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Jordan Discovery
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Mixed Groups

9 Days / 8 Nights Trip to Jordan

Jordan Discovery

Incredible ancient cities, some of the holiest sites in the world, other-worldly landscapes, and one-of-a-kind experiences await.
Dive headfirst into the quintessence of Jordan in the company of a small group of like-minded travellers, and enjoy a blend of fun, faith, falafel, freedom and fulfillment. Together, you will explore the rock-carved city of Petra, drive through the lunar-like Wadi Rum, float on the iconic Dead Sea and make unforgettable memories with new friends throughout.
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  • Duration
    9 Days
  • Starting From
    $1,351
    /person
    Twin sharing
  • Travel Operator
    Explore
  • Flights
    Not Included
    Flight booking assistance will be provided.

Trip highlights

Amman for the urban adventurer
Highlight #1
Amman for the urban adventurer
 Jordan’s capital has a pulsating energy, where remnants of the past blend with the modern.
Visit Candle-Lit Petra (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
Highlight #2
Visit Candle-Lit Petra (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
Explore this fabled rose-red city carved entirely from stone, made famous by Indiana Jones, lit up by the light of a thousand little candles.
Float on the Dead Sea
Highlight #3
Float on the Dead Sea
You’ve seen it in movies, you’ve seen it in magazines, now experience it for yourself. Jump into the Dead Sea and find yourself not sinking!
Wadi Rum: Where Martians and Bedouins roam
Highlight #4
Wadi Rum: Where Martians and Bedouins roam
Well, not exactly, although the vast, red-washed desert is eerily similar to a Martian landscape.
The Battle of the Bagpipers: Jerash
Highlight #5
The Battle of the Bagpipers: Jerash
Jerash is Rome, outside of Rome. Its ancient ruins were ruled by an empire famous for tales of nobility, love & betrayal, with arenas hosting epic battles between gladiators and beasts.
Video

The Unsinkable : Dead Sea

There's something in the water and it won't let you sink. What does it take to swim in the Dead Sea? (Tip: don’t swim like you normally would and never, ever shave before you get into the water!) Are you ready for the Dead Sea challenge?

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Itinerary

Join tour in Amman

We join our tour in Amman, the capital of Jordan and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Now home to almost half of the country's population, it is a fascinating city of contrasts, where the very ancient and the brand new collide. Depending on the schedule of your flights, you may wish to explore the city independently.

Visit Roman Jerash and mosaic-clad Madaba

This morning we drive the short 30 mile journey north of the capital to the ancient Jerash. Populated for over 6,500 years, the city's golden age was in Roman times when it was conquered by General Pompey and became one of a confederation of ten important Middle Eastern cities, known as the Decapolis League. Now, because of the way it has been preserved in sand before its excavation last century, it is widely acknowledged as one of the best-preserved Roman provincial towns in the world. Walking around the colonnaded streets, soaring hilltop temples, handsome theatres and the chariot-racing stadium, it is easy to imagine Roman life carrying on around you. All this is just the tip of the iceberg - it is estimated that only about 10% of city has been uncovered.

This afternoon we head south to Madaba - a town with a strong Christian heritage and aptly dubbed the 'City of Mosaics'. Home to hundreds of Byzantine-era mosaics, the most famous of these is the 6th century map of Jerusalem and the Holy Land. Created with two million pieces of vividly coloured local stone, it is believed to be the oldest surviving map of the holy land.

Before heading back to Amman, we stop off at Mount Nebo - a site of religious significance due to its reference in the Old Testament as being from where Moses saw the Promised Land. On a clear day, you too can see out across the border to Israel from its summit.

To Petra; explore Shobak and Kerak Castles en route

This morning, just as traders, armies and pilgrims have done before us, we journey south along the impressive 5,000 year-old King's Highway to Kerak. Imposingly situated on a rocky outcrop next to the road and containing a maze of stone-vaulted halls and passageways, this ancient Crusader stronghold is the most famous of a chain of fortresses built for the Holy War against Islam. We continue south to Shobak Castle. Lesser known than its sister fortification, Shobak dominates the rugged surroundings and its visit is truly evocative as we are among the few visitors to venture into this stronghold.

