|from $3,014* per person||10 Days||October-April
Exertion level: 3
|Operator: Breakaway Adventures
24 people max
This is a gentle one-boot holiday, with no strenuous walking, and is therefore suitable for all levels of fitness. The itinerary has been carefully planned to avoid the heat of the day by starting early where necessary, and includes all the main attractions at a civilized pace. Key to this is our guide, Dig Bulmer. A Scot by birth, Dig grew up in the Far East and New Zealand, before returning to live in the Highlands of Scotland. He has been running holidays to Jordan and various other destinations for over 20 years, and his easy-going expertise will help everyone get the most from the trip.
We have selected three modern and comfortable hotels in Jordan: the Toledo in Amman, the Kingsway Hotel, with its impressive mosaic mural, just ten minutes’ from Petra, and the **** Aqaba Gulf Hotel, which boasts a large outdoor freshwater swimming pool surrounded by lovely landscaped gardens. All the hotels are air-conditioned, usually serving buffet meals which combine both local specialities and international dishes. Lunches are either bought daily from local shops, or taken at our favorite local restaurants.
We travel by air-conditioned mini-bus throughout (apart from in Wadi Rum where we use a jeep or camels) and, to avoid busier and hotter times at the main visitor sites, there are some early starts. However, these are usually compensated by a lazy late afternoon by the hotel pool or relaxing in the cool of your room.
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Jordan, Middle East, North America
Day 1 Arrive in Jordan
Arrive in Amman, then a short transfer (30 mins) to the Toledo Hotel (with pool).
Day 2 Temples of Jerash
Jerash is one of the largest and best-preserved Roman sites outside Italy, with its 2000 year old temples, theatres and triumphal arches. Stroll the ‘Street of Columns’ or take your seats at the top of the vast South Theatre to enjoy the acoustics and the view.
Day 3 Mosaics of Madaba
Madaba is best known for its intricate Byzantine mosaics. Most famous is the Madaba Map, a 1500 year old depiction of the Holy Land which would have originally measured a staggering 15m x 5m. Drive to Mount Nebo, which Moses climbed to see the Promised Land before he died - spectacular views. Time for a relaxing float in the mineral-rich waters of the Dead Sea before dinner .
Day 4 Karak and Wadi Mousa
An early start brings us first to Karak where we’ll visit the imposing castle that formed part of a long line of crusader defences stretching from Aqaba to Turkey. It’s then on through rugged mountain country via Tafila where Lawrence fought his only pitched battle against the Turks. We continue on to Wadi Mousa in time for a short rocky hike to a summit where we can watch the sunset behind the jagged peaks of Petra.
Hotel King’s Way ****
Wadi Mousa, Days 4+5+6
Wadi Mousa or Valley of Moses, is an important archaeological site that is home to the ancient Nabataean ruins of Petra. The town itself is made up of three main streets with shops, cafés, restaurants and hotels. Your hotel is situated on the outskirts of Wadi Mousa, near the Mousa Springs, where Moses smote the rock to bring forth the waters. The hotel has 92 rooms, all offering full private facilities, air-Conditioning, direct dial telephone, mini-bar, satellite television, safe and hairdryer.
Days 5/6 The astonishing city of Petra
Described by Edward Lear as “A magical condensation of beauty and wonder”, we enter Petra through a narrow 1.8mi/3km long gorge flanked by 100m cliffs carved with ancient inscriptions. The once-lost city is over 2000 years old, its magnificent temples, monasteries and houses hewn by hand from pink rock to create a spectacle more dramatic than any film set. The following morning, before breakfast, we savour the solitude of a dawn visit to Al-Beidha, a hidden gem that few tourists ever discover . The rest of the day has been left free for you to explore Petra further (it is an amazingly large site!).
Day 7 Across the desert to Aqaba
Drive to Aqaba across the spectacular Nagb ash-Shtar Pass, arriving in time for an authentic Arab lunch at one of the best restaurants in the region. Aqaba is a popular diving centre on the Red Sea, and there is also plenty of historical interest. Afternoon free to explore the bazaars, before a gentle stroll along the
shore and dinner at the Aqaba Gulf.
Hotel Aqaba Gulf ***
Aqaba, Days 7+8+9
Aqaba is situated in the south of Jordan on the edge of the Red Sea and has the only beach area in the country. It is famed for its preserved coral reefs and crystal clear waters and is ideal for relaxation and swimming. Situated overlooking the Gulf of Aqaba, the 4* Hotel Aqaba Gulf is within walking distance of the city’s bustling centre. The hotels modern bedrooms all have full private facilities as well as air-conditioning, satellite television, direct dial telephone and mini-bar.
Further details on the hotel website.
Day 8 In the footsteps of Lawrence of Arabia
Drive to Wadi Rum, an unforgettable desert landscape of wind-sculpted rocks in every shade from golden ochre to deepest crimson. We meet Salim, our Bedouin guide, and enjoy mint tea before the short walk to Lawrence’s Well. Continue by jeep or camel to Lawrence’s House and the Khazali Canyon. At dusk enjoy the full glory of the desert at sunset, when the rocks turn a thousand shades of pink before darkness falls. Return to Aqaba.
Day 9 At leisure in Aqaba
A free morning to explore the Mamluke fort and museum. In the afternoon, time to relax by the pool before a special farewell dinner at a super local Arab restaurant.
Day 10 Leave Jordan
Leave for Amman airport and your flight home.
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