12 Nights | DIVINE EXPLORATION
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You will visit the following 10 places:
Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, though not internationally recognized as such. If the area and population of East Jerusalem is included, it is Israel's largest city in both population and area, with a population of 763,800 residents over an area of 48.3 square miles. Located in the Judean Mountains, between the Mediterranean Sea and the northern edge of the Dead Sea, modern Jerusalem has grown far beyond the boundaries of the Old City. Jerusalem is a holy city to the three major Abrahamic religions—Judaism, Christianity and Islam. In Judaism, Jerusalem has been the holiest city since, according to the Torah, King David of Israel first established it as the capital of the united Kingdom of Israel inc. 1000 BCE, and his son Solomon commissioned the building of the First Temple in the city.
Heraklion is the largest city and the administrative capital of the island of Crete. It is the fourth largest city in Greece. The Bronze Age palace of Knossos, also known as the Palace of Minos, is located nearby. Heraklion is close to the ruins of the palace of Knossos, which in Minoan times was the largest centre of population on Crete. Though there is no archaeological evidence of it, Knossos may well have had a port at the site of Heraklion as early as 2000 BC. Around the city can be found several sculptures, statues and busts commemorating significant events and figures of the city's and island's history, like El Greco, Vitsentzos Kornaros, Nikos Kazantzakis and Eleftherios Venizelos.
Rhodes is the largest of the Dodecanese islands in terms of land area and also the island group's historical capital. Administratively the island forms a separate municipality within the Rhodes regional unit, which is part of the South Aegean administrative region. It is located northeast of Crete, southeast of Athens and just off the Anatolian coast of Turkey. Rhodes' nickname is The island of the Knights, named after the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem, who once conquered the land. Historically, Rhodes was famous worldwide for the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The Medieval Old Town of the City of Rhodes has been declared a World Heritage Site. Today, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe.
Haifa is the third-largest city in the State of Israel. It is home to the Bahá'í World Centre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a destination for Baha'i pilgrims. Built on the slopes of Mount Carmel, the settlement has a history spanning more than 3,000 years. The earliest known settlement in the vicinity was Tell Abu Hawam, a small port city established in the Late Bronze Age (14th century BCE). In the 3rd century CE, Haifa was known as a dye-making center. Today, the city is a major seaport located on Israel's Mediterranean coastline in the Bay of Haifa covering 63.7 square kilometres (24.6 sq mi). The city plays an important role in Israel's economy. It is also home to Matam, one of the oldest and largest high-tech parks in the country. Haifa Bay is a center of heavy industry, petroleum refining and chemical processing. Haifa formerly functioned as the western terminus of an oil pipeline from Iraq via Jordan.
Piraeus is a city in the periphery of Attica, Greece and within the Athens urban area, located 12 km southwest of its center and upon the Saronic Gulf. According to the 2001 census, Piraeus has a population of 175,697 people within its administrative limits, making it the third largest municipality in Greece and the second within the Greek capital following the municipality of Athens. The Piraeus urban area extends beyond the administrative city limits to the suburban municipalities, with a total population of 466,065.
Sorrento Neapolitan: Surriento is a town overlooking the Bay of Naples in Southern Italy. A popular tourist destination, it can be reached easily from Naples and Pompeii as it is at the south-eastern end of the Circumvesuviana rail line. The Sorrentine Peninsula has views of Naples, Vesuvius and the Isle of Capri. The Amalfi Drive, connecting Sorrento and Amalfi, is a narrow road that threads along the high cliffs above the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Civitavecchia is a town and comune of the Metropolitan City of Rome in the central Italian region of Lazio. A sea port on the Tyrrhenian Sea, the name ''Civitavecchia'' means "ancient town". The modern city was built over a pre-existing Etruscan settlement. The massive Forte Michelangelo was first commissioned from Donato Bramante by Pope Julius II, to defend the port of Rome. The upper part of the "maschio" tower, however, was designed by Michelangelo, whose name is generally applied to the fortress. North of the city at Ficoncella are the Terme Taurine baths frequented by Romans and still popular with the Civitavecchiesi. The modern name stems from the common fig plants among the various pools. And also next to the town is the location of the cruise ship docks. All major cruise lines start and end their cruises at this location, and others stop for shore excursion days that allow guests to see Rome and Vatican sights, which are ninety minutes away.
Gytheio is a town and a former municipality in Laconia, Peloponnese, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality East Mani, of which it is a municipal unit. It was the seaport of Sparta, some 40 kilometres (25 miles) north. Gytheio used to be an important port until it was destroyed in 4th century AD, possibly by an earthquake. Today it is the largest and most important town in Mani. It is also the seat of the municipality of East Mani.