10 Days Israel - Jordan
Arrival at the Ben Gurion International Airport and transfer to your hotel in Tel Aviv
We shall start our tour with a tour of the old city of Jaffa, one of the ancient gateways to the Holy Land: Through its port the Cedar trees for Salomon's Temple were brought, the prophet Jonas tried to flee God, but most important: It was in Jaffa where Christianity began to be spread among the nations. Here St. Peter lived in the house of Simon the Tanner and had the "Vision of the Flesh", and here he made his first miracle by healing the little girl. Today Jaffa's renovated alley-ways attract many artists, who have their galleries there. We continue our drive along the shore of the Mediterranean Sea to the modern port-city Haifa, situated on the slopes of the evergreen Mt. Carmel. The view from this mountain is famous for its beauty, and time permitting, we can also visit the Carmelite monastery Stella Marris, where "Elijah's Cave" can be seen. Drive to the oriental city of Akko (Acre), where the Crusaders built their most important port. We can still visit the very well-preserved "Knights Halls" under the living oriental Bazaar with its colors and odors of the East. In the late afternoon we drive through the hills of Galilee to Tiberias, where we will spend the night. Overnight Tiberias.
Today we visit the places where Jesus acted around the Sea of Galilee: Capernaum, with Peters House and the famous Synagogue, enjoy the view from Mt. of the Beatitudes, where the "Sermon on the Mount" was given, and the reconstructed church at Tabgha, where tradition puts the miracle of the Bread and The Fish. We will also sail on the sea in a boat similar to the boat used by Jesus and his disciples. We drive past Cana, where Jesus performed his first miracle by turning water to wine at a wedding, and continue to Nazareth, where we visit the Basilica of the Annunciation and the Greek-Orthodox St. Gabriel church near Mary's Well. Overnight in Tiberias.
In the morning we drive to the Northern Golan Heights, where we drive up to the top of Mt. Bental, a non-active volcano that offers us a wide view over Mt. Hermon , the Galilee, Lebanon and the rest of the Golan Heights. From here we can get a better understanding of the special geography and recent history of the Golan. Then we drive across the Golan Hights to Hamat Gader, the Hot Springs of the ancient Roman city Gadara, were we spend the rest of the day at ease, enjoying its different facilities. Overnight in Tiberias.
After breakfast we drive to the Jordan River (Sheikh Hussein) Bridge, where we cross the Jordan River and the Border to Jordan. Our Israeli Tour Guide will help you with the border formalities, and in Jordan our Jordanian Guide is going to welcome you. We then drive to Jerash, a well-preserved Greco-Roman city, one of the Deca-Polis alliance of independent cities. Here we can still see the wide colonnaded streets, the Great Temples, and the decorated city-gate. We drive on the "Desert Highway" to Madaba. Here we look at the famous mosaic of the St. George Church that shows the Holy Land as it was in the 6th Century. Continue to Mt. Nebo from which Moses saw the Promised Land before he was buried. Except for the wide view into Israel, we can also enjoy the ancient mosaics of the Byzantine monastery erected on this site. We continue along the biblical "Kings Highway" towards Petra and the town Wadi Moussa (named after Moses) where we spend the night.
After breakfast we drive to the legendary city, Petra, once the hidden capital of the Nabathean people. We start with the famous gorge, the "Siq", that legends say it was the secret entrance to Petra, known only to few. Suddenly you see the famous "Hazane" - "Pharaoh's Treasury" in front of you, but this is only one of many amazing monuments carved in the colorful sandstone that we will see. If you have the strength and will, it is also possible to climb to "The Monastery" - a huge monument carved in the rock, on a mountain overlooking the Arava Valley or ascend to the Nabatean "High Place of Sacrifice". In the afternoon we drive to Aqaba, on the shores of the Red Sea, were we also spend the night.
In the morning we cross the border back to Israel, and into the resort-city Eilat. This day will be a day at ease in Eilat, where you can enjoy swimming in the colorful coral reefs, visit the Underwater Observatory, or one of the other attractions this city has to offer..Overnight in Eilat.
We leave Eilat (sadly...) and drive northwards bound along the Arava Valley, to the deepest point on Earth - The Dead Sea! We climb (by cable-car...) the famous cliff-fortress of Massada, where Herod the Great built a magnificent palace in the middle of the desert. Massada was then used as a fortress by the Jewish "Zealots" who fought, few against many, against the pagan Roman Empire. Their heroic struggle became a symbol for the modern State of Israel. We walk through the Oasis of Ein Gedi, known since the days of King David. Ein Gedi, where four springs with fresh water meet the desert sun, is a place to enjoy the rich and unique flora and fauna that such an oasis can offer. We walk to the waterfall and back to the bus. We will not miss, of course, some floating (not swimming!) on the unique and healing waters of the Dead Sea!
After experiencing all this, we ascend through the Judean Hills to the Holy City - Jerusalem! Overnight in Jerusalem.
We start our tour with a panoramic view of the holy city, Jerusalem, from the Mount of Olives. A leisurely walk takes us down, through the holy Jewish cemetery, to the "Garden of Gethsemane" with its "Church of all Nations" and ancient Olive trees, almost 2000 years old! We continue to the "Wailing Wall", the last remnants of the holy Jewish Temple, and, conditions permitting, visit the Temple Mount itself, where we can see the Muslim Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa Mosque. Then we walk through the colorful "Suq" (Bazaar) and follow the different stations of the "Via Dolorosa", the "Way of the Cross" according to Christian tradition. The Way of the Cross ends at the "Church of the Holy Sepulcre", built traditionally on the site where Jesus was crucified and buried. In the afternoon we visit the Model of Jerusalem in the Second Temple Period, located in the Israel Museum. This is a 1:50 scale model of the city, as it was during one of it's most important periods, when Judaism and Christianity, as we know them today, started to evolve. The model is built from the original materials, and is updated according to the most recent archaeological researches. We also visit the "Shrine of the Book", where the "Dead Sea Scrolls" are exhibited. After leaving the Israel Museum we will pass by the famous "Menorah" (Candelabre) located in front of the "Knesset"-Building, before reaching our hotel in Jerusalem.
If your flight-schedule and other conditions permit it, we will also visit Bethlehem with the Church of Nativity, before heading to the Airport for your flight back home. [Important Notice: As Bethlehem is under the control of the Palestinian Authority, responsibility for everything that happens there is solely on out Palestinian Colleagues.]
Ahalan Olympus Ltd Tel. +972-8-6347022
Shalom Plaza Hotel Eilat
POB 3011, zip 88000
Ahalan Olympus Ltd