Jordan holiday, highlights & hidden gems
Prices vary according to standard of accommodation & season & are per person based on 2 people sharing on bed & breakfast basis
Description of Jordan holiday, highlights & hidden gems
An engaging escorted tour of Jordan. You will take in all the rightfully famous sights from Amman to Wadi Rum and Petra to Madaba but you will also be heading off the well documented tourist trail to visit some of the more remote regions. Visit the Desert Castles, a series of isolated castles, secluded baths and hunting lodges scattered through the black basalt desert dating back to roughly 660-750 AD. Accommodation will be in the nearby Azraq Lodge, a converted 1940ís British military field hospital where you will also enjoy a night safari to see some of the local wildlife in the nearby Shaumari Reserve. You will also spend time in the Ajloun Forest Reserve which has some excellent hiking trails you can enjoy, with fantastic views of the reserve itself as well as the chance to visit Ajloun Castle, which is regarded as one of the best preserved and most complete examples of medieval Arab-Islamic military architecture.
You will also have the opportunity to float in the Dead Sea, and then head south along the Kingís Way visiting Mount Nebo, Madaba and Kerak, to the Dana Biosphere Reserve. Here you can explore the beautiful landscapes of the Jordan Rift Valley. We will arrange for you trek for a full day between 2 different sites in Dana, with accommodation in both, to really give you the chance to see all that the reserve has to offer. Spend a full day at Petra for a visit to the famous ancient city before continuing to Wadi Rum for an exciting desert tour. You will also have the opportunity to experience the real Jordan with accommodation in authentic Arabic hotels and guesthouses as well as staying in a traditional Bedouin camp.
This tour is with your own English-speaking driver guide and private vehicle. The knowledgeable guides will accompany you for the duration of your trip giving you an insight into the history and traditions of the country. This trip can be tailor-made to create a unique holiday for your individual requirements by travel experts with intimate knowledge of the destination.
Best time to go?
Jordan has a Mediterranean climate, pleasant for year-round travel. Summers (May to October) are hot and dry, with cool evenings, temperatures remaining at comfortable levels averaging 23 degrees. July and August are hot but not oppressive. Winters are cool to cold and wet. In November to April temperatures range from 16 to 22 degrees. Most rain falls between October and March, and snow can occur.
|Day 1:||Fly from the UK to Amman in Jordan. Take your private transfer from the airport to your hotel in Amman. Overnight.|
|Day 2:||This morning you will be met by your English speaking guide and driven to the Desert Castles for a full tour of these spectacular examples of early Islamic art. After your visit, transfer onwards to the Azraq Lodge, a quirky, converted British military field hospital dating back to the 1940ís. From here it's a short stroll to the Azraq Wetlands Reserve, where you can enjoy the easy looped hiking trail around the marshes. Return to the lodge for dinner and overnight. [B/D]|
|Day 3:||Today transfer onwards to your next hidden gem Ė the Ajloun Forest Reserve. Here we have left you the afternoon free to choose from a broad range of hiking trails for all abilities. Dinner and overnight in the cosy Ajloun Cabins. [B/D]|
|Day 4:||Today you will be collected and driven to visit the Castle at Ajloun, which dates back to 1184 AD. You will also visit the wonderful site of Jerash, one of the best preserved Roman provincial towns in the world. After your guided visit, transferr onwards to the Dead Sea for the afternoon at leisure to enjoy the unique experience of floating in the Dead Sea waters. [B/D]|
|Day 5:||Today is completely at leisure to relax and enjoy the Dead Sea experience or maybe partake of some of the excellent hiking trails in the region. [B/D]|
|Day 6:||This morning will be spent visiting the sites of Madaba, Mt Nebo and Kerak en-route to the Dana Biosphere Reserve. Here you will have the afternoon to relax before enjoying a sunset hike. Dinner and overnight at Dana Guesthouse. [B/D]|
|Day 7:||This morning you will start the hike from Dana Guesthouse to the Feynan Wilderness Lodge, a hike which offers a spectacular downhill walk through the sandstone gorge of Wadi Dana. Dinner and overnight Feynan Wilderness Lodge. [B/D]|
|Day 8:||Today you will have the opportunity to enjoy further hikes in the reserve before travelling to one of the highlights of Jordan Ė Petra. Here you have free time to visit Petra for sunset before also enjoying the fascinating Petra by Night experience. Overnight Taybet Zaman. [B]|
|Day 9:||Full day spent at Petra where you will have a private English-speaking guide for 3 hours to give you a tour of the ancient city and an insight into the Nabatean culture and history. The afternoon is free to explore the ruins Ė we suggest going back into the Petra site for sunset. This evening enjoy the experience of cooking local Jordanian cuisine alongside locals at Petra Kitchen. Overnight in Petra. [B/D]|
|Day 10:||Today venture in a 4x4 vehicle into the Wadi Rum Desert, the largest and most magnificent of Jordan's desert landscapes with sandstone mountains, matching the colour of knife-edged dunes. Overnight under the stars in a local Bedouin camp where dinner is included. [B/D]|
|Day 11:||This morning it is time to head to the beach for your final 3 nights relaxing on the beach at Aqaba [B].|
|Day 12-13:||Full days at leisure [B].|
|Day 14:||This morning your guide will collect you from your hotel and transfer you to Aqaba airport in time for your departure flight to the UK via Amman. [B]|
1 Reviews of Jordan holiday, highlights & hidden gems
Reviewed on 09 Oct 2023 by Cicely Olive
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
Visit to Petra.
