- Experience the wonders of Jordan on this incredible 12-day adventure that combines antiquity and hiking, with 6 days spent following Bedouin trails through the Sharah Mountains
- Be amazed by a treasure trove of antiquities, including the beautifully preserved Roman city of Jerash and the UNESCO-listed Nabatean city of Petra, among many others
- Enjoy luxury in nature at the serene Feynan Ecolodge and feel Jordan’s warm hospitality as you sip Bedouin tea with locals at sunset
Filled with stunning desert landscapes and wondrous historical sites, and exuding a warm tradition of hospitality, Jordan captures the magic of the Middle East! On this special new 12-day adventure, you’ll experience both the highlights of the country and its lesser-known desert routes as you hike through the Dana Biosphere Reserve and take Bedouin paths through the Sharah Mountains. Your reward for such epic hiking—about 10 miles a day for 6 days at a maximum elevation of 5,000 feet—includes quiet sunset strolls, tea on the dunes, and nights spent under endless desert skies. You'll treasure every moment as you explore ancient Nabatean city of Petra, float in the Dead Sea, and behold views across the biblical Promised Land from Mount Nebo. As an ancient intersection between Jerusalem, Cairo, Damascus and Mecca, Jordan has long been welcoming visitors. Today, Jordan continues to extend a warm welcome to those who choose to visit—leaving all with a new impression of the Middle East.
Day 1: Arrive in Amman
You will be met on arrival at Queen Alia International Airport and transferred to your hotel in Amman. Depending upon your flight arrival time, we can offer additional activities for the day. Later in the evening you will have a welcome dinner at a local restaurant in Amman.
- Accommodation:Intercontinental Jordan Hotel
Day 2: Sightseeing in Amman
After breakfast, spend a full day exploring Amman. We'll start by visiting the Citadel, where in the Old Testament King David arranged to have his lover's husband murdered. The citadel overlooks the amphitheater and old downtown. We then drive Jebel Webdeh, the arts and cultural district, passing art galleries and local antiquities and handcraft shops. We then drive the start of our walking tour in the old city, stopping at local restaurants to sample falafel, hummus and the Arab delicacy, kenafah, eaten at times of celebration. Continue through the streets and markets, visiting the Husseini mosque, and time permitting, the amphitheater.
This evening we will be introduced to another side of Jordan with a local wine tasting and dinner.
- Accommodation:Intercontinental Jordan Hotel
Day 3: Jerash and Ajloun
After breakfast, we head north to stroll through history in Jerash, regarded as one of the most important and best preserved Roman cities in the Middle East. After absorbing the wonders of Jerash, drive to Ajloun and visit the castle, which dominates the skyline and was built to ward off the Crusader armies at the key trade and pilgrimage intersection between Jerusalem, Cairo, Damascus and Mecca. Before heading back to Amman, visit a local home and savor a delicious home-cooked Jordanian meal.
- Accommodation:Intercontinental Jordan Hotel
Day 4: Mount Nebo and Madaba
After breakfast, we’ll start our journey to the south, beginning with Mount Nebo and wonder at the view where Moses looked across to the Promised Land and later died and was buried. Then onto the town of Madaba, where we’ll discover the amazing Byzantine mosaics throughout the town. See the ”Madaba Map,” the oldest preserved mosaic map of the Holy Lands.
We'll have a packed lunch as we continue south to the ancient crusader castle in Karak, exploring the maze of stone- vaulted halls and passageways. The city of Karak was the capital of Moab and the castle dominates the skyline, providing impressive insight into the architectural and military skills of the Crusaders.
Head to the Dana Nature Reserve overlooking Wadi Dana. Time to explore the old village and stroll around enjoying the fresh air and views.
- Accommodation:Dana Guesthouse
Day 5: Hike from Dana to Feynan Ecolodge
Our first day hiking will start from Dana Guest House, 4,000’ above sea level, and head west into Dana valley. The trail drops steeply at first and then levels into a more gradual descent through the Dana Biosphere Reserve towards the eco-lodge at Feynan.
