This complete two-week itinerary features Israel's Holy Land in addition to significant historical and religious sites in Jordan and Egypt. Follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ as you explore Jerusalem, Nazareth, and Bethlehem, dive into the Crusader past and wander ancient Caesarea, Acre, and Haifa, cross the border into Jordan and explore the "Lost City" of Petra, and ride a ferry across the Gulf of Aqaba to Egypt to hike Mount Sinai. You'll float in the Dead Sea, sleep in a Bedouin camp in Wadi Rum, and discover the beautiful Byzantine mosaics in Madaba.

Highlights

  • Discover Israel's Beit She'an, one of the oldest, still inhabited cities in the world
  • Tour the ancient biblical cities of Nazareth, Bethlehem, and Bethany
  • Visit Qumran National Park, the site where the Dead Sea Scrolls' were found
  • Discover Bethany along the river Jordan, the site where Jesus Christ was baptized
  • Take in a sunrise over the mountains from atop Egypt's Mount Sinai

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Tel Aviv Tel Aviv
Day 2 Drive to Nazareth; Visit Caesarea, Haifa & Acre Nazareth
Day 3 Day trip to Tiberias, Tabgha, Capernaum, Golan Heights & Banias Nazareth
Day 4 Drive to Jerusalem; Visit Beit She'an & Tel Jericho Jerusalem
Day 5 Guided tour of Jerusalem Jerusalem
Day 6 Guided tour of Bethlehem & Jerusalem Jerusalem
Day 7 Day trip to Qumran National Park, Dead Sea & Masada Jerusalem
Day 8 Border cross into Jordan; Visit Bethany; Drive to Petra Wadi Musa
Day 9 Explore Petra Wadi Musa
Day 10 Explore Wadi Rum; Overnight in a Bedouin tent Wadi Rum
Day 11 Drive to Aqaba; Ferry to Nuweiba; Hike & camp on Mount Sinai Nuweiba
Day 12 Descend Mount Sinai; Visit Saint Catherine's Monastery; Ferry to Aqaba Aqaba
Day 13 Drive to Mount Nebo & Madaba; Fly to Tel Aviv Tel Aviv
Day 14 Depart Tel Aviv  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv, Israel
Stroll along the Mediterranean coast on Tel Aviv's public beach

Welcome to Israel! Upon your arrival, you will meet your driver and transfer to the modern city of Tel Aviv. Depending on your arrival details, you may have time to head to the sandy coast and lounge on the beach or wander one of the many design museums.

Day 2: Drive to Nazareth - Visit Caesarea, Haifa & Acre

Shrine of the Báb, Haifa, Israel
Tour the Bahá'í gardens on Mount Carmel and overlook the Shrine of the Báb in Haifa

Start your tour of the Holy Land with a stop in Caesarea, just 40 minutes up the coast—the perfect place to learn about the former Roman and Crusader presence in the country. Marvel at the massive Roman amphitheater that overlooks the Mediterranean and explore the Crusader fortress. Continue another 30 minutes further north along the coast to Haifa, a city with a long history dating back to biblical times, and enjoy a visit to the golden-domed Shrine of the Báb, the world center of the Bahá'í faith.

Onto Acre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site at the northern end of the Bay of Haifa that was once the capital of the Crusader kingdom after its conquest by Richard the Lionheart. Marvel at the Ottoman fortifications of the Acre citadel and tour the excavated portion of the expansive underground Crusader City with its secret passageways and vaulted crypt of the Knights Hospitaller. From Acre, you'll venture southeast to the "Arab capital of Israel", Nazareth, where you'll check into your hotel (45 minutes).

Day 3: Day trip to Tiberias, Tabgha, Capernaum, Golan Heights & Banias

Israel - Nazareth - Mary's Well
Visit Mary's Well in Nazareth

Rise early this morning for a full day of sightseeing. First, make your way to Tiberius on the shores of the biblical Sea of Galilee where you'll board a boat and cross to Tabgha to visit the Church of the Multiplication—believed to be the site where Jesus Christ fed five thousand people with five loaves of bread and two fish. Next, you'll stop in the small fishing village of Capernaum to see the ancient synagogues (one built on top of the other) as well as the supposed home of St. Peter, one of Jesus' Twelve Apostles.

From here, you'll make a brief stop to check out the Mount of Beatitudes (where Jesus' Sermon on the Mount is thought to have taken place) before driving through Golan Heights, a region in the Levant (a sizeable geographical area in the Eastern Mediterranean), and on to the ancient Roman city and archaeological site, Banias (Caesarea Philippi). Upon your return to Nazareth, visit the Church of the Annunciation as well as Mary's Well for a deeper understanding of the life of Jesus.

