, and phone.

    King David Jerusalem, Jerusalem / Days 7-11 / Deluxe

    A landmark hotel steeped in history, the King David Jerusalem Hotel stands overlooking (and within easy walking distance of) the Old City.  Equally accessible to Jerusalem’s lively downtown, Israel’s most famous and prestigious hotel makes an excellent base for exploring this fascinating city during our five-night stay.  Built in 1931 of locally quarried pink limestone, the 237-room King David features spacious gardens with breathtaking views of the Old City; two restaurants and a bar; fitness center; outdoor swimming pool; tennis court; spa services; complimentary Wi-Fi internet access; laundry and dry cleaning services; and shopping arcade with gift and jewelry shops, art gallery, and beauty salon.  Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, minibar, TV, and phone.

    Petra Marriott Hotel, Petra / Extension / Superior First Class

    Set amidst the rugged, rocky terrain of the Petra Valley, the Petra Marriott Hotel sits just a ten minute drive from the ancient city of Petra, one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.  Amenities of the hotel include two restaurants, a bar/lounge, and an authentic Bedouin tent serving traditional cuisine and drinks (open May-September); outdoor swimming pool; spa with sauna, massage, and steam room (for a fee); complimentary Wi-Fi internet access in public areas; and laundry service (for a fee).  Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, tea- and coffee-making facilities, minibar, TV, and phone.

    Amman Marriott Hotel, Amman / Extension / Superior First Class

    The Amman Marriott Hotel sits in the heart of downtown Amman, offering an ideal location from which to explore Jordan’s historic capital. This stylish and comfortable hotel offers four restaurants (American, Italian, Mediterranean, and a gourmet restaurant/cigar bar) and a piano lounge; both indoor and outdoor swimming pools; fitness center; sauna; laundry service (for a fee); and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access in public areas. Each air-conditioned guest room includes private bath with hair dryer, tea- and coffee-making facilities, minibar, in-room safe, TV, and phone.

Ratings are based on the Hotel & Travel Index, the travel industry standard reference.
Post-Tour Extension

Jordan: Petra & Amman

5 days/4 nights for $1,695 total price
Single Supplement: $395

Discover the “rose-red city, half as old as time” on this exciting exploration. Plus: the capital of Amman.

 

Your Tour Price Includes
  • Private motorcoach transportation Jerusalem/Petra/Amman
  • 4 nights’ accommodations: 2 nights in Petra at Petra Marriott Hotel (Superior First Class); 2 nights in Amman at Amman Marriott Hotel (Superior First Class)
  • 9 meals: 4 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners
  • Extensive included sightseeing of Petra and Amman
  • Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director
  • Gratuities for dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers

Please see the Accommodations tab for hotel information.

A visa is required for this extension. Odysseys Unlimited will provide information about visa requirements upon reservation.

 

Tour Directors for this Journey
Danny Cohen

“Danny Cohen is a superb person. Knowledgeable, professional, scholarly. Truly the best part of the tour was Danny Cohen!”
William & Sherri Callan
Silver Spring, MD

Yanay Cohen

“One of the best Tour Directors I ever had! He was so knowledgeable and passionate about his homeland. He brought history, religion, and politics alive on this journey.”
Carol Scuorzo
Woodland Park, NJ

Ali Harb

Tour Director – Jordan Extension
“Ali is a treasure (like Petra).”
James Stoughton
San Francisco, CA

Ahmad al Khaldi

Tour Director – Jordan Extension
“Ahmad was in the Top 5 tour directors that we have ever had on a tour – we have been to 75 countries so we have a lot of experience with tour guides.”
Debbie & Jim Zug
Bryn Mawr, PA

Ron Lahad

“Ron was very patient and attentive to us as a group of individuals. He was knowledgeable, friendly and became a friend in no time. Great interpersonal skills! He made Israel come alive.”
Doug & Janet Scott
Silver Spring, MD

Sufian Nawash

Tour Director – Jordan Extension
“One of the best in my experience over the past 12 years. A great asset to your company.”
Dana Fitzgerald
Amelia Island, FL

Destination Insight

Suggested Reading

Karen Armstrong
Jerusalem: One City, Three Faiths
A popular history by the author of A History of God. Armstrong tackles big subjects – and this book is no exception. It’s a comprehensive, concise portrait of the city over the last 5,000 years.

Amos Oz
In the Land of Israel
In this compelling volume, Israeli novelist Amos Oz interviewed dozens of his fellow countrymen from all walks of life. A passionate, candid and diverse portrait of a people and their hopes, fears and prejudices.

