Days
22
Price from
$4,530CAD

Journey from Egypt through Israel and into Jordan

Egypt, Jordan and Israel - it’s the holy land trifecta and you’ve just been announced the winner.

In 2015 this trip was known as 'The Egypt to Israel Crusade'.

Before booking on this trip we recommend that you read the ‘Safety’ section in the trip notes regarding special safety considerations for Egypt trips.

TRIP CHANGES FOR 2017:
In 2017 this trip will now depart on Wednesday instead of Tuesday. We have also upgraded the felucca on Day 5 to also have bathroom facilities on board, previously the felucca would make nature stops along the way during the cruise. We believe this upgrade will add an extra level of comfort of our passengers.
This trip will also no longer stay in Aqaba on Day 11, instead will stay and camp in Wadi Rum.
These changes come as a result of traveller feedback that Aqaba was not a highlight for may passengers. We believe that the inclusion of camping in Wadi Rum will add value to the trip as its is a highlight on many of our other trips. The stay in Wadi Rum is at a traditional Bedouin desert camp with local hosts. A guided desert safari is also included the following day (Day 12).
The trip will also be 21 days rather than 22 as we have taken out the free day in Amman between the Jordan trip finishing and the Israel trip starting. This was due to past passenger feedback that indicated that they did not find that having the extra free day is required.
The trip code has also changed from GEIC to GEICC so this can be quickly identified as a combination trip

The new itinerary is outlined below:

Day 1 Cairo
Day 2 Cairo
Day 3 Aswan
Day 4 Aswan
Day 5 Felucca
Day 6 Luxor
Day 7 Luxor
Day 8 Cairo
Day 9 Cairo
Day 10 Amman
Day 11 Wadi Rum
Day 12 Petra
Day 13 Petra
Day 14 Amman
Day 15 Amman
Day 16 Tiberias
Day 17 Jerusalem
Day 18 Jerusalem
Day 19 Jerusalem
Day 20 Jerusalem
Day 21 Jerusalem (departure day)


Start
Cairo, Egypt
Finish
Jerusalem, Israel
Countries
Egypt, Israel, Jordan
Code
GEIC
Physical rating
Traveller’s rating
3 reviews
Ages
Min 18 , Max 39
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why we love this trip

  • The Pyramids might be hyped, but when you see them you’ll soon be saying oh mummy, I see the point (sorry)

  • Masks don’t come much more famous than King Tut’s golden headpiece – check it out at the incredible Egyptian Museum

  • Our guides are local and know all the best secret and hidden places to check out after a day of sightseeing

  • Only Petra’s Treasury is stunning enough to be the temple of the Holy Grail (well, according to Indiana Jones at least), and you’ll be blown away on a full day exploring the majesty and mystery of this world wonder

  • If you thought the Middle East was all sand and dust, think again – check out the lakeside towns of Tiberias and Tabgha, the place where a crowd miraculously had a lot more fish and bread than they thought

  • Discover for yourself the towns that everyone knows from the Christmas carols – Jericho and Bethlehem – and find out about daily life in the epic city of Jerusalem as you chat with locals on the way to the Western Wall

Is this trip right for you?

  • You’re the boss! Not just in general, but also on this trip, where there’s free time to do whatever you want, or optional tours to show you the way. Maybe budget a little extra cash for activities that aren’t included.

  • It’s not all hot desert days in Jordan, as the winter months (December through to February) can be quite cold. Temperatures in northern parts of the country can drop to freezing overnight. Snowfall around these areas as well as Amman is common. Pack smart so that you’re prepared for varying temperatures if travelling during these months.

  • The thing about ancient ruins and other super old sites in the Middle East is that they usually involve walking on rocky and/or steep hillsides. But if you don’t feel up for it on a hot day then you can just sit it out, or wander along at your own pace.

  • Travelling on a felucca is awesome, but it's not for everyone. You will be sharing a sleeping area with your fellow group members for the night and a shared bathroom facility on board

  • You’re probably pro at packing light and smart, but just in case you're tempted to bring a big, heavy bag, remember you’ll have to carry it to and from hotels, bus stops, train stations etc.