Day 4: Drive to Jerusalem; Visit Beit She'an & Tel Jericho

Israel - Beit She'an - Roman Theater
Walk amid the ancient Roman ruins of this once great city, Beit She'an

This morning, you'll make the quick drive to Beit She'an the leading city of the former Decapolis (a group of 10 Roman cities on the Eastern frontier of the Roman Empire). Here you will explore the Roman ruins, including the Theater, public toilets, Hippodrome, and the cardo maximus (or "cardo," the Latin name for a north-south street in Ancient Roman cities) before working your way south to Tel Jericho on the West Bank. Enjoy a tour of the UNESCO-protected archaeological site, one of the oldest still-inhabited cities in the world.

Continue your journey west where you'll pass through Wadi Qelt, stopping to check out the 1st-century cliff-hanging Monastery of St. George on your way to Jerusalem. 

Day 5: Guided tour of Jerusalem

View over Jerusalem from Mount of Olives, Jerusalem, Israel
Take in the panoramic view over Jerusalem from atop the Mount of Olives

Today you will set out and explore Israel's capital and learn all there is to know about its biblical connection and Jewish history as you cover significant points of interest from the life of Jesus and Mary. First with a visit to the Hebrew University and then onward to the Mount of Olives, a mountain ridge east of Jerusalem. Enjoy breathtaking views over the Holy City, noting the Jewish cemetery and the Temple Mount with the Dome of the Rock in the distance.

Make the descent to discover the bedrock where Jesus is said to have prayed upon before his arrest, enshrined in the Church of All Nations in the urban Garden of Gethsemane at the foot of the Mount of Olives. Next, you'll walk the Via Dolorosa—a winding route in Jerusalem's Old City thought to be the path Jesus walked on his way to his crucifixion. Along the way, you'll stop to explore the Christian and Muslim quarters with a visit to the Pool of Bethesda, the Monastery of the Flagellation, and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

Continue to the ancient Western Wall (Wailing Wall) and the Temple Mount, venerated as a holy site in Judaism, Islam, and Christianity alike before carrying along the Cardo to explore the Jewish Quarter. From here, you'll return to your car and back to your hotel to rest and relax.

Day 6: Guided tour of Bethlehem & Jerusalem 

Israel - Jerusalem - Church of the Dormition on Mount Zion
Discover the Abbey of the Dormition on Mount Zion

After breakfast this morning you'll drive the short distance south to Bethlehem in Palestine's West Bank to visit the Church of the Nativity in Manger Square which stands over a grotto believed to be where Jesus was born. Nearby you'll check out the Milk Grotto and the caves of Shepard's Field, and if there's time, the chapel of the convent of the Carmelite Sisters.

On the way back to Jerusalem you'll pass by Mount Zion where you'll stop to explore David's Tomb Compound. Here you will visit the Cenacle (Latin for "dining room" or "upper room") where it is traditionally held to be the site of the Last Supper, as well as visit King David's Tomb and the Abbey of the Dormition. Next, you'll take in modern Jerusalem as you drive by the Parliament House and the Supreme Court to make your way to the Shrine of the Book on the grounds of the Israel Museum to check out the famous Dead Sea Scrolls.

Day 7: Day trip to Qumran National Park, Dead Sea & Masada

Israel - Qumran National Park - Qumran Caves
Spot one of the 11 Qumran Caves that housed the Dead Sea Scrolls

This morning you'll head east toward the Dead Sea, stopping first with a venture into the Qumran National Park, a stark mountainous landscape, to explore some of the sites where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in the mid-1940s and 1950s. Next, you'll continue to the DeadSea, the famous salt lake bordered by Jordan and Israel, for a relaxing afternoon floating in its mineral-rich buoyant waters before carrying on to the ancient desert fortress of Masada. Take in the panoramic vistas of the barren desert landscape and head back to Jerusalem afterward.

Day 8: Border cross into Jordan - Visit Bethany - Drive to Petra

Jordan - Bethany - Site where John the Baptist babtized Jesus Christ
Discover the historical site where Jesus was baptized in Bethany

Rise early this morning for your private transfer to the Jordanian side of Allenby Bridge. Here you will board a frequently operating shuttle bus service to take you across the border where you will then meet your Jordanian driver on the other side. Your first stop in Jordan will be to visit Bethany, the site where John the Baptist baptized Jesus in the nearby Jordan River. After spending some time exploring the reeded valley and the number of centuries-old churches and manmade pools, you'll venture further south to make your way to your accommodation in the village of Wadi Musa, just outside of Petra (3.5 hours).

