Great Eastern Road from Jerusalem to Bahrain

Duration

21 Days

Physical rate

Moderate

Starting city

Jerusalem

Available

April 2023 / March 2024

Cities to visit: Jerusalem; ; Jerash; Amman; Madaba; Bethany; Dead Sea; Shoubak; Petra; Wadi Rum; Tabuk; Al Ula; Medina; Jeddah; Dubai; Abu Dhabi; Doha; Bahréin

Detailed day by day description

Introduction

This tour is part of our flexible coach touring range, guaranteed with a minimum of 2 people. Once the tour is booked, it is guaranteed so it will definitely go ahead, and will never cancel.

This tour is guided in English only. Please note if English speaking attendance numbers are low, the tour can become bilingual either accompanied by two tour leaders, one for each language, or a single tour leader providing explanations in both languages.

The tour offers flexibility, allowing you to customize it to your preferences. By clicking 'Quote or Book,' you will have the choice to select your desired start and end dates and destinations within the tour's defined parameters. Given this flexibility, it's important to note that the same people, tour guides or drivers may not be on your entire journey.

Day
Arrival at Tel Aviv airport. Welcome to Israel! Border procedures and transfer to the hotel in Jerusalem. Free time.
Breakfast. PICK UP AT THE HOTEL RECEIPTION BETWEEN 07:45 HOURS (AM) AND 08:00 HOURS (AM). Excursion to visit the New City of Jerusalem , seeing the Shrine of the Book in the Museum of Israel , where the Dead Sea Scrolls are displayed, and the model that represents the city of Jerusalem at the time of Jesus. We will go through the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, then going toward Ein Karen, a picturesque neighbourhood on the outskirts of the city to visit the Shrine of Saint John the Baptist . We will also see Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum and Memorial. In the afternoon, we will travel to BETHLEHEM , located behind the wall built in recent years to separate the two communities. We will take a Palestinian guide to visit the Church of the Nativity, the Grotto of the Manger and the Shepherds’ Field. Return to Jerusalem and accommodation.
We include a visit to the old city of Jerusalem . Excursion by Mount Scopus toward the Mount of Olives. There is an extraordinary view of the walled Holy City from the top. We then continue to Gethsemane, the Basilica of the Agony. Departure toward the Old City. Visit to the Western Wall (Wailing Wall) . We will continue along the Via Dolorosa to arrive at Calvary, the place where Christ was crucified, and to see the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. We then go onward to Mount Zion to visit the Tomb of King David, the Cenacle (Hall of the Last Supper) and the Abbey of the Dormition. Accommodation in Jerusalem.
Breakfast. Early departure to border of Israel and Jordan. Arrival at Sheik Hussein Bridge to complete border and visa procedures. Welcome to Jordan! We explore the FORTRESS OF AJLUN , an imposing castle dating back to the 12th century. In this area, Muslims and Orthodox Christians have always lived together. We visit the historic CHURCH OF SAINT SERGIUS . Shall we all pray for peace? Lunch included . We continue to JERASH to visit its impressive Roman archaeological site. We then travel to AMMAN . Arrival and accommodation.
NOTE: The Sheik Hussein border must be crossed on a special bus for this purpose. This costs around $3 per person, which must be paid directly by the passengers themselves.
IMPORTANT NOTE: There are customs regulations upon arrival in JORDAN that prohibit the entry of religious objects. These objects can be withdrawn from the passenger without prior notice and without any compensation. Europamundo is not responsible if this happens.
FEES: Each country requires an entry/exit fee that passengers must pay directly at their destination. For guidance purposes, these are the fees/visa fees that may apply (prices subject to change without notice): Israel: $32 (Departure Fee to Jordan); Jordan: 40 dinars/$60 (Sheik Hussein Border visa).
We will depart towards the CASTLES OF THE DESERT, built between the 7th and 8th centuries. We will visit QASR KHARANA, with its imposing structure of thick walls and the QUSAYR AMRA World Heritage Site, notable for its remarkable frescoes. Then, we travel to MADABA, lunch is included . We will visit the Madaba Archaeological Park, which we cross via an ancient Roman road, and the Church of St. George, with its fantastic 6th Century mosaic representing the oldest known map of the Holy Land. We continue to MOUNT NEBO , where Moses stopped to look over the Promised Land. Return to Amman . Arrival and free time.
We leave for BETHANY on the banks of the River Jordan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; this is where John the Baptist baptised Jesus. Then we visit the DEAD SEA MUSEUM , which an impressive Panorama Complex. Lunch is included. Arriving at our hotel at the DEAD SEA , do not forget to take a dip in the saltiest sea and lowest altitude on earth. Dinne r and accommodation included.
