Best of Middle East Israel / Jordan / Egypt 13 Days / 12 Nights
Israel 4 Nights Israel
Day 1 Arrival at either of the following: Ben Gurion airport, Sheik Hussein Border or Allenby Border crossing. Our VIP representative will meet you and assist you through formalities and following which you will be escorted to the arrival hall to meet guide/driver for the transfer to your hotel in Jerusalem. Time permitting if arrival is early enough, upon entering the Golden City of Jerusalem we stop for a panoramic view from the Armon Haneziv “Haas” Promenade. You are rewarded with fantastic view of the entire Jerusalem landscape including the sparkling Old City and surrounding walls. (Upon receiving exact arrival details other sightseeing can be customizable upon request). Check in to your hotel Overnight: King David Hotel Jerusalem
Day 2 Breakfast in the hotel 8:30AM Meet your guide in the lobby Today is a day to explore the city that is home to 3 great religions. Begin the day with the short drive up to the Mount of Olives for a panoramic view of the city. Proceed to Mount Zion to visit the traditional tomb of King David and the Room of the Last Supper. Visit the Western Wall and the Southern Wall excavations (subject to availability) or Rabbinical Tunnels – upon request (subject to availability). Continue to the Broad Wall and the Cardo, the shopping street of Jerusalem 2000 years ago. Enjoy the view of the Dome of the Rock (Islam’s 3rd holiest site). Follow the Via Dolorosa through the narrow lanes of the Old City to the Church of the Holy Sephulchre. No visit to the Old City would be complete without testing your negotiating skills in the old marketplace. If you leave the old city through the Jaffa Gate, don’t forget to pay your respects in front of the two almost forgotten tombs – those of the architects of the Old City Walls who were killed by the Ottoman Sultan Suliman the Magnificent in 1538 (as they were the only people that knew all of the “secrets of the wall.”). Overnight: King David Hotel Jerusalem
Day 3 Breakfast in the hotel Meet your guide in the lobby Option A: An exciting day awaits you as we leave Jerusalem, driving through the Judean desert towards the shores of the Dead Sea. Drive to Mount Scopus, passing by the campus of Hebrew University. Proceed through the new underground tunnel through the Judean desert eastwards. Enjoy the amazing view of the Biblical mountains of Moab until you reach the shores of the Sea. First stop will be the caves of Qumran, where back in 1948 a Bedouin boy herding his sheep discovered the Dead Sea Scrolls. From here we continue to Masada, the last stronghold in the zealots’ battle against the Roman Empire. Ascend to the top via the new cable car. After a tour of this mountaintop fortress, we proceed to one of the hotel beach resorts on the Dead Sea for a delicious buffet lunch and time for swimming in the world famous rejuvenating waters, towels and lockers are provided (excluding spa treatments – advanced reservation is required). Return to the hotel for overnight. Overnight: King David Hotel Jerusalem Option B: (Don’t forget your passports) Drive to Ein Karem - a picturesque village near Jerusalem, located in the hills next to a little spring. Though a small Judean village, the area is important to Christian visitors as this is the birthplace of John the Baptist. 5th century Christians erected a church above a grotto believed to be John’s home and rebuilt by the Crusaders. Continue to the Israel Museum - largest cultural institution in the State of Israel and is ranked amongst the leading art and archaeology museums worldwide. The museum opened in 1965, and has the most extensive holdings of biblical and Holy Land archaeology in the world. The Dead Sea Scrolls – the oldest biblical manuscripts in the world are housed in the Shrine of the Book in the grounds of the Israel Museum, also stop and see the model of the Second Temple. Only a short drive south of Jerusalem, the town of Bethlehem has a glorious history. It is the birthplace of Jesus Christ, birthplace of King David and the site of Rachel’s Tomb. Your Israeli guide will drive to the check point. After passing formalities you will meet your Palestinian driver who will guide you inside Bethlehem. Your visit to the Church of the Nativity begins as you enter through the Door of Humility, a small rectangular entrance to the church that was created in Ottoman times to prevent carts being driven in by looters, and to force even the most important visitor to dismount from his horse as he entered the holy place. The Grotto of the Nativity, a rectangular cavern beneath the church, is the Church of the Nativity's focal point. Entered by a flight of steps by the church altar, this is the cave that has been honored as the site of Christ's birth since at least the 2nd century. A silver star in the floor marks the very spot where Christ is believed to have been born. The star's Latin inscription reads, "Here of the Virgin Mary Jesus Christ was born 1717." The floor is paved in marble, and 15 lamps hang above the star (six belong to the Greeks, five to the Armenians and four to the Latins). After visiting the Church of the Nativity, proceed to the Shepherds Fields located near the Christian village of Beit Sahour. These fields have been identified since ancient times with the shepherds who saw the Star of Nativity. There are two rival locations for the exact site, one run by the Greek Orthodox and the other by the Franciscans. Both sites
