Israel & Jordan: Deserts & the Dead Sea
Israel & Jordan—from poppin’ Tel Aviv to the outer reaches of otherworldly deserts—are like no other destination you can dream of. Nothing else can compare to the feeling of standing before good-as-new ancient ruins from a long-lost kingdom in Jordan. Or floating effortlessly across the Dead Sea’s medicinal waters that literally give you life. Or experiencing firsthand the most important religious sites of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, among others. Or trekking through the desert—be it by camelback or heavy duty all-terrain vehicle (spoiler: you’ll do both). Or stuffing your face with shawarma, and hummus, and baked lamb, and olives, and falafel, and OMG is that baklava? Yes, it is. Or, well… you get it.
What are the top highlights?
- Explore the Old City of Jerusalem—site of the holiest relics in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
- Float weightlessly in the legendarily salty lowest place on the planet, the Dead Sea.
- Crane your neck to take in the entire ancient Al-Khazneh temple at Jordan’s world-famous Petra ruins.
- Ride a 4x4 through the closest thing to Mars on Earth: Wadi Rum Desert Valley.
- Turn up in Tel Aviv and find out that Israelis really know how to have a good time.
- Travel through time as you walk the perfectly preserved Greco-Roman ruins of Jerash, Jordan—toga not included.
- Find your new favorite cuisine as you wolf down Jordanian mansaf and Israeli bourekas.
Your trip includes
- Round-trip flights & airport transfers
- Multilingual Tour Director & local guides
- Private deluxe motorcoach
- 9 nights in hand-picked accommodations
- Welcome & Farewell Dinners
- Daily breakfast, lunch in Petra, X dinners
- Metro passes in each major city
- Entrance to Petra ruins, Church of the Holy Sepulchre & more
You’ll stay at accommodations hand-picked by our team of local experts, in rooms only for EF Ultimate Break travelers. Each property is located in a safe, convenient area. You’ll receive your exact accommodations 30 days before your trip departs.
Click here for examples of where you'll stay.
Admit it, booking flights is the worst. Here's why you should let us do it for you:
- Flight costs are included in your monthly payment plan, so you can pay over time
- Airport transfers are included, so we’ll be waiting, sign in hand
- Flights are booked with major airlines
- 24/7 support no matter what time zone you’re in
- One checked bag included on most flights
- Option to make changes to your trip up to 99 days before departure
Booking with a friend? Let us know and we’ll do our best to make sure you’re on the same flight. Still want to book your own flights? That’s cool, simply select ‘No flights included’ instead of your departure city in the ‘Flights from’ dropdown.
Day 1: Overnight Flight
Board your overnight flight to Jordan. Prepare to start referring to this country as habibi (Arabic for “sweetheart”) ‘cause you’re gonna love it here. Sit back, relax, and dream dreams of falafel fairies, you’ll be there soon!
Day 2: Arrive in Jordan + Welcome Dinner
Welcome to Amman! The capital city of Jordan is a bustling metropolis with all of the amenities you could want, the friendly chatter of Arabic in the streets, plus beautifully preserved ancient ruins. Get ready, you’re just at the beginning of your epic adventure through the Middle East!
- Land at the airport and meet a waiting EF representative.
- Transfer to your hotel to check in and check out your room.
- Get familiar with the area around your hotel with an introductory walk with your Tour Director.
In the evening, it’s time for your Welcome Dinner. Enjoy a meal and drinks with fellow travelers at an authentic local spot. Then it’s on to wherever your new friends and the party takes you.
Day 3: Explore Jerash Ruins + Dead Sea Swim
Take a day trip to Jerash, sometimes known as “The Pompeii of the East.” Not to worry, no volcanoes here, just perfectly preserved Greco-Roman ruins. Then, head to the Dead Sea for a dip in the water on the lowest point on Earth. Is this day gonna rule? You bet Jerash it is.
- Strut down the colonnaded streets of Jerash like an emperor, stopping at Hadrian’s Arch, built to commemorate an (actual) emperor’s visit in 129 AD.
- Get in the ring at the Hippodrome—an ancient Greek arena used for… You guessed it: Horse racing!
- See what swimming in water ten times saltier than the ocean feels like in the out-of-this-world Dead Sea.
- Head back to Amman for an included Jordanian home-hosted dinner!
