(Egypt, Israel, and Jordan); Cairo, Sinai, St. Catherine, Jerusalem, Tiberius, Amman, Petra, Wadi Rum, and the Dead Sea
April 12-28, 2024
17 days in Egypt, Israel, and Jordan: including Cairo, St. Catherine, Jerusalem, Tiberius, Amman, Petra, Wadi Rum, and the Dead Sea
Price is subject to change. Price does not include single supplement, tips, taxes, or fuel charges
Arrive Cairo. You will be met and transferred to the Ramses Hilton Hotel upon arrival at Cairo International Airport—dinner on your own.
CAIRO / ST. CATHERINE - SINAI / CATHERINE PLAZA HOTEL
5:30 AM: Wake-up call
6:15 AM: Luggage outside and buffet breakfast at the hotel
7:15 AM: Get ready for your Biblical adventure, where you will follow the MOSES path. Your seven (7) hour trip will start by driving east from Cairo to Suez City, where we will cross Suez Canal via AHMED HAMDY TUNNEL. We might stop briefly to watch the ships crossing the canal. After a few hours’ drive, we will stop at the Red Sea shore to enjoy our box lunch.
We will arrive at the St. Catherine area late afternoon and spend one night at CATHERINE PLAZA HOTEL. Dinner & overnight - BB, L, D
ST. CATHERINE MONASTERY
Located at the foot of Mount Moses, St. Catherine's Monastery was constructed by order of Emperor Justinian between 527 and 565 AD. It is built around Moses' Burning Bush, with a chapel atop it.
It is a spectacular natural setting for priceless works of art, including Arab mosaics, Greek and Russian icons, Western oil paintings, paintings on wax, fine sacerdotal ornaments, marbles, enamels, chalices, reliquaries, including one donated by Czar Alexander II in the 19th century, and another by Empress Catherine of Russia in the 17th century. But perhaps even greater significance is that it has the world's largest and most important collections of illuminated manuscripts (The Vatican has the largest). The collection comprises 4,500 Greek, Coptic, Arabic, and Armenian volumes.
Set beneath the mountain where Moses is said to have received the Ten Commandments, Saint Catherine Monastery has been one of the world’s great centers of religious pilgrimage for over fifteen centuries. Within its imposing walls rests a citadel, incredibly rich in important religious and historical structures. Among its treasures is a library of ancient manuscripts and icons second only to the Vatican itself and a 6th-century church reputed to lie directly on the site of the Burning Bush. Quite simply, the monastery is a defining feature of the Holy Land.
ST. CATHERINE / TABA (Egypt/Israel border) / JERUSALEM / HERBERT SAMUEL HOTEL
2:00 AM: Only for those interested in climbing Moses Mountain to witness the sunrise. You will depart the hotel very early morning. A few minutes away is the base of Moses Mountain, where you will follow dirt and rock paths with a local guide to almost halfway, then climb up via steps without your guide. 6:00 AM: you will start to descend until you reach the bottom of the mountain, where you will be picked up by our bus and returned to the lodge. Freshen up and pack your luggage. Enjoy your buffet breakfast at the lodge and get ready to visit St. Catherine Monastery before we continue our trip to Israel.
AM: After breakfast and checking out from the hotel, we will proceed with our two-hour bus drive to TABA (Egyptian / Israeli border) to cross to Israel. After finishing immigration and customs formalities on both sides, you will be met and transferred to Jerusalem by a private A/C coach on the Israeli side. En route to Jerusalem, we are going to stop and visit MASADA.
Masada majestically towers high above the plateau of the Dead Sea. The mountain of Masada is undoubtedly one of the most impressive in the Judean Desert. Masada, Israel, is located in the Dead Sea region. The elevation of Masada at the top is barely 100m above sea level, while the bottom of Masada is way below, close to the Dead Sea, the lowest point on Earth, forming a remarkable drop of about 400m.
Above 90% of the findings in Masada Israel originated from the times of King Herod the Great. The dwellers in the following centuries used the numerous Herodian facilities, with minor alterations, to adjust them to their various needs.
Late afternoon and after we visit Masada, we will continue our adventure to Jerusalem to spend the next four nights at HERBERT SAMUEL HOTEL in Jerusalem. Lunch on your own.
