Tour type: Small Group
Group size: Min: 2 | Max: 18
Accommodation: 3 to 4-star hotels, Bedouin camp, guesthouse & monastery
Transport: A/C minibus/coach, Bedouin jeeps
Highlights: Amman, Roman Jerash, Mosaics at Madaba, Mt. Nebo, Kings Highway drive, Kerak castle, Day in Petra, Wadi Rum safari & Bedouin camp, Dead Sea, Beirut, Baalbek temple, Ksara wine tasting, Cedars, Qadisha Valley, Baatara Gorge, Byblos, Jeita Grotto
This great value Jordan and Lebanon tour is packed with all the main sights in each country and is designed to fit a low budget without compromising what you see and do.
Starting in Amman, Jordan, we first visit the well preserved Roman remains at Jerash before following the scenic Kings Highway through the centre of Jordan, stopping to see the Roman Mosaics at Madaba, enjoy the views from Mount Nebo, marvel at the grandeur and size of Wadi Mujib and explore the crumbling remains of the huge crusader castle at Kerak. This all brings us to Jordan's most popular attraction, the hidden 'Rose Red' city of Petra. We set aside a full day here with a guided tour and free time to explore further. Next we take a 4x4 jeep safari through the spectacular desert scenery with its towering rocky 'jebels' at Wadi Rum, famous for its links with Lawrence of Arabia. We'll spend a night in a comfortable Bedouin camp under the stars here. Then return to Amman with a stop to enjoy a dip/float in the salty waters of the Dead Sea - a must-do experience. We'll then take a flight to Beirut (not included - see Day 6 of the itinerary).
Arriving in Beirut, we begin our journey heading north to the spectacular caves of the Jeita Grotto, before taking the cable car to Harissa from where you'll be rewarded with 360° views of the Mediterranean coastline and cities below. Next, we have another nature wonder in store with a visit to the Baatara Gorge sinkhole and waterfall. We'll spend a night in a working monastery and hike in the Qadisha Valley and nearby Cedars National Park before heading to Byblos, often considered to be the worlds oldest continually inhabited settlement. Continuing with the tour, we make time for a well deserved break, with a visit to the Ksara Winery, where you'll tour the caves which are used as a wine cellar. Our last visits of the week are perhaps some of the most impressive. Firstly we'll explore the ancient temple of Baalbek, which is believed to have been a site of worship since at least 9000 BC. We'll also explore the impressively well planned city of Anjar nearby before returning to Beirut where our journey will come to an end.
Once you've landed at the airport, we'll be there to meet you and transfer you to your hotel in Jordan's bustling capital city of Amman. After helping you check in and pointing you to any local shops, cafes or restaurants, you're free to explore Amman independently before our sightseeing starts tomorrow.
Extra day in Amman - pre tour
Superior hotel upgrade (JOSHJS)
As-Salt and Bethany tour
We start the day by heading north out of Amman to nearby Jerash, one of the largest and most well-preserved sites of Roman architecture in the world outside Italy. Fondly referred to as the 'Jewel of the North', Jerash boasts an unbroken chain of human occupation dating back more than 6,500 years.
Jerash was hidden for centuries in sand, evacuations and restorations over the past 70 years have revealed a fine example of the grand, formal provincial Roman urbanism that is found throughout the Middle East.
After returning from Jerash we spend the afternoon exploring Amman, commonly known as the 'white city' due to its sheer number of white limestone buildings. Amman's rich history dates back many millennia, with numerous excavations and renovations uncovering remains from the Neolithic period as well as the Hellenistic and late Roman to Arab Islamic Ages.
Our tour will include the Citadel - the former home of the ancient Temple of Hercules, The Umayyad Palace and the Byzantine Church. We'll also visit the 6000-seat Roman Theatre - which dates to the Roman period, when the city was known as Philadelphia.
We leave Amman behind us today as we drive along the scenic King's Highway to Petra. The drive is a beautiful one as we cross deep wadis, pass through olive groves and remote rural villages, giving you a unique insight into the daily lives of the locals.
Our first stop will be at Madaba, as we visit the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George - famed for its 6th century Byzantine Mosaic map of the Holy Land and other biblical sites. Next, we'll venture up Mount Nebo, which offers breath-taking views of the Holy Land.