Itinerary

Welcome to Cairo. You will meet with your trip leader and the rest of your group at 6 pm this evening. Check for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception for the location. If you're going to be late, just let the hotel know. If you arrive early enough go immerse yourself in the madness: grab a pair of authentic Roy Bands sunnies from the bazaar, embrace the kitsch world of Dr Ragab's Pharaonic Village, then share a sahlab (sweet, hot custard drink with nuts) and p'raps a sheesha pipe with your new travel buddies.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today you'll take a trip to the Egyptian Museum to see the golden mask of none other than King Tutankhamun. To get there, you'll drive out to the edge of the desert. Explore the pyramids and the nearby Sphinx (nobody's quite sure how it lost its nose). Later, with free time, there are plenty of further options, like visiting the Valley Temple of King Khafre (Chephren). In the evening, it's time for your sleeper train to Aswan (Sleeper Train to Aswan sounds a bit like the title of an adventure novel, doesn't it? Just you wait).
Accommodation
  • Overnight Sleeper Train (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Cairo - The Egyptian Museum
  • Cairo - Pyramids and Sphinx
Optional Activities
  • Cairo - Camel ride at the Pyramids - EGP25
  • Cairo - The Mummy Room - EGP100
  • Cairo - Sound & Light Show at the Pyramids - EGP100
  • Cairo - The 2nd Pyramid of Khafre - EGP40
  • Cairo - The Great Pyramid of Cheops - EGP200
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Enjoy some breakfast, then shake out your train legs and put on your haggling hat (or just a regular hat, we don't mind) with a trip to the Nubian bazaar. Grab useful stuff like books, cotton tops and sunhats for your upcoming Nile cruise. Splurge on fun stuff like perfume oil, leather bags and jewellery just for the heck of it. Later on, maybe visit the stunning Temple of Isis at Philae Island (she’s the Goddess of health, marriage and wisdom, in case ya didn’t know), or get some more camel-ride action with a trip out towards the Monastery of St. Simeon.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Camel Ride. - EGP90
  • Felucca Sail Aswan - EGP30
  • Aswan - Nubian Museum - EGP60
  • Aswan - Philae Temple - EGP60
  • Philae Temple Sound & Light - EGP90
  • Aswan - Unfinished Obelisk - EGP40
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today is yours to spend as you please in Aswan. The optional drive to Abu Simbel is well worth it, because this is one of the coolest temples on earth, cut out of a solid rock cliff. A real winner, as far as sightseeing in Egypt goes (and that is obviously saying a lot). Renting a minivan with your fellow travellers is the way to go. It'll be an early start (around 4 am), and it takes about three hours to get there, and another three to get back. If you'd rather save time and fly there, that's possible too.

Notes: Flights don't go to Abu Simbel every day, and they'll usually set you back US $250-300. It's best to fly in the morning, so you can beat the heat (it's down south). Your trip leader won't accompany you on a flight – only the land travel option. Local guides can be hired on arrival.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
You're on a boat! A felucca to be exact. It's time to sail on the Nile on a traditional wooden sailing boat. This pretty awesome ship will be your home tonight, and all three meals are included today. You'll visit the Temple of Sobek, a classic, ruined (you might even say classically ruined) Greco-Roman temple. Continue sailing towards Edfu and take in some timeless scenes of life on the Nile. Your Instagram account should be going off like a frog in a sandstorm by now. Stop in at Edfu to explore the awesomely preserved Temple of Horus (Horus being the falcon-headed God). Did someone say boat-based impromptu fancy-dress party?

Please note our Felucca does have a shared bathroom facility on board
Accommodation
  • Nile Felucca (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Aswan - Edfu Temple - EGP60
  • Aswan - Kom Ombo Temple - EGP50
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
The world is your oyster today. And Luxor is one beautiful and interesting world to be in. Enjoy free time – you might want to take a horse-drawn carriage to the massive religious site dedicated to the Theban Triad at Karnak (one of the most impressive temple complexes in the world, for sure). Some of it dates as far back as 2,055 BC, if that gives you some idea of what you're dealing with. There's also the Luxor Museum, where you can see mummies and – yes – a statue of Sobek, the crocodile god. He’s got the body of a man, the head of a crocodile and is the god of the army, fertility and, surprisingly, crocodiles. He’s definitely one god you don’t wanna get on the wrong side of.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Luxor - Karnak Temple - EGP80
  • Luxor - Sound and Light Show at Karnak - EGP100
  • Luxor - Luxor Museum - EGP100
  • Luxor - Luxor Temple - EGP60
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today you'll ride a donkey. But you won't just ride it anywhere. You and your new furry friend will venture to the legendary Valley of the Kings, a burial hotspot for Egyptian royalty. All the big name pharaohs are here, including King Tut and Ramses IV. You will visit three tombs with your burro. Speak soothing words to your donkey for a nice, peaceful sunrise stroll past fields of alfalfa. Upset him and you might be sore for days. In the afternoon you'll return to the east bank and have a few hours to explore the bazaar. This evening, get back on track with an overnight train to Cairo.

