Introduction

One of the most popular travel routes in the Middle East passes through Egypt, Israel, and Jordan. The reasons for the trips are different. Some want to visit all three countries, and others may want to take a short trip from Egypt to visit Petra in Jordan, for example, during their stay in Dahab or Sharm El-Sheikh.

You can find information online about possible itineraries by land, but much of it is outdated. We want to share our experiences here to help fellow travelers plan a similar route with up-to-date information. We only recommend this route to experienced travelers.

What are the pros and Cons of traveling between Egypt, Israel and Jordan by land?

You get to see the breathtaking landscape

Geographically, this trip is very impressive, since you have the view of four countries (Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia) as all the borders are very close. You’ll experience very diverse countries and cultures in a short time

It consumes quite a lot of time, and it’s exhausting to travel by land

It could get costly if you get scammed by a taxi driver

Beautiful Blue beach directly after the Taba Border crossing in Israel

How to get by boat from Egypt to Jordan?

There is a direct ferry from Egypt (Nuweiba and Taba), departing from both locations once a day to Aqaba in Jordan. It’s easier to travel by ferry to Jordan than by land. It currently costs 65 USD for one way and 115 USD for a round trip. Overall, you will only save a little money by land, as you have to pay a border exit fee in Israel of around 30 USD. Still, the experience of traveling through these countries by land and passing the boarders walking was very impressive for us, especially since all of them are incredibly diverse. There is no ferry connection between Egypt and Israel, so unless you travel by plane (which is usually more expensive), traveling by land is the only way to get from Egypt to Israel.

Can I fly from Egypt to Israel or Jordan?

There are direct flights from Cairo to Israel (Tel Aviv) and Jordan (Amman and Aqaba). You can also fly directly from Sharm El-Sheikh to Israel (Tel Aviv), but currently, there are no direct flights from Sharm El-Sheikh to Jordan.

Is it safe to travel by land from Egypt to Eilat (Israel) or Aqaba (Jordan)?

There are travel warnings for North Sinai, but tourists are not allowed access to this area. Overall, we felt very safe on our trip between these countries by land. However, we strongly recommend traveling during daylight and avoiding crossing the borders in the dark, especially if you still need to organize your transportation on the spot. Furthermore, it’s essential to check the security situation before you travel, as it might be changing fast in Sinai. The biggest threat of the trip comes from scams which might cost you a lot of money.

How much does it cost to travel from Egypt to Eilat or Aqaba by land and the other way around?

Here you can find a list of costs you must consider when traveling between these countries. The list of costs is based on our experience from our trip at the end of 2022.

List of expenses for traveling from Egypt to Israel or Jordan by land
Expenses for
From Cairo to Israel (Eilat)
From Dahab to Israel (Eilat)
From Cairo to Jordan (Aqaba)
From Dahab to Jordan (Aqaba)
Bus tickets
18 USD
6 USD
18 USD
6 USD
Taxi costs
15 USD*
15 USD*
30 USD*
30 USD*
Border/Visa Fee Egypt
2 USD**
2 USD**
2 USD**
2 USD**
Border Tax Israel
0 USD
0 USD
30 USD***
30 USD***
Border/Visa Free Jordan
0 USD****
0 USD****
0 USD****
0 USD****
Total Expenses
Appr. 35 USD
Appr. 23 USD
Appr. 80 USD
Appr. 68 USD

* Containing the following taxi rides: Egypt to Israel: 1. Taba Height – Taba Border Crossing | 2. Taba Border Crossing – Eilat; Egypt to Jordan: 1. Taba Height – Taba Border Crossing | 2. Taba Border Crossing – Wadi Araba Border Crossing | 3. Wadi Araba Border Crossing – Aqaba
** Boarder Tax for exit
*** Exit Fee
**** Only if you will stay in Jordan longer than two nights. If you stay only two nights, you have to pay the exit fee of around 14 USD

Costs for traveling from Israel or Jordan to Egypt by land
Expenses for
From Israel (Eilat) to Cairo
From Israel (Eilat) to Dahab
From Jordan (Aqaba) to Cairo
From Jorday (Aqaba) to Dahab
Bus Ticket
18 USD
6 USD
18 USD
6 USD
Taxi costs
20 USD*
20 USD*
35 USD*
35 USD*
Border Tax Egypt
20 USD**
20 USD**
20 USD**
20 USD**
Border Tax Israel
30 USD***
30 USD***
30 USD***
30 USD***
Border Tax Jordan
0 USD****
0 USD****
0 USD****
0 USD****
Total Expenses
Appr. 85 USD
Appr. 76 USD
Appr. 103 USD
Appr. 91 USD

* Containing the following taxi rides: Israel to Egpyt: 1. Eilat – Taba Border Crossing | 2. Taba Border Crossing – Taba Heights); Jordan to Egypt: 1. Aqaba – Wadi Araba Border Crossing | 2. Wadi Araba Border Crossing – Taba Border Crossing | 3. Taba Border Crossing – Taba Heights 
** Boarder Tax for entry
*** Exit Fee
**** Only if you will stay in Jordan longer than two nights. If you stay only two nights, you have to pay the exit fee of around 14 USD

How to travel between Dahab, Eilat and Aqaba by land?

