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Tomb of St. George, the Dragon Slayer in Lydda

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Church of St. George, Lydda

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Khan al Hilu, Lydda. Ottoman Caravanserai

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Tomb of St. George, the Dragon Slayer in Lydda

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The Ancient cities of Ramleh and Lod.

 

Two hidden gems on the historic road from Tel Aviv- Jaffa to Jerusalem, are the two ancient towns of Lod, dating back to Roman times and Ramleh, founded by the Arabs in the 8th century AD. This tour could be a prelude to a Jerusalem tour, or, in reverse, a conclusion of one. 

We shall  go first to the town of Lydda (Lod), with the Tomb of St. George, the Dragon Slayer. Then we shall visit Ramleh, with its churches, White Tower, and St. Helen's Cistern, colorful food market and Grand Mosque. Jerusalem is a half an hour's drive away or one may return to Tel Aviv (20 minute drive). 

Basilica of the Dormition on Mount Zion

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St. Mary Magdalen Church in Jerusalem.

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Basilica of the Dormition on Mount Zion

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The women who built Jerusalem 

 

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In this tour, we will follow remarkable women, each of whom contributed substantially to making the city what it is today and visit the edifices they have built.

Mary, mother of Jesus, who according to Christian traditions was born, raised, suffered and buried in Jerusalem.  The rest of the four were beautiful, cultured, strong ladies, who besides being great stateswomen, also had exciting, eventful lives full of intrigue and mystery: The Roman Empress St. Helena; the ravishing and sophisticated Byzantine Empress Aelia Eudocia. The Crusader Queen Melisende of Jerusalem , Hürrem Hasseki Sultan, known as Roxolana, the wife of the Ottoman sultan Suleyman the Magnificent and finally archduchess Elizaveta Feodorovna, at the turn of the 20th century. 

The tour could include a visit to the unique Woujud Museum of Palestinian Heritage - which endorses women's traditional businesses.  

 Tour duration: approx. 6 hours

Himmelfahrtkirche, the German church of the Ascension

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German church of the Ascension, the Neo-romanesque entrance

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The mystifying tomb of the Virgin

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Himmelfahrtkirche, the German church of the Ascension

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Sanctuaries on the 

Mount of Olives

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The Mount of Olives (Mount Olivet) is sacred to the three monotheistic faiths; as the mountain of judgement, resurrection and ascension.

In Christianity – it is the place Jesus entered Jerusalem, where he agonized and was arrested, and whence he ascended to heaven after his resurrection.

Our route: The German Church of the Ascension – Auguste Victoria. Viri Galillei Monastery, Chapel/Mosque of the Ascension, Russian Church of the Ascension,  Pater Noster Monastery, then to the Seven Arches Hotel viewpoint; from there, to the tombs of the Prophets, the Jewish cemetery, Dominus Flevit Chapel . Russian Church of St Madeleine, and finally to the Church of All Nations in the Garden of Gethsemane.

 

Tour duration: 3.5 hours                  

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The Citadel of Jerusalem, built by the Ottomans in 1538

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The walls of Jerusalem, built by the Ottomans in 1538

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Clock tower Khan al Umdan in Acre (Acco, Akka)

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The Citadel of Jerusalem, built by the Ottomans in 1538

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Ottoman Heritage

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Four hundred years of Ottoman rule, from 1516 to 1917, have left a unique impact on the culture, architecture and cuisine of the Holy Land and its various communities: Muslim, Jewish and Christian.

 

The historical centers of cities such as Jerusalem, Haifa, Acre, Jaffa, Nazareth and Beersheba still maintain an Ottoman identity. We can tailor-make a unique tour of a day or two from the northern city of Acre through Jerusalem, down to Beer Sheba, (Birrüssebi) in the Negev Desert, established by the Ottomans in 1900, and the military desert outpost of Auja al-Hafir. A gastronomic tour of Turkish influence on both Israeli and Palestinian cuisine an also be made.

 

Helena Restaurant, Caesarea National Park

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Chakra Restaurant, Jerusalem

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Spices in the Carmel Market, Tel Aviv

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Helena Restaurant, Caesarea National Park

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Food & Wine tours

This country has been a meeting point of cultures, religions and various conquerors for millennia, passing on the land bridge between Africa and Asia. These, brought with them varied cuisines, which have influenced local cooking to this day. All this fused with the Jewish immigration to Israel, at the onset of the twentieth century, which also brought a cosmopolitan variety: Eastern European Jewish cuisine with Yemeni food, Ethiopian with Uzbek.

The local Palestinian cuisine, with traditional ancient roots, is very diverse and carries the legacy of generations. Dishes vary from the mountainous, desert and coastal areas, north and south. The Israeli Jewish public has adopted local Arab cuisine as popular and affordable food. Today, an amazing fusion of all these kitchens has been created, which has a huge international success.

In recent years, new boutique wineries have opened, with state-of-the-art production techniques which combined local soil and climate qualities, gaining international recognition and prestigious awards worldwide. It is a real pride for a guide to offer our tourists an Israeli wine only menu, knowing they would enjoy it immensely.

Food and wine tours can be arranged, although it is always better to combine a good restaurant and winery on a historic trip. Talk to me, it can be customized to your liking.