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Day 1: Arrival into Tel Aviv
Arrival at Ben Gurion Airport, where you will be met and transferred to your hotel. You will meet your tour leader for dinner and Orientation Meeting. Overnight in Tel Aviv.
Day 2: Diaspora Museum, Caesarea, Druze Villages
Depart Tel Aviv and drive to the Diaspora Museum for a visit. Proceed along the coastal plain to Caesarea, capital of Judea under the Romans. See the excavations of the Crusader city, Roman port, aqueduct and the amphitheater that has been restored to its former glory as a concert venue. Continue via the Druze villages to Haifa. Overnight in Haifa.
Day 3: Haifa, Safed, Golan Heights
The tour of Haifa will begin at the summit of Mount Carmel where you will take in a breathtaking panoramic view of the Haifa Bay and Western Galilee. Continue to the golden domed Bahai Shrine to visit the exotic Persian Gardens. Proceed to Safed, the center of Jewish mysticism, where you will visit the ancient synagogues and the artists’ colony. Continue to the Golan Heights to see the former Syrian bunkers, Kuneitra and the new Israeli town of Katzrin. Overnight on a Kibbutz.
Day 4: Sea of Galilee, Nazareth
Start the day with a visit of Tiberias. Drive to Capernaum to see the ruins of the synagogue and octagonal Church of St. Peter and then proceed to Nazareth. Here you will visit the Church of the Annunciation. Drive via Beit Shean to Beit Alpha to see the remains of the mosaic floor of an ancient synagogue depicting the zodiac. Overnight in Jerusalem.
Day 5: Jerusalem: Old City
Visit King David's Tomb and the Room of the Last Supper on Mount Zion. Enter the walled city and walk through the newly restored Jewish Quarter. Visit the Roman Cardo, Herodian Quarter and continue to the Western Wall. Walk along the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, proceed to Mount Scopus and then to the Mount of Olives for a magnificent panoramic view of the Old City. We continue to Bethlehem*, stopping at Rachel’s Tomb and to visit the Church of the Nativity. Overnight in Jerusalem.
Day 6: Jerusalem: New City
We drive to the Hadassah Medical Center in Ein Kerem to see the Chagall stained glass windows. We continue to Yad Vashem, the memorial to the Holocaust and then to the Israel Museum. Visit the Shrine of the Book where the Dead Sea Scrolls are housed and the miniature model of Jerusalem as it was during the Second Temple period. View the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament and the Givat Ram Campus of the Hebrew University. Overnight in Jerusalem.
Day 7: Qumran (site of the Dead Sea Scolls), Massada, Dead Sea
Drive through the Judean Desert to the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth, almost 1300 feet (400 meters) below sea level. Stop at Qumran to visit the site where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. Drive along the shores of the Dead Sea to Massada. Ascend by cable car and tour the ancient fortress where the Zealots made their last stand against the Romans before committing mass suicide in 73 A.D. Descend by cable car, time and weather permitting, an opportunity will be provided to float on the Dead Sea. Overnight at the Dead Sea.
Day 8: Camel Ride, Berber hospitality, Ben Gurion's hut & grave, Ramon crater, to Eilat
Travel south to the Negev Desert, Stop for a camel riding experience and visit an authentic Bedouin tent. Learn about Bedouin hospitality and enjoy a light lunch. Visit Sde Boker and see Ben Gurion’s hut and grave, overlooking the magnificent Zin valley. Stop at Mitzpeh Ramon to gaze into the Ramon Crater, an otherworldly geological wonder. Overnight in Eilat.
Day 9: Red Sea - Swim, relax, underwater observatory, Timna - copper mines, King Solomon's pillars
This morning is at leisure for relaxation and a swim in the Red Sea.
Day 10: Arava Border crossing, To Wadi Rum ( Jordan), camel ride
After breakfast, transfer to Arava border for crossing into Jordan. We drive to the stunning landscape of Wadi Rum for a camel ride and to visit the Khazali Siq and Wadi Khashhasheh. Enjoy a picnic lunch, followed by an afternoon safari including Um Frush and Wadi Sabatah. Overnight camping in Wadi Rum.
