Israel, Jordan & Egypt

Jerusalem, Mount of Olives, Sea of Galilee, Egypt's pyramids, ancient Petra and the fabled Nile River are all on the menu.

Israel, Jordan & Egypt Enrichment Series

(Countries Visited)

Jordan

,

Israel

,

Egypt


(Interest Type(s))
(Tour Length)

18 Days


Tour Highlights

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  • Explore Jerusalem, both old and new, from the Israel Museum, ranked amongst the leading art and archaeology museums worldwide, to the Mount of Olives, to Kidron Valley
  • In addition to discovering Petra by day, you will have a rare opportunity for the experience of a lifetime – Petra at night lit by candle light!
  • Enjoy a boat right across the Sea of Galilee, and spent a night at a Dead Sea Resort
  • Cruise the fabled Nile River on a four-night journey aboard the Sonesta Star Goddess
  • Take in the ancient towns and important religious sites, including  Jericho, Sea of Galilee,  Beit Shean, the Mount of Beatitudes, Tiberias and more

 

 

Day 1, Thu:  Arrive Tel Aviv, Israel, Jerusalem
Welcome to Israel!  Upon arrival at Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion International airport you will be met and assisted through passport control, and after luggage collection, escorted to the driver outside the arrival hall.  Your driver will privately transfer you to your hotel in Jerusalem for overnight.  The David Citadel – Alcove Deluxe Room

Day 2, Fri:  Jerusalem
This morning, your driver/guide will meet you in your hotel to begin a tour of the New City of Jerusalem; including Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Memorial, the new museum and the Children’s Memorial.  Drive past the Knesset (Israeli parliament) and view the Menorah – the symbol of the State of Israel.  Visit the Israel Museum, the largest cultural institution in Israel and ranked amongst the leading art and archaeology museums worldwide.  The museum opened in 1965, and has the most extensive holdings of biblical and Holy Land archaeology in the world.  The Dead Sea Scrolls – the oldest biblical manuscripts are housed in the Shrine of the Book.  End the day with a visit to the colorful Machane Yehuda Shuk (market) before returning to your hotel in the early afternoon.  The David Citadel – Alcove Deluxe Room (B)

Day 3, Sat:  Jerusalem
Today explore the Old City of Jerusalem.  Ascend the Mount of Olives, a mountain ridge in East Jerusalem with three peaks running from north to south.  The highest rises to 818 meters/2,683 feet above sea-level and is named for olive groves that once covered its slopes.  The Mount of Olives is associated with both Jewish and Christian religions.  The site is filled with churches commemorating events in Jesus’ life.  Jews wish to be buried on the slopes of the Mount of Olives as they believe that when the Messiah comes he will descend the Mount of Olives and enter Jerusalem through the Gates of Mercy.  You descend the mountain via the Kidron Valley to the Jaffa Gate, and enter the old city.  Visit the Tower of David Museum, which presents Jerusalem’s story, detailing the major events in its history; from the first evidence of a city in Jerusalem in the second millennium BCE, to the city’s rise as the capital of the State of Israel.  It also explores the significance of the city to three or the world’s major religions.  Enter the Jewish Quarter to see the renowned Western Wall – the last remaining remnant of the Second Temple (no cameras allowed on Saturdays).  Walk along the Cardo, former market place of the Second Temple.  In the Christian Quarter, walk along the Via Dolorosa (Stations of the Cross) ending at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.  Discover the colorful Arab Market known as the “Shuk,” and practice your bargaining skills with the local vendors before returning to your hotel.  The David Citadel – Alcove Deluxe Room (B)

Day 4, Sun:  Jerusalem / Jericho / Beit Shean / Tiberias
After breakfast at your hotel, you will be driven to the ancient town of Jericho, a city located near the Jordan River in the West Bank of the Palestinian Territories.  It is the capital of the Jericho Governorate and has a population of over 20,000 Palestinians.  This town is situated below sea level just 16 kilometers north of the Dead Sea, and is the lowest permanently inhabited city on earth, as well as being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities of the world.  The Bible describes this town as the “City of Palm Trees.”  A Palestinian driver will meet you at the checkpoint and escort you to the Mount of Temptations.  After this visit he will transfer you back to the check-point where you will continue with your Israeli driver/guide.  Drive along the fertile Jordan Valley and visit Beit Shean, which was established during the 5th Century BC, in the heart of a fertile area with plenty of water and at the crossroads of major thoroughfares.  During the revolt against the Romans in 66 AD, the Jewish residents were slaughtered by their gentile neighbors; and the Romans returned to the city – calling it Scythopolis.  After Christianity was declared the official religion of the Roman Empire, the lifestyle and architecture changed.  After extensive excavations, one of the best-preserved Roman-Byzantine cities was discovered and a very large amphitheater with mosaic floors can be seen.  Travel to the seaside resort town of Tiberias built around the Sea of Galilee and check-in to your hotel.  The Scotts Hotel – Antique Lake View Room (B)

