Creative Columbia Tour

February 4th - February 12th, 2018

day 1 of tour

Sunday, February 4th Cartagena

Walled City carriage tour

Upon arrival at the airport in Cartagena, we’ll transfer to our hotel. In the evening, we’ll head out for a special tour of the walled city of Cartagena’s Old Town. Six miles of ancient walls surround the area.  They were built centuries ago to protect against pirate attacks.  In our horse-drawn carriage, we’ll view the wonders of old Cartagena by night.  As we travel through the historic district, we’ll see the remarkable Spanish colonial architecture, smell the fresh bougainvillea, and enjoy the night breezes.  After our tour, we’ll stop for dinner at a local restaurant, then return by private car to the hotel.

day 2 of tour

Monday, February 5th Cartagena

Cartagena city tour

After breakfast, we’ll visit a nearby church and monastery.  The Monasterio and Iglesia de la Popa were once known as the Popa del Galeon because of the complex’s resemblance to a galleon ship.  The church and monastery were built in 1606 and overlook the city and busy port, providing the most panoramic views of the city and surrounding area.

Next we’ll visit the San Felipe Fortress.  One of the oldest buildings in all of Colombia, it was built in honor of Cartagena’s most famous poet, Don Luis Carlos López. Atop San Lázaro hill, the fortress was constructed to withstand pirate attacks in earlier centuries.  The fortress castle contains many underground passageways and galleries.

We’ll spend some time in the old city, Ciudad Vieja, where we’ll tour the Convent and Church of San Pedro Claver, built in the middle of the 17th century. The skeletal remains of the saint for whom it was named are interred at the main altar. The church features a lovely courtyard, an impressive organ, and beautiful stained glass windows.

From there we’ll travel to the Bovedas handicrafts zone.  Used centuries ago to house armaments and serve as a prison, the area is a series of archways that were built into the city’s walls.  Today it is an artisan center that displays colorful local handicrafts.

We’ll have lunch, then head to Cartagena’s colonial district.  At the heart of it lies Bolivar Park, which features a statue of the country’s Liberator, Simon Bolivar.  Fountains and trees fill the lovely park.  Natives ride through the park on llamas, and it’s a nice place to people-watch. Nearby is the city’s Gold Museum, which contains archeological treasures from the pre-Hispanic period.  We’ll also stop at the Inquisition Palace, the long-ago site of torture chambers for alleged Catholic Church heretics.  Its beautiful façade and baroque door belie the horrors that once lay within.

While in the area, we’ll also stop by the Santo Domingo Church, where we’ll learn about the activist priests who protected slaves and Indians; the Cathedral, the Terraplenes or embankments, and the Museum of the City’s Fortifications.

Then we’ll return to the hotel for our overnight accommodations.

day 3 of tour

Tuesday, February 6th Cartagena

Individual activities/day tour

After breakfast, everyone will have a full free day to pursue individual activities.  Individuals may wish to look into available day tours, such as a visit to the Archipiélago del Rosario. Also known as the Coral Islands of Rosario, this group of thirty islets is a national park that serves to guard the area’s diverse wildlife, marine life, and coral reefs.

We’ll stay overnight again in Cartagena.

day 4 of tour

Wednesday, February 7th Cartagena-Pereira

After breakfast this morning, we’ll make our transfer to the local airport to depart for Pereira, by way of Bogotá. After our arrival, we’ll transfer to our hotel for overnight accommodations.

day 5 of tour

Thursday, February 8th Pereira-Valle del Cocora-Salento-Filandia-Pereira  

 

Parque Nacional de los Nevados, Valle del Cocora trout farm, Salento city tour, Filandia city tour

After breakfast, we’ll depart Pereira for a full day of sightseeing.  First we’ll travel to the Valle de Cocora.  Located in the central mountains of Quindio, this valley lies in the Parque Nacional de los Nevados.  In this lush park setting are a wide variety of native flora and funa, from the tall Quindian wax palm to the endangered palm parrot. To explore the valley’s immense biodiversity, we’ll head into the “cloud forest,” named for the ever-present mist that clings to the cool, mountainous area.  It can be reached either by horseback or hiking trails.  When we head out of the forest, we’ll cross the Quindio River, shaded by tall wax palms.

After lunch, we’ll travel the short distance to Salento and take a tour around the town.  It has retained more of its Spanish colonial architecture than almost any other municipality in Colombia. Stops will include a visit to the Plaza de Bolivar, where buildings with colorful balconies line the streets and shops display local handicrafts.

From Salento, we’ll transfer to the village of Filandia.  Our tour of the village will include its many colonial homes, its own Plaza de Bolivar, and coffee shops that feature the country’s most famous export.  The views of the surrounding countryside are charming, particularly from the mirador, or viewing tower, overlooking the Cauca Valley.

Finally, we’ll head back to Pereira and return to our hotel for an overnight stay.

day 6 of tour

Friday, February 9th Pereira-Coffee Region-Bogota

Coffee plantation tour

This morning, we’ll leave after breakfast for a visit to Colombia’s prime coffee region.  In the steep hills of this area, numerous coffee plantations can be found.  Our drive takes us through verdant fields of coffee plants, surrounded by heliconia flowers and fincas.  When we arrive at the Alto de La Paz, we’ll take a break to enjoy the beautiful views of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Next we’ll travel to one of the coffee haciendas to tour the plantation and see the coffee production system, from the harvest to the sun drying and treatment.  The rich volcanic land in this central Andes Mountain region makes the area perfect for coffee growing.  First we’ll visit the hacienda’s homestead, where we’ll receive an introductory chat about coffee preparation and toasting, as well as learn about the characteristics and properties of the best coffees.  Then we’ll tour the grounds and see the coffee pickers at work.  A lot of work goes into making Colombian coffee the best in the world, and we’ll see the whole cycle in action.

In the afternoon, we’ll transfer to the airport and catch our flight to Bogotá. Once we arrive, we’ll transfer to our hotel for check-in and our overnight accommodations and prepare for Shabbat with the community.

day 7 of tour

Saturday, February 10th

Shabbat enjoyed at leisure with Jewish community in Bogota .

day-8

Sunday, February 11th Bogotá-Zipaquirá-La Candelaria-Bogotá  

 

Salt Cathedral, La Candelaria tour

In the morning we’ll depart Bogotá and head north to Zipaquirá.  We’ll travel through the Bogatá savannah, where we’ll see acres and acres of flowers.  Flower production is one of the area’s most important industries.

When we reach Zipaquirá, we’ll visit the amazing Salt Cathedral, a major feat of engineering.  It gets its name from the fact that the building and surrounding tunnels were carved out of saline rock. In the midst of the salt mines, the cathedral emerges in a tunnel that features the Stations of the Cross and travels to a lighted dome, under which are intricate naves and a main altar, atop which is an enormous cross carved from salt – the largest such object in the world.  In the mine itself, an auditorium hosts everything from fashion shows to film screenings.

During our excursion, we’ll have lunch, then begin the next leg of our trip. We’ll head to Bogotá’s historic center, known as La Candelaria.  Its rich cultural heritage and Spanish colonial architecture make it a treat for any history buff.  We’ll tour the main square, the Plaza de Bolivar, where a statute of Simon Bolivar is found – one of many in city squares throughout the country.  This square is a former bullring, execution site, and marketplace.  Along the plaza are many sites worth visiting, including a cathedral that houses a significant collection of religious artifacts. Colonial religious art is also found at the nearby Capilla del Sagrario. The Capitol building is worth a tour, as its architecture displays both Renaissance and neoclassical influences. Other buildings around the plaza include the Palace of Justice, the mayor’s offices, San Bartolome School, and the Casa de los Comuneros. We’ll make a stop at the Botero Museum, featuring Fernando Botero’s own art and estimable pieces from his private collection, including works by Monet, Picasso, Dali, and others.  A stop at the Gold Museum will allow us to see the museum’s permanent exhibition of over 32,000 gold pieces, and over 20,000 precious stones.

After a busy day visiting many of Bogotá’s most representative sites, we’ll transfer to the airport for our overnight flight home

day-9

Monday, February 12th

 

Arrive back in the USA after an enjoyable and educational week in Colombia’s coffee region and some of its most lovely cities.

Cost Per Person:

Based On Double Occupancy (two to a room)

  • Includes air fare from: New York, Chicago or Los Angeles. Airfares available from other cities upon request.
  • 3 Kosher Meals Daily
  • All airport transfers
  • Private Sightseeing as described with all admission fees with an English speaking tour guide
  • Services of an English speaking tour escort throughout the trip

Additional Costs

  • Visa fees
  • Snacks or items of a personal nature

$5,595

LAND ONLY - Deduct $400 (includes air within Columbia)

$1,495 (Single Supplement)

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Disclaimer

ITINERARY AND HOTELS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE

RATES MAY BE ADJUSTED IF THERE’S A FLUCTUATION IN CURRENCY OF MORE THAN 4% FROM SEPTEMBER 1, 2015

RATES MAY BE ADJUSTED IN THE EVENT OF AN INCREASE IN AIRLINE FUEL CHARGES

Cartagena

Hotel Sofitel Santa Clara

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sofitel-santa-clara

Pereira

Hotel Movich Pereira

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 hotel-movich

Bogota

Sofitel Bogota Victoria Regia

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sofitel-victoria

World Of The Maya Tour

Mexico, Guatemala, Belize

January 21st - February 1st, 2018

This comprehensive journey introduces you to the awe-inspiring natural wonders, arts, monuments and vibrant cities in the lands of the ancient Mayan civilisation: Mexico, Guatemala and Belize.

The Maya were an ancient Mesoamerican group that reside across Central America, and played an enormous role in the history, art and culture of these lands. Embark on an enthralling journey that explores the past and present ways of life in the rainforests of Villahermosa and Palenque, historic Flores, cosmopolitan Guatemala City, and the picturesque Lake Atitlán as we explore some of the most famous ruined Mayan cities in the world. This an epic voyage through three remarkable countries explores their ancient roots and experiencing their modern character, and whether you are a seasoned explorer or a first-time visitor, the memories and experiences gathered from this trip will be life changing.

We invite you to a tour that raises the bar of the educational experience, taking you far beyond anything that you have imagined of the Mayan civilisation. Our innovative excursions and exclusive cultural events help you get a hands-on experience of each country’s history, art, gastronomy and religion. The 100% kosher tour permits you to travel comfortably and confidently alongside our expertly chosen local tour guide available at all times to provide information or suggestions.

The world of the Maya is waiting – discover it with Deluxe Kosher Tours.

day 1 of tour

Sunday, January 21st Villahermosa

Meet and greet, Orientation, Comalcalco, Cacao farm tour, Parque Museo La Venta

We depart on our flight to the capital city of the Mexican province of Tabasco, Villahermosa. Enjoy kosher meals and in-flight entertainment during your journey, or read some of our suggested books about Mexico, Guatemala and Belize (see below).

Upon arrival at Carlos Rovirosa Pérez International Airport we are welcomed to Mexico by our carefully-selected personal Deluxe Kosher Tours tour director. They will bring us to our luxury hotel, the Hilton Hotel, and offer an introduction to Mexico and Villahermosa. In the afternoon we go on an exploratory tour of the must-see sights around Villahermosa. We begin with the Pre-Columbian Maya archaeological site of Comalcalco. The 6th century city is the only major Maya complex built with bricks rather than limestone masonry, and was the westernmost city of the Mayan civilisation. Receive a guided tour of the hundreds of structures scattered around the site, from pyramidal temples to elite dwellings, Mayan bathhouses to palaces, admiring the stunning architectural and decorative achievements of the Chontal Maya people. Then visit one of the many cacao farms that are settled deep in the forests of Tabasco, where we can see, smell and taste cacao in its various stages of production. Finally, return to Villahermosa to visit the Parque Museo La Venta, a fascinating tropical garden, zoo and museum where you can view Mayan and Olmec statues from Tabasco province.

day 2 of tour

Monday, January 22nd Villahermosa-Palenque

Palenque National Park

After breakfast we set off on our journey to the archaeological site of Palenque. Drive through enormous wetlands and mountainous scenery, rich with ancient archaeology and natural beauty. We will stop on the way to admire breathtaking views of jungle-covered mountains, misty river valleys, and cascading waterfalls. Upon arrival at Palenque National Park our expert tour guide brings you on an educational exploration of the site. The Palenque ruins emerge from the jungle, which appears to grow from the buildings themselves. The site has a fascinating history, gleaned by archaeologists from studying the hieroglyphs that decorate many of the monuments. Visit the palace with it’s amazing observation tower, before continuing to the Temple of the Inscriptions which contains the second longest Mayan hieroglyphic text in the world. After our tour is complete we transfer to modern Palenque, where we check in at the Hotel Chablis.

day 3 of tour

Tuesday, January 23rd Palenque-Frontera Corozal

Bonampak Mayan Ruins, Ancestral Mayan Ritual demonstration

We leave Palenque early to drive through Chiapas province to the Mayan ruins of Bonampak. This city is well-hidden in the Lacandon Jungle, and features exceptionally well-preserved Mayan frescoes, depicting traditional clothing, rituals, games, food and other aspects of life from that time. We then meet members of the indigenous groups of Chiapas, the Lacandon people, to learn about their language, history and traditional culture. We take part in an Ancestral Mayan cleansing and healing ritual led by the elders of the Lacandon people – a unique opportunity to experience traditional Mayan practices. In the evening we transfer to Frontera Corozal, a riverside town on the banks of the Usumacinta River, which flows along the Mexico-Guatemala border. We check in to the Corozal Bolontiku Hotel Boutique, and relax for the rest of the evening.

