Ancient Jordan Uncovered
Travel with expert lecturer and archaeologist Dr Konstantine Politis, who discovered and excavated the biblical sites of Lot’s Cave and Zoara. He also initiated and set up the Museum at the Lowest Place on Earth.
8 nights from £2645pp
Call us on 01756 706505 (+44 1756 706505) to discuss this holiday
Jordan is one of history’s crossroads and battlegrounds, and this tour encompasses the entire range of its heritage and culture.
Ancient Jordan Uncovered Itinerary
Day 1: Fly to Amman
Fly from London (regional connections available) to Amman with Royal Jordanian Airways. Transfer to the Boulevard Arjaan Hotel (or similar) for 3 nights. (N)
Day 2: Amman • Desert castles
Explore the ancient citadel of Amman, visit the early Islamic Umayyad Palace, the Graeco-Roman Temple of Hercules, Byzantine churches and see sweeping views across the city. Visit the Archaeological Museum, housing important finds spanning over 100,000 years. Then drive to the eastern desert, passing Umayyad Qasr Kharana and seeing the hunting lodge of Qasr Amra with recently-restored wall paintings. Continue to Azraq oasis, seeing a Roman fort rebuilt in the 13th century and later used by TE Lawrence during the Arab Revolt, and the impressive Wetlands Reserve. Return to Amman via the new highway and Qasr Al-Hallabat. (B, D)
Day 3: Jerash
Drive north through the hills of biblical Gilead to Jerash, one of the best-preserved provincial Graeco-Roman cities in the Near East. Walk through magnificent monumental arches, sprawling oval piazza, colonnaded streets, temples, theatres and Byzantine churches. Then on to visit Umm Qais, ancient Gadara where Jesus performed the swine miracle, then drive down to the Jordan valley with stunning view of Golan Heights overlooking the Sea of Galilee, finally returning to Amman. (B, L)
Day 4: Mount Nebo • Madaba • Shobak
Drive to Mount Nebo, from where Moses viewed the 'Promised Land' and see where early Christians built the Memorial Church of Moses adorned with beautiful floor mosaics. Drive to Madaba on the biblical King's Highway, a city with many Byzantine mosaics. Visit the Greek Orthodox Church of St George which contains the famous sixth-century mosaic map of the Holy Land, then the Church of the Virgin complex. On to biblical Mefa'at at Umm ar-Rasas, a town at the edge of the desert with a dozen churches and important mosaics. Continue to the crusader castle of Monréal at Shobak, built in 12th century by King Baldwin I of Jerusalem but later conquered by Saladin, then rebuilt. Drive to Petra and stay 3 nights at the Mövenpick Resort Petra (or similar). (B, D)
Day 5: Petra
A full-day’s exploration of Petra, the remote desert stronghold of the Nabataean Arabs who created a city in their sandstone valleys, unique in the ancient world. Walk through the Siq, the narrow gorge leading to the Treasury, a magnificent Hellenistic-style rock-cut tomb facade. Continue past the theatre, carved out of solid sandstone, to see other sepulchres, temples and churches. After lunch, take an optional visit to Ad Deir, the largest tomb in Petra overlooking Wadi Araba, the deepest part of the Great Rift Valley. Evening stroll down the Siq illuminated by atmospheric candlelight. (B, L, D)
Day 6: Wadi Rum
Morning drive to Wadi Rum, the spectacular desert made up of vast valleys and towering sandstone peaks, which was the original base of the Great Arab Revolt (1917-1918) and where Lawrence of Arabia, Red Planet and The Martian films were shot. Visit Lawrence’s spring and see ancient graffiti with animal depictions. Picnic lunch at a Bedouin camp. Return to Petra to see a new museum there.* (B, L)
Day 7: Little Petra • Sanctuary of Lot • The Dead Sea
Morning visit to the lesser-known Little Petra at Beidah, passing the crusader castle at Wu’eira and a prehistoric settlement. Continue through spectacular mountain scenery down to Wadi Araba and the shores of the Dead Sea. Stop at Safi to see the first medieval sugar factory and the Ottoman fort attacked by the Arab Legion with Lawrence in 1918. Then climb up to the Sanctuary of Lot, venerating the cave where Lot and his daughters took refuge from the destruction of Sodom. Below, visit the Museum at the Lowest Place on Earth, which explains the unique human and environmental history of the Dead Sea. Drive along the shores of the Dead Sea to the Mövenpick Resort & Spa Dead Sea (or similar) for 2 nights. (B, D)
Day 8: The Dead Sea
At leisure to swim in the Dead Sea with use the resort’s spa and facilities. Optional excursion to the site where Jesus is believed to have been baptised in the Jordan river and/or the Dead Sea Panorama Complex, which describes the geology of the region. (B, D)
Day 9: Fly to London
Morning transfer to Amman airport and fly direct to London Heathrow with Royal Jordanian Airways. (B)
As per itinerary – B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.
There are limited facilities on day 6, when most of the day will be spent in the desert.
Arts & Culture tours
A collection of expert accompanied tours focusing on creativity in its many forms. All tours are open to everyone and can be viewed
This tour is fully escorted throughout by the lecturer, as well as an experienced local tour manager.
This tour is based in 4- and 5-star accommodation.
This tour involves walking over rough terrain and bumpy drives in the desert. At Petra, visiting the Monastery requires a steep climb of 800 rock-cut steps.
Please note that the exclusive and individual nature of private visits means that they are subject to confirmation nearer the time of departure. Mosques, private houses and other buildings often have fluid opening times. If any visits have to be rearranged, please be assured that we will seek alternatives of equal interest.
Private & tailor-made travel
This itinerary can be taken privately on a date that suits you, for which guideline prices are shown. Alternatively, it can be tailored to your exact requirements
- Exclusive visits to the Museum at the Lowest Place on Earth & Lot’s Cave
- Spend 3 nights in Petra, including a candle-lit evening visit
- Drive across desert sands
- See beautiful early Christian Byzantine mosaics
- Trace the footsteps of T E Lawrence
International flights (and domestic flights if applicable)
UK departure and overseas airport taxes
Accommodation, Itinerary & meal basis as described
Local Transfers in an air-conditioned vehicle
Fully escorted by an English-speaking guide throughout
Entrance fees unless otherwise stated