Top Israel Tours & Vacations 2024/2025 [reviews & photos]

Israel Tours & Travel Packages 2024/2025

72 Israel trips. Compare tour itineraries from 20 tour companies. 496 reviews. 4.8/5 avg rating.

Small Group Israel Tours

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Top Israel Attractions

  • Gazing from the overlook at the ancient Mount of Olives toward the skyline of Jerusalem, with the golden Dome of the Rock shining brilliantly in the sun. 
  • Standing at the Western Wall in Jerusalem as Orthodox Jews pray fervently – men on one side, women on another. 
  • Making a pilgrimage to Biblical sites such as the Sea of Galilee, the city of Nazareth, and the Jordan River.
  • Taking in the panoramic views and poignant history at the top of Masada, where a thousand Jews held out for three years against a Roman assault. 
  • Floating effortlessly in the Dead Sea, the world’s saltiest body of water. 
  • Visiting a kibbutz (collective village) complete with dinner, evening performance and perhaps an overnight stay. 
  • Strolling along the Mediterranean in the modern city of Tel Aviv and coming upon the ancient city of Jaffa. 
  • Bargaining for souvenirs in the crowded souks of Jerusalem’s Arab quarter.
  • Making a pilgrimage to Bethlehem, home to the Church of the Nativity, reputed site of Jesus’ birth.
  • Overlooking four countries -- Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt – from your hotel room in the Red Sea resort town of Eilat.

Israel Tours & Travel Guide

Israel Attractions & Landmarks Guide

Israel is a tiny country – with just a bit more land than the U.S. state of Massachusetts – but is holy land to three major world religions: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. While much of it is desert, Biblical sites abound and its capital, Jerusalem, is one of the world’s great cities. Rich in history, culture, and religious tradition, Israel is often controversial -- but always memorable.

Israel – sacred to Christians, Jews and Muslims – is a must-see destination for anyone interested in the religious history of those three faiths. Biblical names like Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth, and the Sea of Galilee come alive as you tour this fascinating and controversial nation.

No matter where you stand on the political issues here, there’s no denying the emotional impact of seeing sites you’ve heard about all your life in church, synagogue, mosque, or on the nightly news.

Since its founding in 1948 as a Jewish state in the heart of the Arabic Middle East, Israel’s borders have expanded and contracted several times over the decades, following a number of wars, skirmishes and negotiated agreements with their neighbors. It remains remarkably small for such an oversized battleground; at some points, the country is just a few miles wide.

As you travel through Israel, you’ll find that most of its citizens are fiercely proud of their country, and also fiercely defensive about its right to exist. Your guide may be an outspoken advocate for or, alternatively, a harsh critic of government policies. But no matter which, chances are he or she will be very open to discussion – and rigorous debate – about Israel and its future. Don’t hesitate to ask questions or state your viewpoints; it’s expected.

Israel is a more diverse country than many would imagine. Among the largely Jewish population, you’ll find secular Jews as well as the Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox, many of whom are at odds with each other. Jews have emigrated to Israel from Eastern Europe, Russia, the U.S., and many other parts of the world. More than 1,600,000-- about a fifth of Israel’s population – are Arabs.

Here are some of the highlights you can expect to see as you travel in Israel:

Jerusalem

Until 1967 and the Arab-Israeli six-day war, Jerusalem – considered the holiest city for Jews, Christians, and Muslims -- was a divided city. The modern west side was under Israeli control and the east side – including the historic old city -- under Jordanian control. East Jerusalem is still largely Palestinian, and tensions between the two sides remain high.

The old city makes up just one percent of present-day Jerusalem (population 800,000), but contains most of its must-see sights. You can enter the old walled city through seven different gates, and gain an overview of the old city by walking atop its ramparts if you wish. Walking through the old city itself is like a return to Biblical times: crowded, sometimes chaotic, with narrow streets winding past ancient monuments, both historic and revered.

The Jewish Quarter is home to the Western Wall (often mistakenly called the Wailing Wall), which dates from the era of King Herod and the Romans. The wall forms the western boundary of the Temple Mount, considered the holiest place in Judaism -- but is topped by the golden Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which are holy to Islam.

Beyond is the Roman Catholic Church of the Holy Sepulchre, said to be the site of Jesus’ tomb where Christ rose from the dead three days after his crucifixion. You can walk the Via Dolorosa in the traditional footsteps of Jesus, where signs mark the 14 stages of the cross that Jesus had to carry.  

