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East meets West on this special journey to Israel, a land steeped in rich history and a deep-rooted spirituality. This adventure will offer a taste of the diversity of landscape and culture, food, and history of this small country. Accompanied by hand-picked local guides, you’ll visit the lush landscapes of the upper Galil, the beautiful Ein Gedi, and float in the healing waters of the Dead Sea. You’ll also visit the worshipped, ancient city of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
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Your accommodations include two nights in Kibbutz Gonen, one night in Nir David, one night in Jerusalem (Harmony Hotel or equivalent), one night in Khan Beerotayim, one night in Kibbutz Ein Gedi, and one night in Tel Aviv (Hotel TBD).
The accommodations for the week are all surrounded by gorgeous natural landscapes and views of breathtaking cities, giving us the perfect opportunity to connect with nature and ground with a scenic yoga and meditation practice before breakfast. If you decide to sleep in on any given day and skip yoga, you’ll have the schedule and can always meet others during or after breakfast.
One Yoga Global has partnered with the Society for Nature Preservation in Israel and Shatour tours to curate an experience that will be beyond any typical “tour”. The daily activities will be complemented by daily group yoga / meditation practices surrounded by stunning and unique Israeli landscapes such as the quirky, ancient city of Safed (Tzefat), the Hahula Valley, and Mount Tavor. One Yoga Global is limiting this experience to 16 students.
Your lodging for the week will be in hotels and guest houses and you’ll have group transportation and private guides in tourist AC mini-bus transport. From the moment you arrive, you’ll be met at the Ben Gurion International Airport (TLV) and all is planned beautifully for you with private guides to the best sights and private AC minibus transportation. Breakfasts and six dinners are included. You’ll have one free dinner night in Jerusalem and a few light lunches on the go that you should budget a few dollars for.
One Yoga Global will provide a more detailed day by day itinerary as you get closer to the trip, but be assured each day will be filled with amazing sights, history, culture, food, and inspiration!
Nature tours, Bental Mountain, Hammat Hagader hot springs, Harod Valley, Mount Gilboa, the Jordan Valley Road to Jerusalem, the underground Western Wall tunnels, Ein Gedi, and floating in the Dead Sea are just some of the highlights. This incredible adventure is open to all. Accompanied daily by an expert tour guide, you will learn about the history, culture, and diverse geography of this tiny gem.
The first three days are dedicated to Northern Israel. Upon your arrival, after you settle in, you will begin in the ancient city of Safed where it is said that Noah’s sons (from the ark) originally settled. The city is pregnant with folklore and legend, including that of Amuka, a sacred valley where worshippers visit graves of holy sages. You will hike in Agamon Hahula, home to the largest bird migration in the world and visit the lush, green banks of the Banias River. You’ll visit Hammat Gader for the luscious hot springs and you’ll experience the wonder of the Mosaic Beit Alpha Synagogue and fill your belly with a delicious hummus lunch before driving up to Mount Gilboa for a fascinating biblical tour.
Jerusalem (Yerushalayim in Hebrew and Al-Quds in Arabic, meaning the holy city) is located in between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea. It is one of the oldest cities in the world and considered sacred to the three major Monotheistic world religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. You will explore the Jewish, Muslim, and Christian quarters of the City of David (now referred to as the “old city” which is covered with ancient buildings and tunnels built as far back as fourth millennium BCE! You will visit the Western Wall’s underground tunnels and the Holy Temple Mount itself. Jerusalem is also home to a world famous marketplace: Suk Mahane Yehuda, which you will visit to satisfy your hungry belly after exploring.
Masada, an ancient fortress with a dark history overlooking the wondrous Dead Sea is located in the Judean Desert and is one of Israel’s most popular destinations. After your hike up the plateau, you will treat yourself to a much-deserved lunch and swim in the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is unique - the water is so heavily concentrated with salt and minerals that it feels oily to the touch and provides the mud beneath it healing properties unavailable anywhere else in the world. No matter how much you try, you literally can’t sink. You may see locals reading newspapers and sipping coffee while floating in the water.