Our day of exploring Crusader castles ends with a short drive to Petra - without doubt Jordan's most valuable treasure. We can look forward to a couple of days spent here to really get under the skin of this awe-inspiring site. We arrive in time to take an optional candlelight tour of the ancient city. Abandoned centuries ago, this other-worldly place is enhanced by the play of light and shadow to create an altogether magical experience.

Explore the magnificent 'rose-red city' of Petra

Over the next two days we get the opportunity to discover Petra and to soak up this mysterious city. Our entrance fee for both days is included, giving us the chance to truly do justice to this jewel with an in depth visit.

Defined by John Burgon with the illustrious words 'A Rose Red City half as old as time', Petra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as one of the new wonders of the world. Often named as one of the places that you should see before you die, this ancient city carved in the rocks has retained its grandeur throughout the centuries and although much has been written about it, nothing really prepares you for the impact of this unique site.

After a guided orientation tour which will take us to some of the key areas, we have the rest of the day to explore in our own time. Most of what can be seen today was built by the Nabataeans - an industrious Arab people who settled here more than 2,500 years ago, growing wealthy on tax proceeds from passing silk and spice trade. Petra's spectacular setting deep inside a narrow desert gorge adds to its majesty. The site is accessed by walking through a kilometre-long chasm (known as the Siq), the walls of which soar to a height of 200m. Petra's most famous monument, the Treasury, appears dramatically at the end of the Siq, carved out of the sheer, dusky-pink rock face. Miraculously well preserved, this massive 43 metre-high façade dwarfs everything around it and perfectly represents the engineering genius of these people. The existence of this site had been kept secret for centuries by the local Bedouins and only revealed to the West by the Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt in 1812. After the decline of the City, due to shifting trading routes and a series of earthquakes, the Bedouins had continued to use the sophisticated water system created by the Nabateans to make the most of the water coming from the perennial stream and the flash floods; a precious oasis in the middle of an inhospitable desert. It's easy to imagine how overwhelming the rediscovery of the site must have been for him!

While you wander through literally hundreds of tombs, temples and colonnaded streets, your mind finds it easy to picture caravans loaded with frankincense, spices and textiles travelling through the Siq. The site is excellent for photography and the best time to take pictures is either early to mid-morning or late afternoon, as this is when the angled sun highlights and enhances the natural red, pink and orange colours of the rocks.

Please note: Depending on your chosen departure date, the hotel location in the Petra area may vary; all hotels we use are three star and are either located a 5 - 10 minute walk away from the visitor centre, or a 25 minute walk away from the visitor centre in the town of Wadi Musa. For groups based in Wadi Musa transport will be provided to and from Petra Visitor Centre on day 4 and on day 5 options are a 25 minute walk or a taxi for around £2-£4 each way. Please ask an Explore Sales Consultant or refer to your final documentation for a final hotel list.

In Petra; chance to trek up the Royal Tombs

Today is free for you to discover more of Petra's beautiful and awe-inspiring buildings and scenery. You may choose to climb the steep path to the 'High Place of Sacrifice' for a stunning view over Wadi Araba and the Negev Desert, or trek up to the impressive 'Monastery' - Petra's largest monument. This evening we enjoy a Bedouin cookery demonstration and meal at a nearby restaurant, learning how to make a traditional Makloubah (upside down) dish, with meat, rice and fried vegetables, followed by Um Ali, a creamy Arabic dessert with croissant pieces, raisins and nuts.

Four wheel drive adventure in the Wadi Rum desert

Today is all about embracing the Wadi Rum desert experience in its authenticity, as we have the once in a lifetime opportunity to live the lifestyle of the nomadic Bedouin people. This morning we will leave Petra by bus and head to Wadi Rum Visitor Centre where we will transfer into 4WD jeeps for an exhilarating 2 hour jeep drive through the desert. This is a great chance to see the most spectacular and untouched parts of Wadi Rum.

