Jordan Discovery

COST PER PERSON:

From USD 845

DURATION:

8 days/7 nights

TOUR TYPE:

Guided Group

PHYSICAL RATING:

Trip Theme:

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For single travelers a mandatory single supplement of US$252 applies.


DAY 1 - ARRIVAL
Welcome to Jordan
Airport pickup, comfortable transfer to your hotel.
Overnight in Amman.

DAY 2 - AMMAN
Morning tour of Jordan's lively capital, Amman - including the Roman Theater, the Citadel, the Archeology and Folklore museums, the street markets, cafes, and art galleries.

DAY 3 - DEAD SEA, PELLA, UM QAIS
Relax in the warm waters of the Dead Sea, explore the ruins of ancient Pella, and wander round the Roman city of Um Qais in the hills above the Sea of Galilee.

DAY 4 - ROMAN JERASH AND AJLOUN CASTLE
A late morning tour of Jerash, one of the Middle East's best-preserved Roman cities. In the afternoon see the great Medieval castle at Ajloun.

DAY 5 - THE KINGS' HIGHWAY, MADABA, AND KERAK
Head south along the world's oldest road towards Petra, stopping to visit see the mosaic map at Madaba and to visit the Crusader castle at Kerak.

DAY 6 - PETRA
A full day exploring the magnificent tombs and temples of Petra.

DAY 7 - WADI RUM
Journey in the greatest desert landscape in the Middle East - the red sand and rock wilderness of Wadi Rum.

DAY 8 - DEPARTURE
Depart from Amman.

 

 


What's included

  • All accommodation - Hotels (7nts)
  • All breakfasts
  • All transports and listed activities
  • Arrival and depature airport transfers
  • Entrance fees to all listed sites 
  • An licensed Jordanian tour guide throughout the tour

 

What's not included

  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Visas
  • Single accommodation supplement mandatory for single travellers (US$252)
  • Half board supplement (US$105) 
  • Tips for guide, driver, hotels and restaurants staff
  • Personal expenditures (minibar, drinks, laundry, etc.)
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Welcome to Terhaal adventures. We've designed these journeys to help you explore the very best of Jordan. Don't hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any questions about the trip - we're here to help. Enjoy!


Itinerary Disclaimer

The holiday itinerary set out below offers a good overview of the trip, but should be taken as a general guide only. We're continually improving these tours, and it's possible we will adjust the itinerary to take advantage of new opportunities or to avoid adverse weather or difficulties with transportation. We recommend that you print out a copy of the trip details a couple of days prior to departure, in case there have been any changes that may affect your plans.

 

Meeting Point

Amman - Queen Alia International Airport (AMM). A transfer will be provided from the airport to your hotel in Amman - a 40 minute drive.


Finishing Point

Amman - Queen Alia International Airport. A transfer will be provided from your hotel Amman to Queen Alia International Airport (AMM) - a 40 minute  drive.

If you wish to plan an extension for your trip, please let us know and we'll be glad to assist.


Arrival Complications

We don't expect any problems (and nor should you!) but if for any reason you are unable to begin your trip as scheduled, please contact us immediately at one of the following numbers:
+962(0)7 7751 5919
+962(0)7 9778 4433
+962(0)7 9553 6351


Detailed Itinerary 

DAY 1 (SUN): ARRIVE IN AMMAN
Your driver will be waiting at Amman (AMM) airport to take you directly to your hotel in Amman - a 40-minute drive. There are no activities planned for today. Please keep in mind that hotel check-in time is typically after 2.00pm. Early check in is not guaranteed, but if you do arrive early luggage storage is available at the hotel. There will be time to rest and settle in before you meet your tour guide for the trip. He'll be happy to answer any questions about the journey, and to make sure you're briefed on the program for tomorrow.

