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Greece & Eastern MediterraneanRegional Journey
Step back into Biblical times, as you see iconic religious sites and uncover hidden gems across Israel and Jordan. Once the marching grounds of Roman legions, Muslim armies and Christian Crusaders, this part of the world is a fascination of cultural riches and antiquity. Hear local stories from Local Experts, stay in luxurious hotels and taste the flavours of the region.
Guests on this trip have the incredible opportunity to visit the Iraq Al-Amir Women’s Cooperative to experience firsthand the preservation of local heritage.
Welcome to Tel Aviv.
You will be met at Ben Gurion Airport and driven to your hotel in Tel Aviv. At 19:30 meet your travel companions for a Welcome Reception and a short introduction to your trip.
Exploring Vibrant Tel Aviv.
Morning sightseeing showcases the highlights of this vibrant city including the Habimah National Theatre, Rabin Square and Carmel Market. Venture along the seashore to the ancient city of Jaffa to see the famous clock tower and the old harbour. Visit the artists' quarter with its galleries, boutiques and picturesque narrow lanes. At night, enjoy a traditional Shabbat dinner.
Caesarea, Acre, Nazareth and Galilee.
Travel from Tel Aviv, along the coastal road to Caesarea. Explore the ancient Roman and Crusader ruins, including the huge amphitheatre. Travel via Haifa to Acre, fought over for centuries and captured in turn by Saracens and Crusaders, including Richard the Lionheart. See the fortress, the old harbour area and Crusader crypt, before continuing to Nazareth. Visit one of Christianity’s most sacred places, the Church of Annunciation, built on the site where the angel Gabriel is said to have appeared to Mary. Head on to your hotel in Tiberias, which is located on the Sea of Galilee. The day concludes with a brief introduction to life on a Kibbutz.
To the Dead Sea.
Visit the ancient wooden boat that dates back to when Jesus was alive, and enjoy a cruise on the Sea of Galilee. Visit Capernaum, where Jesus is said to have entered the Synagogue to teach, before heading to the Mount of Beatitudes, where he preached the Sermon on the Mount. Journey through ever-changing landscapes along the Jordan Valley, past ancient Jericho, to take a dip in the buoyant salt waters of the Dead Sea.
Masada and the Holy City of Jerusalem.
Take a cable car ride up to the fortress of Masada, where Jewish Zealots held out for three years against Herod's armies. Pass the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found at Qumran. Travel through the Judean Hills to Mount Scopus for breathtaking views of Jerusalem. Visit King David's Tomb on Mount Zion, and the Room of the Last Supper. Enter the Old City and follow the winding cobbled alleyways to the magnificent Wailing Wall, the most sacred monument in Judaism.
Visit Yad Vashem, a memorial for those who perished in the Holocaust. Continue to the Israel Museum and the Shrine of the Book wing which houses the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Optional Bethlehem Experience and Jerusalem.
Enjoy a relaxed morning or alternatively choose to meet your Local Expert at the West Bank border and continue to the Holy city of Bethlehem. The Optional Experience includes visiting the Church of the Nativity, one of the oldest continuously operating churches in the world. The structure is built over the cave that tradition marks as the birthplace of Christ, and is considered sacred by followers of both Christianity and Islam. In the afternoon, all travellers will visit the Garden of Gethsemene and walk through the Old City to see the Temple Mount, one of Islam’s holiest sites. Continue along the Via Dolorosa past the Stations of the Cross, Ecce Homo Arch, and the Pool of Bethesda, to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. At night, toast your adventures over a hearty Highlight Dinner with wine.
from Jerusalem to Amman.
Travel through the Judaean Desert to the border of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. With the formalities completed, you are met on the other side to journey through a landscape that has changed little in the last 2,000 years. Once at your Amman hotel, relax and settle in before joining your Jordanian Travel Director for drinks and a Welcome Dinner.
Exploring Amman and Jerash.
Start your day with an Amman city tour, visiting the Citadel Hill, huge Roman Amphitheatre and Archaeological Museum. Depart for Iraq Al Amir, for a visit to the Women’s Association to see the fantastic work they are doing providing training and work opportunities for women in the region. The Association is supported by Insight through The Treadright Foundation. Then, the journey to Jerash reveals the most beautifully preserved example of a Greco-Roman city still in existence. Enter through Hadrian's Arch, to explore the grand ruins of the Temples of Artemis and Zeus, where you can listen to the Whispering Column. Overlook the vast Oval Plaza and Cardo Maximus, the key Roman road.
