Tour type: Small Group
Group size: Min: 2 | Max: 14
Accommodation: 3 to 4-star hotels, local homestay & Bedouin camp
Transport: AC minivan/minibus & Bedouin jeep
Highlights: Desert Castles, Amman city tour, Roman Jerash, Ajloun Castle, Rasoun homestay, Dolmans hike, Madaba mosaics, Mt. Nebo, Dead Sea swim, Dana Biosphere Reserve, Shobak crusader castle, Petra, Wadi Rum jeep safari, Bedouin desert camp
This is our signature Jordan small-group tour. The tour features Jordan's most famous highlights like Petra and Jerash, with some different experiences and activities to really show you as much of Jordan's different scenery, culture, food and history as possible.
We start by heading out of Amman to discover some of Jordan's famous Umayyad 'Desert Castles', situated amidst the sands on ancient trading routes. We'll also explore Downtown Amman on foot, enjoying a tasty lunch of falafel and hummus in a local restaurant and picking up some Arabic tips from our guide. Next we head north to the amazing Roman site of Jerash, one of the very best preserved in the whole of the Middle East. An afternoon hike through the forests near Ajloun Castle to see some Bronze Age Dolmens follows, before we spend the night in a simple but comfortable local homestay, eating and chatting with the family.
The Roman mosaics at Madaba are next, and the amazing views towards Jericho and Israel from Mt. Nebo follow, as we descend towards the Dead Sea for a night in a 4-star resort and a swim, or float in the amazing salty waters. From the Dead Sea our next short hike takes us around the restored Dana Village in the Dana Biosphere Reserve, Jordan's largest nature reserve. A visit to the Crusader Castle at Shobak then follows before we explore Jordan's main highlight, the amazing lost city of Petra. We have time for a guided tour here, as well as free time to hike up to the Monastery and High Place of Sacrifice for some amazing views. Finally we head to the beautiful desert scenery of Wadi Rum where we'll spend the night in a comfortable Bedouin camp against the towering cliffs. The next morning we take a jeep safari through the sand dunes and past amazing rock bridges before spending some time with a local Bedouin shepherd, learning about their nomadic way of life and how they look after their animals in the desert. After a tasty lunch in the desert, we head back north to Amman for a final evening in a coffee shop, perhaps enjoying a sheesha and game of backgammon while looking back over our time in this amazing country.
This tour connects well with our Egypt and Israel tours, and can also be run privately at any time if our group departures don't work for you or you would like to customise the itinerary a little, perhaps adding on some time by the Red Sea in Aqaba.
After arriving at Queen Alia International Airport just outside Amman, one of our staff members will be there to meet and greet you before transferring you to your hotel in Amman. You have the rest of the day free to relax in your hotel or to start exploring Amman.
Extra day in Amman - pre-tour
Single room supplement (JOSGJE18)
Your first full day of our Jordan tour starts after breakfast, as we make our way to Jordan's famous 'desert castles', before we head out on a city tour of its capital - Amman.
Jordan's desert castles are located on the old trade routes created during the Umayyad era and still house some of its ancient remnants including frescoes, bath houses and wells - giving us great insight into how they were built during the 7th and 8th centuries. We'll explore the desert castles of Qasr al-Kharrana, Qal'at al-Azraq and Qseirr Amra before we head back to Amman for lunch at a local eatery, with falafel and hummus on the menu.
After lunch, we'll explore downtown Amman on foot, visiting the impressive Amphitheatre, the Jordan Folklore Museum as well as the Citadel. We'll also visit some of Amman's busy markets, tasting Knafeh - a tasty sweet - while our guide teaches us some basic Arabic greetings and phrases to use during our Jordan tour.
If there's time left, we may visit a few traditional handcraft and art galleries, before we return to our hotel in Amman.
Leaving Amman this morning, we head north to the ancient city of Jerash - known for being one of the largest and well-preserved Greco-Roman cities outside of Europe. Once we arrive in Jerash, we'll visit the Forum, explore its Roman colonnaded streets, the Nymphaeum and the Temple of Artemis - built on one of the highest points in the city.