Exciting section in the heart of Jordan. We ascend to the historic King´s Road, which tells us about the Moab Kingdom of the Bible. At the top of a hill we will be surprised by the castle of KARAK (entrance included), an impressive example of military architecture of the twelfth century. It soon became one of the most important fortresses between Jerusalem and Aqaba. Arrival at DANA , a small picturesque town of stone houses on a huge cliff. Lunch is included . We continue along the King´s Route to SHOBAK , where we take photographs (outside only) of the great Crusader Castle. We continue to WADI MUSA (the site around Petra). We will explore the MOSES SPRING, where Moses is said to have tapped the rock with his rod and the water gushed out, and the Petra Museum, an excellent exhibition that enables us to learn about the history of the Nabateans and to see magnificent pieces found in the area. Dinner and accommodation. Any travelers who wish can go to an old Turkish bath or see a light and sound show in Petra.
Today we have the most exciting day of the trip: First, we visit the impressive archaeological site of PETRA, which is accessed through a narrow canyon, and discover the temples and tombs excavated on the cliffs in this city that was founded 300 years before Christ. After lunch (included) we leave for the impressive desert of WADI RUM . At the Visitor Centre we board 4x4 vehicles to visit some of the most impressive landscapes. We stop in the town of RUM to visit the ruins of the Nabatean temple. We include a 45-minute camel ride through the desert. We will also visit the Khazali Canyon . In this spectacular place, we will see the engravings that reveal the origins of the Arabic language. Dinner and accommodation included in a desert camp.
Today we enter a country that until very recently has been closed to tourism. Only 120 km separate us from the border of SAUDI ARABIA (Halat Ammar). In this route we will see landscapes of great beauty in the desert. Border procedures and continuation to TABUK. This region is famous for its export of flowers to Europe. On the way, we will stop at a farm where we will have the opportunity to see various crops of plants and flowers.
We visit this city of over half a million inhabitants, active provincial capital and one of the oldest cities in the country. We will go to the old train station, today a museum that preserves the steam engines that connected Damascus with Medina. We will visit the castle whose origin is 3500 years before Christ, and inside it, a museum tells the history of the castle and the city, from the great explorers who visited it, such as Ibn Battuta, to the pilgrims who stopped to drink from the fountains on their way to Mecca or Medina. After the visit, we will enter the Mud House Museum, a recreation of the interior of an adobe house where we will learn what traditional life was like in the past in this type of housing. Subsequently we walk through the active commercial area of the city center.
Note: The Al-‘Ula region is one of the most beautiful areas in the world, however its hotel infrastructure is extremely limited. On some occasions we can leave Al-’Ula around 19hrs to Medina -staying two nights in this city-.
We will leave Tabuk early, travel to one of the most spectacular places in the world: The region and oasis of AL-’ULA: an authentic open-air museum surrounded by nature, where you will find rock formations, canyons and ravines that compete with the majestic treasures carved by its ancient inhabitants. After landscapes of great beauty, we will visit the enclosure of HEGRA (Madain Saleh), declared World Heritage by UNESCO, of Nabataean culture "the Other Petra" amazes us with its tombs excavated in the rock in a desert environment full of mystery. Lunch included. We will have free time to stroll and enjoy its comercial streets, and its magnificent Oasis.
At dusk we will go to The Elephant Rock, "Jabal Al Fil" an impressive geomorphological phenomenon, a 52 meters high rock in the shape of an Elephant. Dinner included.
Note:
The order of visits may vary without affecting their content.
We will leave in the morning, still enjoying the beautiful landscapes of the Al-’Ula region. We travel to the holy city of MEDINA, "the luminous city". We are in an imposing historical destination, one of the two most sacred cities of Islam, a destination to which millions of pilgrims arrive every year and a city forbidden for non-Muslims until very recently; respect for its inhabitants and beliefs and proper dress code is required.
In the afternoon we will visit the Al Madinah Museum that allows us to understand a little the history of the city. At the end of the afternoon, we will go to see -from outside- the Al Masjid mosque, built by the prophet himself and place where he is buried, we will not be able to avoid feeling a surge of emotions when we observe the thousands of people who enter at the time of prayer. Dinner included.

