Epic Egypt, Jordan, Israel & the Palestinian Territories

Trip Code: XEYCC

Why we love it

The Pyramids might be hyped, but when you see them you’ll soon be saying oh mummy, I see the point (sorry)., Set sail on a felucca cruise along the Nile. Back in the day, these wooden boats had zero facilities, but our new pimped-out boat has western-style toilets on board., Our guides are local and know all the best secret and hidden places to check out after a day of sightseeing, Only Petra’s Treasury is stunning enough to be the temple of the Holy Grail (well, according to Indiana Jones at least), and you’ll be blown away on a full day exploring the majesty and mystery of this world wonder., Kick back in your own central hostel in Jerusalem, complete with movie room and rooftop ., Sample tasty local eats at the very cool Machane Yehuda Market where you can use your your bite card at any of the vendors., Graffiti has filled the walls in Bethlehem by many artists over the years, including British Artist Banksy. Check it out on a walking tour with your leader., Discover for yourself the town that everyone knows from the Christmas carols – Bethlehem – and find out about daily life in the epic city of Jerusalem as you chat with locals on the way to the Western Wall., Float in the Salty waters of the Dead Sea., Hike the iconic Masada Snake Path for some epic views across the Dead Sea and Jordan.

Is this trip right for me?

You’re the boss! Not just in general, but also on this trip, where there’s free time to do whatever you want, or optional tours to show you the way. Maybe budget a little extra cash for activities and entrance fees that aren’t included.

Accommodation in Israel is in dorm rooms with up to 12 travellers. They may not all be fellow Intrepid travellers and your group could be split across different rooms. Where possible (and unless requested otherwise) we will accommodate you in same gender rooms.

It’s not all hot desert days in Jordan & Israel, as the winter months (December through to February) can be quite cold. Temperatures in northern parts of the country can drop to freezing overnight. Snowfall around these areas as well as Amman is common. Pack smart so that you’re prepared for varying temperatures especially if travelling during these months.

The thing about ancient ruins and other super old sites in the Middle East is that they usually involve walking on rocky and/or steep hillsides. But if you don’t feel up for it on a hot day then you can just sit it out, or wander along at your own pace.

Travelling on a felucca is awesome, but it's not for everyone. You will be sharing a sleeping area with your fellow group members for the night and a shared bathroom facility on board

Israel & The Palestinian Territories is by no means a cheap destination and you should budget accordingly. The good news is that your expert local leader is on hand to help you uncover the best deals!

Sites can get congested during peak travel periods with coaches of large pilgrim groups. We do our best to plan our visits around these times but sometimes it is unavoidable. There may be delays, queue's and private services that prevent us from entering the site. Your trip leader will manage this as best as they can on the day.

Important information

1. With the exception of a one day pass to Petra (included), some entrance fees are not included. If you wish to take part in these activities, you pay these fees as you go along.
2. The international connection from Cairo to Amman is unaccompanied. Luggage restrictions of 23kg checked and 7kg cabin apply on this flight.
3. Please note all accommodation is twin share unless otherwise stated. Accommodation in Israel is in dorm rooms with up to 12 travelers. They may not all be fellow Intrepid travelers and your group could be split across different rooms. Where possible (and unless requested otherwise) we will accommodate you in same gender rooms.
4. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement exclude Day 2,7 (Sleeper Train), Day 5 (Felucca) Days 10,11 (Desert Camp) and Days 16,17,18 (Hostel) where you will be in shared accommodation, and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
5. Most nationalities require a visa to enter Egypt, and these are easily obtained on arrival. Please have US$25 at the ready when you fly in to Cairo.
6. Most nationalities require a visa to enter Jordan, and these are easily obtained on arrival. Please have JOD20 (approx $30), at the ready when you fly in to Amman. Jordanian dinars can easily be obtained at airport exchange counters en route to Jordan.
7. Following recent safety incidents we recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest information on travelling in Egypt and in Israel; particularly within the West Bank before your departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas of your itinerary. We have links to prominent government travel advisories and regular updates on issues affecting this trip on our Travel Alerts page: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/au/travel-alerts

What to bring/pack

What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances.

Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.

Below are some ideas and helpful tips on what you specifically need for this trip.

GENERAL PACKING LIST
• Travel documents: passport, visa (if required), travel insurance,
   air tickets or e-ticket receipts and a copy of this document.
• Photocopy of main passport pages, visa (if required), travel insurance and air tickets.
• Personal medical kit. Your guide will carry a large kit but we recommend you carry items such as mild          pain killers, electrolytes and bandaids.
• Daypack
• Watch/Alarm clock or phone that can be used for both.
• Power adaptors
• Insect repellent
• Sun protection - hat, sunscreen, sunglasses
• Earplugs and eye mask (you might be sharing with a snorer!)
• Water bottle. We recommend at least a 1.5litre capacity. The sale of bottled water contributes to an              enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a    1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or      discarded in waterways and natural environments.
• Warm clothes including hat and gloves - When travelling in cooler climates
• Wind and waterproof rain jacket
• Toiletries/travel wipes/ hand sanitizer 
• Travel Towel
• Closed in, comfortable walking shoes. As most of our trips include some walking elements, we highly          recommend that you take a pair of comfortable, closed-in walking shoes. 
• Camera with spare memory cards and batteries
• Clothing - The staple travel items but consider the time of year.  We recommend a fleece/jacket any time    of the year and a scarf for women for visiting religious sites
  Cold Weather• Long-sleeved shirts or sweater• Scarf• Warm gloves• Warm hat• Warm layers / thermals
  Warm Weather:• Sandals/flip-flops• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)• Sun                    hat/bandana• Swimwear

LUGGAGE LIMIT
On this trip, you must pack as lightly as possible because you will be expected to carry your own bag and, although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage, we strongly recommend keeping the weight under 15kg. If your itinerary includes a flight, please keep in mind that some domestic airlines have checked luggage limits of 15kg.

CLOTHING & CLIMATE
Please note that as a desert region, the Middle East can have extreme weather. Temperatures are generally hot with little rain. This can become extreme during the summer months of June to August. In the months of December to March it can be very cold, particularly next to the river or the ocean and out in the desert where night temperatures can drop dramatically. Even in the hot months, it can get cold in the desert at night. Consider bringing a sleeping bag, thermals, scarf, gloves and a warm jacket for travel in this period, especially on itineraries which include camping such as on a felucca, in a desert camp, or at a Red Sea beach camp. A light water and windproof jacket is useful and a hat is essential.

VALUABLES
Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables, and use your hotel safes to store the bulk of your money, passport, and airline tickets. It’s also a good idea to purchase a money belt or pouch that is easily hidden. We strongly recommend that you photocopy all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, etc. and keep the copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a photocopy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary.

BATTERIES/POWER
Most of our trips have access to power to recharge batteries for phones and cameras regularly. We always recommend that you carry an extra battery for your camera just in case. Charging of batteries is advised before checking out of your hotel rooms. Please bear in mind there may be some nights were electricity may not be as readily available as you might be used to – home stays, beach and desert camps etc.

RESTRICTED ITEMS
Generally drones are not permitted into any Middle East destination or they require registration and pre approval please refer to your airline carrier if you are considering taking a drone on your travels or check out drone laws by country on line.
We have had some reports of binoculars being confiscated or causing delay in customs if carried in hand luggage.  

Physical rating

3

Despite the 'off-road' nature of this trip, it can be enjoyed by anyone who is reasonably fit. Please be aware that any visit to Petra requires a fair amount of walking. The amount of energy you expend there is largely up to you. The program in Wadi Rum involves a mixture of camel riding and trekking.

Joining your group

Pharaohs Hotel, 12 Lotfy Hassona, Dokki, Cairo, EGYPT, Phone: +20 2 27359595

The Pharaohs is located in a modern area of ​​Cairo, 100 meters from the banks of the Nile River, facing Gezira Island. It offers rooms with air conditioning and satellite TV.

