This classic 10-day tour covers the highlights of Jordan and Israel. Begin in Amman and set out to discover Crusader castles and ancient ruins in Jerash and Ajloun, drive south to explore the "Lost City" of Petra, and sleep in a Bedouin-style tent in Wadi Rum. Cross the border into Israel and tour historic sites straight out of the Bible, Torah, and Quran in Jerusalem, Nazareth, Bethlehem, and Jericho—the world's oldest city.

Highlights

  • Explore the ancient city of Amman
  • Discover Petra, a city lost for centuries to the outside world
  • Experience the majestic desert of Wadi Rum
  • Traipse through 4,000 years of history in Jerusalem's Old City
  • Relax and float in the Dead Sea at the lowest point on earth

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Amman Amman
Day 2 Day trip to Jerash & Ajloun; Immersive local experience in Orjan Amman
Day 3 Explore Amman; Drive to Petra; Visit Madaba, Mount Nebo & Shoubak Wadi Musa
Day 4 Full day in Petra; Camp in Wadi Rum Wadi Rum
Day 5 Jeep tour of Wadi Rum; Return to Amman Amman
Day 6 Border cross into Israel; Visit Jericho, Qumran & Masada; Drive to Jerusalem Jerusalem
Day 7 Jerusalem Highlights and the Old City Jerusalem
Day 8 Day trip to Nazareth & Galilee Jerusalem
Day 9 Visit Bethlehem; Drive to the Dead Sea Dead Sea
Day 10 Dead Sea Experience; Depart Amman  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Amman

Amman skyline, Jordan
View of Amman's Old City

Welcome to Jordan! Upon your arrival, you will meet your guide, who will assist you through immigration and transfer you to your downtown hotel to get settled and rest up for the week ahead. 

Day 2: Day trip to Jerash & Ajloun - Immersive local experience in Orjan

Aljoun Fortress, Aljoun, Jordan
Explore the Aljoun Castle

After breakfast this morning, meet your driver and head north to Jerash, one of the best preserved Greco-Roman cities in the Middle East. Spend some time wandering the ancient ruins as well as the Jerash souk (market) before moving on to the town of Ajloun, in the highlands. Here you will discover the 12th-century Ajloun Castle, a fortress built to ward off the Crusader armies at the vital trade and pilgrimage intersection between Jerusalem, Cairo, Damascus, and Mecca.

Next, you will continue to an olive grove in the village of Orjan to meet your host for the afternoon. Stroll amid the centuries-old trees as you get to know one another before making your way to the family home. Meet the family and take in the rural scene as your hosts prepare an authentic Jordanian feast. Break bread and enjoy this immersive experience before returning to your hotel in Amman.

Day 3: Explore Amman - Drive to Petra - Visit Madaba, Mount Nebo & Shoubak

Jordan - Shoubak - Ash Shoubak fortress
Enjoy the views from atop the medieval Montreal Castle

Today you will join a city tour of old Amman where you will explore the Amman Citadel (Jabal al Qal'a) and the 2nd-century Roman Theater, two of the most famous archaeological sites in the city. Next, stroll amid colorful wares and aromatic spices in the old souks, stopping at a local restaurant to lunch on authentic falafel and hummus.  

Afterward, you'll depart for Madaba to discover its intricate Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics, including the large Madaba Map, the oldest preserved mosaic map of the Holy Land. From here, you'll continue your journey 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.

Carry on south toward Petra, breaking up the trip with a stop at Montreal, the Crusader castle known as Shoubak in Arabic. Spend a little time exploring the towers and walls decorated with carved inscriptions dating back to the 14th century. You'll arrive in the village of Wadi Musa, where you'll check into your hotel.

Day 4: Full day in Petra - Camp in Wadi Rum

Marvel at the ancient Nabataean stonework of the Treasury

Now one of the Modern Seven Wonders of the World, you'll have the whole day to explore Petra. Walk through the Siq, the three-quarter-mile narrow gorge that opens up to the magnificent Treasury, carved into the sandstone cliff. Then 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 take the additional 800 steps up to Petra's largest monument, the Monastery.

