Vast, echoing and God-like
T. E. Lawrence about Wadi Rum
As you walk through the Siq to the Treasury at Petra, you cannot help but be in awe. Hand-hewn red sandstone buildings rise up into the clear desert skies, remembering ancient caravans of spice traders travelling far and wide to sell their wares. In the Roman ruins at Jerash and in the crusader castles and Byzantine mosaics along the King’s Highway, history is everywhere in this beautiful land. Travel through canyons and oases, stay with locals among the rock formations of Wadi Rum, and begin to understand why T.E. Lawrence loved this land.
When to go
The best time to visit Jordan is spring (February - May) and fall (September - November). If you visit in January and December, be prepared for cool weather, although snow is rare.
The young capital of Jordan has a busy core with spectacular Roman ruins, a good museum and the buzz of mosques, souqs and coffeehouses, all overlooked by a citadel.
One of the city of the Roman Decapolis, Jerash was known for its luxury and lavish lifestyle. The ruins have an outstanding forum, colonnaded main streets, two theatres and an impressive temple of Zeus.
Meandering its way along lonely hilltops and through spectacular gorges, this picturesque historic route links the capital with the south.
Madaba, best known for its spectacular Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics, is home to a famous 6th century two million piece mosaic map of Jerusalem and the Holy Land.
The Dead Sea has such a high salt content that almost on life survives in it. It is however impossible to sink and a float on its salty waters is a unique experience.
Mount Nebo is where tradition has it that Moses was shown the Promised Land before his death. The site has some beautiful mosaics.
Built on a rocky outcrop near the King's Highway, Kerak Castle is the best preserved and most famous Crusader castle in Jordan.
As you walk through the Siq to the Treasury at Petra, you cannot help but be in awe. Hand-hewn red sandstone buildings rise up into the clear desert skies, remembering ancient caravans of spice traders travelling far and wide to sell their wares. Walk on and discover tombs and magnificent views and vistas over a surreal red desert landscape.
Described by T.E. Lawrence, is "vast, echoing and God-like...", it is at Wadi Rum that red sandstone rocks reach up from the desert floor to the high desert sky. At its most dramatic early and late in the day, when the soft light and blue sky create a coppery effect on the sand, Wadi Rum is a must-see.
Dana Nature Reserve
Centred on the village by the same name, commanding spectacular views of the valley below, Dana is a hidden gem and home to sandstone escarpments sheltering numerous plants, animals and archaeological sites dating back 6000 years.
A small town on the Red Sea, Aqaba is Jordan's only resort town. It is here you can snorkel and dive the corals and fish just beneath the surface.
Discover ancient ruins
What now is modern Jordan once was at the heart of an extensive trade network, an importance reflected in its many historical sites such as Jerash, Umm Qais and Roman Amman. Explore them with a guide and imagine what it was like to live here in days gone by.
Feel like a Crusader
Once on the edge of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem, Jordan has a rich collection of old castles. Roam their bulwarks, tunnels and halls and think about what live would have been like here, in the middle of the desert, constantly vigilant against hostile armies.
Float in the Dead Sea
Lay back and let yourself relax floating in the Dead Sea, drink or newspaper in hand - did you know you had that many muscles?
Sunset at Wadi Rum
When the shadows lengthen and the sun begins to set, the desert sands at Wadi Rum take on a coppery hue while the red rocks seem to be ablaze. Walk to the top of a cliff and understand why T.E. Lawrence called it "vast, echoing and God-like..."
Walking the desert floor at Petra is a must to see all the different sites. But spend a little longer and wander up and down half-forgotten staircases to the High Place of Sacrifice. Sit down and watch the magical sunset over the red-sandstone cliffs and canyons.
Petra by candlelight
If seeing the Treasury at Petra is not spectacular enough, seeing it lit by the flickering flames of more than 2000 candles, their warm glow seemingly to making the red-rose rock light up from within, is an unforgettable experience.
