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Inspired Itinerary: Israel and Jordan

An overview of Jerusalem's Old City

An overview of Jerusalem's Old City

Occasionally, our team of full-time trip planners—all travelers and regional experts in their own right—comes across an itinerary so special that it becomes office daydream fodder for weeks. Our Inspired Itinerary series is meant to do just that: inspire future cultural journeys. All of our inspired itineraries are bookable—either in part or in whole—just get in touch with us at info@contexttravel.com.

As one of the newest regions in our Context portfolio, we're especially thrilled when we get a chance to custom design a jaunt around Israel. Much more than just a religious destination—though it's that, too—Israel holds incredible historical weight, and is teeming with wonders that range from the archaeological to the culinary. Below is a recent itinerary we crafted for a week in Israel ... with the very special add-on of three days in neighboring Jordan:

An Israel Itinerary (with a Jordan Jaunt)

Jordan (3 Days) 

Day 1: Amman

Duration: 4 hours

Arriving in Amman, we'll kick off our travels with a half day Amman city tour. Generally a stop on the well-trod path to Petra, we find that Amman is a pleasant mix of traditional old city interspersed with charming modern touches; it's the perfect place to get acclimated after a long journey. 

Day 2: Petra

Duration: 8 hours

Our historical explorations really get going with an excursion to Petra, whose "Rose City" nest of sandstone caves and temples tell of the lost Nabatean civilization. In the company of a historian, we'll dive into the history and culture of this nomadic desert tribe who leveraged camel routes, controlled water sources, and wealth amassed from the incense trade to build a kingdom that remained unconquered for centuries. Once our explorations of Petra conclude, we'll drive to the majestic desert of Wadi Rum for an evening in Suncity camp.

Day 3: Wadi Rum

Duration: 4 hours touring; 4 hours transport

For the first part of our day, we'll tour the environs of Wadi Rum, taking in the vast desert valley with an eye towards understanding the Bedouin cultures that long populated the area. Our afternoon will be spent making our way into Israel: after crossing the border to Ramon airport, we'll hop a flight to Jerusalem.

Israel (4 Days) 

Day 4: Jerusalem Old City

Duration: 8 hours

We’ll follow the age-old history of Jerusalem as we explore its Jewish Quarter and surrounding sites in the Old City. With a local historian, we'll uncover the complex, intertwined narratives of the Jewish people and the ancient Holy City via stops at sites like the Mount of Olives, David's Tomb in Mount Zion, the Western Wall, and the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial. (For the culinarily inclined, we'd also recommend incorporating elements of our Savoring Israel Jerusalem Food Tour. Or, for more detail on Jerusalem's Old City sights, take a peek at our blog post.)

Day 5: Bethlehem and Masada Dead Sea 

Duration: 10 hours 

Beginning at our hotel in Jerusalem, we'll set out for a (packed) day outside of the city. Starting in Bethlehem—perhaps best known for being the birthplace of Jesus—we'll visit some combination of the Security Wall (with a viewing of Banksy's artwork), Shepherd’s Fields and the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, the Mount of Temptation in Jericho, and the baptism site of Jesus in the Jordan River. From there, we'll head (with car and driver) to the magnificent historic sites of Masada and the Dead Sea, discussing the history and importance of each as well as the complex ecology of the area.

Day 6: Nazareth

Duration: 8 hours

We'll recover from yesterday's agenda with a tour of Nazareth, a city that is both Israel's largest Arab city as well as home to dozens of historical Christian sites. We'll take in a view of the Old City, including its traditional shuk market and the Church of the Annunciation. Our day will end with a tour of the UNESCO World Heritage site and ancient port city of Akko—often compared to a seaside Jerusalem. We'll travel by car for an evening in Tel Aviv and the final day of our travels.

Day 7: Tel Aviv

Duration: 8 hours

Finally, we'll wrap our Israel Itinerary with a day in bustling Tel Aviv, charting a course through the city's history with a view of the Old City as well as the more modern side of the cosmopolitan metropolis. With a local historian, we'll map the emergence of the city from its origins in the ancient port of Jaffa. Transversing centuries of history via the city's eclectic markets and Bahaus-inspired buildings, we'll end our journey with an extensive view into what drives the dynamism of today's Tel Aviv. 

Intrigued by Israel? Any of the tours above can be swapped, stitched, or substituted to build an itinerary that's exactly suited to you—start planning with us at info@contexttravel.com.