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$875 (p/p)

Jordan Express Tour

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Jordan Express OVERVIEW

TOUR SUMMARY

6 days

Amman to Amman

From

$875 (p/p)

Country(ies): Jordan

Tour type: Small Group

Group size: Min: 2 | Max: 18

Accommodation: 3-star hotels and Bedouin camp

Meals:

Transport: A/C minibus/coach, Bedouin jeeps

Highlights: Bustling Amman, Roman ruins at Jerash, Roman mosaics at Madaba, views over Israel from Mt. Nebo, scenic Kings Highway drive, Kerak crusader castle, Full day in Petra, Wadi Rum jeep safari & Bedouin camp, Dead Sea swim

This great value Jordan tour covers all the major sites including Amman, Jerash, Petra, the Dead Sea, includes a jeep safari and Bedouin camp in Wadi Rum and is the perfect introduction to the beautiful country of Jordan.

Starting in the bustling capital of Amman we tour the Downtown area including the Citadel and 6,000 seat Roman Theatre before taking and afternoon tour out to the extensive and well preserved Roman remains at Jerash. We then head south along the scenic King Highway towards Petra, visiting Madaba, Mount Nebo, and the spectacular crusader castle at Kerak en route as well as driving up and down some majestic Wadis (deep valleys).

Next is a full day to explore the wonderful "Rose Red City" of Petra. You'll start with a walk through the narrow, winding Siq and then wonder at the majesty of the mighty Treasury, built more than 2,000 years ago. You have a morning guided tour of the site and then plenty of time to explore further yourselves. Continuing south we spend a memorable night in a Bedouin camp amidst the desert sands and huge cliffs and rocky outcrops of Wadi Rum, famous for its links with the British Army officer Lawrence of Arabia. After a 4x4 jeep safari through the spectacular desert scenery we have another scenic drive, this time heading north along the banks of the Dead Sea. We'll stop for a swim, or float in its incredibly salty waters - an experience you'll never forget - before returning to Amman.
Accommodation is in comfortable 3-star hotels in Amman and Petra, plus the Bedouin camp where beds and all bedding are provided. A hotel upgrade option is available to the local 4/5-star level if you would like a more luxurious stay.

Private tour option

If our scheduled departure dates don't work for you, or you would prefer not to travel with a group, then we can also run this tour privately for you. Please contact us for more information and prices.

ITINERARY

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Day 1:   Arrive in Amman. Hotel transfers included

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.

OVERNIGHT:

Amman hotel

MEALS:

None

EXTRAS:

Single room supplement (JOSHJS)
Extra day in Amman - pre-tour
Superior hotel upgrade (JOSHJS)
As-Salt and Bethany tour


Day 2:   Exploring Jerash and Amman

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.

OVERNIGHT:

Amman hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

None


Day 3:   King's Highway to Petra with stops at Madaba & Kerak Castle

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.

OVERNIGHT:

Petra hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:


Day 4:   Full day exploration of Petra, camping underneath the stars in Wadi Rum

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.

OVERNIGHT:

Wadi Rum Bedouin camp

MEALS:

Breakfast, Dinner

EXTRAS:


Day 5:   A Jeep safari in Wadi Rum & Dead Sea Swim

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. 

We finish the day back at our hotel in Amman.

OVERNIGHT:

Amman hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

Amman evening food tasting tour


Day 6:   Free time in Amman. Airport transfer included

You have the day free to catch up on some last-minute sightseeing or shopping in Amman before your departure flight. Alternatively, you may wish to take one of several optional day trips. These include a full day tour to the Baptism site at Bethany and Ajloun Castle, a trip to Pella and Umm Qai or a tour of the 'Desert Castles'.

We can also arrange a transfer to Tel Aviv either by flight or overland for people wanting to connect this tour with one of our Israel tours. Finally, we can also fly you to Cairo to join one of our Egypt tours. Please ask us for full details and we'll be delighted to help plan an extension to your tour.

