Rock-hewn wonders and wind-swept vistas in Bedouin territory
Journey through Jordan on an 8-day Premium adventure and discover a land of desert treasures and altruistic people. From the soaring facades of Petra to the lowest lows of the Dead Sea, the sunrise colours of Wadi Rum and the ancient ruins of Jerash, Jordans landscapes impress at every turn. But beneath its striking exterior is its people full of heart and deep-rooted tradition. Learn the secrets of Jordanian cuisine with a mother and her daughters, immerse yourself in Bedouin culture during dinner at their camp and travel with a local leader who will illuminate the magic of their country.
Why you’ll love this trip
- – Spend a day exploring the majesty and mystery of Petra, embark on a 4WD drive adventure through wind-swept rock formations of Wadi Rum and experience the unique sensation of floating in the Dead Sea.
- – Lift the lid on Jordanian cuisine when you dine in a fantastic local restaurant in Amman, and learn the tricks of the trade during an immersive cooking class run by three sisters in the home of their grandmother.
- – Experience isolated elegance during your Feature Stay at a luxury camp in Wadi Rum. Enjoy modern comforts while being surrounded by the vast desert, natural sandstone sculptures and a sky jewelled with stars.
- – Embrace local life as you travel with a passionate Jordanian leader, allowing you to gain a deeper understanding of the communities and historic sites you visit.
- – Join your Bedouin hosts in Wadi Rum for an Exclusive Experience to remember. Tuck into a traditional dinner cooked in a zarb (underground oven) while learning about the Bedouin way of life.
Is this trip right for you?
- – Ramadan is an annual month-long festival, during which travel can be a rewarding cultural experience, however some regular services may not be available during the day, such as restaurants or cafes, and occasionally travel can be disrupted by events. Your leader will adjust the itinerary accordingly, but please consider this when selecting your travel dates. Youll find dates and further information in the Climate and seasonal information section of the Essential Trip Information.
Welcome to Jordan cosmopolitan and contemporary yet steeped in biblical history. You will be met by an Intrepid representative at the airport and transferred to your hotel where there will be an important welcome meeting with your group and local leader at 6pm. If you arrive early, perhaps visit a local cafe and pick up a coffee and arayes a pita filled with spiced meats. Otherwise, head to the Old Towns Roman Amphitheatre or find some culture at the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts. After your meeting, head out to a local restaurant for a welcome dinner with your group and leader. Sharing food is a huge part of Jordanian culture and eating out is a social affair thats packed with flavour. Tonight your leader will introduce you to some of the countrys most beloved dishes, like mansaf, a dish made with lamb, yoghurt and rice, and kunafa, a delicious dessert made with pastry and cheese.
This morning, leave Amman for a short drive north to Jerash where youll find some of the worlds best Greco-Roman ruins. Reaching its peak as a favourite of the emperor Hadrian, Jerash holds a striking collection of archways, theatres, baths, public buildings and colonnaded streets. Your leader will share the incredible history of the ruins and help you imagine what life once looked like in this glorious Roman city. Grand columns encircle the city’s centrepiece of the Oval Plaza an atmospheric place to linger after exploring Jerash’s riches. Afterwards, return to Amman and head to a cooking school run by a mother and her daughters, where youll get a special look behind the scenes of Jordanian cuisine. Youll feel as through youve stepped into the welcoming home of a local grandmother as you learn how to make classics like tabbouleh, flat bread and lentil soup with passionate guidance and generations of culinary know-how. The flavours, recipes and warmth of this evening are sure to stick with you long after your time in Jordan is over.
Today you will make the journey from Amman to the Dead Sea. Named for the lack of life in its waters, this lake is so intensely salty that the water density makes swimming very difficult, but bobbing on the water’s surface is a truly fun and one-off experience. En route, stop off at Mount Nebo and hear the story of how Moses saw the Promised Land before he died from what is believed to be this very spot, and St Georges Church, best known for its Byzantine mosaic depicting a map of the Holy Land. On arrival, enjoy some time to float in the buoyant waters of the Dead Sea, relax on your hotels beachfront or take a dip in one of three swimming pools or jacuzzi.
Depart the Dead Sea and drive to the ancient Crusader castle at Shobak your leader will explain how this ancient castle was originally built to protect the eastern flank of the Latin Kingdom and its trade routes to the sea before it fell to Saladin in 1189. Enjoy superb scenery and stop off at the viewpoint overlooking the Dana Nature Reserve before arriving in the late afternoon to your Petra accommodation. Petra dates back to the sixth century BC and is considered the crown jewel of Jordan, featuring an impressive series of tombs and dwellings carved directly into the rock. On arrival, there is time to check out the town that has grown around the site and to relax, ready for a big day of exploring Petra tomorrow.
Today will be spent uncovering the secrets of Petra with the knowledgeable guidance of your leader. The iconic view of the Treasury’s glorious facade, glimpsed from a narrow cleft known as the Siq, is perhaps the single-most striking sight of the entire region. The Siq leads through the rock and is at points only a few metres wide, with walls soaring up to 180 metres on either side. Explore the old Roman road, amphitheatre and several ancient tombs. You will also have time to climb to the Monastery if you wish, providing a magnificent view of the entire site. There is a cafeteria on the site, where you can enjoy your own light lunch. The rest of the day will be at your leisure. This evening, perhaps take the chance to witness Petra by night if your dates align. Seeing the Treasury plaza lit up by candlelight while Bedouin music plays is a truly memorable experience.
For another glimpse at Petra, rise very early for an unguided morning visit, if you wish. Then, drive to Wadi Rum, a protected area of desert that impresses with sandstone mountains, canyons and arches. Enjoy some lunch in the small village of Rum and browse the informative visitors centre. Afterwards, jump into a local jeep and journey into Wadi Rum with your Bedouin hosts. Visit several of the areas distinctive rock formations and appreciate the vast silence and spectacular desert landscapes. These landscapes are home to hardy Bedouin communities that live in scattered camps. You will gain a deeper understanding of their way of life as you join them for a zarb (underground oven) dinner at one of their camps, set in an amazing location deep in the desert. Tonights Feature Stay accommodation is a luxury camp that offers a splendid base among remote and wild surroundings. Spacious tents are fitted out with creature comforts like king-sized beds, air conditioning and en suite bathrooms, and all furniture is made by hand with dcor inspired by Bedouin culture. Fall asleep in your luxurious tent beneath a magnificent canopy of stars and wake up to a sunrise over the red-hued landscape.
Day 7: Amman
After waking up in the unique surrounds of your Bedouin camp this morning, take a walk around the area the length of which depends on the groups desires before scaling one of the large dunes to enjoy panoramic views of your surrounds. Afterwards, return to Amman for the evening. Tonight you may like to join your group for a final dinner to round off your adventure speak to your leader about the best restaurants in the city that are popular with the locals.
Your trip will come to an end today after breakfast. Check-out time is usually around 12pm and you are free to leave at any time. If you have arranged a private airport transfer, you will be advised of the pick-up time. If you would like to spend more time in Amman, well be happy to organise additional accommodation (subject to availability).