Where to go
Israel: The map of Israel can helpfully be thought of as an elongated diamond shape, and can be divided into four quadrants: Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, the North, and the South.
Because the country is so small, it is possible to tour all four quadrants in ten nights or so. Starting Central/ East lies Israel’s unmissable capital city of Jerusalem: ancient, spiritual and complex. Jerusalem is also the base from which most people tour the historically rich and scenic Judean desert. Just an hour to the West, and yet a world away, is Tel Aviv: young, fun and hedonistic with competing beach and tech scenes.
The North of the country is green and lush, with rivers and lakes intertwined with an extraordinary gamut of historical sites from ancient synagogues and churches, to Roman and Crusader remains. The Desert of the South, the Negev, offers some of the most compelling wilderness scenery in the Middle East. According to your preference, the Negev is a place to contemplate, or alternatively an adventure playground, and is also the gateway to Petra and Jordan. This short sketch cannot begin to do justice to Israel’s diversity and complexity – you will have to come and tour Israel with us to understand the possibilities here!
Jordan: Jordan is also a relatively small country which can be explored in depth in about 7 to 9 nights, depending on how much leisure time you want in addition to touring.
Jordan’s main attractions are in the arid South of the country where you will find both the ancient red city of Petra and awe inspiring desert of Wadi Rum. If you’re flying into Amman you will find these sites a good three to four hour drive away from the capital, though luckily the drive can be broken up visiting sites such as Madaba and Mount Nebo along the way.
The capital Amman where you will most likely also stay for at least a night or two is central/ north. It’s worth spending some time exploring this bustling Middle Eastern city for its own sake, and also using Amman as a base to explore some of the impressive sites in the North of the country, key amongst them Jerash, but also Umm Qais and Ajloun.
The Dead Sea is less than an hour South of Amman and is a great place to finish off your Jordan tour with a couple of nights relaxation, yet still close to the airport.
Egypt: Unlike Israel and Jordan, Egypt spans a huge land area and a tour here will inevitably involve domestic flights as well as travel by land and likely water too. We recommend at least 8 nights, but ideally longer, to explore Egypt.
Egypt’s capital Cairo is located in the North East of the country, and as well as exploring the capital itself, this is where you will find the pyramids and sphinx of the ‘Old Kingdom’, the only remaining wonder of the ancient world.
It is further south (a one hour flight from Cairo) that you will find Luxor, and further south again (a three hour drive) that you will find Aswan. The key treasures of the Middle and New Kingdoms of the Pharaohs are located between Luxor and Aswan and this stretch can be explored either by land or Nile boat. Further South still, on the border with Sudan, lies the great monument of Abu Simbel. Although this involves an additional 45 minute flight, Abu Simbel is perhaps one of the most impressive sites in the entire Middle East, and you miss it at your peril.
Outside of the key historic sites, Sharm el Sheik in the Sinai peninsular is a one hour flight from Cairo and offers some world class resorts to end your Egypt tour with some downtime, or to snorkel the Red Sea.
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