VFI PLUS ARCHAEOLOGY

Visit Israel with class and style. Volunteer on an archaeological dig and volunteer on an IDF Base, with VFI’s all-Inclusive adventure-travel program.
  • Multiple Departures

    May, Sep
  • Duration

    14 days / 13 nights
  • Highlights

    Haifa, Atlit museum, Mt. Carmel Jeep tour, Caesarea, IAA dig site, Utopia Orchids Park, Armored Corps Museum Latrun, Crusaders' cloister
  • Notes

    Land Only, Price Based on Double Occupancy
  • Activity Level

    Moderate

From  $2,499
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VFI PLUS ARCHAEOLOGY 14 Days14D13 Nights13N

Awaken your inner Indiana Jones and get your hands dirty on an active archaeological site guided by professionals from the Israel Antiquities Authority.

This 14-day, All-Inclusive program is for both first-timers and repeat volunteers.  It combines 5 days of volunteer work on an IDF base, 5 days of work at a professional IAA dig, and 4 days of custom touring out-of-the-way locations in an air-conditioned bus.

Ideal for all ages, 18 to 80. Trip provides the opportunity to work alongside Israeli university students and also offers a memorable experience various tasks directly aiding the archaeologists in their important mission.

All required services are bundled: assignments, transportation, transfers, housing, most food, touring, admissions, tips, etc.  This is not a sterile “mission”, but rather an on-site, hands-on working volunteer experience that creates memories.

UPCOMING DATES
May 12 – 25, 2019  Click here to register
September 8 – 21, 2019  REGISTRATION BEGINS SOON

NOTES
-Tour attractions, detailed schedule & additional details subject to change.
-Program open to all English-speaking VFI & Sar-El volunteers.
-IDF base location is revealed at the airport meeting on Day 1.
-The volunteer group will remain together for all IDF, dig, and touring activities.

In addition to signing up through Gil Travel, all U.S. volunteers must apply through regional VFI (Volunteers for Israel) channels for the application and screening process, including medical consent and personal interview, and pay the VFI non-refundable $125 application fee. See www.vfi-usa.org.  Non-U.S. English-speakers apply through their home country; see www.sar-el.org.


THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE

The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) has opened a new and exciting flagship excavation located at the foot of Tel Assar, a mature dig site not far from the town of Pardes Hanna-Karkur, in the Haifa District. The site covers the Chalcolithic period, right up to the Early Bronze Age.  The Chalcolithic period began in the late 5th millennium BCE and lasted for 1,000 years before it gave rise to the Early Bronze Age (approximately 4300 – 3300 BCE). The Tel Assar excavation began in May 2018 and will continue until December 2019.  It is quite a huge undertaking with about 300 archaeologists and workers devoted to this project.  This is a well-established archaeological site.

We are presenting an exciting and unique opportunity for VFI/Sar-El volunteers to spend five days excavating alongside a large team of IAA archaeologists.  We may qualify to have our own dedicated guide who will discussing the history of the site and the area and provide personalized attention to our group’s work.

The work area is said to be shaded and the work is clearly physical.  Participants will have to be physically fit and have stamina to enjoy this experience.  Traditional digging and excavation tools such as picks, shovels, hand trowels, etc., will be provided.

TESTIMONIALS

“It was a new and exciting program and time.  We had excellent accommodations and facilities on base and at the dig.  We met new and exciting people on base and at the dig.  I recommend it to anyone.”  Said William from CA in 2018

“We are back to Germany after having a wonderful time in Israel. There were many important and interesting parts of our journey.  The following was particularly important to me: conversations with the group and with the young female soldiers while working in the warehouse.  Also, the explanations regarding archaeological procedures.  Finally, the very competent knowledge of Julia and her guidance through Israel.”   Said Christa from Germany

“I really didn’t know what to expect.  I enjoyed actually doing the exhausting physical work of digging, carefully removing dirt around stones, moving debris with the wheelbarrow, sifting, and washing pottery shards, small animal bones, and flint stones.  Learning about the site history from our archeology madricha was valuable. I am now more aware of the labor and skill involved in uncovering and preserving historical treasures. It was mindboggling to find objects from 5 to 7 thousand years ago. To sum it all up, I’d say it was a great adventure: team work, patience, exposure to different cultures, learning and discovery.”   Said Naomi from Boston 2018

“Working on an IDF Air Force base was a privilege and their hospitality was stellar.  Julia’s touring sites were as-advertised, off-the-radar and wonderful, each an exquisite learning experience.  But the highpoint was the excitement of extracting 6,000-year-old artifacts from the soil with my own dirty hands, while learning from professional archaeologists.  That is quality, tough to match anywhere.”  Said Steve from DE 2018

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What can you expect as part of your tour?

  • 14 all-inclusive days in Israel
  • 5 Days at IAA's dig site
  • 4.5 Days on IDF base with room and board
  • 4.5 Days of private touring
  • High quality lectures and discussions
  • While Touring: 4-star hotels
  • Daily breakfast and dinner
  • Entrance fees, tips and transportation
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Kosher meals + evening programs on base
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Day

1

Monday, November 18

Arrival - Tel Aviv

Arrive at Ben Gurion Airport by morning, meet at airport Arrivals area to join with other volunteers and IDF leaders. Travel in military bus to assigned IDF base. Lunch at base mess hall; bunking assignments; uniforms; supper at base mess hall; evening enrichment program; reside on base.

