Step back in time to the ancient world of the Middle East, where overwhelming historic architecture towers over the present day. Embrace the endless layers of spiritual and religious icons dotting this Holy Land, culminating with a once-in-a-lifetime visit to the Dead Sea.
Day 14: Cairo / Flight to Amman
A sprawling city spread over 19 hills, Amman is the modern—as well as the ancient—capital of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Known as Rabbath-Ammon during the Iron Age and later as Philadelphia, the city was once part of the Decapolis League (10 cities in eastern Palestine that were formed after the Roman conquest of Palestine in 63 B.C.). The city now boasts a population of around four million people. Begin by exploring the region's history at the Jordan Museum, then ascend to the Amman Citadel for a spectacular view of the old city, including the 6,000-seat 2nd-century Roman theatre.
Overnight: InterContinental Jordan Hotel (L,D)
Day 15: Amman / Jerash / Ajloun / Amman
Travel to Jerash, the city of 1,000 Pillars. Buried beneath sand for centuries and excavated during the past 70 years, the ruins of Jerash reveal urban development from an ancient time, such as paved streets, public plazas, temples, and fountains. Admire its Triple Arched Gate, the enormous Hippodrome, the Roman Amphitheatre, and the only Roman Forum surrounded by 63 jonick columns.
Continue to Ajloun's imposing Qalat Al-Rabad fortress, a 12th-century Muslim castle built to protect the region from the Crusaders.
Overnight: InterContinental Jordan Hotel (B,L,D)
Day 16: Amman / Madaba / Mount Nebo / Petra
After breakfast, explore the prosperous ecclesiastical center of Madaba, where some of the world's finest Byzantine mosaics were produced between the 4th and 7th centuries. Several church floor mosaics can be seen in their original locations, including Madaba's real masterpiece inside the Orthodox Church of Saint George. It features a 6th-century A.D. map of Jerusalem and the Holy Land, which is the earliest religious map of that area to survive from antiquity.
Afterward, travel to Mount Nebo, which overlooks the Dead Sea, Jordan's River Valley, Jericho, and the distant hills of Jerusalem. A small church was built on Mount Nebo in the 4th century to commemorate the end of Moses' life. The church was subsequently expanded in the 5th and 6th centuries into the present-day large basilica with its stunning collection of Byzantine mosaics.
Overnight: Mövenpick Resort Petra (B,L,D)
Day 17: Petra
Spend the day inside the ancient city of Petra, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985 and considered Jordan's most valuable treasure and greatest tourist attraction. A major caravan city for merchants during the Hellenistic and Roman times, Petra is impressively carved from the surrounding red rock cliffs and is the site of on-going archaeological excavation missions.
Overnight: Mövenpick Resort Petra (B,L,D)
Day 18: Petra / Little Petra / Dana / Dead Sea
Following check out, take a short drive north to Siq al-Barid, also known as “Little Petra.” This site is thought to have been an important “suburb” of Petra and features numerous tombs and temples. One of its main attractions is the Painted House, which contains some of the only remaining 1st-century Nabatean frescoes.
Continue to the 15th-century stone village of Dana, where the buildings have rarely changed over the past five centuries. The village is also within Jordan’s largest nature reserve and renowned for its hiking. Take a stroll through the pomegranate grove, then enjoy lunch with the special treat of spectacular vistas over the rugged landscape of canyons and peaks.
The day concludes at the Dead Sea, with its warm, soothing, and supremely salty water. With its sea bed resting some 1,400 feet below sea level, the Dead Sea's azure waters contain a high concentration of minerals, creating an incredibly buoyant site for soaking and rejuvenating.
Overnight: Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea (B,L,D)
Day 19: Dead Sea / Amman
Spend a leisurely day at the Dead Sea. Enjoy a sumptuous breakfast and lunch, and perhaps take time for a mud mask and dip. In the late evening, those departing during the suggested times will check out of the hotel and take the complimentary group transfer to Amman’s Queen Alia International Airport for tomorrow's early morning flights home. (B,L)
Day 20: Depart for U.S.
B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner
Space is limited, so it's recommended to reserve early for best availability.
Activities are generally not very strenuous, but there is a considerable amount of walking. Guests should be able to walk miles over uneven surfaces, climb stairs and stand for long periods of time to fully enjoy this program. Due to the nature of some structures, handrails may not be present, and facilities for people with disabilities are limited. Participation in itinerary activities is up to the individual.
InterContinental Jordan Hotel
Situated at the top of one of Amman's seven hills, this five-star property provides modern amenities with a Middle Eastern touch. Bright, elegantly appointed rooms feature colorful décor and vibrant furnishings.
Room Amenities: Individual climate control, writing desk, cable TV, complimentary Wi-Fi, safe, and en suite bathroom with sundries and hair dryer.
Mövenpick Resort Petra
Conveniently located at the entrance to the city of Petra—one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world—Mövenpick Resort's five-star comforts welcome travelers with luxurious flair. During free time, unwind in the sauna or take in the unparalleled views from the rooftop terrace.
Room Amenities: Individual climate control, writing desk, HDTV, phone, complimentary Wi-Fi, complimentary minibar, coffee maker, safe, and en suite bathroom with sundries and hair dryer.
Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea
Perched directly on the shore of the Dead Sea, this five-star European-style property boasts of uninterrupted views and an enchanting atmosphere. After soaking in the sea, take a dip in one of the nine hotel pools, including a lazy river, infinity pool, and sunken pool—all with spectacular views. Or visit one of the lively bars to sample a tea or cocktail. A 24-hour, fully equipped fitness center is on site, as well as an outdoor tennis court (advance booking required) for those who'd like to indulge in extracurricular activities.
Room Amenities: Individual climate control, balcony or terrace with sea view, writing desk, flat-screen TV, complimentary Wi-Fi, complimentary minibar, coffee maker, safe, and en suite bathroom with sundries and hair dryer.
Post-tour rate is per person based on double occupancy except where noted as Single, in U.S. dollars. Single availability limited. Internal airfare from Cairo to Amman for the post-tour is included. Airfare otherwise not included.
- Internal airfare from Cairo to Amman
- 5 nights luxury accommodations plus a day room on departure day
- 5 breakfasts, 6 lunches, and 5 dinners
- Admission to all sites listed in the 6-day itinerary
- Touring by an English-speaking guide
- All gratuities and porterage
- Airport transfers for guests departing during the suggested times