After your fill of Petra, you'll climb into your vehicle and set out for your Bedouin-style camp in Wadi Rum where you'll enjoy the peaceful desert setting under a starry night sky.

Day 5: Jeep tour of Wadi Rum - Drive to Amman

View of Wadi Rum from Lawrence of Arabia's house
Overlook Wadi Rum from the Lawrence House 

Today begins with a four-hour Jeep tour of Wadi Rum's famous attractions as you follow in the footsteps of Lawrence of Arabia. You'll climb over red dunes, through rock bridges, and over rocky canyons to discover millennia-old rock inscriptions and petroglyphs. You'll even visit the ruins of a building erected on an old Nabataean cistern believed to be where Lawrence hid out during the Arab Revolt (1917-1918). Meanwhile, enjoy sweeping views of the mountains and gorges in the background.

Enjoy a lunch in the wadi before continuing your adventure north and back to Amman.

Day 6: Border cross into Israel - Visit Jericho, Qumran & Masada - Drive to Jerusalem

Enjoy panoramic vistas over the Judean Desert and the Red Sea

Rise early this morning for your transfer to the Allenby Crossing and continue directly to Jericho, the oldest continually inhabited city in the world. Next, you'll stop in the Qumran National Park where the famous Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in a collection of 11 caves. Continue south along the Dead Sea to visit the stronghold of Masada, a grand fortress built by King Herod around 30 BCE. Ride the cable car up to the top for sweeping views over the Dead Sea and the Judean Desert. Afterward, head north to your accommodation in Jerusalem.

Day 7: Jerusalem Old City tour

Israel - Old City of Jerusalem - Western Wall + Dome of the Rock
Visit the holy Western (or Wailing) Wall

There's a lot to see in Old Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives is a perfect place to start. Take in the 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: Day trip to Nazareth & Galilee

Israel - Mount of Beatitudes overlooking the Sea of Galilee
Explore the grounds of the Mount of Beatitudes that overlooks the Sea of Galilee

Begin today with a drive into the Jordan Valley, turning north to Nazareth, the boyhood village of Jesus Christ and now a bustling city and visit the modern Church of the Annunciation for a glimpse of its international décor. Carry on toward the Sea of Galilee and to the small fishing village of Capernaum to see the ancient synagogues (one built on top of the other) where Jesus preached to his followers. Next, you'll explore the nearby Mount of Beatitudes thought to be where Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount.

Start to make your way back south to Jerusalem, stopping first at Tabgha to visit the historic churches of the Multiplication and the Primacy of St. Peter.

Day 9: Visit Bethlehem - Drive to the Dead Sea

Israel - Shepherd's Fields
Visit Shepherd's Fields, believed to be where the angels announced Christ's birth to the shepherds

This morning you'll cross into the West Bank through the Israeli West Bank barrier (or Separation Wall) discover the Church of Nativity. Also known as the Grotto, this mosaic-lined basilica was built to commemorate what is widely thought to be the birthplace of Christ.

On your way back to Jerusalem, tour Shepherd's Fields at Beit Sahour. Stretch your legs with a stroll through religious ruins from the early days of Christendom before passing through Jerusalem's New City for the optional visit to the Mahane Yehuda Market, Yad Vashem (the Holocaust Museum), or the Israel Museum to see the Dead Sea Scrolls. After your last few hours in Jerusalem, you'll say goodbye to Israel and head back into Jordan via the Allenby Crossing and onward to your hotel along the Dead Sea.

Day 10: Dead Sea experience - Depart Amman

Dead Sea, Jordan
Float in the mineral-rich Dead Sea

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, pack up your things, and head to the Queen Alia International Airport for your onward journey.

Map

Map of Highlights of Jordan & Israel: Petra, Wadi Rum, Jerusalem, Nazareth & More - 10 Days
Map of Highlights of Jordan & Israel: Petra, Wadi Rum, Jerusalem, Nazareth & More - 10 Days