Travel from Egypt’s colourful capital to the kingdom of Jordan

Experience enigmatic Egypt and its eastern neighbour, Jordan. Explore the bustling streets of Cairo, splash about on the beaches of Dahab and be mesmerised by the magnificent mosaics of Madaba. This is a journey filled with extraordinary landmarks and landscapes, sensational sights and unique spirit.


Start
Cairo, Egypt
Finish
Madaba, Jordan
Countries
Egypt, Jordan
Style
Original
Theme
Explorer
Code
XESJ
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why we love this trip

  • This trip is a perfectly balanced combination of city and countryside, beach and desert

  • Your Red Sea beach camp is ideally located, right on the water at one of Jordan's hidden coastal gems

  • Visit a private beach of the Dead Sea and experience the strange thrill of floating effortlessly in this super-salty ocean

  • Sleep under the stars and meet the Bedouin locals of the far-out desert destination of Wadi Rum

  • Petra is one of the true marvels of the Middle East, so there are two days allocated to exploring it – with an expert guide as well as at your leisure

Is this trip right for you?

  • There is quite a bit of walking involved in visiting Jordan's historic sites, so a reasonable level of fitness is required. Remember to bring sturdy, comfortable walking shoes.

  • Many sites have little or no shade – especially Petra and Wadi Rum. It's important to bring sunscreen, a hat and comfortable layers to shield yourself from the sun.

  • Winters can get quite cool, so if you're visiting at this time, don't forget to pack some warmer layers.

  • The ferry to Aqaba can be rough on occasions and those who suffer from sea sickness may want to prepare themselves. Besides this the ferry is frequently delayed or even cancelled at the last minute, patience is required for this journey. Please Day 5 of the itinerary for more details.

Itinerary

Salaam Aleikum! Welcome to Egypt. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. If you arrive in Cairo early, perhaps travel along the river by felucca, head out to explore the markets, or, if you want to escape the crowds, catch the metro to the lovely old Coptic Christian sector.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Cairo - The Citadel - EGP60
  • Cairo - Downtown Cairo Tour - USD45
  • Cairo - Half Day Pyramids Adventure - USD67
  • Cairo - Alexandria City Discovery - USD133
  • Cairo - Saqqara and Memphis - USD73
  • Cairo - Treasures and Tut Tour - USD65
  • Cairo - Coptic Museum - EGP60
  • Cairo - Islamic Art Museum - EGP50
  • Cairo - Sufi dance performance at Khan al-Khalili - EGP50
  • Cairo - Sound & Light Show at the Pyramids - EGP100
  • Cairo - The Great Pyramid of Cheops - EGP200
  • Cairo - The 2nd Pyramid of Khafre - EGP40
  • Cairo - Pyramid of Saqqara - EGP80
  • Cairo - Solar Boat Museum - EGP60
  • Cairo - Mummies Hall at Egyptian Museum - EGP100
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Fly from Cairo to Sharm El Sheikh (approximately 1 hour). On arrival you will be transferred to a Dahab beach hotel, your base for the next two nights. Dahab (meaning 'gold' in Arabic) has transformed from a Bedouin fishing village into a popular tourist town as the diving here is excellent. Its location between the Sinai Desert and Red Sea makes it ideal for all kinds of adventure activities, but with strong Bedouin roots it hasn't lost its authenticity. Dyarna Hotel is located just a five-minute stroll from Dahab town. The hotel has its own private beach, which is perfect for snorkelling or diving in the renowned coral reefs of the Red Sea. You can also simply relax in the swimming pool or poolside bar and enjoy the Sinai sun. Beach chairs and sun beds are free for you to use, and wireless internet is available. All rooms are air-conditioned and have a mini bar, satellite TV and private balcony/terrace.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today take a trip to the Blue Hole, one of the best snorkelling spots in the Red Sea. It's located about eight kilometres north of Dahab. The 'hole' is around 80 metres wide and vaunts a stunning underwater world of colourful sea plants and fish. Later, simply relax in Dahab and soak up the lovely coastal ambience.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Travel by van to your Red Sea beach camp (approximately 2 hours). It's located close to the town of Nuweiba. The tiny settlement of your beach camp is like its Sinai neighbours, Dahab and Sharm el-Sheik, before mass tourism arrived. Thankfully the camp is still a hidden gem for Intrepid groups. It's set on one of the few beautiful stretches of fine golden sand found along this coast. You will stay in a simple but comfortable beach hut located right in front of the water. These huts are made from local palm trees and have two single beds, electricity, linen and mosquito nets (the toilets and showers are in a communal block). Why not start the day with a snorkelling trip? Later you can relax on the sand and watch the mountains of Saudi Arabia light up at sunset. An ideal end to the day is to enjoy a freshly squeezed fruit juice while chatting to one of your newfound Bedouin friends.
Accommodation
  • Beach hut (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Take a ferry across the Gulf of Aqaba to Jordan (approximately 2 hours). Your Egyptian leader will help you board the ferry and then bid you farewell. You'll be met at the Aqaba ferry terminal by a local representative who will receive and process visas for the group and arrange a transfer to the hotel where you'll meet your Jordanian leader. Take a stroll in the lovely port town of Aqaba before retiring for the evening.

Notes: The ferry crossing can be rough on occasions and those who suffer from sea sickness may want to prepare themselves. This ferry crossing is frequently delayed and patience is required.

The fast ferry can sometimes be cancelled without notice. We may be required to take the slow ferry instead (which can take up to 5 hours and may result in arriving at Aqaba after midnight).
In rough weather, there's a chance the ferry might be cancelled altogether, in which case we'll stay an extra night in Egypt or Jordan. The ferry itself is modern and has western-style toilets on board but these are not maintained once the ferry begins.