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
Wear good footwear and be well prepared for the heat, Build in some free time for relaxation. Plan itinerary carefully to allow time for visits and avoid duplicating travel. Read up history in advance of visit.
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
Yes definitely. Local guides used. RSCN visits supported conservation. Used sustainable cups etc. Recycled plastic and avoided litter.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
Excellent. Good itinerary, guides, driver/guide and accommodation.
RSCN is a non-government organisation devoted to the protection and care of Jordanís wild plants, animals and natural landscapes. Wild Jordan is the part of RSCN responsible for socio-economic growth projects, including all ecotourism and handicraft enterprises that link the protection of nature with improving the livelihoods of local communities. Wild Jordan is helping to generate a substantial income to help fund biodiversity protection in the country and create jobs and revenue for local communities which provides alternatives to harmful land uses like grazing and hunting. All this is leading to tangible results which the local communities can see, encouraging the preservation of the nature reserves even further as an important source of tourist revenue.
Jordan's Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature is for the benefit of the local community, and is an important source of employment and education in the local region. This tour includes 5 of the protected Reserves, Azraq Wetlands Reserve, Ajloun Forest Reerve, Mujib Nature Reserve, Dana Biosphere Reserve and the Wadi Rum. The RSCN also operates a handicraft centre and locally produced goods as well as organically grown herbs and preserves are available in local shop.
Preserving the pristine wilderness, there are no hotels in Wadi Rum itself but many local Bedouins offer tourists an overnight stay in their tents in the middle of the desert. Relatively few of Jordan's Bedouin still follow the ways of their ancestors. Most have settled in cities and towns and are found in every walk of life. Yet low-slung black tents and pack camels have not vanished from the landscape, and many travellers find a shared meal or coffee with traditional desert Bedouin to be their most memorable experience. Naturalists will be drawn to the desert in springtime, when rains bring the greening of the hills and an explosion of hundreds of species of wild flowers. Red anemones, poppies and the striking Black Iris, Jordan's national flower, grow at will by the roadside and in more quiet reaches.
Stay in a genuine Bedouin camp in the desert, with traditional food, accommodation in tents and entertainment around a well lit bonfire. You can also hire a local Bedouin guide who will offer you either a 4WD vehicle, or for the more adventurous a camel ride, to explore the area.
This is a converted 1940ís British military field hospital, with the conversion funded by Jordanís Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature, It is located at the edge of the Eastern Desert, only a short distance from the Azraq and Shaumari nature reserves. All the staff members are from local Bedouin, Chechen, and Druze communities and the kitchen and restaurant are under the management of a local family, who provide home-cooked Chechen food.
Eco Resort, Petra
Located 10 kilometres from Petra, the village of Taybet has been converted to a 5 star resort with the support of the local community. The old village was almost deserted as the community had moved away during the 1960s, and in the early 1990s the mayor proposed turning the old village houses into a tourist resort, rebuilt and owned by the local community. The end result was a recycled village, owned, rebuilt, and run by the locals, keeping the community and its heritage alive and spurring growth. There is a Turkish bath and a restaurant serving traditional Arabic meals as well as a small market area which sells locally produced pottery and textiles to keep alive old crafts skills and bringing employment and money to revitalise the villagers.
The resort was restored with respect to authenticity of materials, environment, and regional style resulting in a preservation of culture, recycling of materials, offering a rustic and local Jordanian experience to its guests. Since its completion in 1994, the resort has won numerous awards, including the 1996 British Airways Tourism for Tomorrow Award and the 1997 Green Global Commendation Award.
The Wilderness Lodge, Dana
This lodge has been developed by Jordanís Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature and opened in the summer of 2005. It is set among the arid mountains of Wadi Feynan on the western border of Dana Nature Reserve.
The lodge, also known as the Wilderness Lodge, has been set up as a cool, atmospheric retreat for tourists wishing to explore this undiscovered and archaeologically rich area of Jordan. It is an interesting piece of architecture built entirely of local materials and designed by a local architect. The unique arabesque desert design uses traditional adobe methods and lends a romantic feel to this remote location. The RSCN have been keen to incorporate some eco-friendly technologies, which include solar power by day and candlelight at night. The staff are all from the local Bedouin community which makes it an important asset to this remote area.
The Petra Kitchen offers an evening of learning, fun and a very special dining experience allowing you to re-create some of the traditional Jordanian dishes for yourself, alongside some of the local women. Great care has been taken to make The Petra Kitchen a truly Jordanian experience - right down to the furnishings which are all crafted in Jordan, the tableware which is all produced by the Iraq al Amir Womenís Co-operative and the aprons and table linens which are all hand-embroidered by the Jordan River Foundation.
Above the Petra Kitchen there is also a small fair trade shop selling handicrafts made by local artisans which are of a very good quality and are often entirely unique items. A lot of these items are made by local women in their homes or by members of charitable organisations set up to support local women so buying items here helps these women but also helps inject money into the local economy.
As a company we have a policy of staying in locally owned accommodation wherever possible and our ground agents employ local guides using transport owned and operated by local people. Lunches are eaten in locally owned and managed restaurants thus supporting the community financially. This provides valuable employment to the region and keeps the money you spend in the country which helps to maintain and develop the infrastructure.