Day 1: Ben Gurion Arrival + Night in Tel Aviv
Welcome to Israel! One of our trusted drivers will meet you at Ben Gurion Airport upon your arrival. You'll be transferred directly to your hotel in the heart of Tel Aviv to get settled and rest up for the week of travel ahead.
Day 2: Sheikh Hussein Bridge + Jerash + Amman City Tour
On your first morning, you'll be picked up bright and early, entering Jordan via the Sheikh Hussein Bridge: an international border crossing that spans the Jordan River. Once you arrive at the border, a private shuttle bus will take you across - be sure to have cash on hand to pay your fare directly.
From there, you'll head to the ruins at Jerash. Nearly two thousand years old, this ancient Roman city is one of the best-preserved archeological sites in the Middle East. Spend hours wandering among the arches and columns, and be sure to climb up to the Temple of Zeus for a quick selfie with the breathtaking view.
The old city of Amman is your next stop, where you'll start with lunch in al Balad, the historic city center. Grab some baklava before soaking up the city's rich history at the Citadel and the Roman Theatre. The rest of the afternoon will be spent strolling through Amman's old marketplace and visiting the brightly colored mosaics in the courtyard of the Al-Husseini mosque.
Day 3: Mount Nebo + Madaba + Karak
After enjoying breakfast at your hotel, you'll journey south to Mount Nebo. According to the Old Testament, this is the lofty peak where Moses took in the view of the Promised Land and is now considered one of the holiest places in Biblical tradition. Look out at the Dead Sea and beyond, before eventually making your way to the Memorial Church of Moses, a modern structure that now houses excavated relics from the region.
Continue your day in Madaba, a charming town known for its Byzantine mosaics, including the famous Madaba Map: the oldest preserved mosaic map of the Holy Lands. You'll also make a stop in Karak, a city that was once the capital of Moab, its skyline still dominated by a castle at its center. Visiting the fortress-like structure provides an opportunity to experience firsthand the vaulted halls and passageways typical of the era, an impressive insight into the architectural and military prowess of the Crusaders.
With an evening arrival in Petra, you are able to join a nighttime tour of the ancient city - a fantastic opportunity to gain a unique perspective of the ruins before your daytime explorations the next morning.
Day 4: Petra + Camping at Wadi Rum
Enjoy a full day at Petra, the crown archeological jewel of Jordan. Get lost in the "Lost City," constructed in the third century BC and known for its intricate architectural elements cut from the landscape's rose-colored rock walls. Enter Petra through the Siq, a rocky passage leading to the ruins officially named one of the Seven Modern Wonders of the World. Pass the hours marveling at sights like Qasr Al-Bint, the magnificent Treasury, and the Royal Tombs. After getting your fill of the Rose City, spend a peaceful night under the stars enjoying the hospitality of the Bedouins, camping out in the desert wilderness of Wadi Rum.
Day 5: Wadi Rum Jeep Tour & Camel Ride
Wake up in the great outdoors and get excited for your most adventurous day yet. Take a 4x4 Jeep tour of the Wadi Rum wilderness, traversing the expanse of orange dunes and canyons in the footsteps of Lawrence of Arabia. After lunch, take one more look around the desert from a different vantage point: a one-hour tour on the back of a camel. That afternoon, you'll say goodbye to the magic of Wadi Rum and head to your hotel near the shores of the famously salty Dead Sea.
Day 6: Dead Sea + Allenby crossing + Jericho + Bethlehem
Relax with a float in the Dead Sea - the lowest point on earth, at 400 meters below sea level. Swim in the salty waters, hang out by the pool, or pamper yourself with mineral spa treatments specific to the region. After a few hours of lounging in the sun, you'll say goodbye to Jordan and head back into Israel via the Allenby Crossing. Pass through Jericho, the oldest city in the world, arriving in Bethlehem to visit the Church of Nativity. Also known as the Grotto, this mosaic-lined basilica was built to commemorate what is widely believed to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ.
On your way to Jerusalem, tour the Shepherd's Fields of Beit Sahour. Stretch your legs with a stroll through religious ruins from the early days of Christiandom before getting back on the road and checking into your hotel for the night.
Day 7: Jerusalem Old City Tour
There's a lot to see in Old Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives is a perfect place to start your morning. Begin at the top for a stunning, unobstructed view of the city, followed by a stop at the Church of the Pater Noster - be sure to take a peek at the plaques on the basilica walls, listing translations of the Lord's Prayer in over one hundred languages.
From the hilltop, follow the traditional Palm Sunday route to the Garden of Gethsemane with its grove of centuries-old olive trees. Enter the Old City through the Dung Gate and make your sightseeing rounds, hitting up the Wailing Wall, Haram Al Sharif, and the Dome of the Rock, to name a few. Walk along the Via Dolorosa, observing the Stations of the Cross and ending up at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where Christ is said to have been crucified and buried. Exit the Old City through the bazaars near the Jaffa Gate, observing the landmarks of Western Jerusalem from your vehicle on the short ride back to your hotel.
Day 8: Caesarea + Haifa + Acre
On your last full day of touring, begin with a drive to coastal Caesarea, where the Apostle Paul was said to have set sail for Rome - a crucial event in the spread of Christianity to the Western world. Bask in the breeze from the Mediterranean Sea while viewing impressive archaeological remains of the Roman and Byzantine city that once dominated the region.
Haifa is next on the agenda, a seaside metropolis known for its immaculately kept Baha’i Gardens. Make one final stop at Acre for a tour of the underground city and crypt, a surviving remnant from the days of the Crusaders, and a walk through the city's outdoor market. You'll spend your last evening of the trip in Tel Aviv, enjoying one last delicious Israeli dinner, recounting your favorite memories from the trip, and preparing for the next day's departure.
Day 9: Tel Aviv City Tour + Departure from Ben Gurion
Spend your last morning taking in the colorful hustle and bustle of Tel Aviv. Begin at Rabin Square, a historical plaza in the city center, where you can pay your respects at the Holocaust memorial monument and visit the recently constructed ecological water pool. From there, head to the White City of Tel Aviv, a neighborhood holding the largest collection of Bauhaus architecture in the world. Built in the mid-20th century, it was eventually designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its exemplary modern design.
Old Jaffa will be next, an ancient port-town-turned-artist-colony that happens to be the oldest neighborhood in Tel Aviv. Wander through the beautifully restored Zodiac Alleyways before making a final stop at the Carmel Market. You'll find yourself pleasantly lost among the locals in the maze of food stalls, eventually ending up perusing the craft vendors on Nahalat Binyamin Street for some last-minute souvenir shopping. After an unforgettable nine days, you'll bid farewell to Jordan and Israel and depart to Ben Gurion Airport for an evening flight. Until next time!