September 14 – 26, 2014
Sep 14: Welcome to Jordan! On arrival at Queen Alia International Airport you will be met and transferred to Amman for overnight at the Grand Palace Hotel.
Sep 15: After breakfast, begin the day with a city tour of Amman. Amman, called Philadelphia by the Romans, is the capital of Jordan and offers both the old and new. See the Roman Amphitheater, the Citadel and the Archeological Museum. In the afternoon we will go to the east of Amman to visit three of the Desert Castles. These structures were used for different purposes including a noble’s hunting lodge, a caravanserai, and a fortress. After visiting the Desert Castles return to Amman for overnight at the Grand Palace Hotel.
Sep 16: After breakfast, visit Jerash, Ajloun, Um Qaias. In Jerash you will visit the ruins of one of the grandest Roman cities in the Middle East. You will see the Triumphal Arch, the Hippodrome, the Temple of Zeus, the Forum, the mile long street of Columns, the Nymphaeum, the Temple of Artemis and the Viaduct Church. The Amphitheater is still used for an arts festival and is remarkably well preserved. Our next stop will be the fortress of Ajlun. In Ajlun, above the city on the top of the hill you can see Al-Rabath Castle with its magnificent view of the Jordan Valley. It was an Arab defense fortress built in 1184 to defend against the Crusaders. Experience its warren of towers, chambers, galleries and hidden staircases, in its very well preserved condition. Um Qais, historically known as Gadara was renowned in its heyday as a cultural center. It was the home of several classical poets and philosophers, including Theodorus, founder of the School of Rhetoric in Rome. Perched on a hilltop overlooking the Jordan Valley and the Sea of Galilee, Um Qais has an impressive colonnaded terrace and the ruins of two theaters. You will see a blending of Greco and Roman architecture, as well as remnants of Byzantine and Ottoman civilizations. Return to Amman for overnight at the Grand Palace Hotel.
Sep 17: After breakfast depart for Madaba, Mt. Nebo, Kerak and Petra. Our first stop will be the city of Madaba to visit the St. George Church, home to a stunning mosaic map of the ancient Middle East. Afterwards continue to nearby Mount Nebo where you will visit the church on top of the hill from where, it is believed, Moses viewed the Promised Land. You will be able to experience the spectacular panorama of the Jordan Valley, Jericho and the Judean Hills, just as Moses did. Continue on to Kerak. Kerak is a crusader fortress, built over older fortresses, located on the King’s Highway in the area known in ancient times as Moab. The history during the Crusades of this fortress is filled with intrigue, treachery, and murder. But the history of this area goes back to the Iron Age and the ancient Nabateans. Continue to Petra and check in at the Petra Guest House for overnight.
Sep 18: After breakfast begin your full day exploration of Petra, the “Rose Red City.” This incredible hidden city, inhabited by the ancient Nabateans, lay concealed from 100 AD until it was re-discovered in the early 1800′s. Take a horse ride to the “Siq” (Canyon) entrance then walk the rest of the way through the narrow, winding cut in rocks into the valley. Your first glimpse of the magnificence of the place will be of the Treasury as you round the last bend on the pathway. The Treasury and the other buildings have been carved out of the canyon walls in the pink sandstone. Continue past the Roman Theatre, the Corinthian Tomb and the Palace Tomb. In the late afternoon we will depart for Wadi Rum for overnight at Jabal Rum Camp.
Sep 19: After breakfast we depart for a 4 hour 4×4 jeep tour exploring the desert canyons, rock formations and more. The canyon, or wadi, is a nature preserve and has an abundance of desert flora and fauna, set in a landscape sometimes called the Valley of the Moon. Uniquely shaped massive mountains rise vertically out of the pink desert sand, which separate one dark mass from another in a magnificent desert scenery of strange breathtaking beauty, with towering cliffs of weathered stone. Wadi Rum is probably best known because of its connection with the enigmatic British officer T.E. Lawrence, who was based here during the Great Arab Revolt of 1917-18, and as the setting for the film that carried his name “Lawrence of Arabia”. Afterwards we transfer to the Dead Sea for leisure time and overnight at the Kempinski Hotel.