have been excavated, and there have been churches and monasteries on both sites since the 4th century or earlier. Before leaving Bethlehem a short mandatory stop at a nice souvenir shop (clean and respectable – clients are not required to purchase anything!). Exit via the check point and meet your Israeli guide. Return to your hotel for overnight. Overnight: King David Hotel Jerusalem
Day 4 Breakfast in the hotel Meet your guide in the lobby Drive to Jaffa. Visit the artists’ quarter and Jaffa’s ancient flea market. Jaffa (founded by the Canaanites in 18 th century B.C.) has been historically important largely because of its port that dates back over 4000 years. The biblical account mentions that the cedars from Lebanon for the construction Solomon’s Temple came in via Jaffa to Jerusalem. Jonah departed from this city in his flight from God and was engulfed by a whale. Simon the Tanner lived in Jaffa, and it was here that the apostle Peter performed a miracle. Jaffa is a major tourist attraction with an exciting combination of old, new and restored. Pass by Jaffa’s recently renovated Turkish governor’s offices ( the Seraya Building). Proceed to the area of the old Turkish train station, now called “HaTachana” (the station). Built in 1892 as the final stop of the Jerusalem-Jaffa railroad line, the station has been renovated into a stylish complex that houses boutiques, restaurants in addition to many other community events .An old railcar sits on train tracks in front of the station's original building, greeting visitors as they walk into HaTachana. It's a fun tribute to what used to be and shows how Tel Aviv embraces its past while moving forward and evolving as a modern city. Proceed to Neve Tsedek (Oasis of Justice), Tel Aviv’s first neighborhood outside of Jaffa. South of the Yemenite Quarter, Neve Tzedek was the first neighborhood built in the “new” city of Tel Aviv, back in 1887. At the beginning of the 20th century Neve Tzedek was the home of many artists and writers, such as Brenner and Agnon (a Nobel Prize winning author). The 1980’s and 1990’s saw Neve Tsedek recapture its former prestige, and has since become a stylish yuppie residence with plenty of restaurants, galleries and designer shops. The architecture of Neve Tzedek is definitely one of the highlights in the area. Beautiful old houses restored to grandeur by modern architects and designers. On to Rothschild Blvd where there are over 5000 Bauhaus buildings, the largest number in any one city in the world; a fact that led UNESCO to recognize it as a “World Heritage Site." Tel Aviv is also known as, "The white city", named so in account of the bright colors of the building style: white, off-white, light yellow. On to Rabin Square, the large public square in front of Tel Aviv’s city hall, where, in November 1995 Prime Minister Rabin was assassinated. Return to Jerusalem for overnight. Overnight: King David Hotel Jerusalem
Day 5 Breakfast in the hotel Check out of the hotel until 12:00PM. Meet your driver in the lobby Departure transfer to Ben Gurion airport, Sheik Hussein Border or Allenby Border crossing.
Our VIP representative will meet and assist you with the formalities. If transferring to Jordan via Allenby Bridge (not a re-entry) Jordanian Visa must be pre stamped from country of origin) FLIGHT
Jordan 4 Nights Jordan Upon arrival to Amman Airport, meet & assist by Travel Plus Rep and finish arrival procedures, then drive to Amman Hotel for check in & overnight. Amman Hotel, (Breakfast, Dinner)
Day 6: Amman hotel / Amman City Tour (Royal Automobile Museum) / Jarash (RACE Show) / Amman hotel Breakfast at Hotel: Amman, the modem and ancient capital of Jordan, known in history as Rabat - Amman and in Greco - Roman times as Philadelphia. No more than four hours drive from anywhere in the country, Amman is a convenient base for any tour within the Kingdom. Your hosts, the Jordanians, are wonderfully gracious and welcoming and most will surprise you with their excellent English. The city is crowned by the Citadel, a hill with the ruins of the Temple of Hercules, and a museum with artifacts dating back to the earliest settlement in the region some 700,000 years ago. At the foot of the Citadel lies the 5,000 seats Roman Theater.
Royal Automobile Musuem: The Royal Automobile Museum sits atop the King Hussein Public Park and is home to a collection of cars and motorcycles owned by HM King Hussein, God rest his soul. However do remember this is a museum and not a car show, in other words the place has much to offer by way of history. The museum uses the cars to tell fragments of the history of modern Jordan. Some of the cars and the photos that act as their background date back to the Great Arab Revolt.
