Your browser does not support the HTML5 video element.
Indulge the senses on this Middle Eastern adventure through ancient spice trading routes and rolling landscapes. Just as vibrant as its Palestinian and Lebanese neighbours, Jordanian cuisine is a delight for the senses. Expect to encounter famous Middle Eastern dishes and flavours, as well as some unique to this magnificent country, such as Mansaf and Zarb, washed down with local wines and traditional Arak. Along the way, uncover Jordan's historic treasures, sleeping on the dunes of Wadi Rum, uncovering the tombs and temples of fabled Petra, and finally floating in the Dead Sea.
Explore Tour Leader
Trip maximum 16 Explore Average 11
Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.
Our tour of Jordan starts in Amman, one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world. Home to almost half of Jordan's entire population, Amman is a fascinating city of contrasts, where the ancient and the modern collide. Get lost in the bustling souks of downtown, where you'll be tempted by falafel and baklawa stalls, or visit Shawarma Reem on Jabal Amman Second Circle for the best street snack in town (arguably the best in Jordan) - there might be a queue out the door, but it's worth the wait!
There are no activities planned for today, so you're free to arrive in Amman at any time. If you'd like an airport transfer, you'll need to arrive at Queen Alia International Airport (AMM), a 30-minute drive from our hotel.
Due to most flights arriving late in the evening, our Explore Leader will meet you for a welcome meeting the next morning. You'll find the meeting information on the notice board in the hotel reception.
This morning, we'll travel north to Ajloun where we'll take a walk in the olive groves of the local villages. We'll make a stop at a Soap House and learn how olive oil soap is made by hand using herbs. Next, we'll visit the Biscuit House to see how local sweet treats are made - this might be Knafeh, Halva or Baklava. Sweet foods play an important part in Jordanian culture, particularly in celebrations such as Eid. We'll have the opportunity to taste test some alongside a glass of mint tea.
For lunch, we'll visit a rest house where local women cook up traditional dishes like Makmoura - meat roasted in a pot and served with bread and olive oil. If it's harvest season (usually between mid-October and mid-November), we'll help out with harvesting olives before sitting down to eat.
After lunch in the local rest house, we'll meet with the local Christian community who prepare wine to learn how local wine is produced. Wine production dates back to the Nabateans and recent excavations of Petra have unearthed 82 wine presses. It's also said that the wine Jesus was served at the Last Supper came from this region. Afterwards, we'll have the chance to sample the end product.
Finally, we'll head back to Amman, arriving in time for a tour of the souk, where our Explore Leader will introduce us to the different herbs, spices and preserves for sale.
This morning, we'll leave Amman behind and head south along the King's Highway to the Dana Nature Reserve, around two and a half hours away. Here, we'll be met by a ranger who'll lead us on a two-hour walk along the reserve, showing us the local fauna and native herbs found along the way. Afterwards, we'll stop for lunch at an association set up to train locals in hospitality and encourage sustainable tourism.
This afternoon, we'll visit Shobak castle, the first in a series of Crusader castles built in Jordan. Then, we'll continue along the King's Highway - the route once used by the treasure-laden caravans of Solomon - to the ancient city of Petra. A UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the seven wonders of the world, the ancient 'rose city' is Jordan's most valuable treasure.
We should arrive in plenty of time to experience Petra by Night. Follow the candlelit Siq trail and watch how the light plays against the high canyon rocks, blanketed by stars, before coming upon the Treasury, lit up by night. Settle into the sands in front of the ancient temple and listen to a welcome speech from the Bedouin community that still calls the city home.
Today we'll begin exploring Petra. This ancient city, carved into pink sandstone cliffs, has to be seen to be believed, but poet John Burgon beautifully described it as 'A rose-red city half as old as time'.
Our Explore Leader will guide us on a tour through Petra's highlights before a free afternoon to wander at our own pace. As you enter the site, you're led down a kilometre-long chasm (known as the Siq) where the towering canyon walls reach up to 200 metres high. At the end of the Siq sits the beating heart of the city, the Treasury - miraculously well-preserved, the façade stands at 43-metres-high. Beyond the Treasury, the ancient city becomes a sprawl of tombs and temples waiting to be explored. The Bedouin community who still live within Petra sell their wares and offer refreshments along the colonnaded streets. As the day goes on, you'll notice the façades change colour with the light as the early morning and late afternoon sun brings out red, pink, and orange highlights in the rocks.
After an action-packed day, we'll refuel with a traditional Bedouin dinner. We'll visit a nearby restaurant and learn how to make Makloubah, an upside-down dish of meat, rice, and vegetables, followed by Um Ali, a creamy Arabic dessert.