Day 5, Mon:  Tiberias – Capernaum / Tabgha / Mount of Beatitudes / Nazareth
This morning you will enjoy a serene boat ride across the Sea of Galilee to visit the lake sites, including Capernaum, which was a large Galilean fishing village and busy trading center.  This place has a special interest to Christians due to its frequent mention in the history of Jesus, who left Nazareth to settle here.  Peter, Andrew, James and John also lived at Capernaum.  The remains of a basalt synagogue believed to be the synagogue where Jesus taught was discovered here. Next to the synagogue is “Peter’s House,” where Jesus lived and healed many of his followers.  Proceed to Tabgha, the traditional site of the calling of the disciples.  A Byzantine mosaic is preserved under a modern church today that was once part of a church that commemorated Jesus’ feeding the multitudes.  The monastery and church at Tabgha were destroyed in the 7th century, and buried beneath a thick layer of silt and stones.  In the 1980s, the church was excavated and restored to its Byzantine form, incorporating portions of the original mosaics.  The next stop is the Mount of Beatitudes, which has an excellent view of the Sea of Galilee.  At this site, Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount.  Drive via Kfar Cana to the town of Nazareth nestled in a hollow plateau some 350 meters above sea level and 25 kilometers from the sea.  According to the New Testament this town was the home of Joseph and Mary and the site of the Annunciation, when Mary was told by the angel Gabriel that she would have a son.  Jesus spent his childhood in this town.  Nazareth is home to many churches, including the Church of the Annunciation, the largest church in the Middle East.  The Greek Orthodox Church, The Melkite Greek Catholic Church and a Franciscan Mensa Christi Church are also in town.  The majority of its residents are Israeli Arabs (both Christian and Muslim) and the Jewish residents live in the Upper Nazareth area.  Return to your hotel in Tiberias for overnight.  The Scotts Hotel – Antique Lake View Room (B)

Day 6, Tue:  Tiberias / Sheik Hussein Bridge - Jordan / Jerash / Amman
After breakfast, your driver/guide transfers you to the Sheik Hussein northern border.  Meet the local representative who will assist with the VIP crossing on the Israel side.  Upon arrival on the Jordanian side, you will be met by your guide and driver and taken to Jerash.  Called the Pompeii of the East, Jerash is one of the world's best preserved Roman-Hellenistic cities.  Alexander the Great founded the city, which became a member of the Decapolis, a league of the ten most important cities from Damascus in the North to Amman in the South.  Seven of the cities lie in Syria; the location of the tenth is still a matter of debate.  The ten cities were integrated economically, culturally and politically.  It is thought that Gerasa (the ancient name of Jerash) may have been the capitol of Decapolis.  The abundant supply of water in the city made it popular and enabled the Romans to build admirable bathing pools and public baths.  In modern Jerash you can explore souks, temples, fountains and ingeniously built theaters of the Hellenistic period, still in use.  You will then be driven to Amman and your hotel.  Amman, the capital of Jordan, is a fascinating city of old and new, and is ideally situated on a hilly area between the desert and the fertile Jordan Valley.  In the commercial heart of the city, ultra-modern buildings, hotels, smart restaurants, art galleries and boutiques rub shoulders comfortably with traditional coffee shops and tiny artisans' workshops.  Yet, everywhere there is evidence of the city’s much older past.  Four Seasons Hotel Amman – Deluxe Room (B,L)

