Shabbat in Jerusalem

10 Day Israel and Jordan Itinerary

Julie Israel, Itinerary, Jordan 17 Comments

For those who want to tour one of the Middle East’s most popular travel destinations, this Israel and Jordan itinerary may be perfect for you. Tour Jerusalem, an ancient city where every stone has a story to tell. Go to Tel Aviv for the beaches and the night life, float in the Dead Sea, climb Masada, and go scuba diving in the Red Sea. Just across the border is Jordan, home to Petra and Wadi Rum, and some of the friendliest people we have ever met. If you are traveling to Israel on holiday, Jordan deserves at least two days of your time.

Day 1

Arrive in Jerusalem

Flights into Israel arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport, located just outside of Tel Aviv. From the airport, take a taxi (the quickest way to travel) or shuttle (cheap but makes a lot of stops) to your hotel in Jerusalem. Most flights arrive midday, not leaving much time for exploration. Most travelers may be exhausted, especially those arriving from the US, Australia, and the farther locations around the world. Spend the afternoon wandering the streets of the Old City of Jerusalem.

Read more about our first day in Jerusalem: First Impressions of Israel

Where we stayed: Harmony Hotel, a four-star hotel within walking distance of the Old City. Rooms are modern and clean and the hotel offers a daily happy hour for its guests.

Israel and Jordan itinerary

Day 2

Jerusalem

Two full days in Jerusalem is just enough time to see the best of this city. Ideally, four days or more would be better (and you can add in these days if you have the time). If not, don’t worry, you can still see many of Jerusalem’s amazing sites.

Start your day at the Western Wall. While you are here, take the Western Wall Tunnels tour, a one hour journey through the underbelly of Jerusalem. Next, visit Temple Mount and the Dome of the Rock. Once you get inside it’s a quick visit, but lines to enter can be long and visiting hours are limited.

Read more: How to visit Temple Mount and Dome of the Rock

Dome of the Rock

Spend the afternoon just outside the walls of the Old City: tour the City of David, walk Hezekiah’s Tunnels, visit King David’s Tomb, and take a look inside the Cenacle (where the Last Supper took place).End the day in the Jewish Quarter. Tour the Hurva Synagogue, enjoy the views over Jerusalem, and then have dinner.

Read more: 30 Things to do in Jerusalem, Israel

Jerusalem Itinerary

Day 3

Jerusalem

Today is another busy day with lots of walking.

Take a taxi to the Mount of Olives. From here you will have one of the best views of Jerusalem.

Israel Itinerary

Walk downhill towards the Old City, visiting the Dominus Flevit Church, Church of All Nations, Garden of Gethsemane, and the Tomb of the Virgin Mary along the way. These are all located very close together and are quick visits.

Walk uphill into the Old City, entering through the Lion’s Gate. It is here you will walk the Via Dolorosa, the path Jesus walked during his crucifixion. This walk ends at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the site of Jesus’ crucifixion and the location of his empty tomb.

Holy Sepulchre

Have lunch in the Christian Quarter.After lunch, walk the Ramparts, the top of the wall that surrounds the Old City, and tour the Tower of David Museum. This museum gives a concise explanation of the history of Jerusalem and has one of our favorite views over the city.

From here you can explore the Mahane Yehuda Market (the best market in Jerusalem and a fantastic place to get dinner), Yad Vashem (the Holocaust Museum), or the Israel Museum. All three of these places are located outside of the Old City. The easiest way to get to them is by taxi.

Day 4

Masada and the Dead Sea

Today you will take a day trip from Jerusalem. Masada and the Dead Sea are two hours away by car. You can either join a tour (of which there are many options), rent a car, or hire a taxi or private driver for the day.

Read more: Day Trip to Masada and the Dead Sea

Masada

Dead Sea

Day 5

West Bank

Take a day trip into the West Bank to visit Bethlehem, Jericho, Hebron, and/or Nablus. The easiest way to do this is to set up a tour. Crossing the border between Israel and the West Bank can be complicated so having a guide’s assistance will make your visit easier. We recommend Green Olive Tours.

Day 6

Tel Aviv

After breakfast, transfer to Tel Aviv by bus or taxi. There is a train that makes the journey but we were warned by several people that it is very slow and time consuming. There is a high speed train service that is expected to open March 2018.

In Tel Aviv, enjoy the beaches, go surfing, go shopping, and relax. For dinner, go to the old town of Jaffa, best visited during the twilight hours.

Tel Aviv

Day 7

Eilat

Eilat is the southernmost city of Israel, located on the border with Jordan and Egypt. You can fly directly there, giving yourself the remainder of the day in Eilat to swim in the Red Sea, go scuba diving, or snorkel with dolphins.