From Jerash, we'll make our way to Aljoun Castle, built by the Ayyubids in the 12th century and extended by the Mamluks in the 13th. It also served as the base for Saladin's Arab forces when he defeated the Crusaders in the 12th century. The countryside of the Ajloun Forest Reserve around the castle is picturesque and green and a popular place for avid hikers, with its hills, mountains and forests just waiting to be explored.
After a visit to Aljoun Castle, we head to the village of Rasoun to meet our homestay hosts for the night. After settling in and being shown through the village, we'll walk through hills covered with scrub and forest to see some Bronze Age Dolmens - which are megalithic tombs formed by placing a huge stone slab atop two or more standing stones.
We'll return to our homestay in Rasoun this evening, where we'll be treated to a home-cooked traditional Arabic meal which will be prepared by our host Jordanian family, and we spend the evening chatting with them about life in Jordan.
After a splendid night with the Jordanian family, we say goodbye after a shared breakfast and head south to Madaba, where we'll marvel at the Byzantine mosaics and the 'Madaba Map' - which is the oldest preserved map of the Holy Land. From Madaba, we'll make our way to Mount Nebo, the place where the prophet Moses looked across the Promised Land and is also his burial place. On a clear day, which is most of the time, you get great views towards Jericho and beyond from here.
After a tasty lunch, we'll make our way down to our resort right on the banks of the Dead Sea, where you have some free time to swim - or rather float - in its incredibly salty waters and to relax by the hotel pool. Don't forget a newspaper or magazine for your iconic Dead Sea photo!
Dead Sea Spa Resort
Today, we'll make our way down the Dead Sea coastline, passing lots of deep canyons and gorges as they meet the sea. After we pass some salt flats at the southern end of the Dead Sea we head up through the mountains towards Petra, stopping for a short walk in the beautiful scenery and hills of the Dana Biosphere Reserve along the way. This is Jordan's largest nature reserve, and there are great views of the valleys and hills on the various trails around the restored Dana village. Spring is a particularly lovely time to visit with the terrain surprisingly green and full of flowers. We'll stop for lunch and take a walk before continuing to the imposing crusader castle at Shobak, finally arriving at Petra in the evening.
You have the option for a spectacular and atmospheric introduction to Petra tonight, with the Petra by Night tour. Here you walk through the Siq to the Treasury, the whole way being atmospherically lit up by hundreds of candles.
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
After breakfast in the camp, we take a jeep safari through the sands and beneath the towering 'jebels' of Wadi Rum, stopping to climb sand dunes and to see some of the strange rock formations, including a spectacular rock bridge.
We'll also do some local activities inspired from the Bedouin traditions, walking with a local shepherd with his sheep and goats to a Bedouin tent where we'll participate in making lunch.
We can also join in and learn about other traditional Bedouin activities such as shearing the sheep & goats' hair, milking, grinding grains, making bread and roasting coffee until our lunch is ready. Finally, after really getting a feel for nomadic Bedouin life, we return by jeep to our camp and then drive north on the Desert Highway back to Amman. If you would like to add a few days to your tour and spend some time by the Red Sea, then an extension to Aqaba is available after you finish in Wadi Rum.
This evening we'll walk out to a coffee shop or cafe near our hotel in Downtown Amman to enjoy a shisha, a game of backgammon and to reminisce on our Jordan tour.
Your time is free in Amman today until we pick you up from your hotel and transfer you to the airport for your departure. Further sightseeing tours are available today if you have a late afternoon or evening flight, including a trip to the Baptism Site at Bethany on the Jordan River. This tour also connects well with several of our Egypt and Israel tours; please contact us for ideas and help with connections.
Extra day in Amman - post-tour
Regular small-group departures run throughout the year and the tour can also be booked privately on any other date and customised to fit your personal requirements.
The hotels and accommodations listed below are the ones we most often 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.