We'll hit the road once more, this time crossing the beautiful Wadi al-Mujib, which winds through olive groves before it traverses up over a deep canyon until we reach Kerak Castle, which forms part of several Crusader castles built during the 12th century on the Egypt-Syrian caravan route.
Upon arrival in Petra, we'll check into the hotel and the evening is free for you to relax and explore. An option is available to get a first taste of Petra itself with the atmospheric Petra by Candlelight tour through the Siq to the Treasury.
Today is all about exploring the Nabatean site of Petra. It was once the ancient capital of the Nabataean commercial empire until the Romans finally took over in 106AD. For a long period of time, Petra was forgotten - except by the local Bedouins - before it was rediscovered in 1812 by Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt. Petra can be found at the edge of the Wadi Aruba desert, where canyon walls and towering hills make it virtually impossible to reach, except via a narrow cleft in the rock, known as the Siq. There are very few free-standing buildings in Petra, as the Nabateans chose to carve their dwellings into the multi coloured sandstone cliffs. Petra has become one of Jordan's main tourist attractions and the Jordanian Government is well aware of this. The tourism infrastructure in the adjoining village of Wadi Musa is booming, though, thankfully, once you enter through the Siq, the site is protected, there aren't that many touts or souvenir sellers, and all the building feels miles away.
We have most of the day available today to explore this ancient city (2-3 hour guided tour, then free time to explore independently). We start by making our way through the Siq, which rises to 200 metres above us and narrows to just 2 metres wide in certain sections. Keep an eye out for the ancient Nabatean water channel which is still visible on one wall and there are remnants of the terracotta pipes that brought water into the city as well. We'll turn a corner and suddenly - one of the most familiar sights of Petra will be in front of you - The Khazneh (Treasury) comes into view. Our guide will explain how this, and the other buildings here, are mainly elaborate facades carved into the rock from the top down, and also discuss the spiritual significance of the building style.
From the Treasury, the valley opens out, and you'll see tombs carved into the rock on both sides. You'll get a glimpse of the ruined Roman amphitheatre and colonnaded streets and during your free time, you can walk up a steep and narrow winding gorge to the towering 'Monastery' - which is 50 metres high and 45 metres wide, giving you breath-taking views of the Wadi Aruba desert and the Jordan Valley. Another climb takes you to the High Place of Sacrifice, and Lion Fountain. All in all, this is a full and tiring exercise, but hugely rewarding day touring one of the world's most famous ancient sites.
Walking distances today are an absolute minimum of 3km through the Siq to the Treasury and back and to see a few tombs, 8km to take the trail on as far as the main basin, plus an additional few km to the Monastery and back (over 800 steps up and down). For those with less mobility or who are worried about the distance, horse carriages are available for around 20JD (USD 28) to take you on the 1.2km journey through the Siq to the Treasury and back again at an agreed time. They will also take you further in through the site for an extra fee. We do not recommend riding the horses that are available. Donkeys are available for the steps up to the Monastery - if you want to use them, we'd reommend doing this on the way up, not on the way down.
Later in the afternoon, we leave Petra and drive into the spectacular desert scenery of Wadi Rum where friendly Bedouin hosts are ready to greet us at a comfortable camp beneath the towering rocks and cliffs. We spend the evening and night relaxing at the camp, watching the stars and enjoying a delicious traditional Jordanian meal.
Wadi Rum Bedouin camp
We start the day early, exploring the beautiful desert and mountain scenery of Wadi Rum. Keep an eye out for the copper-coloured rocky 'jebels', which mesmerised TE Lawrence during his visits to the desert during the Arab Revolt and was later famed in the movie Lawrence of Arabia. We'll take a jeep safari through the beautiful desert scenery, seeing more of the sheer cliffs and bizarre rock formations.
We say goodbye to Wadi Rum later in the morning and head north towards the Dead Sea, one of the planet's most spectacular destinations. Not only is it the lowest point on earth, coming in at 400 metres below sea level, it's also considered to be one of the world's most spiritual landscapes, filled with dramatic, natural wonders.
The Dead Sea is fed by numerous rivers, including the River Jordan. Once the waters reach the Dead Sea they are land-locked and have nowhere to go, so they evaporate, leaving behind a dense, rich, cocktail of salts and minerals that supply industry, agriculture and medicine with some of its finest products.
