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Israel and Jordan - Discovering the Holy Land

Church Door in the Old Town, JerusalemJerusalem Dome of the Rock, IsraelJordan - JerashMadaba mapThe Monastery, Petra, JordanWadi Rum camels, Jordan

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Duration
14 days
Date
23 Apr – 6 May 2015
Price pp
£3,795
£3,245 excl. flight
Single supp.
£865
Flight time
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  • Discover Jerusalem’s world celebrated sites including the Temple Mount and the Western Wall
  • Take a cable car to the summit of Masada to see Herod’s palatial retreat
  • Explore UNESCO heritage site of Petra, legacy of the Nabateans 

Your journey begins in Israel & the Palestinian Territories, whose ubiquitous antiquities, Roman and Crusader sites, and the sheer weight of its history make for an fascinating destination.   Sail on the Sea of Galilee, visit the world’s oldest church in Bethlehem and explore the exquisite monuments of Jerusalem.  Your journey will then take you across the Sheikh Hussain border into Jordan. Travel the length and breadth of this small country, from the Decapolis city of Jerash in the north to the Nabatean city of Petra, one of the new ‘Seven Wonders of the World’.  Finally, you will have time to sit back and relax in the saline waters of the Dead Sea.

Day 1 Fly London / Tel Aviv / Drive Netanya - Arrive into Tel Aviv mid-afternoon. You will be met on arrival and transferred north to Netanya.

Day 2 Netanya / Caesarea / Acre / Tiberias - Visit the Roman and Crusader site of Caesarea Maritima, once the main Roman political centre of the region. Wander through its magnificent theatre and the huge port built by Herod the Great. Drive further north to the Crusader fortress of Acre and explore the impressive buildings of the Hospitalier Knights, its medieval caravanserai’s and open air souq before ending the day in Tiberias.

Day 3 Capernaum / Tabgha / Sea of Galilee / Tiberias - Explore the fishing village of Capernaum, once home to Jesus and his disciples, before a visit to neighbouring Tabgha, which boasts a number of beautiful Byzantine mosaics. Next observe the recently excavated 1st century AD ‘Jesus Boat’ before a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. 

Day 4 Hazor / Tel Dan / Baneas / Golan Heights / Tiberias - Visit the fortress city of Hazor, the largest archaeological site in Israel, before heading north to beautiful Tel Dan, set in a national park and the source of the River Jordan. Nearby Baneas (biblical Caesarea Philippi) has more fascinating ancient history to offer prior to a drive up the slopes of Mount Hermon to the Golan Heights for spectacular views over the Sea of Galilee.

Day 5 Jericho / Masada / Qumran / Jerusalem - Drive south through the Jordan Valley to the oasis town of Jericho in the Palestinian territories where you will enjoy a short bus tour. You will then continue your journey to Qumran, the settlement on the shores of the Dead Sea which was, according to most scholars, where the Essenes lived, and where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. After lunch continue further south and ascend to the summit of Masada by cable car for a tour of Herod’s palatial retreat. Finally transfer to Jerusalem for the night.

Day 6 Bethlehem / Jerusalem - Morning visit to Yad VaShem, Israel's memorial to the six million lives lost in the Holocaust as well as a visit to the Israel Museum. After lunch drive to the little town of Bethlehem. Explore the oldest church in the world, the Church of Nativity. Return to Jerusalem in the late afternoon.

Day 7 Jerusalem - Enter Jerusalem’s walled old city and explore its distinctive Four Quarters - Christian, Moslem, Armenian and Jewish. Start at the Cardo located in the centre of the Jewish Quarter where you see its ancient Roman road and view the unearthed main thoroughfare and ancient marketplace lined with columns. You will also visit the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Pools of Bethesda and the magnificently preserved Crusader Church of St Ann.

Day 8 Jerusalem - Spend the day exploring Jerusalem’s Old City, visiting the Temple Mount, the Western Wall and its archaeological garden, the Western Wall tunnels and excavations, and the City of David.

Day 9 Drive to Sheikh Hussain border (Jordan) / Jerash / Amman - Drive to the Sheikh Hussain border and cross into Jordan. Journey north to visit the impressive 2,000 year old Roman Decapolis City of Jerash, originally founded by Alexander the Great. You will then travel south to Jordan's capital city Amman, for a short orientation tour before checking into your hotel for the night.

Day 10 Amman / Masada / Mt Nebo / Kerak / Petra - Drive to south to Madaba, Jordan’s most important Christian centre and visit the Church of St George to see its intricate mosaic map of the Holy Land. You will then continue to Mt Nebo where you will enjoy a superb panoramic views and visit Moses’ 4th-century Memorial Church. The next port of call is the imposing hilltop fortress at Karak, an ancient Crusader stronghold. Finally transfer on to Wadi Musa.

Day 11 Petra - The full day will be spent exploring Petra, the famed rose-red city and Jordan’s first World Heritage site. The city is the legacy of the Nabataeans, an industrious Arab people who settled in Jordan more than 2,000 years ago. View the ‘Treasury’, Roman-style 3,000-seat theatre, and numerous temples, facades, tombs, baths and funerary halls as well as the Petra Archaeological Museum and the Petra Nabataean Museum.

Day 12 Wadi Rum / Dead Sea - Drive to Wadi Rum, the largest and most magnificent of Jordan's desert landscapes, and enjoy a 4x4 excursion into this expanse. In the afternoon continue your journey north to the Dead Sea.

Day 13 Dead Sea - Full day at leisure to float in the saline waters of the Dead Sea.

Day 14 Dead Sea / Fly Amman / London - Transfer to Amman and fly to London.

Garth Gilmour

Garth Gilmour

Garth Gilmour is a biblical archaeologist who has worked in Israel and
the eastern Mediterranean for over twenty years. He has graduate degrees from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Oxford, and has participated in excavations in Israel, including the Philistine capital cities of Ekron and Ashkelon, as well as in Turkey and Cyprus.

He is the author of numerous scholarly articles and monographs, and is currently working on material from the British excavations in Jerusalem in the 1920s. He has been leading tours to the region since 1997.

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