Overnight in Amman (3 stars hotel)
Meals included: none

DAY 2 (MON) - AMMAN
Jordan's capital is a real, living city, full of quirky neighborhoods, friendly people, and fabulous food. You'll begin up at the citadel, where you can take in the views and explore the Roman and early Islamic ruins. Just downhill is the Roman theatre, built during the reign of Emperor Antonius but now embedded into modern Amman and still used for cultural and musical events. From here you can wander through the markets, maybe stopping in a local café to take in the street scenes, watch the old men playing backgammon, and try Arabic coffee and pastries. This is also a good chance to smoke the scented tobacco of the argeelah or hubbly bubbly.

Overnight in Amman (3 stars hotel)
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 3 (TUE) - THE DEAD SEA, THE JORDAN VALLEY, PELLA AND UM QAIS
Today you'll head down to the Dead Sea and have the chance to float in its warm, intensely saline water. It is an unforgettable experience! The Dead Sea is the lowest point on the surface of the earth (some 400m below sea level) and contains mineral-rich muds that have been recognized since antiquity for their curative properties. This mud costs a fortune in Europe, but in Jordan you can scoop it from the seabed and cover yourself with it! The blue water, the white salt-encrusted shore, and the red desert mountains also make this an outstandingly beautiful place.

From the Dead Sea you'll drive north to Pella, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities on earth, and from here to the scenic Roman town of Um Qais. Um Qais is among the most atmospheric Greco-Roman cities of the eastern Mediterranean. The ruins are set on an unspoilt hilltop looking down towards the Sea of Galilee (Lake Tiberius) and across to the Golan Heights. Ancient Um Qais was known as Gadara, and it is under this name that the city is appears in the Bible as the site of one of Jesus' miracles. At that time Gadara was a major cultural and literary center, as well as a summer resort for wealthy Romans attracted by the serenity of these hills and the nearby hot springs of al-Hemma. The Roman theatre is particularly impressive, as are the sculptures in the small museum.

Return to Amman in the later afternoon.
Overnight in Amman (3 stars hotel)
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 4 (WED) - JERASH AND AJLOUN
Today you'll head north to discover one of the great Roman cities of the Middle East, Jerash. Founded at the time of Alexander the Great, Jerash flourished for around a thousand years as a trade center on the road between Damascus and Petra. The city's colonnaded streets are basically intact, as is the beautiful oval forum and the gateway built to commemorate the visit of the Emperor Hadrian. The theatre, temples, baths, and hippodrome are all well preserved, and there are some wonderful Byzantine mosaic floors from the early Christian period.

You'll continue by road to Ajloun, a town still dominated by the castle that was built here some 800 years ago. Qala'at al-Rabadh, as the castle is known in Arabic, was constructed at the time of the Crusades by the nephew of Salah Eddin al Ayyubi (Saladin), and is one of the best examples of medieval Islamic military architecture in the region. From the rooftop you can see why they chose this site: on a clear day you can see right across the Jordan River Valley to the hills of Palestine. If you've got time it's worth walking around the hilltop, where you'll find the overgrown ruins of the medieval village that once surrounded the castle.

Overnight in Petra (3 stars hotel)
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 5 (THU) - MADABA, MOUNT NEBO, KINGS HIGHWAY, WADI MUJIB AND KARAK CASTLE
Madaba is a lively little town a short drive west of Amman. It's famous for the mosaic map of the Holy Land that was found on the floor of a ruined Byzantine church. The map, made around 560 C.E., depicts the whole region in startlingly accurate detail, from the fish in the River Jordan to the streets of Jerusalem, and offers a vivid insight into the world of the first Christian pilgrims who toured late Roman Palestine. Many visitors see the map and move on, but there are other wonderful mosaics in Madaba and you'll get the chance to explore the best of them in the nearby archaeological park.

A very short west of Madaba is Mount Nebo, a hilltop with sweeping views down to the Dead Sea and across the Jordan River towards Palestine. On a clear day you can see Jericho and even Jerusalem from here. For centuries Christians have believed this is the place where Moses died, within sight of the Promised Land, having led his people out of slavery in Egypt. In the early Christian period Mount Nebo became a place of pilgrimage, and it was at this time that craftsmen made the beautiful mosaics floors that have been excavated here over the last 80 years.