The Herbert Samuel Jerusalem Hotel is located in the center of Jerusalem, close to the city’s most sought-after destinations. Nestled in the heart of Nahalat Shiv’a, a bustling pedestrian promenade lined with quaint sidewalk cafes, shops, and galleries, the hotel is also within walking distance of the Old City - BB
JERUSALEM- Mt. of Olives – Via Dolorosa – Cardo – Upper Room, Western Wall Tunnel, / HERBERT SAMUEL HOTEL
8:00 AM: Israeli buffet breakfast,
9:00 AM: Meet your tour guide - in the hotel lobby to start your adventure by driving first to the Mount of Olives for a panoramic view over the city, then down to the Garden of Gethsemane and the Church of All Nations, where we will have time to wander before we start our exploration of the Old City.
Drive to Mount Zion to view the Upper Room of the Last Supper (Mark 14.13, Luke 22, 10-38, Matt 26. 17-29, Acts 1.13 & Act 2 the Pentecost) and King David’s traditional tomb. On we go through the renovated Jewish Quarter, the Cardo, which was the main street of Jerusalem 2000 years ago. It is part of the Old City's Jewish Quarter, the reconstructed main street of Byzantine Jerusalem from the 6th century. This street used to be a long avenue that crossed the whole city from north to south.
Today, situated 20 feet below the modern street level, one part of the Cardo is a restored arcade of Jewish galleries and shops, while the other part is an open-air reconstructed street. We continue to visit the fabulous Saint-Peter Church in-Gallicantu: built on the slopes of Mount Zion1931. According to tradition, this was the place of the palace of the high priest Caiaphas, where Jesus was brought to jail after his arrest. Its name (Gallicantu, which means the cock's crow) is given after the story of Peter's triple denial of Christ and the cock crowing twice. Lunch on your own. Proceed to the WESTERN WALL TUNNEL and see hidden layers of the Wall revealed underground, which tell the story of ancient Jerusalem and generations of longing for it. Honeycombing the very ground on which today's pilgrims and tourists tread are the remnants of 3,000 years of continuous civilization, roads and houses, and mighty edifices built atop each other by a cavalcade of rulers and conquerors ever since the dawn of recorded history. The ground can scarcely be broken in Jerusalem without running into the bones of the past.
Walk along part of the Via Dolorosa, where Christ carried his cross. We visit the convent of Ecce Homo to view the Lithostrotos (The actual stones on which Jesus was scourged) and then continue to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the site which tradition says marks the spot where Christ was both crucified and rose from the dead (Matt 27.33-57, 28.10). Finally, no visit to Jerusalem would be complete without time spent in the colorful Arab Bazaars.
The winding Via Dolorosa mysteriously disappears and suddenly – at the highest point in the Old City – rises to The Church of the Holy Sepulcher, with its mysterious light, the bustle of construction work, competing chants, and burning incense. It is a magnificent mix of ancient and modern. Lunch on your own.
Later afternoon: return to our hotel to spend overnight - IB
JERUSALEM – Day at Leisure / HERBERT SAMUEL HOTEL
Activities on our own.
Drive to the village of Ein Karthe, the birthplace of John the Baptist (Luke 1.39-80). Mother Mary met her cousin Elizabeth in this Spanish-style church and Mary’s Well. Continue to Bethlehem to visit the Church of the Nativity. This primary Christian holy site marks the traditional place of Christ's birth. It is also one of the oldest surviving Christian churches, commissioned by Emperor Constantine. Lunch on your own.
Late afternoon: Drive back to our hotel overnight - IB
JERUSALEM – Day at Leisure
AM: Israeli breakfast
Activities on our own - IB
JERUSALEM / TIBERIAS & SEA OF GALILEE
After breakfast, meet our guide. Leave Jerusalem and drive north, passing Jericho, the oldest city in the world. Travel through the Jordan Valley to Beit Shean. Vsit the excavations of this beautifully preserved Roman City. Proceed to Nazareth to visit the Church of Annunciation and the Carpentry Workshop of Joseph.
The critical role of Nazareth as a pilgrimage and religious center has dramatically impacted the city’s history. Nazareth’s unique position in the Christian world created special conditions and a unique atmosphere in which a diverse, rich, and complex community has evolved. The New Testament mentions Nazareth many times, referring to it as The Home of Mary and Joseph,
The Church of Annunciation is located at the heart of old Nazareth; by a centuries-old tradition, it is built over the home of the Virgin Mary, where she became miraculously pregnant by the Holy Spirit. The site is one of the most significant Christian pilgrimage destinations in the Holy Land and is visited by thousands daily.
