Step into an ancient world on a two-week Middle East journey that combines the highlights of Israel and Jordan. Discover life in Jerusalem on a dual-perspective walking tour with Israeli and Palestinian guides, explore some of the best Roman ruins outside of Italy, ride through the desert on a 4x4, and venture into the awe-inspiring ancient city of Petra. Connect with the past as well as the future of this region on this incredible itinerary.
Activity Level: Light
Light walking and hiking suitable for most fitness levels. Nothing too challenging.
Itinerary - 14 Days
DAY 1 JERUSALEM
Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included.
DAY 2 JERUSALEM
Take a specially designed walking tour of the Old City of Jerusalem with both Israeli and Palestinian guides trained by National Geographic Emerging Explorer Aziz Abu Sarah. This unique dual-narrative tour allows travelers a deeper understanding of the diverse cultural, religious and political aspects of Israel. Visit key sites including the Temple Mount, Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa Mosque. Continue to the Western Wall, then walk through the Stations of the Cross to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. This afternoon, visit the Mount of Olives, the Garden of Gethsemane and the Church of All Nations. Later, enjoy a discussion on the current state of affairs with a leading Israeli scholar. Meals included: Breakfast
DAY 3 JERUSALEM
Take a sobering visit to Yad Vashem Memorial to learn about the Holocaust and its ramifications today. In the afternoon, visit the famed Israel Museum. View the Dead Sea Scrolls, housed in the Shrine of the Book, and walk through the museum’s state-of-the-art archeological exhibition.
Meals included: Breakfast
DAY 4 JERUSALEM
Enjoy a second exclusively designed dual-narrative tour of Bethlehem with Israeli and Palestinian guides. Visit Manger Square and the Church of the Nativity. Walk through a nearby Palestinian refugee camp and then head to a local Palestinian family's home for a cooking class and lunch. Later, visit Herodion, a hill fortress built by Herod the Great. Meals included: Breakfast | Lunch
DAY 5 JERUSALEM/TIBERIAS
Start the day with a guided visit to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Masada with stops at Herod’s Palace, the Bathhouse and the Synagogue. Next, visit Qumran, the site where a Bedouin shepherd found the Dead Sea scrolls. After that, it’s off to the Dead Sea for a swim and mud bath before continuing along the Jordan Valley north to the Sea of Galilee, where we’ll stay in a kibbutz hotel for the next two nights. Meals included: Breakfast
DAY 6 TIBERIAS
Visit the Mt. of Beatitudes for gorgeous views of the Sea of Galilee and visit the church that was built atop this hill where Jesus is believed to have delivered his “Sermon on the Mount” speech. Continue to the ruins of Capernaum where Jesus lived and preached, and where many apostles, including Peter, made their home. Learn about the lives of Israeli Arabs on the way to Nazareth where we visit the Basilica of the Annunciation, one of the largest churches in the Middle East. Meals included: Breakfast
DAY 7 TIBERIAS/TEL AVIV
Continue to the Mediterranean, visiting the coastal city of Haifa and then south to Caesarea Maritima to see the ruins of Herod’s harbour city. After, continue toward Jaffa, an ancient port city dating back to the Bronze Age. Continue on to the bustling city of Tel Aviv for our last evening in Isreal.
Meals included: Breakfast
DAY 8 TEL AVIV/AMMAN
Transfer to the border and cross over into Jordan. Transfer to Amman and meet your new CEO. Meals included: Breakfast
DAY 9 AMMAN
Take an orientation drive through Amman and visit the National Museum and archaeological site of the Citadel. Continue on to visit Jerash, one of the largest and most well-preserved Roman ruins outside of Italy. Meals included: Breakfast
DAY 10 AMMAN/WĀDĪ MŪSÁ
Visit the ancient town of Madaba, famous for its mosaics and churches. Continue to Mount Nebo where we are rewarded with stunning views from the summit. In the evening, enjoy a lecture with a local archaeologist to discuss the importance of Petra, and ongoing excavations at this UNESCO World Heritage site. Meals included: Breakfast
DAY 11 WĀDĪ MŪSÁ
Enjoy a guided tour of Petra, a UNESCO World Heritage site, with free time this afternoon to explore on your own. In the evening, enjoy a cooking demonstration and dinner of local specialties. Meals included: Breakfast | Dinner
DAY 12 PETRA/WADI RUM
Continuing to Wadi Rum in the heart of Jordan's desertscape. Enjoy lunch at our lodge and an exciting 4x4 desert excursion. In the evening, take a walk in the desert admiring the night sky with a local Bedouin guide. The guide will teach you the names of the stars and how to use them for desert navigation. Meals included: Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner
DAY 13 WADI RUM/DEAD SEA
Enjoy a visit to the archaeological site of Bethany, thought to be the site where Jesus was baptized. Continue to the Dead Sea with the option to swim and use the natural sea salts and mud as your own personal spa. Meals included: Breakfast | Dinner
DAY 14 DEAD SEA
Depart at any time. Meals included: Breakfast
Pricing starts at $3,800 per person, double occupancy. For a single room add $1,299.
Walking tour of Jerusalem's Old City
Visit the Garden of Gethsemane and the Church of All Nations
Entrance to Yad Vashem (the Holocaust Museum)
Visit the Israel Museum and view the Dead Sea Scrolls
Visit a Palestinian refugee camp
Cooking class in a local home
Visit Herodion and Masada
Explore the Sea of Galilee area including Caesarea and Nazareth
Visit Haifa, Caesarea Maritima and Jaffa
Visit to the Citadel and the National Archaeological Museum
Guided visit to Jerash
Tour the Madaba mosaics
Visit Mount Nebo
Lecture with an archaeologist
Petra guided tour
Cooking demonstration and dinner
Wadi Rum desert 4x4 jeep excursion and night walk with Bedouin guide
Guided visit to Bethany
Interesting articles, helpful tips and photography advice from National Geographic before you depart
All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
Hotels (12 nights), desert lodge (1 night)
13 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 3 dinners (Allow approximately USD $445-580 for meals not included.)
Private van/bus, walking
Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides
Travel Style: National Geographic Journeys
Greater exploration, insider access and the freedom to roam – all without sacrificing comfort.
Trip Type: Small Group
Small group experience; Max 16, Avg 10.
Age Requirement: 12+
All travelers under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
We believe single travelers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travelers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travelers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Please note that this trip is part of a combination of multiple tours. As such, the CEO, staff and/or particular vehicles operating your tour may change between tour segments. You may also expect some group members to join or leave the tour between tour segments.
Depending on the lunar cycle, Ramadan will fall between June 7 and July 7, 2016. Please note that Ramadan is a month of fasting observed by Muslims throughout the world, during which time the followers of Islam should not eat or drink between sunrise and sunset. There may be some limitations to services and disruptions to schedules during Ramadan, but generally our tours still operate effectively during this period and food is available to non-Muslims throughout the day.
Read full tour details.