You also have the option to drive to Eilat through the Negev Desert. There are some interesting sites along the way and even a wine region to tour, believe it or not.

Read more: Off-the-Beaten-Path in Israel: the Negev Desert

Have dinner at a beachfront cafe (we recommend La Cuccina, an Italian restaurant on the boardwalk with views out to the ocean). Go to bed early. Tomorrow you will be up early for your border crossing into Jordan.

Negev Desert

Day 8

Petra

It’s time to go to Petra! You can visit Jordan on your own, arranging your transportation and hotel accommodations, but we highly recommend hiring a tour company.

Cross the border into Jordan and travel the two hours north to Petra. Spend the day exploring Petra. Must-see sites are the Treasury, the Monastery, and the Siq.

If you want to see the Treasury without the crowds, stay until closing time. As the sun sets, most people will leave, and you will have the Treasury almost all to yourself. You may have to share it with a few camels, but that just adds to the experience!

Read More: Best Things to See in Petra, Jordan

Petra Itinerary

About Our Experience: We hired Desert Eco Tours. We took a two day private tour of Petra and Wadi Rum. They arranged our Jordanian visas, booked our hotel, provided transportation, and provided us with a guide for Petra and a guide for Wadi Rum. In Petra, we spent several hours with Muhammed, who explained the history of Petra and took us on a hike that we would have missed if we did not have a guide. In Wadi Rum, Ali took us on a tour of the desert by 4×4 and led us on a phenomenal hike. Our two days in Jordan was a fantastic experience and I highly recommend Desert Eco Tours.

Day 9

Wadi Rum

This morning you have the option to see Petra at sunrise. Yes, it is an early start to the day, but if you are into photography, this is a must-do opportunity. If you want to have the Treasury all to yourself, get there first thing in the morning. In our opinion, it is absolutely worth it.

Tim and I walked through the entrance gates into Petra at opening time (6 am in April). We were the only ones walking down the Siq, other than the one lone dog who tagged along next to us. For 20 minutes, we had the Treasury to ourselves before anyone else arrived. This was one of our favorite moments on our trip to Israel and Jordan.

When to go to Petra

After breakfast at your hotel, your guide will drive you to Wadi Rum. In Wadi Rum, you have the option to spend a few hours touring the desert by 4×4, or for those feeling adventurous, you can go hiking. The hike to Jebel Burdah Rock Arch quickly became one of our favorite hikes in the world. The views are unbelievable and it is just challenging enough to really make it fun. Prior hiking experience and even some rock climbing experience are a good idea before attempting this hike.

Read more: Hiking to Jebel Burdah Rock Bridge, Wadi Rum and Journey through the Wadi Rum Desert in Photos

Hiking Wadi Rum

After your tour of Wadi Rum, your guide will transfer you back to Aqaba, where you will cross the border into Israel. From here, catch an evening flight to Tel Aviv or spend one last night in Eilat.

Day 10

Fly home or continue your travels

If you did not do so last night, catch a flight to Tel Aviv or Ben Gurion Airport, to begin your travels home. Or, for those with more time, continue on to your next destination.

With More Time

Add more time to your stay in Jerusalem.

Northern Israel. Spend several days in northern Israel, visiting Haifa, Golan Heights, and the Sea of Galilee. You could add this travel segment in between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

Amman, Jordan. Rather than returning to Eilat after your tour of Wadi Rum, travel north to the capital city of Amman.

Go canyoning in Jordan. At Wadi Mujib, walk through a deep sandstone gorge filled with water. Those who do it rave about it.

When To Go to Israel and Jordan

The best time to go to Israel and Jordan is in the spring (March through May) when temperatures are comfortable and the weather is dry. Summer can be scorching and winters can be surprisingly cold. The fall has cooler temperatures but a higher chance of rain, especially in Jordan.

Post updated January 2018.


Do you have any questions or comments about this Israel and Jordan itinerary? Feel free to email us or comment below!

Comments 17

  1. Hi – Thanks for this blog. It has quickly become my go to for researching travel locations.

    I have a quick question. If you had one free day in Eilat, would you do Wadi Rum or Masada/Dead Sea? I will be doing Petra the day before but need to be in Tel Aviv by the following morning. I’m debating between: a) renting a car and driving from Eilat to Masada/Dead Sea and then over to Tel Aviv, or b) spending the day in Wadi Rum and flying from Eilat to Tel Aviv at night.

    Any thoughts or suggestions? Thanks!

