Israel: with optional Jordan extension
This tour is operated by Archaeological Tours.
The Lands of the Bible, though physically small and shared today by Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority, have attracted the attention of scholars for more than two hundred years. This tour encompasses the marvelous kaleidoscope of Israel’s archaeological riches from the Neolithic, Bronze and Iron Ages to the Classical and Medieval Periods.
Discover the sacred sites of the Holy Land, set amidst a landscape of breathtaking beauty – the Dead Sea, lush green hills and valleys and multicolored canyons. Join us and marvel at Israel’s expansive kaleidoscope of archaeological riches.
- Indulge in a refreshing reprieve from the heat with a dip in the Dead Sea, which enables visitors to float effortlessly
- Explore the outstanding sites, fascinating museums and holy places of the historic & master-steeped Bible lands
- Listen to an enlightening lecture and enjoy a guide tour at Jerusalem’s Albright Institute of Archaeological Research
- Join our optional extension to Jordan and visit magnificent Petra – the great rose-red city carved from desert rock
Please note that the price of this tour does not include flights to and from the UK. Of course, we are very happy to arrange international flights from any UK airport, just give us a call and one of our expert customer care team will be able to assist you.
We depart from our home cities and arrive into Israel. After our first dinner together as a group, we will enjoy a fascinating opening lecture about the country’s past and the sites (and sights – including the world famous Dead Sea Scrolls) that we will visit over the next two weeks.
This morning we walk down to the Kidron Valley and marvel at its monuments along the way, which include churches. We pause for lunch at a local restaurant that serves delicious Armenian food and then our touring resumes in the afternoon with a visit to the Herodian Quarter – the residence of the upper-class Jerusalemites – and also to the Cardo, which is the main thoroughfare of the Upper City.
An early start wakes us this morning as we leave our hotel at 5.30am to arrive at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre to witness a sunrise over Jerusalem. After this incredible experience, we make our way to the Mount of Olives – a mountain ridge named for the olive groves that once decorated its slopes – and also to Mount Scopus. After this we visit Dung Gate, where we can explore the Givati Parking Lot excavations. Findings here span periods from the Iron Age to the Middle Ages. We also discover the City of David’s historical layers, home to Hezekiah’s Tunnel, the Gihon Spring, and the Pool of Siloam. We stop for lunch and enjoy more regional cuisine, before continuing onto the Southern Wall. We then take time to visit the excavations of the Western Wall and Odeion, which we explore alongside the Director of excavations, Joe Uziel, in a very special guided tour.
This morning we will visit the Temple Mount, which is considered to be the holiest site in Judaism. It features the Dome of the Rock and also the Al-Aqsa Mosque. After, we head to the phenomenal Israel Museum, where we will spend the remainder of our day. This museum is home to the Dead Sea Scrolls, along with many other captivating exhibits.
The beginning of our day will be spent at Yad Vashem, Israel’s official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust. This remembrance centre houses exhibits, documentation and also research, and there is much to take in here. There will be a break for lunch at a fantastic bistro and in the afternoon we will enjoy a walking tour of Ein Karim. This is an ancient village that attracts many pilgrims and is also where, according to Christian tradition, John the Baptist was born. Dinner this evening will be outside of our hotel at a restaurant called The Lavan.
We start off at the archaeological site of Herodium, which was built by King Herod and after exploring this well-known location, we stop for lunch at Mike & Sharon’s Bistro, where home-cooking is the order of the day. In the afternoon, we tour the impressive Bell Caves and the Beit Guvrin National Park. Finally, we will make our way to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Tel Maresha, home to vast underground labyrinths steeped in history, before returning to our hotel for the evening.
Today we visit the Nabataean city of Mamshit, known as the most well-preserved of the desert cities of the Negev. Lunch will follow and, after an adequate break, we will visit the legendary Dead Sea, which has incredibly high levels of saline that enables bathers to float effortlessly, and here we can indulge in a welcome afternoon swim.
We visit the great ancient fortress of Masada, where our lecturer once led excavations. It boasts a dramatic history and truly embodies rugged, natural beauty. While we’re here, we also tour Masada Museum, whose artifacts and exhibits bring this location’s past back to life. During our break for lunch, there will be time to shop as well as eat, and from around 2.15pm onwards we will tour the somewhat isolated yet enigmatic archaeological site of Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. For dinner, we will enjoy a meal at the fantastic restaurant, Magdalena.
Our touring continues at Roman ruins in Beit She’an, one of the oldest cities in Israel and also where excavations are still very much underway. This afternoon we will explore two synagogues – namely Bet Alpha and Hamat Tiberias – that house enchanting and extensive mosaics that depict animals and a zodiac.
