September 8, 2023
AAA Member Rate
Discover the Amazing Capitals of the Middle East on this immersive guided tour.
AAA Travel invites you to join them on this luxury experience to many amazing countries in the Middle East. Egyptian Guides will help you explore the mysteries of the Pharaohs, from Cairo all the way to Abu Simbel and along the Nile to Luxor. See the incredible sites of Petra, Jordan and enjoy a meal with a local family. Visit Jerusalem, Israel and the Dome of the Rock, built in the 7th Century, and is the oldest monument in Islam. Enjoy a dip in the Dead Sea and stop at the Qumran Caves, famous for the 1947 discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Take a tour of Tel Aviv before heading to the United Arab Emirates with stays in Abu Dhabi, the Empty Quarter Desert and Dubai. This is an incredible and comprehensive experience, and one not to miss!
*Rates are per person, land and inter-country air, based on double occupancy. A Non-Refundable deposit of $1000 per person (double) $2000 (single) is due at time of booking. Non-AAA Member rate is $16,819 per person, double occupancy. Rates, itinerary, hotels, terms and conditions are subject to change. AAA Member Benefits are valid for passengers who book through AAA Travel only. Benefits listed may be substituted/eliminated and have no cash value. This tour includes moderate physical activity, walking slightly longer distances, upstairs or on uneven walking surfaces should be expected. Passports are required for US citizens (Passport must be valid 6 months beyond return date.) Passport fees are not included. Visa required, check with your travel consultant. Cancellation and change fees apply. Other restrictions may apply. The Auto Club Group is not responsible for any errors or omissions in the promotion of this tour.
Upon arrival, you’ll be met inside passport control by our Cairo team who will assist you with securing your visa and escorting you through immigration, baggage claim, and customs. You will then be transferred to your luxury hotel on the Nile.
Four Seasons First Residence – 2 nights
Following breakfast, we’ll begin our journey at the Great Pyramids of Giza. We’ll also approach the Sphinx and its watchful gaze. A camel ride across the desert may strike one as a bit touristy, but we guarantee you’ll never forget the experience.
We’ll enjoy lunch at the landmark Mena House where Churchill and Roosevelt met during the Second World War.
Afterward, we will visit the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities downtown or the new Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza should it have opened, both have the greatest repositories of ancient Egyptian treasures in the world. Following a guided visit, we’ll return to our hotel to freshen up before a delightful welcome dinner. (B, L, D)
This morning, we’ll fly south to Abu Simbel and the two temples of Ramses II. Originally on the southern frontier of Ancient Egypt, these nearly 3,000-year old temples are still intact and carved from solid rock.
From Abu Simbel we’ll fly to Aswan where our private transportation will meet us for our drive up the Nile to the Temple of Horus at Edfu, another of Egypt’s most spectacular ancient monuments. This 2,000-year-old temple complex is renowned for its monumental reliefs, its impressive setting and exquisite hieroglyphics. We’ll then continue on to Luxor. (B, L)
Steigenberger Nile Palace – 2 Nights
After breakfast, we’ll cross the Nile and drive west to the fabled Valley of the Kings. Here, the pharaohs of the 18th Dynasty built tombs deep into the arid mountainsides, abandoning the funerary pyramids of their predecessors. We’ll be here early, before any crowds, to admire the vivid frescoes that adorn each tomb in miraculous condition, visiting the most
elaborate tombs of Ramses III, Ramses IX and King Tutankhamen.
In the neighboring Valley of the Queens, we’ll visit the elegant Tomb of Queen Hatshepsut, one of two female pharaohs.
With our skilled Egyptologist in the lead, we’ll next stand in front of the massive pillars of the great Karnak Temple to admire the enormous Grand Hypostyle Hall, still the largest religious hall in the world. We’ll then walk the recently renovated Avenue of the Sphinxes to the temple walls of Luxor, embellished with skillful carvings of the gods accompanied by festive processions of priests, musicians, dancers and sacred cows. (B, L)
Mid-morning, we’ll fly back to Cairo and visit the Khan al-Khalili Bazaar, which since the 15th Century has been Cairo’s major center of crafts, foreign goods and jewels. We’ll have lunch in an atmospheric restaurant with time to roam the extensive alleyways of the market. (B, L)
Four Seasons First Residence – 2 nights
This morning, we’ll drive to Memphis, the site of Egypt’s ancient capital, to marvel at the formidable Colossus of Ramses II. Nearby we’ll see the Alabaster Sphinx before heading to Sakkara at the edge of the Egyptian desert to visit the impressive Step Pyramid of King Zoser, the oldest standing stone structure in the world. We’ll also enter the 4,000-year-old Tomb of Mehu, a wealthy merchant, with its vibrant drawings of daily life that adorn the walls. (B, L)
This morning, we’ll take an hour flight to Amman, Jordan’s capital and head south toward Petra along the King’s Highway with our professional Jordanian trip leader.
