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ID: 1205
CULTURE ADVENTURE & RELAXATION
Offered by Company : ID 2296
Country : Jordan
Destinations : madaba (Amman Governorate)
Duration : 9 – 10 day(s)
Minimum Price : $609 USD ( Per Person)
Maximum Price : $989 USD ( Per Person)
Type : Private,Customized
Season : All Year Round
Trip Categories : Adventure Tour, Culture Tour
 
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A holiday in Jordan can be many things: a look back in history, a cultural experience, an active holiday, or perhaps a wilderness or wildlife trip. This exciting itinerary shows Jordan off to its best advantage offering highlights from all aspects of this small but beautifully-formed land. Culture is offered in abundance: the ancient towns of the Roman Decapolis in the north, the desert of Wadi Rum and the Seven Pillars of Wisdom in the east, while at the heart of Jordan lies the rose-red city of Petra. For adventure, the itinerary includes two jeep safaris and walks in two Nature Reserves amongst stunning landscapes, unique flora and fauna. This trip also ensures relaxation at a Dead Sea spa resort.
Detail Information
Day 1: Arrival in Jordan

Welcome to Jordan! We will meet you at the airport and transfer you to a hotel in Madaba.

Day 2: Madaba – Mount Nebo – Jerash – Ajloun Nature Reserve

After breakfast, we explore Madaba, a town with a vibrant and well-preserved Christian heritage most evident in its superb collection of mosaics. The stand-out attraction is the Greek Orthodox Church of St George which houses the magnificent 6th Century mosaic map of the Holy Land. Set into the floor of the church and comprising two million pieces of coloured stone it depicts hills and valleys, villages and towns and even the central colonnaded street of Jerusalem with a clearly visible Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

From Madaba it is a 10km/6 mile drive up the hill to Mount Nebo. This 1,000m (3,300ft) mountain is a very important Christian site, for it was here, on the edge of a ridge overlooking the Dead Sea, that Moses first caught sight of the Holy Land, having led his people from Sinai. It is said that he also died and was buried here. Mount Nebo offers fantastic views of the Jordan valley and the Dead Sea, with the West Bank city of Jericho usually visible from the summit and Jerusalem apparent on very clear days.

We drive from Mount Nebo to Jerash, the best preserved classical city in this region, dubbed the ‘Pompeii of the East’. We enter Jerash through the monumental South Gate, from the dramatic colonnaded agora, we progress up the cobbled, arcaded street, alongside the ruts made by Roman chariot wheels, past shop fronts and above the sophisticated sewer system that runs beneath the stones. There are a large number of striking monuments to admire in Jerash: the Corinthian Column, Hadrian’s Arch, a circus/hippodrome, an unusual oval Forum which is surrounded by a fine colonnade, two theatres, two baths, two temples (to Zeus and Artemis) as well as an almost complete circuit of city walls.

We leave Jerash to make the pleasant drive, through pine forests and olive groves, to our overnight accommodation at the Ajloun Nature Reserve. We stop en-route at nearby Ajloun (or Qalaat Al Rabad) castle. This hugh fortress was built in 1184 to protect the country against crusader attacks, protect communication routes between South Jordan and Syria and to protect the development and control of the iron mines of Ajlun. From the top of the castle we can enjoy panoramic views over the Jordan valley.

Day 3: Ajloun Nature Reserve – Dead Sea – Dana Nature Reserve

Today we explore Ajloun Nature Reserve, before driving to Dana Nature Reserve via the Dead Sea. Ajloun Nature Reserve is a piece of woodland consisting of oak trees, interspersed with pistachio, pine, carob and wild strawberry trees. In the morning we will take a walk on one of the established walking trails in this beautiful forest and enjoy the cool, clean, invigorating air.

After lunch we drive to the Dead Sea. For millennia people have been coming here, drawn by the medicinal qualities of the mineral-laden waters. Because of the high salt concentration in the water, 38% or four times more salty than normal sea water, swimming in the Dead Sea is a novel experience with its sensation of weightlessness. We will enjoy a few hours of floating in the sea, sunbathing and perhaps undergoing one of the very popular and relaxing black mud treatments.

After showering and drying off we will leave the Dead Sea to drive to our overnight accommodation at Dana Village where we will enjoy a traditional Arabic dinner and spend the night in a pastoral environment.

Day 4: Dana Nature Reserve (Dana Village to Wadi Feinan Trek)

Today we take the trail from Dana Village to Wadi Feinan. This pleasant walk down the long valley that forms the core of the Dana reserve involves a 1000 metre descent and takes some 5-6 hours. As we walk the orchards of Dana give way wild and mountainous and then more barren surroundings as the trail descends to ancient Feinan.

Wadi Feinan gorge possesses an interesting archaelogical landscape and was an area rich in prehistoric activity. During our walk we will view the remains of a late roman citadel, copper mines, elaborate water systems and settlements with Neolithic houses, in places preserved to two stories.

Day 5: Wadi Feinan – Wadi Araba – Little Petra – Petra

Today we will travel by jeep from Wadi Feinan to Petra breaking up our journey at Wadi Araba and Little Petra. This is one of the most beautiful off-road experiences in Jordan.

We enjoy a jeep safari at Wadi Araba, going off road and ‘riding’ the sand dunes of this pleasant desert valley – great fun! We drive on to Little Petra, which serves as an atmospheric introduction to Nabatean tomb architecture. A suburb of the ancient city, Little Petra comes complete with its own mini Siq, approximately 350m long, crammed with tombs, triclinia, houses, water channesl and cisterns. Even in bright sunlight these rock-carved residences and tombs recede into shadows; living, healthy plants with profuse pink blossoms grow in stark contrast to the dark mountain backdrops. Little Petra is an intriguing place to explore which serves as a fantastic warm-up to the main Petra event tomorrow.

