Trails of the Nabateans (Israel to Jordan)

Covering almost half of Israel's total land area, the Negev Desert is one of Israel's most incredible and landscape with its largely unpopulated spaces, an ancient nomadic Bedouin heritage and some of the most jaw-dropping geology, not mentioning a prolific wine-producing region. Then enter into Jordan following on the trails of the Nabateans on the spice route to Petra.  

HIGHLIGHTS

Stay in the best hotels in on this journey

Visit some of the most spectacular UNESCO sites in Israel & Jordan

Savour unique local cuisines in Israel & Jordan

Experience an insiders experience of touring Israel & Jordan

ITINERARY

DAY 1: ARRIVE TEL AVIV / JERUSALEM

On arrival at Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport,  be met as we then begin an orientation of the lively and cosmopolitan city of Tel Aviv, nicknamed the "White City on the sea". Highlights of Tel Aviv include the stunning UNESCO World Heritage-listed Bauhaus buildings which gave the city its nickname. Worth a visit as well is the Carmel Market, the largest and most vibrant market in Tel Aviv where traders sell everything from clothing to spices, and fruit to electronics.

 

Later, we then continue to Old Jaffa. Learn about the port city’s 8,000-year old roots, as you explore an artists quarter and old ruins set among winding alleyways and historic homes. In the charming, tree lined district of Neve Tzedek, learn the history of the first Jewish neighborhood built outside Jaffa’s walls, then soak up the lively atmosphere at Nachlat Binyamin, a street market with local musicians, locally made crafts, and jewelry. Later, we continue to Jerusalem, the spiritual hub of Christianity, Islam and Jews. Check in at the Mamilla Hotel Jesusalem where you will spend the next few nights.

Overnight: Mamilla Hotel, Jerusalem

Meals: NIL

DAY 2: JERUSALEM

Today, we begin our exploration of Jerusalem visiting the Old City, walking across the Muslim Quarter to see the spectacular Temple Mount (Closed on Fridays and Saturdays – access to the Dome of the Rock is restricted to Muslims only). 

Keep on until the Dung Gate and walk to the Western Wall or more famously known as the Wailing Wall. Go on a 2-hour guided tour of Underground Jerusalem. The Western Wall Tunnels are a labyrinth of underground tunnels directly below the Western Wall. 

Cross over the Armenian & Jewish Quarters to Mt. Zion to visit the Last Supper Room and Dormition Abbey. After lunch, visit to Machane Yehuda Shuk, the marketplace in Jerusalem and experience the tastes and smells of this market see foods and fruits of all colors, size and shapes, interact with the locals and enjoy culinary tastings. End the day with a visit to Yad Vashem, memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust.

Overnight: Mamilla Hotel, Jerusalem

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 3: JERUSALEM

This morning, we visit the Ramparts. Most visitors tour the inside of the old city, but very few know that they can climb on top of the ramparts (walls) for a spectacular view of the city beyond the walls and a unique look inside the Muslim Quarter. From the Citadel, it is possible to view what was once Herod's palace, built by the Crusaders during the Middle Ages as a lookout to guard the road to Jaffa. Walking along the wall, one can see the Armenian seminary and 1948 border, where Arabs shot at the Jews who were living in Yemin Moshe. 

The Tower of David Museum can be found in the medieval Citadel near the Jaffa gate of the old city of Jerusalem. Here you can learn the story of Jerusalem and hear of all the major events in its history that are of significance to Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Later, proceed to the Mount of Olives to enjoy the spectacular panoramic view over the Old City and Temple Mount. Visit the Gethsemane Grotto, where Jesus spent the night before his arrest, the Garden of Olives and the Church of All Nations.

Walk through the old bazaar streets to the Church of St. Anne & the Pool of Bethesda inside the walls of this church are the most wonderful acoustics for singing. Outside are the remains of the pool of Bethesda. The pool with 5 porches is now only a large pit, but it is a place to view and to remember the Lord’s kindness.
Continue your walk along the Via Dolorosa, along which Jesus walked bowing under the weight of the Cross, and visit sites such as the Church of Flagellation and the Church of Holy Sepulchre.

Overnight: Mamilla Hotel, Jerusalem

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 4: JERUSALEM / BEIT GUVRIN / TEL BE'ER SHEVA / AVDAT / MITZPE RAMON

Leave Jerusalem today as we make a pleasant drive to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Beit Guvrin caves, situated in the Judean Lowlands - best known for the hundreds of caves that were dug here by hand in ancient times. Beit Guvrin National Park encompasses the biblical city of Maresha, the ancient tel (mound) of Beit Guvrin, and many caves. The main sites to be visited include Tel Maresha, the bell caves, and the Sidonian burial caves; the larger cave is decorated with drawings of real and mythological animals, while the smaller cave has drawings of a man and woman playing musical instruments. In the lower city of Beit Guvrin, visit the many caves with a variety of purposes, including the columbarium caves, water cisterns, olive presses, and the Sidonian burial caves with the drawings. 