Our first stop will be Madaba to see a 6th Century mosaic, the oldest known map of the ancient Middle East. We’ll enjoy a home-cooked meal in a restored century old residence before ascending Mt. Nebo, the traditional burial site of Moses with panoramic views of the Jordan River Valley.
Continuing on to Petra, our introduction to the city will be tonight when we follow the Siq, a jagged path through 100-foot cliffs illuminated by candles. The opening of the Siq to the Treasury in candlelight will surely be one of the most memorable moments of this journey through the Middle East. (B, L)
Hotel Moevenpick Resort Petra – 2 Nights
Built two thousand years ago by the Nabateans, tribal merchants that rose to dominate the caravan routes in Northern Arabia, Petra achieved strategic importance and became wealthy. Later abandoned as caravans moved north, Petra was lost until a re-discovery by a Swiss adventurer. Our trip leader will guide you through the Siq once again to explore the city’s many monuments. Following this 3-hour orientation, you are free to explore at your own pace the numerous tombs, residences and public spaces that made Petra a thriving city in its day. Since we include a full-day entry to Petra, you can return to the convenient Moevenpick to relax, have lunch and re-enter the city at will.
This evening, we’ll take you to the Petra Kitchen for a hands-on culinary experience. Working alongside local villagers under the supervision of a skilled chef, you’ll prepare a variety of traditional Jordanian dishes that will result in a well-earned dinner. (B, L)
Our trip leader will take you deep into the other-worldly landscapes of Wadi Rum, memorialized in the epic film Lawrence of Arabia. We’ll discover a remote region where sandstone and granite mountains rise sheer-sided from wide sandy valleys to reach heights of 4,000 feet and more. An hour long ride by camel is an intimate and evocative experience in the exotic beauty of Wadi Rum. We’ll have a simple, authentic Bedouin lunch with a local family before heading back to Amman. (B, L)
The Fairmont Hotel – 1 night
Our first stop this morning is Jerash, part of Rome’s provincial cities built for its military control of the region. Jerash is extensive and very well preserved. After our visit, we’ll drive to the Allenby Bridge to cross the Jordan River to the West Bank. To expedite crossing, we’ve arranged VIP services on both sides of the bridge, Jordanian and Israeli.
We’ll bid farewell to our Jordanian trip leader and be welcomed by our Israeli host as we drive on to Jerusalem.
Overlooking the Old City, the luxurious King David Hotel is our home in the heart of the city for the next four nights. It has participated in the history of Jerusalem since its opening in 1931, hosting many world leaders in exile and featured prominently in films like Exodus.
We’ll gather this evening for an atmospheric dinner nearby with our trip leader. (B, L, D)
King David Hotel – 4 Nights
Following our Israeli breakfast, we’ll head north to beautiful Galilee. First, we’ll visit Capernaum, a 2nd Century synagogue that helps illuminate the religious life of Jesus time. We’ll also visit the traditional house of Saint Peter.
Next, we’ll go to Tabgha to visit the Church of the Multiplication, the site of the ‘loaves and fishes,’ as well as the spot where the third resurrection appearance occurred.
Close by is the Mount of Beatitudes, the bucolic gathering place where Jesus delivered the Sermon of the Mount. Here there are lovely views over the rolling countryside and the distant Golan Heights. A 2000-year-old boat was discovered in Galilee, as the Bible depicts in Jesus’ interactions with his disciples; we’ll see it in a small museum. Before returning to Jerusalem, we’ll end with a boat ride across the waters of the Sea of Galilee. (B, L)
We’ll head east today toward the Dead Sea region, stopping first at the Qumran Caves famous for the 1947 discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The secret life of the Essenes, a reclusive sect hiding from the Roman Army in the era of Jesus, was revealed along with hand-written copies of many books of the Hebrew Bible and other writings.
Next is Masada where we ascend by cable car to the dramatic ruins of King Herod’s fortress-palace on a barren mountaintop. Here the Jewish Zealots made their last heroic stand against the Romans in 73 AD.
Later, we’ll enjoy lunch and a dip in the Dead Sea, the lowest land point on earth.
This evening, we’ll attend a sound and light show at the Tower of David in the Old City. (B, L)
Today, we’ll explore the holy city revered by Judaism, Christianity and Islam, starting at the Western Wall. This remnant of the Second Temple, destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD, is a holy place of prayer for Judaism. Above this Wall is Temple Mount which we’ll visit, subject to the authorities that control access. This is the site of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. Built in the 7th Century, the Dome is the oldest monument in Islam and covers the stone where it’s thought that Abraham nearly sacrificed Isaac as well as the spot from which the Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven.
