Jordan adventure holiday
Description of Jordan adventure holiday
Whilst the popular perception of Jordan may be of a desert state it is far more varied than that boasting forests and canyons, ancient cities and the Dead and Red Seas alongside stunning desert landscapes. This private, tailor-made tour visits the remote national parks of the country spending time in the bird-rich Azraq Wetland Reserve along with the crusader castles and forests of Ajloun. Explore the impressively well-preserved Roman ruins in Jerash and walk in the Dana Nature Reserve – from a guesthouse built into the cliffs through the reserve to the candle-lit eco-lodge of Feynan. Wander down the Siq into the magical city of Petra and spend a night under the star-filled skies of Wadi Rum, as well as covering yourself in mud and floating in the remarkable Dead Sea.
|Day 1:||Fly to Amman. Land and transfer to the hotel.|
|Day 2:||Depart the city and drive towards the Azraq Wetlands Reserve. En-route stop to visit the impressive desert castles including the bath-house of Qusayr Amra and Qasr al-Kharanah. End the day in Azraq and enjoy a guided tour of the wetlands in search of the local birdlife. Spend the night in the quirky Azraq Lodge, a converted 1940's British military field hospital which sits at the edge of the Eastern Desert. Enjoy dinner and overnight. (B,D)|
|Day 3:||This morning enjoy free time to explore the wetlands further if you wish. Depart Azraq and drive towards the Ajloun Forest Reserve. En-route stop to visit the impressive hilltop crusader castle at Ajloun which offers panoramic views down to the Jordan valley. Continue to Ajloun and spend the night in the Ajloun Cabins which sit in a large grassy clearing and offer beautiful views of the reserve. Dinner and overnight in the reserve. (B,D)|
|Day 4:||Embark on a walk along the Alyoun Trail, which is one of the quietest and most scenic parts of the Jordan highlands. Pass olive groves and limestone cliffs and discover early Bronze Age dolmens and a Roman wine press. Visit the Calligraphy House to learn to write your name in Arabic script and the Soap House to see the making of handmade olive oil soap. Enjoy lunch with a local family and end the day back at the cabins for dinner and overnight. (B,L,D)|
|Day 5:||Today drive from Ajloun to the fabulous site of Jerash which is one of the best-preserved Roman cities in the Middle East. Join a local guide on a stroll through this epic site to visit the Oval Plaza, the South Theatre and the Temple of Zeus. Continue the drive to Dana Nature Reserve ending the day at the Dana Guesthouse which sits atop the edge of Wad Dana and offers breathtaking views of the reserve below. Dinner and overnight at the guesthouse. (B,D)|
|Day 6:||This morning commence the 5-7 hour walk through Wadi Dana towards Feynan Eco Lodge. Begin the walk at 1200 metres before descending and traversing the beautiful Dana Biosphere Reserve to Feynan which sits at 325m. Cross paths and exchange warm greetings with local Bedouin goat herds, they may ask you to join them for a cup of sweet tea. End this scenic hike at Feynan Eco Lodge which is regarded as one of the best eco-lodges in the world. Enjoy dinner by candle light and head to the roof to enjoy a spot of star gazing. A packed lunch is provided for the hike. (B,L,D)|
|Day 7:||Depart the reserve this morning in a 4WD provided by the local Bedouin community. Change vehicles and drive to Shobak Castle, another of the crusader castles to explore the battlements and secret passageways. Drive onwards to the desert landscape of Wadi Rum and jump in a 4WD for a driving adventure in the dunes. Take a camel ride at sunset before a night in a Wadi Rum camp. (B,D)|
|Day 8:||Awake to the peaceful silence of the Wadi Rum desert before driving to the magnificent rose red city of Petra. Meet your guide and enter the site by winding your way through the siq which ends at the Treasury. Explore the key areas of the site before spending the night in Petra. Note: please ask for the supplement to include Petra by Night which operates on Mon, Wed & Thu only) (B)|
|Day 9:||Today provides another opportunity to explore Petra at your own pace. We recommend getting to the site early morning to avoid the bulk of the crowds and the heat of the day. Spend as long as you like in Petra, there are a few restaurants in the site to enjoy lunch at your own expense. Overnight Petra. (B)|
|Day 10:||This morning drive north to Wadi al Mujib which is located close to the Dead Sea. Enjoy a walk in Mujib Canyon before ending the day with time free to relax and enjoy a float in the Dead Sea. Overnight Mujib Cabins. (B,D)|
|Day 11:||Transfer to Amman airport for the flight back to the UK. (B)|
PlanetThis Jordan eco-adventure itinerary features many of the small, unique eco-properties of the country. Azraq Lodge is converted from a disused British Military Hospital and all the staff members are from local Bedouin, Chechen, and Druze communities. The kitchen and restaurant are under the management of a local family who provide home-cooked Chechen food.
