3 days with Intrepid Travel Rating:
Day 1: Amman/Dead Sea/Petra
Ahlan Wa Sahlan! Welcome to Jordan.
Your Petra Uncovered Short Break starts at 10am this morning. You will be picked up from the Amman Pasha Hotel, or from your alternate hotel (if advised prior to departure) before departing for Mt Nebo (approx 1.5 hours).
After enjoying the magnificent mosaics of Mt Nebo and the amazing views ( which, on a clear day, extend all the way to Israel) we travel to the Dead Sea (approx 30 minutes).
The Dead Sea is 67 kilometres long and 18 kilometres wide at its widest point. It lies in the Jordan Rift Valley with Israel on its west bank.
A Dead Sea float is a must for any trip to Jordan. Here at the lowest point on Earth (420 metres below sea level) the water is seven times saltier than a normal ocean at 30% salinity. The Dead Sea is the second saltiest body of water in the world after Lake Asal in Djibouti. When swimming this means you are extremely buoyant and seem to float on top of the water rather than in it.
The mud here is supposed to have healing properties and many visitors like to cover themselves from head to toe for a beauty mud bath. Stop at a private beach with pools and a gentle slope to the water. Towels are available for hire. Don't forget to pack your swimwear for today.
After a hearty buffet lunch we continue on to the mountains of Petra where we spend the night. (Lunch)
Day 2: Petra
Hewn out of the rose-coloured rock face, the ancient Nabataean city of Petra is one of the Middle East's most spectacular destinations, and one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.
The site remained unknown to the Western world until 1812, when it was discovered by Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, a Swiss explorer. It was once described as 'a rose-red city half as old as time' in a sonnet by John William Burgon and UNESCO has described it as 'one of the most precious cultural properties of man's cultural heritage.' In 1985, Petra was designated a World Heritage site. So you know you are in for an amazing experience here.
It's difficult to determine exactly when the history of Petra began. Evidence suggests the Horites, probably cave-dwellers, inhabited the area, lending their traditional habits such as burying the dead and offering worship in half-excavated caves to the next wave of inhabitants - the Nabataeans.
Evidence of the earliest Nabataean settlement is also sketchy. Some of the characteristics of the site appear partly Egyptian and partly Greek in style. Strangely, few inscriptions have been found at Petra making dating the civilization a real challenge for historians. We do know the Nabataean settlement doesn't go back farther than the 6th century BC.
In 106 AD, Petra was absorbed into the Roman Empire and the native dynasty came to an end but continued to flourish for a century after. Eventually the building of tombs ended and trade moved away from Petra, which fell into steady decline over the centuries. Over time many of the tombs' treasures were stolen by treasure hunters and their glory and whereabouts are unknown.
According to Arab tradition, Petra is the location where Moses struck a rock with his staff and water came forth.
You will be met by your local guide who will accompany you today (3-4 hours) through the site of Petra. We recommend you start early to avoid the crowds and the heat, and to best appreciate the changing light on the colourful rocks of the Siq (main entrance to the ancient city).
The day starts with a mesmerising walk through the narrow Siq to the fabulous Treasury. After admiring this iconic view continue through the site along the Roman road passing several impressive tombs and the city's amphitheatre. If you are feeling energetic you can take the 800 steps up to the Monastery.
Please note that the site of Petra is huge and it takes at least a full day of walking to fully appreciate all of its attractions. Please also note that when entering Petra a complimentary horse ride is included in the ticket price from the entrance point of Petra down to the Siq. Intrepid recommends passengers do not take this option due to the safety and insurance liability involved
The evening is free to enjoy dinner in one of the many restaurants in the village. (Breakfast)
Day 3: Petra/Amman
Today your Petra pass remains valid and you are free to explore more of the ancient city.
You must check out of your hotel by 10.00am. You can store luggage at reception.
At 4:00pm today you will arrive back to the Amman Pasha Hotel in Amman after a transfer of around 5 hours. Alternatively, if you would prefer to be dropped off at a different hotel in Amman or at the airport, please speak to your leader and we can arrange this free of charge.
If you require a airport departure transfer after this time, this can be pre-arranged with your booking agent.
Accommodation is not included tonight. If you would like to book additional post-trip accommodation please speak to your agent at time of booking. If you would like to return to Amman earlier for a flight departure please also mention this at time of booking. (Breakfast)
All This Included
Travel to Jordan and visit the rose-hued fortress city of Petra, which was the capital of the ancient Nabataeans - a mysterious people who carved a trading empire from the desert in what is now modern Jordan. Take time to explore the extraordinary beauty of Petra's rock-hewn architecture and to discover its history. There's also time to float in the legendary Dead Sea and see Jerusalem shimmering in the distance from mosaic-adorned Mt Nebo. This short break amid ancient wonders is the perfect way to cap off a voyage to the Middle East
Hotel (2 nights)
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