    1. Post
      Author

      Both are great options and you won’t go wrong with either one of them. Wadi Rum is the more adventurous of the two choices. If you like hiking and like the idea of exploring beautiful, dramatic desert scenery, go to Wadi Rum. It is cool to float in the Dead Sea and hike up Masada, since they are both popular travel destinations, but neither had the “Wow” factor like Wadi Rum did, at least for us. I’d personally pick Wadi Rum, simply because it blew away our expectations and we had a terrific experience. Hope this helps! Cheers, Julie

      1. Thank you for your response! This is very helpful. I was already leaning toward Wadi Rum since I will be over there anyway. I’ll just have to plan another trip to do the rest of the items on your itinerary. Thanks again!

    1. Post
      Author

      Hello Shawn. This is just our sample itinerary, it’s not a tour. You can follow this itinerary and book hotels and flights yourself or use a travel agent. Let us know if you have any questions. Cheers, Julie

  2. Hi! Thank you for sharing your amazing journey. We are planning a similar trip with our 2 young children in March 2018. Do you recommend a tour company for Jerusalem and Tel Aviv? I saw you have one for Jordan but didn’t see how you managed in Jerusalem. Did you find guides at the sites to give you more information? Or just book through hotels once you arrived ? Thanks any info helps!

    1. Post
      Author

      In Israel, we went around on our own. For the most part, I got our information from other travel blogs but I also used Lonely Planet’s travel guide. If you want a tour guide, look on Trip Advisor for the best services in Jerusalem. Cheers, Julie

  3. This is an amazing itinerary ! Thank you for sharing 🙂

    I was wondering if I need a visa to enter Jordan from Israel with a Canadian passport?

    1. Post
      Author

      You’re welcome! Yes, you will need a Visa. Check out this link for more information. We arranged our visa through our tour operator to Jordan, Desert Eco Tours. This was very convenient for us. Cheers, Julie

  4. Hello!

    This is a phenomenal itinerary. I am very interested in moving onto Egypt from our last stop in Petra. Do you have any input on options? We are hoping to see Cairo, possibly Mt Sinai and St. Catherine, as well as the Nile cruise as a potential option but our main hope is to see the Valley of the Kings.

    Any input would be greatly appreciated.
    Maria

    1. Post
      Author

      Wow, this sounds amazing. Can we join you? Honestly, I don’t know exactly how it would work, getting to Egypt next. Egypt is a country we have not been to yet but would love to visit. If you have any plans on using a tour company (it makes getting your Visas to Jordan easy and painless) consider Desert Eco Tours. There is a link to their website in this post. They also run tours to Egypt and the Sinai Peninsula so they should be able to help you. Cheers, Julie

  5. I love this itinerary! Very thorough and great info. I’m planning on traveling to Jordan in late May and then crossing the border to Israel to head to Jerusalem. What are your recommendations traveling between the two countries? Seems like there’s not a lot of info on how to do this 🙁 Thanks!

    1. Post
      Author

      We had a tour company, Desert Eco Tours, arrange our border crossing for us. You have to get a Visa before you arrive, if I remember correctly, and it’s a bit of a hassle. Normally, we do that type thing ourselves, but this time we had someone arrange everything for us, and it was wonderful!! I do not know all of the details in arranging your own Visa. There are different rules for different border crossings between Israel and Jordan, at least in 2016. So, hire a tour company or you will have to research it more on your own. Sorry I can’t give you more details! Cheers, Julie

  6. How much should you budget for a 10 day trip with this itinerary in May from the US? I am from Texas, and I am a girl so I don’t know if there are any customary “rules” I would need to follow. I would either travel alone or with another girl that sometimes travels with my. I also like to dive in the culture when I get to go somewhere: clothes, music, food, everything I can.

    1. Post
      Author

      Hello Destiny. Traveling as a solo female in Israel and Jordan should be fine. I went out on my own without Tim quite a bit while we were here and never had a problem. Dress modestly and bring a head scarf for when you visit religious sites. As for the budget, that is a tougher question to answer. A lot of what you will spend will depend upon what type of hotel you stay in, how much you pay for food, and the type of transportation you will use. I’m sorry that I cannot give you an exact number. For solo travel, you could spend $200+ per day for food, accommodation, and activities. Hiring a taxi to get between cities, such as Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, can cost as much as $100 for a one way transfer. The train or a bus is a much more budget friendly option but it eats up more of your time. You will have to investigate hotel and tour costs to get a better idea of how much you will spend. Have fun planning and let us know if you have any other questions. Cheers, Julie

  7. When you visit Jordan and Israel you can discover the deep history of this holy region, you can see and feel the really meaning of the peace. In Jordan, the mixture of the cultures, the best weather, Roman-Arabic recombination cultural and the save conditions were considered the main reason for the visiting.

    1. Post
      Author

      Yes, there is so much history and culture in these countries. We found Jordan to be very safe and had a great experience. Petra and Wadi Rum were highlights of our time in Israel and Jordan. – Julie

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