day 4 of tour

Wednesday, January 24th Frontera Corozal-Flores

Yaxchilan Mayan Ruins, Ixpanpajul Nature Park

After breakfast we set off on a traditional lanchas (small, narrow boat) downriver to the hidden Mayan city of Yaxchilan. Yaxchilan was one of the most powerful Maya states founded on the banks of the Usumacinta, though has a fascinating history of rivalry with its neighbours. Receive a guided tour of the Acropolis, Main Plaza, Labyrinth, temples, terraces and more, as you see some of the finest examples of carved lintels and steles. Then return to the lanchas to cross the border to Bethel in Guatemala. Here we transfer to the town of Flores on the shore of Lake Peten Itza. This town was the last independent Mayan enclave against the Spanish conquerors, who were unable to defeat the Mayans in Nojpetén, the city they built on the island, until 1697. We check in to the Hotel Isla de Flores and relax over refreshments before going out to explore Ixpanpajul Nature Park, where we can hike through the rainforest along suspended bridges and enjoy stunning views of the tropical landscape.

day 5 of tour

Thursday, January 25th Flores-Guatemala City

Uaxactun Mayan Ruins, Tikal Mayan Ruins

After a restful evening in Flores we embark to explore the isolated ruins of Uaxactun. Discovered by American archaeologist Sylvanus Morley in 1916, this site is famous for its large amount of hieroglyphs. Receive a guided tour of the ruins here, including a ballcourt used to play the Mayan sport, Pitz. Then explore the ceremonial centre of Tikal, where you can witness superb palaces, temples, an acropolis of dwellings, and Mundo Perdido – the largest ceremonial complex from the Preclassical period. After lunch transfer to Mundo Maya International Airport for our flight to Guatemala City – the capital of Guatemala. Here we check in to the Westin Camino Real Hotel before relaxing for the rest of the evening.

day 6 of tour

Friday, January 26th Guatemala City

Relief Map, La Mercad, Union Church, Teatro Nacional, Palacio Nacional, Paseo Cayala, Museo Popol Vuh, Museo Miraflores

In the morning we begin with a sightseeing tour of the city. We visit the Relief Map in Zone 2 where we can see a 1:10,000 scale model of the country, and track the route of our adventures so far. Then pass La Mercad, a beautiful colonial church with stunning statuary, and the Union Church on our way to the Teatro Nacional. Admire the unique architecture of this theatre, where plays, ballet and concerts are performed. Before lunch we receive a guided tour of the Palacio Nacional, the governmental centre of the country.

In the afternoon we visit the Paseo Cayala – a splendid shopping centre inspired by Spanish colonial architecture. Continue to the Museo Popol Vuh in the grounds of the Francisco Marroquín University, which has numerous exhibitions showcasing Guatemalan and Mayan culture. Our tour concludes at the Museo Miraflores, located in the Miraflores Shopping Mall. Explore their collection of Mayan arts and crafts before browsing the shops at your leisure. In the evening we return to the hotel to prepare for the Shabbat

day 7 of tour

Saturday, January 27th Guatemala City

Shabbat services, Seudat Shabbat,  Jardin Botanico

After the Shabbat services and lunch with the local community, you are free to spend the rest of the day as you wish.   We also suggest having a relaxed stroll through the sumptuous Jardin Botanico.

day-8

Sunday, January 28th Guatemala City-Antigua

ChocoMuseo, Parque Central, Arco de Santa Catalina, La Merced, Church of San Francisco, Cathedral de Santiago, Convento de las Caphuchinas, Lake Atitlán

In the morning we transfer by bus to the colonial city of Antigua Guatemala. Despite major destruction following an earthquake in 1773 the city has preserved its 18th century charm, with well-preserved Spanish Baroque influenced architecture and spectacular ruins of colonial churches. Enjoy a guided tour of the city, incorporating all of the must-see sites. We visit the ChocoMuseo, where you can learn about chocolate-making. The Mayans were the first people to cultivate chocolate, and consumed it as a thick, bitter, frothy drink served cold. Continue our tour at the Parque Central, the vibrant heart of Antigua. Here you can view the magnificent Arco de Santa Catalina. Continue to La Merced, a baroque church founded by Mercedarian monks in the 18th century. Then receive a guided visit of the Church of San Francisco and Cathedral de Santiago, before concluding the tour at the Convento de las Capuchina.

In the afternoon we transfer to Lake Atitlán, west of Antigua. The journey itself is a lovely trip through the Guatemalan highlands, and descending towards Lake Atitlan provides views that are truly magnificent. Upon arrival we check in to the Villa Maya hotel before relaxing for the rest of the day.

day-9

Monday, January 29th Lake Atitlan

Atitlan Nature Reserve, Iximche Mayan Ruins, Santiago Atitlán, Cojolya Weaving Center and Museum

Enjoy a fun-filled day exploring the shores of Lake Atitlán. We begin at Atitlan Nature Reserve where we hike to a waterfall, cross suspension bridges, see spider monkeys, and visit their butterfly sanctuary. We then make our way to the Mayan ruins of Iximche, where you can wander amongst the ballcourts, pyramids and dwellings containing murals that depict human sacrifice. Then come aboard for a boat ride across the lake to the town of Santiago Atitlán. Nestled between two volcanos, this town is populated by indigenous Mayans. Visit the Cojolya Weaving Center and Museum, where you can learn about the history and process of traditional Mayan weaving and costume. View the town’s Maximón (folk saint venerated by Mayan people), and enjoy browsing through the town’s artisanal shops selling locally-made handicrafts, colourful textiles, woodcarvings and naif paintings.

day 10 of tour

Tuesday, January 30th Lake Atitlan

Chichicastenango, Chichi Cemetery, Pascual Abaj, Santo Tomás Church, ChiChi Market

We begin our final full day in Guatemala at Chichicastenango, a town north of Lake Atitlán, which is famous for its Mayan traditions and market. Visit the brightly coloured Chichi Cemetery for breathtaking views of the landscape, before making our way to Pascual Abaj – a sacrificial stone and shrine to the Mayan deity Huyup Tak'ah. The god is still worshiped today, with local Mayans offering incense, flowers, and even sacrificial animals. Then stop to look at the Santo Tomás Church on our way to the ChiChi Market, where you are free to browse the stalls. In the evening we return to the hotel, and you are free to spend the rest of the day as you like.

day-11

Wednesday, January 31st Antigua-Belize City

Caracol Mayan Ruins, Belize City Tour, Belize Museum

We set off very early for the airport, for our flights to Belize City Municipal Airport in the capital of Belize. The British and Spanish fought over the region in the 17th and 18th centuries, before finally becoming the colony of British Honduras in 1854. Tucked between tropical jungles and the Caribbean, Belize offers the perfect place to wind down after our adventures. Upon arrival we check in to the Radisson Fort George Hotel and receive an introduction to the city. The Mayan civilisation flourished in the region for hundreds of years, and left behind ruins of their grandeur at Caracol, which we visit in the afternoon. Receive a guided tour of the tall sculpted stelae, plazas, acropolis, altars and ballcourts of this ancient city. Then return to Belize City for a tour of its cultural and historical center. We visit the Belize Museum, which houses displays on the Mayan civilizations, insects, the battle of St Georges Caye and the development of Belizean independence. You have the rest of the day free to explore the city, though we recommend enjoying a relaxed stroll along the Caribbean marina, or view the attractive St. John's Cathedral. In the evening we reunite for our final meal together.

day-12

Thursday, February 1st Belize City

After breakfast we transfer to Belize City Municipal Airport for our return flights home.

Cost Per Person:

Based On Double Occupancy (two to a room)

  • Round-trip airfare from New York
  • All domestic airfares within Mexico, Guatemala and Belize
  • An English-speaking, experienced tour guide/chauffeur
  • Full board accommodations for entire trip
  • 3 Kosher meals daily
  • All admissions as per itinerary

Additional Costs

  • Visa fees as required
  • Health and Travel Insurance
  • Budget for extra snacks, gifts, or other expenses of a personal nature
  • Any other services not specified

$6,995

$1,995 (Single Supplement)

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Disclaimer

ITINERARY AND HOTELS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE

RATES MAY BE ADJUSTED IF THERE’S A FLUCTUATION IN CURRENCY OF MORE THAN 4% FROM SEPTEMBER 1, 2015

RATES MAY BE ADJUSTED IN THE EVENT OF AN INCREASE IN AIRLINE FUEL CHARGES

Villahermosa

Hilton Hotel

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hilton-hotel

Palenque

Hotel Chablis

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hotel-chablis

Frontera Corozal

Corozal Bolontiku Hotel Boutique

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hotel-boutique

Flores

Hotel Isla De Flores

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hotel-isla-de-flores

Guatemala City

Westin Camino Real

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camino-real

Antigua

Villa Maya

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villa-maya

Belize City

Radisson Fort George Hotel And Marina

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radisson-fort

  • Incidents of Travel in Yucatan - John Lloyd Stephens
  • Breaking the Maya Code - Michael D. Coe
  • Time among the Maya - Ronald Wright
  • The Heart of the Sky - Peter Canby
  • Beyond the Mexique Bay - Aldous Huxley
  • The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw - Bruce Barcott

Umbria & Tuscany Tour

Florence, Siena, Assisi, Spoleto, Orvieto, Pisa

October 23rd - November 1st, 2017

This amazing holiday introduces you to the magnificent natural phenomena, cities, and exciting culture of Umbria and Tuscany.

Umbria and Tuscany are provinces with many contrasts. Cities full of antiquity, culture and sophistication are found in a magical countryside and coastline, bathed in a gentle, sunny climate. Umbria and Tuscany are intrinsically linked with the Middle Ages and Renaissance, so join our adventure as we travel through Italy to Florence, Siena, Assisi, Spoleto, Orvieto and Pisa. Whether you are a seasoned explorer or a first-time visitor, the memories and experiences gathered from this trip will be life changing.

By taking part in our voyage you will be included in a captivating experience, taking you far beyond standard tours of the country. Our innovative itinerary incorporates a mix of excursions to interesting and romantic locations, where you can witness landscapes of unparalleled beauty, breath-taking architectural marvels, and iconic Italian works of art. The 100% kosher tour and careful selection of the very best hotels permits you to travel comfortably and confidently, and your personal tour guide is available at all times to make your trip unforgettable.

Italy welcomes you – discover it with Deluxe Kosher Tours.

day 1 of tour

Sunday, October 23rd

We depart on our overnight flight to the city of Florence. Enjoy kosher meals and in-flight entertainment during your journey, or read some of our suggested books about Umbria and Tuscany (see above).

day 2 of tour

Monday, October 24th Florence

Meet and greet, Orientation

Upon arrival in Florence Airport we are welcomed to Italy by our carefully-selected personal Deluxe Kosher Tours tour director. They will bring us to our luxury hotel, the Westin Excelsior, and offer an introduction to Italy and Florence. Florence makes the perfect base from which to discover the glories of Umbria and Tuscany. The splendours of this Renaissance city are numerous, from churches and castles to picturesque streets filled with artisanal shops. Florence is particularly famous for its history as a centre of medieval trade, science, art and theology, which our expert tour guide will explain during our time there.

day 3 of tour

Tuesday, October 25th Florence-Siena

Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Duomo Museum, Baptistery of San Giovanni, Giotto's Bell Tower, Siena Cathedral, Piazza del Campo, Biblioteca Piccolomini, Abbey of St Galgano, San Gimignano 1300 Museum, Castello di Monterinaldi

We set off early for our tour of Florence, beginning at the vibrant heart of the city, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. This 15th century UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of Italy's largest churches, and proudly displays the largest brick dome ever built. After the exquisite decorations and architecture of the building we make our way to the nearby Duomo Museum to learn about the history of Florence and how its medieval buildings were made. Finally, admire the excellent medieval decorations of the Baptistery of San Giovanni before climbing Giotto's Bell Tower for breathtaking panoramic views of the city.

After lunch we drive to Siena for a walking tour, starting at the ornate Siena Cathedral, where you can appreciate the sumptuous mosaic decorations on the floor and stunning frescoes at the Biblioteca Piccolomini. Then circle around the beautiful Piazza del Campo, one of Europe's greatest medieval squares. After admiring the immense Torre del Mangia we return to the bus for an excursion to the spectacular Abbey of St Galgano. We continue to the town of San Gimignano, where we can visit the San Gimignano 1300 Museum, an excellent museum with a reconstructed medieval town. If there is time we will drive through Castello di Monterinaldi, where you can learn and experience how they make chianti wine – a speciality of the area. We overnight in the Grand Hotel Continental in Siena.

day 4 of tour

Wednesday, October 26th Siena-Assisi

Lago Trasimeno, Basilica di San Francesco, Basilica di Santa Chiara, Rocca Maggiore, Porziuncola, San Damiano, Eremo delle Carceri

After breakfast we set off from Siena to Assisi, the birthplace of St. Francis, who founded the Franciscan religious order in 1208. We stop for some lovely views of the Lago Trasimeno on the way, and upon arrival check in to the Nun Assisi Relais & Spa hotel. We then enjoy a tour of Assisi, beginning at the Basilica di San Francesco, the main church of the Franciscan order. The friary boasts a commanding view of the entire town, and after admiring the fantastic frescoes that decorate the complex we continue to the Basilica di Santa Chiara, a church dedicated to Saint Clare of Assisi, the founder of the Order of Poor Ladies. Then ascend to the Rocca Maggiore, a grand 12th century castle perched atop a walled hilltop overlooking the city and surrounding countryside.

