"EcoPeace - formerly Friends of the Earth Middle East"
A unique opportunity to experience three separate countries, fantastic natural environments and a mix of cultures all in the name of EcoPeace. This unique cross border itinerary will open your eyes to one of the most bountiful and culturally rich regions of the world.
The itinerary has been designed to include some of the most iconic sites in world tourism including the Nativity church in Bethlehem, Dome of the Rock, and the hand carved "rose red city of Petra".
Nature and culture in Israel - Palestine - Jordan
Day One - Welcome to Israel
Arrival to Ben Gurion TLV Airport, Meet your guide at the Airport, Transfer to old Jaffa – Dinner at Magda Restaurant, and then proceed to the City of Bethlehem.
Overnight at hotel in Bethlehem
Day 2 - Springs in the Area of Judeans Mountains
Visit of the Nativity Church and the Milk Grotto, then continue to Wadi Fukkin and visit the local villages. Following a traditional lunch you will get to see, first hand, some of the water problems the villagers are having and how the lack of water is impacting on their traditional and historical methods of cultivating the land on the slopes of the mountains.
You will then head to BATIR, a recently declared UNESCO World Heritage site. Following a short 1 hour hike you will reach Machrur, where you will find out about the traditional agriculture and water issue of the village. Water is a vital component in the region and you will learn about the water systems of the region and how they are protecting this vital source of life.
Day 3 Mate Yehuda Region and Caves
After breakfast transfer to Beit Gubrin Caves – a very unique system of caves carved by the hand of man. Following a tour of the caves, transfer to Moshav Zafririm at Hakdera restaurant for a very traditional local lunch.
Following lunch you will cross the Aela Valley, rich with biblical stories such as the battle of David and Goliath, Samson and Delilah. You will then visit an amazing natural stalactite cave that was discovered by accident in the mountains near Beit Shemes.
Then visit Hirbet Hannut – the ruins of a Byzantine church with a beautiful mosaic floor, located on the main road that connected Jerusalem to the south sea shore
( the Road of the Caesar ).
Day 4 the Old City of Jerusalem
After breakfast, transfer to the Mt. of Olives an important site for the three monotheistic religions. From here we will have a beautiful panoramic view on the city of Jersulem from the eastern side. We will then walk down the mount and enter the old city through the Lions Gate.
Following lunch in the old city we will stroll through the four quarters of the city to visit many of the important sites before finishing the tour at Jaffa gate.
Day 5 from Wadi Qelt to Jericho
After breakfast, transfer to the east for a hike in Ayn Fara or Prat Nature Reserve. Ayn Prat is the largest of the three springs in the Prat Stream. The others are En Mabo’a and En Qelt .The Stream flows across the northern Judea Desert from Jerusalem to Jericho and the Jordan River.
Lunch in Jericho, then a visit to the ruins of the ancient Jericho and Elisha spring. Transfer to Auja EcoPark-visit and learn about this unique Place.
Day 6 Sakhne Hot springs to SHE Eco-Park in Jordan
After Breakfast a drive to Sakhne hot springs national park for a delightful swim. A visit to the Old Gesher and Nahraim meeting points of the Jordan and Yarmouk Rivers. In the afternoon you will drive to the borders at Sheikh Hussein crossing point to Jordan – Meet and assist by your Jordanian Guide, transfer to SHE (Sharhabil Bin Hasnah Eco Park) for dinner and overnight.
Day 7– Ajloun– Jarash- Madaba
After Breakfast we will receive a presentation about the SHE EcoPark, take a hike around the area up to the Dam, and see other eco facilities in the Park.
Continue to Ajloun Nature Reserve with open woodlands of evergreen oak and Karoub trees.
Ajloun is a beautiful backdrop to unique rural culture in Jordan. Stop on the way to visit Balawneh House for handicraft and the popular Soap House in Orjan Village. You will get the opportunity to meet the local women of both Orjan and Rasun villages and see how they make handmade Olive oil based soap. You will then continue to the House of Arabic Calligraphy, where you can take the first steps towards learning how to write some beautiful Arabic words.
Following lunch in a local restaurant you will start your visit to Jerash one of the best preserved Roman cities still in existence. Explore the hidden beauty of this Greco-Roman site and saunter along the original Roman streets that run throughout the city as you take in this marvel of the eastern part of the ancient Roman Empire. Discover how the Romans developed underground water systems and drainage and visit the two very well - preserved theatres that provide the backdrop to the Jerash Cultural Festival every year. There are still over 800 columns standing in Jerash, that was also home to over 15 Byzantine churches and was one of the places in Jordan that Jesus and his disciples visited. You will then continue to Madaba for dinner in probably Jordan's finest restaurant Haret Jdoudnah.
Day 8 Amman –Wadi AL Mujib –Dead Sea
After breakfast, transfer to the Mujib biosphere reserve, which is one of the most beautiful and most protected eco systems in Jordan. The reserve manager will explain the importance of the ecology of the reserve and the impact it has on Jordan, particularly Amman. You will then take a short and not too difficult hike through the Wadi Al Mujib Gorge walking through the streambed of the gorge in crystal clear spring water. The hike will last about 3 hours.
The afternoon will be spent floating and bobbing in the super salty waters of the Dead Sea, located more than 400 metres below sea level. It is officially the lowest place on earth. In the Dead Sea you will experience weightlessness as you float effortlessly on the surface of the water. For centuries people have visited the Dead Sea for its healing and therapeutic properties. You will then transfer to Petra.
Day 9 Petra –Amman
Enter the gates of the past to one of the "New Seven Wonders of the World", the ancient city Petra. Myths say it was built by magic but it was actually hand carved from the rock by the Nabateans, a tribe from southern Arabia. Petra was the capital of the Nabatean empire, a trading centre and a fortress. So secure was Petra from invasion that it took the Romans over a hundred years to finally conquer it. Live the miracle of Petra, where each rose red stone has a Nabataean dream to tell. Discovery Circle will guide you through the architectural and spiritual wonders of this majestic place as you walk through this mystical city. Nabatean, Roman and early Christians all made Petra their home before it was lost from time for over 1,000 years. Following its rediscovery in 1812 Petra has been a constant place of pilgrimage and visitation. Many return hundreds of times to experience the magic of this place where the hand of man and the mind of God became one.
In the afternoon you will return to Amman
Day 10 Amman –Departure
Following breakfast in your hotel you will be transferred to the airport for your departure.
© Discovery Circle. All rights reserved.