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From the unreal beauty of rock-carved Petra to the lunar landscapes of Wadi Rum, Jordan is steeped in bucket-list gems. Journey through the ancient monuments of Amman and beyond, uncover the tombs and temples of the fabled rose-red city, and sleep on the dunes of the desert, all while getting a taste of Jordanian life, both today and long ago.
Explore Tour Leader
4 nights premium hotel
3 nights comfortable hotel
1 nights comfortable tented camp
Trip maximum 16 Explore average 11
Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.
Arrive in Amman, the capital of Jordan, which is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Now home to almost half of the country's population, it is a fascinating city of contrasts, where the very ancient and the brand new collide.
There are no planned activities for today, so you can arrive into Amman at any time. If you would like to receive a complimentary transfer today, you'll need to arrive into Queen Alia International Airport (AMM), which is around 30 minutes' drive. Due to a majority of flights arriving in the late evening, your leader will meet you for the welcome meeting on the morning of day two. This evening you will find information including meeting times on our hotel notice near reception.
If your flight arrives earlier in the day, you may wish to explore the streets and souks of downtown Amman independently.
Toledo Hotel (or similar)
This morning we drive the short 30 mile journey north of the capital to the ancient Jerash. Populated for over 6,500 years, the city's golden age was in Roman times when it was conquered by General Pompey and became one of a confederation of ten important Middle Eastern cities, known as the Decapolis League. Now, because of the way it has been preserved in sand before its excavation last century, it is widely acknowledged as one of the best-preserved Roman provincial towns in the world. Walking around the colonnaded streets, soaring hilltop temples, handsome theatres and the chariot-racing stadium, it is easy to imagine Roman life carrying on around you. All this is just the tip of the iceberg - it is estimated that only about 10% of city has been uncovered.
Travelling back into Amman after lunch we'll delve deeper into the life of the city on a walking tour. Our explorations start out with a panoramic view out across the city enjoyed from its highest point, the Citadel - Jabal al-Qal'a perched on a hill near the centre of the city. Artefacts found at the site signify that the area has been a royal city for thousands of years and is believed to have been fortified during the Bronze age some 3,000 - 4,000 years ago. Earthquakes and invasions have certainly taken their toll on the Citadel but two pillars of the Roman Temple of Hercules still stand strong, alongside parts of the 7th century Umayyad Palace.
Making our way down the hill to downtown Amman we'll weave our way through the winding streets of the souk (bazaar), soaking up the ambience and taking in the aroma of the spices and Arabic delicacies on sale. At the lively fruit and vegetable market near the Grand (King Hussein) Mosque delicious looking produce is hawked by competing vendors melodiously calling out to attract the passing shoppers: a true Middle Eastern experience. We'll finish off our tour in an old style cafe whose interior takes you on a journey through time to experience the cafes in the early days of Amman.
An early breakfast this morning ready for a prompt departure to to Madaba - a town with a strong Christian heritage and aptly dubbed the 'City of Mosaics'. Around 90 minutes from the capital, Madaba is home to hundreds of Byzantine-era mosaics, the most famous of these is the 6th century map of Jerusalem and the Holy Land. Created with two million pieces of vividly coloured local stone, it is believed to be the oldest surviving map of the holy land.
Continuing on for another 20 minutes, we will arrive at Mount Nebo; referenced in the Old Testament as the place that Moses once stood to look over the Promised Land. This sacred location is important to many devoted pilgrims and on a clear day offers views out across the Dead Sea, Bethlehem and Jerusalem.
Later this morning we carry on travelling south, just as traders, armies and pilgrims have done before us, along the impressive 5,000 year-old King's Highway to Kerak. Imposingly situated on a rocky outcrop next to the road and containing a maze of stone-vaulted halls and passageways, this ancient Crusader stronghold is the most famous among a chain of fortresses built for the Holy War against Islam.
Our packed day of sightseeing ends with a short drive to Petra - without doubt Jordan's most valuable treasure. We can look forward to a couple of days spent here to really get under the skin of this awe-inspiring site. If your tour started on a Saturday we arrive in time to take an optional candlelight tour of the ancient city. Abandoned centuries ago, this other-worldly place is enhanced by the play of light and shadow to create an altogether magical experience.
