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A Week in Jordan
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Mixed Groups

8 Days / 7 Nights Trip | City Tour of Amman & Jerash, Baptism Site at Bethany, Explore Petra, Stargazing in Wadirum, Swim in Dead Sea

A Week in Jordan

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
    8 Days
  • Starting From
    Twin sharing
  • Travel Operator
    Encounters Travel
  • Flights
    Not Included
    Flight booking assistance will be provided.

Trip highlights

Wadi Rum: Where Martians and Bedouins roam
Highlight #1
Wadi Rum: Where Martians and Bedouins roam
Well, not exactly, although the vast, red-washed desert is eerily similar to a Martian landscape.
When in Petra, you can’t help but feel like Indiana Jones
Highlight #2
When in Petra, you can’t help but feel like Indiana Jones
One of the seven wonders of the world, Petra makes you feel like an adventurer wherever you go.
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!
Amman for the urban adventurer
Highlight #4
Amman for the urban adventurer
Jordan’s capital has a pulsating energy, where remnants of the past blend with the modern.
Welcome to Rome (outside of Rome): Jerash
Highlight #5
Welcome to Rome (outside of Rome): Jerash
The ancient ruins of Jerash were ruled by an empire famous for tales of nobility, love & betrayal, with arenas hosting epic battles between gladiators and beasts.

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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Welcome to Jordan! Hotel transfers included

Once you've landed at the airport, we'll be there to meet you and transfer you to your hotel in Jordan's bustling capital city of Amman. After helping you check in and pointing you to any local shops, cafes or restaurants, you're free to explore Amman independently before our sightseeing starts tomorrow.

The Harmony Trail at As-Salt and the Baptism Site at Bethany

Our first visit today is to the hilltop town of As-Salt, around 40 minutes drive from Amman. As-Salt was an important trading link between the Jordan Valley and Eastern Desert, and once the capital of Amman. The town developed its old Islamic architecture using yellow limestone, which was the finest at the time and many impressive buildings can still be seen today, as well as tiny narrow streets packed with shops and stalls. Today the town provides an example of religious and cultural friendship between the local Muslim and Christian population and we take a walking tour on its self-designed 'Harmony Trail' to learn more about the town and local life in Jordan. We'll also take lunch with a local family for a first taste of Jordan's delicious cuisine (occasionally if groups are large we may try some traditional Jordanian food in a local restaurant instead).

After lunch we descend out of the hills to the Baptism Site at Bethany. This is a relatively recently excavated site believed to be the biblical 'Bethany-beyond-the-Jordan' where John baptised Jesus Christ. Several churches, caves and pools dating from Roman and Byzantine periods have been discovered here. Both Pope John Paul II, and Pope Benedict XVI have visited. An electric minibus takes you from the visitor centre to the three sites: Tell Mar Elias, the Baptism Pools and John the Baptist's Church.

Exploring Amman and Jerash

Your Jordan tour continues today with a city tour of Amman first on the agenda. Amman is rich in history, dating back many millennia. Archaeological discoveries have uncovered remains from the Neolithic period as well as the Hellenistic and late Roman to Arab Islamic Ages.

We'll start by making our way to the Citadel - the former home of the ancient Temple of Hercules, The Umayyad Palace, the Byzantine Church before we make our way to the 6000-seater Roman theatre, which was built during the Roman Period. The ancient theatre is still in use today, playing host to numerous cultural events.

From Amman, we travel to Jerash - one of the world's most well-preserved Roman architecture sites outside of Italy. Hidden away from the world underneath sand for centuries, archaeological work over the past 70 years have revealed that Jerash was a fine example of Roman urbanism, with its paved and colonnaded streets, hilltop temples, impressive theatres, public squares and plazas.

Driving along the King's Highway to Petra

We say goodbye to Amman as we head down the King's Highway on a scenic journey to Petra. The drive will be a slow one, but we will take in the beauty of it as we make our way through deep wadis, olive groves, rural villages and farmlands.

On our way to Petra, we'll stop at Madaba to visit the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George, made famous by its 6th century old Byzantine mosaic map of the Holy Land and other biblical sites. On the agenda as well is a visit to Mount Nebo, the known burial place of Moses, taking in the spectacular views of the holy land.

We'll continue south, crossing deep wadis and over a deep canyon, before stopping at the Kerak Castle, which forms part of a few Crusader Fortresses spread across Jordan in the 12th century and provides us with spectacular views of the surrounding hills and plains. The Crusaders called it Crac des Moabites or Karak in Moab. Once we arrive in Petra, you'll have some time to settle in before spending the night here.

An option is available this evening to get a first taste of Petra itself with the atmospheric Petra by Candlelight tour through the Siq to the Treasury.

Exploring Petra, Wadi Rum Bedouin camp

Today is all about exploring the renowned Nabatean site of Petra, which served as the capital of the ancient Nabataean commercial empire until the Romans took over in 106AD.

Petra is located on the edge of Wadi Aruba and one of the best ways to get there is through the Siq, which is a narrow winding gorge through its towering canyon walls and surrounding hills. Once we arrive in Petra, you'll notice that there are very few free standing buildings, as the Nabateans preferred to carve their homes into the pink sandstone cliffs.

We'll be guided through the city, before you have some free time to browse around yourself. The guided tour takes you through the Siq, before reaching the Khazneh, one of the most elaborate temples in Petra. We'll find out how the Nabateans carved their homesteads into the rock faces and we'll also learn about its spiritual significance of it.