Audits were carried out on balloon operators within Egypt to confirm the safety of their operations, unfortunately we were not able to ascertain the safety standards of these balloon operators- therefore, we are not able to recommend or assist in the booking of any balloon excursions.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Donkey ride
  • Luxor - Valley of the Kings (3 tombs)
Optional Activities
  • Hatshepsut Temple - EGP52
  • Tomb of Tutankhamun - EGP100
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Time for one last walk around Cairo. Head south from Bab al-Futuh (one of the medieval north gates), past the old Islamic monuments that stand watch over the bazaars. Wipe the dust from your brow and say goodbye to this frenetic place. This time maybe hit up the Khan el-Khalili bazaar for some awfully cheap trinkets for the gang back home. Candleholder, water pipe, cartouche or wool carpet anyone?
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Farewell Pharoes with a flight from Egypt to Jordan. Touch down in main town - Amman. When you get here you'll meet your brand new leader. You've got some time to wander around - you don’t know the meaning of ‘bustling labyrinth’ until you walk around the Jordanian capital. If it all gets too cray, duck into a cafe for a sweet mint tea.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
You’ve got the whole day free to explore the capital city (depending on when you get here of course) before you join up with your crew at a 6pm Welcome Meeting tonight (make sure you’ve got all your important docs and deets on you). Until then, hit the streets. Make a beeline for Rainbow Street for a falafel and a sheesha. It's what the locals would want. Something more substantial? Maybe head to the Old Town’s Roman Amphitheatre, have a cultured afternoon at the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts, snap some pics of the city from the hilltop Temple of Hercules, or sweat it out in a Turkish bath house. Afterwards, rendezvous with your new Geckos crew for a team catch-up. It may or may not be at the local pub.
Optional Activities
  • Bethany Baptism site - JOD12
  • Citadel - JOD2
  • Jerash Roman ruins - USD12
  • Jordan Museum - JOD5
  • King Abullah Mosque - JOD2
  • Roman Theatre - JOD1
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
This morning you’ll jump on a JETT bus for the four-hour journey down the Desert Highway to Aqaba. Keep your eyes peeled for camels at around the 230km mark. Out to the left. No, the other left. Anway, Aqaba is landlocked Jordan’s only town on the sea, which they got through some tense negotiations with their neighbours. Now this beach resort on the Red Sea is yours to explore for the rest of the day. If you want to get historical then there’s the 14th century Ottoman Fort to check out. This is where the T.E Lawrence (of ‘of Arabia’ fame) rode to Cairo with big news about a revolt. There are also plenty of cafes and restaurant's to help you enjoy the local cuisine. Otherwise, most of the fun is to be found in the water – just south of town there are stunning untouched coral reefs, which make for some of the best snorkelling you can find. This morning maybe grab a mask and some flippers and do your best mermaid impression. How many of the 100 species of fish can you spot?
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
After some free time this morning, drive for about an hour to a rugged moonscape of huge sandstone mountains in the desert around Wadi Rum. Lawrence of Arabia spent a fair chunk of time here. Follow his lead and don a headdress and robe for this next bit. Go on, we dare you. You’ll bounce around this stunning, remote scenery with the crazy young local Bedouin (just remember to buckle up in the rickety, but reliable, jeeps). Keep an eye out for the Wadi Rum Desert Patrol in their spiffing khaki and red uniforms. The Bedouin, meaning ‘Desert Dwellers’ in Arabic, are super friendly and will show you around this awesome desert landscape of dunes and rocky outcrops formed by wind and ancient water, where you can pretend like your on the surface of Mars. Hit the road again (approximately 2.5 hours) and snuggle up in Petra overnight. You’re gonna need your sleep as there are some serious sites to see tomorrow.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Who doesn't like a dramatic entrance. Make your way through a narrow gorge, past tombs and rock formations to get your first glimpse of the legendary Al Khazneh (The Treasury. You might recognise it from Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade). Pick your jaw up off the ground, because there are flies everywhere. This is the entrance to a city carved into the rock, the ancient capital of the Nabatean people way back in 600BC. Nobody in the West knew about it until 1812, when a Swiss guy dressed up like a local to sneak in and then blab the secret to everyone. Thankfully he did though because this isn’t something you’d want to miss out on. The site is surprisingly big, and you can explore the old Roman road, temples and several old tombs, as well as the rock-hewn amphitheatre. If you’ve got it in your legs there’s also the option to walk up to the Monastery and up the cliff top path overlooking the Treasury. Be sure to keep an eye out for the cafe run by Marguerite van Geldermalsen, the Kiwi woman who has been living in Petra with a local Bedouin for 30 years or so. After a long day’s exploring, there’s not many who would turn down the option to soothe their body with a chillax in a Turkish bath. Happy days.

