Find the heart of Israel and Jordan on this Intrepid Adventure.

Delve into Israel and Jordan, holy lands rich with history and an oasis of delight and intrigue in the desert. This trip will see you wandering the immense ruins of Petra, bathing in the cool waters of the Red Sea and exploring a lunar-like landscape at Wadi Rum. Take your time to explore ancient monuments, relics and holy sites of immense significance, visit hilltop fortifications and climb the Mount of Olives for the best view of Old Town Jerusalem. Immerse yourself in this journey across the best of the Middle East and gain a deeper understanding of this enduring land and its people.

TRIP CHANGES FOR 2017:
From 1 January 2017 this trip will no longer start in Cairo or travel to Dahab, Red Sea Beach Camp and Aqaba. The trip length has also changed from 16 days to 14 Days. These changes come as a result of traveller feedback and the advice of our local operator. We found that the ferry from Nuweiba to Aqaba was often delayed resulting in a loss of time in the next destination and a frustrating experience for our passengers. This trip will now start in Amman, giving our passengers more time to explore the city at the start of this trip.
The new itinerary the group will start in Amman and then continue to Wadi Rum, Petra and Madaba, before crossing from Jordan into Israel on Day 8 to continuing on the Israel itinerary. The new itinerary will also give the group one more day in Wadi Rum (Days 2&3). This will allow the group time to spend in Wadi Rum with our Bedouin hosts and trek through the spectacular desert landscape.

The new itinerary is outlined below:

Day 1 Amman
Day 2 Wadi Rum
Day 3 Wadi Rum
Day 4 Petra
Day 5 Petra
Day 6 Madaba
Day 7 Madaba
Day 8 Jerusalem
Day 9 Jerusalem
Day 10 Jerusalem
Day 11 Jerusalem
Day 12 Nazareth
Day 13 Nazareth
Day 14 Tel Aviv


Start
Cairo, Egypt
Finish
Tel Aviv, Israel
Countries
Egypt, Israel, Jordan
Style
Original
Theme
Explorer
Code
EESRC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why we love this trip

  • This trip has a good balance of sight seeing and cities and beaches and desert.                              

  • Experience the feeling of weighlessness as you float in the super salty Dead Sea.                          

  • Spend the night trying to count the billions of stars or chat with the locals  at our bedouin camp in Wadi Rum.

  • Check out the rock cut tombs and the remains of the ancient city of Petra.   

  • Journey to the village of taybeh to one of the first micro brewery in the Middle East.

  • Take in the amazing views over Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives.

  • Explore vibrant Tel Aviv.        

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip can be enjoyed by just about anyone with a reasonable level of fitness.

  • There is a lot of walking around the sights in Jordan, most with out shade, especially in Petra and Wadi Rum, please bring comfortable shoes and a hat to make the most of your time at the sights  

  • The weather can be quite cool in winter, please bring clothing you can layer.

  • As the days get warmer, temperatures can start to soar. From April to October, to avoid the midday heat, some days start very early (eg at 0500). Please be prepared for this: we try to make things as comfortable for you as possible.

  • The winter months in Israel (December through to February) can be quite cold. Temperatures in northern parts of the country can drop to freezing overnight. Snowfall around these areas is common. You will need to be prepared to travel in varying temperatures over these months.

  • You will need to carry your own bags to and from hotels etc.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2016 to 31 December 2016. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2017 - 31 December 2017