After lunch we go to the Porziuncola, a small church within the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli, where the Franciscan movement started in a hut built by Francis himself. Then transfer to San Damiano, a 12th century monastic complex with excellent frescoes, and Eremo delle Carceri, a fortified hermitage where Francis spent a period of his life. The rest of the day may be spent as you like, enjoying the sights and sounds of Assisi.

day 5 of tour

Thursday, October 27th Assisi-Spoleto-Orvieto

Villa Fidelia, Giro dei Condotti, La Rocca, Basilica di San Salvatore, Cathedral, Museo Archeologico Nazionale Di Spoleto

Early in the morning we set off from Assisi and transfer to Spoleto, stopping to see bright and beautiful Villa Fidelia just past Foligno on the way. Upon arrival at Spoleto we enjoy a tour of this ancient city. Spoleto has a fascinating history, from its mythological origins to Roman splendour, and the independent Lombard principality. We start with a walk along the Giro dei Condotti, and are rewarded with beautiful views of the town and the Ponte delle Torri (Tower’s Bridge). Visit La Rocca, a castle that has amazing views of Spoleto and incredible fortified defences. Then descend to Spoleto’s centre, where we enjoy lunch before ambling towards the Basilica di San Salvatore and the Cathedral, two architectural and historical gems found at the Piazza del Duomo. Following this we explore the interesting Roman theatre at the Museo Archeologico Nazionale Di Spoleto, and then return to the bus for our transfer to Orvieto, arriving in the evening to check in to the La Badia di Orvieto hotel.

day 6 of tour

Friday, October 28th Orvieto-Florence

Duomo di Orvieto, Cappella Di San Brizio, Pozzo di S. Patrizio, Cappella del Corporale, Orvieto Caves, Pozzo della Cava, Torre del Moro, Museo Archeologico Nazionale

We devote the day to exploring Orvieto, one of the most dramatically situated cities in Europe. Built on vertical tuffs of volcanic rock, the landscape has been occupied and worked on for at least 2,800 years, leaving a startling collection of heritage sites and a fascinating history. We begin at the Duomo di Orvieto, which is considered one of the must-see churches in Italy for its stunning gold-and-mosaic Gothic façade and the breathtaking decorations of the Cappella Di San Brizio. Then move to the Pozzo di S. Patrizio, a cave built for the Popes where we can learn about the Etruscan and Roman periods, Middle Ages and Renaissance in Orvieto. We make our way to the Cappella del Corporale, a Gothic church built to celebrate the so-called Miracle of Bolsena in 1263.

After lunch we explore the Orvieto Caves. Over 1200 caves have been dug in the tuff under the city that collectively form a complete underground city with galleries, wells, stairs, quarries, and cellars. We see the Pozzo della Cava (Well of the Cave), before ascending again to Torre del Moro for excellent views of the city. We finish our tour at the Museo Archeologico Nazionale to learn about Etruscan prehistory, before returning to the bus for our transfer to Florence. Upon arrival we check back in to the Westin Excelsior hotel before preparing for the Shabbat.

day 7 of tour

Saturday, October 29th Florence

Shabbat services, Seudat Shabbat

After the Shabbat services the you have a free day to explore Florence. We recommend relaxing in Boboli Gardens, or take a leisurely walk through the Giardino Bardini gardens beside the Villa Bardini or the Botanical Gardens.

day-8

Sunday, October 30th Florence

Uffizi Gallery, Accademia Gallery, Church of Santa Maria Novella, Basilica of San Miniato al Monte, Ponte Vecchio, Piazzale Michelangelo, Stibbert Museum

Today we enjoy a full day exploring some of the countless splendours of Florence. We begin at the Uffizi Gallery, one of the oldest and most famous art museums of Europe and the world. After exploring the 16th century building, designed by Giorgio Vasari we make our way to the Accademia Gallery to see the original statue of David by Michelangelo. After lunch we admire the vivid colours and harmonious architecture of the Church of Santa Maria Novella and the Basilica of San Miniato al Monte before continuing to the Ponte Vecchio, an iconic bridge that offers great photo opportunities. Circle around the Piazzale Michelangelo to view charming villas on our way to the Stibbert Museum. This unique Egyptian-style temple is nestled in a beautiful English garden, and contains a museum filled with medieval armour and art.

day-9

Monday, October 31st Pisa

Piazza dei Miracoli, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Pisa Cathedral and Baptistery, Camposanto Monumentale, Chiesa di Santa Maria della Spina, Basilica Romanica di San Piero a Grado, Mercato Centrale

We embark early for our excursion to Pisa on the shores of the Tyrrhenian Sea. This ancient centre of culture and science is unashamedly proud of its iconic leaning tower, but contains many other wondrous sites which we visit during the day. We start at the Piazza dei Miracoli, one of the finest architectural complexes in Italy (or even the world!). Here we can visit the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa, spectacular Cathedral, with beautiful decoration inside and outside, and nearby Baptistery. We take a walk along the hallway of the Camposanto Monumentale, large indoor cemetery, before lunch. In the afternoon we visit the elegant Chiesa di Santa Maria della Spina and the Basilica Romanica di San Piero a Grado before returning to Florence. The rest of the day can be spent as you wish, though if you wish to do some more shopping we recommend visiting the Mercato Centrale. In the evening we reunite for our last meal together.

day 10 of tour

Tuesday, November 1st Florence

After breakfast we transfer to the airport for our return flights home.

Cost Per Person:

Based On Double Occupancy (two to a room)

  • Round-trip airfare from New York, London or Tel Aviv - call for airfare from other cities
  • All transport within Italy
  • An English-speaking, experienced tour guide/chauffeur
  • Full board accommodation in deluxe hotels for entire trip
  • 3 Kosher meals daily
  • All admissions as per itinerary

Additional Costs

  • Visa fees as required
  • Health and Travel Insurance
  • International airport fees
  • Budget for extra snacks, gifts, or other expenses of a personal nature
  • Any other services not specified

$7,995

LAND ONLY - $6,995 (no airfares included, domestic or international)

$2,895 (Single Supplement)

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ITINERARY AND HOTELS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE

RATES MAY BE ADJUSTED IF THERE’S A FLUCTUATION IN CURRENCY OF MORE THAN 4% FROM SEPTEMBER 1, 2015

RATES MAY BE ADJUSTED IN THE EVENT OF AN INCREASE IN AIRLINE FUEL CHARGES

Florence

Westin Excelsior

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westin-excelsior

Siena

Grand Hotel Continental

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grand-hotel-continental

Assisi

Nun Assisi Relais & Spa Museum

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nun-assisi-relais

Orvieto

La Badia Di Orvieto

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la-badia

  • Brunelleschi’s Dome - Ross King
  • The House of Medici - Christopher Hibbert
  • The Hills of Tuscany - Ferenc Máté
  • Under the Tuscan Sun - Frances Mayes
  • The City of Florence - R. W. B. Lewis
  • Saint Francis - Robert West
  • Living in a Foreign Language: Memoir of Food, Wine, and Love in Italy - Michael Tucker
  • A Room with a View (1986 Film)
  • Under the Tuscan Sun (2003 Film)

Splendors Of Spain Tour

Madrid, Toledo, Seville, Cordoba, Gibraltar, Barcelona

June 18th - June 28th, 2017

day 1 of tour

Sunday, June 18th

Today, you will take an overnight flight to Madrid.

 

Madrid

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day 2 of tour

Monday, June 19th Madrid

Arrive in the exciting and vibrant city of Madrid. Commence your adventures with an afternoon tour of the most beautiful of Madrid's sights, including the Royal Palace, which overlooks the scenic Manzanares River. Then, take a walk through the central Plaza Mayor, celebrated for its beauty and charm. Conclude your tour with a visit to the Bais Yaakov Synagogue - the first synagogue in Madrid, founded in  1492. Queen Sophia famously studied Judaism and attended services here as part of her university course in 1976. This is also the site of the rescinding of the Spanish Expulsion Edict by King Juan Carlos in 1992. Spend the evening exploring the enchanting side-streets and spacious plazas of Madrid, and perhaps enjoy a performance of live music. Accommodation will be at the Villa Real or similar.

 

The Royal Palace

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day 3 of tour

Tuesday, June 20th Toledo-Madrid

In the morning, Deluxe Kosher Tours will escort you to the Medieval city of Toledo, beautifully perched atop a hill of granite. Once the capital of Spain, Toledo is now a gorgeous historical treasure offering us insight into the Medieval period's art and architecture. Especially noteworthy is Toledo's longstanding tradition of Jewish scholarship and intellectualism; once home to celebrated scholars Abraham ibn Ezra, a biblical scholar and grammarian, Yehudah ha-Levi, a poet, doctor, and philosopher, Rabbi Asher bar Rav Yechiel, Toledo was known as the "Second Jerusalem."

 

Toledo City

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Spend time in Toledo's two remaining synagogues: the eleventh-century Santa Maria la Blanca and the twelfth-century El Transito. The latter is home to the Sephardic Museum and Library: housing a collection of ancient treasures. Finish your adventure with a trip to the Museum of El Greco, located in his old house, where you can see the works of this great master up close. Return to Madrid in the early evening for another moonlit night in Spain's gorgeous capital.

 

El Greco Museum

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day 4 of tour

Wednesday, June 21st Madrid-Seville

Today, Deluxe Kosher Tours will bring you to one of the pre-eminent world-class museums of the world - El Prado - where you can see the works of Goya, Velazquez, and more. Transfer to Seville in the afternoon for an exploration of this romantic treasure of history - which spans the Roman times to Moorish conquest to the present. Marvel at the beautiful gardens at Maria Luisa Park, the Plaza de Espana, the Giralda Tower, and the university, whose baroque facade was once famous for a different reason: the building was the cigar factory in which the seductive gypsy "Carmen" of Bizet's tragic opera once worked.

 

El Prado

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Then visit the Alcazar Palace, a stunning example of Moorish architecture, and wander the picturesque former Jewish quarter: Barrio de Santa Cruz. Spend the evening at an optional flamenco show. Spend the night at the Hotel Seville Center or a similarly beautiful hotel.

 

Alcazar Palace

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day 5 of tour

Thursday, June 22nd Cordoba

The birthplace of Maimonides (Rambam), one of the greatest Jewish scholars of all time, Cordoba was once home to one and a half million Jews. The beauty of the old Juderia, or Jewish Quarter, is still preserved, with charming narrow streets winding towards the city walls at the Almodovar Gate.

 

Almodovar Gate

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Take a look at the Statue of Maimonides before visiting the fourteenth-century synagogue on Calle de los Judios, built by Isaac ben Efraim. Afterwards, visit Plazuela de Maimonides, according to legend the home of Maimonides, and the nearby Calle Rambam Maimonides for another tribute to this great scholar. See Maimonides's birthplace at 5 Calle de los Judios, and visit Juda Levi Street to commemorate the poet who lived in Cordoba for many years. Return to Seville in the early evening.

day 6 of tour

Friday, June 23rd Gibraltar

In the morning, leave for Gibraltar, a British colony only four miles long and a half-mile wide, beautifully located between Spain and Morocco. Visit all the lovely sights of the city, including the Upper Galleries, Moorish Castle, and Caves of St. Michael. You will also visit the celebrated colony of Barbary Apes. The afternoon is at your leisure. Spend the night at the Hotel Elliot or similar.

 

Barbary Apes

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day 7 of tour

Saturday, June 24th Gibraltar

Spend this unforgettable Shabbat in the Jewish quarter of Gibraltar, celebrating with the Gibraltar community of 600 Jews and dining at a local kosher restaurant.

day-8

Sunday, June 25th Granada-Barcelona

In the morning, Deluxe Kosher Tours will take you on a picturesque drive from Gibraltar to Grenada, a 1200-year-old city that is a fantasy of Moorish architecture. Visit the Alhambra, a sumptuous summer palace built for Moorish princes, beautiful not only for its ornate design and surrounding gardens, but also for its stunning views of the city's historic center. The site of many historic events, this palace is where King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella signed the decree exiling Jews from Spain, but also the site where Don Isaac Arbanel attempted to have it revoked, and where Columbus first received permission to embark upon the fateful journey that led to his discovery of the New World.

 

Alhambra

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Later, visit the beautiful Generalife Gardens and savor the floral fragrances of the lush scenery before flying to Barcelona in the evening. Spend the night at the Condes de Barcelona or similar.

 

Generalife Gardens

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day-9

Monday, June 26th Barcelona

Experience the vitality and vibrancy of Barcelona, one of the most cosmopolitan and exciting cities in the world. Begin your trip in this historic Gothic Quarter, where you will see some buildings that have survived from the Middle Ages. After a tour of the city, Deluxe Kosher Tours will take you to the Picasso Museum for a chance to explore some of this artist's most significant works. Conclude the day at Montjuich for panoramic vistas of the city.

day 10 of tour

Tuesday, June 27th Barcelona

Today, visit more of Barcelona's storied sights, including the Town Hall, statue of Columbia, Spanish Village, and the plaza where - according to tradition - the Spanish king welcomed Columbus home from his adventures in the New World. Later in the day, explore the Jewish quarter of Barcelona, once a great center of rabbinical learning, and the place where the famous dispute between Pablo Christiani and Rabbi Moses ben Nachman (Ramban) occurred. Spend the rest of the day at your leisure.

 

Barcelona

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day-11

Wednesday, June 28th Barcelona

Today, depart Barcelona Airport for your return flight home.