Al Qasr Metropole
Located in the Shmeisani area of Amman, the Al Qasr Metropole is often regarded as one of the best 4-star hotels in the city.
The hotel offers guests comfortable and well-appointed rooms which feature flat-screen TV's, en-suite facilities, free WiFi and some rooms also feature a balcony with city views. In addition to spacious, modern rooms, the hotel has a choice of 4-restaurants to choose from and a cocktail bar.
This is a friendly local homestay in Rasoun village near Ajloun Castle. Accommodation is in shared rooms holding up to 4 people. Bathrooms are separate and shared. Overall you can expect a simple but comfortable and very welcoming experience.
This is a friendly local homestay in Rasoun village, near to Ajloun Castle and the RSCN's Ajloun Forest Reserve. Accommodation is in shared rooms holding up to 4 people. There are a number of homes in the village that will accommodate guests, so depending on our final group size we may split across several houses. We will all eat together in one house with the hosts. All beds and bedding are provided. Bathrooms are separate and shared but quite basic. Overall you can expect a simple but comfortable, and very welcoming experience with good food and interesting insights into local village life in rural Jordan. The RSCN's Soap House is also nearby and worth a visit. Here local women use a variety of local natural ingredients, including lavender, geranium, mint and pomegranate, to create high-quality handmade natural olive oil soaps.
Petra Elite Hotel
Located in Wadi Musa, just 1.2km from Petra, the Petra Elite Hotel offers guests comfortable 4-star accommodation.
The 4-star Petra Elite hotel offers rooms featuring private bathroom, safety deposit box, TV and many rooms offer city views of Wadi Musa. The hotel also features an onsite restaurant, bar and indoor swimming pool.
Dead Sea Spa Resort
The Dead Sea Spa hotel is a comfortable resort style hotel located on the banks of the Red Sea. Access to the Dead Sea itself is directly from the hotel, with spa treatments and Dead Sea mud to lather yourselves with before swimming also available.
The Dead Sea Spa hotel is a comfortable resort style hotel located on the banks of the Red Sea, around 1 hour's drive from Amman and Amman airport. There are several pools, and the hotel has great direct access into the Dead Sea itself, with the famous Dead Sea mud available on the beach to lather yourself with before swimming (if you wish!). Various treatments are also available in the hotel spa. Meals are generally buffet style with a good selection of different options including several vegetarian options. There are more luxurious 5-star resorts on the Dead Sea, but we feel the Dead Sea Spa hotel provides an very good mid-range option, ideal for short stays.
This Wadi Rum desert camp has a fantastic location on the desert sands against the cliffs in the Wadi Rum Protected Area. Accommodation is in permanent goat hair tents with proper beds and all bedding provided. The food is generally excellent.
This Wadi Rum desert camp has a fantastic location and setting on the desert sands right up against the cliffs within the Wadi Rum Protected Area. We like it for its spectacular and remote location well away from the main road, and for the excellent food and friendly welcome the Bedouin hosts always provide.
Accommodation is in permanent traditional goat hair tents with proper beds and all bedding provided. We book the standard tents with shared bathrooms, though some en-suite tents are also available and subject to availability you can upgrade to these locally if you wish. 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.
WiFi is available throughout the camp. Meals are traditionally cooked, with a delicious underground 'BBQ' prepared nearly every night. Alcohol is not available.
Sunrise and sunset camel rides are available to book locally (around US$30).
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.
The hotels used on this tour are rated at the Jordanian 3 and 4-star level. Local star ratings may vary from international standards but we ensure we use some of the best hotels available at the level stated. We have also aimed to use hotels in Amman that have a better location than most, with a range of cafes and restaurants within easy walking distance. Accommodation is based on twin or double en-suite rooms with air conditioning. All couples will have a private double room.
A friendly local homestay is included for one night in Rasoun village. Accommodation is in shared rooms holding up to 4 people. There are a number of homes in the village that will accommodate guests, so depending on our final group size we may split across several houses. We will all eat together in one house with the hosts, who will also provide a tour of the village. All beds and bedding are provided. Bathrooms are separate and shared but quite basic. Overall you can expect a simple but comfortable, and very welcoming experience with good food and interesting insights into local village life in rural Jordan.
