Two of the most enchanting and hospitable countries in the Middle East welcome you with open arms. Israel & Jordan have been captivating visitors for centuries and it is time for you to make their acquaintance. Grand desert landscapes, ancient monuments, biblical sites and Bedouin and Arabic influences will mesh together and make these countries your new favorite travel destinations.
Gate 1 Travel knows Israel like no other travel company. Thanks to our longstanding and enduring relationships throughout the country, we can offer an unmatched experience that provides endless insight into its natural and cultural treasures, all at the best value you’ll find anywhere. There are as many reasons to visit Israel with Gate 1 Travel as there are historic and religious sites in this incredible nation, and there are plenty! Right across the border lies Jordan, or officially known as the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. It sits in the crossroads of Asia, Europe and the Middle East so it has always had an excellent strategic and cultural location. It also lies in what Christians, Jews and Muslims call the “Holy Land.” Gate 1 Travel shows you one of the oldest cities on earth in Amman, the lowest point on land at the Dead Sea and so much more in this country.
Inspiration knows no bounds in Israel & Jordan. Culture, religion and history merge seamlessly within these countries like not many others achieve. We invite you to join us in these nations that Gate 1 knows so well.
Few other cities in the world boast such a concentration of religious sites like Jerusalem. Many call this city the “Soul of Israel” and it’s easy to understand why. Powerful emblems of faith appear on every corner of the Old City, as you’ll see in the Stations of the Cross that line the Via Dolorosa, or Way of Sorrows. Jesus is said to have walked this road while bearing His cross. This pilgrimage route, and our own walk, ends at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, built on the site of His crucifixion. It’s a particularly moving visit, especially if you also pay homage at the place of His birth, Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity, and at the Church of the Annunciation in the city of His youth, Nazareth.
In the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem, the Temple Mount crowned by the gilded Dome of the Rock, is said to shelter the Talmudic source of life, the site from which God gathered dust to create man. In Islamic faith, it is the location of Mohammed’s ascent to heaven. It is a symbol of unity, as Gabriel brought Mohammed here to pray with Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. The Western (or Wailing) Wall borders the temple, a pilgrimage site where the devout worship and insert prayer slips of paper in the spaces between the mortar and rock. It is impossible to not be moved by the power of this place. Step outside the Old City for a breathtaking view from Mt. Zion, site of the ancient City of David. Jerusalem’s new city is no less inspiring, as you can choose to discover for yourself. At the Israel Museum, art and archaeology from the country’s millennia of history are on display, none more remarkable than the fourth and fifth-century Dead Sea Scrolls, housed under an impressive white dome. From inspiring to sobering, visit Yad Vashem, Israel’s memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Farther south, the towering massif of Masada tells the dramatic story of 960 Jewish rebels who committed suicide in AD 73 rather than surrender to the Roman Empire.
The River Jordan played a crucial part in Christian theology, as the scene of miracles, battles, and baptisms. Most notably, John baptized Jesus in its waters at a site that we’ll visit. The valley’s fertile history is on rich display and you can unravel it all, during an enriching stay in Tiberias, bordering the Sea of Galilee’s shores. Nearby Beit She’an, a city dating to the 15th-century BCE, invites you to stroll through 5,000 years of history.
Thousands of years of Canaanite, Egyptian, Roman, Arab, Byzantine, and Ottoman history blanket the shores of the Sea of Galilee. There will be ample time to explore Tiberias on your own, perhaps sampling one of its soothing thermal springs. In Safed, a mystical Kabbalah artists’ colony welcomes you, and in the Golan Heights, you may sample special vintages at a kosher winery. Perhaps choose to visit the remarkably historic port city of Acre, or Akko, where echoes of knights and crusaders whisper in Ottoman-era medieval streets. Next, explore the ancient ruins of Capernaum and the fabled spot where Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount of Beatitudes.
Haifa & Tel Aviv:
The Mediterranean Sea does not spring to everyone’s mind when they think of Israel but some of the country’s most beautiful places grace its sun-kissed coast. The splendid terraced Baha’i Gardens offer magnificent views of Haifa. Mt. Carmel was the spot of Elijah’s sacrifice by fire in which he miraculously ended a drought. In Caesarea, seat of Pontius Pilate and of impressive Roman and Crusader ruins, Herod the Great built a city to rival Rome. With the blue waters of the Mediterranean as their backdrop, these historic sites are all the more magnificent.
If Jerusalem is Israel’s soul, Tel Aviv is its beating heart. This young and vibrant city on the sea never sleeps and offers a fun and fascinating glimpse into the country’s modern lifestyle. Whether you prefer an hour on the beach or an afternoon shopping at the Dizengoff Center, Tel Aviv will not disappoint. By contrast, in the city’s southern districts, Jaffa or Joppa is a wellspring of biblical and rabbinical history.