Notes: One day's entrance fee to Petra is included. Please note that when entering Petra as a group, a complimentary horse ride is included in the ticket price from the entrance point down to the Siq. Geckos doesn't recommend that passengers take this option due to the safety and insurance liability involved.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Guided tour of Petra ( Including 1 day pass ).
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
We were talking about Crusades and Crusaders earlier right? Well they built Shobak Castle atop a grassy knoll and thought it would last forever, but Saladin's Arab army knocked it over after an 18-month siege. You’ll drive a short way from Petra to get here, and the castle makes an impressive sight as you approach. Poke around the site and discover a small chapel, original gatehouse, and find out where a long, dark secret passage leads. Kick on half an hour to the ancient village at Dana, where at the craft centre you can (you guessed it) pick up some crafts, like silver jewellery and charms. Drive on to Madaba (approximately 3 hours), home to Byzantine mosaics way better than anything you ever made in art class. Visit the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George and check out a 6th century mosaic map of the Holy Land. Then it’s on to Amman and time to enjoy a felafel tonight.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Entr Mt Nebo - JOD1
  • Entrance fees Jerash - JOD10
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Drive back in time (approximately 1 hour) to Jerash, once a thriving ancient Roman city, and now some of the best-preserved ruins this side of Italy. Do your best Biggus Dickus impersonation (Monty Python, anyone?) in Jerash's main street, check out the columns of the Oval Plaza and the tiered seating of the South Theatre, and imagine the chariot race from Gladiator in the hippodrome. In the afternoon you can choose to wash off the dust from exploring ruins with an (attempted) swim, so you’d better have packed your swim gear. Drive around 1.5 hours to the shores of the Dead Sea. This isn’t actually a sea but a super-salty lake (dead because of the lack of life in it) where the density of the water means you’ll go for a float, not a swim. Here you can get that photo of you reading a paper while floating in the water – just like the ten billion visitors before you. It’s worth it though, classic shot. Maybe grab a handful of the shoreline’s mud and slop it over your body on the way back in – it’s full of nutrient-rich natural minerals and will leave your skin feeling awesome. Afterwards you will return to Amman for the evening (approximately 1 hour). Maybe ask your leader where locals spend their evenings.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Dead Sea (lunch & transfer / min 3 people) - JOD40
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Freedom is the word of the day. Take some time in Amman to relax or create your own adventure. You could head up to the hilltop Temple of Hercules to snap some pics of the city, check out the local craft shops on Rainbow Street, or sweat it out in a Turkish bath house. Otherwise you can fill up on the fabulous food - by now you should also be addicted to hummus, ara'yes (oven-baked sandwiches filled with spiced mince) and mansaf (Google it, then wipe your drool off this page). If not, we haven't done our job properly. Tonight you will meet your new group and maybe head out for an optional group dinner.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today it’s goodbye Jordan, shalom Israel. You’ll make your way from Amman to Israel via the Sheikh Hussein border (named after the small village nearby, but nobody knows who Sheikh Hussein really was). Today can kind of be a test of your preparation and patience skills. How many books did you pack? Did you charge all your tech? Where’s your water bottle? This border crossing is usually not as busy as the others and fingers crossed for a relatively easy pass, but it could take a lot longer that expected, so make sure to bring along patience, understanding and sense of humour just in case! When you complete all the important immigration stuff, you’ll also get a brand new local leader – lucky you, two leaders in two days! Then it's a pretty short drive on to the lakeside city of Tiberias where you’ll end the day the perfect way – with a hearty feed and a proper good sleep.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today you’ll get your biblical history on with some of the most famous religious sites around. Something about ‘the loaves and the fishes’ is a favourite grumble for mums around the world when anyone unexpectedly brings a load of hungry mouths home for dinner. Discover what they’re on about with a visit to Tabgha. Jesus hungout here quite a few times when he was alive (and once after he died) and it’s said here he performed one of the only miracles that’s in all the gospels. With only five loaves of bread and two fishes he fed a whopping 5,000 people. Check out the church and its ancient mosaics, built to mark the spot of the miracle of the multiplication. Head on to Capernaum to see the ruins of this old fishing town, the site of two ancient synagogues and a church said to have been Saint Peter’s crib. Next it’s on to Jesus’ hometown – drop by the Church of Annunciation where Mary got the news that she was knocked up (virgin-style) along with the well where she got water every day. The holiness doesn’t stop there; jump back on the bus and head to the centre of it all – Jerusalem.