Map tips: each color represents a different day. Click a marker to learn more about the spot, and click the star in the map header to save the entire map under Your Places in Google Maps.
Day 1: Jerusalem
Quick trip, flew into Tel Aviv in the early afternoon and got a shared vehicle to Jerusalem. Found a hostel in the Old City and had a few hours to walk around. Went to the Wailing (Western) Wall, through the different quarters and just explored the area, got some food from the different stands/shops and called it a night.
Day 2: Masada and the Red Sea
Next day, took a bus to Masada National Park and spent a few hours there. Masada is a last-century BC fortress on top of a plateau that overlooks the Dead Sea. We took the cable car up and walked back down, it was very hot but we were fine. The ruins are amazing and I would say it’s a must-see. The history there is very interesting and looking out at the Dead Sea is quite a sight.
Caught another bus down to Eilat and stayed at the youth hostel for 2 nights. Swam in the Red Sea, walked into town, and got a bite to eat.
Day 3: Petra
Woke up and did a day trip to Petra. Get to the border crossing early, cause it can take some time. We were in line before they even opened so it didn’t take us long. Just hired a driver at the border who waited for us at Petra, but book in advance to save money. It costs significantly more to get into Petra if you’re not staying in Jordan, so you might want to try and convince them that you did/are staying in their country.
Walking down al-Siq and getting the first glimpse of the treasury is an experience I’ll never forget.
Going through the city is straightforward – there’s one path. At the “end” of the main path is the trail up to the monastery (Ad-Deir) – absolutely must do this. Plan for 1-2 hours for just the monastery, depending on your pace and how much you want to explore.
We got back to Eilat with a little time left before the border crossing closed and stayed at the youth hostel.
Day 4: Dead Sea and Jerusalem
- Ein Gedi
- Mount of Olives
- Garden of Gethsemane
Last day we caught a bus back up to Jerusalem, but stopped off near Ein Gedi to swim in the Dead Sea. Quick swim and shower (small fee) and caught another shared vehicle all the way back to the Old City.
We walked over to the Mount of Olives and went into the Garden of Gethsemane, then went to the airport for our late-night flight home.
This was a very quick trip and I think the area warrants much more time. I want to go back badly and spend a lot more time in Jerusalem as well as go to Wadi Rum and sleep in the desert. I’d also like to hike up to see the Treasury from above in Petra, but can’t do that and go to the monastery in one day. I’m glad we fit everything we did in while we were there though, and some of my favorite memories from traveling come from this trip because we winged it and it turned out great. We didn’t have any problems finding transportation and didn’t book anything in advance, but I would book things in advance if possible. We only had backpacks so it was easy to constantly be on the move.
Traveled in June 2010