The only alternative to taking the ferry is flying over the Red Sea and not including Dahab in the itinerary at all. We've made the decision to continue to run this itinerary but we strongly recommend you consider if this trip is right for you. Other Egypt and Jordan itineraries can easily be purchased together and linked with a domestic flight. Check out 'Egypt Express' (XESB - Basix standard), and 'Explore Jordan' (EESJ - Original standard). Alternatively there are our comfort itineraries: 'Egypt Experience' (XEKI), and 'Jordan Discovery' (ELKD).
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Follow in the footsteps of Lawrence of Arabia with a short drive (approximately 1 hour) to the far-out desert location of Wadi Rum. Take a jeep safari (approximately 4 hours) through some of the most beautiful and sublime desert scenery on the planet. It's a highlight of the trip for many travellers. Wadi Rum is full of rock bridges, towering rose-coloured sand dunes and lunar-like rock formations. You'll find traces of ancient civilisations in many rock-carved inscriptions, which range from pictographs to Thamudic, Nabataean and Arabic texts. Sleep in a simple desert camp – there's the choice of sleeping under a camel hair tent or out under the stars. A delicious dinner, prepared in a traditional earthen oven, is included this evening.

Notes: While the desert may be very hot during the day, it will still be cool at night. Warm clothes and a sleeping bag are highly recommended when travelling outside of the summer months. Western-style toilet facilities are available. Conditions are basic at the desert camp, but the company of our Bedouin hosts is warm and you'll treasure the memory of sleeping beneath the twinkling desert night sky. A mattress and blankets are provided.
Accommodation
  • Desert camp (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Wadi Rum Safari entrance and permit
  • Wadi Rum - 4WD jeep safari and desert camp
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Travel by van from Wadi Rum to Petra (approximately 2 hours). You'll explore this remarkable, rock-hewn 3rd-century city with a local guide. Walk through the narrow Siq to the Treasury. After admiring the beautiful view, continue through the site along the Roman road, past tombs, temples and the amphitheatre. Then you can explore the rest of the site at your own pace. For those with the energy, there's the challenging but highly rewarding walk up the steps to the stunning monastery (approximately 1 hour).

Notes: A lot of walking is required to see all the sites and viewpoints of Petra. You'll need a basic level of fitness to get the most out of your visit. 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 does not recommend that passengers take this option, due to the safety and insurance liability involved.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Guided tour of Petra
Optional Activities
  • Petra - Petra By Night tour - JOD17
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
The day is yours to explore Petra as you please. Perhaps walk the road to Al Khanzneh (The Treasury) – one of the most stunning temples of the whole site. Or you can go up the stairs to El Dier (The Monastery). Other great options today are to hike to the royal tombs or visit the incredible Byzantine mosaics. Ask your leader for help with arranging these.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Petra - Second day entrance (no guide)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Travel the King's Highway to the historic crusader castle of Kerak. Take the time to explore the impressive ruins here and learn more about the legends of the 12th-century battles between the Crusaders and the Muslim armies. Then travel by van to Madaba. En route you'll stop at the Dead Sea and Mt Nebo. A Dead Sea float is a must for any trip to Jordan, so don't forget to pack your swimmers (towels are available for hire). Your stop is at a private beach. Here at the lowest point on Earth (420 metres below sea level) the water has a salinity level of 30%, which is seven times saltier than a normal ocean. This makes it amazingly buoyant. A head-to-toe mud bath is another fun option – it's said to have healing powers. Your next stop, Mt Nebo, is where the prophet Moses is supposedly buried. Explore this sanctuary and view the remarkable mosaics of the 4th-century church. You will arrive in the friendly town of Madaba at around 5 pm. Perhaps take a stroll to see some of its famous Ottoman-style houses and Byzantine mosaics. Or simply relax by the hotel pool, which has an accompanying restaurant.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Dead Sea - Visit including lunch
  • Kerak - Kerak Castle
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your trip comes to an end this morning. If you'd like to stay in Madaba, speak to your booking agent. There are plenty of great things to do here, such as visiting the ruins of Jerash, or Sunday Mass at St George Church (if your visit lines up with a Sunday).
Optional Activities
  • Amman - Bethany Baptism site - JOD12
  • Amman - Roman Theatre Entrance - JOD2
  • Amman - Jordan Museum - JOD5
  • Amman - King Abullah Mosque - JOD2
  • Amman - Citadel - JOD3
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

8 breakfasts, 1 dinner

Transport

Ferry, Jeep, Plane, Van

Accommodation

Beach hut (1 night), Desert camp (1 night), Hotel (7 nights)

Included Activities

  • Wadi Rum Safari entrance and permit
  • Wadi Rum - 4WD jeep safari and desert camp
  • Guided tour of Petra
  • Petra - Second day entrance (no guide)
  • Dead Sea - Visit including lunch
  • Kerak - Kerak Castle

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. A single supplement is available on this trip. On the following nights the Single Supplement is not available:
Day 4 - Red Sea Beach Camp
Day 6 - Wadi Rum
2. On Day 2 there is an included internal flight from Cairo to Sharm El Sheikh. The maximum check-in baggage allowance is 23kgs per person plus 7kgs hand luggage.
3. The ferry to Aqaba can be rough on occasions and those who suffer from sea sickness may want to prepare themselves. Besides this the ferry is frequently delayed or even cancelled at the last minute, patience is required for this journey.
Please Day 5 of the itinerary for more details.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides 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.

Reviews

Our Road to Jordan trips score an average of 4.62 out of 5 based on 29 reviews in the last year.

Road to Jordan, October 2016

Sharon Sandercock

Road to Jordan, November 2016

Shane McWhinney