Jordan Land of Wonder
A small country in the Middle East, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan played a vital role to form the strategic location at the crossroads of what Christians, Jews and Muslims call the Holy Land. Land of wonder it is it’s home to the famed archaeological site of Petra, the Nabatean capital dating to around 300 B.C. Set in a narrow valley with tombs, temples and monuments carved into the surrounding pink sandstone cliffs, Petra earns its nickname, the "Rose City."
Trip Type: Cosmopolitan, Cultural
Day By Day
Day 1 – Welcome to Jordan
Upon arrival into Amman you will be met and transferred to your accommodation.
A small country in the Middle East, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan played a viatal roleto form the strategic location at the crossroads of what Christians, Jews and Muslims call the Holy Land. Land of wonder it is t’s home to the famed archaeological site of Petra, the Nabatean capital dating to around 300 B.C. Set in a narrow valley with tombs, temples and monuments carved into the surrounding pink sandstone cliffs, Petra earns its nickname, the "Rose City."Starting Accommodation:
The St Regis Amman
Day 2 – Umm Qais and Jerash Full Day
This morning travel north of Amman for a two hour drive to visit Umm Qais or Gadara of antiquity. Gadara commands a magnificent view over the northern Jordan Valley, the Sea of Galilee (Lake Tiberias), the Yarmouk River gorge and the Golan Heights. After the visit, transfer to the best-preserved example of Roman civilization, the city of Jerash. Jerash, part of the Decapolis (the ten big Roman cities of the East) has been called the Pompeii of the East for its unique state of preservation. The city features theaters, churches, temples (Zeus and Artemis), a Nymphaeum and colonnaded streets. After exploring this fascinating city you will transfer back to Amman.Starting Accommodation:
The St Regis Amman Meals:
Day 3 – Desert Castles and Amman City
Start the day with a visit to the Desert Castles in the eastern desert of the Kingdom, which offer the fresco art and zodiac dome of Qasr Amra baths; fortress-like enigmatic Qasr Karana; the Roman fort turned Umayyad residential palace at Qasr el Hallabat; and the black basalt Roman/Medieval Islamic fort at Azraq. After the visit, transfer back to Amman, the capital of the Hashemite Kingdom which is often referred to as the “White City” because of the white limestone used in the construction of many of the city’s buildings. The city’s heart is downtown and dates to Biblical and Roman times. The view from the Citadel over the downtown area and Roman theater is magical as you stand among Roman and biblical temples along with Ummayad built villas. A tour of the ancient sites of Amman is juxtaposed to its more modern and commercial center. A visit to Amman would be incomplete without strolling through its crowded streets, so you can soak in the atmosphere, especially along Rainbow Street, Amman’s soho like area, full of eclectic cafes, restaurants and art galleries, and in the downtown souk and market area around the Husseini Mosque. It’s this mix of modern and traditional that brings a city tour of Amman to life.Starting Accommodation:
The St Regis Amman Meals:
Day 4 – Madaba, Mt. Nebo to Dana Nature Reserve
Depart Amman to visit Mt. Nebo, the alleged burial site of Moses overlooking the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea. Here Franciscans have built a structure that protects a 4th and 6th Century Byzantine church. Then a short drive to Madaba to visit the mosaic city of Madaba, where the oldest map of the Holy Land exists on the floor of Saint George’s Church. Madaba, or Medeba in antiquity, features many famous mosaics that exist in public and private buildings. After Madaba, head to Dana Nature Reserve, Jordan’s largest nature reserve, covering some 123 square-miles of spectacular mountains and Wadis along the face of the Great Rift Valley. From scorching sand dunes in the west to cool mountaintops in the east, the Dana Biosphere Reserve is home to a great variety of wildlife. There are plants and animals’ characteristic of true desert, of Mediterranean forests and of the dry plains of Russia. In fact, Dana is really a melting pot of species from three continents - Europe, Africa and Asia. Such a combination of natural communities in a single area is unique in Jordan and many of Dana’s animals and plants are very rare. So far, a total of 700 plant species, 190 bird species, 37 mammal species and 36 reptile species have been recorded in the Reserve, of which 25 are known to be endangered, including the Sand Cat, the Syrian Wolf, the Lesser Kestrel and the Spiny Tailed Lizard. Without special care, some of these could disappear from Earth forever, which makes the Dana Biosphere Reserve a place of global importance. Arrival in Dana Guesthouse, check in then have free time to explore the reserve.Starting Accommodation:
Dana Guesthouse Meals:
Day 5 – Dana Nature Reserve Hike to Petra and Petra Night Show
This morning meet a local guide for a 2-hour hike (1.2 mile) to view Wadi Araba. The 6- to 15-mile-wide Wadi Araba is the continuation of the Jordan Rift Valley and stretches over 102 miles from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba. Through the valley runs the border between Jordan and Israel. Highlights on the trail include magnificent sandstone and limestone formations, and beautiful views of the nature reserve. After the hike you will transfer to Petra with a stop to visit a crusader castle in Shoback.
