Immerse yourself in Jordan's rich history and heritage on this nine-day north-to-south tour. Start in Amman with guided tours of the capital's landmarks, venture into the countryside for a bicycle tour of the Azraq Wetland Reserve, then move on to Madaba, stopping at Mount Nebo on the way. After discovering the City of Mosaics, your journey continues in Petra with a self-guided visit to the UNESCO-listed archaeological site before ending with a Jeep tour in the Wadi Rum desert.


  • Indulge in traditional Jordanian dishes, like "mansaf," on your first night in Amman
  • Stop at three strongholds on the Desert Castles Loop back to the capital
  • Climb the 850 steps to reach Petra's rock-cut Monastery
  • Meet a Bedouin family and traverse Wadi Rum's moon-like landscape atop a camel 

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Amman, Explore the Capital, Dinner at a Local Restaurant Amman
Day 2 Half-Day Heritage Tour, Evening Heart of Amman Tour  Amman
Day 3 Transfer to Azraq via the Archaeological Site of Jerash Azraq
Day 4 Azraq Bike Tour, Transfer to Amman via the Desert Castles Loop Amman
Day 5 Transfer to Madaba via Mount Nebo, Guided City Tour Madaba
Day 6 Transfer to Petra via Kerak Castle, Dana, Shobak Castle & Little Petra Petra
Day 7 Self-Guided Tour of Petra Petra
Day 8 Transfer to Wadi Rum, Meet a Bedouin Family, Sunset Camel Ride Wadi Rum
Day 9 Wadi Rum Jeep Tour, Transfer to Amman, Depart   

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Amman, Explore the Capital, Dinner at a Local Restaurant

Sample Jordan's national dish, mansaf, at tonight's dinner

Welcome to Amman, Jordan's bustling capital city! A representative will meet you at the airport to assist you with the customs procedures. Then, you'll transfer to your hotel, where you can stay in to relax until tonight's dinner or venture out to explore the area on your own. A good place to start is the Amman Citadel, situated on a hilltop overlooking the city. Wander through the historical site with remnants dating back to the Bronze Age, Roman, Byzantine, and Umayyad periods. Look for landmarks like the crumbling Temple of Hercules or Umayyad Palace with its impressive domes and audience hall.

Enjoy panoramic views of the city before continuing to the Jordan Folklore Museum to learn about Jordan's rich cultural heritage and traditional way of life. As darkness starts to fall, return to your hotel to freshen up and meet your driver for a transfer to a local restaurant. Indulge in traditional dishes like mansaf, Jordan's national dish of lamb cooked in a yogurt-based sauce served over rice with nuts and herbs. End the night with a hot cup of mint tea or Arabic coffee paired with a sweet treat like knafeh, a rich dessert made from shredded phyllo dough layered with cheese and soaked in sugar syrup.

Day 2: Half-Day Heritage Tour, Evening Heart of Amman Tour 

Discover a second-century Roman theater on your city tour

Join your guide for a half-day tour of the city, starting at the Jordan Museum, home to a vast collection of artifacts from prehistoric to ancient civilizations, such as the Nabataeans and Romans. Browse the engaging exhibits, showcasing items like intricately carved sarcophagi, detailed mosaics, and the famous Dead Sea Scrolls. Then, continue to the nearby Grand Husseini Mosque and admire the striking white and blue domes. Step inside to see the colorful mosaic tiles, traditional Islamic art, and intricate calligraphy lining the walls before walking to Souq el-Bukharia and Souq al-Sukar.

Shop for souvenirs, fresh produce, and local delights like nuts and spices, then move on to the Roman Theatre of Amman, which dates back to the second century. After a lunch break at Hashem Restaurant, known for its delicious hummus and falafel, you'll transfer to King Abdullah I Mosque, one of the largest mosques in the country. Look up at the blue mosaic dome and minarets, then enter to see the marble flooring, ornate chandeliers, and intricate paintings. End the tour at the on-site Islamic Museum, which houses artifacts, personal artifacts, and photos of the late king.

