24 Day Egypt, Israel & Jordan
Day 1: Thursday - See ya Australia
Leave Australia behind you - you’re headed on a holiday! We’ll let you know all the deets of your flights, so all YOU have to do is kick back and relax. Make sure you bring a camera!
Day 2: Friday – Hello Egypt!
Ahlan wa sahlan - welcome to Egypt! One of our tour guides (holding a sign!) will be there to greet you in the airport and help you through customs and immigration - make sure you’ve got all the right visas and documentation for your entry. We’re headed off to the hotel after this, so you can slip in some much-needed rest. We know: that was a LONG flight!
Please note: Hotel check in is generally around 2pm, though we will do our best to get you a room as soon as you arrive.
Day 3: Saturday - Museum & Old Cairo
How much room do you have in your suitcase? Try some traditional ful medames this morning at breakfast and see whether you can resist smuggling it home with you (don’t do this - you’ll end up eating it on the plane anyway).
Today we’re off to the famous Egyptian Museum, where you’ll learn about history and view pieces dating all the way back to 3000BC! With around 1200 separate items in the Museum, including the 11kg Gold Mask of Tuankhamun, the museum is sure to wow you. If you’d like to pay a little extra, you can also have a peek inside the Mummy’s Room.
After our visit to the museum we’ll head to Old Cairo. Our guide will help you to ensure you’re respectful of the religious gatherings and ceremonies going on as you visit the beautiful Muhammed Ali mosque, as well as the breathtaking Hanging Church of the Virgin Mary.
End the day with a visit to Khan El Khalil Bazaar, where you can smoke watermelon shisha, go on the shopping trip of a lifetime, drink an Egyptian coffee (be warned: it’s strong!), or ... well, all of the above.
Day 4: Sunday - Cairo to Luxor
Cairo: we came, we saw, we conquered … and now we’re off to Luxor! After check-out we’re headed straight for the airport, where our staff will help take care of your luggage. It’s all part of the five-star treatment!
Enjoy a short flight to Luxor. You’ll check into your luxury (Luxory?) hotel with time to relax and explore Luxor on your own, at your own pace.
Day 5: Monday Luxor
This morning we check out of our hotel and begin the day viewing a couple of Luxor’s most amazing temples: the Temple of Complex Karnak (Egypt’s largest!), and the Luxor Temple, known as the Southern Shrine. Luxor Temple is one of the few temples which wasn’t built for the sake of a God, or anything divine - in fact, it was built to celebrate the rejuvenation of kingship. Some archaeologists think that many of the Kings of Egypt were crowned here!
Next check into our 5-star Nile cruiser - it will be your home for the next 4 nights. All meals are included on the cruise and the food is delicious, so you might want to brace yourself for the added kilos!
Tonight enjoy a welcome drink and some not so welcome drinks, and relax :) It’s been a big day.
Day 6: Tuesday – Edfu via Esna | Nile Cruise
Big night? We understand. It’s a holiday. Hopefully our guide will have something to help, or you can get a quick fix at the breakfast buffet.
Today we visit the west bank in Luxor. You’ll visit the well known Valley of the Kings followed by a visit to the awesome Temple of Queen Hatshepsut. You’ll also see the Colossi of Memnon - breathtaking stone statues which guarded the gates of the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes.
In the afternoon we’ll sail to Edfu, via the Esna Lock, where you’ll have an opportunity to make some purchases from the local villagers - we won’t be able to disembark but that won’t stop the Egyptian merchants! They’ll paddle right up to you in paddle boats - how do you make a purchase? Toss some money down to them and they’ll toss your item back up. That’s one way to (literally) splash some cash!
Day 7: Wednesday – Kom Ombo | Nile Cruise
The Temple of Horus is Egypt’s best-preserved Temple, full of ancient hieroglyphs and original ceilings - and we’re going to get to see it today! Isn’t it weird to think that someone hand-drew those things thousands of years ago, and we can still see them today?
Back on the cruise you’ll have lunch and a chance to unwind, catch up on sleep and - weather permitting - even sunbathe in the beautiful Egyptian sun. This afternoon check out Kom Ombo Temple, the double temple of Egypt.
The night ends with a Galabia Party aboard the cruise, which is a sort of Egyptian dress-up party. Fellas, have a go at the traditional garb (it’s very comfortable) - ladies, see if you can pull off Nefertiti (or vice versa, whatever catches your fancy)! Whoever you’re dressing as, have fun - take a video and tag us in it, we’d love to see. facebook.com/toptoursandtravel or Instagram/toptoursandtravel
Day 8: Thursday –Aswan | Nile Cruise
Enjoy a delicious breakfast and see what you remember about your galabia - was it a hit? You can check out the photos from last night at the cruise shop.
