Israel & Jordan: Cultural Mosaics & The Holy Land - 2018

Tel Aviv • Haifa • Jerusalem • Dead Sea • Petra • Amman
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  • $328
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  • 14
    DAYS
  • 26
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Tel Aviv, Israel

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Amman, Jordan

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Prepare to be enlightened as you discover the ancient land where the Bible’s great stories originated. Israel may be one of the Middle East’s smallest nations, but its intricate tapestry of cultures, religions, and history rank it among the world’s most fascinating. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam make up the fabric of daily life here — and with just 24 travelers, you’ll experience its eclectic spiritual energy, compelling history, and diverse cultures first-hand. Complement your Israeli sojourn in neighboring Jordan, the modern Arab nation known as much for political tolerance and ethnic diversity as for its ancient “Lost City” of Petra and dynamic capital of Amman.


You’ll begin in bustling Tel Aviv, where Bauhaus buildings, ancient churches, and breathtaking beaches co-exist … Get to know Jerusalem, whose iconic religious sites rank it among the holiest places on Earth. Enjoy such excursions as a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee; a relaxing stay on the shores of the Dead Sea; and a cable car ride to mountaintop Masada. And experience regional cultures during visits to a Druze family’s home, a working kibbutz, and a Bedouin village in the Jordanian desert. Join us in 2018 for an unforgettable 15-day journey along Israel and Jordan’s evolutionary road — where prophets, kings, and others helped shape the region’s sacred destiny.

Itinerary at a Glance

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DAYS 1-2:

Depart home / Overnight flight / Arrive Tel Aviv, Israel

Your adventure begins with an overnight flight to Tel Aviv, Israel — arriving on Day 2. If you’ve purchased your airfare from Vantage, upon arrival you’ll be greeted at the airport by a Vantage representative, who will assist with your private transfer to the hotel. This evening, gather with fellow travelers for an informative briefing by your Adventure Leader, followed by a Welcome Dinner in the hotel’s main restaurant.

Included Meals:

Dinner

DAY 3:

Tel Aviv

Muligenerational Feature: Following breakfast in the hotel restaurant, set out for a guided morning tour of Tel Aviv. Begin in ancient Jaffa, among the world’s oldest port cities, from which modern Tel Aviv has developed. You’ll then visit the “White City” — a district where more than 4,000 Bauhaus and International Style buildings form the largest such collection anywhere. Designed and built in the 1930s-1950s by German Jewish architects who immigrated here under the British Mandate in Palestine, the White City is one of six UNESCO World Heritage Sites you’ll visit during your adventure.

Enjoy lunch on your own before exploring this coastal Mediterranean city at your own pace this afternoon. Tonight, seek out dinner on your own at one of the city’s many restaurants. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast

DAY 4:

Tel Aviv / Haifa, Israel

After breakfast and check-out from the hotel, board an air-conditioned motorcoach for your transfer up the coast to Israel’s third-largest city, Haifa. Upon your arrival in the picturesque northern Israeli port, a guided sightseeing tour will introduce you to some of the local historic highlights, such as the archaeological site of ancient Caesarea, seat of the Roman Procurator. You’ll also visit the Muhraka Monastery — a Carmelite monastery high on Mt. Carmel, believed to be the site of Prophet Elijah’s triumph over the prophets of Baal. Cultural Discovery and Unforgettable Moment: Visit a Druze village atop Mt. Carmel, including a traditional lunch with a local Druze family and an enlightening lecture about this rarefied religious community.

Upon returning to town, continue your tour in Haifa’s seaport — the largest and busiest in Israel — located in a protected, natural bay. You’ll then visit the celebrated Baha’i Shrine and Gardens, 19 immaculately terraced gardens dedicated to the founders of the Baha’i faith. Check into the hotel this afternoon, and spend time time at leisure, before meeting your group for dinner at the hotel.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 5:

Haifa

Today’s tour follows in the footsteps of Jesus as we depart for a day-long tour around Israel’s largest freshwater lake, the beautiful Sea of Galilee. Believed to be where Jesus walked on water and found his first disciples among the fishermen, the Sea of Galilee is a pilgrimage site for Christians from all around the world. Visit some of the area’s most important New Testament sites, including Tabgha, site of the miracle of the fishes, the Mount of the Beatitude, and the ancient fishing village of Capernaum, center of Jesus’s ministry. Unforgettable Moment: From there, take a boat ride to the scenic eastern shore’s Ein Gev Kibbutz, where you’ll enjoy a tour by train and a presentation on kibbutz life.

Cultural Discovery: This afternoon, a guided tour and enlightening lecture will introduce you to daily life on a kibbutz. Afterwards, travel to the nearby mountaintop town of Safed, a traditional center of Kabbalah and Jewish mysticism, where you’ll visit several historic synagogues. Multigenerational Feature and Cultural Discovery: Get an inside look at the Israeli state’s large-scale Desert to Forest project, an ongoing effort that has created the remarkable Yakir Forest. You’ll even plant a tree of your own — and receive a certificate from the Jewish National Fund. Returning to Haifa late this afternoon, spend the evening at leisure and seek out dinner on your own.