The Dead Sea is flanked by mountains to the east and the rolling hills of Jerusalem to the west, giving it an almost otherworldly beauty. Although sparsely populated and serenely quiet now, the area is believed to have been home to five Biblical cities: Sodom, Gomorrah, Adman, Zebouin and Zoar (Bela).
We'll stop along the way to enjoy a 'swim', though the intensely salty waters lead to a very strange swimming experience. In fact, normal swimming is not possible, and it is easier (and more photogenic!) just to float, sitting or lying in the water. Be careful not to get any water in your eyes, as it will sting.Showers will be available where we swim to clean off the salt water afterwards. If you'd like some additional time at the Dead Sea for spa treatments and/or relaxation, we also offer the option of spending your final night in Jordan here instead of returning to Amman.
We finish the day back at our hotel in Amman.
We leave Jordan today and transfer you to Amman airport for your flight to Beirut. Once you arrive, we'll meet you at the airport, and then transfer you to your hotel for the start of your trip. We'll help you check in before giving you some free time to relax or explore Beirut independently.
Note: the Amman-Beirut flight is left out of the set tour price as it is often more cost effective for you to include this flight as part of your main international flight ticket. We are happy to book all your international flights, just this Amman-Beirut flight, or none of them at all, whichever works best for you. Direct flights are available with both Egypt Air and Middle Eastern Airlines. You can fly at any time during the day - all transfers in Amman and Beirut are included.
After leaving the capital city of Beirut behind this morning, we begin our journey north, making our first stop to explore the awe-inspiring Jeita Grotto. Here you’ll get a chance to explore part of the system of limestone caves which span a total distance of almost 9km. The caves contain one of the worlds largest collections of stalactites and stalagmites and was one of the finalists in the New 7 Wonders of Nature competition; it’s no wonder the caves are considered a symbol of Lebanon. Moving on, our next stop is Harissa, which is famous for the mountain top Christian shrine, dedicated to the Virgin Mary. We’ll take the cable car up to visit the church and enjoy the stunning views of the coastline.
Our final stop of the day is the unique Baatara Gorge sinkhole, where in spring and after rainy periods a 255 meter waterfall cascades down into the enormous cavern. We’ll have time for a short hike here and we’ll also explore a nearby Douma Village, where a traditional lunch is included.
The day finishes with a short drive to the beautiful Qadisha Valley where we spend the night in the Monastery of St. Anthony, in a separate building with simple but comfortable en-suite accommodation (a nearby guesthouse will be used if the monastery is closed to visitors or unavailable).
Qadisha Valley monastery or guesthouse
For those early risers, you have the opportunity to join the monks for their early morning prayers in the monastery. After breakfast, there will be time to explore some of the Qadisha Valley, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Qadisha Valley is known as the Holy Valley, and the Holy River, the Nahr Qadisha flows through it. There are many caverns to be found on its steep cliffs which were used for shelter during ancient times.
After leaving the valley behind, our first stop will be the village of Becharre, famous for being the birthplace of the iconic poet and novelist, Kahlil Gibran. In the village there is a small museum dedicated to him where you'll be able to see some of his paintings and manuscripts displayed.
Next, we'll visit the Cedars Ski Resort, famous as being one just a few ski resorts in the Middle East. The area often referred to as the Cedars of God is also found nearby, which contains some of the last groves of the cedar forests which once thrived in this region. The Cedrus Libani, Cedars of Lebanon are even mentioned in the Old Testament and have become a national symbol of Lebanon.
Later today we arrive in Byblos, an ancient Phoenician city that is thought to have been inhabited for up to 7000 years. Locally, the city is known as Jbeil and is another UNESCO World Heritage site. Byblos is filled with significant historical and archaeological sites, and also features a lovely Phoenician harbour.
This morning you'll have some free time to explore the markets and coastline of Byblos further before we head back in land to continue our journey.
Our destination today will be the village of of Zahle, however we'll be making a stop along the way at the Ksara Winery which is possibly the oldest winery in Lebanon. The caves and tunnels have a total length of approximately 2 miles and have been unsed for generations as wine cellars. You'll have a guided tour of the caves and winery before sampling (and buying if you wish) some of the produce in a wine tasting session.
