Jordan in Depth

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Best time to go: February to June, September to November

9 Nights | from £3,395pp

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Holiday type: Tailor-made

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HIGHLIGHTS

  • Explore the ancient treasures of Jordan in Amman, Jerash and Petra
  • Visit desert castles, places of biblical significance and the Dana Nature Reserve
  • Spend a night in the desert at King Aretas Camp in Wadi Rum
  • Conclude your journey with some R&R at the Dead Sea

Day 1 London / Amman
As you arrive into Amman, you will be met by a member of the A&K team, who will assist you through customs and immigration and drive you to the Intercontinental Amman, your home for the next four nights.
Intercontinental Amman

Day 2 Amman
This morning meet your private guide for an in-depth tour of Amman, the capital of Jordan, known in history as Rabbath-Ammon and in Greco-Roman times as Philadelphia. High above the city, at the ancient Citadel, study the traces of Amman's many lives: the regal columns of a roman temple in silhouette against the sky, the elegant capitals of a Byzantine church, endlessly inventive carvings in the Umayyad Palace, fascinating displays in the Archaeological Museum, and digs and ruins everywhere you step. At the foot of the Citadel, take a seat in the Roman Theatre, a deep-sided bowl carved into the hill and still used for cultural events. Spend the afternoon at your own devices, relaxing at the hotel or exploring Amman as you wish.
Intercontinental Amman | Meals: Breakfast

Day 3 Umm Qais, Jerash & Ajloun
Today your guide will show you Umm Qais, Jerash and Ajloun. We recommend taking a pair of binoculars to fully appreciate the view of the north Jordan Valley, Golan Heights and Sea of Galilee from Umm Qais, the dramatically situated Roman era town. After lunch at a local restaurant you’ll head to Ajloun to visit Al Rabad Castle.
Next on the day’s agenda is the Greco-Roman city of Jerash. Second only to Petra in terms of profile, the ancient city is remarkable for its long chain of human occupation. At a well-watered site in the hills of Gilead, remains from Neolithic times have been found, as well as Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Umayyad. Jerash's golden age, however, arrived with Roman rule when it was a member of the Decapolis, a dynamic commercial league of ten Greco-Roman Cities. Today it is acknowledged as one of the best-preserved province cities of the Roman Empire. You’ll head back to Amman for the evening.
Intercontinental Amman | Meals: Breakfast

Day 4 Amman Desert Castles
Head out to the desert to see the castles of Kharraneh and Amra, following in the footsteps of T.E Lawrence of Arabia. At Kharraneh, the most complete of the Omayyad castles, climb the stone stairways leading to the upper floor to see several rooms displaying some of their original decoration of arches, vaults, semi-domes and plasterwork medallions. You’ll have the opportunity to explore the abandoned town of Umm al-Jimal, a once thriving metropolis, before returning to Amman for the evening.
Intercontinental Amman | Meals: Breakfast

Day 5 Amman / Petra
Set off on the ancient Kings' Highway, Famed for its scenic beauty, travelling through rugged scenery and once-flourishing Byzantine towns. Your first stop is Mount Nebo, the mountain where Moses was allowed to see the Holy Land but not allowed to enter it. Nowadays the mountain is a memorial site. Here you will find the "Church of Moses", built by the first Christians; ever since the early days of Christianity this mountain has been a holy place and a destination for pilgrims. Like Moses, you will be treated to a superb view over Jordan, the Dead Sea and Israel. When the weather is clear, you should even be able to see Jerusalem, which is about 60 kilometres away.
Continue to Madaba the "City of Mosaics" that stands perched on an archaeological site with more than 4,000 years of history buried beneath it. The quality and quantity of mosaic flooring has made Madaba one of the most prominent cities in the world for mosaics. Visit St. George's Church which houses the world famous mosaic floor depicting a large map of Palestine which at its centre features a detailed map of Jerusalem as it was during the sixth century AD. At the Church of the Apostles, at the southern entrance of the city, you’ll find a mosaic floor attributed to the craftsman Salamanios, depicting the sea with a woman as the central figure, encircled by an inscription and a variety of creatures and vegetation.
While in the area, we recommend dropping in to the Jordan Jewel for Art & Mosaic, a philanthropy mosaic project where young disabled artists create works of art in a huge workshop, where you be able to watch the artists at work. The project supports hundreds of families.
After lunch at a restaurant in Madaba, continue to Kerak to visit the Crusader's castle that was built here, overlooking a valley. Situated midway between Jerusalem and Shobak, another Crusader castle, Kerak, is perched on a hilltop 1,000 metres above sea level and surrounded on three sides by a valley. After exploring the castle, it is time to head to the ancient rose-red city of Petra, where you’ll be staying at the Movenpick Resort Petra, perfectly located just outside the entrance of the historic site.
Movenpick Resort Petra | Meals: Breakfast