Late afternoon: Arrive in TIBERIAS for the next night at the MAGDALA HOTEL—dinner and overnight in Tiberius - IB, D
GALILEE - Boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, AMMAN (Jordan) via Sheikh Hussein Bridge
After breakfast, we sail on the Sea of Galilee. As our sail commences, the spray refreshes you. But the highlight is when your captain cuts the motor, and you’re surrounded by landscapes sacred for thousands of years. In your wooden boat, resembling ancient ones, you feel you’ve returned to a time when people depended on wind and waves for their livelihood and miracles.
Here, Jesus walked on water (John 6:19-21), calmed a storm (Matt. 8:23-26), and showed the disciples miraculous catches of fish (Luke 5:1-8; John 21:1-6). Many Jewish visitors also take the lake trip, heading out to where tradition says Miriam the Prophetess caused a miraculous spring to appear.
After our boat ride, we will board our bus to continue to SHEIKH HUSSEIN BRIDGE (Israel/Jordan Border) to cross to AMMAN (Jordan).
But first, there is one stop we must make:
YARDENIT BAPTISM SITE:
Jesus Christ traveled south to the Jordan River to meet John the Baptist, who was baptizing all who would come and repent of their sins in the Jordan River. Jesus Christ was baptized in Bethany across the Jordan River (John 1.28). Today Pilgrims to the Holy Land visit the Baptismal Site (Yardinet) and are baptized in the waters of the Jordan.
After our visits, we will continue our trip by crossing to Jordan via the SHEIKH HUSSEIN Bridge. Once we complete our immigration and obtain our Jordanian visa, we proceed to the Jordan side, where we will be met by our guide and proceed to spend the next night at FAIRMONT HOTEL in AMMAN - IB
AMMAN / PETRA / PETRA MOVENPICK HOTEL
AM: Buffet breakfast
8:00 AM: We meet our guide in the hotel lobby to continue our adventure by driving South to PETRA. En route from Amman to Petra, we will stop to visit the following sites:
The magnificent Crusader fortress of Kerak:
Kerak's origins go back long before the Crusaders; the earliest remains are Iron Age, shortly after the Exodus, when this was a part of Moab. It was known as Kir-haroseth, Kir-Heres, or Kir, and its doom was prophesied by Isaiah (16:7), who mentions its 'raisin cakes, presumably a local specialty. Then it fell out of history until the Byzantine period when it was important enough to have an archbishop.
It was the Crusaders who made Kerak (biblical Charach Mouba) famous. The fortress, located 124 km south of Amman, was built in 1,142 by Payen le Bouteiller, lord of Montreal and the province of Oultre Jourdain, on the remains of earlier citadels, which date back to Nabataean times. He made Kerak the new province capital, for it was superbly situated on the King's Highway, where it could control all traffic from north and south and grow rich by the imposition of road tolls.
Then we stop to visit: MOUNT NEBO and MADABA
MOUNT NEBO: is a 1,000m (3,300ft) high mountain located 10km/6 mi NW of Madaba in Jordan, opposite the northern end of the Dead Sea. According to ancient tradition, this is the mountain from which Moses saw the Promised Land before he died.
Because of its connection to Moses, Mt. Nebo has long been an important place of Christian pilgrimage. Excavations led by the Franciscans, who own the site, have uncovered significant remains of the early church and its magnificent Byzantine mosaics. A simple modern shelter dedicated to Moses has been built over them.
Madaba's chief attraction - in the contemporary Greek Orthodox church of St. George - is a wonderfully vivid, 6th-century Byzantine mosaic map showing the entire region from Jordan and Palestine in the north to Egypt in the south. This map includes a fascinating plan of Jerusalem: on the left is the north gate from which two colonnaded streets run south. The domed Holy Sepulcher is on the straight street through the city's heart. Lunch will be served at HIKAYET SITTI RESTAURANT.
Late afternoon: we arrive at Petra and proceed to PETRA MOVENPICK HOTEL to spend the next two nights in Petra. Overnight - BB, L
PETRA – full-day tours / PETRA MOVENPICK HOTEL
AM: After early breakfast, enjoy a highlight of our tour with your full-day tour of Petra; The visit starts at the visitor’s center, where you are assigned a Bedouin guided horse for the entrance of the Siq, where we begin our walk with our guide for the journey into the lost city. Pass through the Siq, an immense crack in the Nubian sandstone.
