EG10 EGYPT, JORDAN & ISRAEL TOUR

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Pyramids, Petra & The Promised Land

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS:

The Great Pyramids & Sphinx; Museum of Egyptian Antiquities; Massive Karnak Temple; Valleys of the Kings & Queens; Deluxe Nile River cruise; Camel trek to San Simeon Monastery; Jerash, huge Roman site; Full day at ancient 'Rose Red City' of Petra; Vibrant Tel Aviv; Jerusalem: Old City tour

  • DATES & PRICES
  • FULL ITINERARY
  • MAP & HOTELS
  • TRIP INFORMATION

Dates & Prices

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►

Prices are in US Dollars (USD), before any applicable taxes. The pricing reflects twin-sharing, per-person costs without airfare to/from the tour; however, we can book flights from your home airport for an added cost. Contact us for a no obligation quote.


Start DateEnd DatePriceMore Info
Mon 04 Mar 2019Wed 20 Mar 2019 $4860 USD
Tue 01 Oct 2019Thu 17 Oct 2019 $4860 USD
Mon 02 Mar 2020Wed 18 Mar 2020 $4860 USD
Tue 29 Sep 2020Thu 15 Oct 2020 $4860 USD

The above prices are subject to an additional $138 for taxes/fees levied on flights that occur as part of the tour. The internal airfares ARE included (any exceptions are listed in red below), but we list the taxes separately on your invoice as they are beyond our control and can change at any time.


Optional Single Supplement: $1070 USD (number of singles limited).


Tour Overview


This is an exciting addition to our Middle Eastern roster of multi-country programs. Previously, our only tour including Egypt, Jordan & Israel (JO9) was a big 29-day odyssey -- an amazing trip for sure -- but those with less time can still hit the big "must-sees" on this very tidy and efficient 17-day journey-of-a-lifetime.

Regions visited: Middle East
Countries visited: Egypt; Jordan and Israel


Full Itinerary

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►

Day 1 Arrive in Cairo
Today we arrive in Cairo.

Al-Qahira, literally "The Vanquisher" or "The Conqueror", is the capital of Egypt and the second largest city in the Muslim World, the Arab world and Africa and the 17th largest metropolitan area in the world. Nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life.

Overnight in Cairo.

Included Meal(s): Dinner

Day 2 Cairo: Memphis & Saqqara, Great Pyramids & the Sphinx
This morning we travel to Memphis and Saqqara, chronologically the two most important sites in all of Egypt. Memphis was the capital of Egypt during the Old Kingdom (ca 2700-2180 BC), and Saqqara was used as a burial place for residents of Memphis including kings, princes and nobles. Our drive this morning takes us through the suburbs of Giza, past some small, colourful villages and plantations in the fertile Nile Valley. At the ancient city of Memphis we will see several statues in a garden-like setting, including the colossal statue of Rameses the Great.

From Memphis we travel a short distance to Saqqara, the ancient burial site. On the site, considered by many archaeologists to be one of the world's most important excavations, is the Step Pyramid, constructed by Imhotep in the 27th century BC. The pyramid began as a simple mastaba, or long, flat tomb building. Over the course of time, Imhotep added to this mastaba five times -- the pyramid eventually measured 62m (203 feet) in height!

After lunch we pay a visit to the Great Pyramids and the Sphinx. Impressive in their grandeur, the pyramids are estimated to have been constructed over a period of 20 years using more than 100,000 labourers each year. The Great Pyramid of Cheops, constructed from over two million stone blocks, is 135m (443 feet) high! You may enter one of the pyramids through a long, narrow passageway and explore the deep inner chambers (extra fee applicable - ask your Tour Leader).

Later we visit the Sphinx. This feline-human was named by the Greeks because it resembled the mythical winged monster with a woman's head and lion's body. Legend has it that this "Sphinx" proposed a riddle to the Thebans and killed all who could not guess the correct answer! The Sphinx was carved from one solid piece of limestone and measures 50m (164 feet) in length and 22m (72 feet) in height.

Overnight in Cairo.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 3 Cairo: Archaeological Museum & Islamic Cairo
This morning we visit the famous Museum of Egyptian Antiquities,* where enjoy a guided tour of some of Egypt's most beloved treasures. Among the 100,000 pieces housed on the museum's two floors is the famous exhibit of Tutankhamun whose tomb was discovered by Howard Carter in 1922. The tomb and treasures of this young Pharaoh, modest by Pharaonic Egyptian standards, is perhaps the best preserved of the discovered tombs. We also see archaeological relics from the Old Kingdom, Middle Kingdom, New Kingdom and Greco-Roman periods. We also allow some time for you to explore the treasures on your own.

