Israel & Jordan Desert Discovery

Trip Highlights

  • Jerusalem
  • Bethlehem
  • Masada & the Dead Sea
  • Ramon Crater
  • Aqaba & the Red Sea
  • Wadi Rum & Bedouin Hospitality
  • Petra
  • St. George, Madaba & Citadel of Amman
  • Jerash, the Hula Lake
  • Banias National Park
  • Capernaum, Safed, Bahai, Caesarea
  • Tel Aviv & Jaffa

Trip Highlights

Lifetime Discovery welcomes the first-time or returning traveler to a well-tuned discovery of Israel and Jordan. In a 9-night journey to the heights, the depths and the deserts found in these unique countries, you will enjoy the wonders of nature and discover sites found in the Old and New Testaments as well as places made famous as landmarks in our own century.

* Rate is per person per night based on double occupancy, depending on time of travel, chosen hotels, availability and number of passengers.

Movenpick Tala Bay Hotel | Aqaba

Days: 6 7

Mövenpick Resort & Spa Tala Bay Aqaba is a luxurious 5 star hotel conveniently located only 7.4km (4.6mi) from the center of Aqaba.

Movenpick Resort | Petra

Days: 8 9

Mövenpick Resort Petra is a 5 star hotel boasting a prime location in the historic world-renowned city of Petra and features a breathtaking view of the enchanting surroundings from its lovely roof terrace.

Day 1: Welcome to Jerusalem

After arriving in Israel and meeting your guide, ascend to Jerusalem and visit the newly renovated Israel Museum, home to Book of the Shrine which houses the Dead Sea Scrolls – the most ancient copies of the Old Testament ever discovered – and a scale-model of Jerusalem at its height during the reign of Herod the Great.  After lunch, continue to the Haas Promenade for a panoramic overlook of the Old City and a modest welcoming ceremony.  Check in to your hotel, and after dinner, enjoy the spectacular sound and light show at the Tower of David Museum.

Day 2: Jerusalem Old City

Explore Jerusalem’s Old City, holy to Christians, Jews and Muslims: Work your way down the Mount of Olives to the Garden of Gethsemane, entering the walls of the Old City to visit the Western Wall and take in the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque.  Marvel as you walk through the 3,000 year old ruins in the City of David, and after lunch, tour the immense excavations of Second Temple-era Jerusalem at the Davidson Center surrounding the Temple Mount.  Continue into the Old City, passing through the Armenian Quarter to walk the Via Dolorosa, ending at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.  Explore Suq El Attaria in the Muslim quarter and pass through the Byzantine Cardo before finishing at the Dormition Abbey on Mount Zion.


Day 3: Memory, Markets & Bethlehem

Begin today at Yad v’Shem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial museum, to learn about the history of the Holocaust and Israel’s complex relationship to the events of World War II.  Stroll through the Machane Yehuda open-air market and whet your appetite with its exotic colors, tempting smells and delightful tastes.  After lunch, transfer to Bethlehem and enjoy a tour of the city with your Bethlehem guide, including a pilgrimage to the Church of the Nativity, the birthplace of Jesus, and the city market, before returning to your hotel in Jerusalem.

Day 4: Dead Sea, Masada and Ein Gedi

Descend from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth, and visit Masada, King Herod’s mountain-top palace-fortress where the Zealots made their last stand during the Great Revolt.  This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Afterwards, hike through the beautiful Ein Gedi nature preserve to a spectacular waterfall.  Following lunch, spend the afternoon floating on the Dead Sea and relaxing at Mineral Beach. 

Day 5: Ramon Crater, Arava Crossing and Aqaba

Drive south to the spectacular natural crater called Mizpe Ramon.  Take in the majestic crater from an overlook before descending for an up-close hike through the site.  Following lunch, continue south to Eilat and transfer to Aqaba, Jordan.  There, meet your Jordanian guide, and after a walking tour of Aqaba, check in to your hotel.

Day 6: Pleasure at your own pace in Aqaba

Accomodation: Movenpick Tala Bay Hotel | Aqaba

Spend the day relaxing at your luxurious hotel in Aqaba while enjoying the crystal clear water of the Red Sea and the fine white sand between your toes.  Discover the diversity of the underwater life on an optional snorkeling excursion.  Enjoy lunch is on your own at one of the authentic fish “pundak” restaurants in Aqaba.

