Jordan | Petra and the Desert Fortresses

Petra
Petra
Petra
Petra
Petra
Petra
Amman Citadel
Amman Citadel
Amman Museum
Amman Museum
Qasr Al-Abd
Qasr Al-Abd
Jerash
Jerash
Jerash
Jerash
Umm Qais
Umm Qais
Umm el-Jimal
Umm el-Jimal
Umm al-Rasas
Umm al-Rasas
Qasr Asraq
Qasr Asraq
Camels in Wadi Rum
Camels in Wadi Rum
Qasr Kharanah
Qasr Kharanah
Qasr Amra
Qasr Amra

Nothing can prepare you for Petra: the scale, the colours and the grandeur. Lively, cosmopolitan and rich, with goods from every corner of the known world, Ancient Petra
was an extraordinary city. Its streets were swathed in a fusion of Nabataean, and Classical architecture — elaborate tombs, colonnaded streets and temples carved into rose-red rock.

Petra’s tombs and temples are only a fraction of Jordan’s story. We explore traces of biblical tribes, Roman legions, Christian crusaders, and Islamic caliphates in this promised land of archaeology and fascinating history.

  • Experience weightlessness in the iconic Dead Sea
  • Tour the exhibits at Amman’s Archaeological Museum
  • Spend two days in the evocative rock-cut city of Petra
  • Cruise Wadi Rum’s striking desert scenery in 4x4s
  • Discover the mighty crusader castle at Kerak

Themes

  • Romans
  • Rock Art
  • Prehistory
  • Medieval
  • Historic Churches
  • Cultural Excursion

Practicalities

  • Special Access
  • All Inclusive

Itinerary 2018

Day 1

We arrive in Amman.

Day 2

We begin at the remains of a well preserved Greek Palace that lie in a remote valley at Qasr-al-Abd. This afternoon, we spend time at the Dead Sea, with the opportunity to swim - or more accurately, float - in the salt-saturated waters.

Day 3

Two Roman cities today. We start off at Umm Qais which overlooks the edge of the Jordan River valley, offering views over the Sea of Galilee. We continue to Jerash this afternoon, which is set in the pine valleys of the biblical land of Gilead, and is one of the best preserved Roman cities in the East. The architecture is particularly fine, and a unique feature of the Oval Plaza - framed by the magnificent colonnade.

Day 4

The morning is spend in Jordan’s modern capital Amman. Here we visit the Archaeological Museum and the citadel. This is one of the oldest continuously inhabited places in the world, where there are the ruins of the Roman Temple of Hercules and the palaces of the Omayyad Caliphs. We proceed onwards to Mount Nebo, where we marvel at the 16th century Madaba mosaic map. The schematic depiction of the Holy Land, with Jerusalem at the centre, has all sorts of lively detail depicting life beside the ancient River Jordan.

Day 5

Today we explore the dramatic basalt city at Umm al-Jimal – even the doors are made of huge black slabs, and some of them still operate! On to desert castles, Qasr Azraq, Amra and al-Kharanah, with far-reaching views over the surrounding landscape. At the hunting lodge, Qasr Amra we view remarkable wall paintings.

Day 6

We visit the church and mosaics at Umm al-Rasas. A Roman and Byzantine site, the mosaic floor of the church has depictions of the principal cities of the region. On to the mighty crusader castle of Kerak which was built by Pagan the Butler at the Order of King Fulk of Jerusalem in 1132.

Day 7

We spend two full days in Petra. We walk into the site, both for the sense of discovery and to experience the famous entrance ravine. The city and its tombs cover a huge area, all built into the richly coloured rock - it is called the ‘Rose City’ for good reason. We also have the option to climb to the Nabatean ‘High Places’ offering incredible views.

Day 8

We spend two full days in Petra. We walk into the site, both for the sense of discovery and to experience the famous entrance ravine. The city and its tombs cover a huge area, all built into the richly coloured rock - it is called the ‘Rose City’ for good reason. We also have the option to climb to the Nabatean ‘High Places’ offering incredible views.

Day 9

We start our day at the site of Beidha, also called “Little Petra”, where prehistoric houses can still be seen. We drive to Wadi Rum, where we take 4x4s through spectacular desert scenery, made famous by the filming of “Lawrence of Arabia”. There are also several fine rock art sites to be explored here, with carvings from very early times to the fairly recent past – this was how nomadic peoples left messages for each other.

Day 10

We fly home.

Itinerary 2019

Day 1

We depart from London Heathrow in the late afternoon and arrive at Amman airport just before midnight. Upon arrival, we make our way to the hotel for a much needed rest.

Day 2

We begin at the remains of Qasr-al-Abd, a well preserved Hasmonean Hellenistic Palace that lies in a remote valley near Amman. We then spend time both at and in the Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth, before returning to visit the British Archaeological Institute in Amman.

Day 3

We visit two Decapolis Roman cities today on our adventures. First up is the ancient city of Gadara (known today as Umm Qais), which overlooks the edge of the Jordan River Valley, offering great views over the Sea of Galilee. We then make our way to Jerash, which is arguably one of the best preserved Roman cities in the East.

Day 4

Today we explore the dramatic basalt city at Umm al-Jimal, before we spend the rest of the day discovering castles. We visit Qasr Azraq, Amra and  al-Kharanah, with far-reaching views over the surrounding landscape. At the ornate 8th century bath house Qasr Amra, we view remarkable wall paintings.

Day 5

The morning is spent in Jordan’s modern capital Amman. Here we visit the Archaeological Museum and the citadel. In the afternoon, we make a short drive to Madaba, where we can explore its history, sights and sites.

Day 6

We visit the church and mosaics at Umm al-Rasas. A Roman and Byzantine site, the mosaic floor of the church has depictions of the principal cities of the region, the best in Jordan. On to the crusader castle of Kerak which was built by Pagan the Butler at the order of King Fulk of Jerusalem in 1132.

Day 7

The first of two full days in Petra. We walk into the site, both for the sense of discovery, and to experience the famous entrance ravine. The city and its tombs cover a huge area, all built into the richly coloured rock. There are optional climbs on both days to the Nabatean ‘Monastery and High Places’.

Day 8

A further opportunity to explore the magnificence of Petra.

Day 9

This morning we will visit the Neolithic site of Beidha, and “Little Petra”, where 8th Millennium BC houses can still be seen. We drive to Wadi Rum, where we take 4x4s through spectacular desert scenery, made famous by the filming of “Lawrence of Arabia”. There are also several fine rock art sites to be explored here – this was how nomadic peoples left messages for each other.

Day 10

Today we fly back to London, arriving in the afternoon.

What's Included

  1. Expert Guide Lecturer
  2. Tour Manager
  3. Local Travel - Private a/c coach
  4. Meals - All meals included with wine at dinner
  5. Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
  6. Field Notes
  7. Hotels
  8. Flights

Travel Information

For full information about Passport validity and Visa requirements as well as Health and Vaccination information please click here.

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2018 Tour Details

Tue 9th October - Thu 18th October

Call for availability

£2,995

inc.

sgl supp: £400

JOR18B

Led By: Nick Jackson

Tue 20th November - Thu 29th November

Available

£2,995

inc.

sgl supp: £500

JOR18C

Led By: Nick Jackson

2019 Tour Details

Tue 26th March - Thu 4th April

Available

£2,795

inc.

sgl supp: £395

JOR19A

Led By: Nick Jackson

Tue 8th October - Thu 17th October

Available

£2,795

inc.

sgl supp: £395

JOR19B

Led By: Nick Jackson

Guide Lecturer

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