Cost Per Person:

Based On Double Occupancy (two to a room)

Additional Costs

  • Visa fees as required
  • Insurance
  • Snacks or items of a personal nature
  • Excess/overweight Baggage fees (only 20KG per flight is permitted on flights within Spain)

$6,995

$1,995 (Single Supplement)

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Disclaimer

ITINERARY AND HOTELS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE

RATES MAY BE ADJUSTED IF THERE’S A FLUCTUATION IN CURRENCY OF MORE THAN 4% FROM SEPTEMBER 1, 2015

RATES MAY BE ADJUSTED IN THE EVENT OF AN INCREASE IN AIRLINE FUEL CHARGES

Madrid

Villa Real

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villa-real

Sevilla

Hotel Seville Center

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hotel-sevilla

Gibraltar

Hotel Elliot

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hotel-elliot

Barcelona

Condes De Barcelona

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condes-de-barcelona

Sensational Guatemala Tour

Guatemala City, Flores, Antigua Guatemala

June 25th - July 2nd, 2017

This comprehensive journey introduces you to the awe-inspiring natural wonders, arts, monuments and vibrant cities of Guatemala, as well as introducing you to the diverse traditions and lifestyles of local minority peoples.

Guatemala came to prominence in the 16th century, when it became a Spanish colony in the “New World”. However, the land’s history stretches many thousands of years in the past as the location of the Mayan civilization. For centuries Guatemala has been subject to influences from Europe and its neighbouring countries, resulting in a glorious melange of traditions and styles as well as rich cultural treasures. Whether you are a seasoned explorer or a first-time visitor, the memories and experiences gathered from this trip will be life changing.

We invite you on an exclusive tour that offers a chance for adventurous souls to explore a faraway land filled with wonders. Our innovative excursions delight the most seasoned traveller, as we explore the mysteries of Guatemalan culture, history, art, gastronomy and religion with our personal tour guide – available at all times to make your trip absolutely enjoyable. The 100% kosher tour permits you to travel comfortably and confidently, and our bespoke itinerary includes many sites that explore the history of the Jewish diaspora in Guatemala.

Guatemala welcomes you – discover it with Deluxe Kosher Tours.

day 1 of tour

Sunday, June 25th

We depart on our flight to the capital city of the Republic of Guatemala, Guatemala City. Enjoy kosher meals and in-flight entertainment during your journey, or read some of our suggested books about Guatemala (see below). Upon arrival in La Aurora International Airport we are welcomed to Guatemala by our carefully-selected personal Deluxe Kosher Tours tour director. They will bring us to our deluxe hotel, the Camino Real, and offer an introduction to Guatemala and Guatemala City. The remainder of the evening can be leisurely spent resting and relaxing in the hotel, or take a walk around the local neighbourhood to immerse in some of the sights and sounds.

day 2 of tour

Monday, June 26th Guatemala City-Flores

Tikal National Park

We set off very early, returning to La Aurora International Airport for our transfer to Flores, Petén. Upon arrival to Mundo Maya International Airport we are brought to check in at the Villa Maya Hotel. Here we receive an introduction to Flores, a splendidly attractive town built on the shores of the Lago de Petén Itzá. With a buzzing nightlife and daytime tranquillity this is one of the most popular destinations of holidaying Guatemalans. We bring you to the Tikal National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site protected for its Mayan ceremonial complex. Our expert guide provides an educating talk on the history of the Maya as we wander through temples, palaces, and public squares of this 6th-10th century civilisation. The ruins lie hidden in the tropical rainforests of northern Guatemala, where one can view some of the most unique flora and fauna in the world, including spider monkeys, harpy eagles, toucans and even reclusive jaguar! In the evening you are free to explore Flores at your leisure, or simply relax in the hotel until our delicious dinner.

day 3 of tour

Tuesday, June 27th Flores-Antigua Guatemala

La Antigua City Tour, Lago de Atitlán

We check out of the hotel early to return to the airport, for our flight back to Guatemala City. Upon arrival our bus brings us to the colonial city of Antigua Guatemala (commonly referred to as Antigua). This 16th century city was a former capital of the state, though it had to be moved due to a chain of natural disasters in the 1700s – three enormous volcanoes loom over the city. Nevertheless, Antigua today is a lively and fascinating city, containing a large collection of colonial architecture, beautiful streetscapes, churches plazas and towns that have been collectively designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Our expert guide brings you on an informative tour of the city’s charming tumbledown streets, with gorgeous colourful buildings and sumptuous gardens. We visit the crumbling ruins of the old El Carmen church and Santo Domingo Monastery, the stunning Cathedral of San José, and the sprawling Nim Po't shopping arcade where artisans present a huge selection of locally-produced Maya clothing, masks and wood carvings

After we check in to our hotel, the Casa Santo Domingo, you are free to continue wandering through the city. You will find that Antigua is one of the tidiest, cleanest cities, with modern features such as buried power lines and revolutionary traffic management enhancing the ancient landscape. We recommend a walk along the shores of the nearby Lake Atitlán after dinner, its pristine waters reflecting the sunset over ring of volcanoes surrounding the area.

day 4 of tour

Wednesday, June 28th Antigua Guatemala

Santiago Tour, Maximón Idol

We make an excursion to the town of Santiago, built on the shores of Lake Atitlán. After a leisurely boat cruise to Santiago’s harbour we ascend to the town centre where we begin our guided tour. Santiago is popular for tourists and Guatemalans alike, due to its pleasant semi-tropical climate and gorgeous setting overlooking the lake and the volcanic highlands. Our guide brings you to the famous Maximón idol, a folk saint venerated by indigenous Tzutuhil Maya people in western Guatemala. You can examine one of Santiago’s 4 ft (1.2m) tall effigies, swathed in layers of clothing, a very fine hat over its masked face, and usually a cigar in its mouth! You can then enjoy freely exploring the many shops selling locally-produced arts and crafts, before we return to Antigua by boat for the rest of the evening.

day 5 of tour

Thursday, June 29th Antigua Guatemala-Guatemala City

Chichicastenango Market, Santo Tomás Church

After breakfast we set off for the town of Chichicastenango. Hidden deep between undulating mountains and valleys, this city seems frozen in time and contains a large community of indigenous K'iche' Maya people, as well as groups of Mam, Ixil, and Kaqchikel Mayans. This town is most famous for its huge Thursday markets, where you can find a staggering range of crafts, flowers, food and animals offered by hundreds of vendors – many trying to vie for attention with homemade fireworks! Chichicastenango is a perfect place to spend a day exploring the many areas of the market, and when you have had enough to enjoy a leisurely lunch before visiting the Santo Tomás Church, an unusual 1540 church which combines Catholic and Mayan spiritual practices. Later we travel back to Guatemala City, where we check in to our hotel before dinner.

day 6 of tour

Friday, June 30th Guatemala City

Guatemala City Tour, Cathedral, Main Square, Civic Centre, Palacio Nacional de la Cultura, Relief Map

In the morning we invite you on our comprehensive guided tour of Guatemala City, the country’s largest and most cosmopolitan city, with an energetic and sophisticated cultural scene. The city is divided into ten zones, each one crammed with attractions for us to visit.  Our guide brings us to the baroque Cathedral of Guatemala City, and we learn about the city’s action-packed past at the nearby Main Square. Admire the stunning architecture of the Centro Cultural Miguel Ángel Asturias inspired by the country’s volcanoes. This is a popular venue for opera, theatre and ballet, and even contains a small museum of the Old Fort of San José.

We then visit the National Palace, the formidable presidential palace with a unique architectural fusion of Spanish Renaissance and neoclassical styles. We receive a guided tour through the palace, learning about Guatemala’s history and admiring the tremendous gold and crystal chandelier in the reception hall. We get a bird’s eye view of Guatemala at the relief map, a scaled map and monument depicting the geography of the country. Our guide can point out the places we have visited on our adventures through Guatemala, before we return to the hotel to prepare for the Shabbat.

day 7 of tour

Saturday, July 1st Guatemala City

Shabbat services, Seudat Shabbat

After the Shabbat services and lunch with the local community, you can spend the rest of the day freely exploring the city, or relaxing in one of its many beautiful parks. In the evening we reunite for our final meal together, where we can celebrate our voyage through this magnificent country, the sites we’ve seen, and the lively people we have met.

day-8

Sunday, July 2nd

After breakfast we transfer to La Aurora International Airport for our return flights home.

Cost Per Person:

Based On Double Occupancy (two to a room)

  • Round-trip airfare from New York, Los Angeles or Miami - call for airfare from other cities
  • All domestic airfares in Guatemala
  • An English-speaking, experienced tour guide/chauffeur
  • Full board accommodation in deluxe hotels for entire trip
  • 3 Kosher meals daily
  • All admissions as per itinerary

Additional Costs

  • Visa fees as required
  • Health and Travel Insurance
  • International airport fees
  • Budget for extra snacks, gifts, or other expenses of a personal nature
  • Any other services not specified

$5,195

LAND ONLY - $4,695 (without airfares)

$1,095 (Single Supplement)

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Disclaimer

ITINERARY AND HOTELS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE

RATES MAY BE ADJUSTED IF THERE’S A FLUCTUATION IN CURRENCY OF MORE THAN 4% FROM SEPTEMBER 1, 2015

RATES MAY BE ADJUSTED IN THE EVENT OF AN INCREASE IN AIRLINE FUEL CHARGES

Guatemala City

Guatemala City

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camino-real

Flores

Villa Maya

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villa-maya

 

Antigua

Casa Santo Domingo

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casa-santo-domingo

Lake Atitlan

Hotel Atitlan

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  • Time among the Maya – Ronald Wright
  • Guatemalan Journey – Stephen Connely Benz
  • Beyond the Mexique Bay – Aldous Huxley
  • The Guatemala Reader: History, Culture, Politics – Greg Grandin
  • Living on One Dollar (Film)
  • The Golden Dream (Film)

Russian Literary Tour

Moscow, Peredelkino, Yasnaya Polyana, St. Petersburg

July 10th - July 23rd, 2017

Join Deluxe Kosher Tours for an inspiring literary tour throughout Russia. Breathtakingly beautiful, the country is known for its rich cultural heritage, impressive collection of art and fantastic pieces of literature. Embark on a panoramic tour of the majestic city of Moscow, spend time in the Russian capital villa zone – the countryside village of Peredelkino, have an authentic Russian tea-party at Yasnaya Polyana, then grant yourself romantic time in the glorious city of St. Petersburg.

The Russian Literary Tour begins in Moscow, the capital of Russia, where we will visit marvelous sites in this majestic city, including the famous Bolshoi Theatre, the Kremlin and the Red Square, the Cathedral of St. Basil. We will also spend time at the House-Museum of Maxim Gorky and the Chekhov House. The Literary tour further includes two day trips - one to the Museum of Boris Pasternak, the author of Dr. Zhivago, located in the countryside village of Peredelkino; and the second one at Yasnaya Polyana, where lived the world known writer Leo Tolstoy. Memorable Shabbat will be presented at the Central Synagogue in Moscow with the local Jewish population on the sixth day of the tour. The last destination of the Russian Literary Tour is St. Petersburg, a city of breathtaking beauty, where we will see Peter and Paul Fortress and St. Basil’s Island, the statue of Peter the Great, Nevsky Prospekt and the superb Hermitage Museum. We will also spend time at the 18th century Baroque-style Catherine’s Palace Tsarskoye Selo, and pay a visit at the Dostoyevsky Museum. The Russian Literary Tour is not just a trip; it is a festivity for the eyes, mind and soul.

day 1 of tour

Monday, July 10th

Departure from the USA on our flight to the Russian capital of Moscow. 

day 2 of tour

Tuesday, July 11th

Welcome to the glorious city of Moscow! Upon arrival, we will be met by our local guide and transferred to our hotel in the very heart of the Russian capital, where we will have time to accommodate. En route, we will enjoy a brief orientation to this majestic and overwhelming Russian city and later we will embark on an interesting panoramic tour of the grand Moscow, including some of the world-renowned sites Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow State University plus magnificent vista over the Vorobiev Hills.

day 3 of tour

Wednesday, July 12th

This morning we will enjoy a visit at the Kremlin, founded in the 12th century, which heralded the birth of the great city of Moscow. We will also stand in the classic Red Square and be able to take photos of the spectacular Cathedral of St. Basil and its colorful domes, after which we will drop in for a visit at the Russia’s biggest shopping center – the bustling GUM Mall. Lunch will be served during the tour.

Later, the tour will go on and we will visit the Novodevichy Monastery, which housed many ladies from the Russian royal families and the prominent boyar families, who were forced to take the veil, and in whose cemetery were buried the writers Gogol and Chekhov. We will also visit the House-Museum of Maxim Gorky, one of Russia’s pre-eminent social critics, as well as the Chekhov House/Museum, where the sensitive author lived during his most fruitful artistic period. It is in this house where over 100 of his exquisite short-stories were written. The day will end with a dinner and rest at the hotel.

day 4 of tour

Thursday, July 13th

Today we will have a pleasant and unforgettable one day trip to the Estate/Museum of Boris Pasternak, the world-renowned author of Dr. Zhivago. The museum is located in the countryside village of Peredelkino, where many writers (including Isaac Babel) had their dachas, or country estates. We will be served a tasty lunch at a local restaurant.

On return to Moscow, we will pay a visit to the Tretyakov Art Gallery. This interesting museum houses the world’s largest collection of Russian art, presenting the impressive 50,000 priceless items. The day will end with a dinner and rest at the hotel.

day 5 of tour

Friday, July 14th 

 

On that day will be organized a second and very exciting one-day trip to Yasnaya Polyana. In this settlement lived Russia’s premiere novelist Leo Tolstoy and his wife Sonya, who kept a lovely villa called dacha. We will arrive by train and will be able to tour the historic and now reconstructed Railway Station, where we will enjoy the “Tolstoy Railway” presentation. This will be followed by lunch, served at a local café.

