Impressions of Jordan itinerary

 

Day 1: Arrival Amman
Ahlan Wa Sahlan! Welcome to Jordan.

Welcome to Amman. After checking into your hotel the rest of the day is free until your welcome meeting later today.

Our hotel is well placed in downtown Amman, just opposite the Roman Theatre. There are terrific views from the rooftop bar, and you will be able to easily explore the area around the hotel and savour the atmosphere.

After our welcome meeting, we will head out for an optional evening meal.

Included Activities:
Welcome meeting

Accommodation:
Amman Pasha Hotel or similar

 

Day 2: Amman, Qasr Amra & the Azraq Wetland Reserve
After an early breakfast, we start our city tour by visiting the Citadel, Amman's history spans nine millennia dating back to the Stone Age. It boasts one of the largest Neolithic settlements (c. 6500 BC) ever discovered in the Middle East. The Citadel hill contains early Bronze Age tombs (3300-1200 BC). From the top of the hill we will then drive down town to first visit the Roman Amphitheatre, before continuing to the down town area. The downtown area is much older and more traditional with smaller businesses producing and selling everything from fabulous jewelry to everyday household items.

Next we transfer to visit Qasr Amra. One of the best-preserved desert buildings of the Umayyads, the Unesco World Heritage Site of Qasr Amra is the highlight of a trip into the Eastern Desert. Part of a much greater complex that served as a caravanserai, bathhouse and hunting lodge, the Qasr or qusayr (little castle) is renowned for its rather risqué 8th-century frescoes of wine, women and wild times.

Transfer to Azraq Wetland Reserve, where depending on time, we will either walk the March Trail (01 hour) or the Water Buffalo Trail (02-03 hours), before returning to our hotel.

Included activities:
Citadel entrance
Roman Amphitheatre entrance
Qasr Amra entrance
Azraq Wetland Reserve entrance

Meals included:
Breakfast

Accommodation:
Amman Pasha Hotel or similar

 

Day 3: Amman - Wadi Rum
After breakfast, we check out of our hotel and drive to Wadi Rum. This is a stupendous, timeless place, virtually untouched by humanity and its destructive forces. Here, it is the weather and winds that have carved the imposing, towering skyscrapers, so elegantly described by T.E. Lawrence as "vast, echoing and God-like...". We enjoy a 4WD tour for around 4 hours before finishing at our camp for dinner and overnight.

Depending on the weather, this will be our first chance to photograph star trails in the dark skies over the desert.

Included activities:
4WD Wadi Rum tour

Meals included:
Breakfast & dinner

Accommodation:
Dream camp or similar

 

Day 4: Wadi Rum - Aqaba
After a quick 4WD transfer back to our coach, we drive to Aqaba on the coast of the Red Sea. The resr of the day is free to explore this quaint town. Aqaba is where Jordan comes for its vacations, and is an interesting spot! There are a number of great bars and obviously excellent seafood restaurants. One of the best things to do is to take a snorkel boat. This will visit a couple of fantastic reefs near the town. If you have a PADI then you can organise to dive in the Red Sea. Our local leader will be able to arrange this for anyone who is interested.

Optional activities:
Red Sea snorkel boat

Meals included:
Breakfast

Accommodation:
Aquavista Hotel or similar

 

Day 5: Aqaba - Petra
Petra is justifiably on most people’s list of ‘must-visit’ places. It is the jewel of Jordan, the lost city of the biblical Nabataean, an impressive series of tombs and dwellings hidden behind ornate facades carved directly into the rock. Dating back to the 6th century BC, the site was lost to Western minds until it was rediscovered in 1812 by a Swiss explorer.

We will arrive in time for an afternoon visit to look around this vast, and truly fascinating site.

Included activities:
Petra entrance pass

Meals included:
Breakfast

Accommodation:
Sharah Mountains Hotel or similar

 

Day 6: Petra
Petra is a the ancient city of the Nabatean civilisation. It lay at the centre of a vast series of trade routes that stretched across the known world. The Nabateans believed in prparing for the afterlife, and many of the famous pink carved facades are infact tombs. The city is reached by walking down a long and narrow gorge, called the siq. The most famous site is the Treasury, which was importalised in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom!

