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ID: 1207
SEA SAND AND SUN
Offered by Company : ID 2296
Country : Jordan
Destinations : madaba (Amman Governorate)
Duration : 9 – 10 day(s)
Minimum Price : $779 USD ( Per Person)
Maximum Price : $1059 USD ( Per Person)
Type : Private,Customized
Season : All Year Round
Trip Categories : Beach Tour, Desert Safari
 
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Jordan has to offer in terms of culture, scenery and adventurous activity. The core of this itinerary follows in Lawrence of Arabia’s footsteps with a 4-day stay with the hospitable Bedouin of Wadi Rum. Wadi Rum possesses one of the world’s most colourful and unique landscapes of desert and mountain scenery. Rock carvings mark the passage of ancient tribes in pre-history. Thamudic inscriptions, burial mounds, ancient megaliths and ruined buildings abound and Nabataean rock carved stairways, dams and temples can still be found throughout the area. Wadi Rum offers the ideal base for easy day hikes, simple scrambling to scenic viewpoints amongst the high desert dunes, exploration of sheer-sided canyons, and jeep safari to spectacular rock chances as well as camel rides.
Detail Information
Day 1. Arrive in Jordan, Rransfer to Madaba

Welcome to Jordan! You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel in Madaba.

Day 2. Drive south to Petra via Wadi ibn Hammad

Today we will take the scenic road down the King’s Highway through the Moab Mountains to Wadi Musa the town adjacent to Petra. We will stop en-route at Wadi ibn Hammad and Kerak. After breakfast we drive for an hour and a half to reach Wadi ibn Hammad. This is an impressive sandstone canyon which flow down out of the mountains where we can stretch our legs with a walk down into the gorge, which is sub-tropical in appearance: its walls festooned with 'hanging gardens' of lush vegetation and palm trees. After our walk, it's back in the bus for the short drive to the town of Kerak, where we have lunch. Nearby is one of the most impressive of all Crusader castles, which we will be able to visit. Dating from the 12th century, Kerak Castle has an interesting museum and views which stretch to the Dead Sea. After spending an hour at this site, we will complete our drive to Wadi Musa (1 hour), where we will check into our hotel and have time to rest and freshen up before dinner.

Day 3. Petra sightseeing, drive to Wadi Rum

Today we have a half-day guided tour of Petra, the rose-red city ‘half as old as time,’ which is one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. Petra is a city carved into the rose-red Sharah Mountains by the Nabateans and lost to Civilization until re-discovered by the Swiss explorer Burkhardt. We will take a magnificent walk through the Siq, the narrow and winding fissure between towering cliffs, to reach the awe-inspiring Treasury and on to Royal Tombs, a Roman Ampitheatre, Qasr Bint Pharaoun and the Temple of the Winged Lion amongst other astounding monuments. We climb the 800 steps up to the Monastery, which is even bigger than the Treasury and enjoys fabulous views over the whole area. There are several restaurants on site where we can break for lunch. Our afternoon is free for independent exploration before late afternoon we meet up at the Visitor Centre for the one and a half drive to Wadi Rum. Our campsite at Wadi Rum offers a welcoming combination of traditional Bedouin food and hospitality and first rate camping facilities: modern comfortable beds and clean showers and toilets. This evening we will have dinner and then bed.

Day 4. Lawrence's Spring and Desert Exploration

The itinerary that we have set up is easy-paced and there is no need to make too early a start. Breakfast will usually be under way by 7.30 a.m. and this consists of bread, sometimes heated on the fire, a choice of jams, cheese and halva, as well as eggs, either served as an omelette or hard boiled. Tea is supplied in quantity and Nescafe is also available. Anybody who wishes can pocket a snack for later. Usually fruit is available also for this. After breakfast, we go to Rum Village by jeep and hike up a clearly marked and easy path to Shelaala (Lawrence's Spring). This is the same spring described in the book Seven Pillars of Wisdom and you can see how exact the description is. On the way we will see Nabatean inscriptions on the rocks. This tiny corner of Jebel Rum is shaded and cool even in the height of summer and gives us a lovely view over the village and south-east towards the desert. The water dripping down from the roof of the spring is completely pure and anybody who wishes can drink it. We might take the time to make tea here. The Bedouin children, who are usually to be found here, tending small herds of goats, will be intrigued to meet youngsters from foreign lands.

We now have the option of returning to the village by the same way we came, which takes half an hour, or we can follow an interesting path southwards along the edge of Jebel Rum to Abu Aina. This takes an hour or so and involves some very easy scrambling. Reunited with our jeep transport, we will drive around to the sand dunes at the southern end of Jebel um Ishrin. These are the biggest dunes we will see, rising 50 metres or more above the desert floor. We will climb the dunes and descend into the narrow confines of Wadi um Ishrin, which makes a suitably shady place to stop for lunch. Our Bedouin hosts will lay out a selection of salads and tinned tuna or cheese, with fruit and biscuits, as well as fruit juice and tea or coffee. After a siesta, we can make an exploration into the cool um Ishrin canyon, with easy walking and interesting scrambling through narrow passages and over smooth rock slabs.