We will explore Medina. We will walk around the immense Prophet´s Mosque (Al Masjid an Nabawi), an amazing and luminous mosque of 10 minarets with a capacity for one million visitors. On the hill of UHUD, an important pilgrimage site, the prophet´s forces clashed with Meccan troops. You can walk through its vast esplanade and climb the hill, but remember to do so in silence and respecting the hundreds of pilgrims who will surround us any day. At the Quba Mosque, in the year 622, the prophet and his followers laid the first stone of what was to be the first mosque in history, although the present building is more recent. From here, we will walk to the nearby garden and well of Ethiq where the different tribes of the place went out to drink water and greet the Prophet and his companions recently arrived in Medina after their persecution in Mecca. Afterwards we will have some free time in the city center to stroll around the shopping areas or -if you wish- visit the Hejaz Railway Museum (in the former Ottoman railway station).
In the afternoon we travel to JEDDAH, on the shores of the Red Sea, the second largest city in the country, with four million inhabitants. Before going to the hotel, we will visit the Al-Rahma mosque, better known as the floating mosque, because it is built on the shores of the Red Sea with pillars over the water. We will also enjoy the lively sportive port, very close to the tracks where the Formula 1 circuit is held.
Full day in Jeddah. With a local guide we will visit this city that will surprise us by its contrasts. At this time, a large part of the city is being rebuilt to make it a great world megalopolis. Among others, the construction of the Jeddah Tower, which will be the tallest building in the world with more than a thousand meters high, stands out.
We will follow the Corniche, with its beautiful views, its mosques by the sea and its recreational areas. We will contemplate the King Fahd Fountain, the highest of its kind in the world, its water jets reach more than 300 meters high. We will stop at the lively and picturesque fish market. We will include the entrance to “Tabeyat International city” an architectural complex of great beauty with its very interesting museums of history and ethnography. We will then visit the historical center, entering through Bab Makkah – the most important gate of Jeddah – and we will also pass by the cemetery of Eve, where tradition says that Eve, Adam’s wife and the first woman of humanity according to the bible, was buried. Free time for lunch in a shopping center- Mall- where you can choose from the various restaurants and types of food offered there.
In the afternoon, we will take a walk through its historic center, better known as Al-Balad, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, with its impressive set of medieval alleys and its houses made with coral and wooden balconies. We will visit inside the elegant house of Beit Sallum, today converted into a museum.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport and flight to DUBAI. Arrival and transfer to the hotel.
At the end of the afternoon, we will be transferred to visit the impressive city of Dubai that shines in the night. We will go to witness the show of "Dubai Fountain", where the water dances to the rhythm of music and light; we are at the foot of Burj Khalifa which with its 828 meters is the tallest tower in the world; free time to walk and dine (dinner not included) in the immense Dubai Mall. Return to the hotel.
Today we have a spectacular day getting to know Dubai. We include going up the spectacular tower "Dubai Frame" with its spectacular bridge shape and its view at 150 meters high. Afterwards we go to the old part of Dubai, a walk through the souk of Bur Dubai and the spice souk. We will take an Abra (traditional boat of the Emirates) to move to the historic neighborhood of Al Fahidi and the center for cultural understanding (with its motto "open minds, open doors"), in this area we will include in a traditional building, a typical meal of the country; if the group is more than 15 travelers they will give us an explanation to get to know better the gastronomy of the Emirates.
In the afternoon we will have time in Madinat Jumeirah, which offers us a contemporary version of a traditional Arab village with its souk, its canals, and its colorful villas.
We still have all morning to get to know Dubai. We will have a panoramic tour in which we will pass in front of the great mosque of Jumeirah, afterwards we continue passing by Burj Al Arab, a spectacular hotel in the form of a sail; the island of "Palm Jumeirah" in the shape of a palm tree. We will take the very modern monorail. A walk through the area of The Marina. We then have free time next to the most popular and active beach in Dubai: JBR beach. If you wish you can bathe in the warm waters of the Persian Gulf, or if you prefer you can stroll through its many luxury shops. Time to bathe or rest and have lunch (not included).
