Feast your eyes upon forgotten landscapes as you unravel the secrets behind Jordan’s ancient recipes

Jordan has a way of hiding more than ancient tombs and forgotten landscapes. For centuries, this jewel of the Levant has been a magnet for swaying influences and cultures – granting new flavours as these outsiders come and go. Phenomenally, the land itself helps its inhabitants cook and prepare meals: the sweeping deserts of Wadi Rum offer themselves to roast Bedouin feasts underground, the Dead Sea grants its salt as a world-class garnish and the country’s climate has allowed olives to grow and thrive for over 6000 years. Jordan and food work synonymously through a relationship that borders on near myth – but this relationship is something that must be experienced first-hand to be truly understood.


Start
Amman, Jordan
Finish
Amman, Jordan
Destination
Jordan
Style
Original
Theme
Food
Code
EEZF
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • Uncover secret traditions and flavours with a Jordanian shepherd over breakfast. Drink fire-warmed sheep’s milk, then scoop bread into a pot of rich Galayet Bandora.

  • Take in the majesty and mystery of the treasury in Petra, often referred to as the Eighth Wonder of the World. You never forget your first glimpse of this unforgettable place.

  • Savour the smells and tastes of a freshly prepared Bedouin zarb – slow roasted vegetables and juicy spiced meats cooked to perfection in an underground barbecue.

  • Visit remarkable Petra, Jordan's 'Rose City, and sit down with locals for a hearty serving of mansaf, delicious lamb with fermented, dried yoghurt sauce

  • Meet Bedouin locals, learn about their ways, and sleep under the stars in a desert camp in the far-out destination of Wadi Rum.

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip aims to give you an exciting, diverse and well-rounded experience of a country&rsquo;s cuisine. While we endeavour to cater for specific dietary requirements, some meals and food activities are set in advance and may be difficult to adjust. In many countries, dietary restrictions are not common or well understood. If you have dietary requirements, please advise your agent at time of booking to receive information on how this may impact on your ability to take part in included activities and meals. Come with an open mind and open mouth, and you won&rsquo;t be disappointed.<br /><br />There is quite a bit of walking involved in visiting Jordan's historic sites, especially in Petra and Wadi Rum, so a reasonable level of fitness is required. Most of the time there is no shade so remember to bring a hat, sun protection, and sturdy, comfortable walking shoes.<br /><br />The desert camp in Wadi Rum is basic, but incredibly memorable. There are tents and shared western bathroom facilities. 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.<br /><br />In 2021, Ramadan will take place from 12 April to 11 May. Travelling during this holy month can be a rewarding cultural experience. However, some regular services may not be available during the daytime, such as restaurants or coffee bars, and occasionally travel can be disrupted by events. Your leader will adjust the itinerary accordingly, but please consider your travel arrangements carefully before booking travel for this period.<br /><br />You may also want to consider our trip Jordan, Israel &amp; the Palestinian Territories Real Food Adventure if you have more time to explore this region.<br /><br /><br />

