Embark on a family tour of Jordan

Delve into the magical ancient world of Jordan on this exhilarating family adventure! This tour has been specially designed to highlight the most exciting corners of Jordan, from historical Jerash to magnificent Petra, from Wadi Rum desert to the blissful Red Sea coast. With a carefully weighted balance of activities and down time, your family will love this cultural Middle Eastern odyssey.

Start
Amman, Jordan
Finish
Dead Sea, Jordan
Countries
Jordan
Themes
Family
Code
ERFJ
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 5
Group size
Min 1 Max 16
Carbon offset
138kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • Follow in the footsteps of Indiana Jones and explore the amazing ancient city of Petra, with history brought to life by your incredible local leader
  • Learn a new game to take home, playing ‘Seven stones’ with local children
  • Camp in the middle of the desert in Wadi Rum under a blanket of stars – an unforgettable experience that’s not your regular Thursday night!
  • Take a dip like no other in the Dead Sea. The strange feeling of floating effortlessly in the salt-filled water (don’t be tempted to taste it!) of this unique ecosystem is something that will stay with you for a long time
  • Discover the magical world that lies under the Red Sea with snorkelling around some of the world’s best coral reefs
  • Cruise through the desert on a 4WD safari and witness a landscapes that’s changed every day by the wind, then maybe explore in real desert style – by camel
  • Play gladiator in the ancient Roman city of Jerash, and re-enact more ancient epics in the crusader Kerak Castle

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2016 to 31 December 2017. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2017 - 31 December 2017

Ahlan Wa Sahlan! Welcome to Jordan. If you have booked a transfer you’ll be met at Queen Alia International Airport and transferred to your hotel. Otherwise, make your own way to the joining hotel, located in the heart of Amman, on the edge of the old downtown and within walking distance to the new city centre. Amman has served as the modern and ancient capital of Jordan and is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, with a 1994 excavation uncovering homes and towers believed to have been built during the Stone Age (circa 7,000 BC). Today is the joining day and free for you to settle in. If you have time, head to major historical and biblical sites just 10 minutes walk away – the 6,000-seat Roman theatre built in the 2nd century, or the Citadel, which offers up panoramic views over the city from the highest hill in town. Within the Citadel is the museum that contains the Dead Sea Scrolls, and also the excavated ruins of an Umayyad palace. Maybe head to Rainbow Street for your first falafel tonight.
This morning meet your group and leader at approximately 8am and head north to Jerash (approximately 1 hour). The ruins of Jerash were re-discovered in 1806 and continue to be one of Jordan's most amazing sites. One of the best examples of a Roman city in the Middle East, the ancient walled town that survives today really makes 2,300 years of history come to life. Jerash's heyday came with the arrival of Alexander the Great, and the remains include a forum, nymphaeum, a hippodrome where you can imagine gladiator fights, baths, two theatres (complete with numbered seats!), and several temples. Along the Colonnaded Street, grooves in the paving stones show where chariot wheels once rolled and the remains of exquisite mosaics still cover some floors. There is time to wander the site and imagine life in ancient times before returning to Amman. Take time to relax, visit some of the city's sights that you might not have got around to yesterday, or even enjoy a dinner with a local family to discover more about the Jordanian people and their culture.
Head south on the Desert Highway towards Petra, stopping en route at Madaba (approximately 1 hour). Visit the Church of St. George and check out a beautiful 6th century Byzantine mosaic map of the Holy Land – one of hundreds of ancient mosaics scattered throughout Madaba. Further on is the biblical site of Mt Nebo (approximately 30 minutes), where the Bible says Moses is buried. Along the way today you may see the black ‘beit ash shar’ tents of the hardy Bedouin, who for centuries have wander throughout the Middle East. They move between a few grazing spots, breeding goats, sheep and camels. Although traditional nomadic life is starting to disappear, many keep to the old ways – albeit with the occasional 4WD vehicle! The ancient Bedouin code of friendly hospitality to travellers also still survives. Next, drive to Kerak (approximately 3 hours), where a formidable crusader castle overlooks a long, winding road down to the Dead Sea. The crusaders fought Islam here in the 11th-13th centuries, with successes due in part to impregnable fortifications like Kerak. Much of this 850-year-old structure remains intact, and you can explore the dungeons, passages and kitchens of the castle. Travel on to Little Petra for the evening (approximately 2 hours), where you’ll have tea with a local Bedouin family and play Seven Stones.
Make your way to Petra, squeezing through the long stretch of stonewall that eventually spills out into the breath-taking ‘rose city’ – one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. Though the origins are mysterious, it’s thought this rock carved city was the ancient capital of the Nabatean people back in 600BC. Nobody in the West knew about it until 1812, when a Swiss explorer dressed up like a local, snuck in and then told the world. Your first glimpse of the iconic, intricate Treasury will be truly memorable, and you’ll find that the site is surprisingly big. You can explore the old Roman road, temples and several old tombs, as well as the rock-hewn amphitheatre. If you have the legs, walk one-hour up to the Monastery and up the clifftop path overlooking the Treasury. When you’ve finished exploring, head back to the hotel to rest up and prepare for a unique cooking experience. At the nearby fully equipped, modern Al Qantara Kitchen, you’ll taste Jordanian food, cook with a Jordanian chef, and have fun learning all about Arabic culture and cuisine. In a 2-hour class, prepare appetisers like baba ghanoush and hummus, then typical Jordanian mains like Maglouba, Kabsah or Mjadra, learning the secrets of these amazing Arabic tastes. Then enjoy it all with a big meal together, taking a copy of the recipes to impress everyone back home.