The Nabatean ruin known as 'Lawrence's House' is reachable in a 2 hour easy hike. Although it is unlikely that Lawrence ever came here, this is a great spot, with views across Wadi Rum. Young children can stay with the jeeps if necessary during this hike. From Lawrence's House, we will return by jeep to the camp at Khazali for supper and sleep.

Day 5. Rock arches

Today, we will do some exploring amongst the jebels which lie to the south of our camp. There is the option of a 2-hour morning walk or a rather shorter transfer by jeep to Jebel um Frith. Here, there is a striking rock formation sometimes called the 'Middle Arch' which can easily be climbed. Although only about 20 metres high, there are impressive views of nearby eroded cliffs and vast tracts of desert. We continue by jeep for half an hour through the valley of Farata Sheib towards a second, lower arch which makes a great place to have lunch.

Resting for a couple of hours during the heat of the day, we will then set off to hike for about 2 hours through a narrow and attractive valley called Abu Khashaba. This takes us to an open wadi where we can look up to the 'Burdah Bridge', a wonderful arch which is situated 200 metres above the wadi on Jebel Burdah. The jeeps will pick us up here and take us back to camp, stopping off en route at a particularly fine and very old rock inscription which shows a camel caravan. On one of our days at Wadi Rum, we will try to arrange a visit to a Bedouin family at their tented camp.

Day 6. Canyons and camels

Heading out in our jeeps towards the east, it takes us around 40 minutes to get to the Barragh Canyon. This is another place where not many tourists find their way, although the track is good for jeeps. It is the best place in the area for rock climbing and our guides will be able to point out the lines of the most well-known climbs. If we are lucky, there may be climbers on the cliffs, which will give us a better impression of the scale of the landscape. The crack climb known as 'Merlin's Wand', 150 metres (500 feet) high and plumb vertical, is particularly impressive. We enjoy a leisurely 2-hour hike through the canyon, to a place where we meet our jeeps again and have lunch.

Afterwards we return by jeep to the mouth of the Um Ejil Canyon, where we meet our camels which will take us back to camp. It is about an hour and a half's ride and everyone will have their own camel, including the guide. Camel riding is very easy, and even young children are quickly at ease and can control their mounts like veterans. When we get to the camp on this last evening in the desert, we will have a party, with a traditional Bedouin dish cooked in a pit in the ground. Anybody who wants to try eating with their fingers is welcome – but we will supply a spoon as well!

Day 7. Transfer to Aqaba on the Red Sea

After a final breakfast at camp, we will drive to Wadi Rum Village, say goodbye to our Bedouin friends and board the bus which will take us on the 1-hour journey to Aqaba. Situated at the northern tip of the Red Sea, Aqaba is known for its sandy beaches, unbelievably clear water, coral reefs and colourful fish. It is an understandably popular spot for SCUBA diving. After checking in at our hotel, we will start our short visit with a glass-bottomed boat trip out into the Gulf of Aqaba. As well as allowing us to see some of the multi-coloured fish that inhabit the offshore reefs, this boat trip will give us a new perspective on the port of Aqaba and its mountainous backdrop.

After the boat trip, we will spend some time on the beach, with the chance to try our hand at snorkelling in the clear, warm water. Lunch will be either at a beach caf or at a restaurant in the centre of town. There will be time to look around the old part of the town, before returning to our hotel for dinner.

Day 8. Day at leisure in Aqaba

We have a full day to take it easy in Aqaba. A bus is available during the day for transfers between the hotel and the beach. Overnight at the group hotel in Aqaba.

Day 9. Drive to Madaba via the Dead Sea

Today, we will head north, stopping off after around 3-hours drive at the Dead Sea. This inland sea has a high salt concentration (38% or four times saltier than normal sea water) and this means that the human body can’t sink – a fact that you will have ample opportunity to test! We will enjoy a few hours floating in the sea, sunbathing or undergoing one of the very popular and relaxing sticky black mud treatments which are supposed to have real curative powers.

After lunch beside the Dead Sea, we will return to the pleasant town of Madaba and our hotel. There will be some time before dinner to do some sightseeing, with the most stand-out attraction being the Greek Orthodox Church of St George, which is home to a famous 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.

Day 10. Depart Jordan

We transfer from Madaba to Amman for flight home
Notes
Price Includes:

• Meets and assist at airport
• Free visa fee to Jordan
• All transfers by deluxe Van/Bus on classical excursions
• Jeep accompany in Wadi Rum during trekking days
• Hotel accommodation at middle class hotels and campsites for 9 nights (dinners and breakfasts included)
• Entrance fees to all sites as per itinerary
• Horse ride in Petra
• Tour guides at the sites during classical excursions
• Bedouin guides in Wadi Rum
• Lunches during all trekking days
• First Aid

Price Excludes:

• Tips and airport departure tax
• Travel insurance
• Lunches in classical excursions
• Additional Personal Expenses - souvenirs etc
• Any other item not mentioned in our offer
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