Jordan Extension - Journey to Ancient Petra

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Day 1: Arrive in Amman

Met on arrival in Amman International Airport and transfer to our hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure before meeting the group for dinner and orientation. Overnight in Amman.

 

Day 2: Amman city sights, to Dead Sea

Amman, the capital of Jordan, is a fascinating city of contrasts – a unique blend of old and new, ideally situated on a hilly area between the desert and the fertile Jordan Valley. Amman was also known as the ancient city of Philadelphia. Sights include the Roman Theater and Nymphaeum (which reflect the historic legacy of the city) and also the enchanting Citadel which has stood since the ancient times. After lunch depart for the Dead Sea. Dinner and overnight at the Dead Sea.

 

Day 3: Full day at Dead Sea

The Dead Sea is famous geographically as “the lowest point on earth,” lying some 1,312 ft (400 m) below sea level. In addition to the historic significance of the “Salt Sea,” as it was referred to in the Bible, the Dead Sea today is an important and rich source of minerals essential for agricultural and industrial development, as well as for the treatment of various medical conditions.

Visitors to the Dead Sea come away with an unforgettable swimming experience, as the high density of the water makes sinking virtually impossible. Indeed, swimming is also difficult, as one is lifted too high in the water to be able to stroke properly. You will have the entire day at leisure to float in the Dead Sea, relax by the pool or enjoy an optional local spa treatment. Overnight at Dead Sea Hotel.

 

Day 4: To Madaba, Mt. Nebo, Dana Nature Reserve

The town of Madaba, located 30 kms southeast of the Dead Sea, is most famous for its exquisite 6th-century mosaics, although its history dates back at least 3500 years. Madaba's most famous mosaic is located in the Church of St. George in the middle of town. The Mosaic Map of Palestine represents the Holy Land and its surrounding regions. Clearly visible on the map are al- Quds (Jerusalem) and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Dead Sea, the Jordan River, Nablus, al-Khalil (Hebron), Ariha (Jericho), Egypt and the Nile River, Turkey and Lebanon. The mosaic was made around 560 BC, originally composed of over 2.3 million pieces, and measured a staggering 25 by 5 meters. It is thought that 11,500 man-hours would have been required to lay the entire mosaic. West of Madaba is Mount Nebo, where the Bible says Moses lived out his remaining days and viewed the Promised Land which he would never enter (Deuteronomy 34: 1-8). Mt. Nebo offers a fantastic view westward, with a vista that includes the Dead Sea, the West Bank, the Jordan River, and on a clear day, Bethlehem and Jerusalem. Afterwards continue on to the Dana Nature Reserve where our accommodation this evening offers breathtaking views of the reserve.

Dinner and overnight in the Dana Nature Reserve.

 

Day 5: Dana Nature Reserve; To Petra

The Dana Nature Reserve is composed of a chain of valleys and mountains which extend from the top of the Jordan Rift Valley down to the desert lowlands of Wadi Araba.

This reserve also supports diverse wildlife which includes a variety of rare species of plants and animals; Dana is home to about 600 species of plants, 37 species of mammals, and 190 species of birds. This morning we will have a tour through the Valley of the Scorpions with a local naturalist guide. Afterwards, enjoy lunch overlooking the valley. We will then drive to Petra, stopping at the imposing remains of the Shobak Crusader Castle. Upon our arrival in Petra check-in to the hotel. Overnight and dinner in Petra.

 

Day 6: Petra City Sights

After breakfast, set off to see the Rose City of Petra. Jordan's most famous attraction, the 2,000-year-old red sandstone city of Petra is an extraordinary and compelling sight. Carved from sandstone cliffs by the ancient Nabateans in the third century BC, it was forgotten for 1,000 years and only rediscovered in 1812. We will approach the ancient site from the impressive eastern entrance through a dark and narrow gorge called the Siq (the shaft), a natural geological feature formed from a deep split in the sandstone rocks and serving as a waterway flowing into Wadi Musa. At the end of the narrow gorge stands Petra's most elaborate ruin, Al Khazneh (the Treasury) hewn directly out of the sandstone cliff.

Our first day in Petra also includes visits to the Roman Theatre and the Royal Tombs. After lunch we will climb a rock-cut staircase to the Ad-Deir (Monastery) which affords stunning views of the valley. Dinner and overnight in Petra.

 

Day 7: Petra

Our second day tour of Petra includes a walk through the Siq to the colonnaded street to see the Byzantine Church with its restored mosaic floors, Qasr el Bint, the Temple of the Winged Lions and the Great Temple.

After lunch we continue with visits to the Petra Museum, Turkmaniyah Tomb, Conway Tower and the Urn Tomb. In the evening we will have a unique Jordanian experience as we visit “Petra Kitchen” where guests can try their hand at making a traditional Jordanian meal. Dinner and overnight in Petra.

 

Day 8: Drive to Wadi Rum

After breakfast, depart to Wadi Rum. “Rum the magnificent … vast, echoing and godlike” is how a captivated T.E. Lawrence described Wadi Rum. Massive pillars of sandstone rock rise from the rose-red desert floor.

Uniquely weathered, these majestic cliffs tower over 4, 900 feet (1,500 m) high. Dawn and dusk bring an amazing spectacle of changing colors of light on the rock and sand. Wadi Rum is a protected area, with plans in place to create a 500-square-kilometre (193-square-mile) national park.

Upon arrival at Wadi Rum you'll have an afternoon's jeep safari to enjoy the haunting desert landscapes, unique rock formations and natural rock bridges. During your exploration of Wadi Rum, search for millennia of rock art and caravan markers and inscriptions amidst the brilliant red sand dunes of this famed desert. In the evening, arrive at our private campsite deep in the heart of the desert. We enjoy a Bedouin feast, entertainment by local Bedouin musicians and spend a spectacular night in our camp beneath the dazzling night sky of the desert.

Dinner and overnight in Wadi Rum.

 

Day 9: Wadi Rum to Amman

After breakfast we will take a camel safari across the desert floor to allow you the opportunity to experience this ancient trade route. We then meet up with our coach for the drive back to Amman and your hotel. This evening we will have our farewell dinner.Overnight in Amman.

 

Day 10: Departure from Amman

The morning is at leisure until your transfer to the airport and your onward departure.

 
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