A Week In Jordan Trip NotesAt Imaginative Traveller we always aim to provide accurate information for our travellers. Unfortunately information such as the price of optional activities is occasionally subject to change, and this means that we are constantly revising our trip notes. In order to ensure that you have the most up to date information for your trip we suggest that you check the trip notes for your tour around one month before departure.
Trip code: EAXW
Trip length: 9
Trip starts in: Amman
Trip ends in: Amman
Maximum group size: 20
Minimum group size: 1
OverviewJordan is an ideal destination for a one-week adventure tour. Bursting with things to see and do this activity holiday includes the best of what this magnificent country has to offer, visiting all the major sites of interest. We will have two full days to explore the spectacular 'Rose-red city' of Petra and a guided visit around Jerash, one of the best preserved Roman cities in the Middle East. There is time to 'float' in the salty waters of the Dead Sea and snorkel (optional) over the beautiful coral reefs of the Red Sea. We will also explore the fabulous scenery in the desert at Wadi Rum, where we take a 4WD excursion into the more remote regions and camp out like the Bedouin.
This morning we drive north to Jerash, known as Gerasa in ancient times. This was one of the ten wealthy, self-governing cities of the Decapolis during Roman times, and was famous throughout the Roman world for the luxury of its lifestyle. Buried for centuries under blown sand, Jerash is the only city of the Decapolis to have survived to any extent, with a dramatic oval forum, colonnaded main streets which remarkably have the drains still intact, two theatres and the impressive temple of Zeus. After a good look around we head south to the Dead Sea in time for a 'float' in the saline waters. In the evening we return to Amman.
Today is a long driving day down the King's Highway which transports us up and down huge wadis. There are several stops of interest en route including Madaba, known as the city of the mosaics, Mt Nebo and Kerak, which is a magnificent fortified town. Further south we reach Jordan's premier historic site: Petra - one of the world's outstanding ancient cities.
Two full days to explore Petra, the 'Rose-red city, half as old as time'. Petra was hidden for centuries until the Swiss explorer Burckhardt made his great discovery in 1812. It was founded by the Nabateans, an Arab tribe that arrived here in the sixth century BC. Building at Petra began in the third century BC and continued through the Roman period, financed by taxes levied on the desert caravans. Two features of Petra are unique: firstly, it is a city made defensible by being built down a series of chasms, rather than on a hilltop. Secondly, it is built directly into the rock - beautiful red and yellow sandstone carved into the most impressive facades which glow in the brilliant sunlight. To enter Petra we must begin by walking down a narrow chasm, known as the Siq, surrounded by high cliffs on either side. Unveiled at the end of the Siq is El Khazneh, the Treasury. This is just the first breathtaking sight of a remarkable day. Continuing to the centre of the city, we pass the houses and tombs of the rich citizens and the remarkable scale of the site begins to unveil itself. A long walk beyond the centre is El Deir, the monastery, with its superb facade topped by a huge urn (the walk up is by a series of steps). There is so much to take in and explore and some of this can be done on horseback - your tour leader will be able to assist if required. (Please note that due to current Jordanian group regulations the journey down the Siq on horseback is part of the ticket price - it costs US$10 and is included in the tour price. It is possible to walk this section for those who would prefer but the cost of the ride is part of the entrance fee and therefore cannot be refunded.) On one of the days we take a walk to the High Places where few people visit. This can be quite arduous and is not recommended for those who are unsure of their fitness. However, those who do make it to the top are rewarded with wonderful views over parts of the site visited on the previous day.
This morning we join the modern Desert Highway and make our way to Wadi Rum, a huge stretch of beautiful sand and rock desert. This is where Lawrence of Arabia and Prince Faisal assembled the Arab tribes for the attack on Aqaba in the First World War and also where sections of the film of 'Lawrence' were shot. Night skies are spectacular here and we take a four-wheeled drive vehicle far into the desert for an exciting adventure. We camp here for the night after enjoying Bedouin hospitality and experience the desert at its best.
We wake amidst the dramatic desert scenery and then make our way on to Aqaba, Jordan's port and holiday resort, famous for beautiful coral reefs. We have free time to lounge on the beach, swim, or go snorkelling. Your leader will be able to advise you on which are the best private beaches to visit as the public beaches generally do not have as many facilities. There are several good restaurants in Aqaba for our evening meal together.
In the morning we travel back to Amman on the fast Desert Highway. In the afternoon you will be given a guided tour of Amman and then any additional time is free to explore the city or to just do some last minute shopping!
Meals & Accommodation8 breakfasts and 1 dinner included.
7 nights in 3-star hotels, 1 night camping.
Single room supplementA single room supplement is available. This does not guarantee a single room for all accommodation. Please contact us to discuss this as accommodation varies from trip date to trip date. Single supplement prices from:
Trip gradesSolo Departures Available
Leisurely / Moderate
Adult Group Holidays
TransportTravel by air-conditioned midi or minibus.
FitnessAlthough this is a cultural trip some days, such as the time spent in Petra, can be long and tiring. To walk up to the High Place of Sacrifice on days 4 or 5 you should have a reasonable level of fitness. Your leader will be able to offer you further advice about the walk. Whilst camping in Wadi Rum please be aware that although the campsite does have plumbed toilets and running water there are no showers and facilities are basic. Ramadan The holy month of Ramadan runs from 9th July to 7th August in 2013. During this time the opening hours to sites and museums may be affected by an hour or two. The leader will be aware of this and adapt your day to accommodate this. Purchasing snacks and meals during the day may also be affected slightly. It does need to be recognised that the energy levels of our local staff may be a bit lower during this period. Having said this, Ramadan is a unique time to visit a Muslim country - each evening the streets empty for an hour while everyone breaks their fast, and there's a feeling of festivity in the air every night.
