Go back in time on this tour which takes you on a journey through the history of Jordan. Along the way explore ruins of heritage sites such as Umm Qais and Jerash, rediscover hidden cities such as Petra, camp under the eternal night lights that are the stars of Wadi Rum and even head South stopping briefly at the infamous Dead Sea before reaching Aqaba and enjoying time to relax by the calming waters of the historic Red Sea!
Day 1: Amman. Welcome to Jordan! You will be met at the airport and transferred to our joining hotel where you will spend tonight. Overnight – Amman.
Day 2: Amman. This morning you will meet your tour leader and the rest of your group if you have not bumped into them already. Your tour leader will explain the arrangements for the tours and collect the tipping kitty that covers all tips, except any gratuity you would like to give to them at the end of the trip. With formalities out of the way, we head north to the impressive Roman ruins of Jerash.
Second only to Petra in tourist popularity, it is considered to be one of the best preserved Roman cities of the Decapolis (the ten cities at the frontier of the Roman Empire). Notable ruins include the hippodrome, amphitheatre, the Temples of Zeus and Artemis, two theatres, a long colonnaded street and the well preserved perimeter walls that encompassed the once 800,000 square meter city. Moving on, we travel to Umm Qais or “Mother of Qais”. Here we find the site of the ancient Graeco-Roman town of Gadara (another of the cities of the Decapolis) as well as stunning views over the Sea of Galilee and the Golan Heights.
It is known for being the place where Jesus cast a demon from a man and the city thrived until the Byzantine era which saw its decline. It was also struck by an earthquake in 747AD when much of the city was destroyed. Today, a part of the Roman amphitheatre remains as well as a basilica, a mausoleum and the public baths. Having enjoyed the days sightseeing and learning about this area, we return to Amman to relax and unwind this evening. (Overnight – Amman) (B1)
Day 3: Petra. This morning, it’s time to get to Amman a little better. We will tour the citadel of Amman in the downtown area where we will explore what is said to be one of the oldest inhabited places in the world. Also, we will visit the Archaeological Museum and visit the local souk for a little shopping and free time. Then it is on to Mount Nebo, the most important biblical site in Jordan and one that affords panoramic views of the Holy Land. It was here that Moses was given the view of the Promised Land and was eventually buried here by God himself.
Enjoy the views of the northern shore of the Dead Sea, the Jordan River Valley, Jericho and the towers on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem (on a good day). This afternoon we travel to Umm ar Rasas, an archaeological site of a once quite important city where you will find ruins of a military camp and several churches, two of which contain meticulously restored mosaic floors that depict the cities of the time (Jerusalem, Nablus, Gaza and other Trans-Jordanian cities). We then head to Petra where we will spend the night. Overnight – Petra, (B2).
Day 4: Petra. Today we visit the Rose City of Petra for a guided exploration of this amazing historic site that was actually unknown to the Western world until 1812. We enter the city through the infamous and deep siq, a narrow gorge which in turn reveals the utterly astonishing Khazneh, or treasury. The sheer scale of the rock cut architecture is something to behold and is sure to impress. The Descending down the gravel paths, we explore a whole array of historical monuments which cast an entirely different light over the province to what we may have seen the day before.
Royal tombs, temples, grand staircases and arched gates are common to see but nonetheless picturesque. There will also be a chance to explore the Nabatean tombs with their elaborately ornamented facades as well as a gigantic amphitheatre that was originally constructed to house 3,000 spectators but has subsequently been expanded by the Romans to now hold 7,000 people. Post tour, enjoy some free time to stand back, gather your breath and soak up the atmosphere.
If you feel like it, barter for a horse and chariot and take the weight off on your journey back up to the entrance. When evening comes, why not experience the delights of Petra Kitchen as well. On this optional activity, learn traditional recipes and try a range of local foods. After all, seeing how something is made only makes you appreciate and respect these delights that much more. Overnight - Petra, (B3).