Day 7: Wadi Rum and Jordanian wonders

Accomodation: Movenpick Tala Bay Hotel | Aqaba

Enjoy the thrill of a 4 hour Jeep safari through the desert and valleys of Wadi Rum.  After lunch, continue with a 2 hour camel trek in Wadi Rum, experiencing life and transportation like the Bedouin.  Finish the day at an authentic Bedouin campsite for a traditional dinner and a relaxing evening in the desert encampment. Take a short walk into the desert just outside your chateau and let the stars overwhelm you. 

Day 8: Petra, Nabateans and the Lost Ark

Accomodation: Movenpick Resort | Petra

Following a typical Middle Eastern breakfast, drive to the rock-carved Nabatean necropolis at Petra, a site that has astounded and inspired for thousands of years and made famous by the Spielberg  film, “Raiders of the Lost Ark”.  Hear the story of the Nabateans and how they thrived controlling the Spice Route as you explore the site over a 2-3 hour guided tour.  After lunch, spend the afternoon exploring Petra by yourselves, discovering hidden niches and walking along the less-traveled paths. 

Day 9: St. George, Madaba and Citadel of Amman

Accomodation: Movenpick Resort | Petra

After an early start, drive north to the well-preserved 12th century Crusader fortress at al-Kerak.  Continue to Madaba and visit the St. George Church, home to a mosaic map depicting the Holy Land in the 6th century.  Following lunch, continue to Amman, the capital of Jordan that mixes modern and ancient.  Tour the city, stopping at the famous Citadel of Amman and the well-preserved Roman Theater.

Day 10: Jerash in Jordan and and bike around Lake Hula

Explore the ancient city of Jerash, among the best-preserved Roman cities in the world.  Marvel at the Cardo and Hadrian’s Arch, the colonnaded oval Forum, theaters, temples and bathhouses, in the city known as the Pompeii of Asia.  Continue to the Sheikh Hussein Bridge and transfer to Israel via shuttle bus to meet your Israeli guide.  After a picnic lunch in Emek HaMayanot (the Valley of the Springs), bike around the Hula Lake, a beautiful nature preserve and one of the most important migratory stops for birds in the world.

Day 11: Banias waterfalls and wine on the Golan

Begin at the Banias National Park, walking along a trail suspended just feet over the rushing Snir stream.  Continue into the Golan Heights for an exclusive tasting at the world-renown Pelter Winery, and afterward, enjoy a tour of De Karina, a boutique chocolatier in Ein Zivan.  Following lunch, ascend the Bental Mountain, a 1967-era bunker from Israel’s wars with Syria that offers a marvelous vantage point over the Golan Heights and helps illustrate Israel’s strategic concerns in the area.  Visit the Gamla National Park, home to a vulture preserve and a major fortress from the Jewish Revolt in 66-70 CE, before ending the day at the Aniam artists’ colony.  Overnight at the Mizpe Hayamim Hotel and Spa.

Day 12: Capernaum, Safed, Bahai, Caesarea and Tel Aviv

Stop at Capernaum on the Sea of Galilee before traveling to experience the magic of Safed, a quiet, mountain-top city that is home to Kabbalah, or Jewish mysticism.   Cross the Galilee toward the Mediterranean Sea, stopping along the way at the Rimon Winery for a tour and to taste pomegranate wine.  After lunch, visit the B’hai Gardens in Haifa, a multi-tiered shrine featuring one of the most majestic gardens in the world.  Continue to Caesarea, the Roman capital of the Holy Land and home to theaters, hippodromes, a world-class harbor and a swimming pool abutting the sea.  Contin ue for overnight in the metropolis of Tel Aviv, first new Hebrew city.

Day 13: Tel Aviv and Jaffa, old & new juxtaposed

Explore ancient Jaffa, the oldest city in the world and home to Egyptian, Greek and Christian ruins.  Continue walking through Neve Tzedek, the first garden neighborhood outside the walls of Jaffa that led to Tel Aviv’s founding.  Tour the Palmach Museum, an audio-visual museum that tells the story of Israel’s fight for survival after declaring independence in 1948.  After lunch, part from your Israeli guide and enjoy a free afternoon to walk through trendy neighborhoods, lay on the beaches or simply relax at a coffee shop along the Mediterranean Sea.

Day 14: Sign-off and Homeward Bound

After one more delicious Mediterranean breakfast, Lifetime Discovery will sign-off by assisting you for check-out and transfer to the airport for your homeward bound journey.

Have a safe trip and come back soon for new discoveries.