This section describes the way from Egypt to Israel or Jordan step by step. Still, we’ve also added information if you travel the other way around. If your final destination is Israel, you can stop reading this section after step three A). If you travel to Jordan, you can skip step three A) and continue at step three B).

Step One: How to Reach the Taba border crossing in Egypt?

Currently, no buses are going all the way in Egypt to the Taba Border crossing, neither from Cairo nor from Dahab or Sharm El-Sheikh. However, a bus leaves from Cairo, passing through Dahab and Nuweiba daily to Taba Heights (Link to location on Google Maps). The bus company is Go Bus. The bus ticket costs around 6 USD from Dahab or 18 USD from Cairo. You can buy the ticket online (here) or at a ticket shop. Unfortunately, online payment often doesn’t work on their website. The bus frequently has a lot of delays, but it’s still better to be on time at the station. We waited twice for two hours for the bus.

Taba Heights is located around 22 km from Taba Border Crossing. When arriving at Taba Heights, the only option to get to Taba Border Crossing is by taxi. Usually, the trip should be at most 5 USD, but many drivers will try to get a higher amount from you. Especially if you come from Israel to Egypt and want to take a taxi after the border to Taba Heights, the drivers will try to make you pay much more. That’s why we’ve calculated 10 instead of 5 USD for the taxi trip from the Taba Border crossing.

Note: There used to be a bus from East Delta from Sharm El-Sheikh and Dahab directly to the Taba Border crossing, but this bus isn’t operating now.

Step Two: How to Cross Taba border?

When arriving at the Taba Border Crossing, you first need to cross the Egyptian side of the border. You must pay a small border tax (around 2 USD) directly when you enter. After passing the Egyptian side of the border, you have to pass through the checkpoints on the Israeli side of the border. The same visa regulations apply when entering Israel through the land border, like arriving by plane. You don’t need to pay an entry fee to Israel when entering through the Taba Border Crossing.

You will likely get interviewed about all the details of your trips and the countries you have visited. Crossing this border may take quite a while, and you have to be patient. Or in case you travel from Israel to Egypt, you often find large tour groups crossing the border, causing long waiting times.

When you cross the Taba Border Crossing the other way around from Israel to Egypt, you need to pay an exit fee of around 30 USD in Israel and another border tax of around 20 USD in Egypt. Check the visa regulations for Egypt here, as they are different from arriving by plane in Egypt.

A) Step Three (if Israel is your final destination): How to get from the Taba Border Crossing to Eilat

After crossing the border, the next city is Eilat which is around 9 km from there. You could walk the distance if you have a lot of time and light baggage. It’s a lovely walk along the sea. There are a lot of beautiful coral reefs on the way there. You can stop and refresh yourself in the water and discover the beautiful marine life directly on the Israeli side of the border.

If you want to avoid walking, you have to take a taxi. There is also a public bus going to the center of Eilat. Unfortunately, they aren’t selling tickets on the bus or at the station. You must show the ticket to the driver when entering. The bus driver will only take you if you have already purchased a public transportation card beforehand in Israel (available at Eilat central bus stations). There is a taxi station directly after the border. Usually, the taxi should cost you at most 10 USD. Insist that your driver turns on the taxi meter. If you are traveling on the sabbath, catching a taxi will be more challenging, and the price will also at least double.

Once you reach Eilat you’ll also find buses from Eilat central bus stations going to all popular destinations in Israel, such as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. You can check the schedule and book the ticket to these destinations beforehand online (via Egged Bus) or on the spot.

If you travel the other way from Eilat to Egypt you just need to take a taxi from Eilat to the Taba Border Crossing for around 10 USD.

B) Step Three (if Jordan is your final destination): How to get from Taba Border Crossing in Israel to Wadi Araba Border Crossing?

