Israel – Jordan 14 days itinerary
1 DAY – Jerusalem
Via Dolorosa (Way of the Cross) traditionally traces the last steps of Christ from where he was tried to Calvary, where he was crucified, and the tomb in the Church of the Holy Sepulcre where he is said to have been buried. There is no historical basis for the 0.25 km route. Along the route are 14 Stations of the Cross, each connected with a particular story or event. The four stations (Jesus is stripped of his clothes, nailed to the cross, dies, and is taken down from the cross) are all in the place identified as Golgotha (Calvary) within the Church of the Holy Sepulcre.
Ramparts Walk – visitors can walk along two sections of the Old City wall, from Jaffa Gate clockwise to St Stephen’s Gate, and counter-clockwise from Jaffa Gate to the Dung Gate. Access to the ramparts is only possible at Jaffa and Damascus gates, although walkers can descend at any gate. Sa-Th 9AM-4PM, F 9AM-2PM. ₪16 adults.
Mount Zion: King David’s burial place, Church of the Dormition and the room of the last supper.
- Church of the Holy Sepulchre (accessible from Christian Quarter Road or a small opening from Souk el-Dabbagha, winter: 4AM-7PM daily) (is the end of the Via Dolorosa (Way of the sorrows))is Jerusalem’s number 1 site for Christian pilgrims and is consequently horribly crowded. Expect to queue for an hour or more to enter the tiny tomb chamber (Christ’s Tomb). The Holy Sepulchre is a large building spanning several areas in which Christ is believed to have been crucified and died, buried, and then rose from the dead on the third day. The best time to come is early in the morning and make your way out by 11AM. Do not wear shorts. Women should have their shoulders covered, no cleavage, and dresses should go below the knee.
- Western (Wailing) Wall (<1 hour) which dates back over 2,000 years, is a surviving remnant of the Temple Mount. It was built by Herod the Great during his expansion of the Temple in 20 BC. The destruction of the temple by the Romans in AD 70. The plaza in front of the Wall is divided by a fence, with a large area for men on the left and a smaller area for women on the right. Monday and Thursday mornings many bar-mitzvahs are held, drawing large crowds of families and guests.
- Western Wall Tunnel Tour. This is a tour of the underground parts of the Western Wall, including the evolution of the Temple Mount from the First Temple period to today.
- The Cardo
- Hurva Square is the heart and social center of the Jewish Quarter. Its open areas offer cafes, souvenir shops, and snack bars with outdoor seating.
- Citadel 2nd century BC, Su-Th 8AM-4PM. Now occupied by the Tower of David Museum of the History of Jerusalem, the Citadel is an imposing fortress inside the city wall beside the Jaffa Gate. 1-2 hours.
- St. James Cathedral. 6AM-7:30AM and 3PM-3:30PM daily. This Armenian cathedral is one of the most beautiful of all the sacred buildings in Jerusalem. It was constructed in the 11th and 12th centuries over the traditional tomb of St James the Apostle. Vespers is held each evening (except Sunday) from 3PM-3:30PM. It is chanted by the seminarians of the Armenian Orthodox seminary across the street from the Cathedral. The chanting is very moving and has a bitter-sweet tone to it which is unforgettably beautiful.
- Jaffa Gate (Bab al-Khalil) – on the western side of the city, next to the Citadel. The busiest of the seven Old City gates. The Tower of David (Citadel) at Jaffa Gate.
2 DAY – Jerusalem
- Temple Mount (Noble Sanctuary) Visiting hours are Sa-Th 7:30AM-11AM and 1:30PM-2:30PM during and between Muslim prayer hours. Entering the Temple Mount is through an elevated wooden walkway through a gate called Mughrabi Gate (Moor’s Gate), which lies next to the Jewish Western Wall area in the Jewish Quarter.
- Qubbat Al-Sakhra (Dome of the Rock) – located in the middle of the sanctuary opposite of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, is probably the most known landmark of Jerusalem. The interior of both the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa mosque are closed to non-Muslims. The Dome of the Rock marks the spot from where Muslims believe the Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven. This association has made the building (together with the neighbouring al-Aqsa Mosque) the third-holiest site in Islam after Mecca and Medina. The Dome was built between 687-691 by the ninth Omayyad caliph, Abd al-Malik. The Dome is not a mosque, but a shrine which protects beneath its high ceiling, a large piece of Rock sacred to Muslims, Jews and Christians. The Rock is variously believed to be where Abraham was asked to sacrifice his son, Isaac (or Ishmael, Isma’il, according to Islamic lore) where Mohammad left the Earth on his Night Journey (a small indentation was reportedly left by his foot), as well as the site of Herod’s Temple.
