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Jordan and Israel Explorations

Day 1 - Amman, Jordan
Meet your guide and driver at the airport and transfer to the LandMark Hotel in Amman for dinner and overnight.
Day 2 - Jerash
Breakfast at the hotel this morning and then depart for your first full day of sightseeing . A morning tour of Jerash is first on the list. Jerash is one of the best preserved cities from the Roman provinces in the ancient land of Gilead. Lunch is planned near Jerash. Then travel south toward Amma across the Wady ez-Zeqa (the Jabbok River of biblical times).

Amman was the chief city of the ancient Ammonites, constant enemy to the Israelites. (For example the Israelites were at war with the Ammonites when King David got involved with Bathsheba. See 2 Samuel 11). Jerash is one of the best preserved cities from the Roman provinces. Both Amman and Jerash, known as Philadelphia and Gerasa during Roman times, were Decapolis cities (See Matt. 4:25). Dinner and overnight in Amman.
Day 3 - Amman to Petra
Depart Amman after breakfast for a full-day's journey through the ancient lands of Moab and Edom. The first of several interesting stops along the way will be Madaba, famous for its mosaic map of Roman-Byzantine Palestine. A secondary road leads from Madaba to Mount Nebo from which Moses is reported to have viewed the promised Land (Num. 23:14; Deut. 32:49) and from which you get your first good look at the Dead Sea.

Further on, your bus driver will have to negotiate the massive Wadi Mujib canyon (Arnon River of ancient times). The plan is to arrive at the archaeological site of Iskander in time for lunch. There will be time also to visit the Crusader Castle of Kerak. Eventually you reach rose red Petra in time for dinner and overnight at the Grand View Hotel. The hotel provides a grand view of Petra from above.
Day 4 - Petra
The Greek historian Herodotus made a list of the 'Seven Wonders of the World' known to him in the fifth century B.C. Now there is a modern list of 'Seven Wonders' compiled by the world-wide tourism industry, and Petra (probably unknown to Herodotus) is on it. This is truly an amazing place - archaeological features carved into surrounded by spectacular red-rock cliffs and canyons. After an early breakfast at your hotel and short bus ride, you enter a narrow canyon and spend the day enjoying the place. You will have lunch inside and eventually return to the Grand View for dinner and overnight.
Day 5 - Cross into Israel
Depart Petra early in the morning bound for Aqaba and the crossing into Israel. Lunch in Eilat (perhaps the Burger King?). From Eilat drive to Arad and settle into your hotel (Margoa Arad) for some afternoon rest and dinner.
Day 6 - Masada, Qum Ran and Jericho
Leave Arad early this morning and drive to Masada for a visit. Lunch near Ein Gedi. On your way to Jericho a visit to Qum Ran is planned where the Dead Sea scrolls were found. Also there is time for a swim in the Dead Sea near Jericho in the late afternoon. Dinner and overnight in Jericho. (Intercontinental Jericho Hotel)
Day 7, 8 & 9 - 3 Days In Galilee
After Jericho, your route follows that of the Jordan River, but in reverse. While it flows south, you drive north until you reach the Sea of Galilee. Then you make your way around the western side of the Sea of Galilee to Tabgha on its northwestern shore. This route takes you through the 'West Bank,' and shortly after passing through the West Bank you reach the ruins of Beth Shean. Beth Shean was a major city during both Old and New Testament times. Saul and Jonathan's bodies were carried there after their deaths on nearby Mount Gilboa (I Samuel 31).

Later, under the new name Scythopolis, it was one of the Decapolis cities. Your home for the next three nights will be in the Galilee at the Scots Hotel Three nights in Galilee allows 2 and 1/2 days for exploring the scenery and historic places around the shores of the Sea of Galilee. These include places associated with the New Testament - such as Tabgha, the Mount of Beatitudes, Capernaum and Caesarea Phillipi. This was Crusader territory - the Horns of Hattin, for example, where Saladin wiped out a Crusader army in 1187. This region also figures in modern politics, and you will take a bus ride into the Golan Heights. And, of course, there will also be a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee.
Day 10 - Galilee to Jerusalem
Today, after breakfast, you say good-bye to Galilee make your way to Jerusalem. The drive itself takes about two and a half hours. But there is much to see along the way, so you will not reach Jerusalem until late in the day - in time for dinner. The three most important stops along the way will be Nazareth, Megiddo and Caesarea Maritima.

Megiddo (the 'Armageddon' of Christian tradition) is one of the most spectacular (and most disputed) archaeological sites in Israel. You will see the famous gates constructed under King Solomon, for example. Or have they been misdated as leading archaeologists contend? Caesarea Maritima (to distinguish it from Caesarea Phillipi) was built by Herod the Great and became the leading city of Palestine during the next six centuries. The Apostle Paul was tried there before being sent as a prisoner to Rome. Origin was martyred there, and Crusader walls, built centuries later, still stand. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem
Day 11, 12, 13 & 14 - Jerusalem
Three nights in Jerusalem, and so much to see. Your hotel is centrally located which means that you are in walking distance of most of the highlights and the best shopping. Among the nearby highlights that you will visit are the Via Dolorosa, Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Wailing Wall and Church of Saint Anne. A little further away and visited by bus are the Mount of Olives, Garden of Gethsemane, Mount Zion, Israeli Jerusalem (Shrine of the Book and Model of New Testament Jerusalem and Yad Vashim Museum) and, of course, Bethlehem.
Day 15 - Depart Israel
Fly from Tel Aviv, Israel to the US
Itinerary at a Glance
Day 1 - Departure
Day 1 - Arrive Amman, Jordan
Day 2 - Amman and Jerash
Day 3 - Amman to Petra
Day 4 - Petra
Day 5 - Cross into Israel
Day 6 - Masada, Qum Ran and Jericho
Day 7 , 8 and 9 - Three days in Galilee
Day 10 - Galilee to Jerusalem
Day 11, 12, 13 and 14 - Jerusalem
Day 15 - Depart Israel