The city was taken by the Romans, who reputed fought their way down the siq. They left their mark on the city, building a theatre and a typical paved Roman road.

Petra is a vast site, with many outlying tombs to visit, including the Place of High Sacrifice and the remote Monastery. These will need a good level of fitness as they include a lot of stairs! The views from the top of each of these places are incredible though. There are also a number of self-guided walks that you can undertake, where you can have some of the most atmospheric tombs all to yourself.

Today would be a good day to head to the so-called Monastery, at the far end of the site, which is agreat place to witness the sunset, although you will need to walk fast to get to the exit in time!

Included activities:
Petra entrance pass

Meals included:
Breakfast

Accommodation:
Sharah Mountains Hotel or similar

 

Day 7: Petra
Today we will have our second full day to explore the site. We have a few options for sunrise. One of the most atmospheric is to head to the cliffs above the Treasury, where a local Bedouin has set up a small teashop! The views down to the Treasury are incredible.

Today is a Monday, which is one of the days where you can 'enjoy' the optional Petra by Night show. In truth, this is a bit rubbish, and quite crowded. I have worked out that if you have the Petra by Night ticket, you can simply not leave the site at the end of the day, and wait around by the Treasury. This allows you to take pictures of the candles infront of the facade before the crowds arrive, and then either stay and watch, or slip away back up the siq and shoot star trails over some of the more atmospheric tombs before the Petra by Night finishes and the whole site is closed!

Included activities:
Petra entrance pass

Meals included:
Breakfast

Accommodation:
Sharah Mountains Hotel or similar

 

Day 8: Petra - Dana
From the biggest tourist attraction in the country, we head to one of its least known attractions - the Dana Nature Reserve.

We drive to the traditional 500 year old Dana village, and check into our guest house. We have some time to explore, before heading on a two hour walk - the Dana Village trail. We will be rewarded with some stunning views and maybe a glimpse of some local wildlife.

Included activities:
Dana village trail

Meals included:
Breakfast

Accommodation:
Dana Guest House or similar (shared bathrooms)

 

Day 9: Dana - Kerak - Dead Sea - Madaba
A full day of sightseeing starts with a drive to Kerak Castle. The Crusader castle is some 220m long, 125m wide at the north end, and 40m wide at the southern end, where a narrow valley deepened by a ditch separates it from the adjoining and much higher hill – once Saladin's favorite artillery position.

We carry on to the lowest point on earth, the Dead Sea where you will experience floating effortlessly, and somewhat saltily! Lunch is included at one of the tourist beaches in the Dead Sea. From here we continue to the pleasant town of Transfer to Madaba for overnight.

Included activities:
Kerak entrance
Dead Sea tourist beach entrance

Meals included:
Breakfast

Accommodation:
Best Western Grand Hotel or similar

 

Day 10: Madaba - St. George’s Church - Mt. Nebo - As-Salt - Jerash - Madaba
This is another full day of sightseeing, where we will experience a vast array of Jordanian history. We start with a visit to St. George’s Church that houses the oldest mosaic map of Jerusalem. In the same area is Mt. Nebo where Moses is believed to be buried.

We continue to the ancient town of As-Salt. This was one of the most important settlements in the area between the Jordan Valley and the Eastern Desert. Because of its history as an important trading link between the Eastern Desert and the west, it was a significant place for the region’s many rulers.

Finally, we continue to the breathtaking Roman city of Jerash. Nestled in a quiet valley among the mountains of Gilead, is the grandeur of Imperial Rome being one of the largest and best preserved sites of Roman architecture outside of Italy. To this day, its paved and colonnaded streets, soaring hilltop temples, handsome theatres, spacious public squares and plazas, baths, fountains and city walls pierced by towers and gates remain in exceptional condition. We return to Madaba for overnight

Included activities:
St. George’s Church entrance
Mount Nebo entrance
Jerash entrance

Meals included:
Breakfast

Accommodation:
Best Western Grand Hotel or similar

Day 11: Tour ends
Sadly your tour comes to an end. There are no activities planned for today and you are free to depart at any time.

Meals included:
Breakfast