Delve into the rich layers of Jordan’s history, from the grand colonnades of Rome to the castles of the crusaders
Marvel at the awe-inspiring stronghold of Petra, carved from rock by the Nabataeans more than 2000 years ago
Journey through the desert landscape of western Arabia, discovering the prehistoric rock engravings of Wadi Rum
“The tour was perfectly organised”
- ACE customer on the 2023 Jordan tour
From the remains of the Stone Age to the magnificence of the Ottomans, Jordan has long felt the tide of history. Today, the country is home to a spectacular array of archaeological sites offering tantalising glimpses into some of the world’s most iconic cultures: Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome, Parthia, the Byzantines, the Umayyads, Abbasids, crusaders and Ayyubids have all left their mark.
Our journey begins in Amman, from where we make an excursion to the superb Hellenistic and Roman city of Jerash. This ancient site was created at the end of the 4th century BC by the Greco-Roman confederation as one of the ten cities of the Decapolis. Built to integrate Hellenic and local populations, it is one of Rome’s grandest imperial outposts and boasts an oval forum, magnificent theatres, colonnaded Roman streets and the beautifully restored Precinct of Artemis.
Dotted throughout the steppe-like terrain of eastern Jordan is a string of fortified palaces, towers and caravanserais. These desert castles, eloquent examples of early Islamic art and architecture, include Qasr Amra, its interior adorned with lively frescoes and colourful mosaics, and the oasis and fortress of Azraq, where Lawrence of Arabia quartered during the Great Arab Revolt.
Petra, the imposing stronghold carved out of rock by the Nabataeans more than 2000 years ago, is a true marvel. On our visit to the ‘rose-red’ city we will journey through the towering Siq ravine and admire the stunning vista of soaring temples, dramatic halls and lofty altars hand-chiselled into the sandstone cliffs. Highlights include Al Khazneh (the Treasury), the rock-cut theatre, the Great Temple and the Nabataean temple of Qasr al-Bint. Petra’s northern suburb of Siq al-Barid, often referred to as ‘Little Petra’, holds a further gathering of well-preserved Nabataean tombs, and nearby the prehistoric site of Al-Beidha holds great significance for understanding the beginnings of the Neolithic period in Western Asia and the birth of European civilisation.
Our journey south takes us into the Valley of the Moon (Wadi Rum Protected Area), a remarkable example of desert scenery, and part of the Hizma basin of western Arabia. Here we will take a ‘safari’ through the magnificent desert landscapes to see the wealth of prehistoric rock engravings and the 1st century Nabataean temple in Wadi Rum village.
We end our tour with a visit to the biblical city of Madaba, the centre of a Byzantine mosaic school in the 6th century, and home to the famous floor map of the Holy Land and Jerusalem. Meanwhile, at nearby Mount Nebo, site of the mosaic museum and Sanctuary of Moses, we will enjoy unrivalled panoramas of the Dead Sea and the River Jordan.
Our visits will be supplemented by informative talks from Tour Director Nick Jackson.
In Amman we will stay at the Grand Hotel Hyatt Hotel, before transferring to the Mövenpick Resort at the very entrance to Petra. On the shores of the Dead Sea we will stay at the Mövenpick Resort & Spa Dead Sea.
Tour Director Nick Jackson graduated from the Institute of Archaeology at University College London, and proceeded to a career as a field director excavating the ancient history of the Eastern Mediterranean. After a research post at the University of Cambridge, he began work as a guide lecturer in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel and Oman, and has continued leading tours to the present day. Nick’s years spent exploring the Eastern Mediterranean provided a unique window into this important area’s past and present.
Places are limited.
Please contact the office
for more details on 01223 841055.
Included: return airfare, group visa, accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, ten breakfasts, nine lunches, nine dinners with water, excursions & admissions, gratuities & all taxes.
Not Included: travel insurance, double room for single use supplement £995.