Experience the treasures of the Middle East on an unforgettable journey that combines the highlights of Israel and Jordan. Discover life in Jerusalem through the eyes of a local scholar, view the famed Dead Sea Scrolls at the Israel Museum, and pay a visit to Bethlehem—believed to be the birthplace of Jesus. Then cross over to Jordan, exploring the remarkable Roman ruins of Jerash and venturing into the ancient city of Petra, one of the Seven New Wonders of the World.
Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer is included.
Begin the day with a walking tour of Jerusalem’s Old City, home to sites that are sacred to the three of the world’s great faiths. At the Temple Mount, visit the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque. Continue to the Western Wall, then make your way through the winding lanes of the Jewish Quarter to the historic Hurva Synagogue. Walk along the Way of the Cross, the route that Jesus is believed to have taken on his way to crucifixion, and end at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre—according to tradition and to recent findings, Jesus’s tomb is located here. This afternoon, ascend to the top of the Mount of Olives for panoramic views of the city. Later, we’ll enjoy a talk with a local scholar about the struggles of daily life in Jerusalem, discussing interfaith issues, political conflict, and hopes for a peaceful future.
This morning, pay a visit to Yad Vashem, Israel’s moving memorial to the Holocaust. Continue to the Israel Museum to view the Dead Sea Scrolls, one of the most important archaeological finds of the past century, and opt to walk through the museum’s state-of-the-art exhibition on your own. This evening, join an Israeli chef on a walking tour of the lively Mahane Yehuda Market. We’ll learn about the key ingredients of Israeli cuisine, and enjoy a hands-on lesson in kosher cooking.
Spend the day in the ancient town of Bethlehem, located in the hills of the West Bank. Begin with a visit to Manger Square and the Church of the Nativity, where Jesus is believed to have been born. Walk through a nearby Palestinian refugee camp on your way to a local women's collective, created by and for refugee women. Learn how to prepare traditional Palestinian dishes in the camp’s shared kitchen, and sit down to a delicious meal with the women while gaining insights into their lives as refugees.
Start the day with a guided visit to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Masada, King Herod’s 2,000-year-old mountaintop fortress. Explore the remains of elaborate palaces and bathhouses, then travel to the shores of the Dead Sea for a chance to float in its fabled waters. Continue north to the Sea of Galilee and enjoy a visit to a kibbutz—an Israeli communal settlement—while learning about the origins of the kibbutz movement.
Venture to the Mount of Beatitudes, where Jesus is believed to have delivered the Sermon on the Mount. Visit the church that commemorates the event, and take in breathtaking views of the Sea of Galilee and the surrounding countryside. Continue to the ruins of Capernaum, often called “the town of Jesus.” Learn about the lives and perspectives of Israeli Arabs en route to Nazareth, where we stop at the Basilica of the Annunciation, one of the largest churches in the Middle East. Later, visit a local winery for a tour and private tasting.
Head to the sparkling shores of the Mediterranean, stopping at the coastal city of Haifa. Then travel south to Caesarea Maritima to explore the ruins of Herod’s great harbour city. Afterward, continue to bustling Tel Aviv for our last evening in Israel.
Travel to the border and transfer to Amman, Jordan. Check into your hotel, meet your new CEO and spend the evening at leisure.
Awake in the Jordanian capital and venture to Jerash, home to one of the world’s largest and most well-preserved Roman ruins. Wander amid the colonnaded streets, soaring temples, and spacious squares of this ancient city; then visit a G Adventures–supported café run by local women, where we’ll enjoy a cooking class and delicious traditional lunch. Back in Amman, visit the Jordan Archaeological Museum and explore the ruins of the Citadel—one of the oldest continually inhabited places in the world.
Depart early towards Petra, driving along the scenic King’s Highway. Stop at Mount Nebo, where Moses was offered a glimpse of the Promised Land according to the Hebrew Bible. Take in stunning views of the Dead Sea from the summit, and continue to Madaba, famed for its Byzantine mosaics—including the oldest surviving map of the Holy Land. Arrive in Wadi Musa, our base for exploring Petra, and enjoy a talk by an archaeologist about the legendary sandstone city and the ongoing excavations taking place there.
Rise early to discover the legendary city of Petra, carved out of sandstone cliffs by the Nabataean Arabs as early as the second century BC. Venture into the city by way of a gorge called the Siq, and enjoy a guided walking tour of the magnificent rose-red ruins. Spend some time exploring on your own before returning to our hotel. This evening, opt to experience Petra by night, when the site glows in the light of thousands of candles, and take in a performance of Bedouin music.
After breakfast, continue to Wadi Rum—a vast landscape of sweeping red sand dunes and towering sandstone arches. Enjoy lunch at our desert camp, then set out on a thrilling 4x4 excursion into the desert. Drive past spectacular rock formations, look for ancient petroglyphs, and pick the perfect spot to watch the sunset. Return to camp for a typical Bedouin feast. Later, head out with your Bedouin guide for a nighttime walk, admiring the dazzling, starry skies of the desert.
Wadi Rum/Dead Sea
Travel towards the Dead Sea, one of the saltiest bodies of water on the planet. Stop for lunch at a G Adventures–supported community café, located on lush green farmland surrounded by desert. Continue to the shores of the Dead Sea and settle into our hotel. Spend the rest of the day relaxing poolside, or choose to take a dip in the mineral-rich waters of the lake, long known for their therapeutic properties.
Enjoy a visit to the archaeological remains of Bethany, where Jesus is believed to have been baptized. Explore the churches, chapels, monasteries, and caves of this fascinating UNESCO World Heritage site, then travel back to Amman. Join the group for an optional farewell dinner tonight.
Depart at any time.