Day 11: Wadi Rum jeep safari, Baidha Neolithic site, to Petra
After breakfast, enjoy a 2 hrs jeep tour as the landscape of Wadi Rum changes with the early sunlight. Then visit Baidha wilderness to tour Siq al Barid (“Little Petra”) and the Baidha Neolithic site. Arrive at your hotel in the late afternoon. Overnight in Petra.
Day 12: Petra - Highlights of the Rose City
Full day touring the ancient Nabatean capital, with entry by the Siq and visits to the Khazneh (Treasury), Theater, Colonnaded Street and Winged Lion Temple. In the afternoon, climb to ad-Deir (optional), Petra’s largest carved façade, also known as the monastery. The hike can be a little bit challenging for some but the rewards are incredible for those who make it. Everyone can try to make it to the Monastery as we climb up the ancient path and return the same way. Dinner and cooking course at Petra Kitchen. Overnight in Petra.
Day 13: Petra - the Secret Road & High Place of Sacrifice
Return to Petra via the “secret road” of al-Madras. Visit the High Place of Sacrifice, Wadi Farasa, Qasr al Bint, the Great Temple and the Royal Tombs. Dinner and Overnight in Petra.
Day 14: Shobak Crusader Castle, Dana Nature Reserve, Wadi Finan
Visit the Shobak Crusader Castle and stop for lunch at the Dana Nature Reserve Guest House. Drive down the scenic Ghor Fifa road into Wadi Araba, route of the ancient spice caravans. In the late afternoon, arrive at the Wadi Feynan EcoLodge, located amid the ruins of the ancient world’s largest copper mines. Make a sunset hike around the lodge area. Overnight Wadi Feynan.
Day 15: World's Largest Collection of Ancient Mosaics in Madaba, Mt. Nebo, to Amman
Drive on to Um ar-Risas to see the St. Stephen Church and Stylite tower. Then visit Madaba, home to the world’s largest collection of ancient mosaics, to visit St. George Church with its famous 6th Century map of the Holy Land, as well as the many restored Byzantine and Herodian mosaics in the Madaba Archaeological Park, Apostles' Church and Madaba Museum. On Mt. Nebo, from which Moses viewed the Promised Land, take in the view of the Jordan Valley, Dead Sea, Jericho and (if it's clear) the distant spires and domes of the Mount of Olives, and visit the contemporary church with its display of mosaics from the succession of pilgrimage churches on this venerated spot. Overnight in Amman.
Day 16: Sites of Amman
Morning visit to the Um Hussein orphanage. Lunch at Wild Jordan café. In the afternoon, visit Amman’s Citadel, Archaeological Museum and bustling souk. Overnight in Amman.
Day 17: Um Qais (Biblical Gadara), Roman Ruins of Jerash
Visit the Decapolis ruins at Um Qais (Biblical Gadara). We then drive to the impressive roman site of Jerash. Overnight in Amman.
Day 18: Dead Sea - lowest point on earth, Bethany - Baptismal site
Descend to the Dead Sea, the lowest point on the earth's surface and tour the newly-excavated Maqdas Baptismal Site. Biblical archaeologists, working from clues supplied by the Madaba mosaic map, believe this to be the spot where John the Baptist lived and worked, and where Jesus was baptized in the waters of the Jordan River. The extensive water channels, cisterns and baptismal fonts, as well as the impressive size of the very early (3rd-4th Century) pilgrimage churches on this site, certainly suggest that this is where the earliest Christian pilgrims believed the Baptism took place. The walk past "Elijah's well" to St. John church on the banks of the Jordan is a pleasure in itself, as you follow the winding trail through marshes of high reeds and tamarisk trees. Overnight in Dead Sea.
Day 19: Relaxing Day at the Dead Sea
You have the day to relax and enjoy the resort's pool and beach facilities or try a pampering treatment in the Spa. Overnight at the Dead Sea.
Day 20: Depart Amman
Transfer to Queen Alia airport for your departure flight.
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