In Wadi Rum we use a Bedouin camp located inside the Wadi Rum Protected Area. Accommodation is in permanent traditional goat hair tents with proper beds and all bedding provided. Bathrooms are separate, though some en-suite tents are also available and subject to availability you can upgrade to these locally if you wish. 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.
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 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 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 will provide detailed instructions of where to meet us in the airport, along with international and local emergency contact numbers, when we send you your final tour confirmation voucher about 2 weeks before departure.
On some of our group tours we do offer an optional upgrade to a higher level of hotels. If some people in the group take this upgrade, this will mean that there may be two pick-ups and drop-offs each day. We do endeavour to ensure that all hotels used are close to each other and to streamline and time arrangements to limit any extra driving time as much as possible.
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.
Nearly all our Jordan tours start and finish at Amman airport (AMM). Private and tailor-made tours may also start or finish in Aqaba (AQJ).
We do also sometimes advertise flight inclusive packages from selected airports. Where these are shown on our website, prices are correct at the time of quoting, but are subject to continued availability of the fare used. Prices will be reconfirmed at the time of booking, and we will also provide the flight times and airline details before tickets are issued.
Flight inclusive prices are based on the cheapest Economy ticket class available which is generally non-refundable and non-changeable unless the flight is cancelled for reasons such as Covid-19, in which case the airlines are more flexible. More flexible ticket options, as well as Premium Economy and Business Class tickets are available on request for an additional supplement. Any changes made to flight inclusive bookings will be subject to the airline rules on your ticket.
We are committed to being a small group operator, as we feel this gives everyone in the group the best chance to get to know their fellow travellers and to hear and make the most of their guide. So, on our small group tours we won't ever put you in a full size coach packed with other people and just one guide. Having a smaller group size also allows us to stay in more interesting accommodation, like the homestay in Rasoun, and to include some activities and experiences that just wouldn't be possible with large numbers.
This tour has a minimum group size of 2, and maximum of 14.
To accompany you on the tour we provide an English speaking local tour leader/driver and specialist guides in Jerash, Amman and Petra. Groups of 6 or more will have both a driver and a professional guide throughout the trip.
At Encounters Travel we only use local Jordanian guides and reps. We feel this gives you the best experience of the country and the sites you are seeing.
This tour includes several walks or short hikes and while you do not need to be super fit by any means, you should bring suitable footwear.
In the Ajloun Forest Reserve we will hike through scrubland and forest for several hours in the afternoon. The guide will vary the route and duration of the walk based on how everyone is feeling and the current weather.
In Dana Nature Reserve we take a walk around the village and depending on the weather may also spend an hour or two walking through the surrounding countryside. Trails are generally always dry and rocky.
In Petra, you will be doing a lot of walking to explore the site. The minimum distance you'll walk, from the entrance to the Siq, through the Siq to the Treasury, through the site to the Theatre and Byzantime church, and then back out again, is around 8km. If you would like to hike up to the Monastery, or High Place of Sacrifice, you should expect to add another 2 or 3km, much of it up or down. You can take everything at your own pace, but do be prepared for a long day. Again comfortable walking shoes and a daypack are required.
The tour price does not include entrance fees to the sites visited on the tour.
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
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 as entrance fees are not charged in Jordan for children under 12. Our Jordan Family tour prices include your entrance fees and we will also arrange a free visa for you on your 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.
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.
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)
Luggage: Suitcases, rucksacks or fabric holdalls are all fine to bring with you to Jordan. 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 in Jordan 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.
We run regular small-group departures on this tour throughout the year. All departures are guaranteed to run with a minimum of 2 travellers and maximum of 14. Departure dates and prices are listed on our website (please check for up-to-date prices and special offers).
The tour can also be run privately on any other dates for a small supplement, with the itinerary then being customisable to fit your personal requirements and budget.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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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.
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.
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.