We then proceed to the Citadel, begun by Saladin in the 12th century. Today the Citadel's buildings are mainly from the Ottoman period, and are truly grand. From the Citadel, actually a complex of three mosques and four museums, we enjoy an amazing view of Cairo spread beneath the hilltop. Here we will see the fabulous Mosque of Mohammed Ali, also known as the "Alabaster Mosque."

* A new museum is being built, though the opening date is as yet unclear (projected 'partial' opening in December 2018). As the move takes place, some items may not be on display in either location. Once the museum opens, it will become a part of this itinerary.

Overnight in Cairo.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 4 Cairo - Fly to Aswan: Abu Simbel
This morning we fly to Aswan, Upper Egypt, and enjoy an excursion to Abu Simbel on arrival.*

We travel by road (+/- 3 hours, each way) south from Aswan across the Western Desert to Nubia, or the "Land of the Gold". Our destination this morning is the impressive Abu Simbel -- the imposing rock temples of Rameses II and his queen, Nefertari.

We have a guided tour of this site, including the interior of the colossal temples. The Temple of Rameses II, with its immense statues of the Pharaoh seated on his throne, is one of the classic images of the power of the Pharaohs. Inside the temple you will see well-preserved wall decorations and several murals. There is a wonderful relief of Rameses presenting captives to various gods, including himself! We also gain insight into the reconstruction process by visiting the interior of the artificial mountain.

We travel back to Aswan making a brief stop at the High Dam en route. Constructed between 1960 and 1971, the High Dam collects and stores water over a number of years so that the annual Nile flood can be controlled. From here we will have a panoramic view of Aswan to the north and Lake Nasser to the south.

We return to Aswan with the balance of the day at leisure.

* We may be able to fly from Cairo directly to Abu Simbel. These schedules, however, tend to change frequently and without notice.

Overnight in Aswan.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 5 Aswan: San Simeon & Nile Cruise Embarkation
This morning we will take a private boat across the River Nile to the west bank. From here we travel by camel across the sandy desert to the Christian Monastery of St Simeon. Before we begin this easy trek our Tour Leader and camel trainer will teach you the technique of riding a camel. This is a journey that can be undertaken by anyone at any age (one rider per camel). Our trek is about 45 minutes to the monastery, and then 15 minutes back to the riverbank. Those who prefer not to ride can travel by open truck to the monastery and meet up with the group there.

Dating from the 6th century, and in use until the 13th century, the Monastery of St Simeon is one of the best preserved Christian sites in Egypt. Inside we will see the chapel, living quarters, kitchen and dining areas, wine press, bake area and storerooms. On our tour we will also see the remains of some Coptic frescoes -- depictions of Christ and saints as well as many geometric patterns.

We then return to the banks of the Nile and re-board our boat and ride among the islands dotting the Nile. Up the hill, above the river, is the Mausoleum of the Aga Khan, spiritual leader of the Ismailis, a Shi'ite sect based principally in India but with followers around the world. The tomb is an elegant pink granite structure of late 1950 origin.

The main island in the middle of the Nile is called Elephantine Island because many of the rocks look like elephants bathing in the Nile. On the west side of the river is the beautiful Kitchener's Island, where we will have time to stroll through the rich botanical gardens with trees, plants, and bushes.

At around midday we board our Nile cruise vessel (which remain docked in Aswan until tomorrow) and enjoy lunch on board. This afternoon, the cruise sightseeing program will likely include a visit to the 'Unfinished Obelisk' and Philae Temple.

Overnight on Nile cruise. NTS cruise (or similar).

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 6 Nile Cruise: Kom Ombo & Edfu
Today our cruise will visit the Temple of Kom Ombo.

In ancient times, Kom Ombo was strategically important as a trading town on the caravan route from Nubia to Cairo. Kom Ombo, actually two temples in one, is dedicated dually to Haroeris and Sobek, respectively the god of the sky and the crocodile-headed god. Here we are able to see the remains of a mummified crocodile. Crocodiles no longer exist in the Egyptian part of the River Nile, but in Pharaonic times they lived here in great numbers and were worshipped as gods!

From Kom Ombo we continue along the River Nile toward Edfu. As the largest and most completely preserved Pharaonic temple, albeit Greek-built, Edfu is dedicated to the god Horus. Construction of this temple began under Ptolemy III Euergetes I in 237 BC. We will allow time to explore this massive and impressive site, enclosed by walls and flanked by two large pylon gateways. Here we will also be able to see a Nilometer -- an ancient technique of measuring the Nile's water fluctuations and setting the level of taxes (depending on cruise schedules, this visit may take place tomorrow morning).

