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Jerusalem, The Red Sea & Petra

11 days with Tauck   Rating: Deluxe

Click for Dates and Prices Day 1 Arrive Jerusalem 
Tour begins: 5:00 PM, The David Citadel Hotel. A transfer is included from Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport, often referred to as Tel Aviv Airport, to the David Citadel Hotel in the heart of Jerusalem, steps from the Old City. Join us this evening for a welcome cocktail reception and dinner at your hotel. Floor-to-ceiling windows in the hotel’s guest rooms offer stunning views of the city’s storied skyline at night. (D)

Day 2 The Temple Mount & Via Dolorosa 
Few cities in the world evoke the sense of spirituality and history as Jerusalem’s Old City does, where people of all faiths have come to worship for thousands of years. Layered with ancient relics and treasured shrines, it is home to places that inspire quiet awe as you view in person sacred biblical sites like the Dome of the Rock, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and more. Our expert local guide leads the way today on your walking tour back in time that starts with a visit to the Temple Mount venerated as a holy site in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam alike, where the iconic domed rock reigns as its crown jewel. Listen to insights about its significance for each religion as you explore here today. Continue along the Via Dolorosa route, believed to be the solemn path taken by a condemned Jesus as he carried the cross to his crucifixion. Visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, believed to have been built over the biblical Calvary, or Golgotha, where Jesus was nailed to the cross, died and rose from the dead. A change of pace and place follows as you taste your way through lively Mahane Yehuda Market for lunch, sampling a mix of traditional and modern-day culinary fare at Jerusalem’s largest outdoor market and foodie hotspot. This afternoon, tour the Israel Museum, home to some 5,000 years of cultural treasures, including the Dead Sea Scrolls, among the world's oldest biblical manuscripts. Enjoy the remainder of the day exploring as you wish. (B, L)

Day 3 Old City sights & the Jewish Quarter 
Sightseeing continues with visits to the medieval Tower of David, the historical entrance to the Old City and the symbol for Jerusalem for generations; the Western “Wailing” Wall, built by King Herod in 20 BC and considered the most religious site in the world for the Jewish people; and the Roman cardo, the main street of the Old City over 1,500 years ago and now a vibrant marketplace. Walking through the Jewish Quarter reveals a look at life in a neighborhood that has stood firm for two thousand years, where alleyways lead to historic sites, synagogues, shops and more. After lunch at a local restaurant, visit Yad Vashem, Israel's moving memorial to the victims of the Holocaust. Spend the rest of the day at leisure. (B, L)

Day 4 Bethlehem or Tel Aviv 
A choice of excursions this morning ventures outside of Jerusalem and includes a walking tour of Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus, or a visit to the 4,000 year-old seaport town of Jaffa and modern-day Tel Aviv. No longer a little town, Bethlehem is a thriving Palestinian city that evokes the story of Jesus in Manger Square, from the Basilica of the Nativity, the oldest surviving church in the Holy Land, still in use today, to the cave-like Grotto below where Mary is said to have given birth to the baby Jesus. Visit its must-see sights with a local guide and enjoy lunch, before returning to Jerusalem for free time. Alternatively, travel to seaside Jaffa, a romantic enclave of medieval buildings and cobblestone streets, for a guided walking tour and lunch, followed by a visit to Tel Aviv, teeming with architectural wonders and modern-day cultural delights. Return to Jerusalem where your evening is free. (B, L)

Day 5 A Kibbutz, Masada & the Dead Sea 
Journey into the countryside today, stopping at a rural kibbutz for a close-up look at this integral part of Israeli society, en route to hilltop Masada.  Originally built by King Herod as a palace complex in the last century BC, the rugged desert fortress of Masada was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its role as a symbol of the ancient kingdom of Israel, but you may remember it for the stunning panoramic views of the Dead Sea you will see during today’s visit. Get a closer look when you check into your resort this afternoon, nestled on the shores of the great salt lake. Dine at your leisure tonight in the hotel. (B, L, D)