You must take a taxi to the Israel-Jordan border crossing after entering Israel through the Taba Border crossing. There is also cheap public transportation, but you’ll have the same issue as described in step three A). You can’t buy a bus ticket on the bus, and hence the driver won’t take you. The taxi to the Wadi Araba Border Crossing in Israel (Yitzhak Rabin Border Terminal) will cost you around 15 USD. Ask the taxi driver to turn on the taximeter if he wants to charge you more. If you travel during the sabbath, the cost will increase significantly (at least double).

If you cross the other way around from Jordan to Israel, you only need to pay the exit fee of 10 USD at the Jordan side of the border in case you stayed less than three nights. Otherwise, you neither need to pay anything when exiting Jordan nor when entering Israel at Wadi Araba border crossing if your passport allows you to travel Visa free to Israel.

Step Four: How to cross the Wadi Araba Border Crossing from Eialt to Aqaba (Jordan)

Once you reach the border, you must first pay the exit fee of approximately 30 USD in Israel. Unfortunately, you always have to pay this fee, even if you only spent 20 minutes in Israel passing from one border to another. When entering Jordan, you don’t have to pay anything, as Aqaba is a special economic zone. So, you don’t even need to buy a visa when entering Jordan through that border (read more about that here) if you stay longer than three nights.

If you come the other way around from Jordan to Israel, you can walk from the border to Eilat, but there isn’t a nice path to walk. You should better take a taxi. There are often no taxis on this side of the border. You can just order one through the app “GetTaxi”, which is the most used taxi app in Israel.

Step Five: How to reach Aqaba from Wadi Araba Border Crossing?

The only way to get from Wadi Araba Border Crossing to Aqaba is by taxi. Even though the distance is close, you cannot walk as it’s a military zone. If you stay in a Hotel in Aqaba, we strongly recommend you contact your accommodation and ask them to arrange a taxi at the border for you. But also check the price first, as they often charge a (high) commission. There are taxis immediately behind the border, but they will try to make you pay a lot to take you to Aqaba. Usually. You should spend at most 10 USD. Once you reach Aqaba, you can travel by Jett Bus or Minibus (much cheaper) to Wadi Musa (Petra), Amman, or Wadi Rum.

If you cross the other way around, getting a taxi for a fair price from Aqaba to the Wadi Araba border crossing is much easier. You can ask the driver if he can take you for 10 USD to the border and if he wants to charge you more, stop the next taxi until you find one.

walking through the Taba Border crossing on the Egyptian side of the border with the border fees on the right side

What are the Common pitfalls and scams when crossing borders between Egypt, Israel and Jordan?

When traveling between these countries, you need to be aware of some traps. We recommend following these recommendations to avoid troubles.

Getting scammed by a Taxi driver

You heavily depend on taxis in some parts of the trip. Especially the drivers directly at the border will try to make you pay multiple times as much as you should. You’ll need to negotiate for a fair price in Egypt and Jordan. They know that you depend on them and use that to make you pay more. You should take enough time because if they see that you are in a rush and you have to catch a bus very soon, they’ll raise the price even more because they know you have no other choice. The most challenging part will be to get a fair price from the border in Jordan to Aqaba or if you travel from Israel to Egypt from Taba Border Crossing to Taba Heights. At the crossing in Jordan, you’ll find unofficial taxi drivers who will try to charge you more than the 10 USD you are supposed to pay to get to Aqaba. Right behind the Taba Border Crossing are minibuses that are operating as taxis. Even though it’s a short ride of 20 minutes, the drivers insisted that we pay 50 USD for the short trip. Unfortunately, many all-inclusive tourists pass through that border to their resort, paying whatever the drivers tell them. Just when we were about to leave after a long discussion with the driver, we had another one running after us offering to take us for 10 USD. That’s also a very fair price for that short distance. For the taxi ride within Israel, you need to insist that the driver turns on the taximeter, then you’ll get the official price (unless you are traveling during the sabbath)

Underestimating border taxes

Traveling by land between these countries is pricier than you might expect, especially if you travel from Israel to Egypt. You must pay an exit fee of around 30 USD to Israel, and 20 USD to enter Egypt (as well if you have a visa). Especially if you travel back and forward to get another 30 days in Egypt, in case you have a multiple-entry visa, you need to consider the fees. It might be cheaper to book a cheap return flight from Sharm El-Sheikh to Italy to get another 30 days in Egypt or to extend the tourist visa in Sharm El-Sheikh. Read more about that here.