Salaam Aleikum! Welcome to Egypt.
Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.
Wonderfully chaotic and always colourful, Cairo is a fascinating mixture of modern city and ancient wonders.
There are plenty of things to see and do with free time in Cairo. Travel along the river by felucca, head out to explore the markets or If the crowds and the noise of the city are too much, catch the metro into the oldest part of the city, the Coptic Christian sector - with its narrow cobbled streets and ancient churches, it's a haven of peace and quiet.
Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 1:00pm on Day 1.
Please note this trip does spend much time in Cairo. If you would like to see the Pyramids & Sphinx or any of the other sights we recommend arriving a day earlier.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • The Citadel, Cairo - EGP60
  • Cairo - Downtown Cairo Tour - GREE - USD45
  • Cairo - Half Day Pyramids Adventure - GERF - USD67
  • Cairo - Alexandria City Discovery - GREA - USD133
  • Saqqara and Memphis - GREC - USD73
  • Cairo - Treasures and Tut Tour - GREQ - USD65
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today we take a short flight from Cairo to Sharm El Sheikh ( approximately 1hr ). On arrival we will be transferred to our Dahab Beach Hotel where we will spend the next 2 nights.
With a name meaning 'gold' in Arabic, Dahab has transformed from a Bedouin fishing village into a popular tourist town, luring travellers with its excellent diving. Its location between the Sinai Desert and Red Sea makes it ideal for all kinds of adventure activities, while Bedouin influences mean it hasn't lost its authenticity.
Dyarna Hotel is perfectly located just a 5 minute stroll from Dahab town. The hotel has it's own private beach, perfect for snorkelling or diving the coral reef the red sea is renown for, or relax in the swimming pool and pool bar and enjoy the Sinai sun. Beach chairs and sun beds are free for your use. Wireless internet is available and there is a restaurant, coffee shop on site. All rooms are airconditioned with a mini bar, satellite TV and a private balcony or terrace.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today take a trip to the Blue Hole, one of the best snorkelling spots in the Red Sea. It's located about eight kilometres north of Dahab. The 'hole' is around 80 metres wide and vaunts a stunning underwater world of colourful sea plants and fish. Later, simply relax in Dahab and soak up the lovely coastal ambience.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Travel by van to our Red Sea beach camp, close to the town of Nuweiba (approx 2 hrs).
This is a harsh and barren land of sprawling windswept plains and rugged mountains, but it's also home to some fantastic beaches. The tiny settlement of our beach camp is reminiscent of its Sinai neighbours, Dahab and Sharm el-Sheik, before mass tourism arrived. Thankfully the camp is still a hidden gem for Intrepid groups. Set on one of the only stretches of fine golden sand along this coast, this is a place that you'll be raving about to your friends for years to come.
Stay in simple but comfortable beach huts with the water right at our front door. The huts in our camps are made from local palm trees and have two single beds, electricity, linen and mosquito nets. The toilets and showers are in a communal block
The Red Sea coast is justifiably famous for its beautiful scenery, both above and below the water. Why not start the day with a fantastic snorkelling trip to discover this spectacular world.


Later relax on the golden sands watching the mountains of Saudi Arabia light up at sunset, and finish the day chatting with our Bedouin friends over a delicious freshly squeezed fruit juice. Enjoy!
Accommodation
  • Beach hut (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Take a ferry across the Gulf of Aqaba to Jordan (approx 2 hours). Your Egyptian leader will help you board the ferry and say good-bye. Please note that you'll be travelling on this ferry unaccompanied by a group leader. You'll be met at the Aqaba ferry terminal by our local representative who will receive and process visas for the group and arrange a transfer to the hotel where you'll meet your Jordanian leader.