Day 6 Petra
Put on your walking shoes to ensure you can do justice to what is undoubtedly the jewel in Jordan’s crown. Enter the site through the Siq, a narrow gorge that stretches over 1km in length, flanked on either side by soaring, 80m high cliffs. As you reach the end of the Siq you will catch your first glimpse of the famous Al-Khazneh (the Treasury) delicately carved into the sheer rock face. There are hundreds of elaborate rock-cut tombs and a Roman-style theatre; your guide will enlighten you with stories, history and insight into every aspect of this magnificent ancient complex.
The ancient city of Petra was built from 800 BC to 100 AD by Nabetean Arabs. In this era Petra was a fortress, carved out of craggy rocks in an area which was virtually inaccessible. In the first and second century, after the Romans took over, the city reached the height of its fame. When shipping started to displace the traditional caravan routes, the city's importance gradually dwindled; it fell into disuse and was lost to the world until 1812, when it was re-discovered by the Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt.
There are hundreds of elaborate rock-cut tombs with intricate carvings. Unlike the houses, which were mostly destroyed by earthquakes, the tombs were carved to last throughout the afterlife and around 500 have survived, empty but bewitching. You’ll also see the massive Nabataean-built, Roman-style theatre, which could seat 3,000 people, and obelisks, temples, sacrificial altars and colonnaded streets.
Your walking tour continues down a path to the impressive 8000-seat Roman Amphitheatre. Archaeologists first believed that the Romans constructed the site in the 2nd century; further excavations have now shown that the amphitheatre was actually carved out by the Nabataeans around the time of Jesus Christ.
Movenpick Resort Petra | Meals: Breakfast

Day 7 Petra / Wadi Rum
Spend the morning at the Royal Tombs, which are considered to be the most impressive burial places in Petra. Carved into the face of Jebel Khubtha, they consist of the vaulted Urn Tomb, the Corinthian Tomb and the three-storied Palace Tomb, one of the largest in the monument.
After lunch in Petra, you’ll set off for Wadi Rum. This protected area covers 720 square kilometres of desert wilderness where huge mountains of sandstone and granite emerge sheer-sided from wide sandy valleys to reach heights of 1700 metres and more. Narrow canyons and fissures cut deep into the mountains, many bearing ancient rock drawings etched by the peoples of the desert over millennia. Bedouin tribes still live among the mountains of Rum and their large goat-hair tents are a special feature of the landscape. Take an exhilarating 4-wheel drive trip over the dunes to King Aretas Camp, your home for the night. Relax around an open fire this evening beneath a dazzling canopy of stars.
King Aretas Camp | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8 Wadi Rum / Dana Biosphere Reserve

You may like to experience optional balloon flight or camel ride in this ethereal location, before setting off for Dana Nature Reserve, an area that encompasses a system of wadis running down to Wadi Araba just north of Petra, and is home to wildlife, jaw-dropping landscapes and thousands of years of history. We recommend exploring the Dana Nature Reserve on foot, where you may see indigenous wildlife such as mountain gazelles and Nubian ibex. Working directly with local village and Bedouin communities, income-generating projects have been initiated that leverage the Dana Reserve's natural beauty and wildlife to generate employment and better livelihoods. Your accommodation overnight is the Dana Guest House.
Dana Guest House | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9 Dana Biosphere Reserve / Dead Sea

After breakfast, set off on the Desert Highway to the location of Jesus’ baptism, known as Bethany Beyond or the Baptism Site. The excavations conducted at Bethany have uncovered a first century AD settlement with plastered pools and water systems that were almost certainly used for mass baptisms, and a 5th to 6th century Byzantine settlement with churches, a monastery, and other structures which are thought to have catered to religious pilgrims. Then it will be time to head to the Dead Sea, which at 400m below sea level is the lowest point on the Earth, for an afternoon of rest and relaxation at the Movenpick Resort & Spa Dead Sea, where you’ll be staying for the final night of your Jordanian journey.
Ever since the days of King Herod, people have flocked to the Dead Sea in search of its curative secrets. Due to high annual temperatures, low humidity and high atmospheric pressure, the air has a high content of oxygen and magnesium which makes breathing easier. With the highest content of minerals and salts in the world, the Dead Sea water possesses anti-inflammatory properties, and the dark mud found on its shores have been used for therapeutic purposes for over 2,000 years.
Movenpick Resort & Spa Dead Sea | Meals: Breakfast

Day 10 Dead Sea / London
Return to Amman for flight back to the UK.
Meals: Breakfast

Pricing
At A&K all of our journeys are individually tailored to suit your needs and timescale. As a guide, this 10 day itinerary costs from £3,395 per person, based on two sharing, including international flights.

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A&K Offices

Our office in Amman is managed by a local team of experienced and passionate travel professionals with an intimate knowledge of Jordan, enabling them to provide clients with great insight into this fascinating destination, and ensuring a seamless experience every step of the A&K journey. With their long standing personal connections and networks they're also there to help you uncover local secrets and experiences, and to open doors to people and places normally beyond the reach of the ordinary traveller.


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Useful info

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Best time to be there

March to May and September to November are best times to be in the country, but Jordan's Mediterranean climate is pleasant all year round. Lightweight clothes are advised between May and September. Warmer clothes are necessary for winter and cool summer evenings. Rainwear is needed from November to April. It has been known to snow as far south as Petra.

Fly to

Amman (British Midland International - daily, Royal Jordanian - daily)

flying time

5 hours direct

time difference

GMT +2 hours

Visas

Required - obtainable in advance or on arrival

Health Requirements

No mandatory vaccinations

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