We leave Nebo and head south along the Kings' Highway, which can claim to be the oldest continuously used road in the world. For millennia it linked the civilizations of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, and remained an important trade route right down to Ottoman times. Since the construction of the new main road from Amman and Aqaba, the Kings Highway has become a scenic back route, twisting and turning through the hills between Petra, Kerak, and Madaba.

Your next stop is the hilltop town of Karak, which has been a strategically important site for at least three thousand years, controlling the ancient caravan road between Syria and Egypt and commanding immense views down into the Wadi Araba south of the Dead Sea. It was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Moab, and was also fortified by the Greeks, Nabataeans, and Romans.

Today Kerak is known for the most recent of these fortifications, the great Crusader castle that dominates the town. Almost nine hundred years after it was built, the castle remains a brutal, frightening, undeniably impressive piece of architecture. It marked the eastern limit of the Crusader kingdoms that were created here in the 12th century and controlled the road between Syria and the Hijaz or Egypt. In 1176 it fell into the hands of one of the most sadistic and violent Frankish princes, Raynald of Chatillon, who used it as a base from which to raid the caravans and even to mount an attack on Mecca. It was besieged and eventually taken by the Arab Islamic armies of Salah Eddin (Saladin) in 1189. In the Ottoman period the castle was often occupied by Bedouin tribes in revolt against Turkish rule. Despite centuries of use Kerak castle is remarkable well preserved - you can wander though the stables, peer out of the arrow slits, and explore the sleeping quarters, bakery, and church.

In the evening you arrive at Wadi Musa, which will be your base for exploring Petra. Check into a comfortable hotel for a two-night stay.

Overnight in Amman (3 stars hotel)
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 6 (FRI) - PETRA TOUR
No matter how many times you've seen it reproduced on film, nothing can really prepare you for the first glimpse of Petra. The classic entry to the city takes you through the long twilight of the siq, a narrow canyon that twists for more than a mile through the red sandstone, and then stuns you into silence with the sunlit façade of the Treasury, a monument cut into the rock some 2000 years ago with a refinement that is scarcely believable.

From the postcards, you'd think this was what you'd come to see. But it's just the beginning. Petra is a vast archaeological site, most of it still unexcavated; you could spend days exploring the ruins and still not see it all. It was built by the Nabataeans, an Arab tribe who began as tent-dwelling Bedouin but soon came to dominate the most lucrative trade of the ancient world: incense. They used the money to create this city and to build an empire that extended from the Red Sea to Damascus. They also absorbed architectural ideas from Egypt, from the Babylonians, and from the Greek cities of the Mediterranean, using them to create the hybrid culture that you see in these ruins. The Temple of the Winged Lions, the High Place of Sacrifice, the Roman theatre, the Garden Tomb, the Byzantine church - any one of these monuments would be an archaeological treasure in its own right; in Petra, you can explore them one after another, and find them all set into one of the finest desert landscape in the Middle East.

Overnight in Petra (3 stars hotel)
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 7 (SAT) - WADI RUM AND AQABA
This morning you will drive south to see the desert at Wadi Rum. Every guidebook to Wadi Rum repeats the description written by T.E. Lawrence of Arabia almost century ago, and with good reason. "The Arab armies would have been lost in the length and breadth of it," he wrote, "and within the walls a squadron of aeroplanes could have wheeled in formation. Our little caravan grew self-conscious, and fell dead quiet, afraid and ashamed to flaunt its smallness in the presence of such stupendous hills. Landscapes, in childhood's dream, were so vast and silent."

Bedouin guides from the Howeitat tribe (the same tribe that guided Lawrence) will meet you at Rum Village and drive you by jeep into this spectacular desert. You'll spend the morning exploring Wadi Rum's mountains and sand dunes, stopping to take in the views and to look at the inscriptions chipped into the rock over thousands of years.