Day 5: Wadi Rum. This morning you will get a chance to revisit Petra should you wish before our afternoon transfer over to Wadi Rum also known as the Valley of the Moon for an adventurous desert 4x4 safari! As we move across the open plains, you will experience a motionless landscape, quiet almost to the extent of eeriness. The colour and formations in the rock provide yet more originality in the Jordanian landscape and will satisfy even the most experienced of traveller – it truly is stunning.
Petroglyphs inscribed into the walls show the age of the region as well and it’s this history which really makes the place so special. The 4x4’s we use are open top so you are guaranteed stunning views of the sun, sand and scenery - what more could you ask for! The day finishes in our camp in the desert where you can sleep under the light of the stars in one of the most peaceful locations on earth. A Bedouin dinner of traditional produce will be served for you to feast on after this memorable day of sightseeing. Overnight Wadi Rum Camp, (B4, D1).
Day 6: Madaba. This morning we tour the well preserved ancient castle at Al Karak. Karak is one of the three largest castles in the region, situated on a hill top and surrounded by a valley. Around the castle you will see 19th century Ottoman buildings. If the weather or opening times restrict us visiting Karak we will instead visit the crusader castle of Shobak. After we will head down to the lowest point on the earth and the Dead Sea! Here at 422 meters below sea level we will spend the afternoon coating ourselves in the detoxifying mud and floating and swimming in the warm water. Later, we will drive to the bustling market town of Madaba. Overnight – Madaba, (B5, D2).
Day 7: Aqaba. Madaba dates back to the middle Bronze Age and is mentioned in the Bible several times. It is perhaps best known for the mosaics that you will find there scattered around the town. The most famous of these is the “Map of Madaba” that you will find in the church of St George. It dates back to the 6th century and illustrates the Holy Land and, in particular, Jerusalem. Also in the town you will find a museum displaying mosaics and other artifacts as well a mosaic school (unique in the Middle East) and shops selling copies of mosaics. We leave Madaba and head south to the Red Sea resort of Aqaba, and then on to the beautiful beaches of Tala Bay. This evening we enjoy the hotel’s buffet dinner and begin to unwind. Dinner and overnight - Aqaba/Tala Bay, (B6, D3).
Day 8: Aqaba. Days 8-9: Red Sea. The next few days by the Red Sea are yours to relax, unwind, snorkel, dive and explore at your leisure. Tala Bay is a resort boasting restaurants, three swimming pools, a gym and fitness centre and a private marina, not to mention a 300 m private beach! Water sports, snorkelling and diving are all catered for so you will not be at a loss for things to do in this attractive complex in which you will stay in a 4* hotel. If you feel like exploring Aqaba to enjoy some shopping and its nightlife, no problem: there is a shuttle bus that runs three times a day. (B 7&8).
Day 10: Amman. This morning you are free to continue to relax at the beach or head in to Aqaba for some last minute shopping. This area is part of a duty free zone so if you’re after cheap alcohol, perfume etc this could be a great chance to pick up a few bargains. This afternoon we bid farewell to the Red Sea and take a transfer back to Amman where you can spend the evening contemplating the great time you’ve had on tour. Overnight – Amman, (B9).
Day 11: Amman. The tour concludes after breakfast, when you are free to check out of the hotel and take your transfer to the airport for departure. (B10) Please also note that this tour is operated in conjunction with another company.
Visa Information: All travellers to Jordan must have a visa (please also ensure your passport is valid for 6 months after your return date). Visas for most nationalities are issued at the airport on arrival where the cost is approximately $15 USD for a single entry. For RSA passport holders though it is advised you obtain your visas in advance. In addition, if you have come from Egypt and are returning you must have a multi entry visa to re-enter and these can only be obtained in your country of origin at a cost of $29 USD.
If you do forget though you do have the option of obtaining 2 single entry visas on arrival in Egypt as an alternative. Once you have obtained your visas simply place them in your passport for your arrival/s. Furthermore, on all departures a $8 USD departure tax is applied to travellers. Please also note, visa procurement is the responsibility of the passenger and not ours.
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