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Wonders of Middle East

17 Days

Countries Included: ISRAEL, , EGYPT

Cities including: Jerusalem, Puente Sheik Hussein, Jerash, Amman, Madaba, Bethany, Dead Sea, Shoubak, Petra, Wadi Rum, Aqaba, Cairo, Luxor, Esna, Edfu, Kom Ombo, Aswan

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Itinerary:

Day 1

(ISRAEL) Jerusalem :

Arrival at Tel Aviv airport. Welcome to Israel! Border procedures and transfer to the hotel in Jerusalem. Free time.
Day 2

(ISRAEL) Jerusalem :

Breakfast. PICK UP AT THE HOTEL RECEIPTION BETWEEN 07:45 HOURS (AM) AND 08:00 HOURS (AM). Excursion to visit the New City of Jerusalem, seeing the Shrine of the Book in the Museum of Israel, where the Dead Sea Scrolls are displayed, and the model that represents the city of Jerusalem at the time of Jesus. We will go through the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, then going toward Ein Karen, a picturesque neighbourhood on the outskirts of the city to visit the Shrine of Saint John the Baptist. We will also see Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum and Memorial. In the afternoon, we will travel to BETHLEHEM, located behind the wall built in recent years to separate the two communities. We will take a Palestinian guide to visit the Church of the Nativity, the Grotto of the Manger and the Shepherds' Field. Return to Jerusalem and accommodation.
Day 3

(ISRAEL) Jerusalem :

We include a visit to the old city of Jerusalem. Excursion by Mount Scopus toward the Mount of Olives. There is an extraordinary view of the walled Holy City from the top. We then continue to Gethsemane, the Basilica of the Agony. Departure toward the Old City. Visit to the Western Wall (Wailing Wall). We will continue along the Via Dolorosa to arrive at Calvary, the place where Christ was crucified, and to see the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. We then go onward to Mount Zion to visit the Tomb of King David, the Cenacle (Hall of the Last Supper) and the Abbey of the Dormiton. Accommodation in Jerusalem.
Day 4

(ISRAEL, ) Jerusalem /Puente Sheik Hussein /Jerash /Amman :

Breakfast. Early departure to border of Israel and Jordan. Arrival at Sheik Hussein Bridge to complete border and visa procedures. Welcome to Jordan! We explore the FORTRESS OF AJLUN, an imposing castle dating back to the 12th century. In this area, Muslims and Orthodox Christians have always lived together. We visit the historic CHURCH OF SAINT SERGIUS. Shall we all pray for peace' Lunch included. We continue to JERASH to visit its impressive Roman archaeological site. We then travel to AMMAN. Arrival and accommodation. NOTE: The Sheik Hussein border must be crossed on a special bus for this purpose. This costs around $3 per person, which must be paid directly by the passengers themselves. FEES: Each country requires an entry/exit fee that passengers must pay directly at their destination. For guidance purposes, these are the fees/visa fees that may apply (prices subject to change without notice): Israel: $32 (Departure Fee to Jordan); Jordan: 40 dinars/$60 (Sheik Hussein Border visa).
Day 5

() Amman /Madaba /Amman :

We will depart towards the CASTLES OF THE DESERT, built between the 7th and 8th centuries. We will visit QASR KHARANA, with its imposing structure of thick walls and the QUSAYR AMRA World Heritage Site, notable for its remarkable frescoes. Then, we travel to MADABA, lunch is included. We will visit the Madaba Archaeological Park, which we cross via an ancient Roman road, and the Church of St. George, with its fantastic 6th Century mosaic representing the oldest known map of the Holy Land. We continue to MOUNT NEBO, where Moses stopped to look over the Promised Land. Return to Amman. Arrival and free time.
Day 6

() Amman /Bethany /Dead Sea :

We leave for BETHANY on the banks of the River Jordan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; this is where John the Baptist baptised Jesus. Then we visit the DEAD SEA MUSEUM, which an impressive Panorama Complex. Lunch is included. Arriving at our hotel at the DEAD SEA, do not forget to take a dip in the saltiest sea and lowest altitude on earth. Dinner and accommodation included.
Day 7

() Dead Sea /Shoubak /Petra :

Exciting section in the heart of Jordan. Following the Dead Sea, we visit LOT'S CAVE, discovered in 1991, with its old Byzantine church from the 6th century. Then we ascend into the mountains to DANA, a small picturesque town of stone houses on a huge cliff. Lunch is included. We continue along the King's Route to SHOBAK, where we take photographs (outside only) of the great Crusader Castle. We continue to WADI MUSA (the site around Petra). We will explore the MOSES SPRING,where Moses is said to have tapped the rock with his rod and the water gushed out, and the Petra Museum, an excellent exhibition that enables us to learn about the history of the Nabateans and to see magnificent pieces found in the area. Dinner and accommodation. Any travellers who wish can go to an old Turkish bath or see a light and sound show in Petra.
Day 8