The tour will then proceed with a visit to the estate-museum, where we can see samovars used for the authentic Russian tea-party ceremonies in the past (“samovars” are glorious urns with spouts, traditionally used for heating and serving; tea is drunk from glasses, often with golden handles). In addition, we will also experience a charming horse-and-carriage ride along the estate (where we will have the chance to imagine what life felt like in Old Russia during the time of Anna Karenina, perhaps). The return to Moscow will be followed by a pleasant Shabbat Dinner with the local community.

day 6 of tour

Saturday, July 15th

Following breakfast in the hotel, we will visit the Central Synagogue in Moscow for Shabbat services.  We will go on a delicious Shabbat lunch and in the afternoon we will be able to enjoy a pleasant walking tour led by our personal guide.

day 7 of tour

Sunday, July 16th

On Sunday morning we will be able to enjoy a cultural walking tour with a guide, during which we will make a stop at the houses of many prominent Russian writers, artists and composers. We will also have free time to do some shopping at the famous Arbat, the chicest pedestrian street placed right in the heart of historical center of Moscow. Lunch will be served during the tour. In the afternoon we will board on a train bound for the incredibly beautiful city of St. Petersburg. Upon arrival in this elegant, French-inspired city, we will be transferred to our hotel to accommodate, to have a rest and refresh ourselves.  

day-8

Monday, July 17th

 

The first full day of the tour in St. Petersburg will be left for sightseeing in the romantic city. We will be able to see St. Basil’s Island and the Peter and Paul Fortress, a resting place of the Czars. We will enjoy a walk along the Summer Gardens, originally the summer residence of Peter the Great. We will also have time to stop by the famous statue of Peter the Great, St. Isaac’s Cathedral, Nevsky Prospekt and also at the awe-inspiring Church of the Spilled Blood. We will also have time for lunch.

Later in the afternoon we will visit the world-renowned Hermitage Museum. The collection presented in this museum has been started by Catherine the Great, and today includes over two and a half million pieces of art work, including those of such famous artists such as Leonardo Da Vinci, Titian, Raphael, and Rembrandt, as well as many of the French Impressionists.

In the evening we will be pleased to enjoy a dreamy canal cruise on the Moika River. During the ride we will pass under many scenic bridges and sail past grand, pastel-colored French architectural facades. The day will end with rest at the hotel.

day-9

Tuesday, July 18th

 

Today depart to Tomar, one of the oldest and most charming towns in Portugal, founded by the Order of Knights Templar. Visit the 15th Century Synagogue, now the Museum Luso-Hebraico Abraão Zacuto located on what was once Rua da Judiaria, Here is a significant reminder of one of the greatest Sephardic Jewish communities, now classified as a national monument. With Gothic vaults upheld by four central columns, this structure houses Jewish gravestones, the cornerstones of the 13th Century Synagogue of Belmonte and the 14th Century Lisbon Synagogue, and other remains of Tomar’s medieval Jewish community. Later, we visit the Convent of Christ (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), which once served as the headquarters of the Order which promoted the Portuguese Age of Discoveries, assisted always by the contribution of Jewish scientists.

On our return to Lisbon we might have time to visit the C. Gulbenkian’s Musuem na interesting collection from french and italian art… Visit the Fine Art C Gulbenkian Museum - a very interesting collection of Egyptian, Greco-Roman, Mesopotamian; Easter Islamic, Armenian and Far Eastern Art. Also European Art: Sculpture, Painting and Decorative Arts particularly 18th century French art and the work of René Lalique. Return to the hotel for a farewell dinner.

day 10 of tour

Wednesday, July 19th

 

The Russian Literary Tour would never be complete without the dark and complex soul of Dostoyevsky. Today we will embark on a tour which follows this author’s most famous novels and their heroes. We will be able to visit the well-preserved and very fascinating Dostoyevsky Apartment Museum and Literary Exposition. After that we will stroll along the Moika embankment to Yusupov Palace, which was once privately owned by one of Russia’s richest aristocrats. There we will be welcome to see the grand reception and private halls of the palace. Later, we will also have the chance to descend to the ground floor dining room, and stand on the very site where the charismatic Gregor Rasputin, the intimate confidant (and some say lover) of the Czarina Alexandra, was assassinated in 1916 by the aristocratic plotters, with young Prince Yusupov at the head.

Delicious farewell dinner will be organized for us in a local Kosher restaurant. The day will end with rest at the hotel.

day-11

Thursday, July 20th

 

On the last day of our Russian Literary Tour will be organized a transfer to the airport for our return flight to the USA or for those of us joining the English Literary Tour.

Cost Per Person:

Based On Double Occupancy (two to a room)

  • Round-trip airfare from New York, London or Tel Aviv
  • All domestic transportation within Russia
  • An English-speaking, experienced tour guide/chauffeur
  • Full board accommodations for entire trip
  • 3 Kosher meals daily
  • All admissions as per itinerary

Additional Costs

  • Visa fees as required
  • Health and Travel Insurance
  • Budget for extra snacks, gifts, or other expenses of a personal nature
  • Any other services not specified

$7,995

$2,695 (Single Supplement)

 

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ITINERARY AND HOTELS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE

RATES MAY BE ADJUSTED IF THERE’S A FLUCTUATION IN CURRENCY OF MORE THAN 4% FROM SEPTEMBER 1, 2015

RATES MAY BE ADJUSTED IN THE EVENT OF AN INCREASE IN AIRLINE FUEL CHARGES

Moscow

Hotel Baltschug Kempinski Moscow

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hotel-baltschug

St. Petersburg

Renaissance St. Petersburg Baltic Hotel

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renaissance-st-petersburg

Remembering The Baltics Tour

Tallinn, Vilnius, Riga

August 20th - August 30th, 2017

This grand voyage introduces you to the remarkable natural wonders, arts, monuments and vibrant cities of the Baltic States.

We invite you on a tour that is overwhelmingly impressive. Join us as we showcase the architectural wonders of Tallinn, Vilnius and Riga, explore their Soviet and Jewish pasts, view their cultural relics and works of art, and voyage to their surrounding natural wonders. Whether you are a seasoned explorer or a first-time visitor, the memories and experiences gathered from this trip will be life changing.

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity exclusively offered to just twelve participants. Our overland tour offers numerous cultural excursions that offer an exciting and wide-ranging look at the histories, arts and cultures of the Baltic States, most of which are missed in cruise-based tours. The 100% kosher tour and careful selection of the very best hotels permits you to travel comfortably and confidently, and your personal tour guide is available at all times to make your trip absolutely enjoyable.

The Baltics welcome you – discover them with Deluxe Kosher Tours.

day 1 of tour

Sunday, August 20th

We depart on our flight to the capital city of Estonia, Tallinn. Enjoy kosher meals and in-flight entertainment during your journey, or read some of our suggested books about the Baltics (see above).

day 2 of tour

Monday, August 21st Tallinn

Meet and greet, Orientation, St. Olaf’s Church, Toompea Castle, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Town Hall Square

Upon arrival in Tallinn Airport we are welcomed to Estonia by our carefully-selected personal Deluxe Kosher Tours tour director. They will bring us to our deluxe hotel, the Swissotel, and offer an introduction to Estonia and Tallinn. We then introduce you to the history, arts, and monuments of this vibrant city with a tour of the old town. We start at St. Olaf’s Church, first built in the 12th century. With its 400ft (124m) high spire this was for a while believed to be the tallest building in the world. We continue down the charming “Lai” street to the commanding Toompea Castle. With fantastic views of the city, this ancient building is now the seat of the Estonian Parliament. Here we learn more about the history and mythology of the city, before visiting the nearby Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. This unmissable site was built in the Russian Revival style in the late 19th century, and its rich decoration on the outside is matched by its sumptuous interior. We then continue to the Town Hall Square, the historic centre and market place of the city. During the summer this square is alive with festivals and fairs. The remainder of the day can be leisurely spent resting and relaxing in the hotel, or take a walk around the local neighbourhood to immerse in some of the sights and sounds.

day 3 of tour

Tuesday, August 22nd Tallinn

Keila-Joa Waterfall, Soviet Paldiski, Padise monastery, Rummu prison quarry, Pärnu

Today we make an excursion to view some of the most unique but little-known sites surrounding Tallinn. We first visit the beautiful Keila-Joa waterfalls before continuing along the coastal cliffs of Türisalu, which boast fantastic views of the Gulf of Finland. We disembark at the Soviet town of Paldiski, built on the edge of the Pakri cliffs. This was the Soviet Navy’s nuclear submarine training centre until 1994, and today remains an exciting place to visit with its Soviet monuments and charming railway station. We then continue to Padise Abbey, a 14th century Cistercian monastery converted into a fortress in the 16th century, containing the oldest church bell in Estonia.

We then continue to the small town of Rummu, where a nearby quarry was used for centuries to extract marble. The detainees of the neighbouring Murru Prison were forced to work here until the mine flooded when the Soviets left in the 1990s. Today the locals use the mining buildings poking out of the lake as diving platforms! Our final destination is the town of Pärnu on the shores of the Gulf of Riga. This colourful beachside community is the perfect place to soak up some sun, and you may spend some time freely exploring until we reunite for the return trip to Tallinn.

day 4 of tour

Wednesday, August 23rd Tallinn-Vilnius

Rocca al Mare, Lennusadam Seaplane Harbour, Tallinn TV Tower

After checking out from the hotel we make for the open air museum in Rocca al Mare, a historical park where we can learn more about how early Estonians lived. We then visit the exceptional Lennusadam Seaplane Harbour museum, a highlight of any trip to this city. Here we explore the seaplane harbour warehouses, climb into the world's only surviving mine-laying submarine from the 1930s, admire the full-size replica of the seaplane Short 184, and be amazed at the the biggest icebreaker in the world – the steam ship Suur Tõll. There is much, much more to be discovered in this treasure trove of maritime history. Afterwards we ascend the Tallinn TV Tower, which boasts captivating panoramic views of the surrounding land- and seascape. We then transfer to Tallinn Airport and fly to Vilnius, the capital city of Lithuania. Here we check in to the luxurious Radisson Blu Royal Astorija Hotel before dinner.

day 5 of tour

Thursday, August 24th Vilnius

Vilnius Old Town tour, KGB Museum, Money Museum St. Anne’s Church, Gediminas Castle, St. Peter and Pauls Church, Lithuanian Art Museum

After breakfast receive a guided tour of Vilnius’s picturesque old town from our expert tour guide. Vilnius’ old town is alive and exciting – the perfect place to relive the atmosphere of Lithuania in the last century – and is the largest Old Town in Europe, recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site. We visit the KGB Museum for a grim but fascinating history lesson about the country’s location, sandwiched between Nazi Germany and the Soviet heartland. Next we are invited to the innovative Money Museum of the Bank of Lithuania, where you can find out how much your weight in gold would be valued and learn about the use of money all over the world. We then visit the Gothic church of St. Anne’s and the baroque St. Peter and Paul's Church, with an awe-inspiring stucco interior. We then transfer to Gediminas Castle, the highest tower of which has a impressive view of the town below, and visit the nearby Hill of Three Crosses. After spending some time in the nearby Lithuanian Art Museum we have dinner, and then you have the rest of the evening free to explore the city.

day 6 of tour

Friday, August 25th Vilnius

Grutas Park of Soviet Sculptures, Trakai, Karaite museum, Panerai Memorial

After breakfast we leave Vilnius and go west to Grutas Park, an open-air museum continuing monumental sculptures and bas-reliefs of Soviet period figures. We then transfer to the ancient capital and residence of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania, Trakai. This historically cosmopolitan municipality, with communities of Karaims, Tatars, Lithuanians, Russians, Jews and Poles living together, has left behind a truly unique cityscape to explore. We visit the 14th century island castle, with a museum of Lithuanian history, before going to the Karaite Museum to learn about this small Jewish group. On our return journey to Vilnius we stop at the town of Panerai, where we visit at the quiet Ponar Forest and mysteriously beautiful memorial to one of the most historic local holocaust sites. In the evening we have our Shabbat dinner with the local community.

day 7 of tour

Saturday, August 26th Vilnius

Shabbat services, Seudat Shabbat, Bernardinai Gardens, Botanical Gardens

After the Shabbat services and lunch with the local community, you are welcome to spend the rest of the day freely. Those who wish are invited to have a peaceful afternoon walking through the Bernardinai Gardens, a gorgeous green space perfect to relax in. Visit the nearby Bernardine Monastery, or go instead to the lush Botanical Gardens of Vilnius University.

day-8

Sunday, August 27th Vilnius

Jewish State Museum, Great Vilna Synagogue and Schulhoyf, Jewish Old Town walking tour

Today we immerse ourselves in the fascinating history of the Jews in Vilnius. We begin at the Jewish State museum where we learn about such influential figures as Vilna Gaon and Mordekhai Antokolsky. We visit the site of the historic Great Vilna Synagogue and schulhoyf complex, to learn about the destruction of Jewish monuments in the city during the mid-20th century. We walk around the old Jewish quarter to view the “cheap houses” - big dwelling houses built by baron Hirsch for Jewish poor people after the great flood of 1931.

