Israel and the West Bank: The Future of Innovation Amid Conflict
tripDetail_slider_img1 MOBILE

11 days

from ₹5,50,500 trip_detail hint icon

Prices are indicative. Based on twin share. The rate of exchange calculated is approximate and the final tour cost will be as on the final date of payment. Taxes are additional.

trip_detail module icon Signature Land

trip_detail module Light icon Light-Moderate trip_detail hint icon

Travelers should be in good health and comfortable walking or standing for extended periods of time. Daily activities may include walking tours, visits to sites, safari drives, and easy hikes; and some days will have more physical activities such as longer hikes, kayaking, snorkeling, or biking.

Premium trip_detail hint icon

Premium expeditions are led by a National Geographic expert, an expedition team, or top guides, and tap into National Geographic's worldwide resources to allow for in-depth exploration and special access to sites and experts in the field. Itineraries are fully planned, with some free time. Accommodations are high-end or best available. Ground transportation and most meals and activities are included in the trip price.

Ask a Question
trip_detail expedition map image
EXPEDITION OVERVIEW
  • Explore various sides of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict with experts from National Geographic and The Wall Street Journal, as well as activists, entrepreneurs, and educators living across the region.
  • Delve into thousands of years of history in the Holy Land, from the churches and mosques of Jerusalem’s Old City to mountain fortresses in the Negev Desert.
  • Learn about life on the border of the Gaza Strip, and cross into the West Bank to meet with Israeli settlers in Gush Etzion and Palestinian entrepreneurs in Ramallah.
  • Experience age-old traditions and savor the rich flavors of Israeli cuisine in bustling markets, quaint cafés, and local kitchens from Tel Aviv to Bethany.
EXPERTS ON THIS TRIP

A National Geographic and Wall Street Journal expert will accompany each departure, and local guides join us along the way.

Itinerary

Journey through the storied lands of Israel and the West Bank and gain a unique dual perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, provided by peace-builder guides from both sides of the border. Explore ancient landmarks in the Old City of Jerusalem—from the Temple Mount to the Western Wall—through the eyes of Jews, Muslims, and Christians. Venture into the golden expanse of the Negev desert, float in the Dead Sea, and relax in the lush, coastal cities of Jaffa and Haifa. From Tel Aviv to Ramallah, engage in discussions with local politicians, journalists, and grassroots organizers working to achieve a diplomatic solution to the ongoing struggle for political self-determination in the Holy Land; and hear how the region is leveraging technology and innovation amid a climate of conflict.

Day 1: Tel Aviv, Israel

Arrive at the airport in Tel Aviv, enjoying VIP assistance through customs; then transfer to your hotel overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Meet fellow travelers and accompanying experts from National Geographic and The Wall Street Journal at our welcome reception, and get introduced to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict during a talk by a local historian. After dinner, discuss the dual narrative concept—an effort to illuminate both sides of the conflict through tours led by teams of Israeli and Palestinian guides.

Day 2: Jaffa/Tel Aviv

trip_detail Itinerary image 1

This morning, journey to the ancient Mediterranean port city of Jaffa. Stroll winding stone alleyways and learn about the city’s religious and political history from the Bronze Age to the present. Return to Tel Aviv to explore one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods, Neve Tzedek, and lively Rothschild Boulevard, dotted with monuments commemorating the establishment of Israel. At the Taglit–Birthright Innovation Center, meet with a local entrepreneur and discuss Israel’s future as a “start-up nation.” Later, visit Tel Aviv University for a conversation with students in the StarTAU entrepreneurial program.

Day 3: Tel Aviv

Delve into the development of the modern state of Israel at the Yitzhak Rabin Center, a national institute dedicated to the legacy of the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. At the center’s Israeli Museum, historical exhibits and short documentary films provide an in-depth examination of important events in the country’s history. Return to our hotel to meet with a panel of journalists and activists to discuss peace-building and politics in Israel. In the evening, learn more about the region’s complex history from our Wall Street Journal expert.

Day 4: Mediterranean Coast

trip_detail Itinerary image 1

Today, explore contemporary political and religious movements along Israel’s Mediterranean coast as you travel between Tel Aviv and Haifa. Visit the Q School in Tira to learn about its progressive curriculum focused on English-language education for Arab-Israeli students. Tour a kibbutz for a glimpse into one of Israel’s socialist collective communities. Head to the town of Daliyat el Karmil to sit down for lunch with a Druze family, members of an Arabic-speaking ethnoreligious group with ancient roots. In Haifa, visit the green Bahá'í Gardens on the slopes of Mount Carmel. These lush terraces surround the Shrine of Báb, one of the 19th-century founders of the Bahá’í faith. After returning to Tel Aviv, enjoy dinner with representatives of a local organization working to cultivate interfaith relationships between Arabs and Jews.