- Al-Aqsa Mosque (The Far Mosque) 20 years after the completion of the Dome of the Rock. In the 11th century, al-Aqsa became the headquarters of the Templars.
- Damascus (Shechem) Gate on the northern side of the city (access from East Jerusalem), it is the most monumental of all the gates.
- St Stephen’s Gate (also known as Sheep Gate, or in Hebrew, Lions’ Gate) – on the eastern side of the city, it faces the Mount of Olives and is the start of the Via Dolorosa.
There is an Arab bus station nearby Damascus Gate that goes to various West Bank Palestinian cities (if you have trouble finding the bus station, ask a local). Arab bus 21 runs from the Arabic bus station nearby the Damascus Gate (“Bab el-‘Amoud”) in East Jerusalem via Beit Jala to Bethlehem. The average trip length is 30 minutes and costs ₪7. This route takes you straight into Bethlehem without needing to stop at a checkpoint (someone might come to check your passport on the bus, but it’s painless). After you cross the border, tell the driver where you’re headed and he’ll let you know what the best stop is to get off (maybe about 10 minutes after entering the border). From there you can either cab to the main area (Manger Square, Church of Nativity), or just walk. Shared taxis (sherut/servees) leave from the Arab bus station nearby Damascus Gate and manage the trip in 30 minutes.
3 DAY – Jerusalem
Mount of Olives. It is recommended that one explore the Mount of Olives from the top down, as the uphill climb can be extremely ambitious. The best ways to travel to the top of the Mount of Olives are by sherut (shared taxi), which will cost ₪20, or by bus, both of which are easily accessible from the Damascus Gate.
- Mosque of the Ascension. The courtyard and chapel are open daily (if closed, ring the bell). Sacred to Muslims and Christians, this medieval chapel—now part of a mosque—is on the supposed site of Christ’s ascension. The chapel was built around AD 380 around a venerated imprint, now set in stone, of Christ’s right foot.
- Church of the Pater Noster. M-Sa 9AM-11:30AM and 3PM-5PM. Built over Constantine-era ruins, this church sits atop a grotto where Christ is believed to have taught the Paternoster (meaning “Our Father”), or Lord’s Prayer. The church is famous for its tiled panels inscribed with the Lord’s Prayer in more than 130 languages.
- Dominus Flevit Chapel. 8AM-11:45AM and 2:30PM-5PM daily. Its name meaning “The Lord Wept”, this chapel was identified by medieval pilgrims as the place where Jesus wept over the fate of Jerusalem. The chapel’s west window frames a breathtaking view of the Old City.
- Church of All Nations / Garden of Gethsemane. 8AM-noon and 2:30PM-5PM daily. Also known as the Church of Agony because it is built over the rock where Jesus agonized about his death. 4th-century. Next to the church is the surviving part of the Garden of Gethsemane with its centuries-old olive trees.
- Tomb of the Virgin / Cave of Gethsemane. Tomb of the Virgin: 8AM-noon and 2:30PM-5PM daily. Cave of Gethsemane: 8:30AM-noon and 2:30PM-5PM daily. Directly across from the Church of All Nations, the Tomb of the Virgin is believed to be where the Disciples entombed Mary, the mother of Jesus. Crypt contains the burial place of Queen Melisande of Jerusalem, St. Anne and St. Joachim (Mary’s parents) and the Virgin Mary. Outside, to the right of the entrance, is the Cave of Gethsemane, also known as the Cave of Betrayal, the traditional place of Judas’s betrayal of Jesus.
Tayelet Haas Promenade. Amazing view of the old city and environs, especially at sunset. By car from Hebron Road—consult a map, and look for signs to East Talpiot and the Haas Promenade—by Bus 8 or by cab. If the traffic flows well, it’s a 10-minute drive from Downtown, 5 minutes from the German Colony. Daniel Yanofsky street.
The Israel Museum is the largest museum in Israel. The Museum contains the “shrine of the book” where the dead sea scrolls are kept. Entrance fee is ₪50. Sun, Mon, Wed, Thurs 10 am – 5 pm, Tues 4-9 pm (The Museum is closed on Tuesday mornings).