You're in for real a treat today as we'll be visiting the incredible site of Baalbek. Referred to as 'Heliopolis' or 'City of the Sun' by the Romans and Greeks, it is home to a sanctuary dedicated to worshipping the Heliopolitan triad of gods; Jupiter, Venus and Mercury. In ancient times, thousands of pilgrims would flock to the temple in order to venerate the triad. Today, the temple remains remarkably well preserved.
After leaving Baalbak we'll make a stop at the nearby Umayyad city of Anjar, located within the Bekaa Valley. Caliph Walid founded the city in the 8th century and what remains of the city today, gives great insight into the excellent town-planning which must have taken place. You'll see mosques, palaces and baths. There were also up to 600 shops within the city in ancient times, demonstarting how important of a trading post Anjar must once have been.
We end the day with a drive back to Beirut where we'll spend the night.
Today is the last day of the tour and your time is free to explore Beirut some more until you are transferred to the airport for your departing flight home.
If you are looking for a tour and not finding what you are looking for, have a look at our best other related tours to check out for your travel plans. At Encounters Travel, we offer a variety of tours to suit your needs. So sit back, relax, and let us help you plan the perfect getaway.
This tour is also available for booking privately for travel anytime through the year, and we can also customise the itinerary to fit your personal requirements. Please contact us for details and prices.
The hotels and accommodations listed below are the ones we most often use on this tour. From time to time we may exchange these for similar properties at the same level. In general, specific hotels cannot be guaranteed on our group tours, but you may select your preferred options if you are booking a tailor-made trip.
Our tours are designed to include all that you need to enjoy a really special time in the destination youre visiting. However, we do also offer some extra options to complement the tour and add some additional sightseeing or activities, or some extra time at either end of the tour.
All accommodation based options (e.g. Single supplements, extra nights, cruise upgrades) should be booked and paid for in advance so that we can make the appropriate arrangements. Other options may either be booked and paid for in advance or while you are on the tour, though we recommend booking in advance to ensure there are no issues with availability.
Many options are priced the same throughout the year, but some may incur single or high season supplements - full details are given on the tour reservation form or on request.
The detailed Tour Notes below have been written to give you some more detailed information about how the tour runs, what to expect, and how to prepare for your holiday. We recommend downloading an up to date copy of these shortly before you travel in case of any changes.
We use good quality mid-range hotels on this tour. Accommodation is based on twin or double en-suite rooms with air conditioning. All couples will stay in a private double room.
An upgrade is also available to local 5-star hotels in Amman and Petra if you would like a more luxurious stay. These can be considered basic international 5-star level in Amman, and decent 4-star level in Petra. Typical hotels used are the Landmark or Le Grand in Amman which are modern style hotels, and the Old Village Resort or Hyatt Zaman in Petra which are more traditional characterful properties.
In Wadi Rum we use a comfortable Bedouin camp located on the desert sands, against the cliffs. Accommodation is in permanent traditional goat hair tents with their own bathroom, proper beds and all bedding provided You can also bring a sleeping bag if you wish, and find a sheltered spot on the rocks on the edge of the camp and sleep under the stars.
This tour uses a mix of accommodation including good quality 4-star hotels in Beirut and Byblos, a comfortable guesthouse Zahle and rooms in a separate new block at Monastery of St. Anthony in Qozhaya. Rooms at the monastery are simple but comfortable and en-suite and you may join the monks for their morning prayers.
Accommodation is based on twin or double en-suite rooms with air conditioning. Please visit the accommodation tab of this tour for examples of the hotels normally used on this tour. These are subject to change to alternative properties of a similar standard. If you have any specific accommodation requests please let us know and we'll be happy to provide you with a customised quotation for a private tour.
Please check the Single Room Supplement option for details on room sharing options and charges for solo travellers on this tour.
Our trips feature a mix of different transport options. We want you to feel like you're really experiencing the country you're travelling through, but at the same time we want you to finish journeys refreshed enough to enjoy the next stage of the tour. The small distances involved in Jordan and Lebanon mean that we use private vehicles throughout this tour. These will be minivans, minibuses or coaches, depending on the number of travellers in the group.