Day 5: Tel Aviv/Southern Israel

After breakfast, meet with Gershon Baskin, author and founder of Israel–Palestine: Creative Regional Initiatives, a nonprofit think tank combining research with peace-building actions and advocacy. Then venture into the golden plains of the Negev—the desert region of southern Israel—to visit the city of Sederot, about a mile from the border with Gaza. Tour Sederot with a local guide and visit the offices of Amdocs, a multinational telecommunications company. While walking the city’s tree-lined streets, learn more about the Iron Dome innovation, established to intercept missiles fired across the border. Stop at the factory for SodaStream, once the subject of international controversy for operating its facilities in the West Bank. End your day with a visit to a traditional Bedouin village.

Day 6: Negev/Dead Sea/Jerusalem

trip_detail Itinerary image 1

Explore the stark desert realm of the Negev this morning. Stand on the edge of Ramon Crater, a vast erosion cirque at the center of Israel’s largest national park. Capture incredible images of this otherworldly landscape, home to wildlife such as the Asiatic wild ass and the Nubian ibex. In Masada, climb to an ancient fortress along a ramp once used by Roman soldiers, and view the ruins of the 2,000-year-old mountain refuge of Herod the Great. Descend the mountain by cable car, then head to the shores of the Dead Sea for an afternoon float on the world’s deepest hypersaline lake. Continue to Jerusalem this evening and head to the top of the Mount of Olives to enjoy panoramic city views.

Day 7: Jerusalem

trip_detail Itinerary image 1

Begin your exploration of one of the world’s oldest cities with a visit to Temple Mount, a venerated holy site in Jerusalem’s Old City. Gaze at the glittering cupola of the Dome of the Rock, and meet an imam from Al-Asqa Mosque to learn about the site’s importance in Islam. Touch the ancient stones of the Western Wall, believed to have been built by King Herod, then sit down to lunch with a rabbi to discuss the wall’s religious significance for Jews. In the afternoon, visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, home to six Christian sects and, according to tradition, the tomb of Jesus. Before dinner, meet with a local pastor to continue the dialogue on Jerusalem’s importance to many faiths.

Day 8: Jerusalem

Today, trace the turbulent history of the birth of the state of Israel at Yad Vashem, the nation’s memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, and meet a survivor for a sobering glimpse into one of history’s darkest decades. Then delve into the bustling Mahane Yehuda Market for a taste of local specialties like halvah and hummus. During a free afternoon, choose to view the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Israel Museum, wander café-lined boulevards, or stroll the shady garden of Gethsemane. Tonight, gather for a discussion with activists from the Bereaved Families Forum, a joint Israeli–Palestinian organization of over 600 families who have lost loved ones in the conflict.

Day 9: The West Bank/Bethlehem

Delve deeper into the complexities of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict at a morning meeting with Women Wage Peace, a grassroots movement of women working to achieve political agreement to resolve the conflict. Travel to the Gush Etzion Jewish settlement in the West Bank to hear from female Israeli settlers living in this disputed territory. Continue to Bethlehem to explore Manger Square and the Church of the Nativity, which stands on the site believed to have been the birthplace of Jesus. This afternoon, visit Aida, a Palestinian refugee camp, to learn how the inhabitants use street art as a form of nonviolent expression. Then listen to a Palestinian woman’s story of life as a refugee. In the evening, join our National Geographic expert Aziz Abu Sarah for dinner at his home in Bethany, followed by a performance by an Arab–Jewish band.

Day 10: Jerusalem/Ramallah

Today, explore the roles of politicians and the media in shaping the global narrative of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. Set out on a geo-political tour of Jerusalem led by Miri Eisin, a retired colonel for the Israel Defense Forces and former international advisor to the Prime Minister of Israel; then meet an Israeli journalist to learn about local coverage of the conflict. Gather with a group of entrepreneurial women for lunch in Ramallah, the de facto capital of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. Tour the city’s historic sites, from Crusader-era ruins to the tomb of Yasser Arafat. Sit down for a discussion with a Palestinian government official before returning to Jerusalem for a farewell reception and dinner.

Day 11: Tel Aviv

Transfer to the airport in Tel Aviv to connect with your international flight home.

What to Expect

This expedition is rated as light/moderate; travelers should be in good health and comfortable walking or standing for extended periods of time. Travelers should expect full days, many of which require several miles of walking. Much of the touring occurs outside, rain or shine, and offers limited access to shade or benches. Excursions may include navigating uneven terrain, climbing stairs without handrails, and walking on paths with steep ascents or descents. On Day 6, travelers will climb a ramp to the top of the ancient fortress of Masada and take a gondola back down. They will also climb to the top of the Mount of Olives. Please note that there are some long travel days.

ACCOMMODATIONS

Throughout the trip, we stay in ideally located, high-end hotels with ample amenities.

1 /4

Dan Tel Aviv Hotel - Tel Aviv, Israel

At the heart of political and cultural life in Tel Aviv since Israel’s founding, the Dan Tel Aviv Hotel blends city access with beachside ambiance. Sleek, contemporary rooms overlook an iconic promenade along the Mediterranean or Tel Aviv’s sparkling skyline. Guests enjoy ample lounge space in each room and an elegant bathroom with walk-in shower and bath. Indoor and outdoor rooftop swimming pools offer spectacular sea views. From a lavish breakfast buffet to exquisite regional cuisine at the flagship restaurant, guests are immersed in the rich history of Israel with every experience at the Dan Tel Aviv Hotel.

