Beyond Borders Tour

OVERVIEW

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.

Registration is open now!

March 27 – April 5, 2022

Optional extension in the United Arab Emirates: April 5 – 8, 2022

The Beyond Borders Tour costs $13,000 per couple or $7500 per solo traveler.

The cost of the optional extension to the UAE will be released soon.

Please contact beyond@friendsofarava.org if you have any questions!

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; if desired, our American travel agent can assist you book your flights:

Rebecca Craft
203-814-3553
rebecca@traveland.net

Throughout the journey through Jordan, Israel, and the West Bank, participants will enjoy accommodation in 4 and 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.

Insurance is not included in any tour package. We highly recommend purchasing trip insurance; our travel agent can assist you:

Rebecca Craft
203-814-3553
rebecca@traveland.net

To speak with someone about the Beyond Borders Tour, please call 617-266-7100 or email beyond@friendsofarava.org, and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

You can register now here.

ITINERARY

This itinerary is subject to detail changes and will be updated with more specifics closer to the trip date.

Sunday, March 27: Arrival in Amman

Upon arrival at the Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, you will be picked up and transported to the deluxe Kempinski Hotel Amman. After settling in, you and your fellow travelers will enjoy a delicious welcome dinner together at the hotel.

Monday, March 28: Sightseeing in Amman

The first full day of the tour will feature sightseeing around Amman, including the Rabbath Ammon, the Roman Theatre, the Archaeological Museum, and the Citadel, which contains the remains of the massive Temple of Hercules. Later, we will share a meal with Jordanian Arava Institute alumni.

Tuesday, March 29: Madaba and the Dead Sea

In the morning, we will be attending meetings with Jordanian officials and diplomats. In the afternoon, we will wrap up our time in Amman and head out of the city, visiting the Byzantine mosaics at Madaba on our way to the Dead Sea for dinner and our hotel. 

Wednesday, March 30: Petra and Wadi Rum

We will spend the morning touring and exploring the World Heritage site of Petra, an ancient Nabatean city and archeological site. After lunch, we will head to our Jeep tour of Wadi Rum, a beautiful and otherworldly section of the Arabian Desert that features red sand dunes and towering sandstone mountains. 

Thursday, March 31: Aqaba, Crossing into Israel, and Kibbutz Ketura

We will have a morning in the seaside resort town of Aqaba. After lunch with local alumni, 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.

Friday, April 1: Kibbutz Ketura, Arava Institute, and Shabbat

Our day at the Arava Institute starts with a tour of the kibbutz. 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. Afterwards, there will be time to relax at the kibbutz, optional Shabbat services, and a communal Shabbat dinner.

Saturday, April 2: Kibbutz Ketura and Tel Aviv

This is a free morning on Kibbutz Ketura, with an optional tour of the Arava Institute Center for Sustainable Agriculture’s orchards, which feature endangered, indigenous, and biblical species of plants. In the afternoon, we will travel north and spend the evening in Tel Aviv.

Sunday, April 3: West Bank 

The day will begin with a trip to the new Palestinian city of Rawabi, which is the first planned city built for and by Palestinians in the West Bank. We will then travel to Ramallah to meet with representatives from the Palestinian government. Afterwards, we will enjoy dinner in Jerusalem, where we will spend the night.

Monday, April 4: Jerusalem and West Bank

In the morning, we will meet with high-level Israeli officials in Jerusalem, and in the afternoon, we will visit al Auja, a Palestinian village near Jericho, to see the Arava Institute’s wastewater treatment and solar energy projects installed in the community. 

Tuesday, April 5: Free Time and Departures 

On the last day of the tour, there is some free time to explore Jerusalem before being transported to Ben Gurion Airport for your flight home.

OPTIONAL EXTENSION TO THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

After the Beyond Borders tour officially ends, you have the option to extend your time with us and travel to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to visit Dubai and Abu Dhabi, two of the most exciting, up-and-coming cities in the Middle East.

Tuesday, April 5: Arrival in Dubai

Our group will fly together to Dubai in the morning, and spend the afternoon touring this futuristic city. We will visit the Palm Jumeirah, the human-made islands shaped like a palm, and the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world.

Wednesday, April 6: Greater Dubai

This full day in Dubai will provide you with a deeper understanding of the city’s history. We will visit Al Seef, an area rich in historical sites rooted in Dubai’s culture and heritage, and we will take a traditional boat journey to cross Dubai Creek and visit the spice market and world-famous gold-souk.

Thursday, April 7: Abu Dhabi

Our day in Abu Dhabi, the world’s richest city and the capital of the UAE, will include stops at the awe-inspiring Sheikh Zayed Mosque, the Presidential Palace, and the Louvre Abu Dhabi.

Friday, April 8: Departure

With our tour finally complete, we will transfer everyone to the airport for their flights home.

MEET THE TRIP LEADERS

  • Dr. Tareq Abu Hamed, Executive Director of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies
  • Miriam May, Chief Executive Officer of the Friends of the Arava Institute
  • Ambassador Daniel Shek, Former Israeli Ambassador to France and Chair of the Public Council for the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Do I need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to participate?

Yes.

What is your cancellation policy?

The Beyond Borders Tour will follow all rules and policies as determined by the governments of Israel and Jordan. In the event that COVID-19 policies make the Beyond Borders tour impossible, the tour will be postponed, and all participants will have the following options regarding their payment: receive a full refund; roll their payment over to the next Beyond Borders tour; or make their payment a donation to the Arava Institute.

Do I need to be a U.S. citizen to participate?

Not necessarily, but please contact beyond@friendsofarava.org for specifics.

Do I need to have traveled to Israel or the Middle East beforehand?

No, this tour is open to all, including seasoned travelers and first-timers!

How much does this tour cost?

$13,000 for a couple or $7500 per solo traveler. Our optional post-tour extension to the United Arab Emirates costs an additional $4320 per couple or $2400 per solo traveler.

Is travel to and from the Middle East included in the tour price?

No, but we can connect you with our American travel agent to assist you in booking your flights and trip insurance:

Rebecca Craft
203-814-3553
Rebecca@Traveland.net

Will we need to travel on group flights to and from the Middle East?

At this point, we do not anticipate that you will need to travel on a group flight. However, our travel agent will have a recommended itinerary.

Will someone pick me up from the airport?

Yes, we will pick you up from the Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, Jordan, or we can work with you on coordinating your arrival if you have different plans. For those departing upon the conclusion of the tour, we will provide transportation to Ben Gurion Airport in Israel.

Are there kosher options at every meal?

There will be kosher meals in Israel, and vegetarian options in Jordan and Palestine.

I keep Shabbat; how are the activities structured during Shabbat?

Our schedule will accommodate those who keep Shabbat.

Why isn’t there more touring in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv?

This tour is designed to take you off the beaten path and show you a side of the region that you haven’t seen before. If you would like to extend your stay after the Beyond Borders tour ends and book more touring, our travel agents will be happy to assist you.

What should I bring?

Friends of the Arava Institute staff will be in touch with suggested packing lists closer to the trip date.

I’d like to know more information about the optional extension in the UAE.

Please contact beyond@friendsofarava.org with any questions.

How many people will come on this tour?

This tour is capped at 20 participants, so reserve your spot today!