First Impressions: Israel and Petra
By Tully Luxury Travel | 08-18-2020 |
Soak in the history with a visit to the Holy Land and beyond. Colleen Shields Senior Travel Designer
Best time to visit April — May / September — November
Length of Stay 10 — 14 Days
Jerusalem was your first stop. What was it like?
Colleen: We stayed mostly in Old Jerusalem, visiting sites such as the Room of the Last Supper, the Wailing Wall, the Way of the Cross, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, among others. The city is the epicenter of so many stories I learned growing up. To be there in person was absolutely incredible.
What were you most excited to see?
Colleen: The Dead Sea and Masada. Neither disappointed. I’m an open-water swimmer, and I wondered how the sea would differ from what I’m used to. Floating was pretty impressive; I could have read a newspaper. The Masada ruins were extraordinary; they reminded me of Machu Picchu in many ways. I realized I didn’t know what really happened there. Learning how the Jewish people survived for so long with the Romans trapping them on the mountain was both inspiring and fascinating.
What was the most impactful part of your stay?
Colleen: Without a doubt, the Yad Vashem – The World Holocaust Remembrance Center. As you can imagine, it was very emotional, but the world must remember. I was so moved. Everyone should go.
Did anything surprise you about your journey?
Colleen: I was surprised by how safe I felt. I was never ill at ease, and the people were absolutely lovely. The Israelis are excited to show you their country.
Overall, how did you enjoy Israel?
Colleen: I fell in love with the country. If you enjoy history, you’ll be captivated. It’s perfect for those who desire an immersive, cultural experience.
Colleen's Travel Tips:
The Dead Sea
A private guide is a must for a journey like this. The person we used was terrific, one of the best. She made sure we all got what we needed out of the experience.
You don’t have to be religious to love your time in Israel.
Given the wealth of history and things to see and do in Jerusalem, you need at least two or three days to do it right.
The airport is insane. A VIP meet and greet is a must.
Spend a couple of days in Jordan. It’s a quick 35-minute flight. You can discover Petra, then spend the night in the desert in Wadi Rum. The scenery is unbelievable.
Travel with a purpose: You can plant a tree for $20 or go all out and plant a forest. It will be named after you