In the south of Israel, the Negev desert stretches to the Red Sea. The desert makes for a mesmerizing drive through arid plains, but it’s not all barren land. At Kibbutz Sde Boker, the first prime minister of Israel, David Ben-Gurion, retired and passed away. We’ll stop to pay respects at his grave. Farther south, the small town of Mitzpe Ramon sits on the northern ridge of the Ramon Crater. This once-forgotten enclave, built as a camp for the workers who laid the road to the Red Sea, is coming into its own as an eco-tourist destination.
The sea resort town of Eilat is at a geographic crossroads; Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia are all visible from this northern tip of the Red Sea. Our days here are unregimented, with lots of time to swim or snorkel. And there’s plenty more to explore: join optional tours to the magnificent ancient city of Petra or to the Timna Valley, home to incredible rock formations carved by desert wind and the once-active copper mines known as King Solomon’s Mines.
Welcome to the Earth’s lowest elevation on land. This body of water has long been said to have healing and therapeutic powers due to its high content of minerals in the waters. See for yourself while you are visiting the area. Perhaps pamper yourself with treatments or feel free to just enjoy the stunning surroundings on your own, the choice is yours in this incredible setting. No matter which you chose to do while here, make sure to dip your foot in the water or go for a float! Close-by lies the village of Bethany, the site of Jesus’ baptism by John. This is also the place where the prophet Elijah ascended to heaven on a chariot of fire. Bethany and the surrounding area formed the early Christian pilgrimage route between Jerusalem, Jordan River and Mount Nebo.
Moses is believed to have led his people here after wandering the desert for 40 years with the Israelites. Moses stood here at the summit of Nebo and first viewed the Promised Land of Canaan. This is the reputed burial site of Moses in the bible. Mount Nebo overlooks the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea beautifully and you will be surprised by how lovely this area is. On a clear day, you will be able to view the Dead Sea, Jordan River, Jericho, Bethlehem and the distant hills of Jerusalem.
The mosaic city of Madaba is where an ancient map of the Holy Land is set into the floor at Saint George’s Church. View this incredible site that is said to have been created in the 6th century AD in the Byzantine-era style. The map contains the oldest surviving original cartographic depiction of the Holy Land and especially Jerusalem. It is comprised of more than two million differently colored individual pieces of stone. The map is not set towards the north like modern maps but faces east towards the altar so that it coincides with the actual compass directions.
Petra will likely become one of the highlights of your trip due to its uniqueness and beauty. This “rose-red” city was hand-sculpted by the Nabateans right into the red desert cliffs in the 3rd century BC. This group was originally nomadic but decided to settle in a number of places including Petra, Naqab desert in Palestine and northern Arabia. Make your way through the “Siq,” or long winding road, to the incredible Treasury building, or Al-Khazneh, that rises over 140 feet. The place gets its name because many locals thought it might contain hidden treasure within its walls. Continue from the Treasury and discover elaborate royal tombs, a theater and burial chambers, all of which are remnants of the great Nabatean culture that called this place home in ancient times.
Travel through the alien-like landscape of the Wadi Rum desert, with its ancient river beds, wind-sculpted mountains and vast desert sands. This “Valley of the Moon” was an inspiration, and later filming location, for T.E. Lawrence’s novel, Lawrence of Arabia. This area also served as a filming set for the Star Wars movies, Prometheus, The Martian and more, to serve as the planet of Mars or an alien planet due to its red coloring and surreal landscapes. This incredible UNESCO World Heritage Site will lead you to the eroded sand dunes of sandstone known as “The Seven Pillars of Wisdom.”
Jerash & Amman
Start just outside Amman in Jerash, the “Pompeii of the East”. This old city provides incredible insight into the lives of the Romans in one of their more remote outposts. Jerash is the best-preserved example of Roman civilization in Jordan and was part of the Decapolis (ten large Roman cities of the East). View the temples of Zeus and Artemis, Nymphaeum and a street lined with columns or a “colonnade.”
Proceed to Amman, the capital city of Jordan and the cultural hub of the country. It is often referred to as the “White City” due to the limestone used for the buildings. The city has many beautiful ancient sites including the Citadel, located on the highest hill in Amman. Occupied since the Bronze Age, this archaeological site includes the Temple of Hercules and Umayyad Palace. Visit the Archaeological Museum here and discover artifacts that date all the way back to prehistoric times. Next enjoy exploring the city and view the Roman Amphitheater, the souks and the city’s modern district.
Quality and value go hand in hand in Gate 1 Travel’s Israel & Jordan. Conclude each inspiring day with comfortable accommodations, delight in local cuisine and gain in-depth knowledge from local guides with a boundless national pride that you’ll find contagious. One thing is certain: whether this is your first visit or your fifth, we’ll show it all to you at a price that beats any other tour operator. Join us in Israel & Jordan!
(Pictured: Tel Aviv)