The reserve, Jordan's largest, includes four distinct bio-geographical zones, which means that Dana supports an astonishing diversity of birds, plants, and animals. On your way down the valley you may see Griffin Vultures overhead as well as hyrax and copper-blue lizards on the rocks; if you're lucky you might even catch a glimpse of an ibex or a desert fox, or see the footprint of a wolf in the dust. Finish at the highly acclaimed Feynan Ecolodge. A guided sunset walk (20-30 minutes) goes from the lodge to a nearby hilltop where you can enjoy freshly-brewed Bedouin tea and stunning views as the sun sets over the vast Wadi Araba desert. (Hiking distance: 8.4 miles; ascent 750’, descent 3,750’)
- Accommodation:Feynan Ecolodge
Day 6: Hike from Wadi Feynan to Furon
Today we'll get an early start for our challenging hike from Wadi Feynan to Furon. Walk through the historic landscape around Feynan, where copper has been mined for some 3,000 years. Mining reached its peak under the Romans, when thousands of slaves died here working the mines and furnaces, and millions of tons of ore were smelted into a metal that was exported all over the empire. As you walk out of Feynan, you will see the mountains of slag that are the waste product of this ancient industry as well as ruins from the Nabatean and Roman periods.
As we pass through the entrance to Wadi Ghweir, we'll ascend up through the mountains with great views behind. This is a steep and challenging section of the route, but extremely rewarding. In the afternoon, we will reach our camp set up by our crew on a beautiful, open plateau in Furon. (Hiking distance: 11.4 miles, ascent 4,460', descent 1,575')
- Accommodation:MTS Camp - Furon
Day 7: Hike from Furon to Ghbour Whedat
After breakfast, we will start our hike, past Ras Al-Feid towards Ghbour Whedat. We will be treated to amazing views into the remotest and wildest corners of Jordan. Contouring the Sharah Mountains, we will follow a trail of Bedouin shepherd trails. On the remotest sections of the trail, we are walking on less traveled and harder-to-identify hunters’ paths. The sheer peaks of black mountains overlooking our trail and steep precipitous drops of the canyons below make this day absolutely spectacular, with one view outdone by the next. (Hiking distance: 10 miles; ascent 2,450’, descent 3,020’)
- Accommodation:MTS Camp - Ghbour Whedat
Day 8: Hike from Ghbour Whedat to Little Petra
Between Gbour Whedat and little Petra we will pass many sites, including Ba'ajah ruins, siq Ba'ajah, Nabataean wine and olive presses, water tanks, wells, Nabataean rock-carved facades and then onto Little Petra—a mini version of Petra. Then continue following the timeline markers through history to the remains of a Neolithic village. (Hiking distance: 8.4 miles; ascent 2,000’, descent 1,850’)
- Accommodation:Seven Wonders Bedouin Camp
Day 9: Hike from Little Petra to Petra
After breakfast it's time to start our hike. Enter Petra via ‘The Back Door’ avoiding most of the tourists. Good tracks go pleasantly down Wadi Ghurab amidst sandstone mountains guarding the approaches to Petra. This way follows a Nabataean route out of the valley and skirting round the final mountain on a natural rock terrace which has been ‘improved’ by local Bedouins for the safety of walkers. Even so, it still narrows slightly before reaching a hidden plateau high above the impressive chasm of Wadi Siyyagh.
Just beyond, carved into the cliff face, “The Monastery” suddenly comes into view, where there is a Bedouin café for refreshments. Nabataean steps then lead down into ancient Petra; our route then takes you through Wadi Muthlim (weather dependent) to Wadi Musa and our Petra hotel accommodations.If the weather is poor, there is an alternative route to our hotel via Wadi Al-Khayl.
We will arrange for our luggage to be transferred from Little Petra to our hotel in Petra. (Hiking distance: 11.4 miles)
- Accommodation:Crowne Plaza Petra Guest House
Day 10: Petra and Wadi Rum
Today we have more time to visit other trails and sites inside Petra. If you feel courageous, want to avoid the crowds and discover some less visited monuments in Petra you can visit sites such as the Khubtha Mountain or the High Place of Sacrifice. We will enter the Siq, exploring the ancient rock carved ruins of Facades Street before following a steep climb up ancient Nabataean steps to near the summit of Al Khubtha to enjoy the magnificent panorama overlooking the Treasury, then descending to Petra main entrance. Alternatively, you can continue on and hike up to the High Place of Sacrifice, enjoy spectacular views over the rocky, desert terrain, where breathtaking panoramic views await. Enjoy lunch at a restaurant in town. Later, depart Petra and drive to Wadi Rum. Enjoy the wilderness adventure of a 4x4 (2 hour) jeep adventure in Wadi Rum to watch the sunset, following in the footsteps of Lawrence of Arabia, climbing sand dunes and rock bridges. Then drive back to the camp where we will enjoy a delicious Bedouin dinner and a starry night in the desert.
- Accommodation:Bedouin Camp - Wadi Rum
Day 11: Wadi Rum to the Dead Sea
After having breakfast in Wadi Rum, drive to the lowest point on earth to float and relax at the Dead Sea. Enjoy the sunshine and view while trying out an invigorating mud bath to cleanse the skin. We will have a festive farewell dinner tonight!