Transfer to the ancient city of Jerash, it is remarkable for its long chain of human occupation. Here at well -watered in the hills of Gilead, Roman, Byzantine, Umayyad and others. Jerash’s golden age, however, arrived with Roman rule. Today it is acknowledged as one of the best-preserved province cities of Roman Empire
RACE Show in Jarash: The magnificently preserved Roman City of Gerasa located about fifty minutes drive north from Amman is the exciting backdrop to a colorful demonstration of Roman military capability, gladiator fights and that most Roman of all sports, chariot racing. At Jerash, the newly restored hippodrome, Circus Gerasa, with its original stone seating and Caceres (starting gates) provides an ideal arena for a thrilling spectacle such as the citizens of the Roman Empire would have been able to see some twenty centuries ago. Back to Amman Hotel, (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 07: Amman hotel / Madaba / Mount Nebo / Karak / Petra hotel Breakfast at Hotel: The trip south of Amman along the 5,000 years old King’s Highway is one of the most memorable journeys in the Holy Land, passing through a string of ancient sites. The first city along the way from the north is Madaba, " the City of Mosaics" which has been intermittently inhabited for nearly 3,500 years. The chief attraction in this city is a wonderfully vivid, six-century Byzantine mosaic map showing Jerusalem and other holy sites; there are also literally hundreds of other mosaics scattered throughout Madaba's churches and homes. Ten minutes to the west is Mount Nebo, the memorial of Moses, and the presumed site of the prophet's death and burial place. From a platform in front of the church one can enjoy a breathtaking view across the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea.
Proceed to Kerak: The locality of al-Kerak, now the site of a flourishing town, is known for the imposing fort erected in the first half of the 12th century by the Crusaders, and which was then conquered by the Arabs. It was then enlarged in AD 1263. This spectacular fortress is located at an altitude of 1000 meters, in a dominating position where the ancient capital of the Moabite kingdom (cited in the Bible) had once stood. Petra Hotel, (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 08: Petra hotel / Petra Visit / Dead Sea hotel Breakfast at Hotel: Start Petra visit, Jordan abounds in archaeological riches, from Neolithic ruins to the desert castles of Umayyad Princes. Chief among these national treasures is the soul stirring, rose - red city of Petra, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Petra is the legacy of the Nabateans, an industrious Arab people who settled in south Jordan more than 2000 years ago. Much of Petra's appeal comes from its spectacular setting deep inside a narrow desert gorge. From the main entrance, the visitor travels on foot through the awesome "SIQ", an immense crack in the sandstone that winds for one kilometer between overhanging cliffs. Petra's most famous monument, the Treasury, appears dramatically at the end of the Siq and various walks and climbs reveal literally hundreds of buildings, facades, tombs, baths, funerary halls, temples and a 3000 seat theater from the 1st Century AD.
Transfer to Dead Sea Hotel, (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner) 09: Departure to Amman Airport Transfer to Amman Airport, meet & assist by Travel Plus Rep @ airport and finish
FLIGHT TO CAIRO
Egypt 4 Nights Egypt
Arrival Cairo International Airport, meeting, assistance through passport and customs formalities then you will go to Four Seasons Nile Plaza for check-in & Overnight.
Day 10 A.m.
Buffet breakfast. Meeting at the hotel lobby to explore desert antiquities dating from the beginnings of a civilization that arose more than 5,000 years ago. In the company of our Egyptologist specialist guide, we venture through the countryside to visit some of Egypt's oldest sights. We first go to the Pyramids of Giza. Nothing evokes the long and intriguing history of Egypt as powerfully as the pyramids. Rising from the desert, Khufu (Cheops), Khafra and Menkaura seem to symbolize the enigmatic tug of Egypt in our imaginations. The Great Pyramid of Cheops immortalizes the son of Sneferu and Hetepheres. Though little is known of this pharaoh, his monument, the largest of the three, is comprised of 2.3 million stone blocks, each weighing an average of 2.5 tons.We shall also visit the colossal statue of the Great Sphinx, which has stood guard over the pyramids for more than 4,500 years. Carved from an outcrop of rock, the Sphinx remains the ultimate symbol of Ancient Egypt with its lion’s body and human head. The history and the life style of ancient Egyptian pharaohs come alive before our eyes through the skilled narrations of our specialist guide as well as we will visit the Solar boat Museum In 1950, Kamal el-Mallakh an architect and archaeologist, was working as an Antiquities Inspector at Giza, when he first noticed a thin line of mortar which delineated the edge of a pair of long narrow pits, end to end, on the south side of
the Great Pyramid of Khufu. At the time the area was being cleared for a tourist road and when the men dug further they uncovered 41 huge slabs of limestone in the eastern pit (the western one contained 40 slabs) and a mason's mark with a cartouche of Djedefre, Khufu's successor. The stonework was at first thought to be of little interest and it took Kamal el-Mallakh four years to persuade his superiors that the slabs should be further investigated. On May 26 1954, the team began to dig and eventually Mr el-Mallakh was lowered into a hole in one of the blocks. His first sensation was the sweet smell of cedarwood and a great sense of fulfilment - then with the use of a torch and a mirror he caught sight of the large oar of a full-sized dismantled boat. The pit had been airtight and the boat seemed to be in a remarkable state of preservation, arranged in thirteen neatly piled layers, complete with ropes for rigging and pieces of matting.