The jeeps used in Wadi Rum are provided by the local Bedouins we work with, and while suitable for your desert safari, they may fall below the normal safety and quality standards for vehicles we use during the rest of our tours.
Your airport transfers are only included on the first and last day of the set tour itinerary, plus on any additional days if you book your hotel room with us. If you make your own arrangements for additional accommodation at either the beginning or the end of the tour then you will need to arrange your own airport transfers on these days.
We want to give you as much flexibility as possible when it comes to booking your holiday with us. So, to take account of people with varying travel plans, we don't include your international flights in the main tour price. We are however very happy to suggest flights to go with the tour. Please contact us with your preferred dates and departure airport and we'll give you a selection of airlines, times and fares to choose from.
Your airport arrival & departure transfers are included on the first and last days of the tour.
This tour starts in Amman (AMM) and ends in Beirut (BEY). You will also need to arrange a flight between Amman and Beirut to link together the two sections of this tour. This can either be purchased as a single ticket (for example with Middle East Airlines), or as part of your overall international flight ticket. Your airport transfers are included at both ends and you may fly at any time during the day.
The tour price includes entrance fees to all the tourist sites mentioned in the itinerary. If you visit any sites not mentioned in the itinerary then you will need to cover the entrance fee costs.
The tour price does not include entrance fees to the sites visited on the tour whilst in Jordan.
We strongly recommend that you purchase a Jordan Pass prior to your travel to Jordan. This is a special package that has been designed by the Jordanian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities for tourists visiting Jordan. As well as including a discounted package of entrance fees covering all the sites in Jordan that you will visit on this tour (plus many others), the Jordan Pass also provides free downloadable digital brochures on each attraction, plus a free tourist visa for entering the country (40JD if obtained on arrival in Jordan).
The cost for the Jordan Wanderer Pass suitable for this tour is JD70 (approx. US$99). Passes are available by completing a simple online form before you travel, taking care to make sure your passport details are entered correctly as this doubles as your visa application. Your Jordan Pass will then be emailed to you as a pdf document, which you should print out and bring with you. You will then need to show this print out at the immigration desk on arrival in Jordan to obtain your free entry visa, and also at each attraction where it will be scanned to confirm your entry. Obtain your Jordan Pass here
As one of our Small-Group tours, maximum group sizes are restricted to 18 people, though the tour is guaranteed to depart with a minimum of just 2.
A professional licensed guide accompanies all groups of 2 or more whilst in Lebanon and of 5 or more whilst in Jordan. For groups of 2-4 in Jordan, one of our experienced English speaking drivers will escort the group with specialist local site guides used for the tours in Jerash, Amman (Citadel), and Petra. At Encounters Travel we aim to only use local Jordanian guides and reps. We feel this gives you the best experience of the country and the sites you are seeing as well as supporting the local population and economy.
Passports should be valid for at least six months after your departure from the country. Please do not bring an almost full or almost expired passport. Visa arrangements are the responsibility of the traveller, and requirements are subject to change by the local authorities.
To promote tourism to the country, the Jordanian government has designed the Jordan Pass. This provides adults of most nationalities with a free single entry Jordan visa (for stays of 3 nights or more), a discounted package of entrance fees, and free digital brochures for the various sites in Jordan. Please check the Jordan Pass tour note for more information.
Double or multi entry visas for Jordan are no longer available and you will need to arrange two visas if you are doing a combination tour (eg. with Egypt and/or Israel) that visits Jordan more than once. Exceptions may occur if you are crossing to and from Israel via the King Hussein Bridge - please contact us for details.
If you wish to arrange your visa separately in advance, or if your stay will be shorter than four days/3 nights, then a visa fee of 40JD (approx. USD 57) will be due.
Families with children under 12 are recommended not to purchase the Jordan Pass for the children as entrance fees are not charged in Jordan for children under 12. Instead, the adults should purchase a Jordan Pass and we will arrange a free visa for the children which you will receive when we meet you on arrival into Amman airport.
Other nationalities may require a visa prior to arrival and to obtain this in advance, please contact your local Jordanian embassy or consulate or a visa agency for details. In addition, if you plan to enter Jordan via the southern Wadi Araba crossing (Eilat-Aqaba) or the Allenby Bridge/King Hussein border with Israel in the north, you will need to obtain your Jordan visa in advance as these are not available on arrival at the border.
