Jordan | Petra and the Desert Fortresses

Petra
Petra
Amman Citadel
Amman Citadel
The view of the Nabatean tomb known as ‘the Monastery’, Petra
The view of the Nabatean tomb known as ‘the Monastery’, Petra
Traditional flat breads being made at our lunch venue at Jerash
Traditional flat breads being made at our lunch venue at Jerash
The colonnading of a major thoroughfare in Jerash
The colonnading of a major thoroughfare in Jerash
Jordan Tomb
Jordan Tomb

Nothing can prepare you for Petra: only by then can you appreciate its scale, its colours and its grandeur. Lively, cosmopolitan and rich, with goods from every corner of the known world, Ancient Petra was an extradordinary 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.

  • Spend two full days in the monumental city of Petra - home of the Nabataeans
  • Explore the land of the Old Testament, where the stories of the Bible and Bronze Age archaeology meet
  • Discover the mighty crusader castle at Kerak - one of the best preserved in the Middle East

Themes

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

Practicalities

  • Special Access
  • All Inclusive

Itinerary 2017

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. On to the Dead Sea, with the opportunity to swim - or more accurately float - in the salt-saturated waters.

Day 3

We explore two Roman cities today. We begin at Umm Qais, which overlooks the edge of the Jordan River valley, offering views over the Sea of Galilee.We continue to Jerash, set in the pine valleys of the biblical land of Gilead, and one of the best preserved Roman cities in the East. The architecture is particularly fine.

Day 4

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 Kharaneh and Azraq, with far-reaching views over the surrounding empty landscape. We end our day at the hunting lodge at Amra which has remarkable painted baths.

Day 5

We spend the morning in Jordan’s modern capital Amman. We visit the Citadel of ancient Philadelphia and its museum. This is one of the oldest continuously inhabited places in the world, and is home to ruins of the Roman temple of Hercules and the palaces of the Omayyad Caliphs.

We enjoy a special introduction and tour of the British Institute in Amman.We proceed onwards to Mount Nebo where we marvel at the 6th century Madaba mosaic map.

Day 6

This morning, we visit the church and mosaics at Umm Al-Rasas. A Roman and Byzantine site, the mosaic floor of the church includes depictions of the principal cities of the region. We continue 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 enjoy two full days in Petra, ancient capital of the Nabataean Kingdom. We walk into the site, via the Siq, 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 red city’ for good reason. There are two (optional) climbs to the Nabataean ‘High Places’, which afford incredible views over the surrounding terrain. On the evening of Day 7, we have the rare opportunity to experience Petra at arguably its most otherworldly: swathed in warm candlelight on an evening visit.

Day 8

We enjoy two full days in Petra, ancient capital of the Nabataean Kingdom. We walk into the site, via the Siq, 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 red city’ for good reason. There are two (optional) climbs to the Nabataean ‘High Places’, which afford incredible views over the surrounding terrain. On the evening of Day 7, we have the rare opportunity to experience Petra at arguably its most otherworldly: swathed in warm candlelight on an evening visit.

Day 9

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. We also see the Neolithic site of Beidha, where prehistoric houses can still be seen.

Day 10

We return to Amman for our flight home this morning.

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

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 5

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 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.

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

Hotel Info

5 nights in a charming and comfortable hotel based in Amman, which is in walking distance to some of the major points of interest
4 nights in a beautiful desert grotto style 4 star hotel situated in the historical district of Wadi Musa, close to the Petra ruins

Useful Information

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

Book now

2017 Tour Details

Tue 10th October - Thu 19th October

Call for Availability

£2,695

ex. flights: £2,235

sgl supp: £525

JOR17B

Led By: Nick Jackson

2018 Tour Details

Tue 27th March - Thu 5th April

Available

£2,995

ex. flights: £2,450

sgl supp: £400

JOR18A

Led By: Nick Jackson

Tue 9th October - Thu 18th October

Available

£2,995

ex. flights: £2,450

sgl supp: £400

JOR18B

Led By: Nick Jackson

Guide Lecturer

Tour Managers

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