NOTES:

(During the winter and spring, Beit Guvrin can be muddy. Proper walking shoes and hats are necessary year round for your protection). 

Thereafter, continue south as we enter into the realms of the Negev Desert where we make a stop at the biblical settlement mounds of Tel Be'er Sheva, a UNESCO World Heritage site, where we witness the ruins of its sophisticated water system that includes a 70m deep well - the deepest in the Negev as well as an insight into what was formerly a thriving urban planning with a city gate, gate streets, dwellings and storehouses. 

Not far from here, we make a brief stop in the kibbutz of Sde Boker, renowned for being the former residence of David Ben-Gurion - first prime minister of Israel. Nearby, we then visit the UNESCO-listed ruins of Avdat, initially a station on the "Incense Route" in the Negev Highlands that was developed into an important city by the Nabateans in the 3rd Century BC before it was further enhanced during the Roman and Byzantine periods. Finally, our drive culminates into our arrival into the desert town of Mitzpe Ramon to check in at the stunning Beresheet Hotel

Overnight: Beresheet Hotel, Mitzpe Ramon

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 5: MITZPE RAMON (EXCURSION OF THE RAMON CRATER)

We dedicate the day to exploring the spectacular landscapes of the Ramon Crater, also known as Makhtesh Ramon - the world's largest erosion crater created more than 220 million years ago when oceans covered the area that spans over 40km in length forming Israel's largest national park. Early this morning, we start our 4WD jeep safari with a drive to the highest vista point inside the crater and admire the stunning lunar-like landscapes. Thereafter, we will select a random scenic spot in the crater to enjoy safari-style breakfast before continuing on your exploration of the depths of the crater with your field guide explaining with insights of the crater's fauna and flora as well as interesting geological features. 

Later, we will visit some mesmerizing vineyards of the Negev Desert to learn about its ancient wine production that dates back almost 2,000 years ago to the time of the Nabateans, a critical period where they lost control of the  "Incense Route" ceasing to be nomadic. This was the time when the Nabateans abandoned the rules of "never to build a house", "never to plant a tree" and "never to drink wine" and transformed their nomadic lifestyle into an agricultural one. Visit the revered Nana Winery Farm with a bizarre setting of the dry Negev Desert contrasting with its abundant vineyards and olives where we learn about the highly-intricate ways of wine production in this harsh conditions. 

Overnight: Beresheet Hotel, Mitzpe Ramon

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 6: MITZPE RAMON / NEOT SMADAR / HAI-BAR / TIMNA VALLEY / SHAHARUT

Leaving Mitzpe Ramon, we continue our journey south to the kibbutz Neot Smadar, established in 1989 by a group of friends in creating a learning community that focuses on cooperation and creativity in daily life.  Nestled in a picture-perfect setting, visit the impressive Art Center displaying art objects created by artists from the kibbutz, a photographic history of the building. Worth exploring as well is its boutique winery that produces organic wines from local grape varieties. These wines are unique due to the arid desert conditions in which the grapes are cultivated. 

Thereafter, we continue a scenic and pleasant drive southwards to the Hai-Bar Yotvata Nature Reserve, established to foster the breeding of animals mentioned in the Bible. On an interesting safari tour, witness not just stunning landscapes but also a fascinating variety of wild animals including the Asiatic ass, Arabian oryx, addax, ostriches as well as predators such as the elusive spotted leopard, caracal, striped hyenas. 

 

Later, a short drive away, we arrive to the stunning environments of the UNESCO-listed Timna Valley, a spectacular desert reserve with breathtaking scenery and home to some of the earliest copper mines in the world dating back 6,000 years. Witness the dramatic scenery and fascinating sites while learning about the remarkable people who survived these stark conditions to produce copper for the Egyptian elite. We spend time capturing some astonishing geological features including the steep and impressive King Solomon's Pillars and jaw-dropping rock arches reminiscent of Arizona's rugged landscapes. 

Finally, we arrive at the all-new Six Senses Shaharut (opening in Sep 2019) nestled into a cliff in the Arava Valley where you will stay for the next 2 nights. 

Overnight: Six Senses Shaharut

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 7: SHAHARUT (EXCURSION TO THE RED CANYON)

A spectacular day of epic proportions as we embark on an excursion to the stunning Red Canyon. On a 4WD jeep, we make a scenic drive into the domains of the canyon and then begin an inspiring hike into the 

picturesque desert valley that leads to the Red Canyon itself where we trek through the curved narrow paths (1km in length and 1.5hrs duration to hike) to witness the surreal geological wonder that reminds of similar red sandstone canyons in Arizona and the Kimberley, Australia. 