In the evening, set off on another tour, this time to some of the city's historic areas. Start in the downtown core, where you can walk through different souks in search of souvenirs. Next, wander down Rainbow Street, a charming cobblestone lane lined with colorful storefronts, art galleries, and cozy cafés. Admire the striking murals and graffiti adorning the walls, showcasing the city's dynamic street art scene as you pop in and out of the shops. Proceed to Jabal al-Weibdeh, one of the oldest residential areas in Amman, to discover the restored traditional houses before making your way back to your hotel.

Day 3: Transfer to Azraq via the Archaeological Site of Jerash

Follow your guide through the Azraq Wetland Reserve in search of wildlife

Today you'll trade the bustling city streets for the small town of Azraq, known for its thriving wetland reserve that attracts diverse wildlife. But first, start with a one-hour transfer north to the Archaeological Site of Jerash, one of the best-preserved Greco-Roman cities in the Middle East. Wander the extensive site, and be sure to check out the well-preserved remains of temples, theaters, and public squares adorned with intricate mosaics and towering columns. Don't miss the site's highlights, like the grand Oval Plaza, the Temple of Artemis, and the South Theater, where performances are still held today. 

After exploring the ruins, continue two hours east to the Azraq Wetland Reserve and follow your guide down the 0.93-mile (1.5 km) Marsh Trail in search of wildlife. Stop at scenic viewpoints overlooking the marshes and pools where migratory birds like raptors, eagles, and warblers gather in abundance. You may also spot mammals such as sand cats, red foxes, hedgehogs, and even buffalo, so keep your eyes peeled. As you walk, your guide will share insights into the reserve's ecological significance, wildlife, and conservation efforts before you transfer to your lodge to settle in.

Day 4: Azraq Bike Tour, Transfer to Amman via the Desert Castles Loop

Discover three castles on the Desert Castles Loop, including the rebuilt Qasr al-Azraq

Stretch your legs and get ready for a bike tour of Azraq, starting at your lodge. Pedal across the arid desert landscape to the trails around the Azraq Wetland Reserve. Keep your eyes peeled for birds, like ducks and waterfowl, as you continue to Qa'a al-Azraq, a large mud flat dotted with salt-encrusted depressions and dried lake beds. Now that you've worked up an appetite, it's time for brunch with a local Druze family. When you're done eating, a driver will pick you up and transfer you back to Amman along the Desert Castles Loop, which takes you to several castles and archaeological sites.

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Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Stop at Qasr al-Azraq, a historic fortress originally constructed around 300 CE but rebuilt in 1237, so you can still wander through the interior rooms, courtyards, and towers. Continue to Qasr al-Harranah, dating back to the early eighth century. Discover the well-preserved interior and museum that displays artifacts and exhibits related to the castle's role in historical events like the Arab Revolt. Your last stop before Amman is the UNESCO-listed Quseir 'Amra, known for its well-preserved frescoes and unique architecture that combines elements of a fortress, residence, and bathhouse.

Day 5: Transfer to Madaba via Mount Nebo, Guided City Tour

Admire the famous Madaba Map in St. George's Greek Orthodox Church

After a restful night in Amman, hit the road again for a 45-minute transfer to Madaba, often called the "City of Mosaics," for its plentiful ancient mosaic floors and artworks. On the way, stop at 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 over the Dead Sea and beyond before making your way to the Memorial Church of Moses, which houses excavated relics from the region and preserved Byzantine mosaics depicting biblical scenes, landscapes, and wildlife.

Back in the car, complete the drive to Madaba, and join your guide for a tour of the city, starting at St. George's Greek Orthodox Church. Step inside the ancient church to see the famous Madaba Map, an intricate mosaic floor map depicting the Holy Land. Look for more mosaics at the Madaba Archaeological Park, home to the remnants of Byzantine churches and mosaic floors dating back to the fifth to seventh centuries CE. Then, end the tour at the Church of the Martyrs, built in the sixth century to commemorate the Christian martyrs who died for their faith.