Trek the high desert
Trek through deep canyons and ancient wadis, along the sandstone escarpmenst of the high deserts, stumble upon forgotten archaeological sites, and count the millions of stars at night. This is trekking at its finest.
Camp with the Bedouin
Stay overnight at Wadi Rum and enjoy traditional Bedouin hospitality and a splendid meal of mansaf. After dinner, the adventurous may even have the chance to sleep out under the stars.
4WD in Wadi Rum
Drive deep into the red desert at Wadi Rum and perhaps follow in the footsteps of T.E. Lawrence, driving all the way through spectacular desertscapes to emerge at Aqaba.
Eat your heart out
Dates and olives are staples in Jordan, but it is mansaf, a rich melange of rice, lamb and rehydrated yoghurt, which is considered Jordan's national dish. Another dish rooted in Bedouin culture is the zarb, lamb or chicken, sometimes with herbs and vegetables, which has been buried with hot coals in the desert sand.
Enjoy traditional hospitality
Hospitality in Jordan is legendary and whether you are passing through a city, stopping at a viewpoint or walking in the desert, you are bound to be invited for tea, a meal, or even to stay.
Tour code: EJOD
Why we love this trip: our best-selling one-week trip showing all the highlights of Jordan.
Places visited: Amman, Jerash, Dead Sea, King's Highway, Madaba, Mt. Nebo, Kerak, Petra, Wadi Rum, Aqaba
Signature Experiences: discover ancient ruins, feel like a Crusader, float in the Dead Sea, sunset at Wadi Rum, hike Petra, Petra by candlelight, camp with the Bedouin, 4WD in Wadi Rum, eat your heart out, enjoy traditional hospitality. Not interested in camping? Contact us.
Length: 9 days.
Need more time? Contact us
Accommodation: hotels, private desert camp
Included meals: all breakfasts, 1 dinner
Transport: minivan & 4WD
Departures: year-round set small-group dates and daily private departures
Customizable? Yes, price on request
Price: Small group departures priced from $1235
Tour code: PEJI
Why we love this trip: a 3-week discovery of all the classical highlights of the Middle East.
Places visited: Cairo, Luxor, Valley of the Kings, Nile Cruise, Aswan, Abu Simbel, Amman, Aqaba, Wadi Rum, Petra, King's Highway, Shonak Castle, Dana, Madaba, Jerash, Dead Sea, Tel Aviv, Caesarea, Acre, Galilee, Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Masada, Qumram
Signature Experiences: shop the souq, Tutankhamun’s treasure, under water in the Red Sea, relax on the beach, call to prayer, enter a tomb, climb into a pyramid, street food, Nile Cruise, balloon ride, discover ancient ruins, feel like a Crusader, float in the Dead Sea, sunset at Wadi Rum, hike Petra, Petra by candlelight, 4WD in Wadi Rum, eat your heart out, enjoy traditional hospitality, follow in the footsteps of Jesus, remember the Holocaust
Length: 23 days
Accommodation: comfortable hotels, overnight sleeper train (1 night), Riverboat (4 nights)
Included meals: 21 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 11 dinners
Transport: 4WD vehicle, Boat, Camel, Hydrofoil, Jeep, Plane, Private aircon bus, Riverboat, Sleeper train
Departures: Set small-group dates April through September and daily private departures
Customizable? Yes, price on request
Price: Small group departures priced from $7430
Trek Petra &
Tour code: ETPW
Why we love this trip: discover a most beautiful desert on foot
Places visited: Amman, Wadi Rum, Petra
Signature Experiences: sunset at Wadi Rum, hike Petra, Petra by candlelight, trek the high desert, camp with the Bedouin, 4WD in Wadi Rum, eat your heart out, enjoy traditional hospitality
Length: 8 days
Accommodation: 3 nights comfortable hotels with en suite facilities, 1 night full service basic camp, with beds and plumbed toilets, 3 nights wild camping with no toilets or wash facilities.
Included meals: all breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners
Transport: on foot, van, 4WD
Departures: set small-group dates March through November
Customizable? Yes - price on request
Price: Small group departures priced from $1275