We then return to Six Senses Shaharut where you have time to enjoy the magnificent surroundings, enjoy the wellness and rejuvenate. 

Overnight: Six Senses Shaharut

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 8: SHAHARUT / WADI ARABA / WADI RUM

Today, we drive to the Wadi Araba border road (1hr drive) to make the immigration crossing into Jordan. After immigration formalities, we then cross into the remote deserts of Wadi Rum as you enter into the realm of the red desert. We arrive at the Bespoke Hideaways Desert Camp. With just 6 tented suites, it is Wadi Rum's most luxurious Bedouin camp. Later, enjoy a 4x4 drive on the dunes to explore the vast desert, enjoy a hike in the stunning environment to soak in the wilderness. Tonight, enjoy an evening under the stars as you feast on a traditional Bedouin meal. 

Overnight: Bespoke Hideaways, Wadi Rum

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 9: WADI RUM / PETRA

Early this morning, set off for a camel ride as you welcome the glorious sunrise to see the stunning shades of the red desert. Thereafter, enjoy breakfast before we continue to witness the "Seven Pillars of Wisdom" as mentioned in Lawrence of Arabia's book. Our journey continues next to Petra, probably the most important ancient archaeological city in ancient Jordan dating back as early as 312BC as the capital city of the Nabataeans. Enroute, we make a brief stop in the village of Wadi Musa before continuing to Little Petra to arrive at the unique Bubble Luxotel where you will spend the next 2 nights in a dome bubble under the stars. This evening, an exclusive Beyond X Boundaries experience awaits. 

Overnight: Bubble Luxotel, Petra

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 10: PETRA 

This morning, we devote a full day to visit the famous red rose city of Petra. Live the miracle of Petra, where each rose red stone has a Nabataean dream to tell. We enter through the famous Siq by horse carriage to as you slowly arrive at the Treasury of Khazneh, designed to strike and impress anyone entering the Nabataean capital. The Treasury was carved out of solid rock from the side of a mountain and stands over 40m high. Thereafter, continue your exploration of Petra to the Monastery El Deir ascending by donkeys; one of the largest monuments in Petra. Take your time to descend as you discover some other famous sites including the Obelisk Tomb, the Byzantine Church and the High Place of Sacrifice

Overnight: Bubble Luxotel, Petra

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 11: PETRA / DEPARTURE AMMAN

We bid farewell to an inspiring journey as we transfer to Amman Queen Alia Intl Airport for departure. 

Meals: Breakfast

HOTELS

Located in the heart of Jerusalem in the city's new shopping and entertainment experience of Mamilla Avenue, The Mamilla Hotel offers spendid views of the Old City Walls, Tower of David and Jaffa Gate. A sophisticated contemporary design, created by renowned designer Piero Lissoni, experience an intimate and stimulating stay in one of the most exciting luxury hotels in all of Israel. 

Mamilla Hotel, Jerusalem

Located in the Negev Desert, the Beresheet Hotel is perched 800 meters above sea level on the edge of the Ramon Crater which is the world’s largest makhtesh. Offering luxurious villas with stunning views and the hotel's spectacular infinity pool set against the crater provides an experiential stay to appreciate the landscape's rugged wilderness.

Beresheet Hotel, Mitzpe Ramon

Six Senses Shaharut

Set to open in Sep 2019, the Six Senses Shaharut is nestled into a dramatic cliff in the enchanting and boundless horizons of the Negev Desert offering 60 suites and villas in the Arava Valley, where traditional desert hospitality is expressed by generosity of spirit. 

Remote and secluded, Bespoke Hideaways Desert Camp is a luxurious and tranquil Bedouin-style tented camp set in Wadi Rum surrounded by dramatic scenery. This eco-friendly desert hideaway offers an exclusive and unforgettable experience with just 6 luxurious tented suites featuring king size plush beds and ensuite bathroom, as well as a private deck, perfectly positioned to provide incredible views of the sand dunes. 

Bespoke Hideaways Desert Camp, Wadi Rum

The Bubble Luxotel stands looking at the beautiful Little Petra, deep at the heart of the protected area situated high on the mountain side with an uninterrupted panoramic view of the Petra Mountains where you experience sleeping under the stars from the comfort and delights of a uniquely designed and deluxe bubble tent. 

Bubble Luxotel, Petra

SEND US AN ENQUIRY

Our Partners
Follow Us
  • Facebook - Black Circle
  • Twitter - Black Circle
  • Instagram - Black Circle

Subscribe to Newsletters

2019 by Beyond X Boundaries. All Rights Reserved.  Co . Reg. No 53312240J TA 3013