Day 4: Travel to Wadi Rum + Sunset Camel Ride
Dead Sea? Check. Ancient ruins? Check. Big city? Check. What are you missing? A trip through the desert, of course! It wouldn’t be Jordan without an adventure into the sandy south of the country to watch the dry landscape become a stunning watercolor of purples, pinks, and oranges as the sun sets. The Wadi Rum Desert Valley has been occupied by humans for practically forever. Keep an eye out for depictions of antelope carved into the sandstone walls over 7,000 years ago.
- Stop en route to Wadi Rum at Kerak to check out a big ol’ castle built by Christian Crusaders in the 1100s.
- Continue on to Wadi Rum—you might recognize this place from countless movies, including The Martian and several Star Wars films.
- Travel—via camel caravan—to a desert vista perfect for watching the sun go down.
- Sip Bedouin tea and sample some snacks before returning to Wadi Rum Village for the night.
Day 5: Explore Petra Ruins + Optional Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride
Behold! One of the most magnificent feats in ancient architecture. Petra, the Sandstone City, awaits you through a winding and spectacular canyon. You’ll be wowed, you’ll be awed, you’ll say things you’ve never said before, like “what in the name of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson?!” How has it all been so well preserved? Well, let’s just say it’s been Petra-fied.
- Join a local guide for a Siq walk—that means canyon, but also yes, it is pretty sick—of Petra.
- Ask yourself “where has my breath gone?” when the world-famous Al-Khazneh temple carved into the cliffs takes it away.
- Enjoy an included lunch before heading back to Wadi Rum.
Wadi Rum Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride(extra cost)
Rise and shine, and then rise again—really, really high, in a hot air balloon. Get killer sunrise views of Wadi Rum and all its Mars-like glory from the wonderful vantage point that only a hot air balloon can provide.
Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.
Day 6: Wadi Rum Desert Jeep Ride + Travel to Israel
Call it a Jeep, call it a 4x4, call it like it is: an amazing way to see Jordan. Today you’re taking a 4x4 tour of the Wadi Rum Desert Valley to check it out in ways you couldn’t by foot. Oases, wild rock formations, and even the house Lawrence of Arabia used to live in. Take it all in on your last day in the country, and get ready to add a little Hebrew to your vocabulary as you head to Israel.
- Board your 4x4 and experience the Wadi Rum Desert Valley ruggedly, with an expert local guide on board to teach you all about everything you’re seeing.
- Disembark and cross the border to Israel at Wadi Araba.
- Arrive in the Israeli resort city of Eilat, and enjoy a free night in country number two.
Day 7: Free Day in Eilat + Optional Red Sea Snorkeling
Welcome to sunny Eilat, Israel! The relaxation capital of the country is situated smack dab on the Red Sea. Today is all about taking advantage of what Eilat has to offer, at your leisure. Everything here is done at “Eilat time” so go with the flow, and take it easy today.
Free Time Suggestions
Eilat Beaches: Full of shakshuka and need to lay down for awhile? Relatable! Head to one of Eilat’s pristine Red Sea beaches. Our personal faves are Mosh Beach & Princess Beach.
Coral World Underwater Observatory: Head 40-feet under the sea to the coolest aquarium you’ve ever been to. Check out sharks, turtles, stingrays, and more from within the submerged display halls—all without ever getting the slightest bit wet.
Red Sea Snorkeling Excursion(extra cost)
Jordan & Israel agree: the coral reefs and colorful critters on the Red Sea coast ought to be protected. Cruise out to Aqaba Marine Park to see the fishy residents, then put on a snorkel and get in there with them!
Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.
Day 8: Travel to Jerusalem + Ein Gedi Oasis Visit
Board the rare 50-humped camel (aka your bus), it’s time to head north and continue on your travel pilgrimage. Today you’re going to the capital of Israel: Jerusalem. It’s also the largest, and oldest city in Israel. We’re talking inhabited-for-nearly-7,000-years-and-even-the-palm-trees-have-seen-some-things old.
- Stop en route at the Ein Gedi Oasis by the Dead Sea to bathe in the springs and make an impromptu mud mask—a return to the same body of water from another perspective.
- Arrive in Jerusalem and feast your eyes (and stomach) on an included dinner.
