Step into the ancient world of the Middle East on a two-week journey that combines the highlights of Israel and Jordan. Discover life in Jerusalem on a dual-perspective walking tour with Israeli and Palestinian guides, explore the Roman ruins of Jerash, ride through the desert on a 4x4, and venture into the awesome and ancient city of Petra. Connect with the past while glimpsing contemporary life in this incredible region.
Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included.
Take a specially designed walking tour of the Old City of Jerusalem with two guides, one Israeli and one Palestinian, both trained by National Geographic Emerging Explorer Aziz Abu Sarah. This unique dual-narrative tour allows travelers a deeper understanding of the diverse cultural, religious, and political aspects of the region. Visit key sites including the Temple Mount, the Dome of the Rock, and the Al Aqsa Mosque. Continue to the Western Wall, then walk through the Stations of the Cross to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. This afternoon, visit the Mount of Olives and take in amazing views of the Old City. Later, enjoy a discussion on the current state of affairs with a leading Israeli scholar. (1B)
Pay respects to victims of the Holocaust at the evocative Yad Vashem Memorial, and then step further back in history among the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Israel Museum. The next day, take another exclusively designed dual-narrative tour of Bethlehem with Israeli and Palestinian guides. Visit Manger Square and the Church of the Nativity, built over the spot considered by many to be the birthplace of Jesus. Walk through a nearby Palestinian refugee camp, and then head to a local Palestinian family’s home for a cooking class and lunch. (2B, 1L)
Enjoy a guided visit to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Masada. Next, head to the Dead Sea for a float and mud bath before continuing to the Sea of Galilee to stay in a kibbutz hotel for two nights. The next day, visit the Mount of Beatitudes and the ruins at Capernaum. (2B, 2D)
Head west to the Mediterranean, visiting the coastal city of Haifa and then traveling south to Caesarea Maritima to explore the ruins of Herod’s harbor city. Then it’s off to the ancient port city of Jaffa and bustling Tel Aviv, followed by a transfer across the border to Amman. On a city tour, visit the Jordan Museum and the archaeological site of the Citadel. Head to Jerash, one of the largest and best-preserved Roman ruins outside of Italy. (3B)
Visit the ancient town of Madaba, famous for its mosaics and churches. Continue to Mount Nebo for the stunning views from its summit. This evening, enjoy a lecture by a local archaeologist on the importance of Petra and the ongoing excavations at this World Heritage site. The next day, go on a guided tour of Petra with free time to explore on your own. Attend a cooking demonstration and traditional dinner in Wadi Musa. (2B, 1D)
Head to Wadi Rum in the heart of the desert. After lunch at our lodge, take an exciting 4x4 ride over the dunes. This evening, walk into the desert for a traditional Bedouin feast with music and entertainment and admire the night sky alongside a Bedouin guide who will explain how to use the locations of stars for desert navigation. The following day, visit the archaeological site of Bethany, believed to be the site of Jesus’s baptism, before going on to the Dead Sea for a float or an optional mud or sea salt treatment. The next day, continue back to Amman and opt to join the CEO for a farewell dinner. (3B, 1L, 2D)
Depart at any time. (1B)
Offered in partnership with G Adventures, our National Geographic Journeys line blends fun, hands-on exploration, meaningful encounters with people and cultures, and more free time and choices—with the structure and security of traveling in a small group.
2017 departures are 14 days, starting in Jerusalem and ending at the Dead Sea; 2018 departures are 15 days, starting in Jerusalem and ending in Amman.
Travelers should be in good health and comfortable walking or standing for extended periods of time. Daily activities may include city walking tours, visits to sites, game drives, or easy hikes, with options for more physical activities such as hiking, kayaking, snorkeling and biking.
Click here for a description of all activity levels.
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All trip prices are per person based on double occupancy. If you're traveling on your own, we'll pair you up with a roommate of the same gender so that you can pay the same rate as other travelers. Prices are subject to change without notice and do not include airfare. All prices and fares are quoted in U.S. dollars.
During your trip, sometimes it's just more convenient and comfortable to have your own room. That's why we offer the "My Own Room" option - a single room all to yourself.
My Own Room Option: From $1,729
Arrival transfer, transport between destinations and to/from included activities, and activities as listed in the itinerary. The optional spa treatments at the Dead Sea are at an additional cost.
Comfortable, mid-range hotels (12 nights), desert camp (1 night)
14 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 3 dinners. Allow an additional $435-565 for meals not included.
You can do whatever you wish during your free time on tour, but if you're in need of suggestions, we've got them. Details about any optional experiences for this trip will be available during the booking process. Please note, these are at an additional cost.