“If you have just a week, this covers all of Jordan's cultural hotspots, without scrimping on time in Petra. The unexpected highlight? Camping with Bedouins in the desert.”
HighlightsPetra | Wadi Rum | Desert camp | Bedouin hospitality | Snorkelling in the Red Sea | Dead Sea | Jerash | Aqaba
Description of Jordan holiday, a week in JordanSpend a week on holiday in Jordan and you'll soon discover that there's a lot more to life in the desert than you may have first thought.
Exciting activities and cultural enlightenment await as you embrace your inner-Bedouin and embark on a week in Jordan featuring all of the major points of interest from Jerash and Amman, in the north, to Wadi Rum and the Red Sea, in the south.
Where else would you have the chance to go snorkelling over coral reefs and float on a saline sea before spending a couple of days exploring the fascinating sandstone carved city of Petra prior to camping out under the stars amongst the folds of the desert?
This one week in Jordan holiday offers an ideal introduction to the history and the romance of the area with the Roman heritage of the Middle East just as integral to this sort of cultural tour as traditional Bedouin lifestyles and the crystal clear blue hues of the Mediterranean.
Responsible tourism: Jordan holiday, a week in Jordan
We try to minimise litter as much as possible and are careful to emphasise that clients should not damage or remove pieces from any historical sites we visit. As we hire local guides as well as Bedouin guides, we can ensure that our activity has a positive effect on the economy and that our clients take away some of their passion and knowledge of Jordan. Our guides are trained in responsible travel issues and will be able to convey these in briefings.
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.
CommunityAccommodation and Meals:
You will spend 7 nights in 3-star hotels with en suite rooms and 1 night in a Wadi Rum desert camp. We employ local Bedouin people to run the camp, so we know we are directly benefiting local communities with our business. The hotels are also locally staffed as per law in Jordan, so our stay here is also in support of local employment. Where meals are provided, ingredients will be sourced from a local market wherever possible. Clients may eat a ‘zarb’ (where food is slow cooked underground) at the Bedouin camp and there will also be plenty of chance to eat in restaurants selling ‘mezze’ style specialties like kebabs, fresh salads, and bread with hummus.
Local Craft and Culture:
Usually guides take clients to the market on the day going from Petra to Wadi Rum or Aqaba. This is a great cultural experience where clients can buy their own vegetables and fruit and even see how some meals are prepared- like falafel. We also visit the ancient city of Jerash, Madaba, the Dead Sea, and the fortified town of Kerak, but the cultural highlight of the trip for many is the visit to UNESCO World Heritage city, Petra. There is a full day here to explore the ancient, rose-coloured rock-cut architecture including El Khazneh (the treasury) and El Deir (the Monastery). There are some local handicrafts and souvenirs available here like hand painted ceramics, jewellery and vases filled with coloured sand. Clients can also support the community by purchasing donkey or horse rides from local people.
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.
|Day 1:||Fly to Amman; transfer to Amman hotel. The hotel is a 35 minute transfer from
|Day 2:||This morning we drive north to Jerash, known as Gerasa in ancient times. This
was one of the ten wealthy, self-governing cities of the Decapolis during
Roman times, and was famous throughout the Roman world for the luxury of its
lifestyle. Buried for centuries under blown sand, Jerash is the only city of
the Decapolis to have survived, with a dramatic oval forum, colonnaded main
streets which remarkably have the drains still intact, two theatres and the
impressive temple of Zeus. After a good look around we head south to the Dead
Sea in time for a 'float' in the saline waters. In the evening we return to
|Day 3:||Today is a long driving day down the King's Highway which takes us up and
down huge 'wadis' (valleys). There are several stops of interest en route
including Madaba, known as the city of the mosaics, Mt Nebo and Kerak, which
is a magnificent fortified town. Further south we reach the magnificent city
of Petra; Jordan's premier historic site and one of the world's most
outstanding ancient cities.
|Day 4-5:||Two full days to explore Petra, the so called rose-red city, 'half as old as
time'. Petra was hidden for centuries until the Swiss explorer Burckhardt
made his great discovery in 1812. It was founded by the Nabateans, an Arab
tribe that arrived here in the 6th century BC. Building at Petra began in the
third century BC and continued through the Roman period, financed by taxes
levied on the desert caravans. Two features of Petra are unique: firstly, it
is a city made defensible by being built down a series of chasms, rather than
on a hilltop. Secondly, it is built directly into the rock - beautiful red
and yellow sandstone carved into the most impressive facades which glow in
the brilliant sunlight.
To enter Petra we must begin by walking down a narrow chasm, known as the
Siq, surrounded by high cliffs on either side. Unveiled at the end of the Siq
is El Khazneh, the Treasury. This is just the first breathtaking sight of a
remarkable day. Continuing to the centre of the city, we pass the houses and
tombs of the rich citizens and the remarkable scale of the site begins to
unveil itself. A long walk beyond the centre is El Deir, the monastery, with
its superb facade topped by a huge urn (the walk up is by a series of
On one of the days we take a walk to the High Places which only few people
attempt to visit. This can be quite arduous and is not recommended for those
who are unsure of their fitness. However, those who do make it to the top are
rewarded with wonderful views over parts of the site visited on the previous
|Day 6:||This morning we join the modern Desert Highway and make our way south to Wadi
Rum, a beautiful desert area where dramatic sandstone mountains rise from the
sandy desert floor. This is where Lawrence of Arabia and Prince Faisal
assembled the Arab tribes for the attack on Aqaba in the First World War and
also where sections of the 1962 epic film were shot.
We join our Bedouin guides for a 2-hour 4x4 trip to explore the highlights of
the protected area. Towards the end of the day we return to our private camp,
located near the small village of Disseh where we enjoy traditional Bedouin
hospitality and may have the chance to sleep out under the stars.
|Day 7:||We wake amidst the dramatic desert scenery and then make our way on to Aqaba,
Jordan's port and holiday resort, famous for beautiful coral reefs. There
is time today to relax on a local beach where the entrance fee is included.
You can add to the experience with optional snorkelling and lunch packages
which your leader will explain. Please note there is a cost for these
extras. There are several good restaurants in Aqaba for our evening meal
|Day 8:||In the morning we travel back to Amman on the fast Desert Highway. In the
afternoon you will be given a guided tour of Amman where you will be taken to
the famous Amphitheatre. Dating back to the Roman period, when the city was
known as Philadelphia, it is one of the main landmarks of Jordan. Then any
additional time is free to explore the city or for some last minute shopping!
|Day 9:||Fly to London.
All tour descriptions and conditions are given in accordance with the information of Responsible Travel