Overnight on Nile cruise.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 7 Nile Cruise: Valley of the Kings & Queens
Overnight or early this morning we will have arrived at Luxor.

After breakfast on board, we explore some of the most incredible sites in the country. We will visit the Valley of the Kings, where you will have the chance to explore three tombs of the ancient Pharaohs. We will then visit the nearby Valley of the Queens as well as the recently renovated mortuary temple of Queen Hatshepsut. Hatshepsut was the second pharaoh of the eighteenth dynasty of Ancient Egypt. Our tour also includes a visit to the huge Colossi of Memnon, which is all that remain of the mortuary temple of Amenhotep III.

Overnight Nile cruise (docked at Luxor).

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 8 Luxor: Karnak/Luxor Temples
This morning we disembark our cruise, check in to our Luxor hotel, and proceed to visit one of the most fantastic archaeological sites in the world: Karnak Temple.

Karnak was built, added to, dismantled, restored, enlarged and decorated during its colourful history of over 1,500 years. At certain points in Egyptian history, this temple was the most important in all of Egypt. When we arrive at the temple you will be awed by the grandeur of the tremendous pylon gateway and the Avenue of 1,000 Sphinxes that originally ran all the way to the Nile and Luxor Temple!

We then proceed to Luxor Temple. The temple was dedicated to the Theban Triad of Amun, Mut, and Chons and was built during the New Kingdom, the focus of the annual Opet Festival, in which a cult statue of Amun was paraded down the Nile from nearby Karnak Temple to stay there for a while, with his consort Mut, in a celebration of fertility. Luxor temple is considered one of the largest ancient Egyptian temple complexes situated on the eastern bank of the
river Nile. At the entrance is a huge tower built by King Ramses II.

Overnight in Luxor.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 9 Luxor, Egypt - Amman, Jordan
Today we fly to Amman, Jordan.

Amman, the modern and ancient capital of Jordan, is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, where the city's modern buildings blend with the remnants of ancient civilizations.

Overnight in Amman.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 10 Amman: Jerash & Amman City Tour
This morning we leave Amman by bus for a tour of the extensive Roman site of Jerash. In the 1st and 2nd centuries AD, Jerash was a wealthy city and is today considered one of the most important and best preserved of all Roman sites. We visit the famous elliptical forum, the beautiful amphitheatre with its superb natural acoustics, and the site of the huge Temple of Artemis.

This afternoon we tour Amman, visiting the Roman Amphitheatre, Archaeological Museum, and the ruins of the Temple of Hercules.

Overnight in Amman.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 11 Amman - Madaba - Mt Nebo - Shobak - Petra
This morning we travel to Madaba, a small town famous for its magnificent mosaic floors. A unique mosaic covers the floor of St. George's church and consists of a huge map of the Holy Land as it appeared in the 6th century AD.

Driving to the edge of the Jordan Valley we reach Mount Nebo from where Moses and the Children of Israel first saw the Promised Land. On a clear day you can look down to see the Dead Sea and the River Jordan. On the other side of the valley is the city of Jerusalem. Here we see a huge mosaic of hunting scenes covers the floor of a ruined Byzantine church.

We leave Mt Nebo and travel south via the King's Highway. Along this route, castles and towns were positioned a one day's travel distance apart. Later we visit Shobak Castle, built by the Crusaders in 1115 and sacked by Muslim forces under Saladin in 1189. We finish our full day at Petra.

Overnight in Petra.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 12 Petra: Site Tour
Petra was the capital of the Nabataean Kingdom from the fourth century BC to the 2nd century AD. From the 12th century until its rediscovery in 1812, Petra was lost to the world -- a closely guarded secret of the local tribes. Today the 'rose red city half as old as time' is probably the most impressive archaeological site in the Middle East, rivaling the temples and pyramids of Egypt in grandeur.

This morning, on our way into the hidden valley of Petra, we will see the Obelisk Tomb and the irrigation system that carried water from a dam throughout the desert city. Access to the monuments of Petra is through a narrow gorge in the towering rocks called the 'Siq'. As we emerge from the 'Siq' you stand in awe in front of the 'Treasury' (El Kazneh), a graceful structure carved from the living rock. After pausing to admire the elegant columns and carvings we carry on into the valley where elaborate tombs are carved into the multi-coloured walls. Everywhere the sandstone swirls and twists in shades of red, orange, yellow, pink and white. Next we will see the Roman amphitheatre, carved directly out of the mountain, with space for over 3,000 spectators.

Further on in the main valley of Petra, are the Royal Tombs including the Palace Tomb and the Silk Tomb. We visit the temple of the Nabataeans' main god, Dushara, and we also see the 'Temple of the Winged Lion'. Our formal guided tour of the site terminates with a visit to the Petra Nabataean Museum.

