(18 Days - Departs Daily on a Private Basis)
Cairo & the Pyramids, Abu Simbel, luxury Nile River cruise, Petra, Dead Sea, Galilee, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv
This comprehensive tour is the ultimate luxury journey through Egypt, Israel and Jordan. Each day, touring is with your own private guide and accommodation is at the best hotels in each location.
Begin in Egypt. Artisans of Leisure travelers are escorted throughout Egypt by one of the country’s top private Egyptologist guides (including on the luxury Nile River cruise) and have their own private drivers in each location. Your insider Cairo touring starts with a visit to the Egyptian Museum. Then, take a private excursion to the Pyramids of Giza, a world-renowned and UNESCO-listed burial complex that includes pyramids, tombs, temples, the Solar Boat and the Great Sphinx. If desired, enjoy a camel ride by the Pyramids. Also visit the even older pyramids of Dahshur and Saqqara. One evening, perhaps opt to watch the sound and light show at the Pyramids.
Next, fly to Abu Simbel, two spectacular monumental temples commissioned by Pharaoh Ramses II and carved into sandstone cliffs. Visit at sunrise, the best time to see this unforgettable UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Next, enjoy a four-night luxury Nile River cruise. Tour extraordinary archaeological sites such as the Temple of Philae in Aswan, the Temple of Horus (Edfu) and the Temple of Kom Ombo. Around Luxor, visit Luxor Temple and the Karnak complex, Medinet Habu, the Colossi of Memnon, and the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens, including the tombs of King Tut and Ramses VI. We will also arrange access to the spectacular tombs of Seti I and Queen Nefertari. Upon request, arrangements can be made to tour monuments usually closed to the public or visit museums outside of opening hours. Throughout the cruise, Artisans of Leisure will arrange private shore excursions with your own Egyptologist guide.
Depending on your travel dates, this cruise is also available in reverse, from Luxor to Aswan.
Return to Cairo to continue private touring. Visit the most interesting cultural attractions in the historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, such as the Citadel and the Hanging Church. Tour our favorite neighborhoods, which are filled with beautiful Fatimid, Islamic, Mameluk, Ottoman, Coptic and Art Deco architecture. See well-preserved medieval residences formerly occupied by wealthy merchants. Walk through fascinating markets such as the renowned Khan al-Khalili bazaar. Also visit smaller and lesser-known museums dedicated to Islamic art, applied arts and Egyptian culture. If desired, we can arrange visits to Cairo’s top boutiques and reservations at the best restaurants in town.
Fly to Amman, Jordan and transfer to Petra. En route, tour historically important sites along the King’s Highway. Visit the Memorial Church of Moses on Mount Nebo to see exquisite ancient mosaics and also take in panoramic views of the Jordan River and Dead Sea, see the famed mosaic map of the Holy Land inside a church in Madaba, and visit the impressive Crusader fortress of Kerak.
Continue to Petra, one of the world’s most impressive archaeological sites. The Nabataeans created this ancient city between the third century B.C. and the first century A.D., sculpting monuments and tombs into the surrounding mountainside, including the spectacular Treasury. Learn about the history, beliefs, architecture and daily life of the Nabataeans during private touring of this fascinating ancient wonder and UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Next, stay at the most luxurious resort on the Dead Sea. During ample leisure time, enjoy the resort facilities, including a spa, several restaurants and pools, and private beach—where you might like to relax by floating in the mineral-laden saltwater, which is famous for its buoyancy and therapeutic qualities.
Tour Jerash, one of the best preserved Roman cities in the Middle East, en route to crossing the border into Israel. Enjoy private touring around the Sea of Galilee (also known as Lake Tiberias and Lake Kinneret), an area renowned for its beautiful landscapes and proximity to important historical and biblical sites. Opt to sample wines at local vineyards, visit a kibbutz, or tour the mystical town of Safed (Tfzat), one of the four holy cities of the Talmud and the birthplace of Kabbalah.
Continue to Jerusalem, where your expert private guide will bring the city and its incredible, multi-layered history alive. One of the world’s most historic cities—the entire Old City is a UNESCO World Heritage Site—Jerusalem is a fascinating mix of cultures and religions. Visit different neighborhoods according to your interests, such as the Jewish Quarter, Christian Quarter, Muslim Quarter, Armenian Quarter and Temple Mount. See highlights such as the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Via Dolorosa, ancient synagogues, bazaars, and atmospheric narrow streets lined with galleries and private homes. Visit Jerusalem’s most important museums, such as the Yad Vashem Holocaust History Museum and the Israel Museum. See the Mount of Olives and the old city ramparts. Also tour the Mahane Yehuda Market, which is a great place to sample local culinary specialties such as pomegranate juice, falafel, chocolate rugelach, almond pastries and halvah, as well as locally grown olives and figs.
If desired, we can arrange many special interest activities around Jerusalem, such as taking a private market tour and cooking class with a renowned food expert, touring the ancient City of David, touring the excavation tunnels under the Western Wall, joining an archaeological dig, walking through the city’s ancient underground water tunnels, planting a tree, specialized shopping, or visiting the village of Ein Kerem to experience its local food, wine, art and religious sites. Alternatively, we can also arrange expert-led excursions to Bethlehem and Jericho.
Conclude in Tel Aviv, a vibrant city on the Mediterranean Sea coast. During private touring, experience the best of Israel’s largest city: the Neve Tzedek neighborhood, UNESCO-listed Bauhaus architecture, Old Jaffa, the Carmel Market, and museums such as the Eretz Israel Museum and the Museum of the Jewish Diaspora. If desired, we can also arrange a tour of the fascinating Ayalon Institute, a kibbutz that hid a secret underground ammunition factory. Additional options in Tel Aviv include specialized shopping, visiting the Design Museum Holon, strolling the port district or fashionable HaTachana, spending time on the beach, and enjoying the city’s excellent restaurants.