The itinerary also stays in the award winning Feynan Eco Lodge located in Dana Nature Reserve. The lodge is not connected to the grid and is entirely solar-powered for lighting and heating. All water comes from a local spring and whatever heating is required at certain times of the year is provided by waste from olive pressing or olive pit charcoal which is burned in the two fireplaces at the lodge to provide heat. The lodge has composting facilities where uncooked food excess and waste are transformed into organic fertilizer. The lodge also recycles as much as possible and limits the amount of paper and plastic used on site. Recycling bins are also located in the lodge to encourage guests to support their recycling principles. Water is offered to guests in locally produced clay jars to eliminate the use of disposable plastic water bottles.
We are always talking to our local ground agents about the need to stress to clients the importance of basic responsible principles such as appropriate waste disposal, not to waste water, turning off lights on leaving the room in hotels, not replacing towels and bedding daily etc.
As a company we have introduced responsible practices in our UK office including paper, cardboard, aluminium and plastic recycling. We also support local UK charities including the RNIB and various charities around the world. 50% of our office staff use public transport (bus and train) and cycle to work. Management encourages this with their introduction of the cycle to work scheme which offers subsidised cycle ownership.
PeopleOn our Jordan holidays all services are provided by local Jordanian people which includes your local English-speaking driver, the local guides at various monuments/sites and hotel staff. All staff are paid a fair wage for Jordan and all wages are kept within the local communities thereby supporting local people. Furthermore, by visiting these hotels and sites additional income is brought into many remote regions which do not see the number of visitors that big sites such as Petra and the Dead Sea do. This further helps to develop the local area. Some meals are included on the itinerary and food is sourced locally whether it is served in the hotels or a locally owned and managed restaurant.
Feynan Eco Lodge employs all of its staff from the local communities surrounding the reserve, for example the local Bedouins provide the transfer out of the reserve for which they are paid by the lodge. Feynan purchases most of its food supplies from the nearby village and the bread served is supplied by a local Bedouin woman who bakes it from her family tent. All the candles that light the lodge at night and the leather furniture items around the lodge are purchased from the onsite leather and candle workshops.
The owners and operators of the lodges on this itinerary have also established 16 socioeconomic projects aimed at helping the local communities the lodges are located in. The workshops use the natural assets of protected areas to create sustainable economic and social benefits for the local communities. Many local Jordanian women benefit from these workshops by providing them with jobs and a way to alleviate poverty. Workshops include jewellery making in Dana Nature Reserve, candle making, a leather workshop, ostrich egg carving, the Soap House in Ajloun and the Biscuit House also in Ajloun. All these projects are accessible to visitors thus allowing visitors to learn a little about the skills required to make the items and to purchase them which helps add money to the community.
For every passenger travelling to Jordan our local agents donate 1 Jordanian Dinar to the King Hussein Cancer Foundation. During 2014 these contributions added up to 10,000 Jordanian Dinars and was used by the King Hussein Cancer Foundation to support the prevention and treatment of cancer in Jordan.