At this point, you may explore further on your own, or return to our hotel to relax and / or shop. You may also take a strenuous walk up a narrow pass to see the magnificent 'Monastery' building, El Deir. The views of Petra and the surrounding area are expansive. The walk is steep and involves approximately 750 steps carved into the rock and will take APPROXIMATELY one hour up (30 minutes down).

NOTE: Access to Petra is by means of footpath only. The main sites occur near ground that is level and well-worn, though the overall site is huge. Our pace is leisurely with frequent breaks; however, to fully experience Petra you must be prepared for a considerable amount of walking and little shade.

Overnight at Petra.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 13 Petra - Dead Sea, Jordan - Jerusalem, Israel
This morning we travel along the Dead Sea Highway to the Dead Sea where we will make a brief stop. King David, King Herod, Jesus, and John the Baptist were closely linked with the Dead Sea and its surroundings. During the Egyptian conquest it is said that Queen Cleopatra obtained exclusive rights to build cosmetic and pharmaceutical factories in the area. Later the Nabataeans discovered the value of bitumen extracted from the Dead Sea used by the Egyptians.

We continue to Allenby where we cross the border into Israel and proceed to Jerusalem, the City of David.

Overnight in Jerusalem.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 14 Jerusalem: City Tour
Old and new merge seamlessly in Jerusalem. You may hear the Muslim call to prayer competing with the clanging of bells from Christian churches and the prayers of Jews praying before the Western Wall. Everywhere you turn you'll see reminders of the three religions -- Islam, Judaism and Christianity -- that have shaped this part of the world.

We have a morning visit to the Temple Mount, one of the glories of Islamic Jerusalem, where you will view the Dome of the Rock. We then enter through the Jewish Quarter to witness the Herodian Mansions, a lavish palace in antiquity and built formerly of white marble, followed by a visit to the most important site in Judaism, the Western Wall.

Our tour also takes us by way of the Knesset, Israel's parliament, to the President's House, and the Yad Vashem Memorial, and Holocaust Museum for a visit and tour.

Overnight in Jerusalem.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 15 Jerusalem & Bethlehem
Today we will see the Old City from the vantage point of the Mount of Olives.

We enter the old city and visit the Christian sites. Following the last steps of Christ along Via Dolorosa, we approach Calvary and the most sacred site in Christendom, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Most Christians venerate this site as the location of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. We also stop at Mount Zion to see St Peter in Galicantu and the Upper room.

From Jerusalem we continue to Bethlehem.* We visit the Church of the Nativity, the birthplace of Jesus. Built like a citadel over the cave where it is believed Jesus was born, the original 4th century church commissioned by Constantine was altered in AD 530 by Emperor Justinian. It was later captured by the Crusaders and then came under the jurisdiction of Saladin and then the Mamluks.

*NOTE: Due to security concerns/procedures that change frequently, Bethlehem exists in our program on a provisional and tentative basis only. In the event that a visit to the West Bank is not appropriate by departure time, we may remain in Jerusalem and expand our sightseeing there with a visit to the Israel Museum to see the Dead Sea scrolls and a model of the second temple.

Overnight in Jerusalem.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 16 Jerusalem - Tel Aviv: City Touring
Today we travel by road to Tel Aviv.

On arrival we have a tour of vibrant Tel Aviv, a modern city with a unique mix of European and Middle Eastern influences. We see the Independence Hall and the colourful Carmel Market before we head off to the Old Port City of Jaffa (Yaffo), an ancient and beautiful city located in the south of Tel-Aviv.

Jaffa claims over 4,000 years of history and is the place where the prophet Jonas was swallowed by the whale, and the Rock of Andromeda can be seen jutting from the water. The Turks, Napoleon and the British also established their rule of the region through control of this city. We have a walking tour of the old city of Jaffa, a major attraction with winding alleys full of cafes, restaurants and art galleries.

You will have free time for independent exploration before our farewell dinner.

Overnight in Tel Aviv.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 17 Departure
Departure from Tel Aviv.

BON VOYAGE!!

Included Meal(s): Breakfast

Tour Map

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*The red tour trail on the map does not represent the actual travel path.


Hotel List


The following is a list of sample hotels at some locations included on this tour. The hotels shown here are meant to provide a general sense of the standard of hotel we usually aim for; they are not necessarily confirmed for your chosen departure.


Le Meridien Pyramids

Rating: 5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation
Location: Cairo
Country: Egypt

Offering pyramid views, this high-end hotel is 2 km from The Great Pyramid at Giza, The Grand Egyptian Museum and
... Great Sphinx of Giza.