Day 6 Aqaba & the Red Sea 
Cross the border into Jordan this morning on a leisurely drive to your beachfront hotel in the port of Aqaba, Jordan’s only coastal city. This afternoon, join us aboard a private boat for a cocktail cruise on the marine life-rich Red Sea, inspiring with views of the city and sea and inviting with colorful coral gardens renowned for underwater diving adventures. As you gaze across this historic body of water, the story of Moses and the parting of the seas that allowed the great exodus of Israelites to escape from Egypt may come to mind, reminding you of the biblical significance of so many of the sights you’ll see this part of the world. Enjoy dinner at your leisure tonight in the hotel. (B, L, D)

Day 7 A desert adventure to Wadi Rum 
Spend the morning at leisure at your seaside hotel, where the white sandy beach is right outside your door. This afternoon pack your spirit for adventure as you ride aboard a 4x4 vehicle bound for the “Valley of the Moon” at Wadi Rum, the movie-set location for Lawrence of Arabia, The Martian and more. The lunar landscapes you’ll drive through are stunning and include desert valleys, spectacular sandstone mountains, canyons, dunes and arches. Arrive at Wadi Rum for an evening steeped in tradition and local culture. Enjoy camel rides, a special dinner with entertainment in Bedouin tents and stargazing with an expert. (B, D)

Day 8 Well-preserved Petra 
Drive to the town of Wadi Musa for an overnight stay near the ancient city of Petra, one of the “New Seven Wonders of the World.” Dating back to 300 BC, this “Rose City” served as the capital of the Nabatean Kingdom, whose master builders carved palaces, temples, tombs, storerooms and stables from the soft stone cliffs you’ll see on a guided visit today. Enter the ancient city through a high-walled crack called the Siq, walking through a narrow rock-sided pathway that opens to one of its most famous sites, The Treasury, where scenes from the movie Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade were filmed.  Guided exploration here views the tomb-lined Street of Facades, the 700-seat Theatre, the Great Temple, the Royal Tombs and the Monastery. Enjoy lunch and free time this afternoon before choosing to dine tonight with a local family at their private residence or dining at the hotel. (B, L, D)

Day 9 Mount Nebo, Madaba & Amman 
Depart for Amman today, stopping en route at Madaba and Mount Nebo. Madaba is a Bronze-age market town best known for the Byzantine-era mosaic map you’ll see on the floor of St. George’s Church, said to represent the oldest map of Palestine in existence. Continue on to Mount Nebo where, according to the Bible, Moses was granted a glimpse of the Promised Land before his death. On a clear day you will be able to enjoy the same views that Moses did from atop the summit, including the Dead Sea, the Jordan River, the West Bank, and sometimes even Jericho and Jerusalem. Your destination this afternoon is the “White City” of Amman, the lively modern capital of Jordan.  Settle into your hilltop hotel and spend the remainder of the day exploring as you wish. (B, L)

Day 10 Sightseeing in Jerash 
Drive north through the rolling hills of Gilead, dotted with grazing sheep and goats, to the ruined city of Jerash, inhabited since the Bronze Age and once a thriving Roman settlement. Buried under sand and rubble for centuries, it was rediscovered in 1806 by a German traveler and not excavated until the 1950s. What you will discover on a guided tour offers you a look at life for some of the estimated 35,000 Roman residents who lived here in the first and second centuries. See the triumphal Hadrian’s Arch, built in AD 129 in honor of Emperor Hadrian’s visit, the hippodrome which hosted chariot races for up to 15,000 spectators and the 5,000-seat South Theatre. Pass by the elegant remains of the Temple of Zeus, built in 162, the huge 56-columned Forum, the main fountain and more as you stroll down the colonnaded cardo maximus, the main street of Jerash, with your informative local guide. After lunch at a local restaurant, return to Amman for time at leisure. Join us tonight for a private farewell reception and dinner at the hotel. (B, L, D)

