A twelve days tour of Israel and Jordan is probably the ideal schedule for an in-depth tour to the Holy Land!. It begins with exploring the Galilee and the Golan Heights, continues to the modern and hip city of Tel-Aviv, and then the known and less known gems of Jerusalem. To “wash off” all the Jerusalamite sanctity we descend to the Dead Sea and continue to Eilat. After crossing the border into Jordan, we have an intense tour of Wadi Rum, Petra, Madaba, Jerash, and Mount Nebo, from Where Moses saw the Promised land! This tour will ideally combine all the must do and must see, as well as fun and extreme activities and some great food experiences!
Day 1 – Walk in Caesarea
Welcome to Israel!. Pending on time of arrival, we could visit the ruins of the ancient metropolis Caesarea on our way up north, especially appreciating the Caesarea aqueduct, Caesarea Port, Paul’s Prison in Caesarea (?), Herods Palace in Caesarea, Caesarea Theatre, and more. Driving through the Jezreel Valley and the Galilee, we could also visit the Biblical site of Megiddo and learn on its identification with Apocalypic Armageddon.
Day 2 – The Beauties of the Golan Heights
Crossing the Jordan River, today we ascend to the top of the Golan Heights. At Mt. Bental we view into Syria and review the conflict between Israel and Syria, as well as the ongoing civilian war in Syria. Next we join a local ATV tour by the border, possibly climb on some tanks at the 7th Brigade Tank Monument, and after lunch we visit ‘Golan Magic’ Visitor Center.
We end with a visit and an optional hike to Gamla, “The Masada of the North”, where the Jews were also defeted by the Imperial Roman forces some 2000 years ago. Pending on time and will we can also visit a local winery, or a Chocolate worskshop (De Karina Chocolatiere).
Day 3 – Exploring the Galilee
This day is devoted to sites in the Galilee and around the Sea of Galilee. We start with a visit to Capernaum, “Hometown of Jesus” according to the New Testament. Today Capernaum is an impressive archaeolical site that bears, among others, the biggest synagogue ever found in Israel.
Nearby we visit Magdala, a site that also combines significant Jewish and Christian history, and next we head up to Nazareth, where we have a nice local lunch, and then review the finds at Roman era Sepphoris. On the way back, if time permits, we could also visit Cana.
Day 4 – Touring Akko and Haifa
Heading west we devote the morning to the significant mediavel city of Akko. Former Capital of the Crusaders, Akko presents an impressive complex of the Hospitallers (the “Knights Halls”) as well as an authentic local Arab Market.
From Akko we could have a Boat ride around its walls, or sail to Haifa, where we can appreciate the Bahai Gardens in Haifa. If time and will permits, we could also visit Atlit Detainee Camp, and\or view Atlit Crusaders Fortress.
Day 5 – Be a Tel-Avivian!
We will end with a drive to Rabin Assassination site, and asses the current geo-politics of Israel and its surroundings.
Day 6 – Discovering “Samson Land”
Heading out of Tel-Aviv we could appreciate some quite a few sites on our way to Jerusalem: the Palmach Museum, the Secret Bullet Factory (“Machon Ayalon”), a drive along the “Burma Road”, Battle site of David and Goliath, Beth Shemesh, or crawl in Bar Kokhba caves.
After a lunch break we could visit the prolific David Gerstein Studio, and/or visit one the many local wineries in the region.
Day 7 – Jerusalem Unveiled
If you have an interest to visit and contribute to the City of David archaeological project (The Ir David organization), we will have a special VIP tour of the site, and continue into the Old City where we will visit the Western wall, and possibly have a private tour of the Western Wall tunnels. After a lunch break we continue into the Christian Quarter and walk along parts of the Via Dolorosa to visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Day 8 – Float on the Dead Sea
Heading to the lowest dry place in the world, after we might wand to make a stop at the Sea level sign for a Camel Ride. Next we will pass by Jericho and the Baptism site (qasr el-Yahud) and view the caves where the famousDead Sea Scrolls were found (Qumran).
Next we will pass by the oassis of Ein Gedi, and possibly spot some local Ibex. The main focus will be on the mgnificant site of Masada, famed for its dramatic and trajic history. After appreciating the site we head to the for a lunch and a swim at the Dead Sea, and then head to Eilat (2.5 hours drive), passing by Lot’s Wife Pillar on the way. If time and will permits we could stop Hazeva or Vidor Center.
Day 9 – Off-Road in Wadi Rum
The Morning can be used for an experience of Scuba Diving at the Red Sea. Eventually we cross into Jordan, visit Aqaba, and to Wadi Rum for a Bedouin traditional Lunch experience, followed by a Jeep Tour, or an ATV tour in Wadi Rum.
Upon reaching Wadi Musa, we check in, have dinner, and later participate in the Petra Night Tour.
Day 10 – Discover Petra
In the evening we reach Ma’in Hot Springs, where we can go for a night dip in a waterfall from a natural thermal spring (!)
Overnight: Ma’in Hot Springs
Day 11 – Follow Moses at Mt. Nebo
The morning will be devoted to exploring some of the fantastic mosaics found in Madaba and especially the famous Madaba Map. Later we continue to Mount Nebo, and view the “Promised Land” from the presumed place where Moses died and was buried.
We end the day with visiting the site where John the Baptist was beheaded – Machaerus.
Day 12 – Fantasric Jerash
We end heading to Amman intl. airpot for departure.