() Petra /Wadi Rum :

Today we have the most exciting day of the trip: First, we visit the impressive archaeological site of PETRA, which is accessed through a narrow canyon, and discover the temples and tombs excavated on the cliffs in this city that was founded 300 years before Christ. After lunch (included) we leave for the impressive desert of WADI RUM. At the Visitor Centre we board 4x4 vehicles to visit some of the most impressive landscapes. We stop in the town of RUM to visit the ruins of the Nabatean temple. We include a 45-minute camel ride through the desert. We will also visit the Khazali Canyon. In this spectacular place, we will see the engravings that reveal the origins of the Arabic language. Dinner and accommodation included in a desert camp.
Day 9

() Wadi Rum /Aqaba :

After breakfast we will leave for AQABA, Jordan's second city. We will visit Jordan's second city, a modern, commercial port city. Afternoon free to enjoy the hotel-resort and the warm waters of the Red Sea!
Day 10

(, EGYPT) Aqaba /Amman /Cairo :

After breakfast we will depart via 'the desert road' to the AMMAN airport. Arrival. We will take a flight to Egypt for a little over an hour. Arrival at CAIRO. Border procedures and transfer to the hotel. Free time. Note: Depending on the number of travellers, the trip from Aqaba to Amman airport may be made by regular VIP coach.
Day 11

(EGYPT) Cairo :

Full day visit where we explore the famous Pyramids of Cheops, Kefren and Micerinos (tickets to go inside the pyramids are not included), and also the impressive Sphinx, which is sculpted from rock. Visit to the Egyptian Museum with its ancient art and where the treasure of the Lost Tomb of Tutankhamen is kept. Lunch included. Citadel of Saladin and the Alabaster Mosque. We will take a walk through the Coptic neighbourhood where we visit the Hanging Church built above a Roman fortress.
Day 12

(EGYPT) Cairo /Luxor :

Breakfast. Transfer to the airport departing by regular flight (flight included) to LUXOR. Arrival and transfer to the cruise, boarding and accommodation. Full board on board. Visit impressive set of temples of Luxor and Karnark. Accommodation on board.
Day 13

(EGYPT) Luxor /Esna :

Today you will be able to admire the Necropolis of Thebes, visiting the famous VALLEY OF THE KINGS, where are hidden the tombs of the main pharaohs. Composed of several rooms and corridors that lead to the burial chambers, are among others, Ramses III, Seti I and Amenhotep II. You will also visit the Colossae of Memnon, two impressive statues of Amenophis II, as well as the Temple of Queen Hatsepsut (Deir el Bahari) and the Temple of Medinet Habu. During this day we can enjoy the beauty of the Nile riverbanks. You could do different activities on the boat and at evening enjoy the music at the disco. Full board. Night on board, navigating to ESNA.
Day 14

(EGYPT) Esna /Edfu /Kom Ombo /Aswan :

Arrival to EDFU and visit the Temple of Horus (God represented by a Falcon), which in the past was partially covered by lime during the periodic flooding of the river Nile. The rescue and restoration work complete, we now have one of the most beautiful temples of Ptolemaic times, in an exceptional state of preservation. Navigation to KOM OMBO. Visit the Temple of Kom Ombo, the only temple dedicated to two gods, Sobek and Haroesis, where we find a Nilometer (former system for measuring the level of the Nile River) and a mummified crocodile. During the evening you will be able to enjoy the Chilaba's party, local typical outfit (on route you could economically acquire them at local markets). Full board. Accommodation on board, navigating to ASWAN.
Day 15

(EGYPT) Aswan :

Arrival to ASWAN. Possibility of getting the optional tour to Abu Simbel (visit NOT included in the itinerary), located two hundred and eighty kilometers from Aswam, visit the western desert and the temples carved on the cliff by Ramses II during the twelfth century BC, with 20 meters high statues, dedicated to the god Amon Ra, and the Temple of Nefertari, dedicated to the goddess Hathor. Visit the Red Granite quarry where is the famous 41 meters high Unfinished Obelisk. We will also visit the Aswan Dam, one of the largest in the world, which created Lake Nasser with a length of more than 500 km. In the afternoon, a felucca cruise on the Nile, typical sailing boats in the area, heading to the island of Kitchener where the Botanical Garden is located. Full board. Accommodation on board.
Day 16

(EGYPT) Aswan /Cairo :

Breakfast. Transfer to the airport to take the plane to Cairo (flight included). Arrival to EL CAIRO airport and transfer to the hotel. During the evening, visit the Light and Sound Show at the Pyramids of Giza. Accomodation.
Day 17

(EGYPT) El Cairo :

Transfers to the airport and the end of our services. If you have time, we recommend that you purchase an additional night and take a trip to MEMPHIS and SAKKARA.

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