Today we discover the breathtaking city of Aswan. You’ll see the gorgeous greenery matched against the calm of the Nile River, which flows right through the city. This morning enjoy a relaxing felucca ride on the Nile, a traditional wooden sailing boat. Paradise!
After lunch visit the Aswan high dam, which is considered an engineering marvel. You’ll also have a chance to see the Philae Temple, which is dedicated to the Goddess Isis.
Tonight watch the Nubians perform a traditional dance, which is quite different to other traditional Egyptian dances. Cool!
Day 9: Friday – Aswan to Cairo
Today you’ll transfer to Aswan airport to head back to Cairo - but hey, you can always come back! Check into our Cairo hotel and catch up on some Arabic TV or take one last shopping trip while you still can. Make sure you chat to your tour guide if there’s something you really want to buy before you leave Egypt - they’re there to help!
Day 10: Saturday - Cairo - Pyramids
Today is going to be FANTASTIC.
Beginning with the ancient necropolis, Saqqara, we’ll visit one of the oldest stone structures in the world: the Step Pyramid! You’ll learn how the secrets of this desert world have been forgotten over the years, buried in the expansive sands - excavation is underway all year ‘round, making progress towards new discoveries every day. Maybe they’ll discover something amazing while you’re here!
From here you’ll have a bit of free time for lunch before arriving at The Great Pyramids to witness the beautiful architecture and appreciate all the work that really went into making this marvels. These are one of the seven wonders of the ancient world … and, ironically, it’s no wonder!
Today you’ll also have a chance to get up close to the Sphinx. Your tour guide will give you a rundown of the history and cultural significance of the things you’re seeing, so you really feel like you’ve got a snapshot of day-to-day life in Ancient Egypt.
Day 11: Sunday – Goodbye Egypt, Hello Israel
Egypt isn’t going anywhere. You know that, but it was so beautiful - it’s sad to leave but you can finally tick it off your bucket list and know your passport been stamped by an Egyptian, whose ancestors built the pyramids. Wow, that’s mind boggling!
Today you’ll transfer to Cairo Airport to catch your flight to Tel Aviv. Upon arrival you’ll spot our friendly representative, and they’ll help you to check into your hotel.
Day 12: Monday: Tel Aviv/ Beer Sheba/ Masada & Dead Sea
Headed out of Tel Aviv, we’ll drive south towards Beersheba, for a drive through the Negev capital (keep your camera out - we’re passing Ashdod and Ashkelon on the way!). Then we’re on to Masada, a city is perched on an isolated cliff in the Judean Desert. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2001. To get to the fortress in Masada we’ll need to take a cable car - the fortress was the last stronghold of the Jewish Zealots in their war against the Romans. You’ll see the excavations, King Herod’s palaces, the synagogue, bathhouses and much more!
From up here you’ll also enjoy the breathtaking view of the Roman Camps and the Dead Sea, which is nearly 1,300 feet below sea level and the lowest point on the Earth’s surface! Bring your swimsuit for a chance to ‘float’ on the water, which is much more buoyant than normal water because of all of its salts and minerals - it’s impossible to sink.
Then we’re off to Jerusalem, for the night!
Day 13: Tuesday - Jerusalem - sightseeing of the new city
We’ll start the day with something worth waking up for - a panoramic view of Jerusalem from Mount Olivet (or the Mount of Olives)! We’ll then stop in at the Garden of Gethsemane and the Church of the Agony, whose name is very misleading. It’s actually very pretty. Don’t worry.
From there, we’ll visit Israel Museum, with a detailed model of Jerusalem from the time of the Second Temple. We’ll also stop by the Shrine of the Book, home to the famous Dead Sea Scrolls. On a more solemn note we’ll visit the Yad Vashem, a memorial built for the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust.
After a visit to the picturesque village of Eln Karem (the traditional birthplace of John the Baptist), we’ll head to Mahane Yehuda in the heart of downtown Jerusalem, to experience the flavors, aromas, colors and the traders' interaction with the crowds, at the largest open market in Israel.
Day 14: Wednesday - Jerusalem - Old City & Bethlehem*
To defend the treasures of this ancient place, the Old City of Jerusalem is protected on all sides by tall walls. We’ll enter through one of the gates today, to visit the renewed Jewish Quarter, the Temple area, the Western Wall and, of course, the colourful bazaars. We’ll make sure you see the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, too, located at the end of the winding Via Dolorosa and the Stations of the Cross.
From there we’re headed to Mt Zion, to see the tomb of King David. Although most historians don’t consider the tomb of King David to be the actual resting place of King David himself, it’s a culturally significant site located in the ruins of a beautiful byzantine church. The Abbey of Dormition (or ‘sleep’) is just a short jaunt from here, so we’ll visit the site where the Blessed Virgin Mary is said to have died - and, of course, we’ll see the Room of the Last Supper.
