While our trips are open and affirming, we know it can be tricky to sign up for a group trip as an LGBT individual - especially religious trips. For the trips listed below, we'll have many LGBT travelers and allies coming along. Some of our itinerary will focus on local LGBT issues while also of course seeing all the major sites and life changing experiences we always include in Andrew W Lyon Travel trips.
Two Opportunities - Israel April 2017 and Greece May 2017
No place in the world has quite so much historical prominence in the three major Western religions of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity as Israel. I remember when I traveled to Israel for the first time, I found myself baffled by the layers of history in each location we visited. The sheer scope of history each stone has witnessed is epic. As I attempted to take it all in, I found myself occasionally escaping to eat some of that famous Mediterranean cuisine - fresh salads, delicious hummus, amazing falafel, and more.
For being such a small country, the landscape is pretty varied, with big hills, stark deserts, lush green valleys, and calm rivers. Regardless of your religious persuasion, you'll find the pilgrimage to Israel becomes a deeply personal one, and as you ride camels, float in the Dead Sea, and walk the stones of so many pilgrims before, you'll find yourself forever changed. And maybe, like me, you'll find yourself traveling back again and again to unfold the narrative stone by stone.
Come with us to Israel!
Israel - April 2017
TOTAL PRICE: $2,399.00 per person
INCLUDES ALL LODGING, TWO MEALS PER DAY (PLUS THREE LUNCHES), GROUND TRANSPORTATION, GUIDES, VISAS, ENTRANCE FEES TO SITES, TRANSFER TO/FROM AIRPORT, TIPS
NOT INCLUDING: INTERNATIONAL AIRFARE (estimated price $1,000-$1,300), FOUR LUNCHES (estimated total: $10-$20 PER LUNCH)
itinerary - april 2017 (exact dates tbd)
Day 1 - Depart USA
day 2 - arrive tel aviv; travel to hotel and rest
Day 3 - travel to nazareth/galilee via caesarea, seeing ancient cities and getting an overview of the various civilizations who have lived on this land over the millenia
day 4 - tour galilee, riding a boat on the sea of galilee, travel up to the golan heights and have a chance to be baptized in the jordan river
day 5 - travel to the dead sea via the quran caves and beit shean, a beautifully preserved roman city
day 6 - Swim in the Dead Sea and then travel to Jerusalem via the ancient fortress of Masada. Also visit a working Bedouin camp for a cultural experience and have a chance to ride a camel.
Day 7 - Tour Jerusalem including the Mount of Olives, Garden of Gethsemane, Wailing Wall, Dome of the Rock, Via Dolorosa, Holy Sepulchre, and more
Day 8 - Tour Jerusalem including the Holocaust Museum of Yad Vashem, the Garden Tomb, and a visit to Bethlehem to the Chruch of the Nativity
Day 8 - Spend some free time in the city of Jerusalem to visit the bazaar or revisit some of the sites from the day before. Head to the airport for an evening flight home.
Day 9 - Arrive in the USA
optional excursion - jordan (additional $1,000 per person)
day 9 - Depart for jordan overland, overnight jordan
day 10 - Explore the ancient walled city of Petra, taking an optional hike through the incredible views up to the Sanctuary.
Day 11 - Travel overland back to Israel and depart for USA. Arrive USA
Somehow, I keep finding myself in Greece and I'm so grateful. The seat of ancient democracy is as vibrant as ever, and even as Greece is in the news more often for a variety of reasons, there's been no better time to relax in one of the most peaceful beautiful places in the world.
My first trip to Greece was just a quick stop in Athens and Santorini - if you're going to just catch a glimpse of the country, those are the two places to go for the Parthenon and sheer natural beauty, respectively. Next, I took a slower jaunt backpacking my way through the Greek Islands, appreciating the slower pace of life and watching the sunset past the white-washed buildings over the water each night. I found myself touring the interior of the country later, and was awestruck by the sudden rock outcroppings of Meteora and the ancient and modern mix in Thessaloniki.
I like to do Greece either primarily by boat or primarily by land, but we mix and match a little bit too. Think about adding some time in Turkey to your trip too - they're great compliments to a group trip.
Either way, you'll walk away mesmerized by the beauty, the amazing fresh food, the startlingly pleasant people, and the pervasive history of Greece.
Greece- May 2017
TOTAL PRICE: $2,399.00 per person
INCLUDES ALL LODGING, TWO MEALS PER DAY, GROUND TRANSPORTATION, GUIDES, VISAS, ENTRANCE FEES TO SITES, TIPS
NOT INCLUDING: INTERNATIONAL AIRFARE (estimated price $1,100-$1,400), FOUR LUNCHES (estimated total: $10-$20 PER LUNCH), TRANSFER TO/FROM AIRPORT (estimated $30-$40 each way)