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 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.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Amman, Jordan
Finish
Tel Aviv, Israel
Countries
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 weightlessness 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.   

  • Discover the sights, sounds and tastes of Jerusalem's Old City.

  • Hear the personal stories behind some of Bethlehem's graffiti walls.

  • Take a cable car to view the incredible caves of Rosh Hanikra.

  • Finish your adventure in 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.

  • Sites can get congested during peak travel periods with coaches of large pilgrim groups. We do our best to plan our visits around these times but sometimes it is unavoidable. There may be delays, queue's and private services that prevent us from entering the site. Your trip leader will manage this as best as they can on the day.

  • 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, especially over these months.

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

  • These are by no means 'cheap' destination and you should budget accordingly. The good news is that you have expert local leaders to help uncover the best deals!

  • Known as 'baksheesh' in the Middle East, tipping is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry. If you are satisfied with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate and always appreciated. While it may not be customary to you, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. Don’t be taken back if this tipping culture is even more apparent in Israel.

Itinerary

Ahlan Wa Sahlan! Welcome to Jordan, cosmopolitan and contemporary, yet steeped in biblical history. Your adventure begins with a Welcome Meeting at 6pm on Day 1. 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 have these on hand. As there's not much time spent in Amman on this itinerary, it's worth arriving a day or two early to explore the sights. If you do then the highlights are the citadel with its amazing sweeping views of Amman, the Jordan Museum – home to the Dead Sea Scrolls – or the Roman Theatre, right in the middle of downtown Amman. Either way, this evening get out on to the streets, where you’ll soon hear “Welcome to Jordan” from the locals, and maybe pick up a coffee from one of the cafés and partner it with an ara’yes, a toastie filled with spicy mincemeat.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Amman - King Abullah Mosque - JOD2
  • Amman - Roman Theatre Entrance - JOD2
  • Amman - Citadel - JOD3
  • Amman - Bethany Baptism site - JOD12
  • Amman - Jordan Museum - JOD5
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Follow in the footsteps of Lawrence of Arabia with a journey to the extraordinary desert scenery of Wadi Rum, a rugged moonscape of huge sandstone mountains (approximately 5 hours). A 4-hour jeep safari will take you 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, and traces of ancient civilisations can be seen in the many carved inscriptions found throughout the area, from pictographs to Thamudic, Nabataean and Arabic texts. The most enduring monuments in Wadi Rum are those carved by nature – the natural rock bridges, towering rose-coloured sand dunes and scattered rocky peaks. Tonight you’ll sleep in a simple desert camp, with the choice of sleeping under a camel hair tent or out under the stars. Enjoy a delicious dinner cooked in an earthen oven by your Bedouin hosts. Conditions are basic at the desert camp, but the hospitality of your hosts is legendary and you'll treasure the memory of sleeping beneath the twinkling desert night sky.

Notes: 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 are highly recommended when travelling outside of the summer months. Western-style toilet facilities are available, however there is no hot water showers.
Accommodation
  • Desert camp (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Wadi Rum - 4WD jeep safari and desert camp
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
After waking up in the unique surrounds of the Bedouin camp this morning, you will enjoy a trek around the area (approximately 12 to 15 kilometres), with a stop for tea and a lunch break. You might scale one of the large sand dunes for sensational views of the surrounding area. This is the perfect chance to snap some unbelievable pictures. Wadi Rum is a truly beautiful place, where great gouts of rock on a carpet of bright red sand have been eroded into fantastical gnarled shapes. Explore the distinctive rock formations and soak in the vast silence of this lunar-like landscape. Wadi Rum is probably best known for its connection with the enigmatic British officer T.E. Lawrence, who was based here during the Great Arab Revolt of 1917-18. You’ll get to spend another memorable night in the desert camp with your new Bedouin friends. Meaning ‘Desert Dwellers’ in Arabic, the Bedouins are a semi-nomadic people, and in Jordan up to 40 per cent of the general population is though to have Bedouin ancestry. This might explain the legendary hospitality of the Jordanians – in traditional Bedouin culture, a huge onus is placed on taking in and feeding any visitor, and so you’ll enjoy brilliant hospitality while you’re here in this incredible place.

Notes: Please make sure you have appropriate, sturdy, comfortable footwear for this trek.
Accommodation
  • Desert camp (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Wadi Rum - Guided trek
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
This morning you'll leave your desert camp, taking 4WDs to the main entrance, which is opposite the Seven Pillars of Wisdom, the mountain named after Lawrence of Arabia’s book. The visitor's centre here is also a great spot to buy some jewellery and handicrafts, mostly made by a women's co-operative that is aimed at supporting traditional local industries. You will then continue your journey to the fabled city of Petra (approximately 2 hours) by private van. On arrival there is time in the afternoon to check out the town that has grown up around the site.