Day 9: Explore Jerusalem + Optional Jerusalem by Night Excursion
Sniff that history-soaked air, you’re in Jerusalem—one of the oldest cities in the world, and certainly one of the most holy. Adherents of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all flock here to see thousands of years of their religion’s most spiritual sites. Strap on your sandals, you’re about to get a hands-on lesson walking the winding alleyways and cobblestoned pathways of world religion.
- Join a local guide for an immersive stroll through the Old City of Jerusalem’s Christian, Armenian, and Jewish Quarters.
- Continue to the Western Wall, sometimes known as the Wailing Wall, built by Herod the Great around 19 BC.
- Enter the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, built on the site where Jesus Christ was said to have been both crucified and entombed.
- Visit the Tomb of David and Upper Room where Jesus held the Last Supper in Christian tradition.
- Satiate a heavy day of profound thoughts in important places with an included dinner to celebrate your first full day in Jerusalem.
Jerusalem by Night(extra cost)
In Jerusalem, nighttime is full of magnificently illuminated walls, holy sites, and churches. Embark on an evening exploration of the Mea Shearim neighborhood—one of the first built outside the Old City walls—and meander over to the ruins at the Tower of David. Though the towering minaret was built by the Ottomans just a mere 1,000 years ago, the ruins and parts of the walls are over 2,000 years old. Enjoy a local surprise upon arrival at the Tower of David. Our lips are sealed.
Day 10: Travel to Tel Aviv + Nighttime exploring
Your final destination awaits: Tel Aviv, Israel. For every ounce of history and tradition that Jerusalem holds, Tel Aviv matches it in glamor, excitement, and the cutting edge of modernity. Vegans, party animals, beach bunnies, and the crunchiest of outdoorsy-types, rejoice: there’s something for everyone in Tel Aviv.
- Hop on your morning bus from Jerusalem, and head for the coast—Tel Aviv is located on the sunny shores of the Mediterranean Sea.
- Arrive in Tel Aviv and check out Jaffa Port and the Promenade with your Tour Director.
- Get ready to go out in the nightlife capital of the Middle East.
Day 11: Explore Tel Aviv + Optional Culinary Tour + Farewell Dinner
Like all great stories, this trip has a beginning, a Middle East, and an end. And sadly, you’ve reached the last full day of your Israel & Jordan adventure. You’ve had some laughs, made all olive the memories, and maybe even rode a camel. Luckily, though, you’ve got a jam-packed last day! Yalla!
- Get nautical on a sightseeing tour of Tel Aviv, including a stop in cultural mecca Jaffa Port—said to be one of the oldest ports in the world, and where the titular character from the Biblical tale of Jonah & the Whale set sail from.
- Waltz through the visually satisfying White City neighborhoods, made up of Bauhaus-style buildings, for all you architecture geeks out there.
- Take advantage of a chance to buy last minute souvenirs along bougie Rothschild Boulevard.
Share some last laughs (and maybe shed a few tears) at an included farewell dinner with the group.
Tel Aviv Culinary Tour(extra cost)
What do you get for the hungry world traveler in search of the tastiest foods around? A culinary tour of Tel Aviv, of course. Whether you’re a shawarma snob, or a baba ga-noob, you’re going to love this melding of Mediterranean flavors. Take a guided tour with an expert on Israeli cuisine’s greatest hits—a harmonious blend of Arabic and Persian cuisine, with a healthy dose of the homeland staples brought over by Jewish immigrants from Russia, Germany, Eastern Europe, and beyond. You’re gonna want to eat this.
Day 12: Fly Home
Translation: Goodbye, friends. Before you head to the airport, make sure to take one more group photo and grab that final drink. But this isn’t goodbye because you can always get the gang back together for another trip soon. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, we have a couple ways to keep your vacation going.
EXTEND YOUR TRIP 2 WAYS
1. Double the fun
A lot of our trips line up back to back! Give us a call—we can help you add another and save big while you're at it.
2. Go ahead or stay behind
Extending your trip is easy! During checkout, you'll have the option to fly to (or from) the gateway of your choice for an additional fee. We'll adjust your flights accordingly, but you'll be responsible to take care of your transportation, hotels, and other logistics outside of tour.
Note: Depending on your desired gateways, additional fees may apply.