We'll also visit the ancient ruined Roman Amphitheatre and the colonnaded street and during your free time, explore the steep and winding gorge until you reach the towering monastery, the largest of Petra's carved monuments. It's a tiring walk, but the views are rewarding, looking over Wadi Aruba and the Jordan Valley. If you still have enough energy, you can also hike up to the High Place of Sacrifice and the Lion Fountain.

Later today, we leave Petra and drive into the spectacular desert scenery of Wadi Rum where friendly Bedouin hosts are ready to greet us at a comfortable camp beneath the towering rocks and cliffs. We spend the evening and night relaxing at the camp, watching the stars and enjoying a delicious traditional Jordanian meal.

Wadi Rum jeep safari, Dead Sea swim

We start the day exploring the beautiful desert and mountain scenery of Wadi Rum. Keep an eye out for the copper-coloured rocky 'jebels', which mesmerised TE Lawrence during his visits to the desert during the Arab Revolt and was later famed in the movie Lawrence of Arabia. We'll take a jeep safari through the beautiful desert scenery, seeing more of the sheer cliffs and bizarre rock formations.

We say goodbye to Wadi Rum later today and head north towards the Dead Sea, one of the planet's most spectacular destinations. Not only is it the lowest point on earth, coming in at 400 metres below sea level, it's also considered to be one of the world's most spiritual landscapes, filled with dramatic, natural wonders.

The Dead Sea is fed by numerous rivers, including the River Jordan. Once the waters reach the Dead Sea they are land-locked and have nowhere to go, so they evaporate, leaving behind a dense, rich, cocktail of salts and minerals that supply industry, agriculture and medicine with some of its finest products.

The Dead Sea is flanked by mountains to the east and the rolling hills of Jerusalem to the west, giving it an almost otherworldly beauty. Although sparsely populated and serenely quiet now, the area is believed to have been home to five Biblical cities: Sodom, Gomorrah, Adman, Zebouin and Zoar (Bela).

We'll stop along the way to enjoy a 'swim', though the intensely salty waters lead to a very strange swimming experience. In fact, normal swimming is not possible, and it is easier (and more photogenic!) just to float, sitting or lying in the water. Be careful not to get any water in your eyes, as it will sting.

We finish the day back at our hotel in Amman.

Desert Castles and Nature Reserves

After breakfast we leave Amman and head east to visit several of Jordan's Desert Castles - a fantastic reminder of its early Islamic art and architecture. These 'castles' were located on the old trade routes created during the Umayyad era and are more a combination of forts, bath houses and palaces than true castles. You can still see some mosaics, frescoes, carvings and illustrations on show, moulded by Persian and Graeco-Roman traditions, giving an insight into life during the 8th century. We'll explore the desert castles of Qasr al-Kharrana, Qal'at al-Azraq and Qseirr Amra and also visit two important nature reserves run by the Jordanian Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN). The Aqraq Wetland Reserve is a uniquely precious oasis located in the heart of Jordan’s eastern desert, between a limestone desert in the west and a basalt desert in the east. The reserve features lush marshland, and glittering pools and streams that are a haven for migratory birds on the African-Eurasian flyway. The Shaumari Wildlife Reserve was initially created as a breeding and reintroduction centre for globally threatened and locally extinct wildlife, particularly the Arabian Oryx. These efforts continue and now a wide variety of rare animals make their home in the reserve, including Ostriches Struthio camelus, Goitered Gazelles, and Persian Onagers. Also found in the area are red foxes, wolves, striped hyenas, Caracals and wild cats, while bird sightings can include Imperial Eagles, Pallid Harriers and Egyptian vultures. There is a good visitor centre on site and guided safaris may be available into the reserve before we return to Amman depending on the time we have available and the reserve's current arrangements. For your last evening, why not head into Downtown Amman for a final taste of Jordanian food, perhaps giving Jordan's national dish of Mansaf a go, or the classic falafel and hummus, with a taste of Knafeh, a popular sweet desert to finish.

Free time in Amman. Departure airport transfer

We have the day free to explore Amman before being transferred to the airport to board your departing flight back home.

You can also choose to try some optional day trips such as a visit to Aljoun Castle.

If you wish to extend the tour, we can arrange a transfer to Tel Aviv either by by flight or overland for people wanting to connect this tour with our Biblical Israel tour departure which starts on Sunday. Extensions to spend time at a resort in the Red Sea town or Aqaba are also available.


 Accommodation in 3-star hotels (upgrades available)

 1 night in a comfortable Bedouin camp in Wadi Rum

 All transport and transfers in AC minibus/coach

 24-hour airport arrival & departure transfer service

 Professional local tour guide escorts groups of all sizes

 4x4 jeep safari in Wadi Rum

 Entrance to Dead Sea beach with towel & showers

 Meals as indicated in the itinerary (all breakfasts, one lunch & one dinner)

Not Included

 International flights (available on request)

 Visa fees (free visa included as part of your Jordan Pass)

 Entrance fees (included with your Jordan Pass, obtained in advance for JD70, approx. USD99)

 Travel insurance (compulsory, available from Encounters Travel)

 Meals not indicated in the itinerary

 Hotel gala dinner supplements if applicable (24 & 31 Dec)

 Drinks, snacks and other personal expenses (e.g. laundry)


 Any other items not mentioned above

 Additional 5% GST

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Dates and prices

Start date

06 Dec 2020

End date

13 Dec 2020

5+ Spots left

8 Days / 7 Nights



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

Start date

20 Dec 2020

End date

27 Dec 2020

6+ Spots left

8 Days / 7 Nights



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

Start date

27 Dec 2020

End date

03 Jan 2021

5+ Spots left

8 Days / 7 Nights



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

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This Trip Is Operated By Encounters Travel

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