Then we’re on to Bethlehem! See the Church of Nativity, and - depending on conditions set by the Palestinian Authority* - a spectacular view of the Shepherd’s Fields.
We’re back in Jerusalem for the night.
* Site under the Palestinian Authority jurisdiction. Visit subject to situation.
Day 15: Thursday - Beit Shean / Nazareth / Galilee
Today we’ll leave Jerusalem and head north, passing by Jericho, the oldest city in the world. Travelling through the Jordan Valley, we’ll reach Beit Shean, where you can visit excavations of the beautifully preserved Roman City - the bible records that the bodies of King Saul and his son Jonathon were strung up on this city’s ancient walls. We’re then on to Nazareth, to visit the Church of the Annunciation (thought by some to be built atop the house of the Virgin Mary), and the carpentry workhop of Joseph.
Walk through the mystic alleys and visit the artists’ colony of Safed, the city of the Kabala. Safed is the highest-elevated city in all of Israel - it is so high up it can experience cold, even snowy, winters.
We’ll be staying in a Kibbutz hotel tonight.
Day 16: Friday - Golan Heights and around the Sea of Galilee
Today is packed - you’ll see the Golan Heights, pass a Syrian fortification and see Banias, the source of the Jordan River. Bring a camera! Once you’ve snapped some pics we’re straight on to our favourite part of this tour - an Israeli wine country experience, with vineyards stretching into spectacular views. You’ll have a chance to become … ‘acquainted’ with the collection of fine and rare wines with a special wine tasting experience, as well as being offered a tour of the facilities and shown the wine production process, end-to-end.
We’ll then descend to the shores of the Sea of Galilee, where we’ll visit the Mount of Beatitudes and the ruins of the ancient synagogue (and Peter’s house) at Capernaum. Then Tabgha, where the miracle of the fish and bread is said to have taken place. Continue to Tiberias for a short tour of the old center of Jewish learning, before some of the group (optional - own cost) departs on a sailing boat across the Sea of Galilee, to experience the tranquility of the scenery which has remained majorly the same during the past 2000 years (subject to conditions).
Day 17: Saturday - Acre / Haifa / Caesarea / Tel Aviv / Jaffa
After breakfast we’ll drive west towards Acre, for a visit of the old, famous Crusader stronghold and medieval fortifications. We’ll continue to Haifa, for a panoramic sightseeing tour of the city, including the Baha'i Shrine, Persian Garden, Mount Carmel and Haifa bay - then we’re on to Caesarea to visit the ancient port, the Roman Theater and the Hippodrome (the place for Ancient Roman chariot races!). It’s an explosion of history and culture, today; this is as much a sightseeing experience as it is a learning one!
Once you’ve drunk in the sights, we’ll proceed to Tel Aviv-Jaffa for a short city tour, before heading on to your hotel for the night.
Day 18: Sunday – See ya Israel, Hello Jordan.
After breakfast, transfer across the Sheik Hussein border to Jordan. Always bring your passports when we’re travelling between countries :)
Once you’ve arrived, you can transfer to Amman to explore the city on your own.
Day 19: Monday - Amman to the Dead Sea
Capital of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Amman has been around since the Iron Age - once it was even known as Philadelphia, the ancient city forming part of the Decapolis League. This morning, you’ll get to explore the sprawling city, which reaches across 19 ‘jebels’ (or ‘hills’).
Amman’s long history means there are a number of exciting excavations and renovations going on all throughout the city. During the tour, keep an eye out for the ancient site known as the Citadel, which has been the focus of archaeologists since the early 1920s. A large portion of the site remains unexcavated - there’s a lot left to discover! We do know that it is home to the remains of the Temple of Hercules, the Umayyad Palace and a fantastic Byzantine Church.
We’ll then head down to the foot of the Citadel to find the 6000-seat Roman Theatre, an impressive bowl carved into the hill which is STILL used fairs, concerts and ceremonies, today! Once you’ve looked around we’ll pop into one of Amman’s impressive archaeological museums before heading into downtown Amman, for a proper taste (literally, if that’s up your alley - grab a bite to eat from one of the street vendors!) of true Jordanian culture.
This afternoon you’ll take a drive to Dead Sea and check-in to your luxury hotel, which is located right on the shores of the Dead Sea.
Boasting 410 metres of deep, salty water, the Dead Sea is the lowest point on planet Earth. Take in those spectacular views - the place hasn’t changed much in thousands of years, so it’s the same view that’s been enjoyed by the kings, emperors, traders and prophets of antiquity. Did you know it’s called the Dead Sea because it’s too salty for anything to grow and thrive there? Enjoy your time here and take advantage of the massages and spa treatments offered by local Dead Sea hotels.
