Uncover Egypt, Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Territories
Uncover Egypt, Jordan, Israel & Palestine. Take a journey across lands that conjure up images of ancient civilizations, holy relics, cities carved from stone and sunrises over desert landscapes. Sip aromatic coffee in Cairo before you discover the pharaonic temples and tombs along the river Nile, take jeep safaris in Wadi Rum and the Negev desert and gaze up at unpolluted skies full of stars. Discover the Rose City of Petra, and the Roman city of Jerash before arriving in a city of a different kind modern cosmopolitan Tel Aviv. Taste what is arguably the best falafel in the middle east in Manger Square, and take a walking tour through the holy city of Jerusalem. Immerse yourself in this exploration across the best of the Middle East and gain a deeper understanding of this enduring land and its people.
- Witness the icons of ancient Egypt, from the pyramids and Sphinx to the Valley of the Kings.
- Rest, relax and watch life unfold on the banks of the Nile during your 3 night river cruise.
- Visit Bibliotheca Alexandrina inspired by Alexandria's ancient Great Library,.
- Travel to Abu Simbel’s monumental temples by plane and marvel at the sheer scale of these stunning structures.
- Journey in the footsteps of Laurence of Arabia and sleep and star gaze with your new Bedouin friends
- The Rose city of Petra; enjoy a two day pass and a guided tour and discover the intricacies of this ancient city.
- Spend some time in hip, modern, cosmopolitan Tel Aviv and discover a lively food scene
- Visit the Relics of the Holy Lands including Jerusalem, Nazareth and Bethlehem.
- Take a float in the Dead Sea and discover the Oasis of En Gedi
- Stay on the edge of the Ramon Crater an internationally recognised dark sky, indulge in some optional stargazing and contemplate the universe.
- Visit the site of the Battle of Beersheba (1917) especially poignant for Australians.
|Physical||Cultural||Max Group Size||12||Duration||26 days|
|Category||Gold||Trips for those who want a tonne of inclusions, better standard accommodation, larger roomier vehicles.|
Day 1 - Cairo
Notes: Complimentary transfers are only applicable if you arrive on Day 1 of your Intrepid trip or have booked pre-tour accommodation through Intrepid. Please advise flight arrival details (flight number and time) at least 14 days prior to departure if you wish to have this transfer provided.
Day 2 - Cairo
Afterwards, make your way to the Egyptian Museum, home to one of the world's great collections of antiquities. Wander the treasure-filled halls of the museum, and make sure to check out the Mummies Hall (optional) for a close encounter with some of the country’s most important queens and pharaohs. The masses of gleaming artefacts recovered from the tomb of Tutankhamun are an impressive sight to behold. From gold jewellery to the famous golden death mask and his gilded sarcophagi, this pharaoh was certainly prepared for the afterlife.
Day 3 - Alexandria
On arrival, head underground and delve into the mysteries of the Kom ash-Shuqqafa catacombs. This Roman burial site is the largest of its kind in Egypt and was discovered, quite accidentally, by a hapless donkey. The crypts are 20 metres below street level, and what probably began as a small family tomb grew into a labyrinth of chambers that could accommodate more than 300 bodies. Murals and reliefs inside show how Alexandria was a place where Egyptian and Greek funerary myths coexisted. Stop by the strikingly modern Bibliotheca Alexandrina, inspired by the original great library of Alexandria and built to hold over 8 million books.
Take some time to stroll along the Corniche and around Fort Qaitbey to enjoy the fresh Mediterranean air.
Day 4 - Alexandria
Notes: The two-berth cabins are comfortable and air-conditioned. All bedding is provided onboard by the porter. Western-style toilets are located in each carriage, but we recommend bringing additional toilet paper. Keep in mind general train cleanliness may not be to the same standards you are accustomed to. An included dinner and breakfast are served on board. You may want to purchase something extra beforehand to supplement your meal, particularly if you're a vegetarian as only a single type of meal is served for dinner, which always includes meat. In rare circumstances you may be paired in your cabin with a group member of the opposite sex, depending on the group configuration. On other occasions, you might be sharing with another traveller of the same sex who may not be part of our group, again determined by the group configuration.
Day 5 - Aswan
This evening you’ll experience modern Nubian culture first-hand with a visit to a nearby village. You’ll join a local Nubian family for dinner and get an unforgettable insight into the daily life of the local people. This is a rare and memorable experience, giving you the chance to become fully immersed in the local culture.
Day 6 - Nile Cruise
Return from Abu Simbel and transfer to meet your Nile cruise boat. Enjoy a fantastic mix of total relaxation and organised sightseeing on an iconic Nile River cruise to Luxor.
