Ancient sites and natural wonders abound on this whirlwind 9-day journey through Jordan and Israel. Starting in Jordan, you'll travel south along the historic King's Highway to visit the otherworldly shores of the Dead Sea and wander the magnificent canyons of Petra. After an unforgettable night of camping in the "Valley of the Moon," it's on to Israel, where you'll explore desert fortresses and ancient caves before touring the many historic and holy sites of Jerusalem.

Highlights

  • Float in the salty waters of the Dead Sea
  • Explore the remarkable "Rose City" of Petra
  • Camp under desert stars in the red desert of Wadi Rum
  • Ascend the ancient hilltop fortress of Masada by cable car
  • Tour the holy & historic sites of Jerusalem's Old City

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Amman Amman
Day 2 Transfer to the Dead Sea via Madaba & Mount Nebo  The Dead Sea
Day 3 Transfer to Petra via Kerak Petra
Day 4 Explore the Wonders of Petra Petra
Day 5 Transfer to Wadi Rum, Jeep Excursion & Desert Camping Wadi Rum
Day 6 Transfer to Jerusalem via Masada & Qumran  Jerusalem
Day 7 Tour Jerusalem's Old City Jerusalem
Day 8 Discover the Mount of Olives Jerusalem
Day 9 Transfer to Tel Aviv & Depart  

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: Transfer to the Dead Sea via Madaba & Mount Nebo 

Relax on the tranquil shores of the Dead Sea

After breakfast at your hotel, check out and meet your driver for today's journey south. Along the way, you'll stop at 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.

Back on the road, you'll continue 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 making your way to the Memorial Church of Moses, a modern structure that now houses excavated relics from the region.

Your final destination is 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 spend the rest of the day at your leisure—floating in the salty waters, enjoying a full-body mud treatment, or relaxing in the sun.

Day 3: Transfer to Petra via Kerak

Visit the medieval fortress of Kerak on today's journey south
Plan your trip to Jordan
Customize your trip with help from a local travel specialist.
Carry on south today along the ancient King's Highway, stopping at 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 and rest up for a busy day of sightseeing tomorrow.

Day 4: Explore the Wonders of Petra

Marvel at the Nabataean stonework of Petra

Today you'll explore Jordan's beloved archeological treasure at your own pace. 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. A local guide will introduce you to the city's many hidden corners, and you'll have plenty of free time to continue 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. Discover the Street of Facades, a row of monumental Nabataean tombs, as you work your way through the archaeological site discovering the amphitheater and caves. 

For a stunning view overlooking the Treasury and jagged mountains beyond, hike your way up the steep stone-carved staircase to the top of Jabal al-Khubtha.

After a full day of exploring, return to your hotel to rest up and cool down before dinner. If your visit falls on a Monday, Wednesday, or Thursday, you can head out again after dark to experience an unforgettable Petra by Night tour. Stroll through canyons lined with thousands of candles to reach the illuminated Treasury, where live Arabic music sets the scene and a welcoming cup of tea awaits. 

Day 5: Transfer to Wadi Rum, Jeep Excursion & Desert Camping

Camp under desert skies in the Wadi Rum

This morning is free to discover more of Petra at your own pace, visiting any hidden corners and highlights that you may have missed. You can opt for another tour or even arrange for a guided hike along the back trail, ending with dramatic views over the Monastery.

After lunch, your driver will take you south into the wilderness of the Wadi Rum, an expanse of desert dubbed the "Valley of the Moon" by Lawrence of Arabia. Along the two-hour drive, you'll pass through red valleys, rock canyons, and dunes to reach your base for the night at a Bedouin-style camp.

Switch into a sturdy Jeep for an off-road excursion that takes you deeper into the UNESCO-protected desert. 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 at the camp, you'll enjoy a traditional dinner around the campfire as the sun sets, then spend the rest of your evening stargazing under clear desert skies.

Day 6: Transfer to Jerusalem via Masada & Qumran 

MASADA & QUMRAN
The ancient fortress of Masada, overlooking the Dead Sea

Rise early today to enjoy an unforgettable desert sunrise. After breakfast, you'll bid Jordan farewell as your driver transfers you to the Wadi Araba border. After clearing customs, a driver will be waiting to welcome you to Israel

Start with a scenic drive into the remarkable landscapes around the Dead Sea. On an isolated cliff in the Judean Desert, you'll find the ancient hilltop fortress of Masada, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001. Ascend to the top by cable car and tour the archaeological site where the Zealots made their last stand against the Romans in 73 CE. You'll see different buildings, including the bathhouse and synagogue, and take in breathtaking views of the Dead Sea and remains of the Roman camps below.   

After a stop at the remarkable Qumran Caves to see where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, you'll reach the shores of the Dead Sea and the lowest point on earth. Take a dip in the salty, mineral-rich waters, before getting back on the road and continuing to your hotel in Jerusalem for the evening.

Day 7: 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

Day 8: 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.

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

Day 9: Transfer to Tel Aviv & Depart

Sunset over Tel Aviv

Enjoy a leisurely final breakfast in Jerusalem. When the time comes, your driver will be waiting to transfer you to Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport to catch your departing flight. Safe travels!  

More Israel & Jordan Itineraries

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. 

Or, describe your ideal trip and we will connect you with a local specialist to make it happen.