Upon arrival our staff will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel in Jerusalem where they'll help you settle in and introduce you to the local area.
After breakfast in Jerusalem we'll begin our journey to the Mediterranean coast where we'll visit the impressive Herodian city of Caesarea. Whilst here we'll have the opportunity to see the excavations of the Crusader city and the Roman port, aqueduct and the amphitheatre that has been restored to its former glory as a concert venue. After time to explore we'll head up the coast to see the beautiful Bahai Gardens in Israel's third city - Haifa. From here we'll also tour Acre - the crusader port and visit the grottoes at Rosh Hanikra.
Today we head back towards the Mediterranean where we'll visit the ancient port city of Jaffa, followed by the bustling and vibrant city of Tel Aviv, known for being the cultural capital of Israel and for its beautiful golden beaches. You'll have free time to explore the city and beaches.
Today we cross the border into the Kingdom of Jordan. Firstly we'll visit Jerash, one of the largest and most well-preserved sites of Roman architecture in the world outside Italy, the ancient city of Jerash boasts an unbroken chain of human occupation dating back more than 6,500 years. Having been hidden for centuries in sand, evacuations over the past 70 years have revealed a fine example of grand, formal provincial Roman urbanism, comprising paved and colonnaded streets, soaring hilltop temples, handsome theatres, spacious public squares and plazas, baths, fountains and city walls pierced by towers and gates.
After exploring Jerash we start heading south, past the capital Amman towards Petra. En-route we stop in Madaba and see the town's main attraction, the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George where we'll see its famous 6th Century Byzantine mosaic map of the Holy Land and other biblical sites. We'll also enjoy great views of the Holy Land from Mt. Nebo, known as the burial place of the prophet Moses. Our journey today will end in Petra where we'll spend the night, getting ready for the main event tomorrow!
We enjoy a full day today inside the world famous Nabatean site of Petra. The ancient capital of the Nabataean commercial empire until the Romans finally took over in 106AD. Petra is situated on the edge of Wadi Aruba, whose canyon walls and surrounding hills make it almost impossible to approach except through a narrow, winding cleft in the rock, called the Siq. We have a whole day today to tour this fascinating city then free time to explore yourselves. We start by walking through the Siq, which rises to 200m above us, and narrows to just 2m wide in places. All of a sudden, a now classic view appears around one corner, and one of Petra's most impressive monuments, the Khazneh (Treasury) comes into view. From the Khazneh, the valley opens out, with tombs carved into the rock on both sides. We'll see the ruined Roman amphitheatre, and colonnaded street, and during your free time you can walk up a steep and narrow winding gorge past beautifully coloured sandstone cliff walls to the huge and imposing 'Monastery'. The biggest of Petra's carved monuments, this is truly spectacular, as are the distant views west across Wadi Aruba and the Jordan valley. Another climb can take you to the High Place of Sacrifice, and Lion Fountain. All in all, this is a full and tiring, but hugely rewarding day touring one of the world's most famous ancient sites. After a full day exploring incredible Petra, we'll make a short drive to nearby Wadi Rum where we then spend a memorable night at the camp where we enjoy our Bedouin hosts' hospitality, traditional food, and plenty of tea. You can sleep in comfortable Bedouin tents (beds and all bedding provided).
After breakfast in Wadi Rum, we take a jeep safari through the beautiful desert scenery, seeing more of the sheer cliffs and bizarre rock formations. After leaving Wadi Rum behind we visit the Red Sea resort towns of Aqaba and Eilat where you'll have some free time before we leave at around 8pm in the evening to return to Jerusalem where we'll spend the night (arriving around midnight).
Start the day with a magnificent panoramic view from Mount of Olives. Drive to the Old City. Enter the walled city and visit the Roman Cardo, the Western Wall, and walk along the Via Dolorosa to the church of the Holy Sepulchre. Later, subject to time restrictions and border permissions, enter the Occupied Palestinian Territories and visit Bethlehem to visit the Church of the Nativity and Mangers Square.
Our day today is focused on the Galilee region. Leaving Jerusalem we pass through the Jezreel Valley (Valley of the Armageddon) on your way to Nazareth, where you'll tour the Basilica of the Annunciation and St Joseph. Drive through Cana and pass the Church of the Multiplication. Visit Cana, and see Mount Beatitude on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Visit the Yardenit Baptism Site on the Jordan River and immerse in the water. Our day ends in Jerusalem.
Drive through the Judean Desert to the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth, almost 1300 feet (400 meters) below sea level. Drive along the shores of the Dead Sea to Masada. Ascend by cable car and tour the ancient fortress where the Zealots made their last stand against the Romans before committing mass suicide in 73 AD. Descend by cable car. Continue to the Dead Sea. Cover yourself with the mineral rich mud and experience a swim in the Dead Sea, subject to the weather, that many believe has its therapeutic effects.
Your tour comes to an end today after breakfast in Jerusalem.