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Jordan - In the Footsteps of the Nabataeans

2.260,00

Places available:

For those who want an overview of the country, yet do not overlook any of the cultural and landscape aspects that make Jordan unique.

  • Destination: Jordan
  • Rate Description: Rate per person
  • Number of days: 7 nights - 8 days
  • Departure month: July 2024
  • Departure from: Main Italian airports
  • Arrival at: Main Italian airports
Category:

An unmissable trip to discover one of the most evocative and magical regions of the Middle East. Jordan is an oasis of security and tranquillity in this turbulent quadrant of the world, a place where Christianity and Islam coexist peacefully, where the pressures of modernity have merged in harmony with the traditions of a welcoming and hospitable people. We dedicate time to discovering the ancient cities of the Decapolis north of the capital Amman, we look for the ancient in Al-Maghtas, among the stones that witnessed the Baptism of Jesus, we try to recognise the places on the ancient map of Palestine in Madaba, and then we descend south, towards the crusader castles that tell stories of bloody battles. Then our eyes will rest amidst the swirls and soft architecture of Petra, to continue along the tracks of Wadi Rum, one of the most fascinating deserts in the world for its unforgettable landscapes and the history it holds. Here, under an immense sky of stars, we will be enchanted and awe-struck forever. At the end of the trip, a swim in the Dead Sea will make us float almost 'in weightlessness': a unique, enjoyable and rejuvenating sensation.


Day by day

DAY 1
ITALY - AMMAN
Departure by scheduled flight to Amman. Arrival and transfer to hotel.
Accommodation and overnight stay.
DAY 2
AMMAN - EXCURSION TO MOUNT NEBO AND MADABA
We take an orientation look at the city of Amman: the imposing Roman Theatre, the Odeon, the Citadel and the Acropolis, and then set off in the direction of Mount Nebo. From its summit, biblical tradition has it that Moses was allowed to see the Promised Land before he died. Here stand the remains of a three-nave basilica, erected in the 6th century over the alleged tomb of the Patriarch and now covered by a modern structure, inside of which are preserved magnificent mosaics; one of them depicts scenes of hunting and herding, with vivid detail. Even today, on a particularly clear day, the view sweeps from the Jordan Valley to the Dead Sea, the oasis of Jericho and even the domes of Jerusalem.
We continue on to Madaba, especially famous for its splendid mosaic floors from the Byzantine era that once adorned the many Christian churches there, as well as public buildings and private homes. Among other things, we can admire the famous mosaic depicting the map of Palestine, which includes the oldest known depiction of Jerusalem.
In the afternoon, before returning to Amman, we drive to the archaeological site of Al-Maghtas, the 'Bethany beyond the Jordan', about ten kilometres north of the Dead Sea. Included by Unesco in the World Heritage List, it is believed to be the place where Jesus received baptism from John the Baptist. Archaeological excavations have shown a habitation presence dating back over five thousand years, which continued uninterruptedly until the end of the 15th century, when it was finally abandoned.
Return to the hotel in Amman.
Full board including lunch in a local restaurant. 
DAY 3
AMMAN - EXCURSION TO JERASH AND UMM QAIS (GADARA)
In the morning we depart for Jerash, ancient Jerash, considered the Pompeii of the Middle East due to the extraordinary state of preservation of its remains. Founded in the 4th century B.C. on the site of an ancient prehistoric settlement, in Roman times Jerash was annexed to the province of Syria, joined the powerful League of Decapolis and was an important trading centre with the Nabateans at Petra. Among the ruins are the hippodrome, the two theatres, the imposing temple of Artemis (one of the most important in antiquity) and the temple consecrated to Zeus, the splendid honorary arch and the two tetrapyls, the monumental nymphaeum and the famous elliptical colonnaded forum, an absolute unicum in the territories of the Empire. The city's main thoroughfare, the cardo maximus, is also fascinating, featuring an uninterrupted, double row of columns; along the monumental street were lined shops, fountains and public places, as well as the well-preserved macellum, the city's food market. The Christian churches from the Byzantine era are also very interesting. In the early afternoon, after lunch, we leave for Umm Qais, the ancient Gadara. Once a rich metropolis and part of the Decapolis, the extensive archaeological site retains several valuable vestiges (colonnaded streets, temples, a nymphaeum), including the well-preserved theatre built of black basalt stone. At the end of the visit we return to Amman.
Full board including lunch in a local restaurant.
DAY 4
AMMAN - UMM ER-RASAS - EL KERAK - SHOBAK - PETRA
A very busy but extremely interesting day begins in terms of landscape and history. Today's first stop will be Umm er-Rasas: an archaeological jewel brought to light thanks above all to the work of Father Michele Piccirillo, who identified the 6th-century Church of Bishop Sergius and the Church of Saint Stephen, an architectural ensemble that developed from the 6th to the 8th-9th centuries, when the site was abandoned. Enchanting are the mosaics of these churches, for their compositional richness and technique of execution. Umm er-Rasas has been included in the UNESCO Heritage List.
The next stop will be El Kerak for a visit to the castle, one of the greatest examples of Crusader military architecture; here, among the mighty remains of walls, bastions and towers, the echoes of a bloody history can still be heard. Built from 1132 onwards at the behest of the Crusader King Baldwin I, in order to defend communications between Aqaba and Jerusalem from Arab attacks, the fortress was conquered in 1189 by Sultan Saldin, who had it enlarged. It was finally abandoned at the end of the 16th century.
In the afternoon, before arriving in Petra, we will allow ourselves a stop at the impressive Shobak Castle: isolated, imposing, the castle is very impressive. Less visited by travellers, who choose to stop mainly at El Kerak, the castle suffered a similar fate to that imposed on El Kerak: attacks by Saladin and subsequent destruction.
In the evening, we reach Petra. Arrival and accommodation in the hotel.
Full board including lunch in a local restaurant.Please note: The programme for this day may vary according to the period in which the trip is made, depending on the actual hours of daylight available to visit both castles.

