Day - 1
Location: Amman -
Welcome to Jordan, cosmopolitan and contemporary, yet steeped in biblical history. On arrival at Amman's Queen Alia International Airport, you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel. While this is an arrival day and you may arrive at any time, please note that hotel rooms are generally only available after midday, and that there will a Welcome Meeting with your leader tonight. If you arrive with time to spare then walk the streets, where you’ll soon hear “Welcome to Jordan” from the locals. Maybe pick up a coffee from one of the cafés and partner it with an ara’yes, a toastie filled with spicy mincemeat. Maybe head to the Old Town’s Roman Amphitheatre, find fine culture at the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts, look down on the city from the hilltop Temple of Hercules, or begin your trip with a relax in a Turkish bath house.
Day - 2
Location: Wadi Rum - After breakfast you will be drive from Amman to Wadi Rum (appx 4.5hour drive).
After lunch in the small village of Rum and a browse around the excellent and informative visitor's centre, jump into rickety old but safe and reliable jeeps operated by the Bedouin Community and join our Bedouin friends as we journey into the Rum. You will visit several of Wadi Rum's distinctive rock formations and soak in the vast silence and spectacular desert landscapes. Wadi Rum is a truly beautiful place with towering sandstone mountains.
Continue to your traditional Bedouin tent situated deep within Wadi Rum. The Bedouins live in scattered camps throughout the area. You will enjoy an evening with them at one of their camps, which is set in an amazing location.
Wadi Rum is probably best known for its connection with the enigmatic British officer T.E. Lawrence, who was based here during the Great Arab Revolt of 1917-18. Much of David Lean's movie on his exploits, 'Lawrence of Arabia', was actually filmed in Wadi Rum.
Day - 3
Location: Wadi Rum - Petra - After waking up in the unique surrounds of the Bedouin camp this morning, you will enjoy a walk around the area (the length of the walk will depend on how energetic you are feeling) before scaling one of the large dunes to enjoy sensational views of the surrounding area. Keen photographers will be delighted.
You will then take 4WDs from your camp back to the main entrance, which is opposite the Seven Pillars of Wisdom, the mountain named after Lawrence of Arabia’s book. The visitor's centre here is also a great spot to buy some jewellery and handicrafts, mostly made by a women's co-operative that is aimed at supporting traditional local industries.
You will then continue your journey to the fabled city of Petra (approximately 2.5 hours). On arrival there is time in the afternoon to check out the town that has grown up around the site, and to just relax… ready for a big day of exploring Petra tomorrow.
Day - 4
Location: Petra - Petra is justifiably on most people’s list of ‘must-visit’ places. It is the jewel of Jordan, the lost city of the biblical Nabateans, an impressive series of tombs and dwellings hidden behind ornate facades carved directly into the rock. Dating back to the 6th century BC, the site was lost to Western minds until it was rediscovered in 1812 by a Swiss explorer.
The iconic Petra view – the Treasury's glorious facade, glimpsed from the narrow cleft known as the Siq – is arguably the single most striking sight of the entire region. The first taste of this exquisite craftsmanship among such stark scenery is a moment that manages to be both eagerly anticipated and also an almost surreal surprise. The Siq leads through the rock and is sometimes only a few metres wide, with walls soaring up to 180 metres on either side, and it is impossible not to imagine the armies and traders who made their way down here in the ancient times. Petra's greatest surprise, however, is its size. With your guide you will explore the old Roman road, amphitheatre and several old tombs. You will also climb up to the second beautiful façade of the Monastery, from where you will have a magnificent view of the entire site.
This is a memorable day exploring a truly extraordinary destination, a highlight of your trip. There is a cafeteria on the site, where you can enjoy a light lunch.
The rest of the day will be at your leisure – perhaps take the chance to witness Petra by night. Seeing the Treasury plaza lit up by flickering candle light while Bedouin music plays is a magical experience.
Day - 5
Location: Petra - Dead Sea - After a very early start for those in the group who wish to visit Petra a second time, we drive to the ancient Crusader castle at Shobak, which was originally built to protect the eastern flank of the Latin Kingdom and its trade routes to the sea before it fell to Saladin in 1189. Enjoy superb scenery and stop off at the view point overlooking the Dana nature reserve before arriving in the late afternoon at the Dead Sea Spa Hotel, where we spend the evening. Named for the dearth of life in its waters, this lake is so intensely salty that the density of the water makes swimming and getting underneath the surface very difficult.
Day - 6
Location: Dead Sea - Madaba - Amman - After a relaxing morning spent at the Dead Sea; perhaps use the facilities of the hotel or of course no visit is complete without taking a dip like no other – the warm, highly saline waters make swimming difficult but bobbing on the water's surface is a unique pleasure.
After lunch, we depart the Dead Sea for Mount Nebo, considered to be where Moses saw the Promised Landed before he died, the modest Church here with foundations dating back to 4thcentury houses some of the best mosaics in Jordan. Continue to Madaba “The City of Mosaics” and a stop at St Georges Church best known for its Byzantine mosaic depicting a map of the Holy Land.
We spend the evening of day six in Amman.
Day - 7
Location: Amman - Today you will leave Amman for a short drive north (approximately 1 hour) to Jerash, once one of the grandest ancient Roman cities in the world. These are some of the best ruins Greco-Roman ruins around. Reaching its zenith as a favourite of the emperor Hadrian, it has a striking collection of archways and theatres, baths, public buildings and colonnaded streets, and is a beautiful place to spend a morning exploring. Grand ionic columns encircle the city's centrepiece, the Oval Plaza, a wonderfully atmospheric place to linger after exploring Jerash's riches.
Afterwards you will return to Amman for the evening (approximately 1 hour). Maybe spend your final night at one of the many bars and restaurants in West Amman, or ask your leader about the traditional cafes dotted around the city where locals spend their evenings.
Day - 8
Location: Amman - Your trip will end today after breakfast. Check-out time is usually around 12 noon and you are free to leave at any time. If you have arranged a private airport transfer you will be advised of the pick-up time. Additional accommodation can be pre-booked if you wish to spend more time exploring Amman.