Be like Lawrence of Arabia, but with a different mode of transport, and discover the Kingdom of Jordan independently, on this new circular road trip that starts and finishes in Amman and covers the whole country. A car, accommodation and some guided tours are included in this unique holiday.
Journey south from Amman along the King's Highway to the Red Rose City of Petra - look out for a train of camels - with stops at the historical sites of Mt Nebo & and Madaba. The road trip continues further south to the other-worldly Wadi Rum, where at night, you could pretend you're on a different planet, before heading down to Jordans only seaside resort, Aqaba, the turnaround point of the trip.
Carry on north for a stay at the solar-powered Feynan Eco Lodge, where at night the rooms are lit by candlelight and float on the salty waters of the Dead Sea before heading back again to Amman with visits en-route of Jerash and Ajloun Castle.
This is not just any road trip, it's a fascinating journey through Jordan's stunning scenery, its rich ancient history, with unforgettable highlights and empty desert roads.
Fly to Amman, the capital of Jordan, arriving late in the evening. On arrival you will be met and transferred to your city centre hotel. Here you will also receive your Jordan Pass which includes a two-day entrance to Petra.
Accompanied by a local guide, visit downtown Amman on a half day tour. See the historical sites such as the Citadel home to the Roman Temple of Hercules and a small archaeological museum showcasing some of Jordan's most important finds. At the foot of Citadel Hill is the Roman Theatre built in the 2nd century alongside the forum, once the city's marketplace. In the afternoon, when you’re on your own, visit the Royal Automobile Museum before escaping the hustle and bustle of the city to the more tranquil Rainbow Street with its cafes and a great place to try some homemade falafel. (B)
The rental car will be delivered to the hotel. Negotiating the traffic can be tricky, but only needs to be conquered twice, on the way out of Amman and on the return. Drive down the King's Highway, a 5000-year-old route used for centuries by traders, pilgrims and armies and visit Mount Nebo where according to the Bible, Moses saw the Promised Land. On a clear day you have fantastic views of Jordan, Israel, and the West Bank.
In nearby Madaba, visit the Greek Orthodox Church famous for its 6th-century mosaic map of the Holy Land. Continue the journey and have a refreshing stop in the cool waters of the Wadi Al Mujib Gorge. Just off the King's Highway, visit Kerak Castle, one of the largest and well-preserved Crusader Castles in the Middle East, the last stop before arriving in Petra. (B) (225Km)
Please note your Jordan Pass doesn’t include Mt Nebo and Madaba.
One of the many highlights of the road trip will be today when you spend a whole day in Petra with a local guide. From the entrance the short walk through the Siq (narrow gorge) is already quite an experience, until all of a sudden, you’re standing right in front of the magnificent Treasury (Al-Khazneh). A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985 and voted one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. It was the built by the Nabateans, ancient southern Arab people, in 312 BC, making it one of the oldest cities in the world.
This ancient Red Rose City with its carved palaces, temples, tombs, storage rooms, and stables from the soft stone cliffs, still has plenty of undiscovered structures buried beneath it. In the afternoon climb up to the High Place of Sacrifice (al-Madhbah) or the Monastery (Ad Deir). (B)
You may want to return to the Treasury again in the evening to experience it by candlelight, creating an other-worldly magical experience. Optional and only on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Visit Petra one more time on your own, before you drive further south to the rugged desert of Wadi Rum, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, and famed for its incredible landscape of gorges, high cliffs, arches, and lots of sand. Leave the car at the visitor’s centre where a 4x4 vehicle will take you to your camp in the middle of the desert. On the way you pass the iconic Seven Pillars of Wisdom a big rock formation, named after TE Lawrence’s book.
The Hollywood blockbuster the Martian was filmed in Wadi Rum and your accommodation for the night will make you feel as if you’re on Mars. Don’t even try to count the stars at night – there are millions. (B,D) (225Km)
After breakfast a Bedouin driver will take you on a Jeep tour to explore other parts of the moon-like desert. Rest assured, you haven't woken up on Mars, or anywhere else in the galaxy. Head down to Aqaba, sadly already the turning point of the road trip, and Jordan’s only seaside resort on the Red Sea. You may want to jump in the shower to get rid of all that red sand (it will stay with you for some time), choose from a variety of water sports, or opt for a relaxing afternoon by the pool.
Don't forget to check out the Aqaba Flagpole in Aqaba, which for quite some time held the record of being the tallest-free standing flagpole in the world. Nowadays it's the 6th tallest free–standing and 7th tallest flagpole in the world.(B) (65Km)
Heading north again, continue the road trip to your next stay deep in the mountains of the Dana Biosphere Reserve, where upon arrival a local Bedouin will pick you up and take you the Eco Lodge. You could either join a sunset hike before dinner (shared tour) or spend some time exploring the area around the lodge.
After dinner (a selection of vegetarian dishes and homemade food), retreat to the rooftop terrace where you can stretch out on comfortable mattresses and watch a display of millions of twinkling stars and planets with the occasional shooting stars. There is a powerful 10-inch Mead telescope to get incredible views of Saturn’s ring, or Jupiter’s moons. A Feynan Lodge guide will be there to answer any questions. (B,D) (165Km)
Please note that these activities are subject to weather conditions.
After breakfast, join one of the shared activities organised by the lodge, before you head off to the Dead Sea, which lies in the Jordan Rift Valley, with the river Jordan its main tributary. It can also be accessed from the West bank and Israel, and is considered to be one of the saltiest bodies of water in the world. It’s no wonder you can float effortlessly. The rest of the day is free at leisure to relax or explore the surrounding area. (B) (164Km)
On the last day of this road trip, drive north of Amman with stopovers at Jerash and Ajloun Castle. The city of Jerash is one of the best-preserved examples of Roman civilisation, part of the Decapolis (the ten big Roman cities of the East) it has been called the Pompeii of the East for its unique state of preservation. Here you can walk freely along the colonnaded streets, theaters, churches, and temples (Zeus and Artemis), or seek the shade and rest in the magnificent Nymphaeum or impressive Amphitheatre.
The Saracen Castle at Ajloun is your final visit on this road trip. A 12th century castle built by Saladin in his successful campaign to drive the Crusaders from Jordan in 1189. it's yet another outstanding example of Arab/Islamic military architecture.
In the late afternoon, return to Amman, where the rental car will be collected from the hotel. (B) (150Km)
After a leisurely breakfast, it’s time for your departure to the airport. Fly back to the UK. (B)
* Please call us on 020 7666 1245 for full details and conditions of car hire