In the evening we visit the National Museum of Lithuania, where we can learn more about the rich history of medieval Europe brought to life by its collection of artefacts and written documents. You have the rest of the day free to wander through the town before dinner.

day-9

Monday, August 28th Vilnius-Riga

Žiežmariai tour, Rundāle Palace, Sigulda, Turaida Castle

We check out early, and leave Vilnius by bus. Our first destination is the town of Žiežmariai, one of the oldest Jewish communities in Lithuania. This is a fascinating town to walk around with our expert guide, and even includes a rare, surviving wooden synagogue. We then continue through the varied and beautiful Lithuanian countryside until we cross the border to Latvia. Here we stop to view the Rundāle Palace, one of the most spectacular estates in the country, containing an excellent collection of historic decorative arts and furniture as well as immaculate Baroque gardens. We continue to Sigulda, northeast of Riga, where we can explore the terrific Turaida Castle which emerges out of the foggy forests like a fairytale citadel. In the evening we check in to the Royal Square Hotel & Suites in Riga, the capital city, and relax after our long adventure.

day 10 of tour

Tuesday, August 29th Riga

Cathedral, St. Peter’s Church, National Opera, Academy of Arts, Riga Castle, Jewish tour

We welcome you to the capital of Latvia with a guided tour of the city. We visit the Cathedral and then make our way to St. Peter’s Church. Here you can experience wonderful panoramic views of the city from the tower. We continue to the National Opera to admire this majestic building, and continue to the Academy of Arts, the country’s leading institution of higher education and scientific research in art. Our tour brings us next to Riga’s Castle, passing also the famous Swedish gate and barracks. Here we make our way through the exhibits of the National History Museum of Latvia, learning about the medieval origins of this city.

After lunch we invite you for a tour of Jewish Riga. We make our way through the old Jewish quarter of the city, viewing the memorial for the destroyed Great Synagogue of Riga and visiting the small yet informative Jewish Museum, where we learn about the influential Jewish historian Shimon Dubnov. You have the rest of the day free to explore the city, pick up any gifts, or relax at the hotel.

day-11

Wednesday, August 30th Riga

After breakfast we transfer to Riga International Airport for our return flights home.

Cost Per Person:

Based On Double Occupancy (two to a room)

  • Round-trip airfare from New York, London or Tel Aviv
  • All domestic airfares
  • An English-speaking, experienced tour guide/chauffeur
  • Full board accommodations for entire trip
  • 3 Kosher meals daily
  • All admissions as per itinerary

Additional Costs

  • Visa fees as required
  • Health and Travel Insurance
  • Budget for extra snacks, gifts, or other expenses of a personal nature
  • Any other services not specified

$6,995

$1,795 (Single Supplement)

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Disclaimer

ITINERARY AND HOTELS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE

RATES MAY BE ADJUSTED IF THERE’S A FLUCTUATION IN CURRENCY OF MORE THAN 4% FROM SEPTEMBER 1, 2015

RATES MAY BE ADJUSTED IN THE EVENT OF AN INCREASE IN AIRLINE FUEL CHARGES

Tallinn

Swissotel

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swissotel

Vilnius

Radisson Blu Royal Astorija

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radisson-blue

Riga

Royal Square Hotel & Suites

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royal-square

  • Among the Russians – Colin Thubron
  • Journey into Russia – Laurens van der Post
  • To the Baltic with Bob – Griff Rhys Jones
  • The Baltic States, the Years of Independence, 1917-1940 – Georg von Rauch's
  • The Singing Revolution: A Journey through the Baltic States – Clare Thomson

Philippines Tour

February 4th - February 18th, 2018

Join us on an unmissable adventure to the Philippines, a country blessed with natural beauty, ancient history and a rich culture.

We embark on a terrific journey from the bustling urban centres of Manila and Laoag to the isle of Palawan, the jewel of the Philippines, where the find fine sands and perfect waves are found alongside breathtaking mangrove forests and underground caves. During the Spring this land is festooned with masses of dazzling plants and unique animals, and the country’s towns come alive. Discover the traditional ways of life and exemplary hospitality of the various peoples of the Philippines, and admire the exceptional architectural styles that fuse colonial Hispanic and Asian influences.

With carefully chosen excursions to lesser-known destinations, we offer an unparalleled perspective of the history, arts and culture of the Philippines. The 100% kosher tour and careful selection of the very best hotels permits you to travel comfortably and confidently, and your personal guide is available at all times to make your trip absolutely enjoyable.

The Philippines welcome you – discover them with Deluxe Kosher Tours.

day 1 of tour

Sunday, February 4th

We depart on our overnight flight to the capital city Manila. Enjoy kosher meals and in-flight entertainment during your journey, or read some of our suggested books about the Philippines (see above).

day 2 of tour

Monday, February 5th Manila

Upon arrival in Ninoy Aquino International Airport we are welcomed by our carefully-selected personal Deluxe Kosher Tours tour director. They will bring us to our hotel, the Mandarin Oriental, and offer an introduction to the Philippines and Manila. In the evening we enjoy a meal at the Manila Jewish Centre.

day 3 of tour

Tuesday, February 6th Manila-Laoag

Makati, American War Cemetery, Intramuros, Rizal Park, San Agustin Church, Cathedral of Manila, Fort Santiago

After breakfast we set off on our tour of Manila. Known as the “Pearl of the Orient”, the city is arguably the most densely populated city in the world with over twelve million inhabitants. Historically the city acted as a centre of trade in the region, first by the Ming Chinese and later via the Spanish. After years of devastation during the 19th century Philippine Revolution and Second World War the city has sprung back on its feet, and is now an exciting and cosmopolitan location filled with ancient cultural relics and modern architectural marvels.

Our tour starts at the city of Makati, the financial heart of the country. Admire the impressive skyline as we make our way to the pristine American War Cemetery. This peaceful monument is in stark contrast to the bustling city surrounding it. After walking through the greens we return to the bus to make our way along the coastal Roxas Boulevard towards the historic core of Manila – the walled city of Intramuros. We take a leisurely walk through the Rizal Park as our tour guide explains the history and culture of this city, before continuing to San Agustin Church. This is one of four churches in the Philippines collectively designated a World Heritage Site, and you will be able to see why they are so cherished. Their unique architectural style shows a fusion of European Baroque, Chinese, and Filipino forms, beautifully decorated on the inside with paintings and carvings. Receive a tour of the museum here, before continuing to the Cathedral of Manila. The current majestic cathedral was is the most recent of a series of sacred buildings to have been built on this site, the previous ones having been destroyed by earthquakes.  Admire the beautiful domes and carved entrances, as well as the swooping vaults within. We finish at Fort Santiago, a formidable citadel protected by unbelievably thick walls and frightening prisons. Here we learn about José Rizal, the Philippine national hero, who was imprisoned here before his execution in 1896.

Later we transfer to the airport for our flight to Laoag, the northernmost city of the Philippines and capital of the Ilocos Norte province. Here we check in to the luxury Plaza del Norte Hotel, and relax for the rest of the evening.

day 4 of tour

Wednesday, February 7th Laoag-Vigan-La Union

St Williams Cathedral, Malacañang of the North, Church of St Augustine, Padre Jose Burgos Museum, St Paul’s Metropolitan Cathedral, Archbishop’s Palace, Mestizo District, Pagburnayan, Santa Maria Church

In the morning we invite you on a tour of Laoag. Nestled between the foothills of the Cordillera Central mountain range to the east, and the South China Sea to the west, this is a popular destination for its pleasant climate and interesting culture. The city is the home of the Ilocano ethnic group, an indigenous community with their own linguistic, musical and artistic traditions. Our expert guide explains the history of Laoag, from its origins as a centre of trade with Japanese and Chinese merchants seeking locally mined gold, to its 16th century occupation by the Spanish. We begin at the gorgeous St Williams Cathedral, its whitewashed walls shining in the morning sun. We can view the nearby “Sinking Bell” Tower, so called because of its massive weight which is causing the entire structure to slowly sink into the sandy ground below.

We then drive south to the Malacañang of the North, the residence of former leaders of the Philippines. We can take our time exploring the beautifully furnished rooms of the house, and admiring the exquisite gardens and views of the adjacent lake. Then we continue south to Paoay, where we visit the astonishing Church of St Augustine, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Circle around the building to admire its enormous stepped buttresses and the carefully crafted coral bricks used to build the walls.

In the afternoon we transfer to the historic town of Vigan, a World Heritage Site cherished for its well-preserved Hispanic ambience, cobblestone streets, and unique fusion of colonial European and oriental architectural styles. We start at the Padre Jose Burgos National Museum, housed within the home of one of the three martyrs executed in Rizal Park in the 19th century. Here we can admire their extensive collection of Ilocano paintings, jewellery, musical instruments, and ceramics. We continue to St Paul’s Metropolitan Cathedral, also viewing the amusing Dancing Fountains at the adjacent Plaza Salcedo. We invite you to visit the Archbishop’s Palace, where we can view the clothing and objects used by the priests at Vigan, before continuing to the historic Mestizo District. After a leisurely stroll through this atmospheric quarter we go to the Pagburnayan (pottery factory), where we can learn about how the Ilocano produce their unique ceramics. Our final destination is the Santa Maria Church, the third UNESCO-designated baroque churches made particularly attractive by its use of bricks and terrific location, overlooking the city below. We then return to the bus for our transfer to La Union (ca. two hours), passing beautiful scenic landscapes on the way, where we check in to the Thunderbird Resorts Hotel.

day 5 of tour

Thursday, February 8th La Union-Baguio

Ifugao Woodcarvers' Village, Baguio City Market, Burnham Park, Our Lady of Atonement Cathedral, Botanical Garden

After breakfast we embark for the town of Baguio, nicknamed the “Summer Capital” of the country, where we check in to the Camp John Hay Manor Hotel. This beautiful city offers wonderful artisanal shops selling locally made objects, excellent museums and art galleries, and relaxing gardens. We begin at the Ifugao Woodcarvers' Village, where you can browse through collections of expertly crafted wooden objects made by the residents of the Cordillera Mountain Range. Then make your way through the city centre, visiting the Baguio City Market to shop for gifts before relaxing in Burnham Park. Delight in the rose-tinted walls of Our Lady of Atonement Cathedral, and make your way to the observation deck inside for excellent views of downtown Baguio. Later we go to the Botanical Garden for a tranquil afternoon, before making our way to the hotel for the evening.

day 6 of tour

Friday, February 9th Baguio-Manila

Scenic driving tour

In the morning we set off from Baguio for our return journey to Manila, driving through some of the most incredible landscapes in Southeast Asia. We will stop at a number of locations that offer unparalleled views of the countryside – perfect for taking unique photographs. Upon arrival we check in to the hotel and prepare for the Shabbat.

day 7 of tour

Saturday, February 10th Manila

Shabbat services, Seudet Shabbat

After the Shabbat services and lunch with the local community you are free to enjoy the day as you wish. We recommend relaxing in Rizal Park, or visit the National Museum to learn more about the history of the country. If you have children then the Museo Pambata is highly recommended. In the evening we invite you to attend a performance of multiple traditional Filipino folk dances. From the popular "Tinikling", to the exotic "Pangalay" to the skilful "Bangka" and Hispanic "Jota", delight in the incredibly varied forms of expression and colourful costumes used throughout the Philippines. If you feel inspired to join in that is absolutely fine!

day-8

Sunday, February 11th Manila-Puerto Princesa

Marina, Honda Bay Cruise

In the morning we set off early for our flights to the tropical town of Puerto Princesa, located on the western island of Palawan. This buzzing urban centre is acclaimed for being one of the cleanest and greenest cities in the Philippines, despite also being one of the country’s most popular holiday destinations. When we arrive we are brought to our deluxe hotel, the Hotel Centro Palawan. We then begin our tour of the city, first making our way to the marina for a boat-tour of the emerald waters of Honda Bay. We stop off at a number of islands, including Starfish Island ( which has the greatest population of Star Fish in all of Palawan), Lu-li Island (at high tide the island disappears and at low tide, it reappears), Pandan Island (which has the finest, whitest sands of all the islands and a lush tropical forest) and Cowrie Island (named after the large sea snails found in the blue waters). Later in the evening we return to the hotel for dinner. We recommend you step outside during the night to witness the glowing fireflies that cluster on the lakeside each evening – they give a wonderfully magical atmosphere to this paradise landscape.

day-9

Monday, February 12th Puerto Princesa-Sabang

Puerto Princesa Subterranean River, Sabang Mangrove forest

Today we bring you to visit some of the must-see sites around Sabang on the north coast of Palawan, after checking in to our hotel, the Sheridan Resort & Spa. First we invite you on a thrilling boat ride through the clean turquoise water and grand cave chambers of the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River. Here you can explore the underground caves, viewing astonishing karst formations (including a 300m/980 ft high cave dome) and subterranean waterfalls.