4 DAY – Petra
Egged express buses drive from Jerusalem (444, 07:00 – 11:52, 10:00 – 14:52, 14:00 – 18:52, 17:00 – 21:52) to Eilat, 5 hours, NIS 82 one way. Buses to Dead Sea: 421, 444 and 486, 487; 40 NIS.
Wadi Araba (Yitzhak Rabin) – border crossing (h6.30am-8pm Sun-Thu, 8am-8pm Fri & Sat). Taxi from Eilat center to the Border is 30 NIS. Buses run to central Eilat, 2km away (five minutes). Taxis between Aqaba and the border (JD10, 15 minutes). From Aqaba city center to the border 5JD. You can walk the short distance across the border in a matter of minutes. Israeli exit tax is 103NIS at this border. The Jordanian exit fee is 10 JOD. From Jerusalem you should ask the driver to let you off at the “Eilot stop to Jordan”, which is the last stop before the Egged station in Eilat, and then walk the <1km to the border checkpoint. The stop is located exactly after the interchange(circle) of road 90(Jerusalem-Eilat) and road 109 (from Interchange to the boarders).
Official taxi rate to Petra is 55JD. However heading to the King Talal street local bus station with buses to Petra you will be sided by taxi drivers starting negotiations directly from 35JD.
5 DAY – Petra
Petra. (Opening Hours: 09:00 – 16:00, Daily) Entry Ticket to Petra costs 90 JD (=127 USD) for those who are Day-Visitors to Jordan. Tourists (overnight) pay 50 JD (=70 USD) for 1 day’s access to Petra, 55 JD for 2 days or 60 JD for 3 days.
6 DAY – Wadi Rum
Wadi Rum There is a daily minibus (JD5, two hours) around 6am. It’s a good idea to reserve a seat the day before – your hotel should be able to contact the driver. You may well be charged extra for ‘luggage’ (around JD3), especially if it takes up a seat that could be used for a paying customer. If you miss this bus, or the service isn’t operating, take the minibus to Aqaba, get off at the Ar-Rashidiyyah junction and catch another minibus or hitch the remainder of the journey to Wadi Rum.
A scam in the area is that some taxi driversclaim that they can arrange your tour to Wadi Rum. They bring you to Shakariya village which is only a few kilometres away from Wadi Rum visitor centre.
Wadi Rum. Wadi Rum Protected Area is 5JD.
The Bedouin Meditation Camp. Jeep Tour with overnight and dinner and breakfast (3 People 35JD Per Person, 4 – 7 People 30 JD Per Person).
Barrah Siq (14km) A long, picturesque canyon accessible on foot or by camel. Burdah Rock Bridge (19km) This impressive 80m-high bridge can be viewed from the desert floor or, better still, you can scramble up to it with a guide (one hour). Jebel Khazali (7km) Narrow siq with rock inscriptions. Lawrence’s House/Al-Qsair (9km) Legend has it that Lawrence stayed here during the Desert Revolt. The remote location and supreme views of the red sands are the main attractions. Sand Dunes/Red Sands (6km) Superb red sand dunes on the slopes of Jebel Umm Ulaydiyya that seem to catch alight at sunset. Sunset and Sunrise Points (11km) The places to be at dawn and dusk if you want to see the desert at its most colorful. Umm Fruth Rock Bridge (13km) Smaller and more visited than Burdah, this bridge is tucked into an intimate corner of the desert. Wadak Rock Bridge (9km) Easy to climb, this little rock bridge offers magnificent views across the valley.
7 DAY – Wadi Rum
Bus from Wadi Rum to Aqaba (JD1.500, one hour) leave at around 6.30am – 7am.
Taxis from Aqaba to the Israeli border will probably cost JOD15.
From Israeli border to Eilat take a bus or taxi (20 NIS).
Eilat The main beach is in the North beach, and many of the major hotels are situated here. The south beach area (Coral Beach) is the best place for scuba diving and located here are some of the best dive clubs in Israel.
Underwater Observatory – one of Eilat’s most popular attractions is a good way to view the Red Sea marine life without getting wet. It’s white tower (Eilat’s most famous landmark) offers great views above water and goes below the surface where the marine life is seen.
8 DAY – Dead Sea
Rent a Car in Eilat.
From Eilat to Dead Sea – 200km.
Mount Sodom, the region’s only salt desert and home to the biblical towns of Sodom and Gommorah, affords breathtaking scenery within a couple of miles of the Dead Sea.