Day 7, Wed:  Amman / Mt. Nebo / Madaba / Kerak / Petra
This morning, drive to Mount Nebo, the alleged burial site of Moses.  It was from here that Moses saw the Holy Land for the first time.  Continue to Madaba to see the oldest known mosaic map of the Holy Land, dating back the 6th century AD, at the Saint George’s Greek-Orthodox Church.  The Archaeological Museum of Madaba houses numerous mosaics from the Byzantine era.  In Karak, stop at Kerak Castle, a massive crusader castle in the Karak Mountains.  The locality of al-Kerak, now the site of a flourishing town, is known for the imposing fort erected in the first half of the 12th century by the Crusaders, and later conquered by the Arabs.  After visiting Karak, you will continue on to Petra.  Admired then for its refined culture, massive architecture and ingenious complex of dams and water channels, Petra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Tonight you will have the experience of a lifetime – Petra by candle light.  ( Only available Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday). Petra is spectacular by daylight, but wait until you try Petra by candlelight.  This evening you can enjoy the mystery of the Nabatean City by the glow of candles through a tour led by storytellers.  This evening, you will approach Petra by foot.  Some 1,500 candles light the way as you walk through the Siq, while along the way you hear a flute playing from the mountain tops above the gorge, an almost mystical experience.  Movenpick Resort Petra – Junior Suite (B,L)

Day 8, Thu:  Petra – Wadi Rum
Today you will have a full-day to contintue your discovery of Petra and legendary landscapes of Wadi Rum.  Although much has been written about Petra, nothing really prepares you for your encounter with this phenomenal place.  It is without a doubt Jordan’s most valuable treasure.  It is a vast, unique city, carved into the sheer rock face by the Nabataeans, an industrious Arab people who settled here more than 2,000 years ago, turning it into an important junction for the silk, spice and other trade routes that linked China, India and southern Arabia with Egypt, Syria, Greece and Rome.  Entrance to the city is through the Siq, a narrow gorge, over one kilometer in length, which is flanked on either side by soaring, 80-meter-high cliffs.  Just walking through the Siq is an experience in itself.  The colors and formations of the rocks are dazzling.  As you reach the end of the Siq, you will catch your first look at Al-Khazneh (Treasury).  A massive façade, 30 meters wide and 43 meters high, carved out of the sheer, dusky pink, rock face, it dwarfs everything around it.  It was carved in the early 1st century as the tomb of an important Nabataean king and represents the engineering genius of these ancient people.  You will next continue south to Wadi Rum.  This is a place of timeless beauty virtually untouched.  Weather and winds that have carved the towering maze of monolithic rockscapes that rise up from the desert floor to heights of 1,750 meters, making it a natural challenge for serious climbers.  Hikers can enjoy the tranquility of the boundless empty spaces, explore the canyons and water holes to discover 4,000 year old rock drawings and the many other spectacular treasures in this vast wilderness.  Here you will have a pleasant jeep ride through Wadi Rum taking in the unbelievable scenery.
Movenpick Resort Petra – Junior Suite (B,L)

Day 9, Fri:  Petra / Shobak / Bethany / Dead Sea
Today you will drive less than an hour north of Petra to visit Shobak, an impressive castle that stands as a lonely reminder of former Crusader glory dating from the same turbulent period as Kerak.  You will then drive to the Dead Sea to visit Bethany, the baptism site where John the Baptist baptized Jesus.  Located at or around the natural hill at Tell El Kharrar, where John the Baptist lived, preached and baptized, the village of Bethany is two kilometers east of the Jordan River and was mentioned in the Bible.  Continue to your Dead Sea resort.  Kempinski Dead Sea Resort & Hotel – Ishtar Suite (B)

Day 10, Sat:  Dead Sea / Amman / Cairo, Egypt
Today you will be transferred to Amman Airport in time for your flight to Cairo.  Welcome to Egypt, a place of fascination and inspiration for thousands of years.  Cairo offers great culture along with the ancient wonders that attract millions each year.  You are met by a Big Five representative who will escort you to your hotel.  The remainder of the day is at leisure.  Four Seasons Hotel Cairo At Nile Plaza – Nile View Room (B)

Day 11, Sun:  Cairo – Memphis / Saqqara / Giza
A splendid introduction to the glories of ancient Egypt begins at Memphis, the site of Egypt's first capital where the remnants of colossal statues and temples are the only visible relics of the city's golden age 5,000 years ago.  Nearby is Saqqara, home of the world's oldest stone structure, the famed Step Pyramid of King Zoser.  You will then drive through lush date palm groves to the Pyramids of Giza.  Guarded by the mighty Sphinx and listed among the Seven Wonders of the World, these soaring structures retain many secrets hidden from modern scholars.  You will also visit the Solar Boat Museum and take a camel ride from the Giza Plateau to the base of the Pyramid of Menkaure.  Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza – Nile View Room (B,L)