Passports should be valid for at least six months after your departure from the country. Please do not bring an almost full or almost expired passport. Visa arrangements are the responsibility of the traveller, and requirements are subject to change by the local authorities.
For many nationalities visiting Lebanon a visa on arrival is possible at Beirut International Airport. This applies to most countries of the Commonwealth, European Union, Russia, Japan and the US continent. Even if you are eligible for a visa on arrival, it is prudent to check up to date requirements with your nearest Lebanese consulate.
Other nationalities may require a visa prior to arrival and to obtain this in advance, please contact your local Lebanese embassy or consulate or a visa agency for details.
IMPORTANT: The Government of Lebanon denies entry to Israeli passport holders, Israeli visa holders (valid or expired) and those with any evidence of travel to Israel within their passport.
The local currency in Jordan is the Jordanian Dinar (JD). You do not need to arrange to bring any Jordanian Dinar with you to Jordan as exchange facilities are available in the international airports and in most hotels, banks and bureau de changes in major towns. You should try to obtain and keep hold of small denomination notes or coins on you during the tour as these are useful for toilets, tips and small purchases. ATMs are readily available in major towns and many local shops will accept VISA/Mastercard or Amex, but may charge fees of up to 10% - check before you pay. Travellers cheques are not recommended as they can not be changed in many places now, and can incur high fees.
While in Jordan you will need sufficient funds to cover meals not included in the itinerary, drinks, snacks, souvenirs and personal expenses such as laundry. These should generally all be paid for in Jordanian Dinar, though tips for guides and drivers may be paid in hard currency (GBP, USD, EUR).
It is difficult to recommend a level of personal spending money which will suit everyone as this can differ greatly, but as a guideline, we would suggest allowing USD 15-25 per person per day as a minimum. Allow more if you plan on doing lots of shopping, or buying many alcoholic drinks.
The local currency in Lebanon is the Lebanese Pound (called Lira). You do not need to arrange to bring any Lebanese currency with you as exchange facilities are available in the international airports and in most hotels, banks and bureau de changes in major towns. You should try to obtain and keep hold of small denomination notes or coins on you during the tour as these are useful for toilets, tips and small purchases. ATMs are readily available in major towns and many local shops will accept VISA/Mastercard or Amex, but may charge additional fees - check before you pay. Travellers cheques are not recommended as they can not be changed in many places now, and can incur high fees.
Due to the huge recent devaluation of the Lebanese currency, if you withdraw money from an ATM or pay for things with your credit card you will be charged the official bank exchange rate which is very different to the actual operating rate used locally. We therefore recommend that you bring enough US Dollars or Euros in cash with you to cover your required spending money during the tour and do not plan to use your credit card while in Lebanon. You can change this hard currency to Lebanese pounds at the current rates while you are there - please ask your guide for assistance on appropriate places to change your money.
While in Lebanon you will need sufficient funds to cover meals not included in the itinerary, drinks, snacks, souvenirs and personal expenses such as laundry. These should generally all be paid for in local currency, though tips for guides and drivers may be paid in hard currency (GBP, USD, EUR).
It is difficult to recommend a level of personal spending money which will suit everyone as this can differ greatly, but as a guideline, we would suggest allowing USD 25-35 per person per day as a minimum. Allow more if you plan on doing lots of shopping, or buying many alcoholic drinks.
Tipping for services provided is part of the local culture in Jordan, is often expected, and will be very gratefully received. While the amount you tip is subject to your satisfaction with the services provided and your personal budget, we are often asked for help and guidelines and can therefore suggest that you allow approx.:
Tour guides: US$8-10 per person per day
Drivers: US$3-5 per person per day
Restaurants: 10% or leave the change
Petra horse boys: US$2-5 (we recommend against riding the horses for animal welfare and safety concerns, but the boys may still expect a tip)
Tipping is common practice in Lebanon, as a sign of appreciation for services provided. You may therefore wish to tip your guide and driver at the end of the tour. You should not feel obliged to tip any particular amount, and should consider your personal budget. We are often asked to provide a guide however, and can suggest that approx. GBP 5 / USD 8 per person per day would be appropriate.
You should ensure you are fully insured for medical emergencies including emergency evacuation and repatriation.