OVERNIGHT:

N/A

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

Extra day in Amman - post-tour
Desert Castles and Nature Reserves tour


Expand all Close all

Included:
  • Accommodation for 4 nights in 3-star hotels (upgrades are available)
  • One night in a comfortable Bedouin camp in Wadi Rum
  • All transport and transfers in AC vehicles
  • 4x4 Bedouin jeep safari in Wadi Rum
  • Entrance to Dead Sea beach with towel & showers
  • 24-hour airport arrival & departure transfer service
  • Services of a specialist tour guide for all sightseeing tours
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary (5 breakfasts, 1 dinner)

Excluded:
  • International flights (available on request)
  • Travel insurance (compulsory, available from Encounters Travel)
  • Jordan visa & site entrance fees (see notes on the Jordan Pass - 70JD)
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Drinks, snacks, tips and other personal expenses (e.g. laundry)
  • Any other items not mentioned above
Notes:

Note - Previous tour name
From the start of 2022, the name of this tour has changed from 'Jordan on a Shoestring' to 'Jordan Express'. This reflects the reduction in the maximum group size to 18, and the improvement of some of the accommodation, making this now one of our small-group tours. 

Similar tours:
The following tours also run alongside this trip, with slight adjustments to the itinerary:

  • Best of Jordan - adds a day trip to the Baptism Site at Bethany and a visit to the town of As Salt to make a 7 day tour 
  • A Week in Jordan - adds two days, one to Bethany and As Salt, and a second to see Jordan's famous Desert Castles to make an 8 day tour
  • Jordan & Egypt Explorer - adds Bethany and As Salt to the start, and then 9 days exploring Egypt at the end of the tour
  • Jordan & Egypt Express - starts with the same first 6 days, but then adds 8 days exploring Egypt at the end of the tour
  • Petra & Dubai - starts with the same itinerary in Jordan, but then adds 4 nights in Dubai to the end of the trip, making 10 days in total

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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.

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Dates and Prices

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.

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3rd of Oct 2022

8th of Oct 2022

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18th of Feb 2023

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8th of Apr 2023

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15th of Apr 2023

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6th of May 2023

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8th of May 2023

13th of May 2023

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20th of May 2023

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22nd of May 2023

27th of May 2023

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5th of Jun 2023

10th of Jun 2023

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24th of Jun 2023

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8th of Jul 2023

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19th of Aug 2023

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28th of Oct 2023

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11th of Nov 2023

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9th of Dec 2023

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28th of Dec 2023

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Accomodation

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.

Guest House Amman

Guest House Amman

Amman

Local rating

Our rating

 Guest House Amman Guest House Amman

The Amman Guest House is a comfortable 3-star hotel located in central Amman. The property has a good selection of restaurants, cafes and shops just a short walk from the hotel. There are 30 en-suite rooms, all of which feature modern amenities such as Free WiFi, flat screen TVs, bathrooms with rainfall showers and a safety deposit box. The hotel also has an onsite restaurant/coffee shop.

 

The Amman Guest House is a comfortable 3-star hotel located in central Amman. The property has a good selection of restaurants, cafes and shops just a short walk from the hotel. There are 30 en-suite rooms, all of which feature modern amenities such as Free WiFi, flat screen TVs, bathrooms with rainfall showers and a safety deposit box. The hotel also has an onsite restaurant/coffee shop.

 

Amra Palace Hotel

Amra Palace Hotel

Petra

Local rating

Our rating

 Amra Palace Hotel Amra Palace Hotel

Located in Petra next to the Wadi Musa Souk, this hotel offers panoramic views of the Petra Mountains. It has a spa with indoor heated pool surrounded by loungers. The Hotel is within a walking distance from the Petra Gate.

All rooms at the Amra Palace International Hotel are decorated in warm colours. They offer flat-screen TVs with satellite channels, a minibar and a private bathroom with a hairdryer.