Overnight:IDF Base (B, L, D).

Day

2

Tuesday, November 19

Volunteering on IDF Base

Breakfast in mess hall; flag raising; work at assigned job; lunch at base mess hall; afternoon work; supper at base mess hall; evening enrichment program; reside on IDF base.

Overnight:IDF Base (B, L, D).

Day

3

Wednesday, November 20

Volunteering on IDF Base

Breakfast in mess hall; flag raising; work at assigned job; lunch at base mess hall; afternoon work; supper at base mess hall; evening enrichment program; reside on IDF base.

Overnight:IDF Base (B, L, D).

Day

4

Thursday, November 21

Volunteering on IDF Base

Breakfast in mess hall; flag raising; work at assigned job; lunch at base mess hall; afternoon work; supper at base mess hall; evening enrichment program; reside on IDF base.

Overnight:IDF Base (B, L, D).

Day

5

Friday, November 22

IDF base, Hiria, Armageddon

Breakfast in mess hall; flag raising; work at assigned job; lunch on base. IDF volunteering is now completed.
Depart base on private tour bus. Private touring in afternoon; Hiria (Ariel Sharon park), Armageddon, Supper in hotel. Overnight Haifa hotel.

Overnight:Haifa (B, D).

Day

6

Saturday, November 23

Haifa, Atlit, Mt. Carmel, Shabbat Dinner

Breakfast in hotel. Private touring all day; tasting tour in Haifa market, self-picking organic farm visit & lecture, Detention camp in Atlit museum, Muchraka on Mt. Carmel. Shabbat dinner in hotel. Overnight Haifa hotel.

Overnight:Haifa (B, D).

Day

7

Sunday, November 24

Jeep tour, Caesarea, Zichron Yaaqov

Breakfast in hotel #1. Private touring all day; Mt Carmel jeep tour; Caesarea town, Rally museum of art; Zichron Yaaqov. Travel to Haifa hotel. Supper in hotel. Overnight in hotel.

Overnight:Haifa (B, D).

Day

8

Monday, November 25

IAA Dig Site

Early Breakfast at hotel & prepare lunch; 6:30 a.m. travel to IAA dig site; 6:30 a.m. site orientation; begin performing work assignments; 2:30 p.m. travel to hotel; dinner at hotel. Overnight in Haifa hotel.

Overnight:Haifa (B, D).

Day

9

Tuesday, November 26

IAA Dig Site

Early Breakfast at hotel & prepare lunch; 6:00 a.m. travel to IAA dig site; 6:30 a.m. begin work assignments; 2:30 p.m. travel to hotel; dinner at hotel. Overnight Haifa hotel.

Overnight:Haifa (B, D).

Day

10

Wednesday, November 27

IAA Dig Site

Early Breakfast at hotel & prepare lunch; 6:00 a.m. travel to IAA dig site; 6:30 a.m. begin work assignments; 2:30 p.m. travel to hotel; dinner at hotel. Overnight Haifa hotel.

Overnight:Haifa (B).

Day

11

Thursday, November 28

IAA Dig Site

Early Breakfast at hotel & prepare lunch; 6:00 a.m. travel to IAA dig site; 6:30 a.m. begin work assignments; 2:30 p.m. travel to hotel; dinner at hotel. Overnight Haifa hotel.

Overnight:Haifa (B).

Day

12

Friday, November 29

Dig Site, Utopia Orchids park, Latrun

Early breakfast at hotel & prepare lunch; check out with luggage, 6:00 a.m. tour bus pickup with luggage; travel to IAA dig site; 6:30 a.m. perform work assignments. At 2:30 p.m. volunteering at IAA dig site is complete. Tour bus pickup with guide at 2:30 p.m.; tour remainder of day: Utopia Orchids park, Armored Corps Museum at Latrun; travel to Jerusalem hotel; dinner at hotel. Overnight Jerusalem hotel.

Overnight:Jerusalem (B, D).

Day

13

Saturday, November 30

Jerusalem, Judean Mountains, Beit Guvrin

Breakfast at hotel; private touring all day; stalactite cave at the Judean mounts, Beit Guvrin national park & caves, Khirbet Qayafa biblical town.
Shabbat dinner at hotel. Overnight Jerusalem hotel.

Overnight:Jerusalem (B, D).

Day

14

Sunday, December 01

Wailing Wall, Neve Shalom, Dinner

Breakfast at hotel; private touring all day; Shabbat morning at the Wailing Wall; hidden gems of the Old City - Lithostratos, Austrian Hospice, Crusaders' cloister and more. Lecture by resident of Neve Shalom, an Arab-Jewish community. Farewell dinner in old Jaffa; travel to airport for evening flight home.

Overnight:Flight (B, D).

Itinerary and guide are subject to change due to timing and unforeseen circumstances. 
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Multiple Departures

From$2,499

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Arrival DatesPrice per person
double room
Sunday
05/12/2019
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Sunday
09/08/2019
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Where you will rest your head...

Superior Room

4 STARS

About the hotel: The Colony Hotel Haifa is situated in the German Colony, the restored historic center of Haifa, in a unique preserved more than 100 year-old building.

Superior Room

4 STARS

About the hotel: This hotel reflects the magical atmosphere arising from the mixture of history and modernity, which is essential for Jerusalem.

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Disclaimer: Star rating standards vary from country to country.
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