Jordan & Israel: Ancient Wonders 2020
14 days with Abercrombie & Kent Rating:
DAY 1 ARRIVE AMMAN, JORDAN
Arrive in Amman, transfer to your hotel and enjoy the rest of your day at leisure.
DAY 2 AMMAN/JERASH | ANCIENT ROMAN STREETS
Begin with a visit to Jerash, a city founded by Alexander the Great, to marvel at its Greco-Roman ruins. Walk the Roman Cardo, viewing grooves made by chariot wheels. Return to Amman and, after lunch at a local restaurant, explore the city and its Citadel and Roman Theatre. Tonight, gather for a festive welcome dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 3 MOUNT NEBO/MADABA | DESIGN YOUR DAY
This morning, enjoy one of these Design Your Day activities:
Set Out on a Walking Tour of Amman, to experience this fascinating, modern capital city from ground level.
Visit the Royal Automobile Museum, home to King Hussein’s personal collection of cars and motorcycles.
Relax in the Four Seasons Spa, indulging in the spa facilities and a 50-minute massage.
After lunch, journey to Mount Nebo, in the footsteps of Moses, for expansive views of the Holy Land. Proceed to Madaba, known as the “City of Mosaics” for its spectacular Byzantine and Umayyad examples. Finish the day with check-in at your hotel in close proximity to Petra. (Breakfast, Lunch)
DAY 4 PETRA | FROM THE ROSE-RED CITY TO WADI RUM
Spend a full day exploring Petra, passing through the Siq to the majestic Treasury, the Temple of the Winged Lions and the Palace Tomb. Once a rich merchant city and a stop for the camel caravans bringing spices, silk and slaves from Arabia to the Mediterranean, Petra was lost for 1,000 years, emerging from antiquity in 1812, when it was re-discovered by the Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt. Later depart for Wadi Rum — the Valley of the Moon — which, with its immense size, color and awe-inspiring shapes, creates an almost supernatural atmosphere. Tonight, experience a Bedouin dinner and stargazing at your comfortable desert camp. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 5 WADI RUM | ACROSS THE VALLEY OF THE MOON
This morning, explore the rose-tinted mountains and marvelous desert vistas where T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) lived with his Bedouin friends and allies during World War I. Bedouin camps are evident in the wadi, which is still home to a number of Bedouin families. Traverse Wadi Rum by four-wheel-drive vehicle and camel to take in the unforgettable landscape. This afternoon, travel north to the Dead Sea, and settle in to your superb accommodations upon arrival. (Breakfast, Lunch)
DAY 6 THE DEAD SEA | BETHANY BEYOND THE JORDAN
Today, visit Bethany Beyond the Jordan, known as the place of Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist. This UNESCO World Heritage Site features Roman and Byzantine remains and is a place of pilgrimage for many. Return to your resort hotel for time at leisure and take a dip in the buoyant, mineral rich Dead Sea waters. (Breakfast)
DAY 7 JERUSALEM, ISRAEL | THE GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE
Cross into Israel and drive to the Mount of Olives for a view over Temple Mount (Al Haram el-Sharif). Visit the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus is said to have prayed with his disciples before his crucifixion. Tour Mahna Yahuda, Jerusalem’s largest food market, which takes up an entire neighborhood, between Yafo and Aggripas. Cap off your market tour with a delicious lunch. After a full day, check in and, later, dine at your hotel’s restaurant. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 8 JERUSALEM | EPICENTER OF FAITHS
Tour the Old City, first stopping at the Western Wall, one of Judaism’s most sacred sites. View the Temple Mount area with its Dome of the Rock. After lunch at a local café, stroll the Via Dolorosa, where Jesus carried the cross, arriving at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, traditional site of Jesus’ crucifixion, burial and resurrection. Later, visit the Israel Museum’s Shrine of the Book and Second Temple Model to view a portion of the Dead Sea Scrolls. As your day ends, view the city’s skyline with a Scenic Sundowner. (Breakfast, Lunch)
DAY 9 BETHLEHEM | YAD VASHEM & LOCAL CULTURE
Visit Yad Vashem, Israel’s memorial to Holocaust victims. Drive to Bethlehem, located on the West Bank. Lunch will be served in a local Bethlehem home providing a unique opportunity to engage in cultural interaction and traditions. Then, visit the Church of the Nativity, a sixth-century basilica that stands over a cave held to be the birthplace of Jesus. Dine tonight at a top restaurant in Jerusalem. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 10 MASADA | ZEALOT STRONGHOLD & THE QUMRAN CAVES
Visit Masada, taking a cable car up to the final stronghold, where Jewish Zealots made their last stand against the Romans, ultimately taking their own lives rather than becoming enslaved. Later, stop at the Qumran Caves, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in 1947, discovered by accident by a Bedouin shepherd. The scrolls, which had been stored in clay jars, were written in Hebrew and contained fragments of biblical and secular texts dating back more than 2,000 years. Return to Jerusalem for an afternoon at leisure. (Breakfast, Lunch)
DAY 11 ACRE/NAZARETH | JESUS’ BOYHOOD TOWN
Drive to Acre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the World’s oldest ports, to see the Crusader Halls, markets and the old town. Then, journey to Jesus’ boyhood town of Nazareth. After lunch, visit the Church of the Annunciation, built on the traditional site of Mary and Joseph’s home. Continue to Tiberias and your hotel, which occupies a historic building overlooking the Golan Heights. Prior to dinner, experience an artisanal wine talk organized by a professional sommelier. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 12 SEA OF GALILEE | IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF JESUS
Enjoy a private boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, stopping at Capernaum to view St. Peter’s house and the synagogue where Jesus taught. Visit the Mount of Beatitudes, site of the Sermon on the Mount. After lunch, drive to the Golan Heights to learn about the rich history and strategic importance of this rugged landscape. Continue to Banias, one of the sources of the River Jordan, to see the archaeological remains of this sacred place that spans the Pagan, Jewish, Roman, Byzantine and Muslim eras. Gather tonight for a special farewell dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAYS 13-14 TEL AVIV & JAFFA | ARTIST QUARTER
Visit Caesarea, built to honor Augustus Caesar and later occupied by the Crusaders. Discover Israel’s largest city, Tel Aviv. Located along a beautiful stretch of beach on the Mediterranean, Tel Aviv is Israel’s commercial center — a busy metropolis that inspires visitors with a unique and energetic atmosphere. Set out on a walking tour of Jaffa, an ancient port town that has become a noted artists’ colony, located just south of Tel Aviv. The next day, transfer to the Tel Aviv airport for your departing flight. (Breakfast, Lunch (Day 13), Breakfast (Day 14))
All This Included
Experience historic destinations central to three world faiths as you behold magnificent Petra; overnight in Wadi Rum; cruise the Sea of Galilee; and discover Israel, from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv.
Amman: Four Seasons Hotel Amman
Petra: Mövenpick Resort Petra
Wadi Rum: Sun City Camp
Dead Sea: Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea
Jerusalem: The King David
Nazareth: Scots Hotel
Tel Aviv: Dan Tel Aviv Hotel
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