Days
14
Price from
£3,320GBP

Journey through a history of Biblical proportions on this premium adventure across Jordan and Israel

To explore the ancient lands of Jordan and Israel is to come face to face with the various epochs of history that have made us who we are. The Jordanian capital, Amman, was previously known as Philadelphia and its Roman theatre reminds us of the glories of that great empire. Mysterious Petra appears out of nowhere – a remarkable rose-coloured city hewn from the sandstone cliffs by the Nabataean people and now regarded as one of the ‘New Seven Wonders of the World’. The desert at Wadi Rum resonates to the exploits of T.E. Lawrence, more popularly known as Lawrence of Arabia. Then, there is Jerusalem – one of history’s great cities and a holy site for many of the world’s religions. From the Wailing Wall to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and from the Temple Mount to the narrow streets of the Old City, there are few cities in the world that are more evocative, exciting and still have meaning to so many people. Our adventure ends in Tel Aviv after a visit to Nazareth and the beautiful Sea of Galilee.


Start
Amman, Jordan
Finish
Jerusalem, Israel
Countries
Israel, Jordan
Style
Peregrine
Theme
Adventure
Code
PGJI
Physical rating
Traveller’s rating
3 reviews
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why we love this trip

  • Visit Wadi Rum via jeeps operated by the local Bedouin community. This initiative is helping to bring much-needed income to the region, and we are proud to support it

  • We highly recommend waking early on Day 4 to watch the sunrise over Wadi Rum and snap some stunning photographs

  • Unwind after a day exploring Petra with an optional Turkish bath

  • Explore the Roman city of Jerash before floating in the waters of the Dead Sea

  • Uncover Jerusalem's highlights including the Mount of Olives, the Garden of Gethsemane, the Way of the Cross, the Holy Sepulchre, the Temple Mount and the Wailing Wall

  • Feature stays: one night stay in a traditional Bedouin tented camp in Wadi Rum and one night stay in Tiberias on the shores of the Sea of Galilee

