Rich & Rugged Adventure

Trip Highlights

  • 2 nights ARNI Domotel Hotel, Karditsa
  • 1 night at Archontiko, Indigenous lodging
  • 2 nights Skiathos Princess Hotel, Skiathos
  • Flight to Tel Aviv, Ben Gurion airport
  • 1 night at American Colony Hotel, Jerusalem
  • 2 nights at Pastoral Hotel, Kfar Blum
  • 1 night at Bedouin Camp, Kfar HaNokdim
  • 2 nights at Beresheet Hotel, Mitspe Ramon

Trip Highlights

Lifetime Discovery invites you to discover Israel and Greece through the lens of the adventurer. Suitable for corporate or private travelers, individuals or groups, the “Rich and Rugged” exploration of Israel and Greece is designed to blend a hearty experience with a luxurious touch by staying at the exquisite hotels on the Lifetime Discovery roster. Moving around both Greece and Israel by jeep, biking and hiking, (or luxury vehicle) the program familiarizes you with the beauty and splendor of both countries while getting a nice workout and enjoying the extraordinary wonders of nature that attract people from the world-over. The antiquities are there for your choosing. From Mount Olympus in Greece to the Dead Sea in Israel, this program is especially designed with options for the tailor-made additions that tickle your particular fancy. You, of course, have option to connect between the two countries by air or by a short cruise. The fine-tuning of the details is up to you.

Lifetime Discovery also offers this Rich & Rugged Adventure itinerary individually in each destination, priced from *$275.

  * Rate is per person per night based on double occupancy, depending on time of travel, chosen hotels, availability and number of passengers.

ARNI Domotel Hotel | Karditsa

Days: 1 2

The high quality services and the customer-based approach make Domotel Arni one of the most modern hotels in Karditsa for amazing getaways and business meetings. Its location (at the junction of two key motorways leading: to the central square of Karditsa city, to the lake Plastira, to the Pertouli ski center, to Elati, to Meteora, to Trikala city and to Argithea) offers a great variety of choices for short trips and sightseeing in Trikala and Karditsa areas.Designed by a French architect, it is one of the first hotels in the Balkans (it welcomed its first guests in 1921) and it is a rare sample of rococo architecture. After its renovation in 2006, hotel Domotel Arni has transformed into an A class traditional hotel, presenting an environment ideal for relaxation, business and recreational activities.

Archontiko | Indigenous Lodging

Days: 3

Skiathos Princess Hotel | Skiathos

Days: 4 5

Skiathos Princess Hotel is dedicated to delight the senses of every guest, whether you are traveling with family to relax, on a romantic Honeymoon or Jet setters searching for a luxury Beach resort.
Escape to a sophisticated Greek island retreat with a collection of individually designed rooms and suites set among lush gardens on the Bay of Aghia Paraskevi with a variety of dining choices, a spa and excellent facilities for fun and relaxation.
The Beach Lifestyle with crystal clear waters is only steps away, with a range of water sports and sailing boats to hire.  There is a real sense of getting away from it all in comfortable rooms with private balconies overlooking the sea or gardens.

Skiathos Princess

 

Pastorale Hotel | Kfar Blum

Days: 7 8

In the heart of the Galilee landscape, continuing the pioneers’ tradition of hospitality, to the sound of classical music, there flows a spring of silence and tranquility. In a relaxing pastoral atmosphere, we invite you to enjoy a range of 147 especially designed rooms surrounded by lawns and flowers, a prestigious pampering spa, an Olympic-sized swimming pool,  a restaurant offering a culinary experience of gourmet cuisine.

Bedouin Camp | Kfar HaNokdim

Days: 9

In the Kana`im Valley which is in the Judean Desert, between the city of Arad and ancient Masada, lies Kfar Hanokdim. It is a green oasis shaded by palm trees and crowned with biblically inspired gardens.  Merely walking into Kfar Hanokdim reveals a picturesque scene. It has Bedouin tents comfortably fitted with colorful rugs and mattresses.