2 /4

Dan Tel Aviv Hotel - Tel Aviv, Israel

At the heart of political and cultural life in Tel Aviv since Israel’s founding, the Dan Tel Aviv Hotel blends city access with beachside ambiance. Sleek, contemporary rooms overlook an iconic promenade along the Mediterranean or Tel Aviv’s sparkling skyline. Guests enjoy ample lounge space in each room and an elegant bathroom with walk-in shower and bath. Indoor and outdoor rooftop swimming pools offer spectacular sea views. From a lavish breakfast buffet to exquisite regional cuisine at the flagship restaurant, guests are immersed in the rich history of Israel with every experience at the Dan Tel Aviv Hotel.

3 /4

Beresheet Hotel - Mitzpe Ramon, Israel

Perched on the edge of a plateau overlooking the sweeping expanse of Israel’s Negev Desert, Beresheet offers immersion in an extraordinary landscape of red stone and stark cliffs. Luxurious modern rooms are decorated in rich earth tones, and each includes a sleek stone-tiled bathroom and a private balcony facing the desert. An outdoor infinity swimming pool overlooks the Ramon Crater, the world’s largest erosion cirque and the centerpiece of Israel’s largest national park. Guests can relax in the spa or Turkish steam room and savor gourmet cuisine sourced from local farms in the artfully designed restaurant, surrounded by spectacular desert views.

4 /4

Mamilla Hotel - Jerusalem, Israel

A stunning convergence of old and new defines Jerusalem’s Mamilla Hotel, a cosmopolitan sanctuary situated at the boundary between the Old City and the dynamic Mamilla district. Once the site of an ancient reservoir, the neighborhood grew into one of the earliest Ottoman commercial districts and remains a destination for shoppers and culture seekers to this day. Rooms are designed in an elegant, contemporary style, featuring handmade woodwork and glass-walled bathrooms. Guests can gather at the sophisticated bar and delight in Mediterranean-inspired dishes at a sleek bistro or a spectacular rooftop terrace.

PRICES & DATES

  • date Mar 5-15, 2020
  • double occupancy ₹ 5,50,500 Per Person
  • single occupancy ₹7,01,600 Per Person
  • extensions yes

Prices are per person based on double or single occupancy (unless otherwise noted) and do not include international airfare to/from your destination. All prices and fares are quoted in U.S. dollars and subject to change. See the terms and conditions for this trip for more information.

  • Transfers upon arrival and departure
  • Accommodation as indicated in the itinerary
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Daily activities and excursions as indicated in the itinerary
  • All gratuities
  • Airfare to and from destination, as well as internal airfare where applicable
  • Trip cancellation insurance or any other travel insurance
  • Visas
  • Alcoholic beverages
Aziz Abu Sarah
Author Educator
"

Named a 2011 National Geographic Emerging Explorer for his groundbreaking work as a cultural educator, Aziz Abu Sarah has dedicated his life to bringing Israelis and Palestinians together to find common ground, build mutual understanding, and forge lasting relationships. He has spoken in hundreds of churches, synagogues, and mosques, before both the European Parliament and the United Nations, and at many universities on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, peace, reconciliation, and interfaith dialogue. He is co-executive director of George Mason University’s Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution.

"
  • Mar 5-15, 2020
Yaroslav Trofimov
Reporter
"

Yaroslav Trofimov is chief foreign-affairs correspondent for The Wall Street Journal. He joined the Journal in 1999 and previously served as Greater Middle East columnist; as a Rome, Middle East, and Singapore-based correspondent; and as bureau chief in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He is the author of two books, Faith at War (2005) and Siege of Mecca (2007).

Yaroslav will join the Future of Everything: Exploring Global Innovation by Private Jet expedition in Helsinki. He will join half of the Israel and the West Bank: The Future of Innovation Amid Conflict expedition.

"
  • Mar 5-15, 2020
Aziz Abu Sarah
Author Educator
"

Named a 2011 National Geographic Emerging Explorer for his groundbreaking work as a cultural educator, Aziz Abu Sarah has dedicated his life to bringing Israelis and Palestinians together to find common ground, build mutual understanding, and forge lasting relationships. He has spoken in hundreds of churches, synagogues, and mosques, before both the European Parliament and the United Nations, and at many universities on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, peace, reconciliation, and interfaith dialogue. He is co-executive director of George Mason University’s Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution.

"
  • Mar 5-15, 2020
Yaroslav Trofimov
Reporter
"

Yaroslav Trofimov is chief foreign-affairs correspondent for The Wall Street Journal. He joined the Journal in 1999 and previously served as Greater Middle East columnist; as a Rome, Middle East, and Singapore-based correspondent; and as bureau chief in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He is the author of two books, Faith at War (2005) and Siege of Mecca (2007).

Yaroslav will join the Future of Everything: Exploring Global Innovation by Private Jet expedition in Helsinki. He will join half of the Israel and the West Bank: The Future of Innovation Amid Conflict expedition.

"
  • Mar 5-15, 2020