Beyond Borders Tour: Transboundary Cross-Cultural Tour of Jordan and Israel


March 11 – 20, 2019

This small group journey through Jordan, Israel, and the West Bank gives participants exclusive access to the culture, politics, and environment of the region.  Led by regional experts, this luxury trip goes beyond borders and takes you off-the-beaten track to delve into the complex environmental realities in the Middle East.


  • Ambassador Daniel Shek, Former Israeli Ambassador to France and Chair of the Public Council for the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies
  • Dr. Tareq Abu Hamed, Academic Director and Director of the Center for Renewable Energy & Energy Conservation at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies
  • David Lehrer, Executive Director of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies
  • Miriam May, Executive Director of the Friends of the Arava Institute
  • Dr. Clive Lipchin, Director of the Center for Transboundary Water Management at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies
  • and others!

Trip Pricing

$5495 per person, with shared room

$6595 per person, single room supplement

$10,595 for couple, double occupancy

Please note, transportation to and from the Middle East is not included in the price of the tour.


  • Transportation during the tour is included in the tour price.
  • Luxury coach buses will be provided for the duration of the trip.
  • Transport to and from the airport with VIP services
  • Transportation to and from the Middle East is not included in the price of the tour.


Throughout the journey through Jordan, Israel, and the West Bank participants will enjoy accommodation in 5-star hotels.


The safety and security of our participants is our primary concern. We consult with Israel’s security services and receive all security alerts posted by the Security Department of Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) and its subsidiary company, The Israel Experience.


Below is 2018 Beyond Borders Tour itinerary; 2019 Tour will be similar in locations and content.  Additional information will be made available on 2019 itinerary as plans are finalized.

Monday – Amman

Upon arrival at the Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, you will be picked up and transported to the deluxe Kempinski Hotel in Amman. After settling in, you and your fellow travelers will be joined by Jordanian Arava Institute alumni for a delicious welcome dinner at a famous Lebanese restaurant. (D)

Tuesday – Amman

The first full day of the tour begins by meeting with a representative from the Jordanian royal family followed by lunch with some Jordanian Arava Institute alumni.  After lunch, we will be sightseeing around Amman at the Rabbath Ammon, Roman Theatre, Archaeological Museum, and the Citadel, which contains the massive Temple of Hercules.  In the evening, we will travel to the Dead Sea area where we will be graciously hosted for dinner by Mrs. Ola Al-Awamleh Al-Masri.  Ola is a successful entrepreneur who was chosen by Forbes as one of the “Top 50 Business Women” in the Arab world. (B,L, D)

Wednesday – Petra

After breakfast and checking out of the hotel, we will drive to the World Heritage site of Petra, an ancient Nabatean city and archeological site, where we will eat lunch and spend the afternoon touring and exploring. In the evening, we will head to the Kempinski Hotel Aqaba Red Sea to enjoy the seaside resort for free time, relaxation, and dinner. (B, L, D)

Thursday – Aqaba, Crossing into Israel and Ketura

Following breakfast and checking out of our hotel, we will tour the border area, see one of the largest flags in the world, and learn about the Aqaba Development Corporation from Arava alumna engineer Areen Majali.  The Aqaba Development Corporation (ADC) was launched in 2004 with the objective of unlocking the potential of the Aqaba Special Economic Zone by accelerating its economic growth and development.  After lunch at the famed Ali Baba Restaurant in Aqaba, we will then cross the border to Israel and drive to Kibbutz Ketura, the home of the Arava Institute, where we will have dinner and stay overnight in the kibbutz guesthouse. (B, L, D)

Friday – Ketura, Arava Institute and Shabbat

Our day at the Institute starts with breakfast and a tour of the kibbutz. Then we will meet with students, interns, and faculty, and see some of the Institute’s achievements, such as the Off-Grid Technology Village and Methuselah, the date tree sprouted from a 2,000-year-old seed found at Masada. After lunch, we will drive to Tel Aviv and check into our hotel. There will be a Shabbat dinner and optional services in local synagogues. (B, L, D)

Saturday – Shabbat in Tel Aviv

This is a free day in Tel Aviv on Shabbat, when many (but not all) businesses are closed. We have plenty of suggestions for activities, including a variety of synagogues for those who wish to attend Shabbat services, a walking tour of Bauhaus architecture, a bike ride along the coastline, and touring Neve Tzedek, the first Jewish neighborhood outside of the old port city of Jaffa, or Tirah, a nearby Arab community. In the evening we will join the Tel Aviv Public Council members for dinner. (B, D)

Sunday – Negev to West Bank

Today we will visit al-Auja, a West Bank village northeast of Jerusalem to tour and meet with Arava partners working on local wastewater treatment and recycling projects. After lunch, we will drive to Tzur Baher, a Palestinian village on the outskirts of Jerusalem that was once part of Jordan, where we will meet with Dr. Tareq Abu Hamed of the Arava Institute and Eliezer Yaari, author of Beyond the Mountains of Darkness. Then we will eat dinner and spend the night in Jerusalem at the King David Hotel. (B, L, D)

Monday – West Bank

For our final day of touring we will be travelling to the first planned Palestinian city Rawabi. There we will have a guided tour by one of Rawabi professional employees. We will have stops at the city’s attractions, including: the largest amphitheater in the Middle East, our Q-Center (commercial center hosting Rawabi Tech Hub). We will end the tour at the Q-Center and meet with Mr. Masri the founder of Rawabi City (TBD)

We then travel to Ramallah to meet with high-level representatives of the Palestinian Authority.

We return to Jerusalem for dinner where we will be joined by several Arava Institute alumni, including Dr. Itay Greenspan of the Hebrew University. Itay’s research focuses on three bodies of knowledge: 1) the social bases of organized environmentalism, 2) identity work in nonprofit and philanthropic studies, and 3) the role of volunteering and voluntary associations in the welfare state, with special focus on immigrants (B, L, D)

Tuesday – Departures

Transport facilitated to Ben Gurion airport for afternoon and evening departures. (B)

Click here to read more about the 2018 Beyond Borders Tour.


About the Arava Institute

The Arava Institute for Environmental Studies is a leading environmental studies and research program in the Middle East. It houses academic programs in partnership with Ben Gurion University, research centers, and international cooperation initiatives focusing on a range of environmental concerns and challenges.

With a student body comprised of Jordanians, Palestinians, Israelis, and students from around the world, the Arava Institute offers students an exceptional opportunity to learn from leading professionals while forming friendships and developing skills that enable them to lead the region and the world in solving today’s most pressing environmental challenges.

Trip Cancellation

All cancellations must be received in writing.

  • Cancellations received up to December 31, 2018 forfeit $150 per person
  • Cancellations received between January 1-February 1, 2019 forfeit $500 per person
  • Cancellations received after February 1, 2019 will not be refunded

Insurance is not included in any tour package.  Insurance for baggage, trip cancellation, and/or medical emergency is highly recommended.