Group Size: Based on Minimum 2 passengers
This tour allows you to discover the most awe-inspiring historical sites of Jordan, dating as far back as the Stone Age. Amongst other highlights, you will visit the ancient city of Jerash, which incredibly was buried in sand for centuries before being excavated and only restored over the past 70 years. Explore Petra, the Red Rose City carved into the sandstone cliff-face; truly one of the most magnificent archaeological sites in the world! Lastly, experience the Dead Sea, famed for its spas, offering healing mud treatments and mineral hot springs that are both soothing and therapeutic.
Day 1 - Amman
On arrival at Amman Airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Le Méridien Amman Hotel is located in the heart of Jordan’s capital and the centre of Amman’s Shmeisani business and diplomatic district. It offers convenient access to the Amman Citadel, the Roman Theatre, and many of the city’s malls and shopping areas.
Day 2 - Amman
This morning drive to Jerash, less than an hour’s drive away, where a local guide will show you one of the largest Roman sites outside of Italy, a compound of ancient columns and ruins. A close second to Petra on the list of favorite destinations in Jordan, the ancient city of Jerash boasts an unbroken chain of human occupation dating back more than 6,500 years.
Jerash lies on a plain surrounded by hilly wooded areas and fertile basins. Conquered by General Pompey in 63 BC, it came under Roman rule and was one of the ten great Roman cities, the Decapolis League. The city’s golden age came under Roman rule, during which time it was known as Gerasa, and the site is now generally acknowledged to be one of the best preserved Roman provincial towns in the world. Hidden for centuries in sand before being excavated and restored over the past 70 years, Jerash reveals a fine example of the grand, formal provincial Roman urbanism that is found throughout the Middle East, comprising paved and colonnaded streets, soaring hilltop temples, handsome theatres, spacious public squares and plazas, baths, fountains and city walls pierced by towers and gates. Return to Amman for an afternoon at leisure. (B)
Day 3 - Petra
This morning drive south to Petra stopping enroute at the ancient sites of Madaba, Mt Nebo and Kerak. (B)
The Madaba Mosaic Map covers the floor of the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George, which is located northwest of the city centre. The church was built in 1896 AD, over the remains of a much earlier 6th century Byzantine church. The mosaic panel enclosing the Map was originally around 15.6 X 6m, 94 square meters, only about a quarter of which is preserved.
Mount Nebo, one of the most revered holy sites of Jordan and the place where Moses was buried. A small Byzantine church was built there by early Christians, which has been expanded into a vast complex. During his visit to Jordan in 2001, the Late Pope John Paul II held a sermon here that was attended by some 20,000 faithful.
Kerak was an important city, and for a time the capital, of the Biblical kingdom of Moab. For this reason, the castle is also sometimes known as Krak des Moabites. Kerak Castle was built in 1142 by the Frankish lord of Oultrejourdain, Payen le Bouteiller, to whom the territory had been ceded by King Baldwin II of Jerusalem in 1126. The castle was constructed over foundations of earlier citadels dating back to Nabatean times. Under Reynald de Chatillon, Kerak resisted assaults by Saladin’s troops in 1183 and 1184, but it finally fell after a siege in 1188. Arab repairs and additions in the white limestone contrast with the Crusader parts built in dark, volcanic tufa, then proceed to Petra hotel for overnight.
The Mövenpick Resort Petra is located directly at the entrance to the historic Jordanian city of Petra. This resort with an oriental flair features an exciting combination of natural stone, handcrafted wood and Middle Eastern fabrics and textures.
With 183 newly renovated rooms and suites and a wide variety of restaurants for your culinary cravings, the Mövenpick Resort Petra will certainly provide long lasting memories. Enjoy your time spent in one of the world’s most extraordinary destinations.
Day 4 - Petra
This morning with a local guide, spend time exploring the magnificent Red Rose City carved into the rock face. (B)
The giant red mountains and vast mausoleums of a departed race have nothing in common with modern civilisation, and ask nothing of it except to be appreciated at their true value – as one of the greatest wonders ever wrought by Nature and Man. Although much has been written about Petra, nothing really prepares you for this amazing place. It has to be seen to be believed.
Entrance to the city is through the Siq, a narrow gorge, over 1 kilometre in length, which is flanked on either side by soaring, 80 metres high cliffs. Just walking through the Siq is an experience in itself. The colours and formations of the rocks are dazzling. As you reach the end of the Siq you will catch your first glimpse of Al-Khazneh (Treasury). The Treasury is just the first of the many wonders that make up Petra. As you enter the Petra valley you will be overwhelmed by the natural beauty of this place and its outstanding architectural achievements. There are hundreds of elaborate rock-cut tombs with intricate carvings – unlike the houses, which were destroyed mostly by earthquakes, the tombs were carved to last throughout the afterlife and 500 have survived, empty but bewitching as you file past their dark openings.
Here also is a massive Nabataean-built, Roman-style theatre, which could seat 3,000 people. There are obelisks, temples, sacrificial altars and colonnaded streets, and high above, overlooking the valley, is the impressive Ad-Deir Monastery – a flight of 800 rock cut steps takes you there (local guide included from entrance till Qasr el bent only) after the visit return to Petra and your hotel.
Day 5 - Petra
Today is at leisure to explore more of Petra and its surrounds. Optional tours of Petra by Candlelight are available on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (at own expense). (B)
Day 6 - Dead Sea
Today drive through the desert way to the Dead Sea in the Rift Valley for your stay at the Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea. (B)
At 410 metres below sea level, the Dead Sea is the lowest place on earth. Jordan’s Dead Sea coast is one of the most spectacular natural and spiritual landscapes in the world and it remains as enticing to international visitors today as it was to kings, emperors, traders, and prophets in antiquity. The main attraction of the Dead Sea is of course the soothing, abnormally salty water itself. The salt content of the water is 31.5% making the water so buoyant that it is impossible for the visitor to sink. The water also contains 21 minerals including high levels of magnesium, sodium, potassium, and bromine and 12 of these minerals are found in no other body of water in the world.
Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea is the most ideal venue from which to explore the rich culture and deep history of the area. This 5 star luxury hotel is situated on the edge of the famous salt lake – the lowest point on earth – and provides uninterrupted views across the vast sea towards the west bank and access to some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, including religious sites and majestic countryside.
Day 7 - Dead Sea
Today is spent at leisure to enjoy the unique waters of the Dead Sea. Quality spas allow you to experience several different kinds of mineral hot springs and the Dead Sea itself, both soothing and therapeutic. (B)
Day 8 - End of Historical Jordan Tour
Today you will be transferred to Amman Airport for your onward flight. (B)
Dates and Pricing
- 08 Dec 18 - 31 Dec 18 $2,055 $2,970
Prices shown are per person based on twin share. Seasonal supplements and minimum night requirement may apply. Solo traveller and extra night prices available on request. Luggage restrictions may apply. International flights not included.
My wife and I recently did Highlights of East Africa, followed immediately by Historical Jordan, with Bench. Both tours were excellent! The organisation was first class and almost all the hotels were very good, with an interesting range of properties across both tours. The guides were very good indeed and the way the tours were managed on the ground was outstanding. We had a wonderful holiday and would recommend Bench to anyone thinking of doing tours like this.
The only minor negative was the appallingly bad and inefficient service (in the restaurant and in Reception) at an otherwise beautiful property - the Sopa Lake Nakuru.