Sep 20: After breakfast, enjoy some leisure time until noon, then we will depart to visit the archeological site of Bethany, then afterwards we go to the Allenby Bridge to cross into Israel. We will meet our Israeli guide and transfer to the Israeli bus once we have passed through immigration formalities, then we drive to Jerusalem. Overnight in Jerusalem.
Sep 21: Jerusalem – sightseeing of the new city. Drive to Mount Scopus for a panoramic view of Jerusalem, then go on to the Garden of Gethsemane and Church of the Agony. Continue to Israel Museum’s Shrine of the Book with the famous Dead Sea scrolls, then a visit to the beautifully renovated Model of the Herodian city of Jerusalem, dating back to the time of the Second Temple. Continue to Yad Vashem, the memorial to the six million Jews who were killed in the Holocaust. In the afternoon drive to the picturesque village of Ein Karem (the birth place of John the Baptist). Return to our hotel for overnight.
Sep 22: Jerusalem – (Old City) – Bethlehem* Walk through one of the Gates to the walled Old City: the renewed Jewish Quarter; the Western Wall, the Temple area; the colorful bazaars; Via Dolorosa and the Stations of the Cross ending at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Drive to Mount Zion and visit the tomb of King David, the Room of the Last Supper and Dormition Abbey. In the afternoon continue to Bethlehem* to visit the Church of the Nativity, then return to Jerusalem for overnight.
Sep 23: Beit Shean – Tiberias – Galilee. Leave Jerusalem, and drive north via Jericho*, the oldest city in the world, through the Jordan Valley and the new settlements to Beit Shean. Visit the excavations of this beautiful preserved Roman City, then proceed to Tiberias, the old center of Jewish learning. Drive along the shores of the Sea of Galilee to Capernaum, to visit the ruins of the ancient synagogue. Continue to a Kibbutz hotel for overnight.
Sep 24: Upper Galilee and Golan Heights – Nazareth. Drive to the Golan Heights and visit the former Syrian fortifications, and the Druze villages, Via Banias, source of the Jordan River. Proceed via the Hula Valley to Safed, city of the Kabala, to visit a synagogue and the artists’ colony and then to Nazareth to visit the Christian Holy Sites. Return to the Kibbutz hotel for overnight.
Sep 25: Acre – Haifa – Tel Aviv. After breakfast drive west to Acre for a visit of the old, famous Crusader stronghold and medieval fortifications. Continue to Haifa for a sightseeing tour of the city, including the Bahai Shrine, Persian Garden and Mount Carmel for a panoramic view of the city and the bay. Proceed along the cost to Caesarea to visit the Roman Theater and the Crusader fortress. End the day with a short city tour of Tel Aviv-Jaffa and overnight.
Sep 26: Breakfast and transfer to the airport for final departure.
*Site under the Palestinian Authority Jurisdiction. Visit subject to situation.
Included in Jordan:
- Meet and assist upon arrival and departure
- Accommodation as mentioned above on bed and breakfast
- Dinner at Jabal Rum Camp
- Transportation by air conditioned modern bus 18-seater with an English speaking driver or Mini Van depending on group size
- Qualified English speaking guides (if group is small there may be local guides only in Petra and Jerash)
- Entrance fees to all mentioned sites
- Horse ride in Petra
- 4 hour 4×4 jeep tour in Wadi Rum
Included in Israel:
- 7 Nights Hotel Accommodation including daily breakfasts
- Assistance at the airport upon arrival
- Transfers to the airport
- English Speaking Guide for 6 days
- Air conditioned tourist Van /Minibus/Bus during the touring days
- Entrance fees according to the itinerary
- Jordan visa – obtained on arrival at airport
- Israel entrance or exit fees if applicable
- Personal expenses of any kind
- Tips to Guides, Drivers etc.
- Trip insurance
- Lunches and dinners
- Beverages with meals
- Anything not mentioned in the “rates includes” section
- Supplement for private transfers
- 10-15 people: $2780 per person, double occupancy
- 6 – 9 people: $3300 per person, double occupancy
- 2 – 5 people: $4785 per person, double occupancy
Single supplement: $ 650.00Share