Edom Hotel (or similar)
Over the next two days we get the opportunity to discover Petra and to soak up this mysterious city. Our entrance fee for both days is included, giving us the chance to truly do justice to this jewel with an in depth visit.
Defined by John Burgon with the illustrious words 'A Rose Red City half as old as time', Petra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as one of the new wonders of the world. This ancient city carved in the rocks has retained its grandeur throughout the centuries and although much has been written about it, nothing really prepares you for the impact of this unique site.
After a guided orientation tour which will take us to some of the key areas, we have the rest of the day to explore in our own time. Most of what can be seen today was built by the Nabataeans - an industrious Arab community who settled here more than 2,500 years ago, growing wealthy on tax proceeds from passing silk and spice trade. Petra's spectacular setting deep inside a narrow desert gorge adds to its majesty. The site is accessed by walking through a kilometre-long chasm (known as the Siq), the walls of which soar to a height of 200m. Petra's most famous monument, the Treasury, appears dramatically at the end of the Siq, carved out of the sheer, dusky-pink rock face. Miraculously well preserved, this massive 43 metre-high facade dwarfs everything around it and perfectly represents the engineering genius of these people. The existence of this site had been kept secret for centuries by the local Bedouins and only revealed to the West by the Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt in 1812. After the decline of the city, due to shifting trade routes and a series of earthquakes, the Bedouins continued to use the sophisticated water system created by the Nabataeans to make the most of the water coming from the perennial stream and the flash floods; a precious oasis in the middle of an inhospitable desert.
While you wander through literally hundreds of tombs, temples and colonnaded streets, your mind finds it easy to picture caravans loaded with frankincense, spices and textiles travelling through the Siq. The site is excellent for photography and the best time to take pictures is either early to mid-morning or late afternoon, as this is when the angled sun highlights and enhances the natural red, pink and orange colours of the rocks.
Please note: Depending on your chosen departure date, the hotel location in the Petra area may vary; all hotels we use are three star and are either located a 5 - 10 minute walk away from the visitor centre, or a 25 minute walk away from the visitor centre in the town of Wadi Musa. For groups based in Wadi Musa transport will be provided to and from Petra Visitor Centre on day 4 and on day 5 options are a 25 minute walk or a taxi for around £2-£4 each way. Please ask your Sales Consultant or refer to your final documentation for a final hotel list.
Today is free for you to discover more of Petra's beautiful and awe-inspiring buildings and scenery. You may choose to climb the steep path to the 'High Place of Sacrifice' for a stunning view over Wadi Araba and the Negev Desert, or trek up to the impressive 'Monastery' - Petra's largest monument.
This evening we'll visit a small, family run restaurant for a Bedouin cookery demonstration. The the chef will show us how to cool a traditional main meal and Jordanian sweet before we sit down for our dinner.
Today is all about embracing the Wadi Rum desert experience in its authenticity, as we have the once in a lifetime opportunity to live the lifestyle of the nomadic Bedouin people. This morning we will leave Petra by bus and head to Wadi Rum Visitor Centre where we will transfer into 4WD vehicles for an exhilarating two hour jeep drive through the desert. This is a great chance to see the most spectacular and untouched parts of Wadi Rum.
Wadi Rum occupies a region of 74,000 acres and as described by T.E. Lawrence, is 'vast, echoing and God-like...'. Monolithic outcrops of granite rock and sandstone rise out of the desert with a drifting blanket of sand between them. It is at its most impressive at the beginning and end of the day when the soft light and blue sky create a coppery effect on the sand. The Bedouins learnt to live with this hostile environment 3000 years ago, choosing the partnership with the camel for their survival. They understood the importance of keeping on the move and interpreting the elements, in order to find food and water. This afternoon we have the chance to experience a camel ride and learn about this precious alliance between the dromedary and the nomads.
After sunset, we enjoy the Bedouin hospitality around the campfire under a blanket of stars; a great setting to share stories while sipping mint and sage tea. A traditional zarb, consisting of a chicken or a goat meat (vegetarian options available) cooked under the desert sand, is served as well as a delicious selection of mezze.
