Welcome to Jordan! Upon arrival our staff will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel in Amman for the start of your trip. They'll help you settle in and introduce you to the local area.
Your first full day of our Jordan tour starts after breakfast, as we make our way to Jordan's famous 'desert castles'. Jordan's desert castles are located on the old trade routes and still house some of its ancient remnants including frescoes, bath houses and wells. We'll explore the desert castles of Qasr al-Kharrana, Qasr Azraq and Qasr Amra before we head back to Amman for lunch at a local eatery, with falafel and hummus on the menu.
After lunch, we'll explore downtown Amman on foot, visiting the impressive Roman Amphitheatre, the Jordan Folklore Museum as well as the Citadel. We'll also visit some of Amman's busy markets, tasting Knafeh - a tasty sweet - while our guide teaches us some basic Arabic greetings and phrases to use during our Jordan tour. We may visit a few traditional handcraft and art galleries, if time permits.
Leaving Amman this morning, we head north to the ancient city of Jerash - one of the largest and well-preserved Greco-Roman cities outside of Europe. Here we'll visit the Forum, explore its Roman colonnaded streets, the Nymphaeum and the Temple of Artemis.
From Jerash, we'll make our way to Ajloun Castle, built in the 12th century and extended in the 13th. It also served as the base for Saladin's Arab forces when he defeated the Crusaders in the 12th century. The countryside of the Ajloun Forest Reserve around the castle is picturesque and green and a popular place for avid hikers, with its hills, mountains and forests just waiting to be explored.
After Ajloun Castle, we head to the village of Rasoun to meet our homestay hosts for the night. After settling in and being shown through the village, we'll walk through hills covered with scrub and forest to see some Bronze Age Dolmens - which are megalithic tombs formed by placing a huge stone slab atop two or more standing stones.
We'll return to our homestay in Rasoun this evening, where we'll be treated to a home-cooked traditional Arabic meal which will be prepared by our host Jordanian family, and we spend the evening chatting with them about life in Jordan.
We say goodbye tour Jordanian host family, after a shared breakfast and head south to Madaba, where we'll marvel at the Byzantine mosaics and the 'Madaba Map' - which is the oldest preserved map of the Holy Land. From Madaba, we'll make our way to Mount Nebo where on a clear day, which is most of the time, you get great views towards Jericho and beyond.
After a tasty lunch, we'll make our way down to our resort right on the banks of the Dead Sea, where you have some free time to swim - or rather float - in its incredibly salty waters and to relax by the hotel pool. Don't forget a newspaper or magazine for your iconic Dead Sea photo!
We start today with a walk through the breathtaking canyons and gorges of Wadi Mujib, at 410 metres below sea level, the lowest nature reserve on the planet.
During the summer months of April to October, we'll take the Siq Trail along the course of the river between towering sandstone cliffs to the base of a large waterfall. The gorge may contain pools deep enough for swimming and you should expect to get a bit wet along the way. In the winter months of November to March, we'll take the Ibex trail along various dry wadis with great views of the Dead Sea to the Raddas Ranger Station where we'll look out for Nubian Ibex. We'll also see the famous rock 'statue' of Lot's wife before returning to the reserve entrance.
We'll then drive along the Dead Sea coast and up through the mountains to Petra. We'll take a break en-route at Lot's Cave, for a local village lunch, and at the huge crusader castle at Shobak.
You have the option for a spectacular and atmospheric introduction to Petra tonight, with the Petra by Night tour. Here you walk through the Siq to the Treasury, the whole way being atmospherically lit up by thousands of candles.
We start our exploration of the Rose Red city of Petra, now one of the Modern 7 Wonders of the World, with a walk through the winding Siq to the magnificent Treasury.
Our guide will explain the fascinating history of the site and the Nabatean people who built it, and we'll explore several caves and tombs. You'll then have time to explore further, perhaps hiking up to the huge Monastery, carved out of the cliffs overlooking the Jordan Valley, or walking up to the High Place of Sacrifice.
Late in the afternoon, we head into the spectacular desert scenery of Wadi Rum for a night under the stars enjoying the hospitality of the Bedouins. We stay in a comfortable camp with a great remote location between the sand dunes and the rocky cliffs, well away from the road and traffic.
You can sleep in your traditional goat hair tent, with a proper bed and all bedding provided, or take a sleeping bag and find a secluded location to sleep outside under the stars.
After breakfast in the camp, we take a jeep safari through the sands and beneath the towering 'jebels' of Wadi Rum, stopping to climb sand dunes and to see some of the strange rock formations, including a spectacular rock bridge.
We'll also do some local activities inspired from the Bedouin traditions, walking with a local shepherd with his sheep and goats to a Bedouin tent where we'll participate in making lunch. We can also join in and learn about other traditional Bedouin activities such as shearing the sheep & goats' hair, milking, grinding grains, making bread and roasting coffee until our lunch is ready. Finally, after really getting a feel for nomadic Bedouin life, we return by jeep to our camp and then drive north on the Desert Highway back to Amman. If you would like to add a few days to your tour and spend some time by the Red Sea, then an extension to Aqaba is available after you finish in Wadi Rum.
This evening we'll walk out to a coffee shop or cafe near our hotel in Downtown Amman to enjoy a shisha, a game of backgammon and to reminisce on our Jordan tour.
Your time is free in Amman today until we pick you up from your hotel and transfer you to the airport for your departure. Further sightseeing tours are available today if you have a late afternoon or evening flight, including a trip to the Baptism Site at Bethany on the Jordan River. This tour also connects well with several of our Egypt and Israel tours, please contact us for ideas and help with connections.