Featuring views of the pyramids, the sophisticated rooms offer free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and desks.

Read More.

Movenpick Aswan

Rating: 5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation
Location: Aswan
Country: Egypt

A 14-minute walk from Elephantine Island, this upscale resort hotel overlooking the River Nile is 2 km from Nubia Museum
... 3 km from the ancient Unfinished Obelisk museum.

Read More.

Al Qasr Metropole

Rating: 4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation
Location: Amman
Country: Jordan

AlQasr Metropole Hotel is a charming four star boutique hotel, with a breathtaking view of the capital Amman, with 66
... It is located in Shmeisani, one of the most prestigious and commercial areas in the capital. It is within walking distance to most of the major banks, shopping arcades, other reputable hotels, many business centers and the acclaimed cultural street of Amman. AlQasrMetropole is the ideal destination to combine business, pleasure and fun.

AlQasr Metropole boasts its dedication to provide services that are not only personable but which also provide affordable 5 star hotel services. The hotel is notorious for its great outlets, which are considered to be Jordan's most popular.

The newly renovated lobby has uplifted the hotel to create an even higher standard of services and appearance. AlQasr Metropole is Amman city's first hip, trendy and chic boutique hotel.
AlQasr Metropole Hotel has set high standards of excellence, with the help of its friendly and attentive staff, and it will certainly make sure all your needs are tended to.

Read More.

Hotel Beit Zaman


Location: Petra
Country: Jordan

Situated 2km from Petra in the neighbouring village of Wadi Musa, Beit Zaman is a carefully restored 19th century village
... to afford guests a high level of comfort away from the busy day's sightseeing. The very nature of the hotel's history means that it abounds with character, and each of the 129 rooms and suites possess much of the original stonework, while modern touches give the rooms a comfortable finish. The location means that the sunsets here can be striking over the valley, and the open areas are extremely pleasant, with the highlights including a covered swimming pool.
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Moriah Classic

Rating: 4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation
Location: Jerusalem
Country: Israel

Moriah Classic Jerusalem Hotel (former Novotel Jerusalem) located at the unique meeting point of East and West, old and new,
... and spiritual. The hotel is 20 minutes walking from the Old City Walls, the Via Doloroza, the Wailing Wall, Jaffa Gate, the Oriental Bazaar. The hotel offers 397 fully air-conditioned rooms with private bathroom, mini bar, direct dial phone, and cable TV. Outdoor swimming pool (seasonal).

Read More.


Trip Information

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►

Inclusions

Breakfast and dinner daily; some lunches. All transport (including internal flights), accommodation, sightseeing and entrance fees for sites noted as 'visited' in the detailed itinerary. Gratuities for drivers, restaurant staff, porters, local guides. Airport transfers for land & air customers and for early arriving/late departing land & air customers who book their extra hotel nights through us.

Exclusions

International airfare to/from the tour. Tour Leader gratuities, most lunches, drinks, personal items (phone, laundry, etc), international (if applicable) air taxes, and any excursions referenced as 'optional'. Airport transfers for Land Only customers. Optional trip cancellation insurance. Our post-reservation trip notes offer further guidance on shopping, included meals, visas, and locally-paid departure taxes.

Seasonality and Weather

This tour is offered in spring and fall when temperatures are the most pleasant. Spring is green season in some locations, while fall brings the harvest of dates, melons, grapes, and many other local crops. Showers are possible both times but the overall region is arid on average.

Transport and Travel Conditions

Local ground transport provided by private air-conditioned motor coach, 12-36 seats depending on ultimate group size. Internal flights via local air carriers.

The tour is not strenuous though it is very busy; you must be steady on your feet and be able to endure some full travel and sightseeing days. We have numerous walking tours and visit several archaeological sites that are LARGE with steps and uneven surfaces.

Our rating "Level 2" on this tour refers to its ambitious nature, full days, possibly some early starts, and plenty of time spent on your feet. Egyptian sites are LARGE, and the only access to Petra is by foot. Surfaces are uneven and sloped, and stairs may factor into our visits. Though baggage handling is available throughout, you must still be able to manage your things, especially at airports.

Accommodation

Hotels used on tour are well-located, air-conditioned, 3-4-star (maybe the odd 5-star) properties with en-suite bath/toilet. Single rooms are limited in number and are possibly smaller than twins. Porters are generally available (see 'Inclusions').

Click on the "Map & Hotels" tab on this page for more information.

Staff and Support

Tour Leader throughout, local drivers, local guides at various locations.

Group Size

Maximum 18 plus Tour Leader