A one day Petra tour from Tel Aviv starts with an early check-in at Sde Dov Airport. Sde Dov is a small airport right in Tel Aviv, just a few minutes’ drive from most Tel Aviv hotels. From Tel Aviv you fly to Eilat, Israel’s resort city on the shore of the Red Sea. When you arrive in Eilat the tour company picks you up and takes you to the Arava Israel/Jordan border crossing. Here the tour company representative will handle any paperwork necessary for getting you into Jordan. Once you are on the other side of the border you will be met by a local guide and air conditioned tour bus. The journey to Petra from the Israeli border takes a couple of hours but that time is not wasted. Along the way you can enjoy the gorgeous desert scenery which seems like a world away from Tel Aviv.
The tour arrives at the Petra Archaeological Park where you enter through the narrow path between massive cliffs. Once inside Petra you will be treated to a guided tour. You will also get some time to explore the ancient city. In the afternoon the tour group has lunch at one of the local restaurants before driving back towards the Israel border. If time permits you can sometimes fit in a quick drive around Aqaba, Jordan’s Red Sea port city before crossing back into Israel. From Eilat you take a return flight and will be back in Tel Aviv where you can relax in the comfort of your hotel.
Even if you are staying in central Israel a trip from Tel Aviv to Petra is not to be missed. Petra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a truly magical experience. The city was carved out of pink-hued cliffs by the ancient Nabataean civilization which created an entire city out of the barren desert landscape. They ingeniously devised a system for gathering water and used their architectural and artistic skills to create beautiful buildings dug out of the rock. The facades are as beautiful as you can find on some Greek or Roman temples and the cool interior chambers are breathtaking. Petra was built around 312BC and became a thriving city and vital stop along the trade routes which ran from Egypt and Arabia to the Mediterranean.