- Search out the ancient castles of the Eastern Desert
- Follow the historic King's Highway to Petra
- Spend a night in the desert at a Bedouin camp
- Soak up some sun on the beaches of the Red Sea
- Sit down to lunch with local artisans at a local women's cooperative
|Day 1||Arrive in Amman||Amman|
|Day 2||Archaeological Wonders of Jerash, Aljoun & Amman||Amman|
|Day 3||Day Trip to the Desert Castles & Iraq al-Amir||Amman|
|Day 4||Tour the Ancient City of Umm Qais, Evening Wine Tasting||Amman|
|Day 5||Transfer to Petra via Madaba, Mount Nebo & Kerak||Petra|
|Day 6||Explore the Sandstone City of Petra||Petra|
|Day 7||Transfer to Wadi Rum, Desert Jeep Excursion||Wadi Rum|
|Day 8||Wadi Rum Sunrise Hike, Transfer to Aqaba & the Red Sea||Aqaba|
|Days 9-10||Free Days in Aqaba||Aqaba|
|Day 11||Transfer to the Dead Sea||The Dead Sea|
|Day 12||Free Day on the Dead Sea||The Dead Sea|
|Day 13||Transfer to Amman via Bethany||Amman|
|Day 14||Visit the Iraq al-Amir Women's Cooperative & Royal Automobile Museum||Amman|
|Day 15||Depart Amman|
Day 1: Arrive in AmmanWelcome to Jordan! Upon arrival at the Queen Alia International Airport, you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel in the capital of Amman. The nation's largest city, Amman has been inhabited since the Bronze Age and is full of cultural and historic highlights.
Day 2: Archaeological Wonders of Jerash, Aljoun & Amman
Start today's tour with a transfer north to Jerash, one of the best-preserved Greco-Roman cities in the Middle East. Spend time wandering the extensive site and be sure to check out the well-preserved remains of two amphitheaters, the north-south Colonnaded Street, and the Hippodrome (the site of ancient chariot races).
Continue to Ajloun, in the highlands, where you can explore the 12th-century Ajloun Castle, a fortress built to ward off the Crusader armies at the vital trade and pilgrimage intersection between Jerusalem, Cairo, Damascus, and Mecca. Roam the ramparts and enjoy the sweeping views over the Levant.
In the afternoon, your driver will take you back to Amman for an afternoon tour of the historic Old City. Discover the magnificent Amman Citadel (Jabal al Qal'a) and the 2nd-century Roman Theater, two of the most famous archaeological sites in the capital, and stroll amid colorful wares and aromatic spices in Amman's old souks (markets).
Day 3: Day Trip to the Desert Castles & Iraq al-Amir
Today you'll strike out into the black basalt desert east of Amman to explore the Desert Castles—isolated pavilions, caravan stations, and hunting lodges built under the reign of the Umayyads (661-750 BCE). Today these evocative ruins and fortresses stand as a testament to the flourishing beginnings of Islamic-Arab civilization. Start with a visit to the spectacularly well-preserved Harrana Castle (Qasr Kharana), then explore the domes, arches, and frescoes of Amra Palace (Quseir Amra) and the imposing basalt fortifications of Azraq Castle (Qsar al-Azraq).
In the afternoon, you'll continue west of Amman into a lush valley to find the ruins of one of the most important Hellenistic monuments in the Middle East. Iraq al-Amir (meaning "the caves of the prince”) is an antiquity site dating back to the 2nd century BCE, where you can find a carefully restored Hellenistic villa that predates the Romans and mysterious cave dwellings first inhabited 10,000 years ago.
After a full day of fascinating history and discovery, your driver will take you back to Amman for the evening.
Day 4: Tour the Ancient City of Umm Qais, Evening Wine Tasting
Day 5: Transfer to Petra via Madaba, Mount Nebo & Kerak
After breakfast at your hotel, you'll check out and meet your driver for today's journey south. Stop in Madaba to check out its intricate Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics, including the spectacular Madaba Map, the oldest preserved mosaic map of the Holy Land. Nearby, the Madaba Archaeological Park preserves the mosaic-rich Church of the Virgin Mary and artifacts from the Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, and Islamic eras.
Continue to Mount Nebo, an elevated ridge of the Abarim range said to be where Moses took in the view of the Promised Land. Follow in his footsteps and look out at the Dead Sea and beyond, before eventually making your way to the Memorial Church of Moses, a modern structure that now houses excavated relics from the region.