Masada – (23NIS, 8:30am – 4pm)Mountaintop Fortress, Masada National Park is 18 km south of Ein Gedi, or 12 km from Ein Bokek to the cable train on the east (Dead Sea). Open 7 Days a Week. First cable car – 8am (61/54/27NIS – round/up/down incl admission fee). Walking up takes 45 min, down – 30min. Masada is a mountaintop fortress which King Herod transformed in 35 BC into a 3 tiered winter home.
Ein Bokek Pubic Beach.
A popular fad by visitors is to have their picture taken while reading a newspaper and floating on the surface of the water. The mud along the shore of the Dead Sea contains many minerals and is believed to have medicinal and therapeutic benefits. Visitors cover their bodies with the dark mud. There are many salt deposits and crystals scattered along the shoreline. Many visitors walk the beach in search of large pieces as souvenirs. Only float on your back. Wash the salt off in the beach showers. Home to the world famous Ahava Dead Sea Products.
9 DAY – Dead Sea
Ein Gedi Nature Reserve
Ein Gedi Public Beach
10 DAY – Tiberias
Tiberias. Nearly all of Tiberias’ attractions are close together and easily manageable on foot. Visit the City Spa, located within City limits and featuring thermal and sulphur pools. Take a swim in the lake. Visit St. Peters church. Eat: Avi’s Restaurant, 1 Hakishon street (in front of Leonardo Club Hotel), 11:00-23:00. A very well known and famous restaurant in Tiberias. The place known for its delicious meats and its fresh fish from the Sea of Galilee. Highly recommended.
Sea of Galilee
11 DAY – Akko
Ascend the Golan Heights for an observation over Hammat Gader and the triangular border between Israel, Syria & Jordan.
Drive to Katzrin, the Talmudic capital of the Golan & tour the ancient synagogue of Katzrin.
Ascend Mount Bental, for a panoramic view of Kuneitra Valley on the Syrian Border.
Descend the Golan & drive to Tsfat (Safed), the Kabbalah City, tour its ancient synagogues & Artists’ Quarter.
Tiberias – Akko 55km
12 DAY – Haifa
Akko: Acre Seaside walkway, Acre Knights Halls, Acre Bathhouse, Acre Al-Jazzar Mosque
You can find delicious hummus throughout Akko, and Baklava in the old bazaar. Akko is famous for its fish restaurants some of the best are located in the port area, Donyana and Abu Khristo are a must for anyone who wants to have a great meal in a great location looking over the sea. The restaurants along the beach area are fabulous. Some may be expensive, but the food is superb. Eat everywhere, in Sal A Dim Street there is a small bakery with yummy treats. Foods like this are hard to find.
Akko – Rosh Hanikra cliffs 20km.
Rosh Hanikra cliffs, Cable car at Rosh Hanikra
Akko – Haifa 27km.
13 Day – Tel Aviv
Baha’i gardens, Baha’i temple on Mt. Carmel
The beach. The best beaches are right next to the Hof Hacarmel bus and train stations.
Haifa – Caesarea 40km. Caesarea National Park – remains of the Roman city.
14 Day – Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv White City – Bauhaus style architecture
Old Jaffa. located in Jaffa is a must see for any visitor to Tel Aviv. This is the reputed point where Jonah boarded a ship and was later swallowed by a big fish. It is also one of the oldest ports in the world. Nearby is Jaffa´s famous Flea Market.
Jaffa’s Railway Station a historic outdoor shopping area, Jaffa.
Rabin Square. The biggest public square in Israel and site of PM Rabin’s assassination in 1995.
Azriely Lookout, (by Tel Aviv Hashalom train station). Watch the entire Tel Aviv area from 200 meters high.
Tel Aviv Port – a commercial area in Northern Tel Aviv with bars and nightclubs.
Dizengoff Centre – Israel’s most iconic shopping centre with a very lively food market every Thursday and Friday.
Rothschild Boulevard – a lot of Bauhaus architecture, restaurants and cafes in Tel Aviv’s prettiest street
The Carmel Market – mostly fruits and vegetables.
Azrieli Center towers; for a good view of the city, climb up to the circular tower observatory.
Tel Aviv Beaches
Rail: A train service links Tel Aviv Ben Gurion International Airport’s Terminal 3 and central Tel Aviv, operating from 0100 to 2300 (journey time: 15 minutes; fare: ₪15).