Days
7
Price from
$1,505USD

Get a taste of the Middle East's contrasts on a trip through Jordan and Israel

Start the fun times with falafel in Amman, cross the border into Israel and head for Jerusalem – see Masada, Jericho and Bethlehem. From here, it’s on to Nazareth and the Sea of Galilee (it rhymes!) then back to Jerusalem.

There’s an old book called The Bible which is kind of a big deal. A lot of it was based in Jerusalem, so seeing some of this stuff in real life (the Mount of Olives, Bethlehem etc) could be dubbed a 'religious experience'. If you were so inclined.

TRIP CHANGES 2018:
This trip will be changing in 2018 to start in Jerusalem and finish in Tel Aviv. The new itinerary will be 5 days long and depart on Wednesdays. Check out the new itinerary on the 2018 version of this trip which will be called: "Essential Israel & the Palestinian Territories".


Start
Amman, Jordan
Finish
Jerusalem, Israel
Countries
Israel, Jordan
Code
GEBB
Physical rating
Traveller’s rating
5 reviews
Ages
Min 18 , Max 29
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why we love this trip

  • 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.

  • Graffiti has filled the walls in Bethlehem by many artists over the years, including British Artist Banksy. Check it out on a walking tour with your leader.

  • Spend a night in the heart of the quaint little town of Nazareth.

  • Home to Biblical kings, Roman conquerors, Crusaders and the Ottoman Empire, the ruins of Sabastya have a real story to tell you, including the one about John the Baptist being beheaded.

  • Take a birds eye view of the Old City of Jerusalem as you walk the Ramparts. Its a great way to get a sneak peek into places you'd never see otherwise & also a chance to take in the stunning views of the areas outside the wall.

Is this trip right for you?

  • Just one of the great things about this trip is that it gives you the power. 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.

  • Accommodation in Israel is in dorm rooms with up to 12 travellers. They may not all be fellow Geckos travellers and your group could be split across different rooms. Where possible (and unless requested otherwise) we will accommodate you in same gender rooms.

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

  • You don't have a lot of time in Jordan at the start of this trip, so if you're super keen to explore more of Amman we recommend you tag on a few days before this trip begins.

  • Israel & The Palestinian Territories is by no means a cheap destination and you should budget accordingly. The good news is that your expert local leader is on hand to help you uncover the best deals!

  • It’s not all hot desert days in Israel, 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 is also common. Be sure to pack clothes that will prepare you for varying temperatures especially during these months.

  • Sites can get congested during peak travel periods with coaches of large pilgrim groups. We do our best to plan our visits around these times but sometimes it is unavoidable. There may be delays, queue's and private services that prevent us from entering the site. Your trip leader will manage this as best as they can on the day.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2017 to 19 December 2017. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2018 - 31 December 2018

Ah man, welcome to Amman, Jordan. 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 Welcome Meeting tonight (make sure you’ve got all your important docs and deets on you). Until then, hit the streets. Grab a coffee from one of the cafes and then say 'yes please' to an ara’yes, a super-fancy toastie filled with spicy mincemeat. 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.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
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! 

Along the way you'll get your biblical history on with some of the 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 hung out here quite a few times when he was alive (and once afterhe died) and word on the street is that this is where 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.

Then it's a pretty short drive on to Jesus’s hometown; Nazareth where you’ll end the day the perfect way – with a hearty feed and a proper good sleep.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Capernaum - town visit
  • Tabgha - town visit
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
This morning 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.
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).
On a walking tour with your leader, check out this slow-paced town in the West Bank, 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. Here Graffiti has filled the walls by many artists over the years, including British Artist; Banksy. Learn the personal stories behind some of the more prominent pieces. The walk will also take you past one of the largest refugee camps in the West Bank and previous conflict hotspots.

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 where you spend the next 4 nights right in the heart of it.There are plenty of restaurants, bars, and shops within easy walking distance and no visit to Jerusalem is complete without checking out the very cool Machane Yehuda Market. We recommend grabbing a beer in one of the many laneway bars and watch the market come to life in the evening, bar hop, or go for a wander to check out the amazing graffiti popping up on shop shutters.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Nazareth - Visit to Church of Annuniciation & Mary's Well
  • Bethlehem - Church of the Nativity & Shepherds' Field
  • Bethlehem - Grafitti Walking Tour
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. Head up the shore of the sea (actually a very salty lake) to the town of Jericho.
On the way back to Jerusalem, stop at the Mount of Olives for a panoramic view of the Old City.
Return to Jersualem for the night.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Jerusalem - Mount of Olives
Optional Activities
  • Jerusalem - Mahaneh Yehuda Market Visit - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning head to the Old City where you will start a walking tour of the Old City from above and below. Start with the Ramparts Walk from Jaffa Gate all the way to Herod’s Gate. Go down at Herod’s Gate and walk along the Via Dolorosa (Stations of the Cross), stopping at the Austrian Hospice for a short break and go up to the rooftop for a view of the Old City, before continuing to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. On the way to the Wailing Wall stop at the 'Cardo' in the recently restored Jewish Quarter. Spend some time at the Wailing Wall before being picked up to go visit the Holocaust Museum, Yad Vashem.



Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Jerusalem - Walk on the Ramparts of the Old City
  • Jerusalem - Western Wall (Wailing Wall)
  • Jerusalem - Yad Vashem Museum
  • Jerusalem - Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Optional Activities
  • Jerusalem - Israel Museum - USD12
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 and watch how Knafeh, the world famous sweet originating from the city, is made. 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 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
  • Hostel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Nablus - City Walk
  • Sabastya - Roman Ruins
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.
Optional Activities
  • Jerusalem - Church of the Redeemer - USD3
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Due to strict security measures, we recommend that you allow 3 hours minimum to get through airport security before your flight departure

Meals

5 breakfasts

Transport

Private aircon bus

Accommodation

Budget class hotel (1 nights), Hostel (5 nights)

Included Activities

  • Capernaum - town visit
  • Tabgha - town visit
  • Nazareth - Visit to Church of Annuniciation & Mary's Well
  • Bethlehem - Church of the Nativity & Shepherds' Field
  • Bethlehem - Grafitti Walking Tour
  • Jerusalem - Mount of Olives
  • Jerusalem - Walk on the Ramparts of the Old City
  • Jerusalem - Western Wall (Wailing Wall)
  • Jerusalem - Yad Vashem Museum
  • Jerusalem - Church of the Holy Sepulchre
  • Nablus - City Walk
  • Sabastya - Roman Ruins

Reviews

Our Essential Jordan, Israel & the Palestinian Territories trips score an average of 4.4 out of 5 based on 5 reviews in the last year.

Essential Jordan, Israel & the Palestinian Territories, June 2017

Samantha Briggs

Jordan to Israel Odyssey, May 2016

Dane Saville

Dates & availability

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Important notes

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT:
An optional single supplement is available on this trip. Please refer to your booking agent for further information.
Following recent safety incidents we recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest information on travelling in Israel; particularly within the West Bank before your departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas of your itinerary. We have links to prominent government travel advisories and regular updates on issues affecting this trip on our Travel Alerts page - www.geckosadventures.com/en-au/travel-alerts

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.