Day 6: Transfer to Petra via Kerak Castle, Dana, Shobak Castle & Little Petra

Stop at Kerak Castle on your way to Petra to admire the 12th-century stronghold

Bid farewell to Madaba and meet your driver outside the hotel after checking out to transfer three hours south to Petra, a UNESCO-listed archaeological site. On the way, make a short detour to Kerak Castle, an imposing fortress that served as a stronghold during the Crusades. Wander through the well-preserved halls, chambers, and corridors, then head up to the ramparts for panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Back in the car, your next stop is the quaint village of Dana, nestled within the Dana Biosphere Reserve

Stroll through the village to see the traditional stone houses, narrow alleys, and terraced gardens. Shop for locally-made souvenirs or grab a bite to eat before heading further south to Shobak Castle, another Crusader fortress. Step inside to discover the well-preserved hallways and underground chambers, then enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding desert. Your last stop before Petra is Little Petra, formally known as Siq al-Barid, to explore this smaller, quieter site lined with rock-cut architecture, including facades, chambers, and tombs carved into the rose-red sandstone cliffs.

Day 7: Self-Guided Tour of Petra

Admire Petra's towering treasury as you tour the archaeological site

The entire day is free for you to explore Petra at your own pace. Enter the archaeological site through the Siq, a narrow canyon flanked by towering cliffs that leads to the iconic treasury. Standing at 131 feet (40 m), the grand facade adorned with columns, statues, and elaborate details is carved out of a single block of red sandstone rock. Continue to the High Place of Sacrifice, which was used for religious ceremonies and animal sacrifices conducted to honor the gods. Although climbing the steep, ancient stone staircase can be challenging, the panoramic view of Petra at the top will be worth it. 

After admiring the view, return to the bottom of the cliff to discover more of the archaeological site, including the Royal Tombs, Roman theater, and the monastery, which is the largest standing monument at 148 feet (45 m) tall and 160 feet (50 m) wide. If you're not too tired, you can tackle the 850 rock-cut steps to the monastery's entrance, where you'll be greeted by the imposing facade featuring intricately carved columns and reliefs. Step inside to explore the cavernous chamber with traces of ancient frescoes, then enjoy uninterrupted views of the archaeological site before exiting through the Siq.

Day 8: Transfer to Wadi Rum, Meet a Bedouin Family, Sunset Camel Ride

Explore Wadi Rum atop a camel at sunset

Say goodbye to Petra this morning as you transfer two hours south to Wadi Rum, an expanse of desert dubbed the "Valley of the Moon" by T.E. Lawrence (better known as Lawrence of Arabia). When you arrive, meet your guide, who will take you through the desert to a Bedouin camp. Traverse the arid landscape in a Jeep, looking out at the sandstone mountains, vast sand dunes, and expansive desert plains dotted with rock formations. At camp, you'll learn about Bedouin traditions, cuisine, and storytelling from a local family while you help prepare a traditional meal and sip Arabic coffee.

In the evening, explore more of the area in style atop a camel. Your guide will share their knowledge of the landscape as you head to Um Mugur or Um Sabatah, one of the desert's many rock formations, to watch the sunset. Enjoy a delicious Bedouin tea and a snack while you watch the sun start its descent, turning the red sand golden. Before it gets too dark, return to camp to sit down for dinner around the fire. Don't forget to look up to see the sky full of stars uninterrupted by city lights, then settle into your cozy wool tent for the night. 

Day 9: Wadi Rum Jeep Tour, Transfer to Amman, Depart

Explore more of Wadi Rum on a three-hour Jeep tour

Although your trip is coming to an end today, you have time for one last adventure—a Jeep tour of the surrounding desert, starting at the Al Ramal Red Sand Dune. Look up at the towering dune, then scramble up the shifting sand to enjoy panoramic views of Wadi Rum at the top. Your next stop is Raqabat al-Wadak, better known as "Little Bridge," a natural rock formation that forms a picturesque archway between two sandstone cliffs. Your guide will help you climb up for another look at the sandy landscape. 

Continue to Khazali Canyon, a narrow sandstone gorge featuring towering rock walls adorned with Nabataean inscriptions and petroglyphs. Wander through the canyon for an up-close look at the ancient rock art before heading to Lawrence's Spring, named after Lawrence of Arabia, to learn about the historical significance of the site and get one last panoramic view of Wadi Rum. After the three-hour tour, it's time to return to camp to grab your bags, then transfer three hours back to Amman for your flight home. Safe travels!

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Map of History & Heritage Tour of Jordan: Amman, Azraq, Madaba, Petra & Wadi Rum - 9 Days
Map of History & Heritage Tour of Jordan: Amman, Azraq, Madaba, Petra & Wadi Rum - 9 Days