Complete your Petra experience with a visit the Petra Night Show. This event is a magical way to see part of the rock city by candlelight and explore the old city, which has become a world wonder, incomparable experience starts by walking the entire Siq to the Treasury, lit with 2000 candles to bring the major attraction due to the spectacular view it has.Starting Accommodation:
The Mövenpick Resort Petra Meals:
Day 6 – Petra at Leisure
Today you will discover the historical city of Petra, Jordan’s most valuable treasure and greatest tourist attraction. Petra is a vast, unique city, carved into the sheer, dusky pink rock face by the Nabataeans over 2,000 years ago. Located about 140 miles from Amman, it is one of the 7 Wonders of the World and an example of the engineering genius of these ancient people. Led by a local guide you will enter the city through a Siq - a narrow gorge just under a mile in length - the main entrance to the city. You will notice the dazzling colors and rock formations as well as the natural beauty of the gorge as you make your way to Al Khazneh - The Treasury. The Siq is hemmed in by cliffs soaring up to 263 feet and at the end of the siq, you will see the treasury - El-Khazneh. The natural beauty of this place and its outstanding architectural achievements are astounding. This is one of the most elegant remains of antiquity, carved out of the solid rock from the side of the mountain, is nearly 140 feet high and 90 feet wide. Beyond el Khazneh you are surrounded on both sides by hundreds of Petra’s carved and built structures, soaring temples, elaborate royal tombs, a carved Roman theater, large and small houses, burial chambers and much more. The Victorian traveler and poet, Dean Burgon, gave Petra a description which holds to this day, “Match me such a marvel save in Eastern clime, a rose-red city half as old as time.” You can also visit the small stalls set up by the several artisans from the town of Wadi Musa and a nearby Bedouin settlement, selling local handicrafts, such as pottery, Bedouin jewelry, and bottles of striated multi-colored sands from the area. Enjoy the day with a short horse ride around the city of Petra. At the end of the day return to your hotel.Starting Accommodation:
The Mövenpick Resort Petra Meals:
Day 7 – Little Petra to Wadi Rum
This morning explore Little Petra. A ten-minute drive north of Petra is Siq Al-Barid, which is also referred to as 'Little Petra' due to similarities with the main site. It is thought to have been an important suburb of Petra and served as an agricultural center and resupply post for camel caravans visiting Petra. The entrance is through a narrow opening, similar to Siq but of a much smaller scale. The site includes tombs, temples, water channels and cisterns carved out of the rock as well as the remains of frescoes on plaster. The surrounding area is picturesque and fun to explore, especially as it is home to some of the oldest settlements in the world, including Al-Beidha. After the visit, depart Petra to the magical desert of Wadi Rum around noon time.
Upon arrival, you will take a jeep tour managed and driven by one of the local Bedouin to many of the sites in the moonlike landscaped desert. Begin from the visitor center and drive to Rum village about a 10 minute drive on a paved road. After this you will head into the ochre colored sandy desert as you visit the sites of Rum. Visit Lawrence’s spring, named for T.E. Lawrence, who fought in the Arab revolt against the Ottoman Empire. Continue to Khazali Canyon an iconic feature in Wadi Rum, Khazali Canyon is an easy 20 minute walk that allows you to see many Nabatean inscriptions and drawings. Lastly visit the Sand dunes, then head back to the visitor center passing by Wadi Rum Village where your Wadi Rum experience comes to an end.
As the sun sets in Wadi Rum you will experience not only the changing temperature but also the changes in the color of the rock and sand as they take on the deep red color of the setting sun. As day turns to night the atmosphere of the desert changes from heat to relaxed and welcoming as the Bedouin prepare the fire and the sumptuous hospitality.Starting Accommodation:
Memories Aicha Luxury Camp Meals:
Day 8 – Wadi Rum to Dana Biosphere Reserve
This morning you have some time at leisure to explore the camp before continuing your adventure to the mountainous Dana Biosphere Reserve where you will stay in the magnificent Wadi Feynan. Upon arrival you will be greated by local Bedouin who will transfer you in local transport to your accommodation. This evening enjoy healthy vegetarian dishes and a wide selection of homemade food. After dinner ascend candlelit stairs to a rooftop terrace laden with mattresses where guests can stretch out and sip hot tea as they gaze upwards at the Milky Way in its uninhibited glory. With no other sources of light, the sky becomes a vast dome of black velvet lit only by thousands of twinkling stars and planets with occasional shooting stars burning their tails into the night sky. Kick your stargazing experience up a notch and test out a powerful 10-inch Mead telescope to get incredible views of Saturn’s ring, or Jupiter’s moons. This night activity will be guided by Feynan Lodge guides.Starting Accommodation:
Feynan Eco-Lodge Meals:
Day 9 – Fenyan to Dead Sea
Meet your local guide and begin a 3 to 4 hour easy hike to the cooper mines. Learn how vast deposits of copper were discovered, mined and processed at Feynan by ancient civilizations thousands of years ago and what an important supply center Feynan was for the Roman Empire. Come explore deep, long-forgotten mine shafts and visit nearby sites to see how the copper was transported and refined, leaving vast slag formations from the smelting process that are still visible today. After the hike, return to the lodge for light lunch. After lunch you will transfer to to the lowest place on earth.Starting Accommodation:
Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea Meals:
Day 10 – Dead Sea at Leisure
Today you have the day at leisure to enjoy the facitilies at the hotel and the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is a salt lake bordered by Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west. It lies in the Jordan Rift Valley, and its main tributary is the Jordan River. The lake's surface is 1,412 feet below sea level, making its shores the lowest land-based elevation on Earth. According to historic legend, Cleopatra used to make special perfumes from balsam plants that grew in the area, which she used to bewitch men. The trick was that women used to put the perfume on their ankles, and this would make men fall to their knees!Starting Accommodation:
Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea Meals:
Day 11 – Depart Jordan
Today you will depart the Dead Sea and transfer to Amman International Airport to connect with your departing flight. Meals:
Package Level: Deluxe
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