Petra is justifiably on most people’s list of ‘must-visit’ places. It's the jewel of Jordan, the lost city of the biblical Nabateans, an impressive series of tombs and dwellings hidden behind ornate façades carved directly into the rock, and one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. Dating back to the 6th century BC, the site was lost to Western minds until it was rediscovered in 1812 by a Swiss explorer – he dressed up like a local to sneak in and then revealed the secret to everyone. Thankfully he did though because this isn’t something you’d want to miss. Squeeze through a mile long narrow path, known as the Siq, through huge towers of rock and get your first glimpse of the iconic Treasury – it’s impossible not to imagine the armies and traders who made their way down here in the ancient times. It’s amazing to think that this awesome, intricate building entrance was hand carved out of the rock. The site is surprisingly big, and you can explore the old Roman road, temples and several old tombs, as well as the rock-hewn amphitheatre. In the afternoon, you have the opportunity to 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 (approximately 1 hour). Seek out a Turkish bath for the perfect end to an incredible day.

Notes: One day's entrance fee to Petra is included. 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 you take this option due to the safety and insurance liability involved. 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.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Petra - Guided tour of Petra ( Including 1 day pass ).
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today is your day to either return to Petra and continue exploring or consider checking out the town.
Perhaps a visit to a turkish bath to relax.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Petra - Second day entrance (no guide)
Optional Activities
  • Petra - Petra By Night tour - JOD17
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Travel the King's Highway to the historic crusader castle of Kerak, which stands on a cliff commandingly overlooking Wadi Karak and the Dead Sea in the distance (approximately 2.5 hours). You’ll have time to explore the evocative ruins and discover the legends of the 12th-century battles between the Crusaders and the Muslim armies led by the Arab hero, Saladin. Pack your swim gear as next you can wash off the dust from exploring with a dip like no other. Drive 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, so why not cover yourself from head to toe for a nutrient-rich natural mineral mud bath. Towels are available for hire. Continue to Mt Nebo, the spot where the prophet Moses is said to have seen the ‘promised land’ and where he’s supposedly buried. Explore this sanctuary and view the remarkable mosaics of the 4th century church. 30 minutes down the road is the historical town of Madaba, 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 churches and the Archaeological Museum depict a rampant profusion of flora and fauna, as well as scenes from mythology and daily life. Literally hundreds of other mosaics from the 5th to 7th centuries are scattered throughout Madaba’s churches and homes.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kerak - Kerak Castle
  • Mt Nebo - Mt Nebo visit
  • Dead Sea - Dead Sea visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today you will leave Madaba for a short drive north (approximately 75 minutes) to Jerash, once one of the grandest ancient Roman cities in the world. These are some of the best preserved Greco-Roman ruins around. The city thrived due to its position on the route of the spice and incenses trade, and it reached its zenith as a favourite of the emperor Hadrian around AD 130. The ancient walled town that survives today is a remarkable evocation of life 2,000 years ago. It has a striking collection of archways and theatres, baths, public buildings and colonnaded streets, and is a beautiful place to spend a day exploring. Discover Hadrian’s arch, the partially restored hippodrome, ornate public fountains, the south amphitheatre, and see the collection of daily artefacts uncovered during excavations. Grand ionic columns encircle the city's centrepiece, the Oval Plaza, a wonderfully atmospheric place to linger after uncovering Jerash's riches. After a full day of exploring, transfer back to Madaba for your final night. Maybe gather your travel buddies together and share a celebratory shisha as this Jordan exploration comes to an end.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Jerash - Roman ruins
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
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 Palestinian Muslims & Christians, Sephardic Jews, Ashkenazi Jews, Armenian Christians, Ethiopian Copts or Greek Orthodox monks. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it’ll take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, maybe 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 have these on hand. In you arrive with some free time, 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)
Optional Activities
  • Jerusalem - Old City Ramparts - USD5
  • Jerusalem - Israel Museum - USD12
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
We will explore the Old City this morning on foot. We will start with 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. Then continue along the Via Dolorosa starting at St. Stephen’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. 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. Sip tea, sample fresh local bread and then walk through the Christian Quarter up to Jaffa Gate for a lunch break.

That afternoon, get another perspective on modern day life in Jerusalem with a local Israeli guide. Your walking tour of West Jerusalem will see you stroll through Yemin Moshe; a historic neighborhood of old stone buildings built in response to overcrowding within the Old City. Check out the colourful, artistic hub of ‘Hamiffal’ (The Factory ). This abandoned old building was turned into a public art space by a local artists co-operative. While here you'll learn about the artists in residence program. Move on to the Muslim Graveyard, Mamilla Pool, The Burial Caves of Independence Park, and then a quick brief on the city center.
The tour will finish up at Agripas Street, at the entrance of the Machane Yehuda Market. We recommend grabbing a beer in one of the many laneway bars to watch the market come to life in the evening, or go for a wander to check out the amazing graffiti popping up on shop shutters.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Jerusalem - Guided tour of Old City
  • West Jerusalem Walking Tour with Israeli guide
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
The Dome of the Rock/Al-Aqsa Mosque is open from 7:30-10:30am Sundays through Thursdays, and again for an hour in the afternoon. In order to beat tourist traffic, our guides usually like to go there first thing in the morning.
The Western Wall area is open everyday. However please note that on Friday evenings and Saturdays, tourists are not allowed to take any photos.
Start the day off 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 take a Graffiti walking tour along the wall. Graffiti has filled the walls in Bethlehem by many artists over the years, including British Artist; Banksy. Hear the personal stories behind some of the more prominent pieces. The tour takes you past one of the largest refugee camps in the West Bank and previous conflict hot spots. Continue on to Manger square to sample Bethlehem's famous Falafel. Then visit the Church of the Nativity, marking the spot of the stable where Mary is said to have given birth to Jesus.