Beresheet Hotel | Mitspe Ramon

Days: 10 11

The Beresheet Hotel & Spa, part of the Isrotel Exclusive Collection, is located amid a breathtakingly beautiful primeval landscape, near the ancient Spice Route, and right on the edge of the towering cliffs that slope down into the Ramon Crater – an extraordinary natural phenomenon without equal anywhere in the world. The hotel’s unique location, at 800m above sea level, ensures a cool and comfortable climate.

Day 1: Heading for Karditsa

Accomodation: ARNI Domotel Hotel | Karditsa

After arriving in Athens, a Lifetime Discovery representative will meet and escort you to the jeep awaiting you.  Once underway, the first spell-binding moment is when passing the Helikon Mountain Ridge during a trip that takes a few hours.  There is a magnificent view of olive tree orchards and just watching the landscape puts the vacationer in the relaxation mode.  Soon the mountains enlarge on the horizon and the spectacular climb up narrow trails of Evritania slope begins.   At that moment, history begins to unfold as the remains of the Turkish occupation are found during the ride up into the cliffs.  A bit further along the path,  tin monuments with pictures of Mary Magdalene begin appearing on the side of the road, an indigenous custom.  Soon you will reach Arni Domotel Hotel in Karditsa, your superb abode for this part of your trip.

Arni Domotel Hotel

Day 2: On to Meteora & Kalambaka

Accomodation: ARNI Domotel Hotel | Karditsa

Mounting the jeeps after deep slumber in the mountain elevation, the Lifetime Discovery guide will steer you to more enclaves hidden by the mountains where villagers rush to greet the guests and pose for photo-ops.  Continuing on, you will reach an overlook on the breathtakingly glistening Lake Kremaston.  The view and the atmosphere may surprise you, looking more like the Rockies than  Greece.  Village after village appears on the horizon and  soon bathing suits are called for when the entourage reaches the Trikeriotis Canyon River.  The mountains’ waters rush through the canyon, making it rather frigid, so even though the water calls out temptingly, a dip is out of the question for all except the exceptionally rugged.  The next destination is the Grappa Mountain Range, reached via winding roads, demanding from each “assigned driver” a sharp and alert eye.  From Grappa, you will continue to Meteora, situated above the town of Kalambaka.  You will discover an unprecedented view of the towering cliffs and the monasteries perched on cliff-top, looking as though they dropped into place from another planet.  The day is completed with a date at the “rembetiko” (night club) in the town of Trikkala.

Day 3: On to the Pelion and Makrinitza

Accomodation: Archontiko | Indigenous Lodging

We will travel on Day 3 to the Pelion region which will be the experience of a lifetime, due to the striking views and the chance to  stay overnight in the  indigenous lodging, the unique archontiko.  Staying at this kind of authentic Greek building is truly memorable.  On the way we will jeep through the mountains to see, exquisite villages and do some hiking while mounting Pelion mountain.  One of the stops with a short (easy) hike to the UNESCO  World Heritage site “Makrinitza” that has been preserved exactly as it was since it was established in the 1700’s.  Makrinitza is often called “the balcony of Pelion”, and it will provide us with an awesome  view of the Pelion plateau.  Your sojourn at the archontiko, with its unique architecture and décor, will be another lifetime discovery, on a vacation full of them.

Days 4-6: Down to the Shore in Skiathos

Accomodation: Skiathos Princess Hotel | Skiathos

Come down from the mountains to spend your last three days of discovery around water.  Say farewell to the jeeps in Volos and board a ferry boat for a 2 hour jaunt over to the wonderful island of Skiathos.   After check-in at the Aegean Suites hotel, browse the town, and enjoy the eateries a bit before hitting the amazing beaches for which this island is so well known.  The nightlife can’t be beaten. Lifetime Discovery will provide its guests with a gourmet dinner as an added value to a super vacation.

Day 5: See Skiathos

Accomodation: Skiathos Princess Hotel | Skiathos

Today, rest and relax, soak up the sun at one of the best beaches in Greece.

Skiathos

Day 6: Welcome to Your Rugged Discovery in Israel

Accomodation: American Colony Hotel | Jerusalem

Upon arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport you will be greeted by a VIP chaperone arranged by Lifetime Discovery  who will expedite arrival formalities before setting out to Jerusalem.  Spend your first few moments in the city of gold walking the slopes of the Haas Promenade before checking in to your internationally renowned hotel and acclimating to the magic of being in Israel.  In the evening, we suggest a walk on the walls around the old city, stopping on the way at the important destinations of the Western Wall, the Holy Sepulcher and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, all within meters of one another.  If the muse strikes you, we recommend the “Sound of Light at the Citadel” show as a program for the evening.

