Jordan is breathtaking, with the fertile Jordan Valley, the Moabite Mountains, the shores of the Dead Sea, and of course the compelling site of Petra—a place that simply must be seen. In the span of just five days, we’ll explore all of them. Beginning in Amman, Jordan’s modern capital, we’ll step into the past at the Roman ruins of Jerash, where one hundred years of excavation have unearthed only 1% of the city. We continue to Petra, the Nabatean city whose iconic rose-hued facades are carved directly into sandstone cliffs. In Madaba we see the remarkable 6th-century mosaic map. And we’ll visit the Dead Sea as well, with a chance to float in its waters and enjoy the amenities of our hotel. We’ll be accompanied by a top guide, and will stay in superb accommodations throughout.
Day 1 - Cairo/Amman
Fly from Cairo to Amman, and on arrival, we tour Amman, known as Philadelphia during the Greek era. Its Citadel is home to the Temple of Hercules, and it has an impressive Roman theater which seats 6,000. You'll also have a chance to explore some of Amman's lively markets. After a light lunch at a local restaurant, we will transfer to the Grand Hyatt Hotel and the rest of the afternoon is free. Dinner is included this evening at an excellent local restaurant. (L,D)
Day 2 - Jerash/Petra
This morning we explore Jerash, the Roman stronghold once inhabited by 25,000 people—one of the great Roman cities of the Decapolis. Said to have been founded in 331 BC by Alexander the Great, it was still flourishing in the middle of the 8th century AD. One of the best-preserved sites of ancient times, Jerash has graceful temples, colonnaded streets, Roman theaters, public squares, baths, fountains, city walls, towers, and gates. After lunch nearby, we drive to Petra, arriving in the late afternoon. We spend two nights at the Mövenpick Hotel & Resort Petra, in a prime location just outside the entrance to the site. Your room will have a view of the Petra Mountains. (B,L,D)
Day 3 - Petra
We have the full day to visit Petra, formerly the hub of the busy trade route between Rome and the Arab world. The Nabateans, nomadic traders who settled here, were impressive engineers who took full advantage of the drama of the site. Petra’s great facades—the “Treasury,” Amphitheater, and Royal Tombs among them—are stunning. They are carved into the rose-colored cliff faces, and are world-renowned for their beauty and grace. The site is reached through the narrow winding gorge known as the Siq, and the Siq ends with a view of the “Treasury”—one of the great vistas anywhere. We have the full day to explore this World Heritage site. (B,L,D)
Day 4 - Madaba/Dead Sea
After breakfast, we drive to Madaba, where the St. George church has an extraordinary mosaic map of Jerusalem and the Middle East that dates from the 6th century. It is made from two million pieces of vividly colored local stone. We’ll also visit Mt. Nebo, said to be the place where Moses first saw the Holy Land. You’ll arrive at the Dead Sea in the afternoon, and check in to the Kempinski Ishtar Dead Sea Resort. If you're so inclined, take a swim in the mineral-rich sea. (B,L)
Day 5 - Dead Sea
Spend the day at the Dead Sea, taking advantage of the amenities of our fine hotel, with a range of spa treatments available (at extra cost) if you wish. For those who wish to go, an excursion is included to Bethany Beyond the Jordan, the site where Jesus is said to have been baptized by John the Baptist. The area has a number of other early Christian sites. We have a farewell dinner at the hotel this evening. (B,D)
Day 6 - Dead Sea/Depart
Transfer to Amman’s Queen Alia International Airport for your homeward flight. (B)
Costs & What's Included
Cost per person 2023-24
Air transportation as indicated, Jordan visa on arrival, accommodation as indicated or similar, meals indicated as included, non-alcoholic beverages during group meals, excursions as listed, entrance fees, transfers to and from group flights, departure airport transfer, tips for group activities and services, taxes and service charges, and services of our expedition staff.
Air transportation not listed as included, passport, and immigration fees, meals not indicated as included, drinks not listed as included, excursions not listed as included, tips for non-group activities or services, items of a personal nature such as alcoholic beverages, e-mail, laundry, etc.