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Lost cities, crusader castles and camping under the stars - our family-friendly tour of Jordan is action-packed. Discover the rose-red city of ancient Petra, enjoy an exhilarating ride across the dunes of Wadi Rum and experience Bedouin life sleeping on the desert sands. Float in the Dead Sea and snorkel in the Red Sea before finishing up in the bustling souks of the capital, Amman.
Explore Tour Leader
1 nights comfortable camping
4 nights premium hotel
2 nights comfortable hotel
1 nights premium tented camp
12 - 18
Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.
Arrive in Amman, the capital of Jordan. Amman as we know it now is a young city, home to almost half of the country's population. It's a fascinating city full 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 Amman's Queen Alia International Airport (airport code AMM), which is around one hour from our hotel. 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.
If your flight arrives earlier in the day, perhaps you might choose to head to the Temple of Hercules in the commercial heart of the city. Surrounded by ultra-modern buildings, hotels, smart restaurants, art galleries and boutiques old and new rub shoulders comfortably with traditional coffee shops and tiny artisans' workshops.
Toledo Hotel (or similar)
This morning drive northwards to ancient Jerash, located in the Gilead Hills. One of Jordan's major attractions, Jerash is a beautifully maintained Roman city, considered to be the best preserved of the Decapolis, a confederation of ten Middle Eastern cities under the Emperor Pompey. One of the highlights of the Middle East, a triple arch gateway, gives way to colonnaded streets, theatres, temples and baths. It is estimated that this represents only about 10% of the entire city, the rest is still to be uncovered. We spend several hours exploring the site.
Travelling onto the town of Madaba, once a one of the most important Christian communities east of the Jordan River. Today Madaba harbours a collection of extraordinary mosaics, including the incredible 6th century Great Map of of the holy land mainly Jerusalem. Discovered in 1896, it contains detailed depictions of the important pilgrimage sites throughout the Holy Land, including Jerusalem, and is believed to be the oldest surviving map of Palestine in existence. We watch and learn the procedures of mosaic production from the specialists before returning to Amman.
If time permits, you will be able to wander around the streets of the capital and discover it's unique blend of old and new. The Temple of Hercules is in the commercial heart of the city along with ultra-modern buildings, hotels, smart restaurants, art galleries and boutiques that all rub shoulders comfortably with traditional coffee shops and tiny artisans' workshops. The downtown area is much older and more traditional with smaller businesses producing and selling everything from fabulous jewellery to everyday household items. The people of Amman are multicultural, multi-denominational, well-educated and extremely hospitable.
This morning drive to the shimmering Dead Sea. At nearly 400m below sea level, it is the lowest point on earth. Surrounded by barren hills, this unique body of water has an amazingly high salt content (33%) which means no animal life survives and that it is almost impossible to sink! But don't take our word for it, try for yourself. There is also access to a hotel pool, beach, showers and the hotel restaurant and bars.
We then head south following one of the oldest trade routes in the world, the King's Highway, which once carried the richly laden caravans of Solomon. We reach Kerak, imposingly positioned on a hilltop, which became famous in the time of the Crusades as one of a chain of fortresses in the Holy War against Islam. Built in 1132 by Baldwin of Jerusalem, a Crusader king, the castle finally fell to the forces of Saladin himself and who was so impressed with the courage shown by its defenders that he set them free, we spend time touring the castle at Kerak, with stories of what life was like for the early crusaders.
From Kerak continue south to Siq al-Barid known as Little Petra. Arriving mid to late afternoon our accommodation tonight is a traditional Bedouin camp located ten minutes\ walk from Little Petra's entrance. Take a stroll from the camp to explore the site which contains several Nabatean temples and structures carved into the bedrock, the site is also a great deal quieter than its more famous neighbour. Returning to camp to watch the sun sink below the sky line, enjoy a traditional dinner served in the communal tent. On warm nights its worth sitting outside - there is no light pollution here and on a clear night the night sky is magnificent.
Little Petra Ammarin Bedouin Camp (or similar)
After breakfast at our campsite, make a short drive to Petra, without doubt one of the most famous and awe inspiring sites in the Middle East. Abandoned centuries ago, Petra was the rock cut stronghold of the Nabateans (and the final resting place of the Holy Grail - according to Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade).
Surrounded by imposing mountains and approached through a deep, narrow cleft in the rocks known as the Siq, it is a unique and unforgettable place. Enhanced by the play of light and shadow, the sights are an altogether overwhelming experience.
In the morning we walk through the Siq and enter this lost city, sighting the famous temple façade of the Treasury as we approach. A guided walking tour will take us to some of the key parts of this remarkable site after which the rest of the day is free to walk through one of the most impressive and exciting attractions of ancient history at leisure. We return in the evening to our hotel located just beyond the site entrance.
Edom Hotel (or similar)
A full free day in Petra. Returning to the city you can climb steep paths to the sacrificial 'High Places' (altars) and hike to the top of Jebel Harin (1396m) for a stunning view over Wadi Araba and the Negev Desert. The Monastery is the largest of Petra's monuments and certainly worth the steep climb up to it. Towering to a height of 40m, its doorway alone measures 8m in height, dwarfing anyone framed within it. It is a place to lose oneself in the atmosphere of the past.
This evening we visit a local family in Wadi Musa, close to Petra for dinner and to learn about the local way of life and traditions. Your tour leader will explain how the meal is prepared as well as how local Bedouin tea and other traditional dishes are made. Dinner is likely to be a national dish of the country, such as Makloobah, which is lamb cooked in a sauce of fermented dried yogurt and served with rice.
