Our prime 10 highlights
The Center East conjures photos of orange-hued deserts lit by a hazy dawn and historical cities stowing long-lost treasures; that’s precisely what it delivers. When you’re into historical past, then the Center East will really feel loads like Aladdin’s cave, no different area on the earth has as a lot to supply in the case of archaeological discoveries, historic gems and spiritual locales. With so many to select from, we’ve shortlisted our prime 10 highlights to get you excited to discover this sensational area, all of which you’ll expertise on our 25-day Egypt, Jordan & Israel Explored tour.
1. Petra, Jordan
Lengthy hidden among the many wind-hewn cliffs and gorges of the desert, Petra is likely one of the world’s most treasured UNESCO World Heritage websites. A rich Nabataean metropolis within the third century CE, it was misplaced to the world for 500 years, and people years of abandonment have lent it the charisma that makes it so alluring. Tucked away in a sandstone escarpment, the facades of this nice historical metropolis nonetheless bear the echoes of their as soon as ornate carvings and seeing it lit by candlelight as you discover by night time is unforgettable.
2. Karnak Temple, Egypt
Constructed over 2,000 years and constructed to mark the birthplace of Amun-Ra, the best of all Egyptian gods, Karnak Temple is the second-largest historical non secular website on the earth after Cambodia’s Angkor advanced. The advanced was expanded by every ruling Pharoah aiming to outdo the final. Right here, you possibly can see centuries of evolving architectural kinds – it’s also known as ‘the good historic doc in stone’. What was as soon as a spot of pilgrimage, exploring this monumental temple actually makes you are feeling like you might be within the presence of gods, and no extra so than the Nice Hypostyle Corridor with its 134 richly embellished, towering columns.
3. Holy Metropolis of Jerusalem
Thought of by many to be the world’s most holy metropolis, Jerusalem has been an object of want for Christian, Muslim and Jewish folks for hundreds of years. Its sacred outdated city within the east is alive with ambiance, and right here, pilgrims flood into the walled metropolis to hope on the historical Western Wall. Within the centre of the Temple Mount space, the magnificent gold-topped Dome of the Rock sits proudly with its attractive Islamic tile work for all to see.
4. Wadi Rum, Jordan
Round 80% of Jordan is desert, and Wadi Rum affords a very picturesque and accessible part to discover. Often known as the ‘Valley of the Moon’, the area has hosted humanity from the very starting – there’s historical rock artwork and graffiti to find among the many geological formations – and continues to be house to nomadic Bedouins immediately. The plentiful siqs, arches and towering dunes change moods all through the day, so it’s good to spend sufficient time right here to see them shift by way of hues of reds and purples; a luxurious desert camp is the easiest way, and an in a single day keep means additionally, you will get to experience some stargazing.
5. Abu Simbel, Egypt
Nestled deep in southern Egypt within the Nubian Valley sits the historic website of Abu Simbel, which consists of two magnificent temples constructed by Rameses II – one for his favorite spouse, Nefertari, and one for himself. Each temples are guarded by imposing statues of the king and queen, with the seated colossi of Rameses reaching over 20 metres excessive. Though the temples have been deconstructed and rebuilt in a brand new location within the Nineteen Sixties to salvage them from rising waters brought on by the Aswan Dam, their setting overlooking the expanse of Lake Nasser couldn’t be extra excellent.
6. Valley of the Kings, Egypt
One of many world’s most well-known archaeological websites, this historical burial floor accommodates 63 tombs constructed for the New Kingdom pharaohs who reigned between 1550-1069 BC. Chosen in an try to hide the deceased and their riches from looters, this unassuming valley hides an unlimited community of tunnels and chambers beneath floor, every embellished with beautiful carvings and work of the kings and queens on their journey to the afterlife. Essentially the most well-known of the tombs is that of King Tutankhamun, and also you’ll get to enterprise inside and see the mum of the Boy King himself on our Egypt excursions.
7. The Useless Sea, Jordan & Israel
A spa vacation spot for millennia, the Useless Sea (which is definitely a lake) has lengthy been well-known for the therapeutic properties of its water. Nestled within the Nice Rift Valley, it’s fed by the River Jordan, whose waters then evaporate at a charge of thousands and thousands of litres per day, abandoning concentrated ranges of salt and minerals. Wallowing in its waters and slathering your self in its wealthy mud will exfoliate and heal and, apparently, depart you restored and beautified. Whether or not that’s true or not, floating within the tremendous saline water is extraordinarily stress-free.
8. Sakkara, Egypt
Only one hour outdoors Cairo lies the traditional necropolis of Sakkara, recognized for its painted catacombs and residential to the well-known Step Pyramid of Djoser – Egypt’s first-ever pyramid. Constructed within the twenty seventh century BC for Pharaoh Djoser, you possibly can enterprise inside to view the fantastic carvings on the alabaster stone partitions and peer deep into the 90-foot shaft resulting in Djoser’s burial chamber beneath. The truth is, your complete website is a treasure trove of archaeological wonders; even the advanced’s outer partitions (which look surprisingly trendy) are over 4,500 years outdated, and also you’ll discover hundreds of coin-like fossils scattered everywhere in the grounds.
9. Masada Fortress, Israel
In southern Israel’s Judean Desert lies the impregnable mountain, Masada. Sitting 434 metres above sea stage, on Masada’s summit’s remoted rock plateau, you will see that the archaeological stays of an historical fortification – certainly one of Israel’s most vital UNESCO Websites. Constructed by King Herod the Nice c. 37 BC, Masada Fortress was a key website within the fateful and controversial final stand of the Jews towards Rome. On our excursions, you’ll ascend the summit by cable automotive, discover the historic ruins and listen to the story of the siege of Masada, all accompanied by fabulous views of the Useless Sea.
10. Jerash, Jordan
Jerash was a Roman metropolis and one other of Jordan’s jewels to be misplaced to the sands of time – fairly actually on this case, because the ruins have been hidden for hundreds of years by the shifting dunes of the desert. Right here, you possibly can stroll within the footsteps of Hadrian and Trajan, wandering the colonnaded avenues of what’s thought of maybe the best-preserved Roman metropolis within the Center East. Discover the big Discussion board and Hippodrome, which nonetheless hosts chariot races, and admire ceremonial gates, temples, elaborate mosaics and carvings.
Egypt, Jordan and Israel Explored
25 days from £8190pp
Absolutely Inclusive of Tour & Flights
Cairo – Alexandria – Luxor – Aswan – Cairo – Amman – Jerash – Mount Nebo – Petra – Wadi Rum – The Useless Sea – Tel Aviv – Sea of Galilee – Tiberias – Bethlehem – Gethsemane – Jerusalem – Tel Aviv