Touring Israel’s Ancient Sites

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The Hamam al-Basha” Turkish baths in the city of Akko.
The Hamam al-Basha Turkish baths in the city of Acre.

Efendi Hotel and Pomegranate Travel are offering new tours in Israel by foot and bike, respectively, where guests can explore the sacred sites and nature surrounding the Holy Land.

Efendi Hotel, Israeli chef Uri Buri and professor Efraim Lev have come together to present the 4-day Acre & Western Galilee and the Crusaders Seminar, featuring scholar-guided tours and workshops amongst the region’s Crusader-era ruins, luxury hotel accommodations, chef-led dining experiences, wine tastings and cultural tours. The city of Acre dates back 4,000 years to when it served as a stronghold and port for the world’s most powerful empires—the Romans, the Greeks, the Moors, Muslims, the Crusaders and the Ottomans. Today, the city is home to one the world’s largest collections of Crusader-era ruins and artifacts, which guests can explore on guided tours with local experts. The Acre & Western Galilee and the Crusaders Seminar includes three pre-set programs—Acre, The Crusaders Capital & The Galilee-Academic Seminar, where guests participate in an intensive scholarly academic seminar with guided Crusader tours of the city; Acre and its Wonders-The Crusader & Galilean Experience, where guests have the opportunity to hear a seminar about medicine and spices during the Crusader period and visit Montfort Castle and Mi’ilya (a Christian-Arab village); and Wine & Dine + History in the Ancient City of Acre, featuring Israeli wine tasting in the Efendi Hotels’ Byzantine-era wine cellar, an evening drum circle and a belly dance workshop at Efendi Hotel. Rates start at $800 pp per day, and include accommodations at the Efendi Hotel, three meals a day, lectures by academics and sightseeing trips. For more information, visit

The Ramon Crater in Israel.
The Ramon Crater in Israel.

For visitors interested in a more active vacation, Pomegranate Travel is offering the new 5- or 7-day Evolving Landscapes of Israel cycling itinerary, starting at $3,799 pp dbl if booked prior to Jan. 30 and $3,999 pp dbl after Jan. 30. Guests can choose between a mountain or hybrid biking journey, both of which travel from the Negev Desert through the Ramon Crater and into the Judean Hills, before settling in Jerusalem. The itinerary includes visits to a remote farmstead where guests’ expert guide will provide insight into the ancient land’s traditional farming methods; the tomb of the first Israeli Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion, and the Yatir Winery for a picnic followed by a winery tour and tasting. Guests can test their mettle on an ascent up Mt. Avnun, where they can view colored rock formations at the Big Maktesh (big crater), and with an upward climb to the city of Arad overlooking the Dead Sea. Rates include accommodations, tours, meals, all entrance fees specifically mentioned in the itinerary, transportation and transfers. Departure dates are available year-round. For more information, visit