Depending on your interest or energy levels, you may wish to join a Petra by Night tour for your first taste of this ancient Nabataean city (note: tours run Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday evening).

Day 9: Explore Petra

Jordan - Petra - Petra by Night tour + Treasury
Experience the otherworldly glow of Petra at night on a Petra by Night tour

Today is yours to discover Petra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Accompanied with a guide for the first three hours, you'll pass through the narrow gorge known as the Siq to open up to the iconic Khazneh (or Treasury), carved into the sandstone cliff before you. Explore the Street of Facades, a row of monumental Nabataean tombs, as you work your way to the steps that lead you to the High Place of Sacrifice, one of the better-preserved altars of its kind. Take in the view of Wadi Musa below and if you have the energy, why not climb up the additional 800 steps to Petra's largest monument, the Monastery.

Day 10: Explore Wadi Rum - Overnight in a Bedouin tent

Wadi Rum, Jordan
Enjoy a true offroading experience in Wadi Rum

Spend the morning as you like, perhaps with another visit to Petra for an early morning photo op, before you transfer further south to the desert wilderness of WadiRum. Switch vehicles and head into the wadi (a valley or dry riverbed) for a two-hour 4WD Jeep tour to discover its highlights, like red sand dunes and rock bridges, canyons and bizarre rock formations, stopping along the way at significant points of interest to hike and scramble. In the late afternoon, you'll be brought to your Bedouin-style camp where you'll enjoy an evening under the star-lit sky.

Day 11: Drive to Aqaba - Ferry to Nuweiba - Hike & camp on Mount Sinai

Saint Catherine's Monastery - Mount Sinai - Egypt
Tour the Saint Catherine's Monastery at the foot of Mount Moses

After breaking camp, your driver will bring you to the coastal city of Aqaba (1-2 hours) where you will catch a ferry to Nuweiba on the other side of the Gulf of Aqaba. Upon your arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel to rest up and conserve your energy for the evening's plans.

Around 10:30 pm you will meet your driver and head west to Saint Catherine (about 2 hours) where you will lace up your hiking boots and begin the ascent up Mount Moses—the possible location of the biblical Mount Sinai where Moses met with God and obtained the tablets containing the Ten Commandments—to your camp (1.5-3 hours).

Day 12: Descend Mount Sinai - Visit Saint Catherine's Monastery - Ferry to Aqaba

View of mountains from Mount Sinai, Egypt
Wake up to a stunning sunrise over the mountains from atop Mount Sinai

Greet the dawn atop Mount Sinai and descend shortly thereafter to visit the Saint Catherine's Monastery (officially known as the "Sacred Monastery of the God-Trodden Mount Sinai) at the foot of the mountain. Discover the tortured history of Catherine who fled the persecution of Christians as you take in the early morning views over the stunning desert landscape. Next, you'll return to Nuweiba where you'll enjoy a traditional Egyptian lunch followed by a ferry ride back to Aqaba.

Spend the afternoon relaxing along the waterfront or on the beach at Tala Bay or do a little gift and souvenir shopping downtown.

Day 13: Drive to Mount Nebo & Madaba - Fly to Tel Aviv

Mount Nebo, Jordan
Stop to visit the Memorial Church of Moses at Mount Nebo

Early this morning you will venture north to the market town of Madaba (4 hours). Along the way, you'll stop at Mount Nebo for breathtaking views over the Dead Sea as well as to check out the site where Moses is reputed to be buried. In the early afternoon, you will reach Madaba, where you will spend some time discovering the beautiful Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics and the well-preserved mosaic-rich churches, like the Church of the Virgin Mary.

From here, you'll make the short drive to the Queen Alia International Airport (QAIA) for your flight to Tel Aviv, where you'll transfer to your hotel for a restful night's sleep.

Day 14: Depart Tel Aviv

Explore Tel Aviv's streets finding picture-worthy graffiti

Depending on your departure details you may have time to relax on one of the city's beaches, check out a museum, or stroll down the trendy Dizengoff Street before heading to the Ben Gurion Airport for your onward journey.

Map

Map of Highlights of the Holy Land: Israel, Jordan & Egypt - 14 Days
Map of Highlights of the Holy Land: Israel, Jordan & Egypt - 14 Days