For such a relatively small country, Jordan sure does have more than its fair share of amazing...
The Adventure Company offers over 250 activity holidays to many destinations spanning every continent. We have many perfect destinations for your adventure travel, whatever your needs
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Petra & Wadi Rum
Transport - Minibus, 4WD, on foot.
Accommodation - Comfortable Hotels (5nts), lodge/resthouse (1nt, possible multi-share), Traditional bedouin camp (1nt, multi-share).
Meals - 7 breakfasts, 1 lunch & 2 dinners.
You'll follow an itinerary which has been researched and planned by our experts, saving you all the hassle of organising the trip. The itineraries are designed to minimise the time spent travelling and maximise the variety of experiences.
We often have multiple itineraries so please check to see which itinerary is suitable for you, by selecting the relevant tab.
The tour starts at your first night’s accommodation in Amman. Amman is a modern city with an ancient history; the Philadelphia of Roman times, the city spreads over seven hills and is the starting point for your exploration of this desert kingdom. Hotel – 2 nights
Jerash & Amman
Please rendevous with your Group Leader at 08.00 in the hotel reception. This morning you head 50km north to Jerash. With a history stretching back at least 2,300 years, Jerash is one of the finest examples of a provincial Roman town anywhere in the world. Although it was inhabited in pre-Roman times, it was with the coming of Alexander the Great that things really took off! As one of the league of ten cities known as the Decapolis, Jerash (otherwise known as Gerasa) grew in importance until, in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD, it was home to more than 25,000 people. The extraordinarily complete remains, which include a forum, a nymphaeum, hippodrome, two theatres (complete with numbered seats!) and several temples, date mainly from this period. Along the famous Colonnaded Street, grooves in the paving stones show where chariot wheels once rolled. Elsewhere, remnants of exquisite mosaics still cover some floors.
You have ample time to wander the site and imagine life in ancient times, before returning to Amman with time to relax, or the opportunity to visit some of the city sights, including the Citadel. (B)
Madaba, Mt Nebo, Kerak castle
This morning you drive to Madaba, famous for its 6th century mosaics, set in the ground like giant jigsaws. Just beyond is another biblical site, Mount Nebo, which overlooks the Jordan Valley. The Bible tells us this is the final resting-place of Moses; from here he looked out onto the Promised Land and, thousands of years on, you can do the same. You then set off southward, where just ahead is a huge crack in the earth, 1000m deep, and with spectacular views wherever one looks - the Wadi Mujib.
Continuing along the King's Highway, a winding road which follows the contours of the rocky hills, you’ll occasionally pass nomadic shepherds as they tend their flocks in the few areas where there is water. Your journey takes you across the deep gorge of Wadi al-Hesa, of similar proportions to Mujib.
You will travel to the small town of Kerak. Here a formidable Crusader castle overlooks a long, winding road down to the Dead Sea. The Crusaders had a huge impact on the region in the 11th - 13th centuries, and fought the forces of Islam in a long campaign, which saw many atrocities committed. Their temporary successes can be attributed - at least in part - to an outstanding ability to construct impregnable defensive fortifications, of which Kerak Castle is a prime example. Amazingly - given that it is over 850 years old - a great deal of the structure remains intact, and you can explore the dungeons, passages, refectory and kitchens of the castle, which also houses a small museum.
After a long drive of some 240km you turn off the King's Highway and make your way down to the recently developed Dana nature reserve, which has repeatedly been described as a real highlight of the trip and Jordan's hidden gem. The reserve aims to protect some of the country's endangered species, including ibex, mountain gazelle, wolf and red fox.Guesthouse (possible multi-share) or Lodge – 1night (BD)
Dana NP to Petra
After breakfast, you spend time exploring this fascinating reserve, taking a guided walk (approximately 1h30) along old paths through the village terraces. Wadi Dana drops from 1,500m above sea level to 100m below sea level as it plunges from the eastern plateau of the Great Rift Valley down to the Dead Sea. It is possible to gauge the remarkable variety of habitats ranging from semi-arid forests to sub-tropical wadis as you walk.