Leaving Petra behind, today we'll embrace the nomadic lifestyle of the Bedouin and head into the dunes of Wadi Rum. We'll leave our bus behind for an exhilarating drive along the sands in 4WD vehicles, leading us through untouched parts of Wadi Rum to our camp.
Described by T.E. Lawrence as 'vast, echoing and God-like…', Wadi Rum occupies 74,000 acres with its monolithic outcrops of granite rock and sandstone rising out of the blankets of sand. The Bedouins learned to live within this hostile environment 3000 years ago, adapting to the elements to perfect their nomadic way of life.
Once we've watched the sun go down, setting the dunes aglow with fiery red and orange light, we'll head back to camp to experience Bedouin hospitality. We'll be served a traditional Zarb, a BBQ of chicken or goat meat (vegetarian options will be available) cooked under the desert sand served alongside a selection of mezze.
Our spacious camp features private, ensuite tents - each one is fully furnished with beds and bedding and is set up with solar-powered electricity. There's also a central fire pit shared by all visitors that's perfect to gather around for a spot of stargazing.
We'll start our morning with a Bedouin coffee demonstration to set us up for our journey Aqaba. Our local guide will show us how this sweet, treacle-textured coffee is made.
Once we arrive in Aqaba, we'll have free time to relax by the Red Sea. Our tour leader will also be on hand to arrange an optional snorkelling trip if you wish. If you don't have your sea legs, there are a number of beaches to choose from, or you can spend your afternoon in one of the local cafes.
This evening, we'll enjoy a seafood dinner in the Old Town of Aqaba, sampling freshly caught fish, either grilled or fried, served with a selection of hot and cold Jordanian mezze (vegetarian options are available).
This morning, we'll depart Aqaba and travel for around four and a half hours to the Dead Sea.
This unique body of water is the lowest point on the earth's surface. With a salt content of 33%, it's almost impossible to sink and we'll take a dip to experience the mysterious floating sensation. While we're there, you can cover yourself in the water's rejuvenating mud, famous for its healing properties. After your dip, feel free to unwind by the pool or at the bar - there are shower facilities to freshen up in, too.
Finally, we'll drive on to Amman to spend our last night in the bustling capital. To mark the end of our trip, we'll visit a heritage restaurant for a traditional dinner of Mansaf. Typically served at celebrations, this dish is made of lamb cooked in a sauce of fermented yogurt and served with rice and Bedouin bread. We'll toast to our trip with the local, aniseed-based liqueur, Arak.
Our tour of Jordan ends at our hotel in Amman.
There are no activities planned today, so you're free to depart at any time. If your flight is departing later in the day, luggage storage facilities are available at our hotel. If you'd like an airport transfer, you need to depart from Queen Alia International Airport (AMM).
During April to November days are generally sunny and hot without rain with temperatures around 32°C. In spring and autumn evenings can be cool and night temperatures can drop suddenly especially in the desert. Expect cold nights in winter (December to February) when temperatures can drop to around 0 degrees. Some rain should also be expected at this time of year.
2 Pin Round
Petra - Petra by night JD17.00 pp Aqaba - Snorkelling on coral reef including lunch and snorkelling kit JD35.00 pp; Snorkelling from Boat (snorkelling equipment included) JD35.00 pp; Berenice Private Beach club - entrance fee JD10.00 pp.
Lightweight clothing is essential in mid- summer, with a sun-hat and neck protection, though a sweater and light jacket are advisable for Wadi Rum. Early mornings throughout the year can be very cold in the desert and winters (Nov-Mar) in Jordan can be cold, so please bring suitable warm clothing. We recommend a waterproof and windproof jacket, fleece, hat and gloves for winter. Women are advised not to wear shorts or dresses that are too revealing as this can attract unwelcome attention in the streets of Muslim towns - loose fitting trousers or slacks are ideal. Women should also cover their head and shoulders when entering a mosque and men should wear long trousers.
We recommend taking lightweight walking/hiking boots with good ankle support, plus trainers or sandals for relaxing and travelling in.
One main piece and a daypack. Remember, you are expected to carry your own luggage - so don't overload yourself.
A high factor suncream and good quality sunglasses are essential. Walking poles may be useful for steps and the walks around Petra. A personal water bottle and small torch are useful.