Ari Shavit
My Promised Land, The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel
Israeli journalist and New Yorker contributor Ari Shavit delves into the history of Israel, its founding pioneers, his own family and, critically, Israel’s legacy of occupation, which he puts at the center of this penetrating memoir.

Eyewitness Guides
Eyewitness Guide Jerusalem: Israel, Petra & Sinai
This compact illustrated guide provides a thorough overview of Israel and western Jordan, including Petra, Wadi Rum and Amman.

Freytag & Berndt
Israel, Palestine, Holy Land Map
A double-sided, indexed map at a scale of 1:150,000.

Kristine K. Kershul
Hebrew, A Language Map
This durable, foldout card gives easy phonetic pronunciation for several hundred of the most commonly-needed words and phrases.

Sami Tamimi, Yotam Ottolenghi
Jerusalem, A Cookbook
Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi return to the city of their youth in this remarkable culinary tribute, including traditional age-old dishes, inspired modern recipes, tales of childhood and essays on the flavors and complexity of Jerusalem. With evocative photographs and 120 recipes that you’ll want to try.

Norman Solomon
Judaism, A Very Short Introduction
Succinctly sketching the history, religious traditions and practice of Judaism.

Thomas Friedman
From Beirut to Jerusalem
An illuminating and heartfelt exploration of the complex Middle East. Pulitzer Prize-winner Friedman provides a personal and a scholarly perspective on the roots of the conflict.

Anita Shapira
Israel, A History
Beginning in 1881 with the emergence of the Zionist movement, eminent Israeli historian Anita Shapira chronicles Israel’s history through its nation-building in the ’50s and ’60s to years of stalemate and hope in the late 20th century.

Simon Sebag Montefiore
Jerusalem, The Biography
Montefiore’s masterful history of the Holy City focuses on the struggle between the Abrahamic religions and the place of prophets and patriarchs – including Abraham, David, Jesus and Muhammad – with grace and balance, tracing the story of Jerusalem through the lives of men and women.

Jane Taylor
Petra and the Lost Kingdom of the Nabataeans
Petra’s history from the Stone Age to the Nabataeans (who constructed the city) through the Crusades is documented with 150 full-color photographs.

Amos Oz, Mitza Ben-Dov (Editor)
The Amos Oz Reader
This choice anthology includes excerpts from Oz’s celebrated novels and nonfiction.

Donna Rosenthal
The Israelis
Colorful and compelling, this sharp-eyed portrait captures the diversity of modern Israel with humor and authority. 60th anniversary edition.

Martin Gilbert
The Story of Israel
Gilbert’s balanced, authoritative and well-illustrated survey includes historic documents, posters, letters and memorabilia. Starting with the First Zionist Congress in Basel in 1897, Gilbert charts the history of the Jewish state up to the present.

Simon Schama
The Story of the Jews
A marvelously readable, far-reaching chronicle of three thousand years of Jewish history.

Simon Goldhill
Jerusalem, City of Longing
Goldhill shows the layered, multi-religious history of the city through its architecture, organizing his exhilarating guide into a series of seven walking tours (each with map).

Amos Oz
A Tale of Love and Darkness
A family saga and portrait, Oz writes of growing up in Jerusalem in the 1940s, his family’s origins and his life as a novelist and commentator. Big in scope, A Tale of Love and Darkness is, in part, the story of Israel and its people.

Helge Dascher (Translator), Guy Delisle
Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City
In the follow-up to his acclaimed The Burma Chronicles (BMA58), Delisle uses the graphic novel format to recount the time he spent in East Jerusalem during the Gaza War.

Marguerite van Geldermalsen
Married to a Bedouin
“Where you staying?” the Bedouin asked. “Why you not stay with me tonight – in my cave?” Thus begins the fascinating odyssey of a young nurse from New Zealand who would marry and raise her family among the community of 100 Bedouin families living in the ancient city of Petra.

Michael Gluzman (Editor)
Israel, A Traveler’s Literary Companion
Organized geographically, these 16 stories by celebrated contemporary writers including Amos Oz, A.B. Yehoshua and David Grossman reflect the cultural diversity of modern Israel.

David Grossman
To the End of the Land
Grossman’s haunting novel follows an Israeli mother as she walks across Israel to Galilee to avoid the “notifiers” who might arrive with news of her son’s death in a military offensive against the Palestinians.

Richard Porter, Simon Aspinall
Birds of the Middle East
An outstanding guide to 700 species of the birds in the region from the Arabian peninsula to Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Cyprus. Second edition.

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