From here you'll head south to Aqaba, where (time permitting) you'll be able to have a dip in the clear waters of the Red Sea. In the later afternoon you'll return via the desert highway (the fast road) to Amman and check into your hotel.

Overnight in Amman (3 stars hotel)
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 8 (SUN): DEPART FROM AMMAN AIRPORT (AMM)
A single group transfer will be provided from your hotel to AMM Airport - a 40-minute drive. We wish you a safe homeward journey and hope to see you again in Jordan soon.

Meals: Breakfast

 

Activities

Visit Amman's Citadel, Roman Theater and downtown market
Visit the Dead Sea, Pella and Um Qais
Visit Ajloun Castle and Jerash
Visit Madaba, Mount Nebo, drive along the Kings Highway and visit Karak Castle
Visit Petra
Explore Wadi Rum on a jeep tour and swim in the Red Sea in Aqaba


What's included

All accommodation - Hotels (7nts)
All breakfasts
All transports and listed activities
Arrival and depature airport transfers
Entrance fees to all listed sites
An licensed Jordanian tour guide throughout the tour


What's not included

Flights
Travel insurance
Visas
Single accommodation supplement mandatory for single travellers (US$252)
Half board supplement (US$105)
Entrance fees to Petra and Wadi Rum (US$80 per person)
Tips for guide, driver, hotels and restaurants staff
Personal expenditures (minibar, drinks, laundry, etc.)


What to Take

During the trip your baggage will be carried by bus and by 4WD vehicles. The only baggage weight limit is that imposed by the airline. However, we ask that you restrict your luggage to one main bag plus a small daypack. In general we recommend that you travel as light as possible as this will make transiting between airports and carrying your bag to hotel rooms a lot easier for you. You may find that wheeled luggage is more convenient on a trip of this nature.

Temperatures in Jordan can be hot, with little rain from late spring through until late autumn. The heat can become extreme during the summer months of July and August. In the months of November to March it can be cool at night, particularly in the desert where the temperatures can drop to 5C or even less. Even in the hot months out in the desert it can get cold at night.

Jordan is a predominantly Muslim country and tends to be quite conservative, so you should dress accordingly. As a general guideline, shoulders and knees should be covered at all times.

A light water and windproof jacket is useful and a hat is essential. From mid November to late February, a sleeping bag is essential for your nights in the desert. At other times a sleeping sheet will suffice. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in the heat.


Equipment

For this trip you will need to bring the following equipment: 

> Comfortable walking shoes for sightseeing and casual use
> Warm clothing and a rain jacket for tours between November and March.

You may also find this checklist helpful -

> Travel documents: passport, visa, travel insurance, air tickets
> Personal medicines
> Money - credit card / travelers cheques / cash
> Money pouch
> First aid kit
> Camera
> Alarm clock and torch/flashlight (headlights are best)
> Tampons / sanitary pads can be difficult to buy in rural areas
> Lock for your bag
> Small travel towel
> Your personal hygiene kit
> Foot powder or vaseline can be useful against blisters
> Sunhat
> Sunglasses
> Sun protection lotion
> Insect repellent

 

Health

This is an active trip, and it is highly recommended that all travelers be in good physical health prior to arriving in Jordan. We also advise all our guests to consult their doctor beforehand.

Group leaders reserve the right to exclude (without refund) clients from the trip if the group leader believes that that client's own health may be endangered by the journey, or if the group leader thinks that the client's participation might compromise the enjoyment, health, or safety of the group as a whole.

 

Single Travelers

Our trips are designed with shared accommodation in mind. Single travelers will be accommodated in a single room. Please refer to the inclusions/exclusions section for cost. 

 

Safety

Jordan is generally considered a safe country. There is very little petty crime here, especially in rural areas. However, we recommend you take normal precautions to ensure your safety and that of your belongings, as you would for any other destination. Take good care of your passport, wallet, and other valuables. In crowded streets, keep your bag closed and in front of you. There will be free time during this trip - you can always ask your local guides for their advice about where to go and what to avoid. Please make sure you have adequate footwear and clothing for the hiking trips you will be taking.


