#43 best destination in the world

Masada

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  • Ancient fortification situated on top of an isolated rock plateau
  • Overlooks the Dead Sea
  • Herod the Great built palaces for himself on the mountain and fortified Masada between 37 and 31 BC
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

 

Acre

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  • City in the coastal plain region that sits on the Mediterranean Sea
  • One of the oldest cities in the world, continuously inhabited since the Middle Bronze Age 4,000 years ago
  • The holiest city of the Bahá’í Faith, and as such receives many Bahá’í pilgrims
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

 

Jerusalem

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  • One of the oldest cities in the world
  • Considered holy to three major Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
  • First settled in 4500 BC
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

 

Bahá’í World Centre Buildings

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  • Include both the Bahá’í holy places used for pilgrimage and the international administrative bodies of the faith
  • The buildings contain pilgrim buildings, administrative offices, libraries, archives, historical residences, and shrines, as well as 30 different terraces
  • First sites connected with the relatively new religious tradition
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

 

Magdala

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  • Town mentioned in the Jewish Talmud and one place that may be mentioned in the Christian New Testament

 

Western Wall

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  • Holy ancient limestone wall in the Old City of Jerusalem
  • Founded in 19 BC
  • Originally erected as part of the expansion of the Second Jewish Temple begun by Herod the Great, which resulted in the encasement of the natural, steep hill known to Jews and Christians as the Temple Mount
  • Because of the Temple Mount entry restrictions, the Wall is the holiest place where Jews are permitted to pray, though the holiest site in the Jewish faith lies behind it
  • Also called the “Wailing Wall”, referring to the practice of Jews weeping at the site over the destruction of the Temples
  • The term “Wailing Wall” is not used by Jews, and increasingly not by many others who consider it derogatory
  • With the rise of the Zionist movement in the early 20th century, the wall became a source of friction between the Jewish and Muslim communities, the latter being worried that the wall could be used to further Jewish claims to the Temple Mount and thus Jerusalem
  • After the 1948 Arab–Israeli War the Eastern portion of Jerusalem was occupied by Jordan
  • Under Jordanian control Jews were completely expelled from the Old City including the Jewish quarter, and Jews were barred from entering the Old City for 19 years, effectively banning Jewish prayer at the site of the Western Wall
  • This ended in 1967, when Israel gained control of the site following the Six-Day War

 

Doll Museum

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  • Artist Eduard Shruster’s dolls are made from a wide variety of metals, particularly bronze, beaten copper, and colored metals

 

Yad Vashem

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  • #24 of the top 25 museums in the world
  • Museum dedicated to preserving the memory of the dead, honoring Jews who fought against their Nazi oppressors and Gentiles who selflessly aided Jews in need, and researching the phenomenon of the Holocaust in particular and genocide in general, with the aim of avoiding such events in the future
  • Established in 1953

 

Pool of the Arches

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  • Row a boat through this ancient 1,200 year old underground reservoir
  • Originally built as an underground reservoir in 789 to supply water

 

Beit Guvrin National Park

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  • Ruins of Maresha, one of the important towns of Judah during the time of the First Temple, and Beit Guvrin, an important town in the Roman era
  • Archaeological artifacts unearthed at the site include a large Jewish cemetery, a Roman-Byzantine amphitheater, a Byzantine church, public baths, mosaics and burial caves

 

Rosh HaNikra Grottoes

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  • The grottoes are cavernous tunnels formed by sea action on the soft chalk rock
  • A tunnel was built by the British for the Haifa-Beirut railroad line, and in 1968 a second one was dug, both connecting the grottoes with each other
  • There is now a cable car there, with a 60-degree gradient, this cable car is advertised as the steepest in the world

 

Shrine of the Book

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  • Wing of the Israel Museum that houses the Dead Sea Scrolls
  • Constructed in 1965
  • As the fragility of the scrolls makes it impossible to display all on a continuous basis, a system of rotation is used
  • After a scroll has been exhibited for 3–6 months, it is removed from its showcase and placed temporarily in a special storeroom, where it rests from exposure.
  • The shrine houses the Isaiah scroll, dating from 408 BC
  • The most intact of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the Aleppo Codex, dating from the 10th century CE, the oldest existing Hebrew Bible

 

Western Wall Tunnel

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  • Tunnel exposing the Western Wall from where the traditional, open-air prayer site ends and up to the Wall’s northern end
  • Most of the tunnel is in continuation of the open-air Western Wall and is located under buildings of the Muslim Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem
  • While the open-air portion of the Western Wall is approximately 200 ft long, the majority of its original length of 1,601 ft is hidden underground

 

Mount of Olives Jewish Cemetery

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  • #4 of the oldest cemeteries in the world
  • Most ancient and most important Jewish cemetery in Jerusalem
  • Burial on the Mount of Olives started some 3,000 years ago in the days of the First Temple, and continues to this day.
  • The cemetery contains anywhere between 70,000 and 150,000 tombs from various periods, including the tombs of famous figures in Jewish history

 

3 Vines Winery

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  • Winery and vineyard in Ramot Naftali

 


 

Costs

Number of Days: 19 days

Best Time To Fly: April-May, Sept-Oct

Airline tickets: $2,131

Seattle -> Tel-Aviv-Yafo (round trip) = $2,131

Food: $52/day x 19 days = $988

Rental car: $42/day x 11 days = $462

Gas: $89

Entertainment: $91

Airbnb: $186/day x 17 days = $3,169

TOTAL: $6,930