Explore the most religiously significant area in the world and its most breathtaking historic and natural sights, from Wadi Rum to the Sea of Galilee, the heart of Jerusalem to the distant ruins of Umm Qais. This two-week-long tour takes you across Jordan, Israel, and the West Bank to uncover a rich historical legacy as well as understand the multiple cultures that call the Holy Land home.

Highlights

  • Snorkel, scuba dive, or windsurf in the Red Sea at Aqaba
  • Explore the famed "Rose City" of Petra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Encounter architecture dating from ancient Greek, Roman, and Crusader eras
  • Experience stunning natural sights, from the desert of Wadi Rum to the Dead Sea
  • Walk through the Old City of Jerusalem and visit Nazareth, the home of Jesus

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Amman  Amman
Day 2 Amman - Jerash - Ajloun - Um Qais - Amman Amman
Day 3 Amman city tour - Madaba - Mount Nebo - Dead Sea Dead Sea
Day 4 Dead Sea - Petra Petra
Day 5 Petra - Wadi Rum Wadi Rum Camp
Day 6 Wadi Rum Jeep tour - Aqaba Aqaba
Day 7 Aqaba - Amman Amman
Day 8 Amman - Allenby Crossing - Jericho - Qumran - Masada - Jerusalem Jerusalem
Day 9 Jerusalem Old City tour Jerusalem
Day 10 Jerusalem - Bethlehem - New City - Jerusalem Jerusalem
Day 11 Jerusalem  Jerusalem
Day 12 Tel Aviv - Jaffa - Caesarea & Haifa - Nazareth Nazareth
Day 13 Nazareth - Capernaum - Tiberius & Galilee - Allenby Crossing - Amman Amman
Day 14 Departure from Amman Amman

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Amman

Amman Skyline
Amman Skyline

Arrive in Amman, where an assistant will greet you and walk you through immigration procedures. Then, transfer to your hotel and adjust to your new surroundings. Take some time to relax, but if you have time and want to immerse yourself right away, you can explore the nearby district.

One of the oldest cities in the world and now the capital of Jordan, Amman has been inhabited since the Bronze Age. Although the city has modernized rapidly, much of its historic character, customs, and architecture still stand, woven deeply into the fabric of the local culture.

Day 2: Ancient Cities of Jordan

Ruins of Umm Qais
Ruins of Umm Qais

After breakfast, you will officially start your trip by heading to the north of Jordan. Stop at the ruins of Jerash, a former walled city dating back to the Romans and said to be the best-preserved historical site in the region. Then, continue onto Ajloun and visit the imposing castle that dominates the local skyline. Built to defend Ajloun against Crusader armies, the castle marks a key crossroads of pilgrimage and trade at the intersection of the cultural centers of Jerusalem, Damascus, Cairo, and Mecca.

Later in the day, travel up to the northernmost tip of Jordan and gaze upon Umm Qais, a beautiful city overlooking the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan Valley that was founded by the Ancient Greeks and later settled by the Romans. Once known as Gadara (one of the frontier Decapolis cities of Rome), the site was widely believed by Christians to be where Jesus performed the Miracle of the Gadarene Swine. Umm Qais' splendor was also remarked upon by several classical poets and philosophers, with one even deeming it the "New Athens". After spending the rest of the afternoon marveling at the marble pillars and terrace, return to Amman to spend the night.

Day 3: Amman's Old City and Madaba

Ruins of Amman Citadel
Ruins of Amman Citadel

Start today's tour by departing your hotel and visiting Amman's Old City. Explore two of the city's most popular archeological sites, the Citadel and the Roman Theater, before taking a stroll through the old markets and stopping to visit the Al-Husseini Mosque. For lunch, check in at a local restaurant to enjoy some authentic falafel and hummus.

Head south in the afternoon to discover the town of Madaba and its colorful Byzantine mosaics. One of the most remarkable mosaics is the Madaba Map, one of the oldest preserved maps depicting the Holy Land. Afterward, drive to Mount Nebo and trek to a scenic viewpoint to gaze across to the Promised Land. Finally, descend over 3,000 feet to the vicinity of the Dead Sea and end the day at your hotel for the night.