Then to the Museum of Antiquities in Cairo. The museum houses the greatest collection of pharaonic treasures in the world. Our guide will show us the highlights of these artifacts, including the Tutankhamen Collection of golden treasures and acquaint us with the museum’s expansive collections & the remains of ancient Egyptians. We continue the visit with cultural landmarks that span three millennium of Egyptian history.
Lunch will be served during tour.
Back to your hotel & overnight.
Day 11 A.m.
Breakfast , check out , luggage down. Meeting at the lobby of the hotel then you will go to Cairo domestic airport for your flight to Luxor. Flight to Luxor. Arrival Luxor airport then you will go to your hotel for check in . Meeting at the lobby of the hotel then you will join your guide & go to visit
Luxor Temple stands in the center of the town of Luxor. It was built mainly by Amenophis III in the 18th Dynasty to demonstrate the power of this New Kingdom pharaoh. The Luxor Temple was dedicated to Amun, the God of Thebes, his wife Mut and their son Khonsu (the Moon God). One of the two obelisks which originally stood in front of the Temple is now in the Place de la Concorde in Paris; a gift from the Egyptians, in 1836. Karnak Temple is a complex of temples, obelisks, pylons, courts, colonnades, halls, reliefs and sanctuaries. The most famous part is the Hypostyle Hall which contains 134 columns. Karnak was the center of worship of the Sun God Amun.
Then to The Valley of the Kings is a valley in Egypt where for a period of nearly 500 years from the 16th to 11th century BC, tombs were constructed for the kings and powerful nobles of the New Kingdom (the Eighteenth through Twentieth Dynasties of Ancient Egypt). The valley stands on the west bank of the Nile, across from Thebes (modern Luxor), within the heart of the Theban Necropolis. The wadi consists of two valleys, East Valley (where the majority of the royal tombs situated) and West Valley. The area has been a focus of concentrated archaeological and egyptological exploration since the end of the eighteenth century, and its tombs and burials continue to stimulate research and interest. In modern times the valley has become famous for the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun (with its rumours of the Curse of the Pharaohs), and is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. In 1979, it became a World Heritage Site, along with the rest of the Theban Necropolis. The Valley was used for primary burials from approximately 1539 BC to 1075 BC, and contains some 60 tombs, starting with Thutmose I and ending with Ramesses X or XI.
The Valley of the Queens is where, not only the wives of the Pharaohs were buried. In ancient times, it was known as Ta-Set-Neferu, meaning, the place of the Children of the Pharaoh, because along with the Queens of the 18th, 19th and 20th dynasties, many princes and princesses were also buried along with a few members of the nobility. Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir El-Bahari considered by many to be the finest building ofantiquity in Egypt and certainly among the most impressive in the world. The temple is set in a great amphitheater and its three terraces echo the rock formations in the cliff behind. Hatshepsut was the first Egyptian woman to rule as Pharaoh and her reign spanned nearly 20 years. Approached through a sphinx-lined avenue, the temple is entered via monumental ramps that lead to three broad terraces flanked with porticos and rows of Doric columns. Fascinating carved reliefs adorn the second terrace depicting a maritime expedition to the land of Punt (Sudan) and the exotic gifts, such as ivory, ebony, wild cats and incense trees that the Queen of Punt sends back to Egypt.
After tour you will go to Sofitel Winter Palace hotel for check in & overnight..
Day 12 A.m.
Breakfast , check out & luggage down. Meeting at the lobby of the hotel then you will go to Luxor airport for your flight to Cairo. Flight to Cairo. Arrival to Cairo airport then you will go to Four Seasons Nile Plaza hotel for check in & overnight.
Day 13 A.m.
Breakfast , check-out & luggage down. Meeting at the hotel’s lobby then you will go to Cairo international airport for your departure flight.