Joining instructions

By far the easiest option from the airport is to take a taxi. Airport taxis shouldn't cost more than EGP300 (be prepared to bargain). The drive can take between 40 minutes and 1 hour depending on the time of day and subsequent traffic conditions. There is a bus number 111 from the airport to Ramses bus station from here you can transfer to Sadat metro and travel to Gezira station. The hotel is a 10 minute walk from the the station.

Alternatively, Intrepid offer a pre-arranged private transfer service. Enquire with your agent on booking. If you have pre-purchased an arrival transfer you'll be met in the immigration area by a transfer officer from our local representative in Cairo. Look for the Intrepid logo. If for any reason you don't make contact with the transfer officer by the time you have cleared customs, as can occasionally occur as many flights tend to arrive at once.If for any reason you don't make contact with the transfer officer by the time you have cleared customs, as can occasionally occur as many flights tend to arrive at once.

Please call Ramadan Shedid on the following number:
(+20) 12 2100 5565

Give your exact location in the airport (find a landmark) and you'll be attended to promptly.

Finishing your trip

The Spot Hostel, HaTa'arucha Street 3, Tel Aviv, ISRAEL, Phone: +972 37590977

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 17

Lunches included: 2

Dinners included: 7

Your group leader or representative will endeavour to cater for specific dietary requirements where possible, and vegetarianism and gluten intolerance will be catered for in most instances. There are, however some meals and activities that are fixed in advance and therefore cannot be modified to suit dietary requirements.

Please notify your booking consultant of any dietary requirements at the time of booking. For those suffering from particular food allergies, your group leader or representative will endeavour to disclose to their fullest knowledge the main ingredients in dishes being consumed. It is, however, your personal responsibility to ensure that you do not ingest any foods to which you are allergic.

Climate & seasonal information

SUMMER IN EGYPT
As the days get warmer, temperatures can start to soar, particularly in Upper Egypt (Luxor and Aswan). From April to October, to avoid the midday heat, some days start very early (for example - 5am). Please be prepared for this - our schedules are designed to make touring as comfortable for you as possible.

The weather in Jordan can get quite extreme. Overall, it tends to be hot during the day and cold at night (in desert areas, expect it to be extremely hot during the day and freezing at night). Yet during winter it can get bitterly cold, with snowfall occurring in some parts of the country.

Travelling during the summer months (June, July and August) can be challenging for those not accustomed to the heat, so visiting Jordan during spring and autumn is recommended for those who wish to escape the hotter temperatures.

Consider your travel dates when packing for your adventure. Whilst the camps in Wadi Rum do have blankets you may want to consider packing some thermals and carrying your sleeping bag if travelling in the winter months.

WEATHER
In summer temperatures are usually between 27 and 32 degrees Celsius. Tel Aviv and Tiberias tend to be hot and humid. Jerusalem is dryer and cooler, particularly at night. Masada & Eilat are extremely hot, often above 40 degrees Celsius.

The winter months in Israel (December through to February) can be quite cold. Temperatures in northern parts of the country can drop to freezing overnight. There’s often heavy rain and snowfall around these areas. You will need to be prepared to travel in varying temperatures over these months. Temperatures generally range between 10 and15 degrees Celsius during the day.

RAMADAN
The important month of Ramadan will be in progress 22 March - 20 April 2023 and 10 March to 08 April 2024, and the Eid ul-Fitr festival will be held directly at its conclusion for 3-4 days. Ramadan is a festival of sacrifice where the devout refrain from eating or drinking during daylight hours. During Ramadan, business hours are shortened, including opening hours at some tourist attractions. Alcohol is not permitted during daylight hours and many restaurants will be closed. While you should expect some delays and inconveniences during this period, the month is a fantastic opportunity to travel in a Muslim country and witness this unique period, particularly the nightly celebrations when the sun sets and the fast is broken. Please note that although the Eid ul-Fitr festival can also be a fascinating time to travel it's a period of national holiday. Most government offices and businesses will be closed and some tourist site opening hours may be affected.