Guests of the Amra Palace can enjoy a relaxing massage at the spa. Guests can enjoy a drink and admire the sunset on the terrace overlooking the hotel's garden.

Each morning a breakfast buffet is served in Hotel Amra’s dining room. In the evening, the à la carte restaurant serves a wide variety of Arabic and international cuisine. In the summertime, the hotel offers an outdoor Bedouin Restaurant, which serves a traditional barbecue.

Located in Petra next to the Wadi Musa Souk, this hotel offers panoramic views of the Petra Mountains. It has a spa with indoor heated pool surrounded by loungers. The Hotel is within a walking distance from the Petra Gate.

All rooms at the Amra Palace International Hotel are decorated in warm colours. They offer flat-screen TVs with satellite channels, a minibar and a private bathroom with a hairdryer.

Guests of the Amra Palace can enjoy a relaxing massage at the spa. Guests can enjoy a drink and admire the sunset on the terrace overlooking the hotel's garden.

Each morning a breakfast buffet is served in Hotel Amra’s dining room. In the evening, the à la carte restaurant serves a wide variety of Arabic and international cuisine. In the summertime, the hotel offers an outdoor Bedouin Restaurant, which serves a traditional barbecue.

Rahayeb Camp

Rahayeb Camp

Wadi Rum

Local rating

Our rating

 Rahayeb Camp Rahayeb Camp

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).

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).

Options

Our tours are designed to include all that you need to enjoy a really special time in the destination you‘re 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.

Single room supplement (JOSHJS)

From $140*

Single room supplement (JOSHJS)

Min numbers: 1 *Based on 1 person/s


This tour is based on twin-share accommodation, with single bookers paired up with another traveller of the same sex in the group. If the final group make-up means that no room share is available, you do not need to pay this supplement. However, if you would like to guarantee yourself a single room throughout the tour, then please add this option to your booking.

Note: Single supplement prices may vary seasonally.

Extra day in Amman - pre-tour

From $45*

Extra day in Amman - pre-tour

Min numbers: 1 *Based on 2 person/s


This option adds an extra day to the start of your tour, staying in the same hotel as the main tour itself (subject to availability). Your airport arrival transfer is still included. Prices shown are per person and based on two people sharing.

Note: Single room and peak season supplements apply.

Extra day in Amman - post-tour

From $45*

Extra day in Amman - post-tour

Min numbers: 1 *Based on 2 person/s


This option adds an extra day to the end of your tour, staying in the same hotel as the main tour itself (subject to availability). Your airport departure transfer is still included. Prices shown are per person and based on two people sharing.

Note: Single room and peak season supplements apply.

Superior hotel upgrade (JOSHJS)

From $290*

Superior hotel upgrade (JOSHJS)

Min numbers: 1 *Based on 2 person/s


This option upgrades all your hotels on the tour from the local Jordan 3-star level to 5-star. At the Bedouin camp in Wadi Rum you stay in en-suite tents instead of those with shared facilities.

The specific hotels used may vary on different dates but include the Landmark and Le Grand in Amman, and the Old Village or Hyatt Zaman Resort in Petra. The Petra hotels can be considered a good 4-star level despite their official 5-star rating.

Prices are based on 2 people sharing a twin/double room. Single room supplements apply - please check the website reservation form or contact us for prices to match your preferred dates.

Amman evening food tasting tour

From $65*

Amman evening food tasting tour

Min numbers: 1 *Based on 2 person/s


This evening tour of Amman provides a great taste of traditional Jordanian food. We take a walk down Rainbow Street and through Downtown Amman, checking out the various local restaurants and street food available. Your guide will give you plenty of explanations of what is on offer, and what are the local favourites.

During the tour we'll try several different dishes, starting with a snack of either Manakish (with its various toppings of egg, white cheese or za'atar) or a classic falafel sandwich. Then in Downtown Amman we'll try a main meal, perhaps the Jordanian national dish of Mansaf, slow cooked lamb with rice and yoghurt sauce. Finally we'll try one of the cities famous desserts like Knafeh from one the popular local sweet shops. Three dishes are included in the price of the tour, plus transfers to and from your hotel and your guide, but you'll need to pay for your own drinks.