Included Meals:

Breakfast  & Lunch

DAY 6:

Haifa / Jerusalem, Israel

This morning, depart for Jerusalem — stopping at ancient Acre and several important Biblical sites along the way. Multigenerational Feature and Cultural Discovery: During your motorcoach transfer, your Adventure Leader will give you an introductory Hebrew language lesson. Arrive in one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities — Acre — for an included tour of its UNESCO-listed Old Town, followed by lunch at a local restaurant.

After lunch, set out for Nazareth, where Jesus lived with Mary and Joseph after his birth. You’ll see such highlights as the mosaic-filled Basilica of the Annunciation. From Nazareth, stop in nearby Cana, where Jesus is believed to have performed his first miracle by turning water into wine. Unforgettable Moment: Before arriving in Jerusalem late this afternoon, visit the Mount of Olives for a panoramic view of Israel’s capital below. Later, gather for dinner at the hotel, followed by an evening at leisure.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 7:

Jerusalem

Begin your first day in Jerusalem — a holy city for three of the world’s main religions, Judaism, Islam, and Christianity — with visits to several of its main sites. Go to the Temple Mount, site of Jerusalem’s First Temple and the holiest spot in Judaism. It’s also Islam’s third-holiest site. You’ll also see the Western Wall, the last remnant of the Second Jewish Temple, which was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD, and the Davidson Exhibition Center near the Southern Wall, where a fascinating virtual tour will show you what the original Temple Mount may have looked like to early visiting pilgrims. Your tour continues in the Muslim Quarter at the Bethesda Pool — where, according to the Gospel of John, Jesus healed a paralytic man. Then, transfer to Mt. Zion, where you’ll visit King David’s Tomb and the room where the Last Supper took place.

Following lunch on your own, head to Yad Vashem — Israel’s solemn memorial to the victims of the Holocaust — where you’ll visit the Holocaust History Museum, the Children’s Memorial, and the Hall of Remembrance. Active Feature / Cultural Discovery: This evening, marvel as thousand years of history unfold before your eyes at the dazzling Tower of David Sound & Light show, a multimedia voyage through time and space projected on Jerusalem's ancient stones.

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 8:

Jerusalem

Today, enjoy this fascinating city at your own pace, including lunch and dinner on your own. Or, you may choose to join one or both of today’s optional tours. This morning, join our optional trip to Bethlehem, including a visit to the Church of the Nativity — Christ’s birthplace and one of Christianity’s oldest existing churches. And this afternoon, delve more deeply into the Old City’s history with a fascinating guided tour of the City of David archaeological site.

Included Meals:

Breakfast
Optional Tour: Bethlehem and the Dead Sea Scrolls

Bethlehem and the Dead Sea Scrolls

  • Approximate Cost: $39 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 4 hours
  • Location: Jerusalem, Israel
  • When: Afternoon tour
Visit Bethlehem, site of the birth of Jesus, on this very special excursion. Our visit here includes Shepherds’ Field, where Christ’s birth was announced, and the Church of the Nativity, built over the site of the manger in which Jesus was born, one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Christendom. You’ll also visit a fascinating exhibit on the Dead Sea Scrolls, the ancient biblical texts first discovered by Bedouin shepherds in the caves near the Dead Sea in the 1940s. Later archaeological work led to the discovery of almost a thousand scrolls, and the effort to recover the texts in the ancient parchments has been ongoing ever since. The scrolls have had a significant impact on biblical scholarship. Note that visiting Bethlehem requires passing through a security check point into the West Bank and back again after our visit, during which delays are possible. 

DAY 9:

Jerusalem

Today, continue your exploration of this ancient destination with a walking tour of Jerusalem’s Old City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit a number of notable religious sites here, including the Gardens of Gethsemane, whose ancient olive trees may date back as far as Christ; the Church of All Nations; St. Stephen’s Gate; the Stations of the Cross; and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, site of Jesus’ tomb. Following a light lunch at a local restaurant, spend the part of afternoon browsing Jerusalem’s bustling Arab Bazaar, following narrow streets and alleys through the atmospheric Jewish Quarter, and visiting the ancient Roman marketplace. Later, return to the hotel for time at leisure before an enlightening evening.

Multigenerational Feature and Cultural Discoveries: Tonight (Friday) at sundown, join thousands of observant Jews as they welcome the Sabbath at the Western Wall. This sacred weekly tradition brings together Jews (and others) of all ages, backgrounds, and beliefs in joy and prayer — creating a truly spiritual experience. Afterwards, join a local family for a traditional Shabbat meal in their home.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 10:

Jerusalem / Dead Sea, Jordan

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel before checking out this morning. Then, bid Jerusalem “farewell” as you set out for a Dead Sea resort in neighboring Jordan. En route, make an excursion to Israel’s Masada, the desert fortress where a band of Jewish rebels made a legendary holdout against a siege by Roman soldiers. A short cable car ride to the top will show you the full scope of the desert and Dead Sea below. Your next destination is Jericho, a Palestinian city near the West Bank’s Jordan River — where you’ll enjoy an included lunch. Arrive at the Dead Sea in Jordan later today for dinner at the hotel and the evening at leisure.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 11:

Dead Sea

You’ll have the full day at to experience the Dead Sea — a low-elevation salt lake that’s among the world’s saltiest bodies of water and one of its first health resorts. Its remarkably high salt concentration allows for effortless floating, while its rich mineral content is believed to offer therapeutic benefits. Multigenerational Feature: Try a relaxing swim today, or take advantage of the luxurious spa amenities offered at your hotel. Or, join an optional excursion to Jerash — often called the “Pompeii of the East” — a prehistoric Jordanian city whose well-preserved Greco-Roman ruins reflect its illustrious past. However you spent the day, join your fellow travelers for dinner at the hotel, following by a free evening to do as you please.