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Kick off the day with a drive out to the spectacular cliff-top fortress of Masada, near the Dead Sea. This UNESCO site is super important to the Jewish people, a symbol of their exile from the Holy Land and of bravery and self-sacrifice. The story goes that here a Jewish sect called the zealots held out against the Roman army in AD66. Rather than surrender, they either fought to the death or committed suicide, every last man, woman and child. It's kind of like Gallipoli for the state of Israel. Check out this slow-paced West Bank town of Jericho, one of the world’s longest continually inhabited cities, and just try and wrap you head the fact that people have lived here for 11,000 years. From there, drive to Bethlehem – no doubt you're familiar with it from all the Christmas carols and nativity plays. Drop by the Church of the Nativity (on top of the cave where Mary popped out Jesus) and the Shepherds’ Fields (where the angels appeared and told them to get their gold, frankincense and myrrh out). You were gonna stay in Bethlehem but there was no room at the inn and someone had already shot-gunned the stable, so you’ll head back to J-town for the night.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today you’ll get to grips with Jerusalem, the city that’s overflowing with spirituality and legend. Start by getting a panoramic view of the city from the Mount of Olives, which has churches and tombs all the way down from top to bottom. If you ever felt like having a chat with the old man upstairs, then Gethsemane would probably the place to do it. Visit this garden at the foot of the Mount of Olives, a favourite hangout for Jesus and his disciples, before driving to a gate where you’ll enter the Old City. Walk to the ‘Cardo’ in the recently restored Jewish Quarter, which was a road that ran the entire length of the city in Byzantine times. You’ll also check out the Western Wall (the remains of the Temple Mount which act as an outdoor synagogue, where written prayers are slid into the cracks between stones), Via Dolorosa (or the “way of sorrows”, which follows Jesus’ path to crucifixion), and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, built where Jesus is believed to have been crucified, died, buried, and rose again. In the arvo, things get very mellow and moving with a visit to Yad Vashem, Israel’s memorial to the victims of the Holocaust. This evening you’ll head back to sunny Jerusalem.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Does your bucket list include: ‘visit olive oil soap factory’? If not, why not? And if yes, then phew, because today we’ll head out to Nablus and tick that one off. You’ll visit Jacob’s Well and from there go to the Old City of Nablus. Walk through the streets, visit the Turkish Hammam (Bath), and watch how Knafeh, the world famous sweet originating from the city, is made. You’ll then get to eat your weight in mouth-watering, cheesy pastry deliciousness drenched in sweet, sweet syrup at the shop next door. Once the tour of Nablus is done, drive up to Mount Gerizim to visit the tiny, ancient community of the Samaritans, a religious group closely related to Judaism, where you’ll learn about their views and their ways of life. Drive to Sabastya to walk through the Roman ruins, olive trees and hills and the site where John the Baptist was allegedly beheaded. Then it's back to Jerusalem for your final night on the town.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your trip ends in Jerusalem today. Say goodbye to all your new mates and don't forget to stalk their Facebook photos for pictures of yourself.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

18 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3 dinners

Transport

Felucca, Jeep, Plane, Private aircon bus, Sleeper train

Accommodation

Hotel (18 nights), Sleeper train (2 nights), Felucca (1 night)

Included Activities

  • Cairo - The Egyptian Museum
  • Cairo - Pyramids and Sphinx
  • Donkey ride
  • Luxor - Valley of the Kings (3 tombs)
  • Guided tour of Petra ( Including 1 day pass ).

Reviews

Our Epic Egypt to Israel trips score an average of 4.33 out of 5 based on 3 reviews in the last year.

Epic Egypt to Israel , May 2016

Dane Saville

The Egypt to Israel Crusade, November 2015

Katherine Arlidge

Dates & availability

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Important notes

ENTRANCE FEES:
With the exception of a one day pass to Petra (included), entrance fees are not included. You pay these as you go along.

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT:
An optional single supplement is available on this trip. Please refer to your booking agent for further information.
Please note, on the following nights the Single Supplement is not available:
- Day 5: Felucca

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.