The ferry crossing can be rough on occasions and those who suffer from sea sickness may want to prepare themselves. Please note this ferry crossing sometimes experiences delays and patience is required. This is a fast ferry and sometimes it can be cancelled without notice. For some trips we may be required to take the slow ferry which can take anywhere between 3-5hrs. Due to adverse weather conditions there's a possibility the ferry will be cancelled all together, forcing us to stay an extra night in Egypt. The ferry itself is modern with western-style toilets on board.
Stay in the coastal resort town of Aqaba, the country's only seaport.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Follow in the footsteps of Lawrence of Arabia with a short drive (approx 1 hr) to the extraordinary desert scenery in Wadi Rum.
A 4-hour jeep safari takes us through some of the most beautiful and sublime desert scenery on the planet, a true highlight of this trip.
Wadi Rum is full of weird and beautiful lunar-like rock formations. Traces of ancient civilisations can be seen in the many carved inscriptions found throughout the Wadi Rum area, from pictographs to Thamudic, Nabataean and Arabic texts. The most enduring monuments in Wadi Rum, however, are those carved by nature - the natural rock bridges, towering rose-coloured sand dunes and scattered rocky peaks.
Sleep in a simple desert camp where you'll have the choice of sleeping under a camel hair tent or out under the stars. A mattress and blankets are provided. Please be aware that while the desert may be very hot during the day, it will still be cool at night and warm clothes and a sleeping bag is highly recommended when travelling outside of the summer months. A dinner cooked in a local earthen oven is included. Western-style toilet facilities are available. Conditions are basic at our desert camp, but the company of our Bedouin hosts is warm and you'll treasure the memory of sleeping beneath the twinkling desert night sky.
Accommodation
  • Desert camp (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Wadi Rum Safari entrance and permit
  • 4WD jeep safari and desert camp
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Travel by van from Wadi Rum to Petra (approx 2 hrs).
Hewn out of the rose-coloured rock face, the ancient Nabataean city of Petra is one of the Middle East's most spectacular destinations, and one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.
Visit Petra with a local guide, starting with the exciting walk through the narrow Siq to the Treasury. After admiring the iconic view, continue through the site along the Roman road, past impressive rock-cut tombs, temples and the amphitheatre.
Please note that when entering Petra as a group, a complimentary horse ride is included in the ticket price from the entrance point down to the Siq. Intrepid doesn't recommend that passengers take this option due to the safety and insurance liability involved.
Explore the rest of the site at your own pace. For those with the energy, there's the challenging but highly rewarding walk up the steps to the stunning Monastery (approx 1 hr). Please note a lot of walking is required to see all the sites and viewpoints of Petra. A basic level of fitness will enhance your enjoyment of your visit.
The site remained unknown to the Western world until 1812, when it was discovered by Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, a Swiss explorer. It was once described as 'a rose-red city half as old as time' in a sonnet by John William Burgon and UNESCO has described it as 'one of the most precious cultural properties of man's cultural heritage.' In 1985, Petra was designated a World Heritage site. So you know you are in for an amazing experience here.

It's difficult to determine exactly when the history of Petra began. Evidence suggests the Horites, probably cave-dwellers, inhabited the area, lending their traditional habits such as burying the dead and offering worship in half-excavated caves to the next wave of inhabitants - the Nabataeans.

Evidence of the earliest Nabataean settlement is also sketchy. Some of the characteristics of the site appear partly Egyptian and partly Greek in style. Strangely, few inscriptions have been found at Petra making dating the civilization a real challenge for historians. We do know the Nabataean settlement doesn't go back farther than the 6th century BC.

In 106 AD, Petra was absorbed into the Roman Empire and the native dynasty came to an end but continued to flourish for a century after. Eventually the building of tombs ended and trade moved away from Petra, which fell into steady decline over the centuries. Over time many of the tombs' treasures were stolen by treasure hunters and their glory and whereabouts are unknown.

According to Arab tradition, Petra is the location where Moses struck a rock with his staff and water came forth.
Day 8 is a free day. You may choose to go back to see more of Petra and walk the Siq (road) to Al Khanzneh (The treasury). Or you can go up the stairs to El Dier (The Monastery). Other options include a hike to the Royal tombs or visiting the Byzantine mosaic. Speak to your leader about arranging any of these.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Guided tour of Petra
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today is your free day. You may choose to go back to see more of Petra and walk the Siq (road) to Al Khanzneh (The treasury). Or you can go up the stairs to El Dier (The Monastery). Other options include a hike to the Royal tombs or visiting the Byzantine mosaic. Speak to your leader about arranging any of these.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Travel the King's Highway to the historic crusader castle of Kerak. Take time here to explore the evocative ruins and to discover the legends of the 12th-century battles between the Crusaders and the Muslim armies led by the Arab hero, Saladin (Salah ad-Din).
Travel by van to Madaba, via the Dead Sea and Mt Nebo.
A Dead Sea float is a must for any trip to Jordan. Here at the lowest point on Earth (420 metres below sea level) the water is seven times saltier than a normal ocean at 30% salinity. The Dead Sea is the second saltiest body of water in the world after Lake Asal in Djibouti. When swimming this means you are extremely buoyant and seem to float on top of the water rather than in it.