Later on we invite you to Sabang Mangrove forest for another boat ride. Our personal guide will point out the diverse varieties of plants and animals found in this part of the world, including mudskippers, monitor lizards, tree snakes, the rare Palawan peacock-pheasant, and tamilok (woodworm), which are a delicacy enjoyed by the locals. We overnight in Sabang, which boasts enchanting views of the South China Sea.

day 10 of tour

Tuesday, February 13th Sabang-El Nido

Palawan coast cruise

After breakfast we drive through the rainforests to Taytay Wharf, from which we embark on a thrilling boat ride along the coast to the northern community of El Nido. This breathtaking experience will show Palawan from a unique perspective, as we view the many coves and islands of the northwest coast. Enjoy lunch on board as the cruise continues through Imuruan Bay, with lush tropical rainforests growing right up to the white sands of the seaside. When we arrive at El Nido we check in to our luxury El Nido Resorts Hotel, and relax for the rest of the evening.

day-11

Wednesday, February 14th El Nido

El Nido attractions

For the next few days you are free to enjoy El Nido as you wish. There is no end of exciting activities to take part in, including water sports, scubadiving, hiking and plenty more. Feel free to ask your personal guide for any recommendations, such as a boat ride around the Big Lagoon and a visit to the Small Lagoon, island hopping to Entalula Island, Miniloc Island, Simizu Island, Matinloc Island or one of the many others, or visit the nearby Cathedral Caves or Cudugnon Caves.

day-12

Thursday, February 15th El Nido

El Nido attractions

You are free to spend the day as you wish in El Nido, taking part in the same activities as yesterday, trying something new or simply spend the day relaxing on the beach. Take part in some hand-on activities, such as coconut hat making, or pack a lunchbox and go exploring through the mangrove forests looking for rare indigenous wildlife.

day-13

Friday, February 16th El Nido-Manila

After breakfast we say goodbye to El Nido and make our way back to Manila. Upon arrival we are met at the airport by our local tour guide, and brought back to the Mandarin Oriental hotel to check in. After lunch at the Jewish Centre you have the rest of the day free to explore the many sights and sounds of Manila. We reunite in the evening to prepare for the Shabbat.

day-14

Saturday, February 17th Manila

Shabbat services, Seudet Shabbat

After the Shabbat services and lunch with the local community you are free to enjoy the day as you wish.  We recommend visiting the Ayala Triangle Gardens or La Mesa Eco Park. The Mind Museum at Taguig is especially great for children, and the Greenbelt Malls and the SM Mall of Asia are perfect for any remaining shopping.

day-15

Sunday, February 18th Manila

After breakfast we transfer to the airport for our return flights home.

Cost Per Person:

Based On Double Occupancy (two to a room)

  • Round-trip airfare from New York, London or Tel Aviv - call for airfare from other cities
  • All transport within the Philippines
  • An English-speaking, experienced tour guide/chauffeur
  • Full board accommodation in deluxe hotels for entire trip
  • 3 Kosher meals daily
  • All admissions as per itinerary

Additional Costs

  • Visa fees as required
  • Health and Travel Insurance
  • International airport fees
  • Budget for extra snacks, gifts, or other expenses of a personal nature
  • Any other services not specified

$7,995

LAND ONLY - $6,995 (no airfares included, domestic or international)

$2,295 (Single Supplement)

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Amount
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Disclaimer

ITINERARY AND HOTELS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE

RATES MAY BE ADJUSTED IF THERE’S A FLUCTUATION IN CURRENCY OF MORE THAN 4% FROM SEPTEMBER 1, 2015

RATES MAY BE ADJUSTED IN THE EVENT OF AN INCREASE IN AIRLINE FUEL CHARGES

Manila

Mandarin Oriental

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madarin-oriental

Laoag

Plaza Del Norte

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plaza-del-norte

La Union

Thunderbird Resort

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thunderbird-resort

Baguio

Camp John Hay Manor

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camp-john-hay-manor

Puerto Princesa

Hotel Centro Palawan

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hotel-centro-palawan

Sabang

Sheridan Resort & Spa

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sheridan-resort-and-spa

El Nido

El Nido Resorts

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el-nido-resorts

  • Playing with Water: Passion and Solitude on a Philippine Island – James Hamilton-Paterson
  • Eye of the Fish – Luis Fracia
  • When the Rainbow Goddess Wept – Cecilia Manguerra Brainard
  • Dusk – F. Sionil José

New Zealand Tour

Auckland, Rotorua, Queenstown, Te Anau, Wanaka, Franz Josef, Punakaiki, Christchurch

June 25th - July 10th, 2017

This grand voyage introduces you to the remarkable natural wonders, arts, monuments and vibrant cities of New Zealand.

New Zealand is a pristine country, a fantasy land of splendid forests, mountains, lakes and fjords made famous by their use as the setting for Middle Earth.  We invite you on a tour that brings you to all of the ‘must-see’ sites in the country, yet also takes you far beyond anything you have previously imagined of New Zealand with our selection of exclusive excursions and experiences. Join us as we showcase the historic and modern wonders of Auckland, Rotorua, Queenstown, Te Anau, Wanaka, Franz Josef, Punakaiki, and Christchurch. Whether you are a seasoned explorer or a first-time visitor, the memories and experiences gathered from this trip will be life changing.

Our tour offers a once in a lifetime opportunity, with numerous cultural events, educational lessons, adventure sports and guided excursions that offer an exciting and wide-ranging look at the mysteries of Māori New Zealand culture. The 100% kosher tour and careful selection of the very best hotels permits you to travel comfortably and confidently, and your personal tour guide is available at all times to make your trip absolutely enjoyable.

New Zealand welcomes you – discover it with Deluxe Kosher Tours.

day 1 of tour

Sunday, June 25th

We depart on our overnight flight to the largest city in the country, Auckland. Enjoy kosher meals and in-flight entertainment during your journey, or read some of our suggested books about New Zealand (see below). This overnight flight will add a day to our journey – but don’t worry, we get it back at the end!

day 2 of tour

Tuesday, June 27th Auckland

Meet and greet, Orientation

Upon arrival in Auckland Airport we are welcomed to New Zealand by our carefully-selected personal Deluxe Kosher Tours tour director. They will bring us to our luxury hotel, the Hotel Pullman, and offer an introduction to New Zealand and Auckland. Once we are settled and rested, we are brought on a trip up the 328m (1km) high Sky Tower for spectacular panoramic views of the city, with our guide available to point out local highlights. Known as the city of sails, the locals take full advantage of the Tasmanian Sea for watersports.  The remainder of the day can be leisurely spent resting and relaxing in the hotel, take a walk around the local neighbourhood to immerse in some of the sights and sounds, or visit one of the many nearby beaches.

day 3 of tour

Wednesday, June 28th Auckland-Rotorua

Waitomo Caves, Polynesian hot pools

After breakfast we travel by coach south to the town of Waitomo, famous for its Glow-worm Caves. Be enchanted by the magical blue glow of the limestone formations, made luminous by the unique native worm, as we travel by boat through the serene caves.

Next we transfer to Rotorua, a city built within a caldera that has made the bubbling mudpools, hot springs, and explosive geysers part of its culture. We check in to the Hotel Novotel on the lakeside where we are introduced to the history of Rotorua. In the evening we invite you to soak in the heavenly Polynesian hot pools, which have been enjoyed for centuries for their therapeutic benefits and the promise of ageless beauty. After dinner the rest of the evening can spend the rest of the day exploring this stunning wonderland.

day 4 of tour

Thursday, June 29th Rotorua

Rotorua tour, Te Puia Māori Cultural Centre, Māori cultural evening

After breakfast we set off on our tour of this city to learn more about the geological phenomena that have enable its popularity, and the indigenous Māori culture. We will amaze you with a guided tour of enormous bubbling mud pools and powerful erupting geysers. Afterwards, we are brought to the Te Puia Māori Cultural Centre, where we can learn more about the fascinating history, mythology, cosmology, and language of the Māori, explore their Kiwi houses, and browse their collection of Māori art.

After dinner we invite you to a bespoke Māori cultural evening organised exclusively for our Deluxe Kosher Tours guests. Marvel at ancient rituals and traditions, experience thrilling song and dance, and be welcomed into an authentic Māori tribe.

day 5 of tour

Friday, June 30th Rotorua-Queenstown

Gondola to Bob’s Peak, Queenstown tour

After breakfast we transfer to the airport and fly to Queenstown, our first destination on South Island. Queenstown was colonised in the 19th century during a gold rush, and is today known as the adventure capital of the world. Tucked between the Southern Lakes and the Remarkables Mountain range there is certainly plenty on offer for the spirited traveller.

It is impossible to be bored in this town, so after checking in to the Hotel St. Moritz we will provide a brief orientation of all the optional activities you can take part in, including skiing, bungee jumping, sky diving, and hiking trips. Once we are well-rested we set off via the steepest aerial gondola in the southern hemisphere to Bob’s Peak for stunning panoramic views of the city and Lake Wakatipu. Afterwards, members of the tour are welcome to spend the day as they like, taking part in many of the thrilling optional activities, or be immersed in the sights and sounds of this beautiful town.  Kabbalat Shabbat and Shabbat Dinner enjoyed with the community.

day 6 of tour

Saturday, July 1st Queenstown

Shabbat services, Seudat Shabbat

After the Shabbat services and lunch with the local community, you are free to spend the rest of the day freely. Queenstown is a small and charming city, and we recommend walking to the Queenstown Garden, visit the Queenstown Mall for shopping, amble through the Sunshine Bay trail along the lake, or visit the Kiwi Birdlife Park.

day 7 of tour

Sunday, July 2nd Queenstown

Skiing, Mount Aspiring National Park, Dart River tour

Today we enjoy the day at leisure and are free to choose from a range of optional activities, to maximise our enjoyment of time spent in Queenstown. Those who wish to ski are invited to the Remarkables and Coronet Peak alpine resorts, where you can take part in a wide range of snow- and ice-based activities.

If you would rather not ski, join us on a delightful excursion to Mount Aspiring National Park. Here we embark on an exciting tour of the Dart River by speedboat, which takes us through glacial rivers and densely forested banks through this unspoiled World Heritage landscape. This eighty-million year old landscape served as the backdrop for Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies – so keep your eyes peeled for Hobbits!

day-8

Monday, July 3rd Queenstown

Skiing, Arrowtown, Wakatipu Basin

After breakfast those who wish may return to the slopes for more snow sports. Otherwise, we depart for the 19th century gold rush community of Arrowtown. This treasured piece of New Zealand’s heritage is unique in its well preserved colonial architecture, award-winning wines, and stunning landscape views. Here we receive a guided tour of the town, learning more about its history and visiting Lakes District Museum and Arrowtown Mining Company at Dudley's Cottage. Afterwards we embark on a 4WD scenic tour of the Wakatipu Basin, where we visit some of the most iconic spots used in the filming of The Lord of the Rings – including the famous Misty Mountains.

day-9

Tuesday, July 4th Queenstown-Te Anau

Milford Sound cruise, Cleddau River waterfalls

In the morning we transfer to the airport and fly to Milford Sound, the fjord set within the Fjordland National Park, part of the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site. This is an area of outstanding natural beauty, with deep fjords, glittering waterfalls, and dense forests, and was dubbed the “eighth wonder of the world” by Rudyard Kipling. We take you on a comfortable and memorable cruise from the Sound’s inlet at the Tasmanian Sea along the Cleddau River, passing towering rock faces on both sides, and the enchanting Lady Bowen Falls and Stirling Falls. As we travel our tour guide explains the remarkable Māori mythologies about the Sound. Once we disembark we travel along the scenic Milford Road to town of Te Anau, a community built on the shore of the largest lake in the South Island. Here we check into the Distinction Luxmore Hotel overlooking the beautiful azure waters of Lake Te Anau.

day 10 of tour

Wednesday, July 5th Te Anau-Wanaka

Crown Range, Wadrona Hotel, Lake Wanaka, Puzzling World

After breakfast we go on a short walk along the shores of the lake to enjoy its fine sights. Afterwards we travel to the spectacular Crown Range Road, the highest main road in New Zealand. We stop for refreshments at the historic Cardrona Hotel and reach the picturesque town of Wanaka by lunchtime. Built on the shore of Lake Wanaka, this is the gateway to the Mount Aspiring National Park and offers many activities for both the adventurous and relaxation-minded travellers. After checking in to the Edgewater Resort we spend a leisurely afternoon exploring the town, visiting the captivating Puzzling World, a mix of bizarre buildings, rooms of illusion and the world-famous Great Maze. After dinner you are welcome to spend the rest of the evening as they like relaxing at the hotel or watching a movie at the comfy Cinema Paradiso.

day-11

Thursday, July 6th Wanaka-Franz Josef

Haast Pass, Fantail and Thunder Creek Falls, Franz Josef Glacier

We depart from Wanaka for a stunning drive along the Southern Alps to Haast Pass, named after Julius von Haast, a 19th-century explorer. Be blown away by the beautiful scenery unveiled around each corner as we follow an ancient trail named Tiora-patea (meaning “the way is clear”), that was used by Māori adventurers who were searching for the local greenstone pounamu. We stop at the surging Fantail and Thunder Creek waterfalls for a short hike before continuing to the Franz Josef Glacier, a 7.5m (12km) long craggy glacier tucked between the Southern Alps and lush forests of the Tasmanian coast. Here we check in to the Scenic Circle Franz Josef Glacier hotel. Those who wish can take part in an optional, but unmissable, flight over glacial valley and Westland Tai Poutini National Park. Otherwise, relax in the bubbling hot pools of the hotel after our long day.

day-12

Friday, July 7th Franz Josef - Punakaiki

Paparoa National Park, Pancake Rocks

Delight in the glittering sunrise over the glacier as we set off up South Island’s rugged west coast road to the Paparoa National Park. We stop at Pancake Rocks, the unusual and captivating stack of pale limestone rocks worn by wind and waves over millions of years. Other destinations in the park include explosive blowholes, inspiring views of the Tasmanian Sea, and unique local flora and fauna. In the evening we settle into the luxurious Punakaiki Resort.

day-13

Saturday, July 8th Punakaiki

Shabbat services, Seudat Shabbat

After the Shabbat services and lunch with the local community, you are free to spend the rest of the day freely. Enjoy leisurely walks around the town, go swimming at the beach, or explore the nearby rainforest.

day-14

Sunday, July 9th Punakaiki-Christchurch

Arthur’s Pass, International Arctic Centre

After breakfast we head to the majestic Arthur’s Pass, which commands spectacular views of the surrounding National Park. After stopping for perfect panoramic views of the valleys below, we continue to Christchurch, New Zealand’s oldest city and the largest in South Island. After checking into Pepper’s Clearwater Resort we receive a guided tour of the city, passing the River Avon, the Botanic Gardens, and the very fine Gothic Revival ChristChurch Cathedral. After the disastrous 2010–2012 earthquakes the city has been rebuilding itself as a “city within a garden”, and there are a large number of public parks for us to explore in our free time. We visit the International Antarctic Centre where we learn about the awe-inspiring work done in Antarctica today and meet their adorable flock of Little Blue penguins. You have the rest of the afternoon to spend freely in the city. We offer golf at the hotel, or recommend visiting the peaceful Hagley Park, before reuniting for our final meal in the evening.

day-15

Monday, July 10th

Following breakfast, we are transferred to Christchurch International Airport and return home. Remember to change your watches on the way back, to reclaim that day we lost at the beginning!

