- Petra, the 'rose-red city half as old as time'
- Mount Nebo
- Explore the ruins of Jerash
- Wadi Rum
- Float in the Dead Sea
Ancient Petra and Arabian Deserts
- VIP door to door
- All breakfasts and more
Experience the very best of Jordan
Discover Jordan, a beautiful land steeped in four millennia of history. Visit the hidden city of Petra, one of the seven wonders of the world, and follow in the footsteps of Lawrence of Arabia in the dramatic Wadi Rum desert. You’ll also tour the vibrant capital city; visit Mount Nebo, the site from which Moses was allowed to see the Holy Land; explore UNESCO-listed Bethany, the site of Jesus’ baptism; and finish your tour by floating in the salty waters of the Dead Sea.
8 nights in hotels
12 meals: 8 breakfasts (B), 2 lunches (L), 2 dinners (D)
Saga tour manager
- Return flights and transfers
- Porterage at all hotels
- Tourist visa for full British citizens resident in the UK
Included excursions and visits
- Tour of Amman highlights
- Visit to Jerash
- Tour three of the desert castles
- Visit Mount Nebo, Madaba and Shobak castle
- Guided full-day tour of Petra
- Visit to Wadi Rum
- Visit to Jesus’ baptism site, Bethany
Use of audio headsets on guided tours
Day 1 UK to Amman
After taking your included VIP door-to-door travel service to the airport, fly to Amman, arriving in the evening.
Transfer to the 4-star AlQasr Metropole Hotel (3Q) for a three-night stay.
Day 2 Amman
Amman, the capital of Jordan, is set on seven hills, like Rome. This morning’s included tour of Amman introduces the capital's highlights. Start at Citadel Hill, which towers over the city. Herod the Great built a temple to Hercules here in 30 BC, and some Roman ruins still survive, including a theatre that could seat 6,000 spectators.
Afterwards, drive to Jerash, which in Roman times was one of the ten leading cities in the region. The Emperor Hadrian visited the city in AD 129 and a triumphal arch, built in his honour, served as the main gateway to the town. Jerash fell into decline after the Persian invasion of AD 614 and the Muslim conquest of AD 636. An earthquake damaged the city in AD 749, but the well-preserved ruins include a Roman Forum, two theatres, a hippodrome and the 600-metre colonnaded ‘Street of Columns’, where you can still see ruts in the paving stones made by chariot wheels! Lunch is included in a Jerash restaurant. B, L
Day 3 Desert Castles
After breakfast, head out to explore Jordan’s Desert castles. This array of 7th and 8th century buildings in the desert plains of eastern Jordan – including small palaces, bath houses or caravanserai – are variously thought to have been built for Umayyad princes as desert retreats, traders’ rest stops or even agricultural sites. Visit the best-preserved castles of Qusair Amra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Qasr al Kharrana and Qasr al Azraq, then return to your hotel. B
Day 4 Mount Nebo to Madaba to Shobak to Petra
Check out after breakfast and travel to Mount Nebo, the site from which Moses was allowed to see the Holy Land.
Thought to be the site of his tomb, various temples and churches have been built here. Mosaics from an early Christian monastery are preserved in the Franciscan church. Continue to Madaba, an ancient, rambling town mentioned in the Bible’s Book of Numbers, and known as the ‘City of Mosaics’. Admire Madaba’s masterpiece – a 6th-century mosaic map of Jerusalem and the Holy Land, believed to be the earliest created.
At Shobak, see the mountaintop Crusader castle, built in the early 12th-century to protect the trade route between Damascus and Egypt.
Continue to Petra (165 miles, four hours), where you’ll stay two nights at the 5-star Movenpick Petra Resort Hotel (4Q) with dinner tonight. B, D
Day 5 Petra
After breakfast, enjoy a full-day walking tour around Petra, known as the ‘rose-red city half as old as time’.
Petra was built from 800 BC to 100 AD by Nabatean Arabs in a canyon, with the only entrance being through a narrow cleft in the rock. Many of its buildings were carved out of the rock, and this vast archaeological site is one of the wonders of the world. Petra fell into disuse in the 6th century and was ‘lost’ ‘until 1812, when it was rediscovered. This afternoon you'll have free time to explore on your own. Perhaps visit the interesting museum, or the more adventurous can climb the 900 steps up to the Deir or Monastery, a vast tomb dating from the first century AD that was later used as a Christian church.
Walk back to your hotel for dinner. B, D
Day 6 Petra to Wadi Rum to Dead Sea
Check out after breakfast for a coach drive to Wadi Rum. The largest, most magnificent valley in the south of Jordan, its name means ‘Moon Valley’– you’ll see why – and there remain many traces of early civilisations here. Enjoy lunch in a dome-shaped restaurant in Sun City Camp.
Afterwards, continue to the Dead Sea (278 miles, six hours) where you’ll have time to take a dip before you check in to the 5-star Movenpick Dead Sea Resort and Spa (4Q) for a three-night stay. B, L
Day 7 Bethany
After breakfast, visit Bethany, one of the most sacred Christian places in the world, on an included half-day tour. The Bible records that Jesus was baptised here by John the Baptist who lived, preached and baptised in this village on the south bank of Wadi Kharrar. Return to your hotel for the afternoon. B
Day 8 Dead Sea
Today is at leisure to enjoy the Dead Sea. At 408 metres below sea level it is the earth’s lowest point on dry land. Because of its high concentration of salts, even a non-swimmer can float quite safely! The dark mud on the shore has been used for for therapeutic purposes for more than 2000 years. B
Day 9 Dead Sea to Amman to UK
After breakfast, travel to Amman airport (55 miles, one hour) for your return flight and your included UK door-to-door travel service home. B
The Dead Sea
Post-holiday extension - half board
After your holiday spend two nights at the Dead Sea Crowne Plaza Resort (4Q) on a half board basis.
A day in Petra is undoubtedly the highlight of any trip to Jordan. Known as the ‘rose-red city half as old as time’, it was founded around the 6th century BC, by the nomadic Nabataean Arabs who settled here and established trade links from their hidden city. Around 100AD Petra fell to the Romans who later abandoned it. It was known only to local people until 1812 when it was rediscovered by a Swiss explorer. Access is on foot for 800 metres to the entrance of the Siq – a narrow gorge, followed by a walk of just over a kilometre. Your first glimpse of Petra will be the the vast, carved facade of the Treasury at the end of the Siq. Inside, discover rock-cut tombs, colonnaded streets, temples, a 3000-seat theatre and the Deir or Monastery, a huge 1st-century AD tomb, later used as a Christian church, reached by 900 steps!