No tours to Hebron -12th & 13th September • Muslim holy day - Eid Al Adha.
No day-tours 12th October - Jewish holy day • Yom Kippur.

Introduction to Israel & Palestine - 8 days


from $1,760 (per person)
includes accommodations, daily tours, breakfast & dinner
Begins every Monday

Hosted by Green Olive Tours Partners and Israeli and Palestinian families, this tour will give you a thorough and intense overview of the country, exploring the social, cultural, and political dynamics in addition to some classic touring of historical and religious sites.

Green Olive Partners, plus select Israeli and Palestinian guides will show you the country through their eyes - authentic and varied perspectives on history, human rights, and the Occupation.

Your overnight stays will be in Palestinian and Israeli family homes in Beit Sahour (a suburb of Bethlehem), Jerusalem and Jaffa (Tel Aviv).  Through staying with these families you'll be able to gain an understanding of the complexities of life on both sides of the Green Line.

Day 1 - Monday - Greater Jerusalem and The Old City

09.15am. A representative of Green Olive will meet you at the Rimon Cafe, Damascus Gate, at the entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem.

There will be a briefing with maps and an intensive 3-hour walking tour of Jerusalem's Old city, taking a look at the Western Wall, passing the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and seeing the Israeli settler homes that have been sprouting in the Muslim  Quarter.



After lunch you will go on the road for a tour of some of the suburban Jerusalem settlements, Palestinian neighborhoods, the Separation Barrier, and segregated roads. These will include Pizgat Ze'ev, Har Homa, Beit Hanina, and Anata.

You'll drive through Ma'ale Adumim, one of the largest settlements in the West bank (pop. 35,000).

Then off to Beit Sahour to meet your host family after a busy and intense first day.

Day 2 - Tuesday - Bethlehem

Today you'll be with a Palestinian guide for an overview of Bethlehem. You'll see the settlement of Har Homa that you saw from the Jerusalem side of the Barrier yesterday. Today the view will be from the Palestinian side.

You'll visit the Aida Refugee Camp, and have a discussion with a representative of an organisation there. You'll see the Separation Barrier up close, and the famous Bansky Graffiti. You'll also meet Palestinians, and visit the Church of the Nativity.

In the evening you'll visit the Alternative Information Center (AIC) for their weekly discussion session about aspects of Palestinian life and the Occupation. There is a featured speaker from an Israeli or Palestinian organization then lots of round table discussion. The AIC promotes the rights of the Palestinian people, and is the only peace and justice organization that has a mixed staff and board of Palestinians and Israelis.

Day 3 - Wednesday -  Nablus
You'll be picked up early in the morning and travel up the spine of the West Bank on route 60 seeing many small radical settlements and Palestinian villages.

The first stop will be the Balata Refugee Camp where you'll see the crowded conditions and hear some stories about life there. You'll also visit one of the camp organizations that helps make life a little better for the residents.

The tour will include the Old City with its beautiful labyrinth of buildings dating back to the Ottoman period. You'll visit the ancient Turkish baths and an olive oil soap factory. You will also visit sites of historical and religious interest such as Jacob’s Well; a deep well dug by Jacob and where Jesus once asked a Samaritan woman for a drink.

A highlight of the day is the Samaritans' hilltop village on Mount Grizim to see the site of their ancient temple and their modern-day village. Sometimes a local Samaritan priest is available to have a discussion at the museum.

Day 4 - Thursday - Hebron and Ramallah
From Bethlehem you'll drive around the east of Jerusalem through the Judean Desert to Ramallah. You'll see many Jewish settlements en-route and enter the city through a checkpoint into the neighborhood of Kufr Akab. The Separation WALL divides the neighborhood from Jerusalem although it is part of the municipality and the residents pay city taxes. You’ll visit Arafat's Tomb and walk the streets of this bustling city, now the de-facto Capital for Palestinians in the West Bank

After lunch you'll drive to Hebron and visit Abraham's Tomb and the Old City where Israeli settlers live in close proximity to the local Palestinians. You'll visit a local family and a glass blowing workshop that recycles glass from the city, crafting beautiful objects.