Ein Gedi, the Israeli desert oasis, is an absolutely stunning nature preserve. You will visit botanical gardens and possibly take a night hike at Havarei Vadi, a beautiful moonlit marlstone (limestone and mudstone) trail.
A unique special desert experience, you’ll spend an afternoon and overnight at Khan Be’rotayim Beduin style! You’ll be taken back in time where a grove of giant tamarisk trees met two ancient water used by hunters and gatherers some 55,000 years ago. In the shade of the ancient acacia tree, is a desert Khan built of mud, palm palms, mats, and recycled materials. The natural ingredients, the colors and the variety of shapes / textures and the quiet surrounding- soothe a magical feeling and a completely detached atmosphere. The Khan blends harmoniously with its natural environment, with no entertainment elements to disturb the quiet that allows its visitors to connect to surrounding spaces. The Khan offers hospitality in shares communal spaces, sleeping, and eating. You’ll have an incredible shared meal, a group camel ride, and a moonlit desert hike. The vastness and desert night sky are something to cherish. You’ll sleep like babies after this sweet day.
On your way to Tel Aviv, you’ll stop for a hike and swim in Nahal David, a stream in the Ein Gedi oasis. Yoga in the desert? Yes! There is so much to do and see in this gorgeous country, but you had to give yourself at least one day in Tel Aviv (Dana’s hometown!). Spend the day relaxing at the beach or explore the shopping and fabulous food. Perhaps you’ll grab a falafel at Hakosem or have lunch at the Miznon where they scream your name with gusto at the counter. Tel Aviv is home to many museums, cafes, and bars.
Once One Yoga Global gathers all participants, you’ll drive north for dinner and overnight stay at a guest house at Kibbutz Gonen.
After breakfast and yoga, you will begin your journey with the lush Banias nature reserve - a mix of ancient city ruins with the stunning nature of Northern Israel. The Banias waterfalls are most impressive during the winter and spring when the water is plentiful on its way down to the Sea of Galilee. Next, you will drive to Mas’ade, a Druze village in the Golan Height for a delicious Druze lunch.
Druze (pronounced druse) are a minority religious group with roots in Islam whose three million practitioners worldwide are found primarily in Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan. The Druze are known for their hospitality and welcoming attitude towards guests and the food is delicious and as authentic as Middle Eastern food will get. You are in for quite a treat!
Next, you will travel to Odem for Mama Yorta, to settle into a beautiful yoga space with a lovely overlook from the nearby village of Odem followed by Agamon Hahula. The Hula valley is a major stopover for birds migrating along the Syrian-African rift valley as Israel is home to one of the largest bird migrations in the world. This unique bird / wildlife tour is a wonderful way to end your first day together. You’ll return to the guest house for dinner and rest.
After breakfast and morning yoga at the Kibbutz, you’ll visit the Mount of Beatitudes and the Sea of Galilee, two holy Christian sites: the first on which it is believed that Jesus delivered his famous “Sermon on the Mount” and the second where it is believed that he walked on water. We’ll have lunch at Tzemah junction then head up to the Gilboa to Barkan Mountain and the Irises. (for a very brief time in the spring Barkan mountain is painted with beautiful irises. You are fortunate enough to experience its bloom during your time there!) You will take a leisurely hike enjoying the wildflower-rich scenery and the crisp northern air. Tonight, you’ll have dinner at the Restaurant at Hammat Gader and stay at Kibbutz Nir David where you can enjoy the hot springs after evening yoga!
After breakfast and yoga, you’ll drive via the Jordan Valley to Jerusalem. Your time in Jerusalem will be a time of connection and introspection. Appropriate meditative practices will be offered to complement your experiences in this holy city.
You’ll visit the city of David and Hezekiya’s water tunnel, an ancient water tunnel carved during the reign of King Hezekiya to transport water from one side of the city to the other. This is a true immersion into what ancient city life was like. Bring water shoes and shorts for this excursion. Next, you’ll walk in the old city, visit the Jewish quarter (Western Wall) and the Via Dolorosa - where it is believed that Jesus carried his cross.