Itinerary


Welcome to Jordan, cosmopolitan and contemporary, yet steeped in biblical history. On arrival at Amman's Queen Alia International Airport, you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel. While this is an arrival day and you may arrive at any time, please note that hotel rooms are generally only available after midday, and that there will a Welcome Meeting with your leader tonight. If you arrive with time to spare then walk the streets, where you’ll soon hear “Welcome to Jordan” from the locals. Maybe pick up a coffee from one of the cafés and partner it with an ara’yes, a toastie filled with spicy mincemeat. Maybe head to the Old Town’s Roman Amphitheatre, find fine culture at the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts, look down on the city from the hilltop Temple of Hercules, or begin your trip with a relax in a Turkish bath house.
Accommodation
  • Grand Palace Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
After breakfast today you’ll leave the Jordanian capital of Amman and journey down the Desert Highway on the JETT bus, with the beach resort of Aqaba as your destination (approximately 4 hours). On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Aqaba is the only port city in the country, lying at the very northern tip of the Red Sea, and you will have the rest of the day free to explore the town and port. The small Ottoman Mamluk Fort, dating from the 14th century and from where Lawrence of Arabia rode to Cairo, is worth a look. Otherwise most of the fun is to be found in the water. Acquaint yourself with the hotel's pool, or head to the beach – some of the best snorkelling in the world can be found around the untouched coral reefs just south of the town.
Accommodation
  • Days Inn Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning you will go on a brief orientation of Aqaba with your guide, visiting the old castle if time permits, before driving to Wadi Rum. You will see the contrast between the sparkling waters of the Red Sea and an ochre sea of desert on the way to spellbinding Wadi Rum. Drive approximately 1 hour into this landscape of rugged sandstone mountains, desolate yet achingly romantic, the way the locals do – in rather old, rickety (but reliable) jeeps operated by the local Bedouin Community. After lunch (not included) in the small village of Rum and a browse around the excellent and informative visitor's centre, you will visit some of the most stunning desert scenery you will ever witness. Wadi Rum is a truly beautiful place, where great gouts of rock on a carpet of bright red sand have been eroded by wind and ancient water into fantastical gnarled shapes. Visit several of the distinctive rock formations, watch them change colour throughout the day, and soak in the vast silence of this lunar-like landscape. Wadi Rum is probably best known for its connection with the enigmatic British officer T.E. Lawrence, who was based here during the Great Arab Revolt of 1917-18. Much of David Lean's classic film about his exploits, 'Lawrence of Arabia', was actually filmed in Wadi Rum. Today you will also meet your new Bedouin Friends, the backbone of Jordan. Climb aboard camels to ride through sweeping swathes of desert, wondering how this place could be liveable until you soon get your answer – a group of dark tents low-pitched to the ground: a Bedouin camp. Meaning ‘Desert Dwellers’ in Arabic, the Bedouins are a semi-nomadic people considered by many to be the predecessors of the settled Arabs, and in Jordan up to 40 per cent of the general population is believed to possess Bedouin ancestry. This might explain the legendary hospitality of the Jordanians – in traditional Bedouin culture, a huge onus is placed on taking in and feeding any visitor, and so a very warm welcome is assured on your arrival. Spend the night in this incredible location, deep in Wadi Rum and under a huge expanse of stars.
Accommodation
  • Desert Luxury Camp or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Desert Jeep tour of Wadi Rum
  • Camel ride in Wadi Rum (30 min.)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
After waking up in the unique surrounds of the Bedouin camp this morning, you will enjoy a walk around the area (the length of the walk will depend on how energetic you are feeling) before scaling one of the large dunes to enjoy sensational views of the surrounding area. Keen photographers will be delighted. You will then take 4WDs from your camp back to the main entrance, which is opposite the Seven Pillars of Wisdom, the mountain named after Lawrence of Arabia’s book. The visitor's centre here is also a great spot to buy some jewellery and handicrafts, mostly made by a women's co-operative that is aimed at supporting traditional local industries. You will then continue your journey to the fabled city of Petra (approximately 2.5 hours). On arrival there is time in the afternoon to check out the town that has grown up around the site, and to just relax… ready for a big day of exploring Petra tomorrow.
Accommodation
  • Petra Moon Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Guided tour of Petra
Optional Activities
  • Petra by night - JOD17
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Petra is justifiably on most people’s list of ‘must-visit’ places. It’s regularly cited as the world’s ‘8th Wonder’, and in fact made the list of ‘New7Wonders of the World’. Petra is the jewel of Jordan, the lost city of the biblical Nabateans, an impressive series of tombs and dwellings hidden behind ornate façades carved directly into the rock. Dating back to the 6th century BC, the site was lost to Western minds until it was rediscovered in 1812 by a Swiss explorer and was described as “the rose red city half as old as time”. The iconic Petra view – the Treasury's glorious façade, glimpsed from the narrow cleft known as the Siq – is arguably the single most striking sight of the entire region. The first taste of this exquisite craftsmanship among such stark scenery is a moment that manages to be both eagerly anticipated and also an unlikely and almost surreal surprise. The Siq leads through the rock and is sometimes only a few metres wide, with walls soaring up to 180 metres on either side, and it is impossible not to imagine the armies and traders who made their way down here in the ancient times. Petra's greatest surprise, however, is its size. With your guide you will explore the old Roman road, amphitheatre and several old tombs. You will also climb up to the Monastery – carved from a mountain summit and the site's second beautiful façade – from where you will have a magnificent view of the entire site. This is a memorable day exploring a truly extraordinary destination and is sure to be one of the highlights of your trip. There is a cafeteria on the site, where you can enjoy a light lunch. In the mid-afternoon you will return to your hotel and it won't take much convincing for you to try a soothing traditional Turkish bath. The rest of the day will be at your leisure - perhaps take the chance to witness Petra by night. Seeing the Treasury plaza lit up by flickering candle light while bedouin music plays is a magical experience.
Accommodation
  • Petra Moon Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Guided tour of Petra ( Including 1 day pass ).
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Petra is an incredible site and almost demands more than one visit. If you want to see more, then get up early to soak in the dramatic setting, walk to extra sites like the High Place of Sacrifice, and just try to comprehend the history and life of city that was once able to challenge the might of Rome. Later, the ancient Crusader castle at Shobak makes as imposing sight as you make the short drive up to it. It was originally built to protect the eastern flank of the Latin Kingdom and its trade routes to the sea before it fell to Saladin in 1189. Stroll the site and discover a small chapel, original gatehouse, and find out where a long, dark secret passage leads. Continue half an hour to the ancient village at Dana, on the edge of the Dana Biosphere Reserve, where local artisans sell attractive silver jewellery and charms. Drive on to Madaba (approximately 3 hours), home to a number of fine Byzantine mosaics. Visit the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George and see an impressive mosaic map of the Holy Land that clearly depicts Palestine and Lower Egypt around 550 AD. You will arrive in Amman in the late afternoon, where you can spend the evening in one of its several fine restaurants.