Cost Per Person:

Based On Double Occupancy (two to a room)

  • Round-trip airfare from New York, London or Tel Aviv
  • All domestic airfares within New Zealand
  • An English-speaking, experienced tour guide/chauffeur
  • Full board accommodations for entire trip
  • 3 Kosher meals daily
  • All admissions as per itinerary

Additional Costs

  • Visa fees as required
  • Health and Travel Insurance
  • Budget for extra snacks, gifts, or other expenses of a personal nature
  • Any other services not specified

$8,995

$2,495 (Single Supplement)

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ITINERARY AND HOTELS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE

RATES MAY BE ADJUSTED IF THERE’S A FLUCTUATION IN CURRENCY OF MORE THAN 4% FROM SEPTEMBER 1, 2015

RATES MAY BE ADJUSTED IN THE EVENT OF AN INCREASE IN AIRLINE FUEL CHARGES

Auckland

Hotel Pullman

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hotel-pullman

Rotorua

Hotel Novotel Rotorua Lakeside

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hotel-novotel

Queenstown

Hotel St. Moritz Queenstown

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hotel-st-moritz

Te Auno

Distinction Luxmore Hotel

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distinction-luxmore-hotel

Wanaka

Edgewater Resort

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edgewater-resort

Franz Josef

Scenic Circle Franz Josef Glacier Hotel

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scenic-circle

Punakaiki

Punakaiki Resort

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punakaiki-resort

Christchurch

Pepper's Clearwater Resort

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peppers-clearwater-resort

  • The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and The Hobbit Trilogy (Films)
  • The Lord of the Rings Location Guidebook or The Hobbit Trilogy Location Guidebook - Ian Brodie
  • Long Cloud Ride - Josie Dew
  • A Land of Two Halves - Joe Bennett
  • Come on Shore and We Will Kill and Eat You All - Christina Thompson
  • Whale Rider (Film)

Literary England Tour

London, Hampshire, Oxford, Warwickshire, Yorkshire

August 16th - August 23rd, 2017

From the regal grandeur of London’s palaces, churches and gardens, to the idyllic atmosphere of rural Yorkshire, join us on an awe-inspiring tour of the history, arts and culture of England.

We invite you to explore the charming neighbourhoods of Great Britain’s capital, following a carefully designed itinerary that promises to educate and enchant seasoned explorers or first-time visitors. We visit some of the must-see attractions, and follow our personal tour guide as they bring you to some of the favourite sites of local Londoners. Furthermore, we embark on a fascinating circuit of England, travelling through four counties that were the homes of Englands most influential authors and poets. The 100% kosher tour and careful selection of the very best hotels permits you to travel comfortably and confidently, and your personal guide is available at all times to make your trip absolutely enjoyable.

England welcomes you – discover it with Deluxe Kosher Tours.

day 1 of tour

Wednesday, August 16th

We depart on our overnight flight to the capital city London. Enjoy kosher meals and in-flight entertainment during your journey, or read some of our suggested books about England (see above).

day 2 of tour

Thursday, August 17th London

Meet and greet, Orientation, Globe Theatre, Charles Dickens Museum, Madame Tussauds, Regents Park, Speaker’s Corner, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Globe Theatre Performance

Upon arrival in London Heathrow Airport we are welcomed to Great Britain by our carefully-selected personal Deluxe Kosher Tours tour director. They will bring us to our hotel, the London Holiday Inn Express, and offer an introduction to England and London. We begin with a circuit of some of the enduring highlights and off-the-map charms of London’s centre. The energy, diversity and unique charm of London is undeniable, as we discover with a tour of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. Here we learn more about the world-famous playwright and life in 16th century London. Afterwards we cross the River Thames and make our way to the Charles Dickens Museum, and excellent institution that holds over 100,000 Dickens-related items including manuscripts, rare editions, personal items, and paintings.

Afterwards we set off to discover Madame Tussauds, where you can get up close to many famous faces, including One Direction, Prince, Obama, the Royal Family, Jack Sparrow, and many more. If there is time we will see the statue of Peter Pan in Regents Park before making our way down to Westminster, passing the famous Speaker’s Corner of Hyde Park, the most famous location for free speech in the world. We view the magnificent Buckingham Palace in St. James’ Park before returning over the Thames to the Globe Theatre for an evening performance.

 

day 3 of tour

Friday, August 18th Hampshire

Charles Dickens' Birthplace Museum, Mary Rose Museum, Gilbert White's House, Jane Austen House Museum, Winchester Cathedral

Early in the morning we set off for our tour of Hampshire – the land of Austen, Dickens, Trollope, Keats and Conan Doyle. We drive along the south coast to our first destination, Portsmouth, where we visit the Charles Dickens' Birthplace Museum. We visit the overwhelming Mary Rose Museum, where we can view the Tudor ship of the 16th century recovered by archaeologists and conserved in its entirety. 

After lunch we make our way to Selborne, the home of the famous 18th century naturalist Gilbert White best known for his Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne. We then drive north to Chawton, where we visit the Jane Austen House Museum, a beautiful house containing fascinating displays about the life of this seminal author. Following this we make our way to Winchester, where we can walk through the atmospheric cathedral. This cathedral is said to have inspired Keats’ ‘Ode to Autumn.’ We then transfer by bus to the legendary university town of Oxford, and check in to the Old Bank Hotel before preparing for the Shabbat.

day 4 of tour

Saturday, August 19th Oxford

Shabbat services, Seudat Shabbat, Christ Church, Pembroke College, Eagle & Child, Wolvercote Cemetery, Museum of Natural History, Bodleian Library, University Church of St Mary the Virgin, Botanic Gardens

After the Shabbat services and lunch with the local community we go on our comprehensive walking tour of Oxford. Oxford is the oldest university in the English-speaking world, and the world's second-oldest surviving university. We learn about the famous literary figures that have come from Oxford, from the famous Inklings group (composed of JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis, and others) to Lewis Carroll and Phillip Pullman. Our tour begins at Christ Church College, where we learn about Lewis Carroll and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. We continue to Pembroke College, where Tolkien was a professor of Anglo-Saxon between 1925 and 1945. After viewing the pretty chapel there, we move on to the Eagle & Child pub where the Inklings group met – one can still sit in the same seats that Tolkien and Lewis once occupied! If there is enough interest the tour continues to Wolvercote Cemetery where Tolkien is buried. Otherwise, we make our way to the excellent Museum of Natural History, which contains the world’s best remains of a dodo bird – encountered by Alice during her visit to Wonderland.

After lunch we make our way to Bodleian Library, full of atmosphere with antique tomes chained to sturdy wooden bookcases hidden in the semi-gloom. We go on to the beautiful University Church of St Mary the Virgin. C.S. Lewis  was a tutor at the nearby Magdalen College, and we view the iconic “Narnia Door” which is said to have inspired the wardrobe door in his The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. We finish the day with a leisurely walk through the gorgeous Botanic Gardens, a key location in Phillip Pullman’s trilogy His Dark Materials. After dinner you are free to continue exploring the sights and sounds of the local neighbourhood.

day 5 of tour

Sunday, August 20th Warwickshire

Polesworth, Arbury Hall, Astley Book Farm, Stratford-upon-Avon, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, Compton Verney

After breakfast we say goodbye to Oxfordshire and continue our journey to Warwickshire. Our first stop is Polesworth, a town that has over the centuries seen impressive gatherings of literati, including poets Michael Drayton, Ben Jonson, John Donne and possibly even William Shakespeare. We visit Arbury Hall on the Arbury Estate where George Eliot (born Mary Ann Evans) was born in 1819, and which heavily influenced her work. Afterwards we make our way to the nearby Astley Book Farm, one of the country’s largest second-hand bookshops and surely one of the most atmospheric. Here you have free time to explore the shop’s massive selection of books, pick out a few, and enjoy a relaxed read in the gardens.

Afterwards we continue to Stratford-upon-Avon, the hometown of William Shakespeare. We visit the Shakespeare Houses and the headquarters of the Royal Shakespeare Company, where we can learn more about the playwright’s life and the vibrant culture of Shakespeare appreciation that still exists today. Our next stop is Anne Hathaway’s thatched cottage in nearby Shottery, where we can receive a guided tour of the home of the wife of Shakespeare. The Georgian mansion-turned gallery of Compton Verney is our next stop. We can explore the extensive collections of British art, including the UK’s largest British folk art, contained within. We continue to Birmingham where we check in to the Radisson Blu Hotel before dinner.

day 6 of tour

Monday, August 21st Yorkshire

D.H. Lawrence Birthplace Museum, Newstead Abbey, Keighley and Worth Valley railway tour, Castle Howard

We embark early for Eastwood in Yorkshire, the home of D.H.  Lawrence. Here we visit the D.H. Lawrence Birthplace Museum to learn more about the author’s life and the life of Victorian coal miners' families in the late 19th century. We continue to Newstead Abbey. Originally built in 1170 as an Augustinian priory, this became the ancestral home of the poet Lord Byron. Here we can delight in the exquisite gardens and furnishings within the house, before returning to the bus. We carry on to Haworth, the hometown of the Brontë sisters famous for Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. Deluxe Kosher Tours invite you on an excellent railway tour through the Keighley and Worth Valley, where we learn more about the Brontë sisters. The train was used in the film version of Edith Nesbit’s Railway Children.

Later we drive to Castle Howard, a stately home used as the setting of “Brideshead” in Granada Television's excellent 1981 adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited. Here we learn more about life within the British gentry at the beginning of the last century, before the country was transformed by the World Wars. We then return to London via Cambridge if there is time, to allow us stretch our legs in this wonderful university town. In London we check in to the Holiday Inn Express before dinner.

day 7 of tour

Tuesday, August 22nd London

King’s Cross Station, Rochester, Canterbury, Charing Cross Road Bookshops, Bloomsbury Gardens, Sherlock Holmes Museum, British Library

After breakfast we make our way to King’s Cross Station, where you can run through the wall  of Platform 9¾ and visit the Harry Potter Shop. We continue to Rochester, a town with many associations with Charles Dickens, before carrying on to Canterbury. This was the home of Geoffrey Chaucer, the so-called “Father of English literature”, who is best known for his Canterbury Tales. We visit Canterbury Cathedral, and learn more about this acclaimed author before returning to London.

After lunch we go to Charing Cross Road, a street loved by local Londoners for its numerous fantastic bookshops. After browsing through a few, and possibly purchasing books by some of the authors we have learned about so far, we go on a leisurely walk through the gardens of Bloomsbury on our way to the Sherlock Holmes Museum. Here we learn more about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his legendary books. Following this we receive a guided tour of the British Library, which holds over 170 million items in its collection, including around 14 million books. You have the rest of the day free to explore London – we recommend visiting the British Museum, or if you wish to do some shopping make your way to Seven Dials in Covent Gardens.

day-8

Wednesday, August 23rd

After breakfast we transfer to Heathrow Airport for our return flights home.

Cost Per Person:

Based On Double Occupancy (two to a room)

  • Round-trip airfare from New York or Tel Aviv - call for airfare from other cities
  • All transport within England
  • An English-speaking, experienced tour guide/chauffeur
  • Full board accommodation in deluxe hotels for entire trip
  • 3 Kosher meals daily
  • All admissions as per itinerary

Additional Costs

  • Visa fees as required
  • Health and Travel Insurance
  • International airport fees
  • Budget for extra snacks, gifts, or other expenses of a personal nature
  • Any other services not specified

$4,995

$1,295 (Single Supplement)

Currency Calculator

Amount
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Disclaimer

ITINERARY AND HOTELS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE

RATES MAY BE ADJUSTED IF THERE’S A FLUCTUATION IN CURRENCY OF MORE THAN 4% FROM SEPTEMBER 1, 2015

RATES MAY BE ADJUSTED IN THE EVENT OF AN INCREASE IN AIRLINE FUEL CHARGES

London

Holiday Inn Express

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holiday-inn-express

Oxford

Old Bank Hotel

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old-bank-hotel

Birmingham

Radisson Blu Hotel

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radisson-blue

  • Bleak House – Charles Dickons
  • Hamlet or King Lear – William Shakespeare
  • Persuasion – Jane Austen
  • JRR Tolkien: A Biography or The Inklings – Humphrey Carpenter
  • The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe – CS Lewis
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
  • His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
  • Middlemarch – George Eliot
  • The Rainbow – DH Lawrence
  • Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë
  • Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë
  • Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
  • Canterbury Tales – Geoffrey Chaucer