The campsite we use presents the opportunity to experience traditional Bedouin living arrangements in a large communal style goat hair tent, which provides the best protection against typical desert extremes of hot and cold weather. The tent is laid out with rugs, mattresses, pillows and blankets and is where each tribe would commune to eat, sleep and socialise, as well as a fire pit to sit around and enjoy some local sweet tea. Far away from the tourist centre, roads and within the Wadi Rum protected area, the camp is intimate and provides great views over the desert. A toilet and wash block with limited washing facilities is also available during our stay. Private tents can be paid for locally should you wish, subject to availability.
Salim Camp (or similar)
Comfortable Tented Camp
After all the exploration of the last few days, today we can enjoy a relaxing day in Aqaba on the Red Sea. Famed for its preserved coral reefs and unique sea life, your Leader will be on hand to arrange an optional snorkelling trip.
If you don't have your sea legs, there are a number of beaches to choose from or you can spend the afternoon drinking tea in one of the many cafes.
My Luxury Hotel (or similar)
This morning we depart Aqaba and travel for around four hours to the the Dead Sea. Officially the lowest point on the earth's surface, this unique water body has an amazingly high salt content (33%) which means that no animal life survives and it is almost impossible to sink. The experience of floating naturally is unique and relaxing on the calm sea. We'll spend a couple of hours this afternoon at a tourist beach, where food and drink can be purchased and we use of showers facilities.
Finally, we drive on to Amman and spend our last night in the bustling capital with free time to do some last-minute shopping and sightseeing. To mark the end of your trip, you may choose to enjoy a traditional or cosmopolitan meal, washed down with some excellent Jordanian wine, in one of the capital's many restaurants.
The trip ends after breakfast at our hotel in Amman.
There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart from Amman at any time. If your flight is departing later in the day, luggage storage facilities are available at our hotel. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you need to depart from Queen Alia International Airport (AMM), which a 30 minutes' drive.
During April to November days are generally sunny and hot without rain with temperatures around 32°C. In spring and autumn evenings can be cool and night temperatures can drop suddenly especially in the desert. Expect cold nights in winter (December to February) when temperatures can drop to around 0 degrees. Some rain should also be expected at this time of year.
2 Pin Round
Petra - Petra by night JD17.00 pp; Ottoman bath JD25.00 pp; Little Petra JD17.50 pp for return transportation from Petra. Wadi Rum - Camel trek JD20.00 pp, approx. one hour. Not available in July or August due to the heat Aqaba - Snorkelling on coral reef including lunch and snorkelling kit JD35.00 pp; Snorkelling from Boat (snorkelling equipment included) JD35.00 pp; Berenice Private Beach club - entrance fee JD10.00 pp.
Lightweight clothing is essential in mid- summer, with a sun-hat and neck protection, though a sweater and light jacket are advisable for Wadi Rum. Early mornings can be very cold when camping in the desert. Winters in Jordan can be cold, so please bring suitable warm clothing. We recommend a waterproof jacket in winter. Women are advised not to wear shorts or dresses that are too revealing as this can attract unwelcome attention in the streets of Moslem towns - loose fitting trousers or slacks are ideal. Women should also cover their head and shoulders when entering a mosque and men should wear long trousers.
Comfortable walking shoes or boots, trainers and sandals (good grip is vital for Petra).
One main piece of baggage and a day sack. Hotel porters are generally available, however don't overload yourself. Please note you will only carry what you need to the camp in Wadi Rum and main luggage will be transported directly from Petra to Aqaba.
Blankets and mattresses are provided, but we suggest you bring your own sleeping sheet. A personal water bottle, small torch and towel are useful for the night in Wadi Rum. Camping at Wadi Rum is wild in a communal tent. Privacy and facilities are thus limited but more than compensated for by the location.
