Discover the romance of desert landscapes with pastel-hued sands, unique rock formations and ruins of ancient civilizations. In the beautiful ‘white city’ of Amman and at Jerash see some of the world’s best preserved Roman sites, while the ancient Nabatean civilization left its mark in the deep canyons of Petra. Within this small and diverse country see impressive ancient crusader and Islamic fortresses and castles, the Biblical sites of Mt. Nebo and Lot’s Cave, natural wonders such as Dana Nature Reserve and the limestone canyons of Wadi Rum. The culture of this hospitable land will amaze you as you share meals and visit the homes of the Jordanian people.
Moderately Active. May involve some moderate hikes in forests and nature reserves, getting in and out of vehicles and rocking boats, and walking in uneven pavement in archaeological sites, in some cases in extreme weather conditions, heat, high elevation and humidity.
The main characteristics of Jordan’s climate reflect the transitional location of the country between the Mediterranean climate in the West and arid climates in the East and in the South. Jordan thus has a temperate, semi and subtropical climate which is well suited to travel for most of the year. It can be quite cold in January/February and hot in July/August.
Board your overnight flight to Amman, an exotic white sandstone city built on seven hills. Spectacular views greet you while touring the ancient Citadel comprised of Roman, Byzantine and early Islamic ruins and the impressive palace, al-Qasr dating back to the Islamic Umayyad period. Tour the Jordan Archeological Museum that houses a collection of Dead Sea Scrolls. See the impressive Roman Theater, cut into the side of a hill. View costumes, furnishings and musical instruments at the Jordan Folklore Museum. Walk through colorful bazaars and the Gold Market to the Darat al Funun – a haven for Arab world modern art. Learn about Jordan’s environmental heritage at the Amman Nature Center. Following a traditional Turkish bath and massage, enjoy dinner prepared by local cooks in a prominent Jordanian home. GRAND HYATT HOTEL. (Meals Aloft, D; B,L,D)
Tucked away overlooking the Sea of Galilee are the ancient city ruins of Um Qais. Wander through impressive Corinthian columns, Ottoman village homes and a Roman basilica. Continue to the ancient Roman ruins of Jerash, built on a site occupied since the Neolithic Age, and walk the incredibly well-preserved colonnaded streets to ancient baths, plazas, theaters, and arches which remain intact and in near pristine condition. Lunch will be served at the Artemis Restaurant. Afterward, explore through a riddle of passageways, the12th century mountaintop fortress of Ajloun, built to protect lines of communication and iron mines from invading crusaders. GRAND HYATT AMMAN. (B,L,D)
Drive to Um Ar-Rassas, a World Heritage site with the world’s only monument of the monasticism movement – the Stylite’s Tower. Embark on a walking tour of Madaba, to see the oldest map of the Holy Land laid out in mosaics on the floor of St. George’s Church. Drive to the alleged burial site of Moses at Mt. Nebo adorned by a soaring serpentine cross, overlooking the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea. GRAND HYATT HOTEL. (B,L,D)
Follow the King’s Highway, a route as old as Moses, as it winds through forested highlands, farmlands and the scenic canyons of Wadi Mujib to the imposing fortress of the 12th century Crusader Castle at Kerak. Dimly lit stone-vaulted rooms and massive arches and towers, reflect the military genius of the Crusaders. Resume your drive to Feynan, arriving mid-afternoon. Your 26-roomed Ecolodge is located deep in the heart of the mountainous Dana Biosphere Reserve, at the end of a rugged track, and is set against the glorious desert landscape. The stunning arabesque lodge blends elegantly into the natural environment with each guest room boasting a different view of the surrounding mountains and a rooftop terrace offering breathtaking panoramic vistas of Wadi Feynan. FEYNAN ECOLODGE. (B,L,D)
Set off this morning on a walk through the Dana Nature Reserve, a diverse landscape that includes wooded highlands, rocky slopes, and sand dunes. Over 600 species of plants, 190 species of birds and 37 species of mammals, including the rare Nubian ibex, find refuge here. On the way to Petra, stop off at Shobak Castle and enter its forbidding gate to stare down an ancient rock shaft that has 375 steps leading to a water supply. Arrive at the Nabatean capital of Petra in the evening, where just steps away lies your luxurious hotel. Relax at The Petra Kitchen while learning to prepare Jordanian dishes alongside women from the Iraq al Amir Women’s Co-operative and an experienced chef. PETRA MOVENPICK HOTEL. (B,L,D)
Spend today exploring the inspiring vestigial remains of Petra, a national treasure of Jordan. Follow a serpentine path as it winds through a narrow slot canyon of Nubian sandstone to the Al Khazneh (The Treasury), a magnificent edifice carved from the rose-colored stone. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Petra features elaborate tombs, soaring temples, majestic monuments, Roman theatres, burial chambers and mysterious caves hewn from rock. Return to Petra this evening to view the ruins softly lit by the moon and spotlights (available on Mondays & Thursdays – subject to change). PETRA MOVENPICK HOTEL. (B,L,D)
Drive today to the Wadi Rum and experience another world when you enter the Valley of the Moon, replete with its distinctive undulating, mauve-lined sandstone formations, memorialized by T.E. Lawrence in his memoir, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom. Lawrence was stationed here during the Arab Revolt against the Ottomans in 1918, and Wadi Rum served as a location for the film, Lawrence of Arabia. Spend the night under starry skies in true Bedouin fashion at a rustic tented camp. WADI RUM CAPTAINS CAMP OR PETRA MOVENPICK HOTEL. (B,L,D)
Head to the Dead Sea, at 1,401 feet below sea level, the lowest point on land in the world. En route, dip your hands into the river Jordan when you visit the proverbial location of Jesus’ baptism at Bethany. Luxuriate in the tranquility of your resort; fFloat in the mineral rich waters, the saltiest in the world, while breathing in the ozone rich air and absorbing the warm sunshine. DEAD SEA MOEVENPICK RESORT. (B,L,D Daily)
Relaxed, rejuvenated and filled with incredible memories, board your flight home. (B, Meals Aloft)
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