Day 20: Tuesday - Dead Sea to Wadi Rum then Petra
Good morning! We’re headed out to Petra (via Wadi Rum) on an open Bedouin Jeep tour this morning. You’ll have to bring your camera, so you can snap some pics of those beautiful panoramic views, scenic canyons, Nabatean sites and awe-inspiring rock arches. Wadi Rum’s landscape is as unique as it is beautiful - often compared to the moon itself, the endless desert of Rum is dotted with mountains made out in all different shades of the sun, reds and yellows and oranges that spill into the horizon. It’s a special treat to be travelling through such a breathtaking country. We’ll take sand dunes over skyscrapers, any day.
This afternoon we head to Petra for an overnight stay.
Evening option: Petra by Night AUD$70
You know those incredible pictures that you would have seen of the treasury lit up by candles? That’s what you will see – but in person! To visit Petra during daylight is awe-inspiring! However, to experience it at night by the light of 1,800 candles is an out-of-this-world experience. Petra by Night is an after-dark guided excursion into the ancient city that adds an entirely new dimension to your experience in Petra; the candlelit walk, leaving the lights of Wadi Musa behind to enter the split of the siq in silence is magical. This 2 km walk is an experience you will never forget!
Day 21: Wednesday - Petra to Amman
Today we’re headed out on horseback through the siq (a kilometre-long chasm we’ll need to pass through to reach Petra). Petra is a secluded city full of rocky slopes, craggy mountaintops and breathtaking views. It attracts archaeologists, geologists and architects, alike, to study the rich cultural history and gasp-inducing beauty of the city. You’ll be awed by the multi-coloured sandstone mountains which stand, imposing and iconic, above the city;
Among the theatres, tombs and intricate carvings which have earned Petra its reputation and its place as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you’ll have a chance to visit a number of archaeological wonders in Petra including the Treasury, which you may recognise from its use in the end scene of the film, ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’. Petra is yours to explore today, but we recommended checking out the 3000-seat open-air theatre, the enormous 1st-Century Monastery and the Modern Archaeological Museum. Ask your tour guide for suggestions if you’re stuck for ideas!
The day will end with a transfer back to Amman.
Day 22: Thursday - Amman to Jerash and back
The Jerash ruins of Jordan are rumoured to be the best-preserved Roman ruins outside of Italy. Inhabited since the Bronze Age and home to The Temple of Artemis, you won’t want to miss this one. With plenty of space to wander around, try counting all the pillars. (P.S. if you don’t quite manage it - there’s 1000 of them!)
Today you will wander among the original temples, theatres, plazas, paths and colonnaded streets, all enclosed within the remaining city walls. Visit the Oval plaza, Roman Theatre and stunning Byzantine churches.
Through a scenic vista of pine trees and olive groves, you’ll arrive at the Castle of Ajloun, which marks the furthest limit of Frankish incursions during the Crusades. Although the castle suffered major damage following two separate earthquakes, it is still a beautiful marvel of Islamic architecture, a picturesque ancient building perched atop a hill.
Continue to Umm Qais, which belonged to the famous Decapolis. Umm Qais is a union of 10 cities, founded by Alexander the Great. Here you have an overwhelming view of the north Jordan Valley, the Golan Heights and the Sea of Galilee. Incredible! Once you’ve finished here you’re headed back to Amman, for your last night in Jordan. Come back soon!
Day 23: Friday – See ya Jordan
Today you’re headed home. :( We’ll transfer you to Amman Airport for your flight. We hope your tour was incredible and you got some memories to last you for the rest of your life! Grab one last bite to eat from the duty-free shops at the airport and board your flight for the Aussie homeland.
Day 24: Saturday – Hello Australia
Arrive home, put your bags down, sit on the couch and start flicking through all those amazing photos you captured. Yup, it was real! You actually did it! Ok, where next?
PHOTOS FROM OUR TOURS
Return economy airfares ex Australia to Cairo and out from Amman including taxes
Meet & Assist at Cairo & Amman Airport
Sightseeing and entry fees as per itinerary
English speaking local Egyptologist
4 star accommodation in Egypt & Jordan
Breakfast & dinner daily
Transfers on a modern air-conditioned vehicle
4 Night Nile cruise in Egypt with Full board
Economy domestic flights – Cairo to Luxor/ Aswan to Cairo
Economy international flight - Cairo to Amman
English speaking guide in Petra, Jerash and Amman, Jordan
Horse ride in Petra as per entry ticket
2 hour tour in Wadi Rum with an open Bedouin truck
Free entry Visa in Jordan
Tour exclusions - Tipping and gratuities (Compulsory $120 per person in Egypt - Jordan to be paid on tour), entry visa for Egypt, optional tours, travel insurance, items of a personal nature, beverages, mini bar, laundry services, phone calls, meals not indicated in inclusions.
* subject to availability. Please refer to our terms & conditions
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