Notes: Nile cruise boats are typically very large with a passenger capacity of around 150. All cabins have private facilities and the boat is fully air-conditioned. Evenings will be spent on the boat, so make full use of the boat's facilities where you can relax on the top deck by the pool and watch stunning Nile scenery pass by. All meals are included on board. Although we use the best possible five-star rated cruise boats available, please note that the local equivalent of five stars isn't to the same standard that we might expect at home. Nile cruise boats are not luxury, but they are very comfortable and a great way to experience the Nile. Due to varying schedules we aren't able to provide advance notice of which exact boat we'll be sailing on.
Day 7 - Nile Cruise
Return to the cruise boat where you’ll continue travelling upriver, with free time relaxing on the sundeck and taking in the surrounding sights – desert hills forming a backdrop to lush riverbanks, fishermen casting their nets and farmers working their land.
Day 8 - Nile Cruise
Visiting the Temple of Edfu is included in your itinerary however you may want to read our notes below before you decide. Back on board continue towards Luxor passing through the Esna Locks. It is not uncommon to have to queue to proceed through the locks, a great opportunity to check out the process from deck with a cool drink in hand, and listen to the shouts of the many captains as they navigate there way through the various small boats of merchants selling their wares to a captive audience - Life on the Nile.
Settle back and and make the most of the incredible views across one of the world’s greatest rivers and your last night onboard.
Day 9 - Luxor
Today you’ll visit the Intrepid Foundation's local project ACE (Animal Care in Egypt). It’s a great chance to see the holistic approach the project takes towards animal welfare, and to raising awareness among the locals.
You’ll also explore the magnificent Karnak Temple, which is perhaps the most impressive of all the ancient Pharoahs' monumental works. One of the world's most celebrated temple complexes, Karnak is a house of the gods built over a period of some 200 years. Your guided tour of this vast temple of impressive pylons, obelisks and chapels will reveal its finest sections, such as the Avenue of Sphinxes and the Great Temple of Amun.
The rest of the day is free for you to relax, shop in the excellent bazaar (open until quite late) or perhaps experience the atmosphere of a local teahouse.
Day 10 - Luxor
Continue on to the spectacular royal burial site of the Valley of the Kings. Buried under the arid hills here are over 60 tombs of pharaohs, many richly decorated with reliefs and paintings. With your leader, explore this sprawling and spectacular place, where the pharaohs of the New Kingdom (16th to 11th century BC) were secretly interred for all eternity, and where discoveries are still being made. Your group leader will explain the history and legends of these remarkable people, their funerary rites, and the significance of the many paintings and hieroglyphics, still well preserved in the deepest tombs. You will visit three of the most interesting royal tombs and then continue to the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, a stunning colonnaded building set against high cliffs that create a spectacular natural amphitheatre. One of the Egypt’s greatest queens, she built this temple to prove her importance among the ancestors.
The afternoon is yours to explore – perhaps you'd like to shop in the market or visit the world's first Mummification Museum to discover the secrets of pharaonic preservation.
Day 11 - Cairo
Day 12 - Amman
Meet your new leader and new group members at the welcome meeting at 6pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. Your new leader will be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please have these on hand.
As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group may change at this location.
Day 13 - Wadi Rum
Day 14 - Aqaba
Day 15 - Petra
Check into your hotel and check out the the village, maybe ask your Leader about Little Petra or a local cooking class.
If you are super keen to get a sneak peak of the rose city then your Leader will get you started, but remember you have a guided tour the next morning and all afternoon tomorrow to explore, don't wear yourself out on the first day.
Day 16 - Petra
With your guide you will explore the old Roman road, amphitheatre and several old tombs, then it is all up to you. Maybe climb up to the Monastery – carved from a mountain summit and the site's second beautiful façade – from where you will have a magnificent view of the entire site. This is a memorable day exploring a truly extraordinary destination and is sure to be one of the highlights of your trip. There is a cafeteria on the site, where you can enjoy a light lunch.
Day 17 - Amman
Day 18 - Amman
Day 19 - Tel Aviv
On arrival check into your accommodation and then your day is free to discover this lively capital. There will be a welcome meeting at 6.00pm this evening to meet your new Leader and your new travelling companions. After the group meeting, get acquainted with the streets (and street foods) of Tel Aviv on an orientation walk, and sample some mouth-watering falafel and hummus.
Day 20 - Nazareth
Day 21 - Jerusalem
Day 22 - Jerusalem
Day 23 - Masada/Ein Gedi/Dead Sea
Day 24 - Negev Desert/Ramon Crater
Visit the small community of Mitzpe Ramon, perched on the edge of the Ramon Crater, and take a 4WD for an adventure into the crater and its surrounds. Spend the night in a desert camp on the rim of the crater in comfortable, simple eco-tents with shared facilities. Spend the evening gazing up at the stars which shine bright, unimpeded by light pollution.