We spend today experiencing the beautiful area of Wadi Rum.
Its a couple of hours drive from Petra to the park entrance at Wadi Rum. On arrival head off for an exciting four-wheel drive through stunning desert scenery. Travelling via the old Roman road, we explore the lesser-known northern areas of Wadi Rum, seeing natural rock bridges and viewing incredible rock sculptures on the way to our overnight camp. After lunch we rendezvous for an unforgettable trek, either on foot or you have the option of taking a camel. We ride and/or walk for about 2 hours through a landscape of sandstone mountains, white and pink coloured sands and a desert that is dripping in the 'Lawrence of Arabia' legend with scenes of the famous film being shot here. The desert has been inhabited by the nomadic Bedouin people for generations and we discover how the Bedouins of Wadi Rum live with explanations from our guide and the opportunity to visit a local Bedouin family and share a cup of tea with them.
During the afternoon we learn about the Bedouin habits and way of life, their culture and the stories that have been passed down from previous generations. They believe that Wadi Rum is beautiful due to its magical landscape, and so we include time in this area with few other visitors which help us discover the silence and majesty of the desert. The Bedouin culture is also famous for story-telling and we get the chance to listen to stories about the past days and generations of those who used to live in the vast desert of Wadi Rum.
We overnight at Space Village Luxury Camp, located in the heart of the Wadi Rum Desert surrounded by dramatic sandstone mountains and huge sand dunes. The individual Bedouin style tents are spacious and feature modern en suite bathrooms and comfortable bedding. There is a large communal dining tent with low Middle-Eastern-style seating or you can relax under the stars on the blankets.
Galaxies and Planet Camp (or similar)
Premium Tented Camp
Leaving Wadi Rum, drive to Aqaba on the Red Sea. Aqaba is Jordan's only seaport and has a long history of occupation and trade. King Solomon's ships left here loaded with copper whilst the Edomites and the Nabateans used the port as part of a trade route from Damascus to Egypt. The Roman 10th Legion was stationed here and during the 12th century the Crusaders made good use of Aqaba's strategic position. During World War I, the Arab troops under Prince Faisal used the fort as a base for attacks on the Ottoman forces.
After checking into our hotel, the rest of the day is free for you to relax. The hotel is located in the heart of Aqaba, ideal for exploring Jordan's second biggest city or heading to the beach.
City Tower Hotel (or similar)
Today you have a free day where you may wish to enjoy the splendid coral reefs and clear warm waters for which Aqaba is famed. Aqaba has numerous watersports activities including sailing, snorkelling and glass bottom boats for hire, so there should be something for everyone. Later this afternoon we will drive back to Amman.
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 Amman's Queen Alia International Airport (airport code AMM), which is around one hour's drive from the hotel.
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
A selection of optional activities are listed below to help you budget for your Family adventure. Whilst the basic tour price you pay before you travel includes a great selection of highlights, we have also built in free time to allow you the flexibility to choose from a carefully selected range of additional excursions and activities or take time to relax, the choice is yours. At certain destinations along the way there may be several options to choose from and it may not be possible to fit all the activities in; your Explore Leader will be able to give advice on which are the most suitable for your family. Petra: Day 3: Live cooking course at the Red Cave restaurant followed by dinner JD25 per person Day 4: Cave BBQ supper in Little Petra including transfers JD30 per person Day 5: Return visit to Petra - no charge Day 5: Petra 'by night' (candlelit walk to The Treasury) JD17 per person, children under 10 free Wadi Rum: Day 6: Desert camel trek JD20 per person. This is not available in July and August due to the heat. Aqaba: Day 7 or 8: Snorkelling on coral reef plus transport JD35 per person Day 8: Snorkelling boat trip with lunch, tea and coffee. 4 to 5 hours in total with two snorkelling stops JD35 per person; Berenice Private Beach club - entrance fee JD10.00 per person.
Lightweight clothing is essential in midsummer, 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 and it may snow, 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 and older girls 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.
One main piece of baggage and daypack. Remember you are expected to carry your own luggage so don't overload yourself.
Blankets and mattresses are provided, but we suggest you bring your own sleeping sheet. A personal water bottle, a towel and small torch are useful for the nights in Wadi Rum. You may also wish to bring your own snorkelling equipment. Antibacterial hand wash, such as Travelproof's 'H20-No' water-less hand scrub (available through Explore Trader catalogue); try to avoid anti-bacterial wipes as these can pose a disposal problem
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. This can unfortunately 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. For the confirmed hotel list for your departure, refer to your final documents. On this tour, we stay in mid-range, well-appointed hotels with ensuite facilities, air-conditioning and Wi-Fi. In Amman, we stay at the edge of the old city, within walking distance of downtown. While in Petra, we'll stay close to the visitor's centre, giving us quick and easy access to the site. Our camp in Wadi Rum is situated deep in the desert. We camp in traditional Bedouin with all bedding provided. There is a toilet and shower block at the end of the site. Finally, in Aqaba, we'll stay in a modern hotel, close to the beach, with a rooftop restaurant and pool. 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.
All the hotels have a swimming pool and there is a chance to swim in the Red Sea at Aqaba and float in the Dead Sea. The swimming pool at the Toledo hotel in Amman is open to the public and operates segregated swimming based on gender, a timetable is available at the hotel reception.
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 10th March to 9th April 2024. Read more about travelling during Ramadan.
The following 2024 departures will coincide with Ramadan.
30 March 2024
31 March 2024
02 April 2024