After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll drive to Jerash, a third-century city decimated by invasion and earthquake, often called “The Pompeii of the Middle East.” Explore the massive ruins, which are spread over a large area crisscrossed by colonnaded streets. The pavement still shows the grooves of chariot wheels. Afterwards, we’ll enjoy a delicious local lunch nearby before returning to Amman.
Back in Amman we visit the Citadel, offering commanding views of the city. With evidence of occupation since neolithic times it is considered to be among the world’s oldest continuously inhabited places. On our way back to the Fairmont Hotel, our local guide will point out other important landmarks.
After some time to relax and refresh, we’ll enjoy dinner at a restaurant situated in one of Jordan’s prime ministers beautiful former residence. (B/L/D)
Our full-day tour begins after breakfast and check-out from the Fairmont Hotel. The first stop on our journey is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bethany, the site which is believed to be the location where Jesus of Nazareth was baptized by John the Baptist. It features Roman and Byzantine remains including churches and chapels, a monastery, and pools in which baptisms were celebrated.
Next we drive to Mount Nebo, where the Bible says Moses glimpsed the Promised Land — which he would never enter. It is here that he spent his final days. Follow mountain-fringed King’s Highway through the beautiful Gorge of Amman to Madaba.
After lunch, we see Madaba’s sixth-century mosaic map of Jerusalem and the Holy Land; comprised of two million pieces of colored stone, it depicts villages as far away as the Nile delta. Visit the Madaba School of Mosaic, dedicated to preserving and restoring the ancient mosaics found throughout Jordan, especially on the Madaba Plateau.
From here we continue to Petra and check in to the Marriott Hotel. Tonight, we enjoy dinner together at the hotel. (B/L/D)
After a nourishing breakfast at the hotel, we spend a full day exploring the “Rose-Red City” of Petra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site sculpted from a mountain range by the Nabataeans in the third century BC. Visit the Temple of Winged Lions, the Corinthian Tomb and the Palace Tomb. Other major sites include the Treasury, the baths, markets and storerooms.
You’ll have time for lunch before some time to continue exploring this magnificent site at your leisure. Perhaps take a hike to the Monastery, which boasts incredible views of the rose-red canyons below.
Later, return to the Marriott for some time to refresh before another festive included dinner. (B/L/D)
Petra/Wadi Rum/Aqaba/Dead Sea
This morning following breakfast, we drive to Wadi Rum, a striking desert-scape also known as the “Valley of the Moon.” Traverse the desert by 4×4 in the place where Prince Faisal Bin Hussein and T.E. Lawrence based their headquarters during the Arab Revolt against the Ottomans in World War I, their exploits intrinsically woven into the history of this amazing area. See the Seven Pillars of Wisdom along with many other interesting sites.
Next, we venture on to Aqaba, where we’ll enjoy a delicious fresh seafood lunch on the shores of the Red Sea. After, we continue our journey on the Desert Highway, reaching the scenic shores of the Dead Sea around sunset. After a few breathtaking photo stops, we check in to the beautiful Kempinski Ishtar Resort for dinner and a restful night complete with incredible views over the sea. (B/L/D)
Enjoy your morning with a leisurely breakfast, then take advantage of the spa or take a mud bath and float in the buoyant, mineral-rich waters of the Dead Sea.
At check-out time, we make the short journey back to Amman’s Queen Alia International Airport, where we’ll board our included flight to Cairo, the next leg of your Middle East adventure. (B/L)