Image: Egypt Pyramids
Anita Dunham-Potter
For an archaeological-wonder-packed holiday, escape to Egypt and Jordan with a Friendly Planet journey.
updated 9/2/2008 9:45:38 AM ET 2008-09-02T13:45:38

Book by: ASAP
Travel by: Various dates in 2008/2009

The Deal
Where in the world can you find lost cities and bustling cosmopolitan hubs, pyramids and skyscrapers, hallowed ground and luxury playgrounds, not to mention surprising landscapes, buzzing bazaars, and enlightening history? The fascinating Middle East, of course. Granted, you have to cover a lot of ground to see everything but the journey is half the fun and this set of flight-hotel packages gives you a nice leg up. With destinations from the banks of the Nile to the shores of the Persian Gulf, guided tours and prices starting at just $1,599, the bundles are indisputable bargains.

Seven-day Dubai holiday for $1,599  
Curious about Dubai? You can delve into this booming desert oasis for as low $1,599. This stellar price from Gate1Travel covers round-trip air from New York on September 19; a five-night hotel stay; daily breakfast; and a guided city tour. Reservations must be made 15 days in advance of travel, however. That means you must act before September 4 to snag this rate. If that’s cutting it too close, there are five more 2008 departures to the sheikdom from which to choose. The next best price can be found for the October 31 trip, starting at $1,799, with accommodations at the first-class Jumeirah Rotana Hotel. Upgrading to the deluxe-class Metropolitan Palace Dubai Hotel adds $70 to the bill. Airline fuel surcharges and all transfers are covered.

Escape to Egypt and Jordan for $1,639
For an archaeological-wonder-packed holiday, we suggest the multi-country journey from Friendly Planet featuring Cairo, Amman and Petra. The package includes round-trip air between New York and Cairo on Royal Jordanian Airlines; airfare to and from Amman; deluxe accommodations for six nights; breakfast daily plus two other meals; fuel surcharges; transfers; and a one-day tour in both Egypt and Jordan. The only remaining 2008 departure is November 4, which, if booked by October 22, goes for the sale price of $1,639. The price tag jumps to $2,039 if arrangements are made any later. Discounted rates for 2009 travel start at $1,699, and rise to $1,999 if booked after October 22. A trip extension to the Dead Sea is also available.

Israel nine-day journey from $1,699
If it’s a trip to Israel you prefer, Gate1Travel offers an escorted package with two nights in Tel Aviv, one in Galilee and four in Jerusalem for as low as $1,699. Other stops on the itinerary include Caesarea, Haifa, Capernaum, Tiberias, and Beit Shean. The stated price, based on travel from New York on December 4, covers round-trip airfare plus fuel surcharges; first-class category lodging; daily breakfast; transportation between cities; and sightseeing with a guide. With two free days in Jerusalem and one in Tel Aviv, there’s time to explore each city and the surrounding area on your own or with optional tours. A full-day excursion to Masada and the Dead Sea tacks on an additional $70.

The dollars
All rates are based on double occupancy. Airport taxes and fees plus any necessary visas are extra.

The catch
You’ll have to make multiple trips to see the entire region.

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