If you are arriving on Day 1 you will be met on arrival and transferred to the group hotel for accommodation on a twin share basis including breakfast. The day is at leisure to absorb the sights and sounds of this bustling city. Amman is the capital of Jordan, and was known in biblical times as Rabbath Ammon, and under the Ptolemies, as Philadelphia. It is situated on a series of Jebels (meaning hills) and is divided by wadi's (or dry river beds) into modern and ancient quarters. You may visit the Roman theatre, a site dating back to the 2nd century AD. Nearby are the ruins of the citadel hill, the Archaeological museum, Costume and Folklore Museum and Ashrafiah Mosque, all of which are excellent introductions to the archeology of the region.
Depart Amman to visit the village of Ajlun with its fortress and magnificent view into the Jordan Valley. We then drive to Jerash - an incredibly well preserved Roman City. Jerash's golden age began with Roman rule, and when Emperor Hadrian visited in AD129, Jerash was already a thriving metropolis. We spend a few hours exploring the city, including the "Street of Columns" which runs for 600 metres from the oval Plaza. In the afternoon, we transfer back to Amman for the city tour. We visit the ruins of the Amman Roman theatre, the Citadel, the Umayyad Palace, the Archaeological and Folklore Museums. Free time for walking in the old downtown area of the city, and transfer back to the hotel.
Today we visit the Desert Castles of Azraq, Amra and Kharaneh. Continue to the Dead Sea, the lowest point on the surface of the earth for a swim in its warm salty waters. Free time at leisure and transfer to Madaba. Overnight hotel.
Madaba is best known for its beautiful Byzantine-era mosaics, including the 'Madaba Map', a 6th century mosaic map of the Holy Land. A remarkably well detailed layout of the region which is made up of two million pieces and shows the Nile, the Dead Sea and Jerusalem, including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. We make a visit to the nearby Mount Nebo, a high hill overlooking the Dead Sea from where Moses is said to have seen the Promised Land. Our last stop before Petra is the well preserved crusader castle at Kerak, where we will also have an opportunity to have lunch (own account) in one of the local eating houses. Overnight hotel.
Chief among Jordan's archaeological riches is the soul-stirring, rose-red city of Petra, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Petra is the legacy of the Nabataeans, an industrious Arab people who settled in south Jordan more than 2,000 years ago. We will approach the city on foot through a 1km long narrow gorge or siq, flanked by towering cliffs. The sudden view of Petra's most spectacular monument, the Khaznah, or Treasury at the end of the Siq, is a dramatic sight. Used in the film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, this towering facade is only the first of Petra's unique structures. Various walks and climbs reveal literally hundreds of buildings, facades, tombs, baths, funerary halls, temples and haunting rock drawing and reliefs. Overnight hotel.
Note: Your entry ticket into the city of Petra includes a horse ride into the site and you will have the option to ride a donkey to the end of the Siq. In line with our commitment to animal welfare in tourism we encourage you to walk, rather than ride a horse and donkey. There have been a number of instances where travellers have been upset by the treatment of the horses and donkeys by their handlers.
We leave Petra this morning and drive for about an hour and a half to the Wadi Rum, a unique valley of colored sand dunes surrounded by beautiful rugged mountains. This is true 'Lawrence of Arabia' country and has some of the most spectacular desert scenery in the world - a desert where black, windsculpted sandstone hills contrast sharply with the pale sands. Many describe this area as the Valley of the Moon. On arrival at the Visitors' Centre we meet our Bedouin hosts, and transfer by jeep to the entrance to the Rakebat Canyon, immediately opposite Rum Village. We begin our jeep safari and gentle walks through the most interesting canyons of Wadi Rum. This mountain range is a veritable labyrinth of canyons inside and crossing it is an exciting experience. The jeep safari will take about 2-3 hours, so we should reach our camel meeting point in time for a rest and an early lunch. Optional camel ride through the dramatic landscape (approx 3 hours) until we reach our evening's campsite. Dinner and overnight Bedouin camp.
NOTE - At the time of booking, there is an option to upgrade to a Martian Dome Tent - additional supplement applies; subject to availability.
It takes around an hour to travel to Aqaba and we should reach the seaside resort by mid morning. Around 2 hours have been set aside to relax by the Red Sea, before returning to Amman. Overnight hotel.
Trip arrangements conclude after breakfast.