Meat dishes will be substitued with vegetarian options on request. 

Note. This option is available on any evening while you are in Amman. The tour can also be booked and paid for locally. If you are a solo traveller we recommend waiting until you are in Amman to book this, as the pricing is based on a minimum of two travellers. If you are two or more and know you want to do it, we recommend booking in advance so that we can have the guide and transport arrangements planned for you well in advance. 

As-Salt and Bethany tour

From $125*

As-Salt and Bethany tour

Min numbers: 1 *Based on 2 person/s


Our first visit today is to the hilltop town of As-Salt, around 40 minutes drive from Amman. As-Salt was an important trading link between the Jordan Valley and Eastern Desert, and once the capital of Amman. The town developed its old Islamic architecture using yellow limestone, which was the finest at the time and many impressive buildings can still be seen today, as well as tiny narrow streets packed with shops and stalls. Today the town provides an example of religious and cultural friendship between the local Muslim and Christian population and we take a walking tour on its self-designed 'Harmony Trail' to learn more about the town and local life in Jordan. We'll also take lunch with a local family for a first taste of Jordan's delicious cuisine (if groups are over 10 people or no families have availability that day we will eat in a local restaurant instead).

After lunch we descend out of the hills to the Baptism Site at Bethany. This is a relatively recently excavated site believed to be the biblical 'Bethany-beyond-the-Jordan' where John baptised Jesus Christ. Several churches, caves and pools dating from Roman and Byzantine periods have been discovered here. Both Pope John Paul II, and Pope Benedict XVI have visited. An electric minibus takes you from the visitor centre to the three sites: Tell Mar Elias, the Baptism Pools and John the Baptist's Church. After a busy day, we'll return to our hotel in Amman where we'll spend the night.

This tour runs on Day 1 of the tour, so an extra night needs to be added in the hotel in Amman before the tour starts. A supplement will apply if there is only one person on the tour.

Desert Castles and Nature Reserves tour

From $125*

Desert Castles and Nature Reserves tour

Min numbers: 1 *Based on 2 person/s


After breakfast we leave Amman and head east to visit several of Jordan's Desert Castles - a fantastic reminder of its early Islamic art and architecture. These 'castles' were located on the old trade routes created during the Umayyad era and are more a combination of forts, bath houses and palaces than true castles. You can still see some mosaics, frescoes, carvings and illustrations on show, moulded by Persian and Graeco-Roman traditions, giving an insight into life during the 8th century. We'll explore the desert castles of Qasr al-Kharrana, Qal'at al-Azraq and Qseirr Amra and also visit two important nature reserves run by the Jordanian Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN). The Aqraq Wetland Reserve is a uniquely precious oasis located in the heart of Jordan’s eastern desert, between a limestone desert in the west and a basalt desert in the east. The reserve features lush marshland, and glittering pools and streams that are a haven for migratory birds on the African-Eurasian flyway. The Shaumari Wildlife Reserve was initially created as a breeding and reintroduction centre for globally threatened and locally extinct wildlife, particularly the Arabian Oryx. These efforts continue and now a wide variety of rare animals make their home in the reserve, including Ostriches Struthio camelus, Goitered Gazelles, and Persian Onagers. Also found in the area are red foxes, wolves, striped hyenas, Caracals and wild cats, while bird sightings can include Imperial Eagles, Pallid Harriers and Egyptian vultures. There is a good visitor centre on site and guided safaris may be available into the reserve before we return to Amman depending on the time we have available and the reserve's current arrangements. For your last evening, why not head into Downtown Amman for a final taste of Jordanian food, perhaps giving Jordan's national dish of Mansaf a go, or the classic falafel and hummus, with a taste of Knafeh, a popular sweet desert to finish.

