Explore some of the most important cultural and religious sites of the Middle East on this 13-day journey through Jordan and Israel. After checking off Jordanian highlights like Amman, Petra, and the Dead Sea, you'll cross the border into Israel to gaze across the Sea of Galilee in Tiberias, stroll through ancient olive groves in the Garden of Gethsemane, and discover historic and holy landmarks throughout Jerusalem's Old City.


  • Step back in time at the ancient cities of Jerash & Umm Qais
  • Stroll through the soaring canyons of Petra
  • Soak up some sun on the beaches of Aqaba
  • Climb the Mount of Beatitudes & take a scenic boat ride on the Sea of Galilee
  • Tour the Jewish, Muslim & Christian Quarters of Jerusalem's Old City

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Amman Amman
Day 2 Tour the Ancient Wonders of Umm Qais, Jerash & Aljoun Amman
Day 3 Day Trip to the Desert Castles & Iraq Al Amir Amman
Day 4 Transfer to Petra via Madaba, Mount Nebo & Kerak Petra
Day 5 Explore Petra, Wadi Rum Jeep Excursion, Transfer to Aqaba  Aqaba
Day 6 Transfer to the Dead Sea The Dead Sea
Day 7 Transfer to Israel via Allenby Bridge, Visit Cana, Nazareth & Tiberias Tiberias
Day 8 Biblical Sites of Tiberias, Capernaum & Taghba Tiberias
Day 9 Transfer to Jerusalem via Haifa & Caesarea Jerusalem
Day 10 Tour Jerusalem's Old City Jerusalem
Day 11 Discover the Mount of Olives Jerusalem
Day 12 Transfer to Amman via Allenby Bridge, Farewell Dinner Amman
Day 13 Depart Amman  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Amman

The ancient Jordanian capital of Amman
Welcome to Jordan! Upon arrival at the Queen Alia International Airport, you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel in the capital of Amman. The nation's largest city, Amman has been inhabited since the Bronze Age and is full of cultural and historic highlights.

Day 2: Tour the Ancient Wonders of Umm Qais, Jerash & Aljoun

Amman-Umm Qais-Jarash-Ajloun-Amman
Greco-Roman ruins in Umm Qais

Today you'll discover some of northern Jordan's greatest archaeological sites, starting with a transfer north to the ancient city of Umm Qais. Overlooking the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan Valley, Umm Qais 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." Step back in time as you stroll column-flanked streets and take in the far-reaching views. 

Then it's on to Jerash, one of the best-preserved Greco-Roman cities in the Middle East. Spend time wandering the extensive site and be sure to check out the pristine remains of two amphitheaters, the north-south Colonnaded Street, and the Hippodrome (the site of ancient chariot races).

Continue to Ajloun, in the highlands, where you can explore 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. Roam the ramparts and enjoy sweeping views over the Levant.

In the afternoon, your driver will bring you back to Amman, where the rest of the evening is at your leisure.

Day 3:  Day Trip to the Desert Castles & Iraq al-Amir

The dramatic desert castle of Harrana

Today you'll strike out into the black basalt desert east of Amman to explore the Desert Castles—isolated pavilions, caravan stations, and hunting lodges built under the reign of the Umayyads (661-750 BCE). Today these evocative ruins and fortresses stand as a testament to the flourishing beginnings of Islamic-Arab civilization. Start with a visit to the spectacularly well-preserved Harrana Castle (Qasr Kharana), then explore the domes, arches, and frescoes of Amra Palace (Quseir Amra) and the imposing basalt fortifications of Azraq Castle (Qsar al-Azraq).

In the afternoon, you'll continue west of Amman into a lush valley to find the ruins of one of the most important Hellenistic monuments in the Middle East. Iraq al-Amir (meaning "the caves of the prince”) is an antiquity site dating back to the 2nd century BCE, where you can find a carefully restored Hellenistic villa that predates the Romans and mysterious cave dwellings first inhabited 10,000 years ago.

After a full day of fascinating history and discovery, your driver will take you back to Amman for the evening.

