Israel 7-Day Itinerary - One Week in Israel

By Petal Mashraki | Published on 12/18/2018

Thanks to Israel’s compact size it is possible to cover the whole country in about a week. Of course you won’t see everything but a week is long enough to see the highlights and get a good overview of the whole country. If a week is all you have then you could either take a guided tour each day to a different part of the country or do it alone. Traveling independently the best way to get around is by renting a car although you could also do it using public transport. Here is an idea of a typical 7 day Israel itinerary.

Day 1 – Tel Aviv

Arriving at Ben Gurion rent a car and make your way to one of the excellent Tel Aviv hotels. Depending on what time you arrive you can start exploring the city. Check out the beachfront and maybe have an iconic meal of falafel or shawarma. Take a walk through the historic neighborhood of Neve Tzedek to see the Bauhaus architecture or the hustle and bustle of Tel Aviv’s open-air "shuks" touring the Carmel Market. If you are into art Tel Aviv has an excellent Art Museum otherwise you might like to visit HaTachana, a restored historic train station that has been converted into a shopping and entertainment venue. Sarona is another shopping complex created out of a number of buildings from an 1871 German Templer colony. Of course, there is the old port of Jaffa; the perfect place to end your first day in Israel at one of the seafood restaurants overlooking the Tel Aviv coast. 

Suggested Overnight: Tel Aviv

Optional tours for this day: Tel Aviv Bike Tour, Jaffa Flea Market Tour

See all Tel Aviv Tours

Day 2 – Galilee

Make an early start on day two and follow the coastal road north all the way to Galilee. Along the way, you will pass many interesting cities and villages and you will have the Mediterranean Sea on your left most of the way.
On the journey north, you will also see some of Israel’s finest farmlands and pass through breathtaking greenery. The area around the Sea of Galilee is one of the most beautiful in the country. There is lush vegetation, historic and religious sites as well as the gorgeous sea where you can swim, do water sports, and go on short cruises. This is also the area where Jesus spent his ministry years going from village to village preaching. There are several gorgeous churches commemorating biblical sites around the Sea of Galilee. Base yourself in Tiberias then drive around the Sea of Galilee visiting the Mount of Beatitudes (site of the Sermon on the Mount); the House of Peter at Capernaum; Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes and the Church of St.Peter’s Primacy at Tabgha and Cana, where Jesus turned water into wine. You can stop at Yardenit to get baptized at the same place in the Jordan River where John the Baptist baptized Jesus.  If you have no interest in religious sites then there are other attractions around the Sea of Galilee. Follow some of the many hike trails; go out on the water; explore the city of Tiberias or the thermal pools at Hamat Gader. End your day with a delicious fish dinner in one of the Tiberias restaurants overlooking the sea.

Suggested Overnight: Galilee Kibbutz hotel

The optional tour for this day: Sea of Galilee TourNazareth, and Sea of Galilee Private Tour 

See all Galilee tours

Day 3 – Golan Heights

Leaving Galilee drive north to the Golan Heights. The area is covered with lush forests and can boast magnificent waterfalls, mountain castles, scenic farmlands, and vineyards.
That said, the
Golan Heights trip could be your dream escape. You will see the panorama of the shores of the Sea of Galilee from Shalom Observatory, explore the Talmudic village of Katzrin, visit Mount Bental where Syrian fortifications have remained and walk through the Syrian trenches and bunkers from the times of the Six-Day War.

Suggested Overnight: Galilee Kibbutz hotel

The optional tour for this day: Golan Heights and Safed Tour, 2 Days

See all Golan Heights tours 

Day 4 – Haifa, Acre, Caesarea

Leave Galilee and make your way to the west with a Caesarea, Acre, and Rosh Hanikra Tour stopping at the ancient city of Acre (Akko) which was a strategic port city during the Crusader, Mamluk, and Ottoman periods. The old city of Acre has survived and has a lively market plus cavernous underground structures built by the Crusaders. The city is also home to some picturesque mosques and a quaint port. Continue on a little further south through Haifa where you can stop to see the famous Baha'i Gardens. These gardens or the Hanging Terrace Gardens cascade down Mount Carmel is 19 terraces planted with brightly colored flowers and shrubs. At the top of the gardens is the gold-domed Shrine of Bab and an observation terrace where you can look out over Haifa Bay. A little further south is the ancient city of Caesarea.
Today modern Caesarea is a prestigious residential city and home to the rich and famous but along the coast are the ancient remains of a former Roman port city. The old city was built by Herod the Great in c.25-13BC and many structures have remained including a perfectly preserved Roman amphitheater, aqueducts, Roman mansions, and from the later Crusader-era there are fortress walls and other structures. Continue on to Rosh haNikra to see the stunning limestone grottoes. 

Suggested Overnight: Jerusalem

The optional tour for this dayCaesarea, Zichron, and Haifa Private Tour

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Day 5 – Jerusalem

Start your day in Jerusalem with a tour of the Old City and the many sites within the ancient walls. Visit the Wailing Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and walk the Via Dolorosa retracing Jesus’ footsteps on route to his crucifixion. While in the Old City you could walk the ramparts, visit the Tower of David, the Dome of the Rock, see the ancient Roman main street, the Cardo, and enjoy the many markets. On leaving the Old City head for Yad Vashem the Israeli Holocaust museum. Depending on your interests you could stroll through the modern streets of Jerusalem; visit the Ultra-orthodox neighborhood of Mea Shearim, see the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, or visit the Israel Museum.

Suggested Overnight: Jerusalem

The optional tour for this day: City of David & Underground Jerusalem Tour,  Jerusalem Temple Mount & Dome of the Rock Tour   

See all Jerusalem tours

Day 6 – Dead Sea

Wake up to a glorious day by the Dead Sea. Today you are going to see Masada, one of the most important landmarks in Jewish history. Masada is a fortress constructed by King Herod and the last stronghold of the Zealots against the Romans.  It took a couple of years for the Romans to build a high ramp to reach the top. When they got to Masada, they uncovered that the Zealots committed mass suicide. Since then Masada has become a Jewish cultural icon and a symbol of humanity’s never-ending struggle for freedom. You can either ascend to Masada by cable car or walk to the top with the Snake Path. After the tour of Masada, relax and recharge your batteries sunning yourself on Kalia beach. Float in the Dead Sea and cover your skin with the mineral-rich Dead Sea mud.

Suggested Overnight: Jerusalem

The optional tour for this day: Dead Sea Relaxation Tour, Masada Sunrise, Ein Gedi, and Dead Sea Tour, Judean Desert Jeep Tour 

See all Dead Sea tours

Day 7 – West Bank

After revitalizing at the Dead Sea visit the gems of the West Bank, the land of breathtaking biblical sites.  See Jericho, the lowest and most ancient city on earth with its famous Tell Es-Sultan and Elisha's Spring, and explore Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus, with its Nativity Church, and the cave of St. Jerome beneath the Church of St. Catherine where the famous theologian translated most of the Bible into Latin. Do not forget to take a picture on Manger Square - the spot where pilgrims traditionally sing Christmas carols before the midnight mass. See the Shepherds' Field Chapel, marking the place where angels announced the birth of Christ. If you need a wide-sweeping overview of the Holy Land with its geography, culture, and politics, an organized Bethlehem and Jericho tour would be a good idea.

Suggested Overnight: Jerusalem

The optional tour for this dayJericho, Dead Sea, and the Jordan River Tour 

See all West Bank tours 

If you are interested in a Christian-oriented 7-day Holy Land tour, or a tour of Israel with a Jewish focus, check agencies offering classical Israel tour packages.