A truly distinctive experience exploring the heart of the Upper Galilee awaits you on this full day tour that combines the charm of Safed, the historically significant Golan Heights and the chance to witness first-hand a slice of everyday life in a kibbutz.
Boarding your coach at the pier, you'll first travel to the northern Israeli town of Safed via the famous route that was described in James Michener's book, "The Source". Located 3,200 feet above sea level in the mountains of the Upper Galilee, this somewhat modest-sized community is also the highest city in Israel with magnificent commanding views east to the Golan Heights, north to Mt. Hermon and Lebanon, west to Mt. Meron and the Amud Valley, and south to Tiberias and the Sea of Galilee. Historical sources indicate that Safed was founded in the 2nd century AD during Roman times and local legend is that the city was founded by one of Noah's sons after the great flood. During the 13th century, it became the center for many Jewish scholars who founded the Zohar and Kabala theories. Today, Safed has seen a rebirth and resurgence of popularity, becoming once again a center for Jewish learning. This utterly charming mountain enclave with its quaint cobblestone streets has also gained a reputation as being a haven for artists. Your time in Safed includes a visit to the town's vibrant artist colony as well as the ancient Synagogue Quarter.
Leaving Safed, your coach will make its way down from the mountains toward the Sea of Galilee, along the way passing Kurazim, a village that was famous during the time of the Second Temple, the Mishna and the Talmud. Enjoy a picturesque view of the tranquil waters as you travel along the shore before crossing the Jordan River and ascending to the Golan Heights. During Roman times and throughout the Byzantine period, cultural and religious centers flourished here and permanent Jewish settlements, including Kfar Harub, existed until the Islamic conquest. Kfar Harub has since become Kibbutz Kfar Haruv, which was resettled by Americans in 1973. After a guided tour of the kibbutz, a special luncheon experience awaits you as you join the members of the kibbutz during their own lunch break. As you help yourself to the typical kibbutz menu, you'll also enjoy breathtaking vistas of the Sea of Galilee, Tiberias and the Jordan Valley.
The afternoon segment of your tour includes a scenic drive through the countryside, passing Hamat Gader, known for its hot springs and for being the international point where the borders of Syria, Jordan and Israel meet. A final stop will be made at the Yardenit baptismal site where the Jordan River separates from the Sea of Galilee. In this naturally scenic and symbolic setting, pilgrims from around the world come to perform baptismal ceremonies. During the relaxing journey back to the ship, your coach will travel through Tiberias where you will pass by Beit Shearim, the well-known 2nd century Jewish burial ground.
Please note: The sights on this tour are not wheelchair accessible and therefore, it is not available to wheelchair guests. There is a moderate amount of walking, at times on an incline and some steps to negotiate in the synagogues. It is recommended that those guests with mobility concerns evaluate their personal level of ability and stamina. When visiting the religious sites, your head must be covered and conservative attire is required. Shorts and sleeveless shirts are not permitted. Lightweight clothing, caps and flat, comfortable walking shoes are suggested.