You then travel through spectacular mountain scenery to the town of Wadi Musa, on the edge of the Araba Valley, the biblical land of Edom. Wadi Musa gives its name to the modern town that stands close to the well-concealed city of Petra - perhaps the world's most famous 'lost city'. Its exact location was unknown in the West until 1812, when the Swiss explorer J.L. Burckhardt, a convert to Islam, made a short detour to sacrifice a goat at the nearby meli (tomb) of the prophet Harun. As he picked his way towards the foot of the mountain, he stumbled across the siq, the narrow defile that leads to Petra - and the rest is history. Since that day many others have made their way along the same path and, as Burckhardt must have done, gazed in awe at the splendid monuments that adorn this remote valley.
You spend the evening in Wadi Musa, and have time to visit Litle Petra (optional, additional charge) as an introduction before setting off the following day to explore the site in full. Hotel - 2 nights (B)
Today you will make your way to the fabled site, following the same path as Burckhardt, which funnels you through the banded rock walls that tower above. At the end of the kilometre-long path, you are rewarded by a glimpse of the most beautiful building of all - the Khazneh or Treasury - so-called because the Bedouin believed that the urn crowning the edifice held a cache of gold and jewels. The first sight of this perfectly proportioned tomb, carved from the towering rock, is truly unforgettable and there's much more to come!
Some 2,400 years ago the Nabataeans taxed the trade caravans that plied between southern Arabia and the shores of the eastern Mediterranean and, using the proceeds, built the first houses and temples here. Later, these taxes proved even more rewarding, and today the Nabatean legacy includes houses, tombs, temples, a (Roman-built) amphitheatre and much more.
Although it is a tiring walk up the 800 steps, it is well worth making the hour or so ascent up the rocky path, which leads to the Monastery, a vast structure rivalling even the Treasury and boasting fantastic views stretching out over the valley below. If you have some energy remaining, time should also allow you to climb to one of the High Places, the mountain-top altars where ritual sacrifices were made; from here there are spectacular views of the mountains, valleys and canyons below. (B)
NB - Watch out for donkeys on the walk up to the Monastery, they can be quite pushy so take care.
This morning is left free for you to take another trip to Petra to explore further. This afternoon, you head south to Wadi Rum, taking the Desert Highway through some incredible scenery. During your trip today you may see the black ‘beit ash shar’ tents of the hardy Bedouin who still wander throughout the Middle East as they have for centuries. Moving between the few grazing spots which dot the parched landscape, they survive by breeding goats, sheep and camels. Although the traditional nomadic way of life is starting to disappear as some Bedouin succumb to the lure of fixed accommodation, many adhere solidly to the old way - albeit with the occasional addition of a 4WD vehicle for transport! Living in such a hostile environment has taught them the importance of a friendly welcome and the ancient code of hospitality to travellers still survives.
You camp at the edge of the Wadi Rum protected area, with a backdrop of high mountains and sand dunes and in true desert fashion you sleep in a traditional Bedouin tent or under the stars. As the sun sets on the rocky outcrops, an astonishing transformation takes place - the sandstone changes hue, passing through a spectrum of yellow, gold, orange, red and finally purple, as the shadows lengthen and the stars come out - the skies are clear and stars stand out brightly. The Milky Way, satellites and shooting stars can be clearly seen - the perfect opportunity for star-gazing. Bedouin-style camp (communal sleeping arrangement) - 1 night (BLD)
Relax at the Dead Sea
You have some time to explore the wadi, which offers some of the most extraordinary desert scenery. From a distance, Wadi Rum's sheer sandstone cliffs appear to hover like a shimmering mirage on the horizon. It's only from close quarters that you can fully appreciate just how large some are, rising to a height of 1,800m. It's hard to describe the majesty of this setting without sounding too effusive; suffice to say that the beauty that captivated Lawrence of Arabia is just as evident today. To the Howeitat Bedouin, who have taken it as their own, the area is known as the Valley of the Moon. These people are reputedly the remainder of Lawrence's Arab army who marched with him from Azraq in the north, then stayed behind once battle was done.
There is time this morning for a camel ride (optional) before the transfer to the Dead Sea where you will can opt to visit the baptism site (additional charge) and have the rest of the day free to relax. At 400 metres below sea level it's the lowest place on earth. Here the mineral content of the water is so dense that anybody attempting to swim finds that they float, rather than sink! It's a remarkable feeling and one you'll be able to experience for yourself this afternoon. This evening you can meet up with the rest of the group for a final meal together, and reflect on your adventures in this fascinating country! Hotel - 1 night (B)
The tour ends after breakfast at the Dead Sea hotel. (B) The flight inclusive group members will say good-bye at the hotel as they get transfered back to Amman airport to catch their flight home.