Across a valley lies the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives, where Jesus is said to have hidden after the Last Supper with his disciples. From here, beside 2,000-year-old olive trees, you can get the classic panoramic view of the old city.

Five miles south of Jerusalem lies the city of Bethlehem, the Biblical birthplace of Jesus.  Now run by the Palestinian Authority, it’s home to the ancient Church of the Nativity, built by the Emperor Constantine on the traditional site of Jesus’ manger. You can descend into the church to join the pilgrims who come to worship from around the world.

Tel Aviv and Jaffa

Mostly modern Tel Aviv, previously the Israeli capital, has about half the population of Jerusalem and features a very pleasant setting along the Mediterranean Sea. You can walk along the promenade to visit ancient Jaffa, site of the Biblical story of Jonah and the Whale, passing through the millennia as waves lap the beaches.

The Galilee and Nazareth

The Sea of Galilee in northern Israel is actually a lake that divides the north and south portions of the River Jordan, which is long and surprisingly narrow (the river runs north to Syria and south to the Dead Sea).

Looking across the sea from the town of Tiberias, you can view the Golan Heights, once part of Syria, as well as war-torn Syria in the distance. You can also visit the spot on the River Jordan where Jesus is said to have been baptized by John the Baptist.

On the road from the Sea of Galilee to Nazareth, you’ll pass through Cana, where, according to the New Testament, Jesus performed his first miracle, turning water into wine. Nazareth, where Jesus grew up, is heavily Arabic but thrives on Christian tourism. You can view two contending locations said to be the site of the Annunciation, where angels reputedly told the Virgin Mary of her Immaculate Conception.

Masada and The Dead Sea

Around 70 AD, 960 Jewish zealots held out atop Masada, a 1,300-foot-high mountain fortress, to battle a three-year-long Roman siege. When the Romans finally neared victory, the Jews committed mass suicide. It was the last stand of the Jewish people in the Holy Land before beginning their nearly 2,000-year-long exile.

You can ride a cable car to the top of the mountain, which is now the single most visited site in Israel. From there, you have an overview of the Dead Sea, the world’s lowest point and saltiest body of water, where it’s virtually impossible to sink.

The Negev Desert and Eilat

The triangular southern third of Israel, which borders Egypt’s Sinai Desert, is filled by the Negev Desert. While it’s mostly a hot, dry, dusty patch of land with few residents, you can visit the ruins of old caravan towns as well as the huge Ramon crater. At Israel’s southern tip is the resort town of Eilat on the northern end of the Red Sea, where there are beaches and other amenities. From Eilat, many tours lead to one- or two-day visits to Petra, Jordan’s ancient red-rock city, and Wadi Rum, a spectacular area of desert gorges, cliffs, and caverns.

Israel Reviews & Ratings

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Usha

Sep 2022

Written on

A perfect trip

17 days to Egypt, Jordan and Israel was our first booking with Odynovo , and Susan, our Rep.There were 6 of us traveling. We had planned our way there and our way ou...

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Response from Odynovo September 2022

Dear Usha P, Thank you so much for sharing your great travel experience and photos with us! It is...

M

MAM

Jul 2022

Written on

Top Notch Private Tour of Israel, Egypt and Jordan

First time using Odynovo, and the experience was flawless. We traveled to Israel, Jordan and Egypt by private tour with 5-star hotels. It was an action-packed itiner...

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Response from Odynovo July 2022

Dear MAM, Thank you for taking the time to write a positive review and sharing your experience wi...

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MAM

Jul 2022

Written on

Top Notch Private Tour of Israel, Egypt and Jordan

First time using Odynovo, and the experience was flawless. We traveled to Israel, Jordan and Egypt by private tour with 5-star hotels. It was an action-packed itiner...

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Response from Odynovo July 2022

Dear MAM, Thank you for taking the time to write a positive review and sharing your experience wi...

J

Jane

May 2024

Written on

Jordan Discovery

The trip was brilliant… couldn’t recommend more highly!

M

Mandi

May 2024

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Jordan Discovery

Discover Jordan was an incredible experience. The itinerary was jam packed, but Jordan has a lot to offer and the program lets you get a taste of it all. Petra was l...

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