Jordanian hospitality is second to none and we choose our hotels to reflect that. However, due to the recent rise in tourism, many hotels are experiencing high demand and can become full very quickly. This can unfortunately lead to lower levels of service and quality. While we try our best to make sure our chosen accommodation is available to us, it is subject to change. In Amman, we'll stay in a centrally located hotel with pool facilities. It's worth noting that Amman isn't very pedestrian friendly, but our hotel is just a short taxi ride away from the Citadel area and Rainbow Street, where you can find cafes and restaurants. In Petra, our hotel is right by entrance of the archaeological site. While in Wadi Rum, we stay at a luxury Bedouin-style camp. Our private tents are fully furnished with beds and bedding and have en-suite facilities. Tents are also set up with solar-powered electricity. Please note, swimming pools may have seasonal opening hours, and some operate separate timetables for men and women. Refer to your final document for your departure's confirmed hotel list.
Jordanian cuisine is influenced by North African, Persian, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern flavours. The main meals generally consist of rice, yogurt, lamb, olives, and a range of herbs and spices including oregano, cardamom, cloves, cumin, ginger, cinnamon and sumac. Sweet baked pastries like baklava are also very popular in Jordan. At most restaurants in Jordan, you are likely to find a large number of mezze dishes. This style of eating is popular in Jordan and consists of hot appetizers and cold appetizers which are shared across the table. Most meals have a meat element as the hero. We are not able to provide vegetarian options for all meals, particularly those outside of the main towns. We recommend that you look through the trip notes to see what's included, and judge whether this is the right trip for you.
Can you drink the water?
The water quality is poor and therefore it is recommended to avoid drinking tap water during your trip.
We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK citizens, check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice.
Please refer to our COVID-19 entry requirements page for any country-specific conditions of entry. Whilst we strive to update this on a regular basis we recommend you also check the FCDO website for the latest advice on entry requirements in this fast-evolving situation. Information can change at any time.
Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.
Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. However, please note that if you voluntarily make any changes to your booking including changing your trip or departure date, any additional costs or charges incurred will not be covered. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions
Jordan: Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the time you arrive. All visa fees are waivered for tourists of British, American, Australian, New Zealand and Canadian nationalities on arrival at an international Jordanian airport. There are however, certain conditions that each tourist of these nationalities must meet in order to gain the free visa. Most of these are already met by Explore trips; however flight information, passport details and arrival date into Jordan all have an effect on qualifying for the free visa. Please see below for the category that is applicable to your flight arrangements: The following information relates to the above nationalities travelling on flights to Jordan arranged by Explore arriving on the first day of the tour: In order to qualify for the free visa, the above nationalities must advise their passport details at least 16 days prior to your departure date to Explore and must be met by a representative who will assist with the visa process, this is already arranged by Explore as part of the transfer arrangements from the airport to the start of the tour. The following information relates to the above nationalities with Land Only arrangements arriving on the first day of the tour: In order to qualify for the free visa, these tourists must advise their passport details at least 16 days prior to your departure date to Explore and must be met by a representative who will assist with the visa process. Land Only customers of the above nationalities arranging their own flights to arrive in Jordan on the first day of the tour must advise their full flight details to Explore at least 16 days prior to your departure date. We will then arrange for the representative to meet you as part of the transfer arrangements from the airport to the start of the tour. The following information relates to the above nationalities arriving in Jordan prior or after the first day of the tour: In order to qualify for the free visa, tourists of the above nationalities must advise their passport details at least 16 days prior to your departure date to Explore and must be met by a representative who will assist with the visa process. To qualify for the free visa, you must contact Explore at least 16 days prior to your departure date to arrange and purchase a private transfer. We will then arrange for the representative to meet you as part of the transfer arrangements. Please Note: For all tourists of the above nationalities that do not advise their passport details and for all above nationalities that arrange their own travel arrangements and do not advise their flight details to Explore within the above specified timelines, the Jordanian visa fee of JD40.00 (approximately £45) will be applicable. This must be paid on arrival at an international Jordanian airport in order for individuals to gain a visa to enter the country. All other nationalities should consult the relevant consulate to determine if they are applicable for the above free visa on arrival or must gain a visa prior to departure.
If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may be able to apply through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.
Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.
Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information.
You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.
Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.
The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.
Free transfers are not available for Polar customers.
If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.
For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here
It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.
Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.
You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.
We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.
On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.
An ability to swim is essential for your safe enjoyment of the water based activities on this trip. If you wish to participate in these activities then we insist that you are able to swim.
Nothing compulsory, but we recommend protection against typhoid, tetanus infectious hepatitis and polio. Consult your travel clinic for latest advice on different prophylaxis available against malaria. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.