Day 4: Transfer to Petra via Madaba, Mount Nebo & Kerak

Ancient mosaics at Madaba

After breakfast at your hotel, you'll check out and meet your driver for today's journey south. Stop in Madaba to check out its intricate Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics, including the spectacular Madaba Map, the oldest preserved mosaic map of the Holy Land. Nearby, the Madaba Archaeological Park preserves the mosaic-rich Church of the Virgin Mary and artifacts from the Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, and Islamic eras.

Continue your journey to Mount Nebo, an elevated ridge of the Abarim range said to be where Moses took in the view of the Promised Land. Follow in his footsteps and 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 along the ancient King's Highway to Kerak to visit the impressive Crusader castle of the same name. Exploring the fortress-like structure provides an opportunity to experience the vaulted halls and passageways typical of the era, a remarkable insight into the architectural and military prowess of the Crusaders. When you're ready, continue to Petra where you'll check in to your hotel for the night.  

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Day 5: Explore Petra, Wadi Rum Jeep Excursion, Transfer to Aqaba 

Wadi Rum (2-3 Hrs Jeep ride)
Explore the Wadi Rum by Jeep

This morning starts at Jordan's beloved archeological treasure: the lost city of Petra. Known as the "Rose City" for the area's distinctive red sandstone, it's easy to see why Petra was named one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. Its intricate architectural design is hundreds of years old, and remarkably well maintained. You can choose to hire a guide for a two-hour tour of the site or spend some time exploring at your own pace.

Enter through the Siq, a dramatically narrow gorge flanked by towering cliffs, and spend your day wandering at your leisure through Petra's seemingly endless temples, tombs, and colonnaded streets. Navigate the impressive water conduit system of the historic Nabataean city, paying a visit to Qasr al-Bint, a grand temple that was once the population's primary place of worship. 

If you're feeling adventurous, climb your way up the 800 steps to the Monastery, Petra's largest and lesser-visited monument. For a stunning view overlooking the Treasury and jagged mountains beyond, hike the steep stone-carved staircase to the top of Jabal al-Khubtha.

When you've had your fill of Petra, your driver will take you into the wilderness of the Wadi Rum for a two-hour desert adventure. After switching into a sturdy Jeep, you'll travel through valleys, rock canyons, dunes, and deserts, stopping to check out rock inscriptions and petroglyphs as well as majestic views. Spend a little time at each stop to hike and scramble and explore at your own pace. Along the way, you'll visit desert oases, see 2,000-year-old Kufic rock art, and learn about the history of the area and the local Bedouin culture. 
Back on the road, you'll continue to the nearby Red Sea resort of Aqaba. Inhabited since 4000 BCE, Aqaba is Jordan's only coastal city and is home to colorful market stalls, delicious food, and, of course, access to the water. Go for a stroll and explore the bustling port, head to the beach for a swim, or enjoy platters of delicious local fish and expertly prepared meats in town before checking into your hotel for the evening.

Day 6: Transfer to the Dead Sea

Transfer north to the lowest point on earth
Spend another morning at the beach, then bid the Red Sea farewell as your driver picks you up for the drive north to reach the shores of the Dead Sea, one of the most spectacular natural and spiritual landscapes in the world. This landlocked lake is the lowest point on earth and the world's richest source of natural salts, hiding wonderful treasures that accumulated throughout thousands of years. After a scenic drive through a landscape of otherworldly, arid hills, you'll reach your hotel, where you can get settled in and relax after the long drive.

Day 7: Transfer to Israel via Allenby Bridge, Visit Cana, Nazareth & Tiberias

Views across the Sea of Galilee
After a final dip in the Dead Sea this morning, you'll bid Jordan farewell for now and meet your driver after breakfast for the 20-minute drive to the Allenby Bridge. Upon arrival at the border, a shuttle bus will take you across to customs and immigration, where your guide and driver will be waiting to welcome you to Israel.
Your first stop is the idyllic village of Cana, where you'll visit the Church of the Wedding Miracle where Jesus was said to turn water into wine. Proceed to the biblical city of Nazareth to see the towering Basilica of Annunciation, then take a short walk to the sites of Joseph's carpentry workshop and the well of Mary. Continue to the shores of the Sea of Galilee and the historic city of Tiberias, where you'll get settled into your hotel for the night.  