Today we visit Capernaum, the site of Jesus’ three-year ministry, and Tabgha, where the multiplication of the loaves and fishes is said to have taken place. After lunch, we move on to the archaeological site of Sepphoris, with its fine mosaics and deep religious history.
Returning to the Galilee, our first visit will be to Megiddo. Here, we will explore the remains of the ancient city before visiting the necropolis of Beit She’arim and its ancient ruins. Then, we will stop for lunch and in the afternoon we will take a city tour before admiring Bahai Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This morning we visit the Edith Hecht Museum, before we drive south to the magnificent Roman port of Caesarea, which is known for being built by King Herod, where we will spend most of the day. The afternoon we continue our explorations of Caesarea.
We will spend some time at the archaeological and historical Eretz Museum. Set on a stunning campus, it boasts a range of amazing exhibits. There will be some free time in the afternoon before we reconvene for a farewell group dinner to commemorate the end of this unforgettable adventure.
We will cross into Jordan and begin touring with a visit to Jerash, an exceptionally well preserved Roman city.
We start at the Regional Museum and the hilltop ruins of the Temple of Hercules. We then depart for Petra stopping at Madaba, to view a unique mosaic map of Palestine made c.560 CE.
The full day will be devoted to exploring the breathtakingly beautiful city of Petra, carved into rose-colored sandstone.
We re-enter Petra and climb to the High Place of Sacrifice. The views out over the city are spectacular. Drive back to Amman.
We catch our flights home today.
- Expert Guide Lecturer
- Tour Manager
- Local Travel - Private a/c coach
- Meals - All meals included
- Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
- Field Notes
Mamilla Hotel, Jerusalem
This truly luxurious hotel combines heritage with sophisticated style. The minimalist contemporary design of the hotel doesn’t mean it scrimps on any of the hotel’s ample amenities. The rooms use the latest technology to create open and airy spaces, with a mixture of polished stone and glass finishes. With a pool and spa too, this hotel takes away any stresses for the perfect & relaxing way to start your holiday in Israel.
Herods Hotel, Dead Sea
An oasis in the desert this hotel crowning glory is its location next to the Dead Sea and its fitting variety of health-promoting pools. The spa includes a sweet-water pool, a sulphur pool & even enjoy relaxing in a heated pool with water from the Dead Sea. This majestic hotel is the perfect place to unwind and rejuvenate. The rooms are equally impressive with a selection of luxury pampering amenities.
Scots hotel, Tiberias
This hotel is, as the name suggests, on the site of the historical compound of a Scottish hospital. The hotel continues to take the upmost care of its guests but is now in lavish comfort and luxury. Special care has been taken to preserve the 19th-century buildings and conserve the character creating a calm & tranquil atmosphere.
Dan Carmel Hotel, Haifa
Argued as one of the most attractive hotels in the country. This hotel’s elegant style creates a warm and cozy atmosphere, with plush chairs, dark wood finishes, and airy spaces. The hotel is at the top of Mount Carmel, with views down to the Gulf of Haifa and Bahai Gardens. The Israeli breakfast here has a great selection and well leave you fuelled for you day’s adventure.
Hotel Carlton, Tel Aviv
This hotel lives up to everything you’ve come to expect from a Carlton hotel – the crisp contemporary interior, plush furniture and luxury amenities. Each room has a stunning balcony, but if you’ve packed your head for heights, head up to the 15th floor where you can swim in the roof-top pool as you soak up the views of the Mediterranean.
International Hotel, Amman
The luxury hotel is designed in beautiful Middle Eastern style, with marble floors and crystal chandeliers. Lights illuminate the edge of the pool in the evenings and the cigar and spirits bar is the social hub of the hotel. The breakfasts have a selection of western and Arabian favorites
Mövenpick Resort, Petra
Mövenpick Hotel is at the entrance to the historic city of Petra. Adorned in Middle Eastern fabrics & textures, the hotel is nestled into amber sands and rocky outcrops. The newly renovated rooms have modern furniture and the block colors are bright and refreshing. Breakfast is served overlooking the pool and in the evening don’t miss the sunset from the Al Ghadeer Roof Garden!
Joining the Tour
There are a few options for joining the tour and we’ll be happy to help or book your international flights for you*
- You can choose to join group flights departing from London (connecting flights & transfers available).
- You can choose to book your flight directly to your final destination. You can either meet the group flight at the airport arrivals hall or the hotel (transfers available).
- You can book your flights on your own, all we ask that you forward your flight details to us as soon as possible after booking.
Connecting flights, additional travel arrangements, and accommodation before or after the tour available on request, for further information just call our office. (*Additional cost applies.)
Passport & Visa Information
For full information about Passport validity and Visa requirements as well as Health and Vaccination information please click here.