Day 4: The Dead Sea

Floating on the Dead Sea
Floating on the Dead Sea

Enjoy a free day to make the most out of your time at the Dead Sea. The lowest point on Earth, the Dead Sea is so salty that you can float on the water effortlessly! Go for a relaxing swim, or try an invigorating and cleansing mud bath.

After your Dead Sea excursion, drive to Petra by nightfall. If you happen to be in the area before 8:30 PM on a Monday, Wednesday, or Thursday, you can go on the Petra by Night tour and get a first taste of the city's impressive architecture, illuminated by candlelight. Otherwise, you will arrive at your hotel and get all of tomorrow to experience this iconic destination.

Day 5: Petra Full-Day Tour

The Treasury of Petra as seen from the Siq
The Treasury of Petra as seen from the Siq

Today is your chance to explore all of Petra on a full-day tour. A UNESCO World Heritage Site considered one of New 7 Wonders of the World, Petra is also known as the "Rose City," among other names. The city was built by the ancient Nabateans and embodies the prosperity of the locals who benefitted from lucrative passing trade routes. Since it was only recently re-discovered in modern times, Petra offers a unique window into the past.

Perhaps the most breathtaking experience is the walk through the Siq, from which you can see the extravagant Treasury at the entrance. Petra also boasts an amphitheater as well as several caves and tombs. After a long day, get ready for a drive away from the bustle of civilization. You will spend tonight in a cozy Bedouin camp in Wadi Rum, under the stars of the clear, desert sky.

Day 6: Wadi Rum Jeep Tour - Aqaba

Driving across Wadi Rum
Driving across Wadi Rum

Enjoy a true wilderness adventure in the sandy expanse of Wadi Rum. Start off your day with a 4x4 jeep tour of the desert, following in the footsteps of Lawrence of Arabia. Drive through valleys and canyons and stop at several sites to hike and scramble. Climb over sand dunes and through rock bridges to discover millennia-old rock inscriptions and fantastic photo opportunities. Meanwhile, enjoy sweeping views of the mountains and gorges in the background.

At night, drive south to Aqaba, Jordan's only coastal city, and check into your hotel. Given your location, you'll likely want to take advantage of the fresh seafood, and Ali Babais a great place to do it. A longstanding Aqaba establishment, this restaurant has locally caught fish and a big wrap-around terrace.

Day 7: Free Day in Aqaba

Boats in Aqaba
Boats in Aqaba

Get a free day to relax to explore the coast or relax to your heart's content.  

The Gulf of Aqaba is Jordan's access point to the warm waters of the Red Sea. Its coastline is packed with cushy resorts, seafood restaurants, and excellent public beaches, making this a busy vacation spot for Jordan residents from the north. The warm gulf waters also serve as a mecca for snorkelers and scuba divers who come for the array of undersea wildlife at sites like the Yamanieh Coral Reef in the Aqaba Marine Park.

There's more to Aqaba than sea, sand, and sun—inhabited since 4000 BC, the city also has an array of Islamic-era ruins and artifacts. The Aqaba Archeological Museum is a destination in itself, boasting a large collection of antiquities, and the next-door Aqaba Castle is also worth a look. A stunning, albeit significantly more modern, example of 20th century Islamic architecture is the Sharif Hussein Bin Ali Mosque, a gleaming white building in the center of town. 

Transfer back to Amman for your overnight.

Day 8: Jericho, Qumran, and Masada

Bird's-eye view of Masada
Bird's-eye view of Masada

Wake up early in the morning, depart Amman, and transfer to the Allenby Crossing via VIP service into the West Bank to arrive at Jericho, the oldest consistently inhabited city in the world. After a quick city tour, continue on to the caves of Qumran, the discovery site of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Then, drive along the Dead Sea to get to your final sightseeing destination of the day, the stronghold of Masada.

Built by King Herod in 37 BC, the fortress was used by the Jews to defend themselves from the invading Romans, and was the site of a famous last stand against the Roman Legion. Today, Masada is one of the most popular sites in the region, featuring extensive excavations and well-preserved symbols of the dramatic events of the past. At night, drive to Jerusalem and check into your hotel for the night.