- Accommodation:Dead Sea Marriott
Day 12: Departure
Today we'll bid the group and Jordan farewell, and transfer to Queen Alia International Airport for homeward-bound flights.
Apr 13 - 24, 2018
Nov 03 - 14, 2018
$5,095 (6-14 members)
$800 single supplement
Bedouin Camp - Wadi Rum — Wadi Rum
Live an out-of-this-world experience in the Suncity Wadi Rum Camp, located close to where the 2015 movie The Martian was filmed. The rocky orange desert truly looks like a Martian landscape. The campsite is easy to reach by car as it sits in the Disi Area on the outskirts of the Wadi Rum protected area. Each of the 30 Bedouin-themed tents has a private bathroom with a shower, heated mattresses, and colorful carpets. Some of the unique activities include sunset camel rides, early morning hot air balloon rides, and jeep tours. The delicious dinner is cooked underground and provides a wide variety of local dishes of delectable fresh food.
Crowne Plaza Petra Guest House — Petra
The four-star Crowne Plaza Petra Guest House is ideally located just a few steps from the entrance to the fascinating city of Petra. The hotel has large, comfortable rooms; a swimming pool; cave bar; restaurant and gift shop. There is WiFi available throughout. The hotel is also close to shops and a museum in the town of Petra.
The Dana Guesthouse is perched on the edge of Wadi Dana just steps from our trailhead for our first day’s hike. A beautifully-styled building, the guesthouse offers breathtaking views of the Reserve. There are nine rooms—most with private terraces—and all bathrooms are public. The Guesthouse offers traditional Jordanian food and friendly service.
Dead Sea Marriott — Dead Sea
The Jordan Valley Marriott Resort & Spa boasts a picture-perfect location on the sandy shores of the enthralling Dead Sea. The hotel welcomes a mix of leisure and business travelers with five-star resort lodging and many amenities. All of their spacious, stylishly appointed hotel rooms and suites provide wonderful views of the Dead Sea, deluxe bedding, and more. The hotel features multiple dining options, several heated pools, a state of the art spa, bar and beach access with an attendant and supply of nourishing Dead Sea mud.
Feynan Ecolodge — Wadi Feynan
Deep in the heart of the mountainous Dana Biosphere Reserve, sits Feynan Ecolodge, an award-winning, solar powered, 26-room lodge. Beautifully and sustainably designed to fit in with its surroundings, Feynan is a partnership between EcoHotels and the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature, a Jordanian NGO devoted to the protection of the Kingdom’s finest natural landscapes. Activities include adventuring through the untouched outdoors, sipping sweet tea with the native Bedouin, exploring local archaeological sites or simply unwinding in the serene courtyards and terraces of the complex.
Intercontinental Jordan Hotel — Amman
A well-known landmark in bustling Amman, the five-star InterContinental Jordan Hotel offers cosmopolitan amenities with a Middle Eastern touch, from international cuisine to spa, fitness center, indoor and outdoor swimming pools and excellent views. Guest also enjoy wifi throughout the hotel. Located atop one of the seven hills of Amman, the hotel boasts easy proximity to the city center and historic sites.
MTS Camp - Furon
The camp at Furon lies on a flat plateau with open space and spectacular mountain views. Like Ghbour Whedat, the spacious tents come with thick pads, blankets, sleeping bags, and pillows to maximize comfort. Enjoy fresh food prepared by a Bedouin camping crew and relax in the peaceful landscape.
MTS Camp - Ghbour Whedat
Escape the city and set up camp in Ghbour Whedat, a dry river valley surrounded by desert vegetation and sheltered by large boulders. The spacious tents come with thick pads, blankets, sleeping bags, and pillows to maximize comfort. Fresh food prepared by a Bedouin camping crew consists of traditional local flavors such as chicken and lamb dishes, zaatar spice, lebneh yogurt, pita bread, and tomato-cucumber salads. There is a toilet tent with a toilet seat, a camp bucket shower, and foldable chairs for dining. Deeply relax in this peaceful nature setting by stargazing, drinking tea or practicing yoga.
Seven Wonders Bedouin Camp — Little Petra
Seven Wonders Bedouin camp is nestled in the rocks of Little Petra. Accommodation is in beautiful beit shar tents and there are public bathroom facilities. You will be greeted you with traditional Bedouin warmth and hospitality. The provide traditional homecooked meals. In the evening, there is the opportunity to sit out under the stars and enjoy the glow of lanterns on the rocks and the desert moonlight.