This optional tour runs on the last day of the main tour and will normally require an extra night in the hotel in Amman is added tour, unless you have a late evening/night departure. A supplement will apply if there is only one person on the tour.

 

Tour Notes

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.

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  1. Accommodation

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. 

Please check the Single Room Supplement option for details on room sharing options and charges for solo travellers on this tour.


  2. Transport

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.


  3. Transfers

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.


  4. Entrance fees & Jordan Pass

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). It also allows us to speed up our entry to each site as if everyone has the Jordan Pass we won't need to queue for tickets. 

A handful of sites that we visit on our tours are not covered by the Jordan Pass (eg. Mt. Nebo, St. George's Church at Madaba, and the Shawmuri & Azraq Reserves), so to keep things simple for you while you are in Jordan, where these are visited in our itineraries, the entry fees are included in your tour price. If you visit any other sites not covered by the Jordan Pass during your free time or on additional tours you arrange while in Jordan, you will need to pay the entrance fee at the site. 

The cost for the Jordan Wanderer Pass which is suitable for all our tours which visit Petra on one day is JD70 (approx. US$99). You should also check if your tour visits the Baptism Site at Bethany and if it does, add on the supplement for this site (an extra JD8, discounted from the JD12 payable at the site). 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

If you do not obtain the Jordan Pass before arriving in Jordan, you will need to pay the entry fees when you arrive at each site and also pay JD40 for your Jordan visa when you enter the country (or arrange your visa in advance). 

More information about the Jordan Pass


  5. Group Size/Tour Leaders/Guides

As one of our Small-Group tours, maximum group sizes are restricted to 18 people, while the tour is guaranteed to depart with a minimum of just 2.
A professional licensed guide accompanies all groups of 5 or more throughout the whole tour. For groups of 2-4, 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.


  6. International Flights

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. 


  7. Passports and Visas - Jordan

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.


  8. Money - Jordan

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.


  9. Tipping

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)


  10. Health and Vaccinations

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.

More information is available here: Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon

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.


  11. What to take

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.


  12. Time

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.


  13. Voltage

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.


  14. Dates & Prices

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).


  15. Booking & Payment

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.


  16. Travel Insurance

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.

Covid-19
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


  17. Financial Security

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.


  18. Responsible Tourism

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.

  • Don't prejudge: Things in different countries will almost certainly be different. That doesn't make them worse or inferior, just different.
  • Communicate: Don't expect locals to speak your language. Take the trouble to learn a few words or phrases of the local language. Don't worry about sounding silly. Most locals are patient and accommodating and appreciate you making the effort to communicate in their language.
  • Conserve energy: Be careful not to waste valuable resources. Use local resources sparingly. Switch off lights, air-conditioning and fans when you leave the hotel room and don't waste water. Remove superfluous packaging. Many countries have far less efficient waste disposal systems than ours. Remove packaging from newly acquired items before leaving home.
  • Don't litter: No matter how untidy or dirty the country you're travelling in may look to you, avoid littering, as there is no need to add to the environment's stress. Many of the countries we visit have a tough challenge dealing with rubbish and waste. Please consider taking home as much plastic waste as you can (e.g. water bottles).
  • Choose environmentally friendly products: By using environmentally friendly (bio degradable) sun creams, shampoos and detergents you can help reduce pollution.
  • Respect local customs and traditions: As you are a guest in these countries, you should also comply with the local customs. If you are friendly and well mannered, the locals will reciprocate and it will only enhance your experience. It's important to follow dress and behaviour guidelines especially when visiting religious or sacred sites (your tour leader will advise you how best to do this).
  • If a client commits an illegal act the client may be excluded from the tour and Encounters Travel shall cease to have responsibility to/for them. No refund will be given for any unused services.

All porters are employed and equipped following guidelines set by the International Porter Protection Group (IPPG).


  19. Follow Us Online

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.facebook.com/encounterstravel
www.twitter.com/encounterstravl (yes, without the 'e')


  20. Before you travel

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.

'Travel Aware' campaign

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