Day 12, Mon:  Cairo / Luxor / Nile Cruise
Fly to Luxor, the ancient city of Thebes and the site of the Middle Kingdom pharaohs’ glorious temples and burial places.  Upon arrival, you will check into your deluxe cruise ship accommodations.  This afternoon, tour the great Luxor and Karnak Temples, which evolved over a period of a thousand years.  After visiting the Luxor Museum, you will return to your cruise accommodations.  Later this evening you will enjoy an interactive Sound & Light Show at Karnak Temple.  Sonesta Star Goddess – Beethoven Suite (B,L,D)

Day 13, Tue:  Nile Cruise
This morning traverse the West Bank, from the Colossi to Hatshepsut’s sublime cliff-side temple, to the Valley of the Kings.  Fabulous tombs contrast against the bleak desert.  Duri
g the late morning you will pass through the Esna locks where you will see how the Nile River changes its height as a result of Nasser’s construction of the High Dam in Aswan.  After lunch, you are at leisure before high tea and the Captain’s Welcome Cocktail Party.  Later this evening after dinner you are free to enjoy the planned activities of your deluxe cruise ship.  Sonesta Star Goddess – Beethoven Suite (B,L,D)

Day 14, Wed:  Nile Cruise
Travel through the streets of Edfu to the Temple of Horus in the heart of town.  As Egypt’s best preserved temple, little imagination is needed to envision the secret rituals and great festivals of the Ptolemaic era.  You will learn about the legend of Horus, his wife Hathor, and his wicked uncle Seth.  The Temple of Horus actually served as a base for squatters over the centuries after the decline of the Greco-Roman Era.  Return to your vessel for lunch and sail to Kom Ombo.  Later this evening, enjoy a Galabaya party.  Sonesta Star Goddess – Beethoven Suite (B,L,D)

Day 15, Thu:  Nile Cruise
This morning you will visit the unique twin temples of Kom Ombo, dedicated to Sobek, the crocodile god, and Horus the Elder.  Sail to Aswan to discover the graceful island Temple of Philae, the monumental High Dam, and the Unfinished Obelisk in the granite quarries of the pharaohs.  Later this evening, enjoy a Nubian Folkloric Show.  Sonesta Star Goddess – Beethoven Suite (B,L,D)

Day 16, Fri:  Nile Cruise / Aswan / Abu Simbel / Aswan / Cairo
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Abu Simbel where you will have a tour of two temples.  The Greater Temple of Ramses II is one of many erected by order of Pharaoh Ramses II, and it is the grandest and most beautiful of temples.  Located north of the Greater Temple, the Temple of Nefertari was carved in the rock and dedicated to the goddess of love and beauty.  The facade is adorned by six statues, four to Ramses II and two to his wife Nefertari.  At the end of your tour, you will transfer to the airport for your flight Cairo via Aswan.  Upon arrival in Cairo you will transfer to your hotel.  The remainder of the day is at your leisure.  Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza – Nile View Room (B)

Day 17, Sat:  Cairo
A spectacular, full day exploration of Cairo begins at the world-acclaimed Museum of Antiquities.  The 300-year-reign of the pharaohs is vividly brought to life in the wealth of art and artifacts here, including the Tutankhamen Collection of golden tomb artifacts; and exhibits of small, lifelike statuary from the early dynasties.  You will visit the fascinating Mummy Room.  Continue your tour in old Coptic Cairo, taking in the Church of St. Sergius and Ben Ezra Synagogue; built on a site where legend holds the baby Moses was found in the bulrushes.  Take in the hilltop Citadel with its grand city views and ethereal Mohammed Ali Mosque.  Then stroll with your guide through the Khan El Khalili, a bustling warren of shops where you can bargain for rugs, copper and leather crafts, perfumes, and other goods both exotic and familiar.  Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza – Nile View Room (B,L)

Day 18, Sun:  Cairo / Depart
Transfer to the airport for your onward flight.  (B)

Important Note:  Due to several factors including Nile River cruise dates and night tour of Petra, this tour must operate on the specific days of the week outlined in itinerary. The specific program is based on a Thursday arrival into Tel Aviv.

Land price, per person, double occupancy:  Starting from $13350

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