The mud here is supposed to have healing properties and many visitors like to cover themselves from head to toe for a beauty mud bath. Stop at a private beach with pools and a gentle slope to the water. Towels are available for hire. Don't forget to pack your swimwear for today.
Make a stop at Mt Nebo where the prophet Moses is said to have seen the promised land and is supposedly buried. Explore this sanctuary and view the remarkable mosaics of the 4th-century church.
The historical town of Madaba is famous for its Ottoman-style houses and beautiful Byzantine-era mosaics, including the famous 6th-century mosaic map of Jerusalem and the Holy Land at St George's Church. Other mosaic masterpieces found within the Church of the Virgin and the Apostles and in the Archaeological Museum depict a rampant profusion of flowers and plants, birds and fish, animals and exotic beasts, as well as scenes from mythology and everyday pursuits such as hunting, fishing and farming. If these interest you, you'll be delighted to know that literally hundreds of other mosaics from the 5th to 7th centuries are scattered throughout Madaba's churches and homes.
Madaba is practically a satellite suburb of Amman, but it has a village feel and friendly locals.
Take the opportunity to relax by the pool of our comfortable hotel. There's a poolside restaurant that's yours to enjoy. As it's sometimes difficult for the hotel to identify who are hotel guests and who are restaurant guests, all orders for food and drink are required to be paid for at the time of ordering. As the restaurant is in practice a separate business to the hotel this also applies to room service orders. This is a slightly different system to much of the rest of the Middle East. Any food or drink you wish to bring into the hotel may only be consumed in your hotel room.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Dead Sea
  • Kerak Castle
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today you will be transferred to the Allenby bridge border. You will farewell your Jordan leader at this point. Once you complete the border crossing formalities your Israel leader will be waiting on the other side.

Welcome to Israel and Jerusalem, a city steeped in spirituality and legend; a rich tapestry of the many cultures, religions and nationalities that call it home, be they Muslim Palestinians, Sephardic Jews, Ashkenazi Jews, Armenian Christians, Ethiopian Copts or Greek Orthodox monks. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting  to meet your new grouo and leader at 6pm today 