Head back to Jerusalem and visit 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.

After a fascinating day, retire to your Jerusalem hotel.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Bethlehem - Church of the Nativity & Shepherds' Field
  • Bethlehem - Grafitti Walking Tour
  • Jewish Holocaust Memorial and Israeli Museum
  • Jerusalem - Mount of Olives
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
While some travellers would like more time at this site, others would prefer less. Our local leaders are not permitted to guide in this museum so this visit remains unguided. However you are free to spend as much or as little time as you would like at the Museum and make your own way back to the hotel.
This morning drive out to the spectacular cliff-top fortress of Masada. On the way we stop at 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)
Included Activities
  • Dead Sea - Dead Sea visit
  • Masada - Masada visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Travel to the western shores of the Sea of Galilee today and Tiberias – established all the way back in AD20. Swing by Hisham’s Palace in Jericho on the way. The old hunting lodge has one of the most beautiful and elaborately decorated mosaic floors in the world.
Continue on via 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.

Here we have the unique opportunity stay in a simple but beautiful convent established by nuns who arrived from France in the mid 19th century.


Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Tiberias - Sea of Galilee visit
  • Jericho - Hisham's Palace
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Leave early this morning and drive to the ancient crusader port of Acre (Akko in Hebrew) approximately 45 minutes. 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 on to Rosh Hanikra where we take a cable car up the cliff face to view the spectacular grottoes. These incredible caves are located at the farthest point north on Israel’s Mediterranean coastline, on the border of Lebanon where the sea meets the cliffs.
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)
Included Activities
  • Akko - Templar's Tunnel visit
  • Rosh Hanikra - Cable Car & Grottoes
  • Nazareth - Church of Annuniciation - Mary's Well
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
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.
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.
Drop by the ancient port city of Jaffa (approximately 1 hour) before arriving in Tel Aviv, where this trip ends on arrival at around 4pm.
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.
Included Activities
  • Caesarea - Roman Amphitheatre & Aqueduct
  • Haifa - Baha'i Gardens
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Due to strict security measures, we recommend that you allow 3 hours minimum to get through airport security before your flight departure.

Meals

12 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners

Transport

Jeep, Van

Accommodation

Hotel (12 nights), Desert Camp (2 night)

Included activities

  • Wadi Rum - 4WD jeep safari and desert camp
  • Wadi Rum - Guided trek
  • Petra - Guided tour of Petra ( Including 1 day pass ).
  • Petra - Second day entrance (no guide)
  • Kerak - Kerak Castle
  • Mt Nebo - Mt Nebo visit
  • Dead Sea - Dead Sea visit
  • Jerash - Roman ruins
  • Jerusalem - Guided tour of Old City
  • West Jerusalem Walking Tour with Israeli guide
  • Bethlehem - Church of the Nativity & Shepherds' Field
  • Bethlehem - Grafitti Walking Tour
  • Jewish Holocaust Memorial and Israeli Museum
  • Jerusalem - Mount of Olives
  • Masada - Masada visit
  • Tiberias - Sea of Galilee visit
  • Jericho - Hisham's Palace
  • Akko - Templar's Tunnel visit
  • Rosh Hanikra - Cable Car & Grottoes
  • Nazareth - Church of Annuniciation - Mary's Well
  • Caesarea - Roman Amphitheatre & Aqueduct
  • Haifa - Baha'i Gardens

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. A single supplement is available on this trip. The Single Supplement is not available: Days 2 & 3 Wadi Rum camp

2. This trip finishes on arrival into Tel Aviv at 5pm on Day 14. Please ensure that you allow plenty of time for delays/traffic if you plan on catching a flight on this day.

3. Following recent safety incidents we recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest information on travelling in Israel (particularly within the West Bank) before your departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas of your itinerary. We have links to prominent government travel advisories and regular updates on issues affecting this trip on our Travel Alerts page - www.intrepidtravel.com/au/travel-alerts

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

Reviews

Our Explore Jordan, Israel & the Palestinian Territories trips score an average of 4.6 out of 5 based on 5 reviews in the last year.

Explore Jordan, Israel & the Palestinian Territories , October 2017

Valerie Sutton

Explore Jordan, Israel & the Palestinian Territories , September 2017

Kelly Young