Carry on south along the ancient King's Highway to Kerak to visit the impressive Crusader castle of the same name. Exploring the fortress-like structure provides an opportunity to experience the vaulted halls and passageways typical of the era, a remarkable insight into the architectural and military prowess of the Crusaders. When you're ready, continue to Petra where you'll check in to your hotel for the night.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 6: Explore the Sandstone City of Petra
Today you'll explore Jordan's beloved archeological treasure: the lost city of Petra. Known as the "Rose City" for the area's distinctive red sandstone, it's easy to see why Petra was named one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. Its intricate architectural design is hundreds of years old, and remarkably well maintained.
Enter through the Siq, a dramatically narrow gorge flanked by towering cliffs, and spend your day wandering at your leisure through Petra's seemingly endless temples, tombs, and colonnaded streets. Navigate the impressive water conduit system of the historic Nabataean city, paying a visit to Qasr al-Bint, a grand temple that was once the population's primary place of worship. After a two-hour guided tour, you'll have free time to explore the canyons and temples at your own pace.
If you're feeling adventurous, climb your way up the 800 steps to the Monastery, Petra's largest and lesser-visited monument. For a stunning view overlooking the Treasury and jagged mountains beyond, hike up the steep stone-carved staircase to the top of Jabal al-Khubtha.
After a full day of exploring, return to your hotel to rest up and cool down before dinner. If your visit falls on a Monday, Wednesday, or Thursday, you can head out again after dark to experience an unforgettable Petra by Night tour. Stroll through canyons lined with thousands of candles to reach the illuminated Treasury, where live Arabic music sets the scene and a welcoming cup of tea awaits.
Day 7: Transfer to Wadi Rum, Desert Jeep Excursion
After breakfast this morning, your driver will take you south into the wilderness of the Wadi Rum, an expanse of desert dubbed the "Valley of the Moon" by Lawrence of Arabia. Along the two-hour drive, you'll pass through red valleys, rock canyons, and dunes to reach your base for the night at a Bedouin-style camp.
Switch into a sturdy Jeep for an off-road excursion that takes you deeper into the UNESCO-protected desert. Travel through valleys, rock canyons, dunes, and deserts, stopping to check out rock inscriptions and petroglyphs as well as majestic views. Spend a little time at each stop to hike and scramble and explore at your own pace. Along the way, you'll visit desert oases, see 2,000-year-old Kufic rock art, and learn about the history of the area and the local Bedouin culture.
Back at the camp, you'll enjoy a traditional dinner around the campfire as the sun sets, then spend the rest of your evening stargazing under the clear desert skies.
Day 8: Wadi Rum Sunrise Hike, Transfer to Aqaba & the Red SeaRise early this morning to set out on an hour-long hike to watch an unforgettable sunrise over the desert with a cup of tea or coffee brewed over an open fire.
Days 9-10: Free Days in AqabaThe next two days are free for you to relax and unwind on the shores of the Red Sea. Spend some more time exploring the port, or embark on one of the many watersport excursions on offer. Hop aboard a glass-bottom boat to enjoy views of abundant marine life, try your hand at parasailing or diving, or go for a leisurely snorkel through the clear waters.
Day 11: Transfer to the Dead SeaSpend another morning at the beach, then bid the Red Sea farewell as your driver picks you up for the drive north to reach the shores of the Dead Sea, one of the most spectacular natural and spiritual landscapes in the world. This landlocked lake is the lowest point on earth and the world's richest source of natural salts, hiding wonderful treasures that accumulated throughout thousands of years. After a scenic drive through a landscape of otherworldly, arid hills, you'll reach your hotel, where you can get settled in and relax after the long drive.
Day 12: Free Day on the Dead SeaToday is free for you to enjoy the wonders of the Dead Sea at your leisure—floating in the salty waters, enjoying a full-body mud treatment, or relaxing in the sun.
Day 13: Transfer to Amman via BethanyEnjoy a final dip in the Dead Sea this morning, before meeting your driver for the hour's transfer back to Amman. En route, you'll stop at Bethany, the site where John the Baptist is said to have baptized Jesus Christ on the eastern bank of the Jordan River. Located in a wadi kharar, or reeded valley, several centuries-old churches and manmade pools have recently been discovered and are worth exploring.
Day 14: Visit the Iraq al-Amir Women's Cooperative & Royal Automobile MuseumToday starts with a transfer north to the quaint town of Iraq Al-Amir, where you can spend the morning meeting the women of the Iraq al-Amir Women's Cooperative. Founded by the Noor al-Hussein Foundation over two decades ago, this thriving community-led cooperative helps to make local women financially independent and to raise their standard of living by increasing their income and preserving local heritage. Learn about the hand-woven fabrics, paper, and ceramics made on site, and sit down to a delicious lunch afterward, prepared with the cooperative's freshly grown produce.
Day 15: Transfer to Airport & Departure
After breakfast this morning, it's time to bid Jordan farewell as you transfer to the Queen Alia International Airport for your departing flight. Safe travels!
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