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ARRIVAL & DEPARTURE FROM AMMAN
08 DAYS | 07 NIGHTS
[ 02 Nights Amman | 02 Nights Petra | 02 Nights Aqaba | 01 Night Dead Sea ]
DAY 01 : Q.A.I. AIRPORT – AMMAN
Arrive at Queen Alia International Airport. Transfer to your hotel in Amman for a two night stay.
DAY 02 : AMMAN s/s – JERASH s/s – AMMAN
After breakfast, tour Amman, the capital of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Start with the Downtown area (Balad), the oldest part of Amman, which is crowned by the ancient Citadel (Jabal al-Qala’a), offering a panoramic view of the whole downtown area. Here one can also see the ancient Roman ruins of the Temple of Hercules, the Byzantine Church, the domed Islamic Omayyad Palace, and the National Archaeological Museum which, although small, houses a good collection of the antiquities of Jordan. At the foot of the Citadel is the 2nd century AD Roman Theater, still used today for cultural events.
Proceed via Abdoun, a contemporary residential area which boasts some of the best modern architecture, to visit the Royal Automobile Museum (closes on Tuesdays) which reviews the eventful life of the late King Hussein through his cars and motorcycles, showcasing part of Jordan’s history and the Hashemite Dynasty. In the vicinity you may enjoy views of King Hussein Bin Tallal Mosque with its impressive modern Islamic architecture.
Drive on to visit one of the most splendid provincial cities anywhere in the Roman Empire, the remarkably well preserved 2,000 year old city of Jerash. From the southern end walking past Hadrian’s Arch and alongside the impressive 244 m long Hippodrome, where chariot races took place in antiquity, one enters the ancient city of Jerash, onto the lovely colonnaded Oval Plaza, connecting the Temple of Zeus, which overlooks it, with the main street, the Cardo, which is beautifully lined by Corinthian columns. Overlooking the Plaza is the extraordinarily well preserved and the most magnificent of all the city’s monuments, the South Theater, which seats more than 3,000 spectators. Walking through the magnificent Colonnaded Street, one can see the Market Place and the Omayyad residential quarter. Further up is a 4th century AD Cathedral, St. Theodore’s Church, the impressively carved Nymphaeum (public fountain), an Omayyad mosque, the arches of the West Baths and the North Theater. One can also see the Temple of Artemis and the western churches. Return to Amman.
DAY 03 : AMMAN – NEBO s/s – MADABA s/s – PETRA CAVE BAR – PETRA BY NIGHT
After breakfast, drive to the rose-red city of Petra for a two night stay. En route visit Mount Nebo which dates back to the time of the Prophet Moses, around the 12th century BC and is believed to be the site of the Prophet’s burial place and from where he viewed the Holy Land. On the top of the 1000m hill are the ruins of Moses Memorial Church, built by the early Christians in the 4th century AD. Inside, are the remains of magnificent mosaic floors with stunning designs that feature hunting and herding scenes but unfortunately the church is now momentarily closed for renovation. From a viewing platform in front of the church and looking out towards the Holy Land, a visitor may see a an Italian-designed bronze memorial of a snake on a cross which symbolizes the serpent lifted up by Moses in the desert, and the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Mount Nebo commands excellent sweeping views over the Dead Sea and the entire Jordan Valley and on a clear day one can also see the rooftops of Jerusalem (46km) and Bethlehem.
Drive on to Madaba the “City of Mosaics” which is renowned for its magnificent collection of lavish Byzantine mosaics found in its churches and homes. The most famous and significant of all the city’s treasures is one of the oldest maps of ancient Palestine, the 6th century AD mosaic map which covers the floor of the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George, depicting the major biblical sites from Egypt to Palestine. The extraordinary map offers a historical insight into the surrounding region and was depicted in the past for the benefit of the pilgrims on their way to the Holy Land. The River Nile, Mount Sinai, the Dead Sea, the Jordan River and Lake Tiberias are easily identified on this map, in addition to many cities such as Gaza, Bethlehem and the detailed Holy City of Jerusalem where one can still clearly make out the city walls, gates, the main street (cardo) and the domed Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
Arrive at Petra and check in at your hotel. Enjoy a drink at the Nabatean Cave Bar before joining the Petra by Night evening excursion where the ‘rose-red’ city is transformed into a world of magic with only the flickering light of candles to guide you way to the Treasury (Petra by Night operates on Mondays, Wednesday & Thursdays).