It is a winding, one-kilometer-long fissure between overhanging cliffs that seem to meet more than 300 feet overhead. Near the end of the passage, in towering brightness, appears Petra’s most impressive monument, EL Khazneh - The Treasury. This is one of the most elegant remains of antiquity, carved out of solid rock from the side of the mountain, which is nearly 140 feet high and 90 feet wide. Lunch at Basin Restaurant at the end of our visit to Petra. Horseback rides out from outer Siq to the entrance gate (800 meters). Return to hotel for overnight in Petra - BB, L.
PETRA – WADI RUM (One night at the MARTIAN TENT)
AM: Buffet breakfast
8:00 AM: we will go to Wadi Rum by jeep for a few hours. After our desert safari, we proceed to PALMERA CAMP to spend the next night in WADI RUM.
Offering mountain views, Palmira Camp Wadi Rum in Wadi Rum provides accommodation, a seasonal outdoor swimming pool, a shared lounge, a terrace, a restaurant, and barbecue facilities. Every unit has a private bathroom with a bidet, complimentary toiletries, slippers, and bathrobes. A buffet, à la carte, or continental breakfast is available every morning at the property.
Day at leisure. Overnight at Wadi Rum - BB, D
WADI RUM: Offering some of the most extraordinary desert scenery you'll ever see, this area, made famous abroad by the exploits of TE Lawrence ('Lawrence of Arabia') in the early 20th century, has lost none of its allure and forbidding majesty. Its myriad moods and dramatic colors dictated by the changing angle of the sun show the timeless rhythm of desert life. Wadi Rum is as much to be experienced as it is to be seen.
WADI RUM / DEAD SEA / DEAD SEA MARRIOTT HOTEL
AM: Buffet breakfast at the Camp
AM: After breakfast, we board our bus and continue our journey to the Dead Sea. Arrive at the Dead Sea, where we will spend the next night at the DEAD SEA MARRIOTT HOTEL. The Dead Sea is 400 meters below sea level. The Moevenpick Resort & Spa Dead Sea is 55 km from Amman.
Day at leisure. Overnight at the Dead Sea - BB
THE DEAD SEA - Day at Leisure
THE DEAD SEA / AMMAN / CAIRO / STEINBERGER PYRAMIDS HOTEL
AM – Buffet breakfast. Morning at leisure
You will be picked up by a private coach, driver & English-speaking guide and drive to Queen Alia Airport for your Egypt Air or Royal Air Jordanian for a short flight to Cairo.
Arrive in Cairo, where you will be met and transferred to Steinberger Pyramids Hotel overnight - BB
CAIRO / PYRAMIDS, SPHINX, SAKKARA & MEMPHIS (Full day tour)
AM: Buffet breakfast at the hotel coffee shop
After breakfast, (Please meet your tour guide in the hotel lobby) to start your Egyptian adventure in Giza, where you will tour one of the seven and only remaining wonders of the ancient world, the famous Great Pyramids of Giza. You will also visit the legendary Sphinx, a sacred symbol of the union of the strongest physical with the highest intellectual power on earth.
PM: After lunch at a countryside restaurant, proceed to Sakkara, where you will see the Step Pyramid of King Zoser, history's first stone building. You will continue next to Memphis, the ancient capital city of Egypt. Return to your hotel overnight - BB, L
CAIRO: The Grand Museum – The Civilization Museum, Old Cairo, The Citadel & Khan El Khalili Bazaars –
After breakfast, please meet your guide in the hotel lobby. Your day begins with a tour of the Grand Museum, one of the world's newest and most famous museums. After you visit the Grand Museum, you will proceed to the Civilization Museum, which houses the magnificent collections of 27 Mummies, Sarcophagi.
You will then proceed to OLD CAIRO: This location is in the Fortress of Babylon. Within the fortress are many churches and other religious buildings: Abu Serga, the Church of the Virgin Mary, the Church of Saint Barbara the Martyr, Mar Girgis (Coptic), The Hanging Church, The Church of the Monk Mar Girgis, the Fortress of Babylon, The Greek Orthodox Church Mar Girgis, the Coptic Museum and the Ben Ezra Synagogue.
After you visit Old Cairo, you will tour Saladin’s Citadel Fortress, the site of the magnificent Mohammed Ali Mosque and other Islamic architecture, followed by a trip to the famous Khan El Khalili Bazaar.
Late afternoon: return to the hotel overnight - BB
CAIRO / (USA)
Wake Up Call
Buffet breakfast at the coffee shop.
Departure transfer to Cairo airport for your flight back home.
Welcome home with a lifetime of memories from EGYPT, ISRAEL & JORDAN