Day 5 - Friday - Meet the Settlers

For the past few days you have been immersed in the Palestinian Ethos. Today you'll 'Cross the Veil' and meet the other side. Who are these people with full Israeli citizenship rights who live next to disenfranchised Palestinian communities? Why have they chosen to live in Occupied Territory outside the internationally recognized borders of the State of Israel? Today you'll hear answers to these questions from the settlers themselves.

You'll be hosted by a settler for half a day, and tour the settlement of Kfar Eldad, just a few kilometres from where you are staying. He'll introduce you to his world and meet some other settlers too.

In the afternoon you'll return to West Jerusalem and meet your host family and in the evening you'll enjoy a traditional Shabbat dinner and learn a little about Jewish ritual and practice.
Dinner and overnight at a West Jerusalem home.

Day 6 - Saturday - Shabbat in Jerusalem

This day of walking and talking will vary from week to week. You’ll learn how Jewish Jerusalem spends the day of rest and visit some of the places that local families go on the Sabbath.

These could include the partially destroyed Palestinian village of Lifta, or the ancient community of En Karem with its many churches and Monasteries. Another option is to take a walk in the hills of Jerusalem.

In wet weather the Israel Museum or an art gallery are possibilities.
Dinner and overnight at a West Jerusalem home.

Day 7 - Sunday - Walking West Jerusalem

You’ll begin the day at Mea Sharim, bastion of many ultra orthodox Jewish sects. By walking the alleyways and narrow streets of this nineteenth century neighbourhood you’ll gain an understanding of this very religious yet rapidly growing aspect of Israeli society.

Then off to Mahane Yehuda market with the hustle and bustle of fruit and vegetable vendors, and a wide variety of other stalls and small shops. You’ll have lunch in one of it’s many bistros or restaurants.

You’ll take Jerusalem’s new tram to the south of the city and visit the Holocaust Museum, learning about the genocide and subsequent trauma that fast tracked the establishment of the state of Israel.

At the end of the day you’ll transfer to Jaffa at the southern edge of Tel Aviv and meet your second host.
Dinner and overnight at a Jaffa home.

Day 8 - Monday - Walking Tel Aviv/Jaffa

The Old City of Jaffa is one of the most ancient communities in the country and lays claim to be the oldest continuously inhabited port in the world. Tel Aviv is one of the world’s most recently built cities being barely 100 years old.

These two urban areas are joined at the hip and today form a single municipality.

You’ll explore the Jaffa Old City learning of it’s ancient history, more recent ethnic cleansing in 1948, and todays gentrification.

The Jaffa street market is visited and you can earmark shops for later browsing. After lunch you’ll walk part of the shore promenade into Tel Aviv and walk down Rothschild Boulevard and visit Rabin Square where the former Prime Minister was murdered.

Touring cosmopolitan Tel Aviv will be a good opportunity to discuss the development of modern Israeli (Jewish) society, it’s largely secular population, and recent demographic and economic trends.
Dinner and overnight at a Jaffa home.

Day 9 - Tuesday - Departure
Tour ends after breakfast. Your host will assist you to get to the airport or to the next stage of your trip.

  • Nablus Day Tour
    Visit the Samaritans and their holy temple on Mount Grizim. Hold a discussion with the Director of a youth organization in Balata Refugee camp. Explore the sights and sounds of the Old City of Nablus
  • Masada, Dead Sea & Southern West Bank
    An overview of the southern West Bank, the ancient Roman complex at Masada, a drive along the entire length of the Dead Sea, and an opportunity to dip in the healing sea waters.
  • Taybeh Village
    Come and explore Christian Palestine through the beautiful village of Taybeh located between Jerusalem, Ramallah and Jericho.
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