Jordanian hospitality is second to none and we choose our hotels to reflect that. However, due to the recent rise in tourism, many hotels are experiencing high demand and can become full very quickly. Unfortunately, this can lead to lower levels of service and quality. While we try our best to make sure our chosen accommodation is available to us, it is subject to change. Both hotels we use in Petra are three-star, however the location of your hotel will depend on your departure date. One is located on the main road, just a five-to-ten-minute walk from Petra. The other is a little further away in the town of Wadi Musa, a 25-minute walk from the site. On day four, transport to and from Petra will be provided. On day 5, there will be no transport, but if you'd rather not walk, you can take a taxi to the site for £2-4 each way. Our camp in Wadi Rum is situated deep in the desert. We camp in a communal Bedouin tent (with gendered compartments), furnished with mattresses and bedding - there are showers and toilets on-site, too. If you'd rather sleep alone, private tents can be arranged free of charge locally, subject to availability. Note that some hotel swimming pools operate separate timetables for men and women. Refer to your final document for your departure's confirmed hotel list.
Can you drink the water?
The water quality is poor and therefore it is recommended to avoid drinking tap water during your trip.
We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK citizens, check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice.
Please refer to our COVID-19 entry requirements page for any country-specific conditions of entry. Whilst we strive to update this on a regular basis we recommend you also check the FCDO website for the latest advice on entry requirements in this fast-evolving situation. Information can change at any time.
Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.
Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. However, please note that if you voluntarily make any changes to your booking including changing your trip or departure date, any additional costs or charges incurred will not be covered. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions
Jordan: Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the time you arrive. Visa fees are waivered for tourists of British, American, Australian, New Zealand and Canadian nationalities on arrival at an international Jordanian airport. There are however, certain conditions that each tourist of these nationalities must meet in order to gain the free visa. Most of these are already met by Explore trips; however flight information, passport details and arrival date into Jordan all have an effect on qualifying for the free visa. Please see below for the category that is applicable to your flight arrangements: The following information relates to the above nationalities travelling on flights to Jordan arranged by Explore arriving on the first day of the tour: In order to qualify for the free visa, the above nationalities must advise their passport details at least 16 days prior to your departure date to Explore and must be met by a representative who will assist with the visa process, this is already arranged by Explore as part of the transfer arrangements from the airport to the start of the tour. The following information relates to the above nationalities with Land Only arrangements arriving on the first day of the tour: In order to qualify for the free visa, these tourists must advise their passport details at least 16 days prior to your departure date to Explore and must be met by a representative who will assist with the visa process. Land Only customers of the above nationalities arranging their own flights to arrive in Jordan on the first day of the tour must advise their full flight details to Explore at least 16 days prior to your departure date. We will then arrange for the representative to meet you as part of the transfer arrangements from the airport to the start of the tour. The following information relates to the above nationalities arriving in Jordan prior or after the first day of the tour: In order to qualify for the free visa, tourists of the above nationalities must advise their passport details at least 16 days prior to your departure date to Explore and must be met by a representative who will assist with the visa process. To qualify for the free visa, you must contact Explore at least 16 days prior to your departure date to arrange and purchase a private transfer. We will then arrange for the representative to meet you as part of the transfer arrangements. Please Note: For all tourists of the above nationalities that do not advise their passport details and for all above nationalities that arrange their own travel arrangements and do not advise their flight details to Explore within the above specified timelines, the Jordanian visa fee of JD40.00 (approximately £45) will be applicable. This must be paid on arrival at an international Jordanian airport in order for individuals to gain a visa to enter the country. All other nationalities should consult the relevant consulate to determine if they are applicable for the above free visa on arrival or must gain a visa prior to departure.
If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may be able to apply through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.
Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.
Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information.
You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.
Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.
The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.
Free transfers are not available for Polar customers.
If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.
For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here
It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.
Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.
You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.
We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.
On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.
An ability to swim is essential for your safe enjoyment of the water based activities on this trip. If you wish to participate in these activities then we insist that you are able to swim.
Nothing compulsory, but we recommend protection against typhoid, tetanus infectious hepatitis and polio. Consult your travel clinic for latest advice on different prophylaxis available against malaria. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.
In 2024, Ramadan runs from the 10th of March to 9th of April. Read more about travelling during Ramadan.
The following 2024 departures of Jordan Discovery will coincide with Ramadan.
07 March 2024
09 March 2024
14 March 2024
16 March 2024
21 March 2024
23 March 2024
28 March 2024
30 March 2024
04 April 2024
06 April 2024