Treasures of Jordan
|Resort:||Treasures of Jordan|
Discover Jordan’s ancient history, diverse landscapes and delicious cuisine with a little added comfort at the end of each day. Explore Petra, sleep under the stars in a luxurious desert camp in Wadi Rum and look over the Holy Land from Mount Nebo.
Wadi Rum – Experience the thrill of a jeep safari, try a traditional camel ride and taste a traditional nomadic barbecue
Day 1 Join trip in Amman
Arrive in Amman, the capital of Jordan, which is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Now home to almost half of the country’s population, it is a fascinating city of contrasts, where the very ancient and the brand new collide.
Day 2 Amman City Tour and Roman Jerash
Today we dive straight into exploring the ancient history of this area, with a guided tour of Amman. The city tour this morning will be a combination of travelling via minibus and walking through this amazing city. The main sights will include; The King Abduallah Mosque also known as the Blue Mosque, is a landmark with its blue dome which internally is covered with Quranic inscriptions; The Citadel, situated on the city’s highest hill, also includes the striking historic buildings of the Umayyad Palace and the Roman built Hercules Temple; and The Roman Theatre, a remarkable example of Roman Philadelphia, is set within the side of a hill with the capacity of 6000 seats.
This afternoon we drive to Jerash and spend our time at this Middle East treasure located in the Gilead Hills. Considered to be the best preserved city of the Ten Decapolis Cities of the Roman Empire, we will spend our time roaming the ruins and walking through the iconic triple arch gateway leading onto a colonnaded street, theatre, temples and baths. From here we return to Amman for our overnight stay.
Day 3 Visit Qasr Al Kharana, Madaba and Mount Nebo
We start today with a visit to Desert Castles and Palaces. Our morning tour includes Qasr Al Kharana; a castle that is believed to have been built 1200 years ago and is one of the first examples of Islamic Architecture in the region. Amra Palace; a UNESCO site, is a wonderful example of an Umayyad desert complex, renown for its amazing early Islamic art depicted throughout the many frescoes on the walls and ceilings. And Aszraq Castle, once the headquarters of Lawrence of Arabia, which he called the Blue Fortress.
This afternoon we visit Madaba, a small Christian town with its collection of extraordinary mosaics, including the Great Map of Palestine (6th century). We also stop at St George’s Church where the mosaic map of the Holy lands is part of this church’s floor. We then investigate Jebel Neba (808m), better known as Mount Nebo. A pilgrimage centre for Christians principally because Moses is said to have seen the Promised Land from this summit. We return to our hotel in Amman.
Day 4 Journey to Petra and a Guided Tour of the Rose City
This morning we leave Amman and travel to Petra for a two night stay. Abandoned centuries ago, Petra was the rock cut stronghold of the Nabateans. Surrounded by imposing mountains and approached through a deep, narrow cleft in the rocks, known as the Siq, it is a unique and unforgettable place and, enhanced by the play of light and shadow, an altogether overwhelming experience. A guided orientation tour will take us to some of the key parts of this remarkable and ancient site. We’ll take in the Colonnaded Street, the Royal Tombs and marvel at the amazing theatre, with its 8,000 seats carved from the solid rock, before a free afternoon to continue exploring at your leisure.
This evening we enjoy a Bedouin cookery demonstration and meal at a nearby restaurant, learning how to make a traditional Makloubah (upside down) dish, with meat, rice and fried vegetables, followed by Um Ali, a creamy Arabic dessert with croissant pieces, raisins and nuts.
Day 5 Free Day to Discover the Treasures of the ‘Lost City’ of Petra
Today you have a full free day at Petra. Returning to the city, you can climb steep paths to the sacrificial ‘High Places’ (altars) for stunning views over Wadi Araba and the Negev Desert. You might also take the high road up to the Monastery, which is the largest of Petra’s monuments and certainly worth the climb up to it. Towering to a height of 40m its doorway alone measures 8m in height. We also recommend a trip to El Beidha (or ‘Little Petra’ as it is known) or to the excavated Stone Age village where you can see the remains of houses, fireplaces and workshops dating from around 6000BC. This evening there may be the possibility of enjoying an enchanting tour of the city by night (optional).
Day 6 To Wadi Rum; Take an Optional Jeep Excursion and Camp in Luxury Under the Stars
Today we transfer to the Wadi Rum Desert. The Wadi Rum desert is an impressive sight with Monolithic outcrops of granite rock and sandstone rising out of the desert.This afternoon we have the chance to experience an exhilarating 4WD excursion (optional), that ends at the camp. After sunset, we enjoy the Bedouin hospitality around the campfire under a blanket of stars; a great setting to share stories while sipping mint and sage tea. A traditional bedouin dinner, which consists of a chicken or a goat meal cooked under the desert sand, is served as well as a delicious selection of mezze. We use a comfortable camp with great views over the desert. Each private tent retains the traditional Bedouin design, furnished with comfortable handmade beds, with electricity provided via solar power.
Day 7 Optional Camel Ride, then Drive to Aqaba. Enjoy Time at Leisure in the Red Sea
This morning there is the opportunity for a camel trek (optional) through the dramatic Siq el Barra and learn about this precious alliance between the dromedary and the nomads. Leaving Wadi Rum later this morning we drive to Aqaba on the Red Sea coast for a chance to relax and take in the sea views. On arrival in Aqaba your Explore Leader will be on hand to arrange an optional snorkelling trip or visit to the private Berenice Beach Club (optional).
Day 8 Visit Kerak Castle; Afternoon Float in the Dead Sea
We visit the Crusader Castle of Kerak this morning, imposingly sited on a hilltop. Kerak became famous during the time of the Crusades as one of a chain of fortresses in the Holy War against Islam. After visiting this magnificent castle we continue with our journey and head towards the saline waters of the Dead Sea. At nearly 400m below sea level this is the lowest point on earth. We will have time to enjoy the strange delights of floating and bathing in the skin-soothing properties of the mud as well as visiting the Panoramic Complex and Visitors Centre, before returning to the capital for our final night.
Day 9 Trip ends in Amman
The trip ends after breakfast at our hotel in Amman.