Day 9: Highlights of Jerusalem's Old City

Jerusalem
A view of the Christian Quarter of the Old City

Jerusalem, world-renowned for its religious significance and millennia of history, deserves to be experienced to the fullest. Start your tour of Old Jerusalem at the Mount of Olives, which offers a clear, panoramic view of the entire city. Next, stop at the Church of the Pater Noster and gaze upon the plaques on the basilica walls, which are engraved with the Lord's Prayer over one hundred times in different languages. Descend the hill on the traditional route followed on Palm Sunday to the Garden of Gethsemane, which contains a grove of wizened olive trees, some which are hundreds of years old.

Then, enter through the walls of the Old City via the Dung Gate and visit all the most iconic sites, including the Wailing Wall, Haram Al-Sharif (Temple Mount), and the Dome of the Rock. Stroll along the Via Dolorosa, encounter the Stations of the Cross, and conclude your tour at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which is built on the site where Christians believe Jesus was crucified and eventually buried. As you leave Old City, driving through the bazaars around the Jaffa Gate, you will be able to see some of Western Jerusalem's landmarks in the distance. After a short trip, you will be back at your hotel for the night.

Day 10: Bethlehem and Jerusalem's New City

Bethlehem
The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem

Depart from your hotel and cross into the West Bank, stopping at the Separation Wall, before entering Bethlehem. Here, you will see the Church of Nativity, on the site where Jesus is believed to have been born, before continuing on to the Chapel of the Shepherd's Fields, another significant religious site in Beit Sahour.

In the afternoon, you will get a chance to visit Mahane Yehuda Market, the Holocaust museum of Yad Vashem, or the Israel Museum, where you can see the Dead Sea Scrolls up close. Due to differing schedules and closure dates, not all options may be available, and you will finalize your plan with your driver. Finally, drive back to Jerusalem and explore the landmarks of the New City before heading back to your hotel.

Day 11: Jerusalem Free Day

Jerusalem
Jaffa Road, one of the main thoroughfares in Jerusalem

Today, take your last day in Jerusalem to explore the city on your own to your heart's content! No driver or tour guide will be present today, so make sure to plan parts of your trip ahead of time.

Day 12: Tel Aviv, Jaffa, Caesarea, and Haifa 

The port of Old Jaffa
The port of Old Jaffa

Leave Jerusalem and drive to Tel Aviv in the morning. Your first stop of the day will be right in the city center at Rabin Square, a district designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its exemplary Bauhaus and Art Deco architecture. Walk around Carmel Market before visiting Old Jaffa, a port dating back to biblical times that is now home to a thriving artists' colony.

Continue your tour at Caesarea, the capital of the former Judaea Province during the Roman Empire. Caesarea was the home base of Paul the Apostle, who preached the gospel to new audiences and introduced Christianity to Rome. Witness the magnificent remains of the ancient city that flourished from the Byzantine era through the Roman era. After visiting Caesarea, follow the coast up to Haifa and wander through the beautiful Baha’i Gardens by sunset. Finish your day by driving to Nazareth and checking into your hotel.

Day 13: Nazareth, Capernaum, and Galilee

Traffic in Nazareth
Traffic in Nazareth

In your final tour of the trip, explore Nazareth, the hometown of Jesus, which has since transformed into a modern city. At sunrise, head to the Church of the Annunciation and join visitors from all around the world in appreciating one of the most sacred sites in Christianity. Then, drive north to Capernaum, where Jesus is also said to have lived, and visit the synagogue where Christians believe he once taught.

Take some time to discover the rest of town and walk along the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Visit the Mount of Beatitudes, where Christians believe to be the scene of the Sermon on the Mount as well as Tabgha, where the Feeding of the 5000 is believed to have taken place. After a last stop at the Church of the Primacy, pass back through Allenby Crossing and on to Amman for the night.

Day 14: Departure from Amman

Transfer to Queen Alia International Airport from Amman for your flight back home. If you have a later flight, you may be able to explore the surrounding area and partake in more activities. Otherwise, have a safe trip and say goodbye to the Holy Land!

Map

Map of Jordan and Holy Land Tour - 14 Days
Map of Jordan and Holy Land Tour - 14 Days