In the meantime perhaps drop by the Israel Museum and browse its superb collection of art and history. Get a feel for Israel’s hub of holiness this evening while exploring the Old City, taking in the one of the great urban skylines – the serried buildings and ancient ramparts of the Old City, the churches adorning the Mount of Olives and the iconic gold of the Dome of the Rock. Perhaps head up the walled ramparts for impressive panoramas over the surrounding area.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning you begin your tour of Jerusalem with a panoramic view of the city. Drive out to the Mount of Olives that looks over Jerusalem’s Old City and visit the Garden of Gethsemane, most famous as the place where Jesus prayed and his disciples slept the night before Jesus' crucifixion. See the Church of All Nations (also known as the Basilica of the Agony), which holds inside a section of bedrock where Jesus is said to have prayed before his arrest. Drive the short distance out to Bethlehem and visit the Church of the Nativity, marking the spot of the stable where Mary is said to have given birth to Jesus. Return to Jerusalem in the afternoon and enter the Old City via the St. Stephen’s Gate (also known as Lion’s Gate), passing the crusader church of St. Anne and the Pool of Bethesda. Now located in the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem, this pool was mentioned in the Gospel of John and associated with healing. Walk along the ‘Cardo’ in the recently restored Jewish Quarter, which was a road that ran the entire length of the city in Byzantine times. Continue along the Way of the Cross (Via Dolorosa) – the “way of sorrows” which follows Jesus’ path to crucifixion – and stop by the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, built where Jesus is believed to have been crucified, died, buried, and rose again. After a fascinating day, retire to your Jerusalem hotel.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning drive out to the spectacular cliff-top fortress of Masada. On the way, stop at Nabi Musa, a Shrine in the Judean Desert that’s built on what’s thought to be the burial place of Moses. From there, continue on to the 6th century cliff-side Monastery of St. George of Koziba in the desert (Deir El Qelt) and see the massive church built into the mountains. In Masada you will take a cable car to the fortress built by King Herod around 35BC. This UNESCO site is very important to the Jewish people, a symbol of their exile from the Holy Land and of bravery and self-sacrifice. The story goes that here a Jewish sect called the Zealots held out against the Roman army in AD66. Rather than surrender, they either fought to the death or committed suicide, every last man, woman and child. Then, you’d better have brought your swim gear as you can wash of the dust from exploring with a dip like no other. Drive around 30 minutes to the shores of the Dead Sea, the lowest point on Earth (420 metres below sea level). This isn’t actually a sea but a super-salty lake (dead because of the lack of life in it) where the density of the water means you’ll go for a float, not a swim. Spend some time relaxing here and get some classic floating pictures. The mud here is supposed to have healing properties and so why not cover yourself from head to toe for a nutrient-rich natural mineral mud bath. Return to Jerusalem for the evening.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Pay an early morning visit to the holy sites of the Courtyard of the Dome and the Wailing Wall – the remains of the Temple Mount, which acts as an outdoor synagogue, where written prayers are slid into the cracks between stones. Around 10am take a bus out to the village of Taybeh in the West Bank to visit the pioneering microbrewery there and, time permitting, the winery surrounded by olive groves and mountains. The predominantly Christian village of Taybeh sits atop on Mount Asur and is the home of the only Palestinian beer. You’ll enjoy lunch here in town, and then continue to Yad Vashem for a sobering and moving visit to Israel’s memorial to the victims of the Holocaust. The facility includes a research facility, art gallery, education department, archive, and numerous moving memorials. Return to the Jerusalem for the night.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Travel to the western shores of the Sea of Galilee today and Tiberias – established all the way back in AD20. You’ll stop in the Jordan Valley and visit the ancient fishing village of Capernaum – see the ruins of this old town, the site of two ancient synagogues and a church said to have been the home of Saint Peter. You’ll pass by Tabgha – this is where the Bible says Jesus performed the Miracle of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes, one of the only miracles that’s in all the gospels. Then head up to Safad (Tsfat), one of Judaism’s Four Holy Cities. The city, at over 900 metres above sea level, is Israel’s highest city and is known as the centre of Kabbalah, or Jewish mysticism. It’s a beautiful setting, surrounded by pine forest, and has become a haven for both artists and those seeking spiritual enlightenment. You’ll continue on to Nazareth, the hometown of Jesus, for the evening.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Leave early this morning and drive to Acre (approximately 45 minutes), the ancient crusader port. Here you’ll visit the vast complex of buildings occupied by the Knights of St John (Knights Hospitaller), excavated to uncover rooms including a large hall, a dungeon, a dining room and the crypt of an ancient Gothic church. You will also see the secret tunnel of their rivals, the Knights Templar – an underground passage between their fortresses. Continue through Haifa (approximately 20 minutes) where you’ll see the lush and immaculate Bahaii Gardens on Mount Carmel Mountains (a memorial and shrine to the Bahai faith) and look out across the Mediterranean Sea. Walk the stalls of the Druze Saturday market – you can sample Druze ethnic foods, smell the sweet aroma of baklava pastries, and try high quality olive oil, olives, pita bread and locally produced labaneh cheese. On the way back to Nazareth make a stop at the Church of the Annunciation. This is the site of where Mary received the news of the Immaculate Conception, along with the well where she drew water every day. You will overnight in Nazareth.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
After breakfast, journey to Tel Aviv via the coast and Caesarea (approximately 1 hour), which served as the capital of Israel during the Roman and Byzantine eras. This was once a great port town built by King Herod around 25BC, complete with a theatre, amphitheatre, hippodrome, palace, Roman temple and an extensive network of aqueducts, along with an artificial harbour. The city was eventually abandoned and lost under the desert sands, but thanks to archaeological excavations since the 1950s, its splendour is on show once again. Drop by the ancient port city of Jaffa (approximately 1 hour) before arriving in Tel Aviv at around 5pm, where this trip ends on arrival. Please ensure that you allow plenty of time for delays/traffic if you plan on catching a flight on this day.

Tel Aviv is a modern cosmopolitan city, a true 'city that doesn’t stop'. With its lively cafe culture, relaxed Mediterranean beach scene, and renowned nightlife, Tel Aviv is a great place to continue your stay. We can help you book accommodation here (subject to availability). Perhaps gather together you fellow travellers and take advantage of the excellent food and nightlife with a final celebratory dinner or drink as this Israel and Palestine adventure comes to an end.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.

Meals

13 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner

Transport

Ferry, Jeep, Plane, Van

Accommodation

Hotel (13 nights), Beach Hut (1 night), Desert Camp (1 night)

Included Activities

  • Wadi Rum Safari entrance and permit
  • 4WD jeep safari and desert camp
  • Guided tour of Petra
  • Dead Sea
  • Kerak Castle

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. This trip finishes on arrival into Tel Aviv at 5pm on Day 16.
2. A Single Supplement is available on this trip. Please ask your booking agent for more information.

Essential Trip Information

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