The Biblical and ancient sites of Israel and neighbouring Jordan are so famous it seems incredible that they actually exist and welcome visitors. You won’t see everything in a week, but the trip will be an eye-opener.
You could start at Megiddo, known in the Book of Revelation as “Armageddon”, an ancient city inhabited continuously for more than five millennia. Then continue to Tiberias on the shores of the Sea of Galilee and Capernaum, the centre of Jesus’s ministry.
Drive along the shores of the Dead Sea to Masada, situated on an isolated cliff in the Judean Desert where you can ascend by cable car to the fortress, which was the last stronghold of the Jewish Zealots in their war against the Romans. Visit the excavations, King Herod’s palace, the synagogue and bathhouse. En route to the Dead Sea, you will see the site of the Qumran Caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered.
From there you can visit Mount Scopus to enjoy panoramic views of Jerusalem. Not to be missed is the Mount of Olives and the Garden of Gethsemane. In the Old City, visit the Western Wall and the site of the Second Temple, the Temple Mount. Walk the Way of the Cross along the Via Dolorosa.
Then it’s time to cross the border into Jordan, where the Roman city of Decapolis – now known as Jerash – contains colonnaded streets, an ancient theatre, baths, a hill top temple and triumphal arch.
Finally, it’s the jewel in the crown of Jordanian history: Petra. Enter the “Siq” on horseback and continue on foot to the red rock city, the ancient capital of the Nabateans. At night, it’s a spooky and beautiful experience as a snaking line of people approach by torch and candlelight.