DAY 04 : PETRA s/s – THE ROCK CAMP ( DINNER )
After breakfast, explore the legendary city of Petra which was carved entirely out of solid sandstone rock more than 2,000 years ago and has been recently voted as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. The breathtaking ancient city is accessed by foot through the magnificent 1.2 km narrow Siq (gorge), which leads to Petra’s most famous 1st century BC monument, the spectacularly carved Treasury which appears dramatically as you enter the hidden city at the end of the Siq. The numerous stunning ruins of tombs, known as the Street of Facades, lead your way into the remarkable 3,000 seat rock carved Theatre, and the impressive collection of Royal Tombs. The once bustling colonnaded market street, leads to the Great Temple, the beautiful 5th century AD Byzantine Church and to the mighty Qasr el-Bint Faroun. Should you wish to explore Petra further, a flight of about 900 steps cut into the colorful rock, takes you up to the gigantic 1sth century AD monument of the Monastery, with its stunning views over Wadi Araba.
Drive to The Rock Camp in Little Petra area which is set on an ancient site of a Nabatean winery and where 2,000 year old water channels are still visible. The camp offers an insight into the Bedouin’s way of life. Enjoy their hospitality while dining under lamp-lit, hand woven tents. Share in authentic Shraak bread baking, and relax around the campfire under the starlit skies. Tantalize your senses with the taste of fresh cardamom-spiced coffee grinded and roasted in front of you. Get adorned with temporary Henna tattooing; traditionally thought to have magical powers & Kohl eyeliner, still popular amongst the Bedouins as a natural protection against the harsh desert sun. Return to your hotel in the evening.
DAY 05 : PETRA ( FREE ) – WADI RUM ( 4X4 ) ( DINNER ) – AQABA
Morning at leisure.
At noon drive to Wadi Rum best described by Lawrence of Arabia as ‘vast, echoing and God-like’ for its stunning natural beauty, and known by the Arabs as the Valley of the Moon for its moonscape terrain of ancient riverbeds, soaring wind carved rocks and smooth golden dunes, offering the most spectacular desert scenery in the world. Explore its stunning landscape and venture far into the magnificent desert by Bedouin four-wheel drive vehicles while marveling at the massive mountains, beautiful canyons, awe-inspiring rock formations and remarkable desert sunset.
Enjoy a dining in the desert before driving to Aqaba for a two night stay.
DAY 06 : AQABA ( FREE )
Day at leisure in the Red Sea resort of Aqaba, Jordan’s only coastal city famed for its remarkably rich marine life and renowned for its palm-fringed beach resorts. Possibility to relax at the beach or to enjoy the different water sports activities or a trip on the semi-submersible submarine to explore the wanders of the Red Sea.
DAY 07 : AQABA – WADI ARABA – DEAD SEA ( FREE )
After breakfast, drive via Wadi Araba road along the Jordan Rift Valley to the Dead Sea for an overnight stay at the lowest spot on earth.
Afternoon at leisure in the Dead Sea, where one can experience floating ethereally on its saline waters without exerting any effort. The extraordinarily unique healing & beautifying powers along with the relaxing feeling that this salt lake imparts, makes it an exceptional natural spa with exclusive benefits, ranging from the oxygen-rich atmospheric haze which filters out harmful ultra-violet sunrays to the soothing and therapeutic properties of its mineral-rich salty waters & mud.
DAY 08 : DEAD SEA – Q.A.I. AIRPORT…
Transfer to Queen Alia International Airport for departure…