Options for the night are a hotel in Petra, a cave in Little Petra or camping near a Stone Age settlement; the latter a wonderful experience which, with sufficient imagination, can feel like living back in prehistoric times!

Day 6: Petra

Today we enjoy a half-day guided tour of Petra, the rose-red city ‘half as old as time’ which is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. The city was carved into the Sharah mountains by the Nabateans, who grew rich through their control of the frankincense trade routes through Arabia. Petra fell into obscurity about a thousand years ago, while its existence, and location, were kept a closely guarded secret by the local Bedouin, until 1812 when the Swiss explorer John Louis Burckhardt tricked his way into the site.

Our guided tour of this unique and unforgettable site commences with a walk through the Siq, the narrow and winding fissure between towering cliffs, which we exit through a tiny cleft to be confronted by the awe-inspiring splendour of the Treasury monument, Petra’s most elaborate ruin, hewn into the sandstone rock. Local legend has it that this tomb once stored the gifts of the Queen of Sheba to Solomon. We progress to explore the royal tombs, a roman theatre and the colonnaded street to name but a few of the astounding attractions on view. We will also walk up the 800 steps to view the vast and impressive Monastery (Ed Deir), which enjoys fabulous views over the whole area and a mountain atmosphere.

After lunch, which we will take on site, the afternoon is free to explore one of the most impressive and exciting sites of ancient history anywhere in the world. One option is to walk up to the High Place (Attuf Ridge), once the venue for sacrificial offerings, which gives wonderful views over the Petra Basin and out towards Jebel Harun and Wadi Sabra. We overnight in Petra

Day 7: Petra

A free day to explore the vast Petra complex at your own pace. You could explore the tombs and monuments that you saw yesterday in greater detail or go further off the tourist radar and look at some of the many other monuments that litter Petra, perhaps ‘heading for the hills’ to walk up from Petra to one of the surrounding high places A pleasant route is Jabel Umm el Biyara which looms above Petra’s colonnaded street and which is reached by an impressive winding-rock staircase. A more ambitious choice would be to undertake the full day walk up to Jabel Harun which, according to tradition is where Aaron, brother of Moses, died and was buried. The grave of Aaron is held as among the most sacred places by the local Bedouin tribes and has attracted many pilgrims over the ages. The mountain has a summit of 1,330 metres and offers magnificent views towards Petra and the Araba valley

Day 8: Petra - Wadi Rum

After breakfast we drive from Petra to Wadi Rum. This valley possesses one of the world’s most colourful landscapes of desert and mountain scenery. Though nowadays famed as the location of many of Lawrence of Arabia’s exploits, rock carvings bear witness to the passage of ancient tribes and traders across this desert for thousands of years.

We will enjoy a half-day jeep safari with a Bedouin guide, the best way to view the Thamudic inscriptions, burial mounds, ancient megaliths and ruined buildings that abound. We will see Nabatean rock carved stairways, dams and temples as well as myriad unusual geological formations. We recommend you climb one of the natural rock bridges to get the best panoramic view of the sun setting over the desert.

In the evening we check in at our deluxe Wadi Rum campsite, which offers a welcoming combination of Bedouin food and hospitality and first rate camping facilities: modern comfortable beds and clean showers and toilets. We will have a traditional dinner, consisting of some combination of chicken, vegetables and rice. A full Bedouin BBQ can be arranged (depending on group numbers).

Day 9: Wadi Rum – Kerak Castle- Amman

Today we drive from Wadi Rum back to Amman, breaking off our journey for a visit to the imposing Kerak Castle. Kerak was the capital of the biblical kingdom of Moab and Kerak Castle is the largest and best-preserved of the Crusader Castles in the region. It sits on top of a steep outcrop, an almost impregnable position and, built in 1132 by Baldwin of Jerusalem, became famous at the time of the Crusades as one of the chain of fortresses used in the Holy War against Islam.

Kerak Castle is a typical example of Crusader architecture, with Romanesque-style stone vaults, numerous corridors, and strong doorways. The Crusader parts of the ruins are mostly on the upper level and can be identified by their dark volcanic tufa; later Arab additions are in white limestone. The upper courtyard includes the remains of a Crusader chapel and provides excellent views over the Jordanian landscape to the Dead Sea. From Kerak Castle, we drive to our hotel in Amman. There will be time to enjoy some of the night time attractions of Jordan’s capital city

Day 10: DEPARTURE from Jordan.

You will be transferred to the airport in good time for flight home
Notes
Price Includes:

• Meet and Assist at airport upon arrival and departure
• All transfers by fully-insured deluxe private minibus / bus for 9 days, including gasoline and unlimited kilometres
• Hotel accommodation and fully-equipped campsites for 8 nights with dinners and breakfasts
• Entrance fees to all sites as per itinerary
• Professional tour guides for full 9 days
• Jeeps in Wadi Araba, Wadi Namala and Wadi Rum
• Horse ride in Petra
• Permissions to nature reserves

Price Excludes:

• Tips and airport departure tax
• Lunches and drinks at lunches and dinners
• Travel insurance
• Any other item of miscellanous expenditure

Desert Paramours take payment through USD (US Dollars), CAD (Canadian Dollars) or EURO and can accept Mastercard, Visa Cards or Travellers Cheques.
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