Recommended vaccinations and other health protection measures vary according to the country you are visiting and where you are travelling from. We recommend you contact your GP/medical practitioner or a travel clinic for current information on vaccinations needed for your destination. You should ensure that you are up to date with vaccines and boosters recommended for your normal life at home, including for example, vaccines required for occupational risk of exposure, lifestyle risks and underlying medical conditions.
In addition, additional courses or boosters normally recommended for the countries in this region are:
Egypt: Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis A
Jordan: Tetanus, Hepatitis A
Israel: Hepatitis A, Poliomyelitis
Lebanon: Dipheria, Hepatitis A
Malaria is not generally present unless it has been contracted abroad; you do not need to take malaria prophylactics.
Note: We are aware of some places in Egypt using 'black henna' instead of pure brown henna. Black henna contains a chemical dye PPD (paraphenylenediamine) which can result in severe allergic reactions and resultant scarring. To be safe we recommend avoiding any henna tattoos while in Egypt unless you are certain they are using pure brown henna.
Luggage: Suitcases, rucksacks or fabric holdalls are all fine to bring with you on this tour. You should also bring a small daypack/bag to take out during the day. Your main luggage will normally be left in the hotel during your sightseeing trips - you will not need to carry it far, and there are nearly always hotel porters to assist.
Luggage limits: There is no luggage limit for this tour. However, most airlines restrict you to between 20kg and 25kg for your hold luggage and between 5kg and 10kg for hand luggage. Please check with your airline before travelling to the airport.
Clothing: The climate varies widely from hot days in the summer to cool and sometimes wet days in the winter months. At night, especially in the deserts, the temperatures can drop quite dramatically. So you must pack for cool conditions. Formal dress (eg. suits & ties) is not required. Modesty rates highly in Jordan, especially for women, so to respect the local culture and people, please ensure all clothes are loose fitting and not revealing. Shorts (not hot-pants) are OK in tourist sites, as are T-shirts, but these should not show too much bare flesh (we suggest that your shoulders should remain covered). When visiting any mosques, legs and arms should be covered.
Other items: If your tour includes an overnight Bedouin camp then bedding is provided but we recommend bringing a light sleeping sheet or sleeping bag liner for comfort all year round (even with the best efforts, sand does find its way pretty much everywhere). In the winter months, or if you think you would like to sleep under the stars instead of in your tent, then we recommend you bring a sleeping bag with you as it can get very cold at night. We also recommend you bring a sun hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, a basic first aid kit, toiletries, money belt, small torch, camera & charger.
The time in Egypt, Jordan, Israel and Lebanon is GMT plus 2 hours and in UAE GMT plus 3 hours. Daylight saving adjustments have historically been applied in some years but not others. At present it appears that there will be no daylight saving changes in Egypt 2016 and beyond, though this may change at short notice (with a resulting impact on flight times and schedules). In Jordan and Israel, daylight saving of one hour is generally applied between the end of March and the end of October, making it GMT plus 3 hours. Exact dates vary from year to year and sometimes the changes may be scrapped altogether.
Sockets are two round pronged and 220 volts (Type C). Universal adaptors are available in most airport shops if you don't have one already. Standard European adapters will work fine, though sometimes they may feel a little loose in the sockets. All hotel rooms have electrical sockets where you can re-charge cameras, phones etc. Hair dryers are normally available on request from the hotel reception if not in your room already.
If you have US appliances (110 volts) you will need a voltage converter as well as a plug adapter.
We run regular small-group departures on this tour starting on Mondays throughout the year. All departures are guaranteed to run with a minimum of 2 participants. Departure dates & prices are on our website and in our brochure (please check the website for up-to-date prices & special offers).
If you would like to book a place on this tour, please complete the online reservation form on our website (via the Dates & Prices tab on the tour page). You may make a deposit or full payment online, or just hold a reservation if you prefer (full payments are due 8 weeks before departure). We will then contact you with more details about how to complete your booking. Payments may be made by debit or credit card (subject to a card processing fee), or by making a bank transfer, or posting us a cheque/bank draft. Full details will be provided in your booking confirmation email. Please contact us if you would like any more information or have any questions before making a booking.
Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our tours and needs to cover personal accident & liability, medical expenses and repatriation, travel delay & abandonment. We also strongly recommend that you take out cover against cancellation and lost/stolen baggage. Personal medical insurance does not normally provide sufficient cover and is generally not suitable for travel on our tours. You will not be able to join your tour if you have not provided us with details of your insurance or if you arrive without cover in place (no refunds will be due in this event). More information...
You may arrange your own insurance, or you can take advantage of a comprehensive policy that we can arrange for you through Endsleigh Insurance which has been designed to be suitable for our tours. The policy is available to travellers of all nationalities and you do not need to live in the UK to take out the policy. For full details of cover provided, prices and to apply for one of our policies, please complete travel insurance application form.
Note: Any country that borders the Mediterranean is considered as 'Europe' for the purposes of travel insurance (including Turkey, Israel, Egypt and Morocco). If you are doing a tour that visits one country in 'Europe' and one that is 'Worldwide' (for example, an Egypt and Jordan tour), then you need a 'Worldwide' policy. When completing the form you should enter your travel dates including any extra days involved in overnight flights or connecting travel between your home and the tour. Our policies are not able to cover any extra time or activities other than your tour and options booked with us and your travel to & from home.
Note - to comply with insurance sales regulations, our travel insurance policies are only available to customers booking directly with us. If you have booked through a travel agent you will need to arrange your own insurance.
If your tour includes car hire, ior if you plan to arrange a hot air balloon flight locally or do some scuba diving during your tour, you should check the small print in your policy to make sure these are covered (these are covered in our policy). Please also check the maximum altitude that you will be reaching and that full cover including emergency evacuation is provided up to this altitude.
If you are taking expensive camera gear or other electronic equipment with you then please check the coverage and the fine print of your policy to ensure that you have sufficient cover.
IMPORTANT: We must have your travel insurance details (policy number and type of insurance) before you depart or you may not be allowed to join the tour. If you haven't told us already, please let us know the details when you can. You should take a paper copy of your insurance policy with you as you may be asked to show this at the start of the tour.
Before purchasing any travel insurance, please check the coverage provided for situations related to Covid-19, and for the rules about government travel advice. Your normal policy may not be suitable. Details about our own policies cover levels are given on our website.
We are a UK registered company and are committed to providing our customers with financial protection to provide peace of mind and to allow you to book with confidence.
We have therefore partnered with Trust My Travel Ltd., which provides financial protection services to over 2000 partners around the world. Funds paid to us by our customers are protected via an Insurance policy held by Trust My Travel. Each traveller and the description of services sold is declared against Trust My Travel’s insurance policy directly against our financial failure. In the event of our insolvency, you will be refunded for any unfulfilled products and/or repatriation to the UK (where applicable). Please see our website or booking conditions for more information.
It is impossible not to have an impact on the local environment, cultures and eco-systems when you travel. However, it is very possible to try and ensure that these impacts are as limited, or positive as possible. We are committed to ensuring that we try to leave our host countries in a better state than we found them and encourage and assist our travellers to help us with this.
The following are a few simple tips that require very little effort on your part but which will help ensure that any effect you have on the locations you visit is positive rather than negative.
All porters are employed and equipped following guidelines set by the International Porter Protection Group (IPPG).
You can stay in touch with us online by following us on Facebook and Twitter. We post updates on relevant travel news in our destination countries, special offers and discounts and other interesting travel related news and information.
www.twitter.com/encounterstravl (yes, without the 'e')
It is important when considering and preparing to travel anywhere in the world that you have a good understanding of the country you are visiting, its laws and customs, and the possible risks and situations that may occur. This includes specific risks related to your itinerary (eg. does it involve water & can you swim, are you fit enough for the activities included), as well as more general risks such as terrorism and natural disasters.
General details and links to more information about health risks, visa requirements, money, and travel insurance are given in these tour notes. We recommend that you re-read all these before your departure as well as the small print of your travel insurance policy so you know exactly what is covered and what is not.
You should take copies of your important travel documents with you and ideally also store them online securely as a backup. Make sure that you have given us your emergency contact details and told that person where and when you are travelling. Ensure you take enough money with you and that you have access to emergency funds.
Finally, you should read through and stay updated with the current official government travel advice for your destination. We are registered partners with the UK Foreign Office's 'Travel Aware' campaign which provides further useful and invaluable information.