Notes: Please be aware that Kerak Castle is not included in your tour, as it is often very congested and busy. However, if there is sufficient interest among members of the group, your leader can also arrange an optional visit to Kerak Castle. Many travellers however prefer to spend extra time in Amman.
Accommodation
  • Grand Palace Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Shobak Castle
  • Dana Ancient Village Visit
  • St Georges church in Madaba
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today you will leave Amman for a short drive north (approximately 1 hour) to Jerash, once one of the grandest ancient Roman cities in the world. These are some of the best ruins Greco-Roman ruins around. Reaching its zenith as a favourite of the emperor Hadrian, it has a striking collection of archways and theatres, baths, public buildings and colonnaded streets, and is a beautiful place to spend a morning exploring. Grand ionic columns encircle the city's centrepiece, the Oval Plaza, a wonderfully atmospheric place to linger after exploring Jerash's riches. You better have packed your swim gear, because in the afternoon you can wash off the dust from exploring ruins with a dip like no other. Drive approximately 1.5 hours to spend the afternoon on the shores of the Dead Sea. Named for the dearth of life in its waters, this lake is so intensely salty that the density of the water makes swimming and getting underneath the surface very difficult. Floating on the surface without any sort of lilo makes for a unique pleasure though. Maybe grab a handful of the shoreline’s mud and slick it over your body on the way back in – it’s full of nutrient-rich natural minerals and will leave your skin feeling luxurious. Afterwards you will return to Amman for the evening (approximately 1 hour). Maybe spend your final night at one of the many bars and restaurants in West Amman, or ask your leader about the traditional cafes dotted around the city where locals spend their evenings.
Accommodation
  • Grand Palace Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Dead Sea
  • Jerash Roman ruins
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
It's an early start this morning and you will be transferred to Amman's Queen Alia International Airport for a 6:55am flight to Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport. The flight is a short one at just under 1 hour. Once you have cleared Immigration and Customs in Tel Aviv, you will be met by your Israeli guide. You will then drive to the ancient port city of Jaffa, where your guide will take you on a morning tour of the city, including the Church of St. Peter, the old markets and the modern artist quarter and port. Enjoy breakfast before heading back to Tel Aviv to check-in at your hotel. The rest of the afternoon is free for you to explore the city. Tel Aviv is Israel's liveliest city and although just an hour from Jerusalem, the two cities couldn’t be more different. While Jerusalem is a place of ancient history and holy sites, Tel Aviv is a modern cosmopolitan city, a true 'city that doesn’t stop'. With its lively cafe culture, relaxed Mediterranean beach scene, and renowned nightlife, Tel Aviv makes for the perfect start to your adventure. If you have time, perhaps visit the packed stalls of the Carmel market, wander along the beach boardwalk, or have a drink at one of the beachside bars.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Metropolitan or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
After breakfast drive north to Caesarea (approximately 1 hour), which served as the capital of Israel during the Roman and Byzantine eras. This was once a great port town built by King Herod around 25BC, complete with a theatre, amphitheatre, hippodrome, palace, Roman temple and an extensive network of aqueducts, along with an artificial harbour. The city was eventually abandoned and lost under the desert sands, but thanks to archaeological excavations since the 1950s, its splendour is on show once again. Continue through Haifa (approximately 30 minutes) where you’ll see the Bahai Gardens on Mount Carmel Mountains (a memorial and shrine to the Bahai faith) and look out across the Mediterranean Sea. Arrive in what was once the ancient crusader port and capital of Acre (approximately 20 minutes). Here you’ll visit the vast complex of buildings occupied by the Knights of St John (Knights Hospitaller), excavated to uncover rooms including a large hall, a dungeon, a dining room and the crypt of an ancient Gothic church. You will also see the secret tunnel of their rivals, the Knights Templar – an underground passage between their fortresses. Drive to Tiberias (approximately 1 hour), where you’ll have dinner and spend the night.
Accommodation
  • Kibbutz Nof Ginosar or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Early this morning take a boat ride across the Sea of Galilee (weather permitting), and afterwards visit Tabgha. This is where the Bible says Jesus performed the Miracle of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes, one of the only miracles that’s in all the gospels. Here you can see the church and its ancient mosaics that were built to mark the spot of the miracle. A short way up the lakeshore is Capernaum; see the ruins of this old fishing town, the site of two ancient synagogues and a church said to have been the home of Saint Peter. Here you will have the traditional St. Peter’s Fish lunch. The name “St. Peter's Fish” comes from a story in the Gospel of Matthew about the apostle Peter catching a fish that carried a coin in its mouth. Continue on to the hometown of Jesus – Nazareth (approximately 1 hour). Here you will visit the Church of the Annunciation, where Mary received the news of the Immaculate Conception, along with the well where she drew water every day. Drive to Bethlehem (approximately 2.5 hours), famous for the Nativity, where you will spend the night.
Accommodation