Day 11 Journey home 
Tour ends: Amman. Fly home anytime. A transfer is included from the Four Seasons Hotel Amman to Queen Alia International Airport. Allow a minimum of three hours for check in at the airport. (B)
All This Included
The past informs the present in the biblical lands of Israel and Jordan, offering guests an interlacing tapestry of cultural history millennia strong. From the rose colored stones that blend Jerusalem’s urban landscapes with its ancient archaeological roots to Dead Sea destinations scrolled with the sands of time, Red Sea resorts that sail into the future to Jordan’s sculpted ruins and age-old cities with tales to tell, the places you’ll discover on this new 11-day journey speak volumes about daily life, then and now.  Explore Jerusalem from different perspectives on a tour of the Old City and a tasting in the new. Discover religious relics in Bethlehem or Jaffa’s arched alleyways and the architectural heritage of Tel Aviv as you please. You’ll visit a kibbutz in the Israeli countryside, a hilltop mecca in Masada, and soak in the salts at a Dead Sea resort before crossing into Jordan for a Red Sea cruise. Adventure awaits at a desert oasis in Wadi Rum, treasured sights astound in Petra and dinner with a local family whets your appetite for an authentic cultural connection. Visions of the Promised Land entice at Mt. Nebo, and in Jerash, a wealth of sights, remarkably preserved, reflect Roman rule here thousands of years ago. Amman mixes old and new with a youthful exuberance all its own, inviting you to experience Middle Eastern hospitality in 2021.
  • Two nights in Jerusalem with guided exploration of the Old City, a walk along Via Dolorosa, and food tasting in the Mahane Yehuda Market
  • A choice of visits to Bethlehem, or cosmopolitan Tel Aviv and Jaffa, its 4,000-year-old Arab port city.
  • A sundowner cruise with wine and snacks in the Red Sea during a two-night stay in the port city of Aqaba
  • A 4x4 off-road adventure to the “Valley of the Moon” at Wadi Rum in Jordan, where camel rides, a tented dinner with Bedouin entertainment and stargazing make it a night to remember
  • A visit to the ancient sandstone city of Petra with an optional camel ride
  • An opportunity to have dinner with a local family in their home near Petra
  • Close-up exploration of the biblical site of Mount Nebo where you can view the Promised Land like Moses did centuries ago
  • Two nights in Jordan’s capital city of Amman, with guided sightseeing and a visit to Jerash
  • Airport transfers as noted upon arrival and departure
  • 24 meals (10 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 6 dinners), service charges, taxes, admission fees and porterage
  • With an expert local guide, experience an authentic taste of old and new at an iconic market in the heart of Jerusalem, dating back to the days of the Ottomans and today renowned as a symbol of daily life in one of the oldest cities in the world.
  • Venture into the lunar-like landscapes of Wadi Rum, nicknamed the “Valley of the Moon,” on an exciting 4 x 4 excursion that culminates in a tented Bedouin feast with music, sword dancing and camel rides, made more memorable by stargazing under the desert’s stunning night sky.
  • Set out from the port city of Aqaba aboard a private boat for a sundowner cruise on the Red Sea, where the waters were once parted by Moses and today open up to coral reefs renowned for rewarding diving adventures. 
  • Visit a historic kibbutz in the Israeli countryside en route to the ancient mountaintop fortress of Masada, a UNESCO World Heritage Site built by King Herod in the first century AD with views of the Dead Sea, and your 5-star resort located right on the shores of the famous salt lake. 
Jerusalem: David Citadel Hotel
Ein Bokek: Isrotel Dead Sea Resort & Spa
Aqaba: Kempinski Hotel Aqaba Red Sea
Petra: Petra Marriott Hotel
Amman: Four Seasons Hotel Amman
  • March 14, April 18, May 2 and October 10 are small group departures, averaging 24 Tauck guests.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
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* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.