Overlooking special Visa regulations for Egypt and Jordan

If you arrive in Egypt by plane, you can get a visa on arrival for 30 days. If you cross Taba Border Crossing, we strongly recommend getting a visa in advance. There are just a few nations that can get a visa on arrival. Still, this one is valid for just 15 days and only within the Sinai region (read more about that here). There are also many blogs recommending you buy a Jordan Pass before you visit Jordan. It already includes visa fees and entries to popular tourist sites such as Petra and Wadi Rum. It’s cheaper to buy the Jordan pass instead of the visa and all the entry tickets separately (especially if you visit Petra). However, suppose you enter Jordan through the Wadi Araba Border crossing. In that case, the visa regulations are different, as Aqaba is a Special Economic Zones. Read more about it in the special Visa Regulation of Taba Border Crossing and Wadi Araba Border Crossing in the Visa section.

Traveling on Sabbath

If you travel to or through Eilat during the sabbath, the taxi prices between the borders increase heavily (2-3 times).

What are the Special visa regulations at these borders?

In the following part, we want to make you aware of the special visa regulations you must consider when traveling between Egypt, Israel, and Jordan by land. The Visa regulations are different in all three countries. We keep the information here as updated as possible. Still, it’s better to double-check if everything has stayed the same before you travel on the governmental pages. Also check before what you’re allowed to take with you and what not. All your bags will be scanned at each border crossing from the authorities.

What are the Special Visa regulations at Taba Border Crossing for Egypt?

When you leave Egypt through the Taba Border crossing, you have to do nothing special apart from paying a little border tax of 2 USD. If you travel the other way around, there are certain things that you have to take in mind:

There is no visa on arrival, as many nationalities can get when arriving by plane in Egypt. Only citizens from Israel, the United States, and any state of the European Union can get a very limited visa on arrival at the Taba Border Crossing. This visa only entitles you to stay for up to 15 days within the Sinai region.

The best option is to get your Egyptian tourist visa beforehand online here. The single-entry visa costs 25 USD and the multiple-entry visa 55 USD. It can take up to five working days to process your tourist e-Visa, so you should apply at least seven days before you go.

Once in Egypt, you can extend your visa for up to half a year. (Read more about it here).

You can also get another 30 days in Egypt if you have a multiple-entry visa by leaving Egypt through the Taba Border crossing and returning. You can even return on the same day, but consider all the mentioned costs before doing so. Apart from paying the approximately 30 USD exit fee on the Israeli side of the border, you must also pay another 20 USD as a border tax when re-entering Egypt. If you do that more than once, it will cost you more than the approximately 85 USD you currently have to pay when extending your visa in Egypt.

What are the Visa regulations at Taba Border Crossing or Wadi Araba Border Crossing for Israel?

Passport holders from many countries can stay in Israel for up to 3 months visa-free, including citizens from the member states of the European Union and the United States. Passport holders from many countries can stay in Israel for up to three months visa-free, including citizens from the member states of the European Union and the United States. Find the complete list of countries here. The same rules apply to traveling by land, like traveling by plane to Israel. You don’t need to pay a border tax when entering Israel. But you must pay an exit fee of around 30 USD when exiting Israel by land (both on the Jordan and Egyptian border).

What are the Special Visa regulations at Wadi Araba Border Crossing for Jordan?

The regulations for Jordan are different if you travel by land through the Wadi Aqaba Border crossing, as Aqaba is in a special economic zone. You won’t need a visa if you fulfill some requirements. We recommended staying at least three nights in Jordan. This way, you can travel visa free and safe around 56 USD, and the exit fee of 10 USD. If you stay two nights, you also don’t need the visa, but you must pay an exit fee of around 12 dollars. If you stay less than two nights, you must get the visa and pay the exit fee. All these visa exceptions only apply if you enter and leave again through Wadi Araba Border Crossing due to the status of Special Economy Zone of Aqaba

If you enter Jordan by the Wadi Araba Border crossing but leave by plane, you need to pay the exit fee as well if you stayed more than three nights (but you still don’t need a visa that way). If you enter by plane and exit Jordan at the Wadi Araba Border Crossing you need to get a Visa in advance.

You could also buy the Jordan pass, which includes the visa fees and entries to a log of places. But since you don’t need a border if you enter there, you should calculate before if it’s worth buying the Jordan pass, which you can buy on the official website here.

 

Conclusion of crossing border between Egypt, Israel and Jordan

Traveling by land is pricier than you might imagine. However, it’s definitely worth it since you’ll have an unforgettable experience. Even though it’s safe, you still need to be careful not to get scammed, especially by taxi drivers. Be patient and bring a smile, then you’ll also be treated very friendly at all borders.

Are you planning to visit and work remotely from Dahab? Then check out our full guide for Digital Nomads in Dahab.

We also strongly recommend you to visit Mount Sinai. You can read find here all the information you need for your visit.

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