In case of emergency

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the number below:

Intrepid's Local Operator: +201096811067

Intrepid's Local Operator: +962 79700 4051

Intrepid's Local Operator: +972(0)58690 6428

Accommodations

OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.

ACCOMMODATION STYLE
Some of the accommodation along the way is basic or simple, three and four star accommodation in the Middle East (with the exception of Israel)  is often not equal to same star facilities in some western destinations. Rooms are clean and comfortable, however you may note some small maintenance issues that have been overlooked, please assist us by bringing these to the attention of your Leader so that we can follow up with our hosts. Many restaurants and hotels do not serve alcohol for religious reasons or due to local laws. Breakfast is included in 95% or our hotels, pleaser refer to our daily itinerary for meal inclusions.

TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS
Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multi share basis. 

CHECK-IN TIME
Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.  Standard check in time is 1400 hours.

PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION
If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (subject to availability), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.

SHOWERS
Showers at some hotels only have hot water at peak times (usually morning and evening). Outside of these times you may need to speak to reception to obtain hot water.

HEATING AND AIR-CONDITIONING
As a desert region, this part of the world has extremes of weather. Winter months (approx December to March) can be very cold. All of our hotel accommodation contains suitable bedding, and simple light bedding is provided during camping activities such as an overnight felucca, desert camps or at the Red Sea Beach camp stay. Most of our travellers find the bedding provided here adequate, but for your own comfort and if you are particularly sensitive to the cold, consider bringing your own sleeping bag, thermals, scarf, gloves and a warm jacket. Some of our guesthouses / hotels don't supply heating. In many cases this would be a major financial and environmental strain on our hotels and the local towns. Summer (approx June to August) can be very hot everywhere we travel, which means that it can be quite uncomfortable for those not used to the heat. Not all our hotels have air-conditioning, and in those that do, it's not always functioning.

ROOM ISSUES
If you have any issues with your room, please speak to the hotel and your tour leader right away so that the problem can be addressed without delay.

Transportation

There are some long travel days and some rough travelling in areas away from main tourist routes. Windy roads, rough surfaces and cramped conditions make for some challenging travel experiences. On some long travel days we depart early in the morning to ensure we optimise our time at our next destination. If you experience travel sickness we recommend you consider medication to help ease the discomfort.

SECURITY WHILE TRAVELLING
Occasionally you may experience a Tourist Police Escort in your vehicle and whilst not common convoys between select towns or regions are possible. This practice has been implemented by local authorities to monitor the safety and security of visitors to Egypt.

OVERNIGHT TRAIN
On this itinerary, you will be travelling by overnight sleeper train. The sleeper cabins are about 2x1.5 meters and are 2 berths. There are 2 beds on top of each other. Pillows, sheets and blankets are provided. There is also a compartment next to the upper bed for luggage storage and a small sink. Toilets are located at the end of the carriage. Each carriage has 10 cabins which are all lockable from the inside. If you have booked a single supplement you will be assigned to your own berth.

During your journey dinner and breakfast are provided however the meals are very basic and you may wish to bring along your own fresh fruit, snacks and water to supplement these.

OVERNIGHT FELUCCA ON THE NILE
On this trip you will be travelling and sleeping on a felucca. A felucca is a traditional wooden boat with broad canvas sails. The felucca offers some shade and protection from the elements. However, there is no cabin or enclosed section. You will be sharing a sleeping area with your fellow group members for the night and a shared bathroom facility (western style toilet). You'll sleep outside on a simple mattress, there is a wooden ceiling above you but the area is otherwise open. If you feel the cold you should consider bringing a sleeping bag. These can also be rented locally. Please advise your leader during the welcome meeting. You may also wish to bring a sleeping sheet from home. Conditions will be basic during your felucca trip. If you are prepared for this, you’re sure to have a memorable adventure. During the colder months (October to March) temperatures can get as low as 5°C at night.

Our Nubian sailing crew ( normally 2 for sailing, 1 for cooking ) provides all the meals, which are hearty and delicious.

We recommend that you pack everything you may need for the night in a small day bag.
The felucca will stop a few times during your journey and overnight stay.


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