Hospitality 

Jordanians are famously friendly and welcoming towards guests, especially in rural areas. It is quite normal for Jordanians to invite foreigners in to drink tea or have a meal in the family home. Meeting the local people in spontaneous encounters of this sort is one of the great pleasures of travelling in Jordan.


Ramadan

During the month of Ramadan, Muslims refrain from eating or drinking during daylight hours. Business hours are shortened, including opening hours at all tourist attractions. Alcohol is not permitted during daylight hours [except in 5-Star Hotels] and many restaurants will be closed. While you definitely need to expect some delays and inconveniences during this period, the month of Ramadan is a fantastic time to travel to Jordan as you'll be able to participate in the feasting and holiday atmosphere that follows the breaking of the fast as sunset each day. You'll also get to taste special sweets that are only baked for Ramadan. You do not have to fast, and no-one will expect you to; however, you should try to eat and drink discreetly, if possible, rather than in crowded public places.


Visas

Most nationalities are able to obtain a single-entry visa at the airport, at the land borders, or at the port in Aqaba, valid for 14 days and costing JOD 40. However, you should consult the Jordanian embassy in your home country to make sure you are not subject to any special visa requirements.


Departure tax

You will be required to pay a JOD 5 Departure Tax upon leaving Jordan (does not generally apply when exiting through airports, but travellers on some budget airlines may be required to pay it).


Money Exchange

The Jordanian Dinar is fixed at a rate of JOD 0.709 against USD 1.

Spending Money

It is difficult to say how much spending money you should bring as each person is different! However, you'll need some cash for any meals not included in the itinerary, plus snacks, drinks, gifts etc.


Emergency Funds

It is a good idea to have access to extra funds in case of any emergency (urgent healthcare / travel costs etc.). This is highly unlikely, of course, but best to be prepared.


Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment, and loss of luggage and personal effects. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance (and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number) has been seen by your trip leader. If your insurance is provided through your credit card, your tour leader will require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt or credit card statement) with the credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.


Emergency Contact

In case of an emergency Terhaal's Amman Office can be reached on -

+962(0)7 7751 5919
+962(0)79 5547137
+962(0)77 2130935

Alternatively you can email emergency@terhaal.com


Your Fellow Travelers

Group trips entail all the pleasures and occassionally some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travelers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the group's needs and preferences. Patience and flexibility really help to create a relaxed and happy atmosphere. Please remember that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, please don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and again that the best trips are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Many thanks in advance!


Responsible Travel

We believe in low impact or ‘positive impact' tourism. Broadly speaking, this means that we try to minimize the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit, while maximising the positive aspects of the encounter. Jordan is a small country with few natural resources. Water scarcity is a big issue in the region, so please go easy on the water. Terhaal designs these tours in a way that maximizes benefits for local communities. Whenever possible we hire local staff in the areas where we operate, and our guests stay in locally owned hotels. We also include some volunteering activities where appropriate, such helping farmers to harvest their olives. Terhaal also contributes towards efforts that strengthen environmental advocacy and the environmental education of Jordan's children.


A Couple of Rules

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make your destinations such special places. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession. It is also unsafe to drink alcohol while out hiking / cycling, so please wait until you're back at the hotel to enjoy a drink.


Feedback

After your trip we hope you will send us your photos and any stories or feedback you may have. Your feedback not only helps us to improve the trips, but also helps other travelers to decide on the right tour for them. We would appreciate it if you could take a couple of minutes to complete our feedback form, just follow this link: http://www.terhaal.com/feedback-form


Our blog

Our blog - ‘Treks & Trails of Jordan' - is a collection of stories posted by a variety of people that reflect the natural, environmental and cultural aspects of Jordan. It is also a great way to give feedback and to share your Jordan experience with others. All you need to do is write one or two paragraphs about your trip with Terhaal, attach some photos if available and send it to us at this email: team[at]terhaal.com
You can find the blog here -
blog.terhaal.com

Disclaimer

The information in this document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and Terhaal.