 
DAY 5
PETRA  
We make our encounter with the legendary Petra, capital of the ancient kingdom of the Nabataeans. Descending the stony valley of the Bab el Siq, we follow the route of the city's main aqueduct: along the way we encounter the three tower tombs known as Djinn Cubes, the monumental Tomb of the Obelisks and the Triclinium below, then the mouth of the tunnel that constitutes one of the masterpieces of Nabataean hydraulic engineering. We now enter the narrow gorge known as the Siq, a couple of kilometres long and only a few metres wide, in the walls of which are carved votive shrines and groups of statues tested by time and weather. We finally arrive in the presence of the most famous Petrean monument, the superb Khasnè, or Treasure of the Pharaoh: an astonishing funerary temple carved entirely out of rock, whose façade is almost 40 metres high. It is undoubtedly one of the pinnacles of ancient architecture and one of the masterpieces of humanity. We then continue to the enormous rock theatre and the so-called Royal Tombs, where the gigantic façades of the Uneishu Tomb, the Corinthian Tomb, the Urn Tomb and the enigmatic Palace Tomb stand out.
We make a brief stop at the Blue Chapel and the Byzantine Basilica, adorned with elaborate mosaic floors. After a break for lunch, we begin the climb up the processional road carved into the rock, which, after passing by the Triclinium of the Lions, will lead us to the impressive ed-Deir, or Monastery, the most impressive monument in Petra. Carved entirely from the living rock, the funerary temple is 49 metres wide and 39 metres high; its pure lines anticipate Bernini's Roman Baroque by sixteen centuries and leave one astonished by their exquisite perfection. From one of the belvederes nearby, we enjoy a breathtaking view of the immense canyon of the Wadi Arabah. We finally return to the hotel.
Full board including lunch in a restaurant within the archaeological zone. 
DAY 6
PETRA - AL BARID - WADI RUM
We leave Petra in the direction of al-Barid, the 'Little Petra', a caravanserai in which caravans on their way to Petra could station and water their dromedaries. Several rock structures can be admired here, including a distil temple and the Painted Room, a room that preserves rare traces of wall frescoes.
We then proceed to the legendary desert of Wadi Rum, protagonist of the exploits of Lawrence of Arabia, who described this arcane place in evocative words: 'vast, echoing and god-like'.
High sandstone formations in contrasting shades rise from the sandy expanse, which, depending on the light, takes on hues ranging from pink to orange to red: the disconcerting sensation is that one is no longer on Earth, but on arid Mars. It is no coincidence that some successful science fiction films set on the Red Planet have been filmed in this harsh environment of alien beauty. In addition to the striking rock formations, which also include some natural arches, we will be able to observe rock graffiti that testify to the presence and passage of ancient peoples in this area.
In the afternoon, the 4×4 off-road desert excursion begins, culminating with an overnight stay in a tented camp in the heart of the desert.
Full board including traditional lunch in the desert. 
DAY 7
WADI RUM - DEAD SEA
We leave the desert of Wadi Rum to embark on our journey back north. We drive along the Jordan Valley Highway, which will take us to the shores of the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea depression, located about 430 metres below sea level, is a true spectacle of nature: the only tributary rivers are the Jordan and the ephemeral Wadi Mujib, the Dead Sea has a very high salinity due to the relentless evaporation of its waters, which are also rich in undoubted beneficial properties, recognised since antiquity. For us, bathing in the Dead Sea will be a fun and unusual experience.
Arrival and accommodation in the hotel. The afternoon will be at leisure.
Breakfast and overnight stay. 
DAY 8
DEAD SEA - AMMAN - ITALY
Breakfast at the hotel and free time before transfer to Amman airport. Return to Italy by scheduled flight.

THE FEE INCLUDES
- Private transfers by car, minibus or bus depending on the number of participants - Accommodation in the hotels of the chosen category, as indicated in the tour opening - Meals as detailed in the programme - Visits and excursions as detailed in the programme - Entrance fees during guided tours - Assistance of qualified local staff and Italian-speaking local guide - Medical Expense Insurance, Covid-19, Travel Assistance, Baggage

 

THE FEE DOES NOT INCLUDE
- International air passages, airport and security taxes and airport taxes payable only locally - Any introduction of new government taxes or increases thereof and increases in the cost of entrance tickets to the various sites of tourist interest, parks or nature reserves of which we are not aware at the time of drawing up the quotas - Christmas or New Year's Eve dinners, any high season surcharges - Drinks, tips and anything else not expressly indicated - Cancellation Insurance

Please note: with regard to insurance cover for possible trip cancellation, our offices will provide you with all the necessary assistance

PLEASE NOTE
● The fare for international flights will be provided at the time of booking.

 

From 11 March to 9 April 2024 will be the month of Ramadan. The fasting of Ramadan involves abstaining from food, drink and many other activities for the duration of the lunar month from sunrise to sunset. Almost all restaurants remain closed during the day and opening hours of shops, banks, offices, museums and tourist sites are reduced.

Category 4*
Amman: Harir Palace Hotel 4*
Petra: Petra Moon 4*
Wadi Rum: Rum Oasis (Traditional Tents or Bubble Domes)
Dead Sea: Dead Sea Spa Resort 4*

Overall, the itinerary presents an intense programme of visits. It should be borne in mind that the area on which Petra's major monuments stand is very large and can only be explored on foot.

INDIVIDUAL DEPARTURES LOW SEASON (JUNE TO AUGUST)

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