Jerusalem is holy to all three monotheistic faiths and you will experience this religious diversity in all its glory during your time in this city. Lastly, you’ll visit Mahne Yehuda Market - one of the most vibrant markets in the Middle East. This is the time to let your senses run wild with tons of options for food and drink. East truly meets West in this wonderful place! On this night, your evening is free (no group dinner is planned) but suggestions will be offered. Overnight stay will be at Harmony Hotel Jerusalem
An Early rise (no morning yoga today). Visit the Temple Mount (Dome of the Rock) which ends your time in Jerusalem with a visit to one of the holy sites for Muslims. This place is not only visually stunning (the dome is painted in bright gold as can be seen in many pictures of the Jerusalem skyline), but it is deeply fascinating both historically and spiritually.
Next, you will drive to the Dead Sea and visit Masada, a fortress on the mountain with a dark, ancient history overlooking the Dead Sea. Visit the beach on the Dead Sea where you will also have a relaxed yoga class. Afterwards, you will head to Ein Gedi Hotel for a time at the spa. One Yoga Global hopes to offer a bonfire and meditation with your overnight at Ein Gedi.
Breakfast and morning yoga lesson at the botanical garden. You’ll walk through the En Gedi Nature Reserve as you transition into the quiet of the desert. Lush fresh water springs flowing into clear streams and waterfalls nestled between the dry Judean desert and the Dead Sea. After lunch, you’ll drive to the Negev to Khan Beerotayim for a truly authentic desert experience! Spending the afternoon and evening in Beduin style, The Khan is a special experience where you will be taken back in time.
Sleeping arrangements will be communal in large huts. Each has a shady balcony and hammocks. You’ll settle in, have a gentle yoga session and then you can have the opportunity to take a camel ride. You’ll share a delicious dinner then take a memorable evening desert hike. The vastness and desert night sky are something to cherish. You’ll sleep like babies after this sweet day.
After a relaxing morning, breakfast and yoga, you’ll take a drive to Tel Aviv where you’ll have free time to walk around Nahlat Benjamin, a quirky, charming, artisan market in the heart of Tel-Aviv. The best way to experience this city is simply to walk around and take it all in! You have a special last group dinner planned and the last night at a hotel in Tel Aviv. Dana will tell you all about her hometown and if you’re looking for a nightlife, this is the place!
Breakfast and transfer to Ben Gurion Airport (TLV) for departure flights.
Dana discovered yoga through a voice teacher who incorporated yoga asana into the art of singing when she was only fifteen years old. Having already suffered from a number of eating disorders, severe anxiety, and depression, yoga and singing together created a safe space where being in her body didn’t seem so bad. Having spent her childhood traveling between Israel and Texas, “home” was a loosely defined word. Yoga became a major building block in the long process of making her body into her home.
Rabbi Rebecca Epstein decided to pursue a career as a rabbi, as a personal response to witnessing the aftermath of the tragedy of 9/11/2001 in New York City. At the time, she was teaching Hebrew school at a synagogue on the Upper West Side. Rebecca concluded that she could connect both students and adults to the wisdom of Jewish tradition as a way to deal with these demanding times. Concurrently, Rebecca explored Eastern spiritual traditions through her study of yoga, which included completing yoga teacher training through Yoga Works in New York.
This yoga retreat will take place in several locations in Israel, including Safed, The Galilee, and Tiberius in Northern Israel, Jerusalem, Masada, The Dead Sea, and Ein Gedi, Negev, and Tel-Aviv.
Please book your flight to arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport (TLV). Transfer from and to the airport is included. One Yoga Global will pick you up from the airport.
More than 80 airlines operate flights to Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport (TLV). Five airlines operate as many as ten flights a day nonstop from North America to Tel Aviv (Air Canada, Delta, EL AL Israel Airlines, United, US Airways).
Please note that since One Yoga Global has participants coming from various parts of the world, they ask that you plan to arrive by early afternoon on the first day (no later than 15:00) for group pick up at the airport likely between 16:00 and 16:30 (this may be adjusted if everyone arrives earlier). There is a coffee shop in the arrivals hall after customs to the right where the groups will gather. If your best route is to arrive one (or more) nights early, their partners in Israel can assist you with a hotel booking. One Yoga Global will also offer a pick up at the Prima Hotel on Mapu Street on the first day for early arrivers.
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