Madaba, Mount Nebo and on to Petra.
Continue to Mount Nebo, one of the most revered holy sites of Jordan, where Moses stood and saw before him the Promised Land. At Madaba, visit the famous Greek Orthodox Church of St. George with its amazing 6th century mosaic map depicting the entire Holy Land, stretching from Jordan and Palestine in the north, to Egypt in the south. Then head south for one of the highlights of your journey: the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Petra, voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
Exploring the Lost City of Petra.
This day is devoted to the beautiful ‘rose-red city, half as old as time'. You enter this lost city through a narrow gorge, the Siq, with walls that rise up to 200 metres. Emerge from the path to see the magnificent Treasury, carved out of solid rock and standing over 40 metres high. Wind your way through the canyon to explore the Roman Amphitheatre, which once seated 3,000 spectators, and the ancient tombs. Tonight, dine with locals at the Ammarin Camp.
Wadi Rum with the Bedouin.
Head to Wadi Rum – and the spectacular hospitality of the Bedouin on the backdrop of beautiful desert. Enjoy beautiful vistas as you make your way on a jeep safari deep into the heart of Wadi Rum's majestic desert. Dine with locals under the stars and stay in elegant simplicity in a desert camp for the night.
Shobak and Amman.
If you wish, start the day with sunrise yoga at the Bedouin camp. After breakfast, follow the King's Highway to visit Shobak, an authentic 12th century crusader fortress, perched on the side of a rocky mountain, standing guard over a barren and desolate land. Admire the towers and Arabic calligraphy on the external walls before discovering the original Crusader chapel, palace complex, and even a set of secret passages! Later, return to the Jordanian capital where you are at leisure.
After breakfast, you are transferred to Amman Airport for your onward flight.
Most Insight trips already include a host of bonus highlights and comprehensive sightseeing. There may also be an exciting array of Optional Experiences which will turn an already amazing experience into the trip of a lifetime! These are entirely optional and can be booked through your Travel Director/Local Representative at the commencement of your trip. Please note, many Optional Experiences are operated by independent third party suppliers, not Insight Vacations.
Prices and availability of Optional Experiences are subject to change.
Join us as we travel to the east and south of Amman to visit Jordan's desert castles, beautiful examples of early Islamic art and architecture. These preserved caravan stations were centres of agriculture and trade in the eighth century that helped distant rulers forge ties with local Bedouins. One of the best preserved monuments, Qusair Amra, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with lively frescoes and colourful mosaics.
Adult Price: USD 122.00
Built in 1184 AD, Ajloun Castle played an important role in defending this area against the Crusaders, who unsuccessfully spent decades trying to capture the castle and the nearby village. Afterwards, we’ll travel to the quaint village of Rassoun for a simple, but generous, home-cooked meal with the family of Abu Baker, who’s built a kitchen and living room on the top of his house to entertain us.
Adult Price: USD 165.00
Tel Aviv (Traditional) - Israel
The Sheraton Tel Aviv Hotel is considered one of Tel Aviv’s more sophisticated hotels, located on the waterfront and providing guests with luxury accommodation.
Tiberias (Traditional) - Israel
The Leonardo Plaza Tiberias Hotel is centrally located close to the Old Town and offers beautifully decorated rooms.
Ein Bokek (Resort) - Israel
The magnificent Hod Hamidbar Resort and Spa Hotel on the shore of the Dead Sea, offers serenity, relaxation and the perfect pampering experience in its modern spa.
Jerusalem (Traditional) - Israel
The Leonardo Plaza Hotel Jerusalem is located in the heart of the city and offers panoramic views of the Jerusalem skyline. It has many top facilities and is a good base from which to explore the Old and New Cities.
Amman (Traditional) - Jordan
The 5-star Amman Marriott Hotel is located in one of the capital's busiest centres, with easy access to all historical sites.
Petra (Traditional) - Jordan
The Petra Marriott Hotel is majestically situated to overlook the dramatic and picturesque rose-red city. It combines the warmest Arabian hospitality with the splendour of the ancient city of Petra.
Wadi Rum (TRADITIONAL) - Jordan