HOLY LAND & EGYPT
Longstanding history and lands filled with religious significance provide a reverent backdrop to find a moment of reflection. Make a pilgrimage to Nazareth, a stunning destination with ties to Biblical history. Out at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, a hushed reverence falls over the place of prayer. From hiking up Mount Carmel near Haifa to floating in the Dead Sea near Ashdod, you are surrounded by opportunities for inspirational experiences. Discover a modern side of Israel in the cosmopolitan Tel Aviv before or after embarking on your Epicurean Expedition. In Egypt, explore one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World – the great Pyramid of Giza – and Alexandria, a city of antiquity renowned for its lost library.
Discover the Bahai Gardens in Haifa, an oasis of terraces that make up the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Make your way to Nazareth and explore the Old City’s shuk, searching for fresh produce and mingling with the locals. The Church of the Annunciation is the primary focus for visitors, but the nearby archaeological site of the Nun’s Convent holds various ancient treasures as well. With four distinct cultural quarters – Jewish, Christian, Muslim and Armenian – Ashdod brings to light its unique diversity that makes for outstanding explorations. Venturing to the outskirts of the city, you find the Mount of Olives and the Garden of Gethsemane. From Ashdod, you may also explore Masada, an ancient fortress and ruins that hold great significance in the Jewish religion.
Cairo comes alive as both a bustling metropolitan and home to the renowned Pyramid of Giza. A vibrant mix of ancient history with contemporary skyscrapers and ornate mosques led it to become known as the “City of a Thousand Minarets.” A trip to Port Said’s historic lighthouse provides a glimpse into the architectural evolution throughout the 19th century in Egypt. Founded in 331 BCE by Alexander the Great, Alexandria once stood as the greatest city in the ancient world. At the Roman Amphitheater of Alexandria in Kom El Dekka, a civilization long past comes to life amid the stone ruins. Sprawled out in expansive, vibrant greens lie the Shalalat Gardens of Alexandria.
Considered the birthplace of the goddess Aphrodite, Paphos contains enough prehistoric, archaeological sites rich in the real and the mythical to satiate the most curious minds. The vast Archaeological Park and Tombs of the Kings, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites, offer a playground of ancient ruins to let your imagination run rampant. Limassol delights you with both its historical culture and as a modern city. From beautiful beaches and wine villages to outdoor adventures to galleries, shopping and local gastronomy, this Cyprus city has no shortage of wonders. Find the path to Limassol Castle, dating back to the Middle Ages. Rich flavors abound among the local fare of olives, grilled vegetables, hummus, calamari, roasted fish and halloumi.
GREECE & TURKEY
The “Holy Island” of Patmos holds religious history as the site where St. John wrote the Book of Revelation. Venturing over to the Cave of the Apocalypse amid the hills between Skala and Chora, you get a whole new view of the countryside. Shop among the locals for fresh herbs and produce at the Bodrum Bazaar and street markets. The spice markets tantalize you with a rainbow of colors and fresh, aromatic scents. The former ancient city of Telmessos transformed into Fethiye holds thousands of years of rich history and culture. The ancient ruins of Lycian society and a Roman theater strewn over the mountains spark a sense of adventure.