Day 8: Biblical Sites of Tiberias, Capernaum & Taghba

 The Greek Orthodox Church of the Holy Apostles in Capernaum

After breakfast, join your guide to delve deeper into the many important Biblical sites surrounding Tiberias. Start with an early visit to Jesus' Ministry, enjoy a scenic boat ride along the Sea of Galilee, and take in sweeping views from the Mount of Beatitudes, believed to be the setting of the Sermon on the Mount. Carry on to the small fishing village of Capernaum on the northern shores of the sea, and discover the ancient synagogues (one built on top of the other) as well as the supposed home of Saint Peter, one of Jesus' Twelve Apostles.

Other highlights include a stop in Tabgha to tour the Church of the Multiplication—believed to be the site where Christ fed five thousand people with only five loaves of bread and two fish—and the Church of the Primacy, the location that marks the supposed spot where Jesus reinstated Peter as his chief Apostle.

After a full day of sightseeing, you'll return to your hotel in Tiberias for dinner and some rest. 

Day 9: Transfer to Jerusalem via Haifa & Caesarea

The UNESCO-protected Persian Hanging Gardens overlooking Haifa
After breakfast and check-out this morning, your driver will take you thirty minutes west to the sun-soaked port city of Haifa. Take in breathtaking views of Haifa Bay from Mount Carmel, then pay a visit to Stella Marris Monastery to see the fabled Cave of Elijah. Marvel at the Persian Hanging Gardens of Baháʼí (considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World), then continue fifteen minutes south to see Muharakha, the site of the battle between Elijah and the prophets of Baal and the perfect spot for panoramic views across the whole of the Israel Valley.
Stop at the ancient Roman port city of Caesarea for a quick tour of the amphitheater and aqueduct, and see the birthplace of John the Baptist as you pass the sleepy village of Ein Karem, located in a beautiful setting amid hills and a small spring. At the end of the day, you'll reach the holy city of Jerusalem and your base for the next three nights. 

Day 10: Tour Jerusalem's Old City

See the golden-domed Temple Mount in Jerusalem

Immerse yourself in the ancient Old City of Jerusalem today, starting with a walk along the Via Dolorosa—a winding route 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 Jewish Quarter to explore the Cardo, an ancient colonnaded street dating back to the Roman Empire, then make your way to the Wailing Wall to see the golden domes of Temple Mount—venerated as a holy site in Judaism, Islam, and Christianity alike. 

Continuing to Mount Zion, you'll explore the ancient building of King David's Tomb and visit the Cenacle (an upper room said to host the Last Supper), then pay a visit to the striking church of Saint Peter at Galicantu

The remainder of the afternoon is free for you to relax back at your hotel or explore on your own. 

Day 11: Discover the Mount of Olives

Views across Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives

This morning's tour starts with breathtaking views across Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, a high ridge east of the city. Here you can visit the Church of Ascension and pass Pater Noster Church before proceeding down to the Garden of Gethsemane, home to 2,000-year-old olive trees that date back to the time of Christ. It's also the site of the Basilica of the Agony and Tomb of Saint Mary, a dimly-lit, below-ground church where a Christian tradition says the mother of Jesus was buried.

Spend the remainder of the day at your leisure. To explore more of Jerusalem at your own pace, head to the New City to see the Mahane Yehuda Market, Yad Vashem (the Holocaust Museum), or the Israel Museum (home to the Dead Sea Scrolls).

Day 12: Transfer to Amman via Allenby Bridge, Farewell Dinner

The Temple of Hercules on Amman's Citadel

Say your goodbyes to Israel today, as you head back to Jordan via the Allenby Bridge. After completing the immigration procedures, you'll be met by your driver and transferred to Amman. Get settled into your hotel, then spend the remainder of the evening exploring any city highlights you may have missed or picking up some last-minute souvenirs.

In the evening, head to a celebratory farewell dinner at a local restaurant to sample Jordanian specialties like mansaf (rice topped with lamb and pine nuts), Arabic sweets, and mint tea. 

Day 13: Depart Amman

Sunset over Amman

After breakfast, it's time to bid Amman farewell and transfer to the Queen Alia International Airport for your departing flight. Safe travels!

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Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Jordan and Israel? Check out these other Jordan and Israel itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights. 

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