 

Day 7: Going to Galilee

Accomodation: American Colony Hotel | Jerusalem

We wake up early to set out for the Galilee and up to the Golan Heights.  We will hug traverse the country on the new Route 6 and make it to our first stop at “Mearat HaKeshet” (the arched cave), in the hills of the Western Galilee in Kibbutz Adamit.  The arch is an extraordinary miracle of nature, and for the particularly rugged, rappelling is an option at this stop. Next, we continue to the overlook at the Montfort Crusader fortress.  A hardy hike to the fortress, going down into the Kziv Wadi and climbing to the peak is the way we will spend the afternoon.  There are two different routes to the crest, the challenging and the mega-challenging; we’ll take whichever you prefer.  After this workout we will rest a bit during the ride north of the country to with an overlook at the Sea of Galilee at the Arbel overlook before reaching our overnight destination Pastoral, Kfar Blum, so that we can have an early night before another early wake-up call.  The hotel is in uniquely designed and a real countrified experience.

Day 8: White-waters, Wine and Wonders

Accomodation: Pastorale Hotel | Kfar Blum

After a hardy breakfast, we will do some kayaking  on the Jordan River, weather permitting.  This day is spent on sea, on foot and on wheels.  After riding the white waters we will head up to the Golan Heights by jeep, stopping first at the spectacular Banias and it’s “hanging trail” and at Tel Dan one of Israel’s most renowned nature reserves.  See the cave dwelling and ruins left since the time of the Greeks, while on this hike and climb.  A short plunge in cool waters is optional for the hardy if arriving in winter and delightful for summer visitors.  After leaving Banias we will head to the Golan destination for some wine-tasting and lunch at the Golan Wineries before heading to another hike, this time to a Roman fortress at Gamla, also known as the “Masada of north”, once inhabited by a Jewish community before the Roman occupation in the beginning of the last millennium.

Day 9: Desert & Dead Sea

Accomodation: Bedouin Camp | Kfar HaNokdim

We will leave the Golan Heights by jeep, following the Syria-African Rift through the Judean Desert until reaching towards the lowest spot on earth, the Dead Sea area.  Depending on the season, we will either begin or end the day with a climb up to the heights of Masada.  In the summer, the heat will demand a morning climb.  We will watch the sun go down either from the heights of the fortress or from the depths of the salty Dead Sea.   As the last stronghold against the Romans, Masada has been deemed a World Heritage site by UNESCO.  A cable car is available, but for the more rugged among us, the hike is invigorating.  At mid-day we will hike through the Ein Gedi nature reserve.  The option of getting muddy with the world famous Dead Sea mud treatment is totally up to you.   At the end of the day we will steer our jeeps towards a Bedouin encampment for an overnight under the stars and enjoying the unique Bedouin hospitality.

Day 10: Craters and Care

Accomodation: Beresheet Hotel | Mitspe Ramon

Day Five will begin with a discovery of the wonders of the Ramon Crater.  Descending down into the crater after watching the sunrise from its rim, be awed when Lifetime Discovery experts leading the way, by foot or bicycle, share the desert’s mysticism.  The Ramon Crater is  another UNESCO World Heritage site  which has some of the most unique rock formations and colors found anywhere in the world.  There is also an option to rappel in the crater. Climbing out of the crater, we will head for the home of David Ben Gurion and to see the tomb of Israel’s first prime minister, where you may also have lunch.    After this workout, you will be treated to the pleasures of the super-luxurious Mitspe Ramon  Berehseet Hotel.

Day 11: Horseback, Pools and Airports

Accomodation: Beresheet Hotel | Mitspe Ramon

Day Six includes the possibility of riding a trail on horseback and other activities provided by Bedouin in the nearby villages, or just relaxing by poolside or enjoying the numerous treatments in the hotel’s spa.  It is all, again, up to you.  Enjoy these last moments before being transferred back to Ben Gurion National Airport.

COME BACK SOON!