After lunch we will continue our route to ABU DHABI, the most important Emirate and capital of the country. Before entering the city, we will stop at Ferrari World, a theme park dedicated to Ferrari racing cars (stop to see outdoor areas). After that we visit the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, a beautiful white mosque, the largest in the Emirates, with an area of more than 12 hectares, a point that seeks the encounter with other cultures and people of other religions. We will pass in front of Capital Gate, a 160-meter-high building known for being the steepest skyscraper in the world. From the beautiful "Corniche", by the sea, we will get a great panoramic view of the city.
Already, after dark we will go to The Founders Memorial, built in memory of Zayed, the first sultan of the Emirates; The Constellation stands out, with its magnificent night lighting.
In the morning we continue our visit of the city. We will visit (entrance included) the Heritage Village, this place allows us to understand the traditional life in the Emirates, we enjoy its views, we can buy in its craft shops and visit its small museums that illustrate us about the history of the Emirates. After that we include a visit and entry into Qasr Al Watan, the presidential palace of the Emirates, magnificent construction of white granite profusely decorated, highlights its dome of 37 meters and its chandelier lamp of 350,000 pieces of glass. After that we go to the "cultural district" where there are several museums, highlights the Louvre, with its spectacular architecture by the sea and an incredible collection. You have the opportunity if you wish to visit one of the museums or enjoy your free time in the area. Lunch included.
In the afternoon, transfer to the airport, we include the flight to DOHA, the capital of QATAR. Arrival and transfer to the hotel.
We discover an exciting city. In this city’s city tour we will visit the Corniche, with its line of skyscrapers and its beaches; we will get to see the very modern football stadium of Al Thumama, host of the 2022 World Cup; we will pass by the National Museum with its impressive architecture and include an entrance and visit of the Museum of Islamic Art, that houses the largest collection of Islamic art in the world. Uniting modernity and tradition we visit the Souk of the Falcons where we will understand the importance of falconry in this country; a time to walk in the Waqif Souk, built on the site of the old market remodeled to have the appearance of a nineteenth-century souk, nearby we will pass by the stables where the neighbors house Arabian horses. At lunchtime we will go to "The Pearl of Qatar" an artificial archipelago, here we will see Porto Arabia and we will have free time in Qanat, a shopping area inspired by Venice. Lunch included.
At the end of the day, we move to KATARA, a cultural village that has architectural replicas from all over the world, with several places to eat, its opera and its amphitheater.
We will travel through the road, 120 km of modern highway through the desert separates us from the border of Saudi Arabia. Transit through Saudi Arabia, we travel to BAHRAIN, a small country located on an island in the Persian Gulf, we pass by the 25 km friendship bridge that connects Arabia with Bahrain. Border procedures. Bahrain is a small country of 765 Km2 inhabited by just under two million inhabitants that always had great historical importance. MANAMA, arrival in the middle of the afternoon. Upon arrival we will know the historic neighborhood of Muharraq, in its pedestrian alleys are some of the most beautiful historical buildings in the country: royal residences and houses of rich pearl merchants very well restored.
At the end of the day, we will walk through the souk of Manama, with its active life and through Little India, over 300 000 inhabitants of Bahrain were born in India, this neighborhood preserves its life, the temple of Krishna and numerous small Indian restaurants.
Note: If the number of participants is small, the trip between Qatar and Bahrain can be made by air without transiting through Saudi Arabia.
We will get to know thoroughly this small country; by coach we follow the coast, we include the entrance to Beit Al Qur´An, museum on the Qur´an, the Muslims’ holy book. We also visit the fantastic Bahrain National Museum that allows us to see the art, ethnography and traditions of this country and understand the importance it had throughout history. We will visit with a guide the impressive Al Fatih Mosque the most important in the country. Lunch included.
In the afternoon we will leave Manama, on the outskirts is located QALAT AL BARHEIN, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, an impressive fortress by the sea inhabited for 4000 years (the current castle was built by the Portuguese). We enter one of the most important oil production areas in the world, between refineries and pipelines we will stop next to the first oil extraction well opened in the country. We will also stop at the "tree of life", which with its more than 500 years being alive in the desert is a symbol of this country.Return to Manama, free time.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport and end of our services.

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