22 Jan Jordan Classical Tour – Jordan – 8 Nights
Day 1: Amman – Arrival Day
Upon arrival at Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, you will be met by our English-speaking local representative who will assist you with getting your visa, retrieving your bags, and passing through customs procedures. (Visas are $15 USD for all nationalities & is paid in cash upon arrival). Afterwards, you will be transferred by private car to your hotel. The rest of the day is yours to explore the city. Overnight in Amman.
Day 2: Amman – Desert Castle
After breakfast your tour begins with sites in Amman, a safe, friendly, and modern city dating back thousands of years. Above the city, the ancient Citadel watches over Amman as it reveals its past. This city is known in the Old Testament as Rabbath Ammon and in Greco-Roman times as Philadelphia, you will visit the Amphitheater and Jordan Folklore Museum as well as the Citadel including the Byzantine Church, the Temple of Hercules, and the Umayyad Palace complex. Later in the day, we leave Amman for a tour of the Desert Castles. Our stops include Amra Castle with its zodiac dome adorned with early examples of Omayyad fresco paintings, the mysterious fortress-like Qasr Kha-ranah, and the black basalt Roman/Medieval Islamic fort at Azraq. In the afternoon we drive back to your hotel. Overnight in Amman.
Day 3: Amman – Jerash – Ajloun – Amman
After breakfast we leave Amman and drive north to Jerash, the best example of a Roman provincial city in the Middle East. You will visit Hadrian’s Arch, the Hippodrome, the Colonnade, the Cathedral, the Jerash Archaeological Museum, the North Theater, and the South Theater.
After Jerash we proceed to Ajlun Castle (Qal’at Ar-Rabad), built by Saladin’s general in 1184 AD. The strategic placement of the Castle helped control the iron mines of Ajlun and helped to counter the progress of the Crusaders in two ways: by dominating the three main routes leading to the Jordan valley and by protecting the communications routes between Jordan and Syria. The castle is a fine example of Islamic architecture and dominates a wide stretch of the northern Jordan Valley. At the end of the tour we travel back to your hotel in Amman. Overnight in Amman.
Day 4: Amman – Madaba – Mt. Nebo – Petra
After breakfast we leave Amman and begin the drive toward Petra. The first stop along the way is Madaba, where St George’s Greek Orthodox Church houses a famous floor mosaic from the 6th century AD. The mosaic illustrates the pilgrimage from the surrounding areas to the Holy Land; you will be able to find Egypt on the map.
Our next visit is to Mount Nebo, where you will find a memorial to Musa (Moses) and a 4th-century church that Italian Franciscan priests excavated and restored in 1933. The panoramic view overlooks the Jordan River Valley, the Dead Sea, Jericho, and Jerusalem. In the afternoon we arrive in Petra and escort you to your hotel. Overnight in Petra.
Day 5: Petra City Tour and Short horse ride
After breakfast you have the entire day to explore the Rose Red City of Petra. The city is thought to have been first established in the 6th century BC by Nabataean Arabs, a nomadic tribe who settled in the area and laid the foundations of a commercial empire that extended into Syria. Despite successive attempts by the Seleucid king Antigonus, the Roman emperor Pompey and Herod the Great to bring Petra under the control of their respective empires.
Petra remained largely in Nabataean hands until around 100 AD, when the Romans diverted to the north the caravan routes that had brought Petra its wealth. It was still inhabited during the Byzantine period, when the former Roman Empire moved its focus east to Constantinople, but declined in importance thereafter. The Crusaders constructed a fort there in the 12th century, but soon withdrew, leaving Petra to the local people until the early 19th century, when it was visited by the Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt.
The approach to Petra is unforgettable, made either on foot or horseback through the Outer Siq and then on foot through the Siq itself. The Siq ends in an open space which is dominated by the Treasury, Petra’s most famous building. A local guide will give a brief history of the city. You will also see Pharaoh’s Castle, the Triumphal Arch, the Amphitheater and Monastery before returning to your hotel. Overnight in Petra.
Day 6: Petra – Free Day
After breakfast you can continue to explore the lost city of Petra on your own, or you can add one of our optional tours. Overnight in Petra.
Day 7: Petra – Wadi Rum – Agaba
After breakfast we set out for the desert of Wadi Rum. We drive for 2 hours in a 4-wheel drive jeep through the desert to see Lawrence’s spring. We pass majestic mountains and explore a gorge with ancient rock drawings.
Afterwards, we return to our bus and drive to Aqaba. There, you will find exceptional weather more than eight months of the year, allowing you to enjoy sailing, water skiing, and swimming. Aqaba is home to some great reefs for diving and snorkeling; you’ll find the colorful and varied marine life of the Red Sea here. We will arrange any activities that suit your interests. Overnight in Agaba.
Day 8: Agaba – the Dead Sea
After breakfast enjoy a morning free at leisure. In the afternoon we will drive to the Dead Sea, the lowest point on Earth and the largest natural spa anywhere. The Dead Sea is one of the world’s true natural wonders and a unique destination. At 417 meters (1,373 ft.) below sea level, the mineral-rich waters and mud flows have natural health and beauty benefits acclaimed globally. Recognized as a mini-universe with its own microclimate, the Dead Sea is the saltiest and most mineral-laden body of water in the world. The unparalleled buoyancy and warmth of the water has everyone floating. Its health-promoting thermo-mineral springs and famous cosmetic black mud have been praised by visitors for millennia. Relax and treat yourself to all this unique place has to offer. Overnight in the Dead Sea.
Day 9: the Dead Sea – Amman – End of the Tour
After breakfast transfer to Queen Alia International Airport in Amman for your international flight back home.