Wadi Rum occupies a region of 74,000 acres and as described by T.E. Lawrence, is 'vast, echoing and God-like...'. Monolithic outcrops of granite rock and sandstone rise out of the desert with a drifting blanket of sand between them. It is at its most impressive at the beginning and end of the day when the soft light and blue sky create a coppery effect on the sand. The Bedouins learnt to live with this hostile environment 3000 years ago, choosing the partnership with the camel for their survival. They understood the importance of keeping on the move and interpreting the elements, in order to find food and water. This afternoon we have the chance to experience a camel ride and learn about this precious alliance between the dromedary and the nomads.

After sunset, we enjoy the Bedouin hospitality around the campfire under a blanket of stars; a great setting to share stories while sipping mint and sage tea. A traditional zarb, which consists of a chicken or a goat meal cooked under the desert sand, is served as well as a delicious selection of mezze.

The campsite we use presents the opportunity to experience traditional Bedouin living arrangements in a large communal style goat hair tent, which provides the best protection against typical desert extremes of hot and cold weather. The tent is laid out with rugs, mattresses, pillows and blankets and is where each tribe would commune to eat, sleep and socialise, as well as a fire pit to sit around and enjoy some local sweet tea. Far away from the tourist centre, roads and within the Wadi Rum protected area, the camp is intimate and provides great views over the desert. A toilet and wash block with limited washing facilities is also available during our stay. Private tents can be paid for locally should you wish, subject to availibility.

Free time in Aqaba; chance to snorkel in the Red Sea

After all the exploration of the last few days, today we can enjoy a relaxing day in Aqaba on the Red Sea. Famed for its preserved coral reefs and unique sea life, your tour leader will be on hand to arrange optional activities for you. For example, you may like to take the opportunity to swim or snorkel in the Red Sea, or view the coral and marine life from a special reef-viewing boat.

Float on the Dead Sea before heading back to Amman

Today you have the opportunity to swim in the Dead Sea. Officially the lowest point on the earth's surface, this unique water body has an amazingly high salt content (33%) which means that no animal life survives and it is almost impossible to sink. The experience of floating naturally is unique and relaxing on the calm sea. There is also the opportunity for mud pack treatments, renowned for their precious mineral contents and their health and beauty benefits. We stay at a private beach and include the use of showers and washing facilities.

Finally, we drive on to Amman and spend our last night in the bustling capital with free time to do some last-minute shopping and sightseeing. To mark the end of your trip, you may choose to enjoy a traditional or cosmopolitan meal, washed down with some excellent Jordanian wine, in one of the capital's exceptional restaurants. Your Leader will be able to provide suggestions.

Tour ends in Amman

Our trip ends in Amman after breakfast.

Inclusions

 Included meals - 8 breakfast, 1 lunch, 2 dinner

 Trip Staff - Explore Tour Leader, Cameleers, Camp Crew, Driver(s), Local Guide(s)

 Transport - 4WD, Bus

 Accommodation - 6 nights standard hotel, 1 nights premium hotel, 1 nights simple tented camp

Not Included

 Additional 5% GST

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Start date

25 Jul 2020

End date

02 Aug 2020

6+ Spots left

9 Days / 8 Nights

$1,568

$1,351

Byond Postpaid starting at $216/month! Enquire with us now!

Start date

08 Aug 2020

End date

16 Aug 2020

6+ Spots left

9 Days / 8 Nights

$1,527

$1,351

Byond Postpaid starting at $216/month! Enquire with us now!

Start date

05 Sep 2020

End date

13 Sep 2020

6+ Spots left

9 Days / 8 Nights

$1,527

$1,351

Byond Postpaid starting at $216/month! Enquire with us now!

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This Trip Is Operated By Explore

At Explore, we're the experts in adventure travel. Our small group adventure holidays have been running since 1981. Our authentic travel experiences explore the sights and culture of a country, with hand-picked accommodation that balances comfort and location. Our average group tour size is just 12; perfect for meeting new people and getting to the heart of our destinations.

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