  • Grand Park or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Even the non-religious have no doubt heard of Bethlehem, even if it’s just through Christmas Nativity plays. Early this morning visit the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, marking the spot of the stable where Mary is said to have given birth to Jesus, and the Shepherds’ Fields in Beit Sahour just a couple of kilometres east of the city. This area has been identified as the scene where Angels visited the lowly shepherds and informed them of Jesus’ birth. The Roman Catholics and the Greek Orthodox each have their own Shepherds’ Field. The Roman Catholic site features a Franciscan Chapel designed to resemble the shepherds’ tent, while the Greek Orthodox site features a 5th century church built over a cave. From here continue to Yad Vashem for a sobering and moving visit to Israel’s memorial to the victims of the Holocaust. Then it’s a short drive to take in a panoramic view of the city from the Mount of Olives, which has churches and tombs all the way down from top to bottom. Continue to the centre of all this religious history – Jerusalem. The city has one of the great urban skylines – the serried buildings and ancient ramparts of the Old City, the churches adorning the Mount of Olives and the iconic gold of the Dome of the Rock.
Accommodation
  • Legacy Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
This morning you will drive out to the Mount of Olives that looks over Jerusalem’s Old City and visit the Garden of Gethsemane, most famous as the place where Jesus prayed and his disciples slept the night before Jesus' crucifixion. See the Church of All Nations (also known as the Basilica of the Agony), which holds inside a section of bedrock where Jesus is said to have prayed before his arrest. Walk to St. Stephen’s Gate (also known as Lion’s Gate) to enter the Old City, and visit the crusader church of St. Anne and the Pool of Bethesda. Now located in the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem, this pool was mentioned in the Gospel of John and is associated with healing. Walk along the Way of the Cross (Via Dolorosa) – the “way of sorrows” which follows Jesus’ path to crucifixion – and stop by the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, built where Jesus is believed to have been crucified, died, buried, and rose again. Walk along the ‘Cardo’ in the recently restored Jewish Quarter, which was a road that ran the entire length of the city in Byzantine times. Visit the Wailing Wall – the remains of the Temple Mount, which acts as an outdoor synagogue, where written prayers are slid into the cracks between stones. The rest of the afternoon is free for you to wander around the city on your own. Return to your hotel when you desire, before being picked up by your guide around 6:20pm for a short walk to the Azzahra Restaurant. Here you will have a traditional meal of musakkhan (roasted chicken with onions, sumac, and olive oil on whole wheat flat bread) with yogurt salad.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today you will drive via the biblical town of Ma'aleh Adumim and the Inn of the Good Samaritan in the Judean Desert to visit Masada. The Inn of the Good Samaritan is a museum located near the site of the inn mentioned in the New Testament's parable of the Good Samaritan, and it displays mosaics and artefacts discovered throughout Israel. In Masada you will take a cable car to discover the spectacular cliff-top fortress of Masada, built by King Herod around 35BC. This UNESCO site is very important to the Jewish people, a symbol of their exile from the Holy Land and of bravery and self-sacrifice. The story goes that here a Jewish sect called the zealots held out against the Roman army in AD66. Rather than surrender, they either fought to the death or committed suicide, every last man, woman and child. Afterwards you will drive to an archaeological site on the West Bank, about a mile from the north shore of the Dead Sea. Major discoveries have been made here in Qumran, not the least of which is the Dead Sea Scrolls. Here you will also have a chance to float in the Dead Sea. Named for the dearth of life in its waters, this lake is so intensely salty that the density of the water makes swimming and getting underneath the surface very difficult. Continue up the shore to the town of Jericho. Discover this slow-paced town in the West Bank, where people have lived for 11,000 years. On a drive around the city see the Mount of Temptations (where Jesus was tempted by the devil) and a Sycamore Tree mentioned only in the Gospel of Luke. Return to Jerusalem for your final night.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your adventure comes to end today after breakfast and you are free to leave at any time.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

12 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 5 dinners

Transport

4WD vehicle, Boat, Bus, Camel, Jeep, Private aircon bus, Public aircon coach, Plane

Accommodation

Comfortable hotel (12 nights), Bedouin camp (1 night)

Included Activities

  • Desert Jeep tour of Wadi Rum
  • Camel ride in Wadi Rum (30 min.)
  • Guided tour of Petra
  • Guided tour of Petra ( Including 1 day pass ).
  • Shobak Castle
  • Dana Ancient Village Visit
  • St Georges church in Madaba
  • Dead Sea
  • Jerash Roman ruins

Reviews

Our Jordan & Israel Explorer trips score an average of 4.67 out of 5 based on 3 reviews in the last year.

Jordan & Israel Explorer, August 2016

Valerie Vasquez

Jordan & Israel Explorer, July 2016

Les Corrigan

Dates & availability

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Important notes

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT:
An optional single supplement is available on this trip. Please refer to your booking agent for further information.
Please note, on the following nights the Single Supplement is not available:
-Day 3: Wadi Rum

 

Essential Trip Information

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