Notes: A lot of walking is required to see Petra. A basic level of fitness will enhance your enjoyment. When entering Petra as a group, a complimentary horse ride is included in the ticket price from the entrance point down to the Siq. Intrepid doesn't recommend that passengers take this option due to the safety and insurance liability involved.
Today you’ll drive into the extraordinary moon-like landscape of Wadi Rum (2 hours). The beautiful, rugged desert scenery is full of huge sandstone mountains, strange rock formations, sweeping sand dunes, and inscriptions from ancient civilisations. You’ll enjoy a 4WD desert discovery across dark red sands, stopping to enter a narrow siq full of inscriptions – passing Thamud nomads from Saudi Arabia and the Nabataean people have all left their mark on the surrounding rocks. Nature also provides a number of rock bridges that offer some stunning views. There is also the option to explore in true desert style – by camel. Tonight you’ll sleep in a simple desert camp, with the choice of sleeping under a camel hair tent or out under the stars. There’s even the chance to learn more about the Bedouin lifestyle by getting hands-on, literally, with milking a camel or a goat! Enjoy a delicious dinner cooked in an earthen oven by your Bedouin hosts. Conditions are basic at the desert camp, but the hospitality of your hosts is legendary and you'll treasure the memory of sleeping beneath the twinkling desert night sky.

Notes: A mattress and blankets are provided. Please be aware that while the desert may be very hot during the day, it will still be cool at night and warm clothes and a sleeping bag are highly recommended when travelling outside of the summer months. Western-style toilet facilities are available.
Today you’ll drive from the desert to the coast (approximately 1 hour), for some fun, sun and relaxation. Aqaba is landlocked Jordan’s only town on the sea, and this Red Sea beach resort is yours to explore for the rest of the day. Just south of town, the warm and relatively shallow waters of the Red Sea support a series of stunning untouched coral reefs practically unsurpassed outside Australia's Great Barrier Reef. They make for some of the best snorkelling you can find – the kids can grab a mask and some flippers and do their best mermaid impression. You might also take a boat trip if you don’t want to get wet, take a long walk along the shoreline, or simply kick back by the pool. If you want to get historical then there’s the 14th century Ottoman Fort to check out. This is where the T.E Lawrence (of ‘of Arabia’ fame) rode to Cairo with big news about a revolt. There are also plenty of cafes and restaurants to help you enjoy the local cuisine.
Leaving Aqaba, travel along the King's Highway, a winding road that follows the contours of the rocky hills, occasionally passing nomadic shepherds as they tend their flocks in the few areas where there’s water. Descend lower and lower until you eventually arrive on the shores of the Dead Sea (approximately 3 hours). This isn’t actually a sea but a super-salty lake (seven times saltier than the ocean and 'dead' because of the lack of life in it), which lies at the lowest point on Earth (420 metres below sea level). The density of the water means that when you take a dip, it’s more of a float than a swim, making for great photos. Maybe grab a handful of the shoreline’s mud and slop it over your body on the way back in – it’s full of nutrient-rich natural minerals that are meant to have healing properties, and will leave your skin feeling great. You’ll 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! This evening you can meet up with the rest of the group for a final meal together, and reflect on your adventures in this fascinating country.
After breakfast, this amazing adventure through Jordan comes to an end at your resort in the Dead Sea. Amman's Queen Alia International Airport is approximately one hour's drive from the Dead Sea.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
7 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners
Transport
Minibus
Accommodation
Desert camp (1 night), Hotel (5 nights), Resort (1 night)
Included activities
  • Jerash Roman ruins
  • Kerak Castle
  • Little Petra
  • Guided tour of Petra ( Including 1 day pass ).
  • 4WD jeep safari and desert camp
  • Dead Sea

Dates

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Important notes

Please note that these trips are for adults and children travelling together and there must be at least one child under 18 with you.

Age restrictions apply to this trip: minimum age 5.

A discount of 10% applies on this trip to children under 15 years of age at time of travel.

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View trip notes

Reviews

Our Jordan Family - Journey to the Lost City trips score an average of 5 out of 5 based on 2 reviews in the last year.

Jordan Family - Journey to the Lost City , August 2015

Jordan Family - Journey to the Lost City , April 2014