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



April 23 – May 1, 2018

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, single supplement

$9,995 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.


(Please note, itinerary is subject to change)

Monday April 23rd – Amman

Upon arrival at the Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, you will be picked up and transported to the deluxe Kempinski Hotel or the Movenpick 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 April 24th – Amman

The first full day of the tour begins by meeting with a representative from the Jordanian royal family, followed by a discussion with Arava Institute alumna Yosra Al Bakkar, who is currently serving as the Regional Programme Manager for Water Resources at the Embassy of Sweden in Amman. After lunch, we will be sightseeing around Amman at the Rabbath Ammon, the Roman Theatre, the Archaeological Museum, and the Citadel, which contains the remains of the massive Temple of Hercules. In the evening, the Israeli ambassador to Jordan will be our host for dinner. (B, L, D)

Wednesday April 25th – 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 Kempinsky Hotel Aqaba Red Sea to enjoy the seaside resort for free time, relaxation, and dinner. (B, L, D)

Thursday April 26th – 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 Special Economic Zone Authority from Arava alumnus Dr. Abdel Raouf. 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 April 27th – 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 April 28th – 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 April 29th – 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 or other 5-star location. (B, L, D)

Monday April 30th – West Bank

For our final day of touring we will be travelling to Ramallah to meet with high-level representatives of the Palestinian Authority and enjoy a festive lunch. (B, L, D)

Tuesday May 1st – Departures

Transport facilitated to Ben Gurion airport for afternoon and evening departures, or to Jerusalem for those who plan to extend their stay. (B)

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.