About The Imaginative Traveller
Our aim has always been to provide exceptional travel experiences. We believe that adventure travel should be stimulating, and that it should give you an authentic experience of a place. We want our travellers to relish the amazing diversity of countries and cultures the world has to offer. Our focus is on innovation, not imitation.
Obsessed with quality
One of our strengths has been our obsession with quality. We've always believed that our commitment to you doesn't end as soon as you've paid for your holiday. On the contrary, it is just beginning. Whilst most operators simply get a local company to handle the day to day operation of their tours, we do it all ourselves. We have managers for each of our key destinations around the world and all our small groups are escorted by our own leaders. Our local teams include guides, drivers, administration staff and contacts in the local community who help us ensure that our adventures are active and involving.
Responsible Travel - Travellers' Guidelines
At Imaginative Traveller we love helping our clients experience the beauty and cultures of the destinations we visit. However, hand in hand with this we have always been aware that we have a responsibility to minimise any negative impacts that tourism can bring.
Responsible Travel is twofold. It’s about taking people to the places they want to go in a safe and responsible manner but also about respecting and maintaining the natural and often delicate balance of the destination. Economic gain from tourism is often fundamental to a country, but should never be at the expense of its culture or the environment.
- It is our aim to provide journeys that have minimal negative and maximum positive impact on the places we visit.
- We do not believe that, as visitors, we should impose our own cultures on others; rather that we should experience foreign cultures and appreciate them for what they are.
- Whilst it is our aim to show destinations and cultures in a positive light, we do not believe in papering over the cracks or shielding visitors from the realities of life. This does not mean, however, that we condone or endorse certain situations or regimes that may be in place.
Our guidelines are meant not as rigid instructions but rather as suggestions to make our holidays more enjoyable – for everybody. As cultural and environmental sensitivities vary from country to country more specific guidelines can be found in our individual country and trip dossiers.
Before you depart try to spend some time familiarising yourself with the destination you will be travelling to – their culture and customs. The country dossiers on our website offer detailed information about all the regions we visit. They also include some useful phrases in the local language for you to use on your trip! A few words of the local language can open up many more opportunities for you to interact with the people you will meet.
Although it is tempting to give out pens, sweets and money to people begging, and particularly tempting to give to children, we feel that this encourages a begging mentality and has a long-term negative impact on communities. If someone begging earns more than someone in the same community who works this can discourage local employment. If children regularly bring home money it may discourage their parents from sending them to school. It is of course your own personal choice but you could consider giving to registered charities or contributing to our Responsible Travel fund instead. Money donated through our fund to our worldwide projects is matched pound for pound by Imaginative Traveller and used to help local grassroots projects.
Always ask permission to photograph local people and respect their decision if they would prefer not to have their picture taken.
Respect local dress codes, especially at religious sites. Our tour leaders are always on hand to give you advice about this.
In many of the countries we visit you might see examples of animal cruelty (for example dancing bears, performing monkeys and snake charmers). Please do not take photographs of this or offer money as it encourages the activity.
Respect the environment you are in. It sounds obvious but do not throw litter, take it with you or use rubbish bins! You may see locals throwing rubbish on the street but do not follow their example!
When shopping in countries where haggling is the norm – enjoy it and only pay what you feel is a fair price for the goods you are purchasing. However, remember that the shopkeeper does have to make a living so do stop once you have reached a price you are happy with. Bargaining should be fun but always remember that a small amount can mean much more to the vendor than to you.
Endeavor to take home souvenirs made locally; the money you spend can be very important to the local communities. However, do use your common sense and don’t buy anything that you think might be made out of endangered animals or plants.
To help keep as much money as possible in the host country - try to eat in locally owned restaurants and order local drinks and produce rather than international brands.
In hotels do be conscious of how much water you are using. Many of the areas we visit regularly have shortages; try not to have hour long showers! Don’t leave lights, air conditioners or fans on when you leave the room – you wouldn’t at home!
Respect the environment you are in, especially when in national parks or reserves. Pay attention to rules about keeping on paths, keeping a distance from animals and not removing any of the natural habitat.
Relax and immerse yourself in the differences of the culture you are in – you’ll be back home in the familiar soon enough (and wishing you were still on holiday!). These cultural differences are part of what makes your experience special.
If you would like to offset the carbon dioxide that will be produced on your flights you can do this on our website (on our Responsible travel page). We work with climatecare, who will reduce the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide that you produce in another part of the World through their emission reduction projects. These projects are low carbon efficient technologies in developing countries and not only serve to reduce emissions but also help to spread the adoption of low carbon technologies and improve the quality of life for local communities. Details of climatecare’s projects can be found on their website.
If you would like to contribute to our Worldwide projects, helping communities all over the World, you can also do this on our website or with a sales consultant. Please refer to our responsible travel page on the website for details of our current projects. Any donation you make will be matched £ for £ by Imaginative Traveller (up to a maximum of £1000).
Have a great trip!
Please do let us know if you have any comments about responsible travel at firstname.lastname@example.org