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner
Optional Tour: Jerash Archaeological Site

Jerash Archaeological Site

  • Approximate Cost: $69 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 4 hours
  • Location: Dead Sea. Jordan
  • When: Afternoon tour
The extensive Jerash archaeological site in Jordan has been called the best-preserved Roman ruins outside of Italy. Join us on this special excursion and you’ll explore the remains of this amazing desert city, including the Forum, a plaza surrounded by 160 columns, as well as such notable sites as Hadrian’s Arch, the Hippodrome, and the Cardo, a colonnaded street that runs nearly a half-mile through the site. You visit includes entrance to the Jerash Archaeological Museum, where you can see coins, statues, sarcophagi, and other artifacts unearthed at the site. 


DAY 12:

Dead Sea / Petra, Jordan

Today, depart the Dead Sea and transfer to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Petra, Jordan’s legendary “Lost City.” Visit several ancient sites along the way, including Mount Nebo, the Biblical mountain from which Moses is believed to have seen the Promised Land prior to his death. You’ll also stop in the welcoming market town of Madaba, well-known for its exquisite, vibrantly colored mosaics from the Byzantine era. See the most notable of these mosaics  — a map of Jerusalem and the Holy Land — on the floor of 19th-century Greek Orthodox Church of St. George. After lunch at a local restaurant, continue along the King’s Highway toward Petra, stopping at the fortified Karak Castle — an early Crusader stronghold — along the way.  Arrive in time for dinner at the hotel and an evening at leisure.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 13:

Petra

Today, you’ll set out for a guided walking tour of Jordan’s greatest archaeological treasure — awe-inspiring Petra. Dating back to approximately 300 BC, this prehistoric city was carved into the pink sandstone cliffs of Jordan’s southwestern desert by the ancient Nabataean people. As you explore Petra’s Great Temple and tombs, your Adventure Leader will share some of this magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site’s long and intriguing history. After lunch at a local restaurant, return to the hotel either on camelback or by horse-drawn carriage — giving you a brief glimpse at what life might have been like here some 2,000 years ago. Then, with the afternoon at leisure, discover the area on your own or relax at the resort. Cultural Discovery: This evening, get to know the local Bedouin community’s culture and traditions when you travel to their village in nearby Little Petra. Enjoy a Farewell Dinner with welcoming local Bedouins, followed by an entertaining performance by some traditional sword dancers.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 14:

Petra / Amman, Jordan

This morning, depart Petra for the vast Jordanian capital of Amman — the final destination of your Middle Eastern adventure — arriving just in time for lunch at a local restaurant. This afternoon, take a guided sightseeing tour of this multi-facetted Arab metropolis. Later, sample the city’s diverse restaurant scene when you seek out dinner on your own.

Included Meals:

Breakfast  & Lunch

DAY 15:

Amman / Flight to U.S. Gateway

Today, depending on your departure time back to the U.S., take the opportunity to discover Amman on your own. Later, transfer to the Amman airport for your flight home — or enjoy the first evening of your post-trip extension here.

Included Meals:

Breakfast

Important Notice: The above day-by-day itineraries are preliminary and therefore subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Vantage Adventure Leader or regional expert.

Please Note: Breakfast will be provided daily at the hotels. All outdoor activities — such as boat and cable card rides — are subject to change due to local road and weather conditions.

Please Note: The hotels listed are preliminary and subject to change. Although we contract our hotels a year in advance, unforeseen situations do occasionally occur. Should it be necessary to change a hotel, one of equal quality and value will be substituted. You will receive verified hotel information with your final itinerary. That hotel ratings are based on the Hotel and a leading travel industry authority on hotels throughout the world.

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Journey Israel & Jordan: Cultural Mosaics & the Holy Land Israel & Jordan The Land of Israel: Past, Present and Future: A Journey of Discovery
Price without Air* $4,599 $5,790 $4,499 Save up to $2,382 per couple!
Trip Length 14 days 14 days 14 days More time to explore & better pacing!
Per Diem $328 per day $414 $321 Save up to $172 per couple per day!
Small Group travel Yes! No more than 24 travelers per departure! Small Group Departures are available on select dates starting at $6,690 Small Groups of up to 24 travelers Small Group Travel on every departure date at no additional cost!
Sightseeing 26 sightseeing tours and Cultural Discoveries! 7 included tours 21 included tours 5 MORE Tours! Most sightseeing and Cultural Connections to enhance your experience and immerse you in the local culture!
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