We’ll explore the Jewish Quarter, the Via Dolorosa and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, built upon the Hill of Golgotha.
We’ll have lunch in a local restaurant and then walk to Mt. Zion, visiting King David’s tomb as well as the traditional Room of the Last Supper. We’ll drive to the Mount of Olives for beautiful views of Jerusalem entering Gethsemane with its age-old olive trees.
Tonight is our farewell to Israel dinner. (B, L, D)
After breakfast, we’ll drive to Jaffa, the picturesque ancient port of modern Tel Aviv. Our trip leader will provide an orientation tour of Tel Aviv including the White City designed by German architectural immigrants of the 1930’s and the largest Bauhaus/ Internationalist district in the world with more than 4,000 buildings.
We’ll then proceed to the airport for our non-stop flight to Abu Dhabi, a new route between the capitals of Israel and
the United Arab Emirates. We’ll arrive in Abu Dhabi in the early evening with VIP assistance. Our trip leader will greet us and escort us to the St. Regis Hotel on the Corniche for a casual dinner and overnight. (B, L)
The St. Regis Hotel – 1 night
Following breakfast, we’ll visit the new Louvre Abu Dhabi for a guided tour and then on to the Presidential Palace, the Qasr al-Watan, just opened to visitors in 2019. Extensive and opulent, the palace is still used for state purposes. We’ll then enjoy a delightful lunch at The Emirates Palace.
As we leave the city, we’ll be guided through the astonishing Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the largest in the UAE and now one of the world’s most stunning landmarks. Holding up to 40,000 worshipers at one time, it has 82 white marble domes, 1,096 exterior columns and seven 24-carat gold plated Swarovski crystal chandeliers.
Then we’re off to the secluded Qasr al Sarab resort with our trip leader for two nights. (B, L)
Qasr al Sarab Desert Resort -2 Nights
Today is free for you to enjoy the luxury of this extensive property, surrounded by towering dunes and recognized as one of the finest resorts in the Middle East by Conde Nast Traveler. Relax on your private terrace with panoramic views of the infinite desert, take a camel trek across the dunes, enjoy a falcon demonstration, take a desert walk, swim or luxuriate in the spa. Our trip leader can assist with any of these activities or more. (B)
With the morning at leisure, we’ll depart at noon for Dubai. As we enter the city, our trip leader will introduce us to some of its unique highlights including the man-made Palm island, Jumeirah Beach and the iconic Burj al Arab.
Later, we’ll check into our 5-star hotel, the Address Marina, one of the finest in town. The evening is free to enjoy as you wish. (B)
Address Marina Hotel – 2 Nights
After breakfast, our tour leader will guide us into the cultural traditions of exuberant Dubai. We’ll cross Dubai Creek and walk through the Gold and Spice Souk as well as the Textile and Cloth Market.
Next, we’ll continue on to the Al Fahidi Historic District with its graceful wind towers, ingeniously designed to catch breezes that cooled the entire house. We will then visit the Dubai Museum at Fahidi Fort. Lunch today is at the Sheikh Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding, a traditional wind tower house, where we’ll enjoy lively discussion on today’s Middle East and Emirati cuisine.
We’ll then proceed to the Burj Khalifa soaring above Dubai, the world’s tallest freestanding structure. We’ll zoom to the top Observation Deck by fast elevator for unfettered views of the city and Gulf.
Then, spend some free time underground at the Dubai Mall, the city’s largest.
Returning to our hotel, we’ll gather at a fine restaurant for this evening’s farewell dinner. (B, L, D)
Your amazing adventure comes to an end today. At the appropriate time, you’ll be escorted to Dubai International Airport for your onward journey. (B)
AAA EXCLUSIVE HIGHLIGHTS:
- Arrival and departure group transfers as specified in the itinerary
- Luxury Hotel accommodations for 18 nights
- Economy domestic air, Cairo -Abu Simbel-Aswan & Luxor-Cairo
- Economy inter-regional international air Cairo-Amman and Tel Aviv-Abu Dhabi
- Pyramids of Giza and the Egyptian Museum
- Abu Simbel
- Valley of the Kings, Karnak & Luxor Temples
- Petra, Jordan, the Siq & Treasury, hands on cooking class
- Wadi Rum and Amman, authentic Bedouin lunch with a local family
- Jerusalem & the Sea of Galilee
- Qumran Caves and Masada
- Louvre Abu Dhabi and Presidential Palace
- Empty Quarter Desert
- Dubai’s Burj Khalifa & Palm Island
- 37 Meals: 18 breakfasts, 15 lunches, 4 dinners
- Services of expert professional guides
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