Itinerary

Ahlan wa sahlan! Welcome to Amman. Your Jordan Real Food Adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. This trip puts a focus on the delicious cuisine of Jordan, a gastronomy shaped by centuries of social and political change. As these shifts came and went, multitudes of spices, cooking techniques and ingredients remained in their culture – the most popular of these techniques proving that Jordanians’ love for roasted foods and special sauces is one for the ages. Jordan also has bragging rights as one of the largest producers of olives in the world, so it’s no surprise that olive oil is commonly used in their dishes. Garlic, onions, tomato sauce, lemon and za’atar (a spice blend with sumac, sesame seeds, salt and other spices) are all big-ticket items, and should pop up often on this adventure. After your meeting, get your first taste of Jordanian cuisine at the Hashem Restaurant – a favourite of royals, diplomats and celebrities travelling through Amman. Dinner will consist of their famous Jordanian stuffed falafel, which is fresh and crunchy on the outside while fluffy on the inside. There’s also the chance to dip bread through smooth creamy hummus and moutabel – similar to hummus but with yoghurt, lemon juice and Arabic salad. After a filling meal, head on to the decades old Habibah Sweets shop for a slice of warm knafeh – delicious buttery cheese pastry soaked in sweet, sugar syrup.
Included Activities
  • Amman - Welcome Dinner
  • Amman - Knafeh tasting
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.
Keep an eye out this morning for people stuffing their faces with hot sesame bread sandwiches – most of these will be pouring out of the Salaheddin bakery, today’s breakfast joint and a favourite among locals. Walk in, choose a hot, fresh loaf and fill it with baked eggs, cheese, spices or anything else you want from the counter. After filling up on arguably the best bread in town, board a bus and head to Madaba, famous for its Ottoman-style houses and beautiful Byzantine-era mosaics, including the acclaimed sixth-century mosaic map of Jerusalem and the Holy Land at St George's Church. After seeing the mosaics, head to the Dead Sea (approximately 45 minutes). This body of water is famously salty – 9.6 times saltier than the ocean. As a result, it’s believed to have healing properties that can be tested first hand during an optional swim. After drying off, prepare for a traditional picnic lunch, mezze style. Mezze consists of setting up a series of small appetisers with a group of friends, then scooping them up with bread. Kibbeh (fried meat with wheat), manakish (flatbread with za’tar and olive oil), spinach bread and cheeses are all served, followed by a cup of shaneeneh (an aged goat milk yoghurt drink) and a serving of hareeseh (a sweet, syrupy pudding) for desert. Continue to Petra for dinner (approximately 3 hours). Learn from a local family how to prepare mansaf, delicious lamb with fermented, dried yoghurt sauce. After a hearty meal and a few shared stories from the family, arrive at your hotel near the ancient ruins of Petra.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Madaba - St Georges Church
  • Dead Sea - Visit and float
  • Petra - Local Family Dinner
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Today you’ll have the chance to explore ancient Petra, known as one of the new ‘seven wonders of the world’. This archaeological city sits within 80-metre-high cliff walls – the iconic treasury, carved into the face of one of these cliffs, is the highlight of this visit. The site is expansive and to explore it all requires quite a bit of walking, and a basic level of fitness will enhance your experience. With a free afternoon to proceed at your own pace, there’s ample time to see the museum, the Roman amphitheatre, the palace and other places – just head to the visitor centre for a map and a few suggestions as to where to go. Once the day is done, head back to your hotel for a free evening.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Petra - Guided tour of Petra
Optional Activities
  • Petra - Petra By Night tour - JOD17
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Rise early this morning as today’s breakfast will be shared with a local shepherd as you bask in awe of the beautiful dry countryside. By this stage of the adventure, it should be apparent that a Jordanian breakfast is varied but sticks to a few staples; breads and garnishes being two of the favourites. A typical breakfast can consist of hummus, falafel, salad, pickles and khubz (a pita style bread), although dipping flatbread into olive oil then za’atar is also common. A mezze style breakfast under this towering scenery will be the perfect setting to chat with the shepherd and learn about the life and culture of a local. Afterwards, head on to Wadi Rum (approximately a 3 hour drive), a place often referred to as The Valley of the Moon. Enjoy a true Lawrence of Arabia moment while exploring the sparse red sand dunes, steep craggy mountains and the legendary Seven Pillars of Wisdom rock formation on a 4-hour jeep ride through the region. Later, head back to a Wadi Rum campsite for a traditional Bedouin barbecue, known as zarb. Zarb is one of the staples of Bedouin culture, capturing a long running tradition of cooking food underground in earth ovens. Bedouin locals will prepare dinner by digging a large hole in the ground and stoking a coal fire underneath it. Then, meat is prepared with water, lemon juice, pepper and salt before adding a variety of vegetables. A multi-layered barbecue rack is used to cook everything with the meat at the top and the veggies at the bottom. Once it’s cooked, enjoy this hearty meal before enjoying an evening under the stars.
Included Activities
  • Wadi Rum - 4WD jeep safari and desert camp
  • Wadi Rum - Zarb dinner
  • Petra - Breakfast with a shepherd
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
Tonight you’ll stay in a permanent tented camp with shared bathroom facilities. 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.
This morning starts off with a delicious Bedouin breakfast – not to be confused with bed and breakfast! This typically consists of labneh (strained yoghurt, usually served with olive oil), zait (olives), za’atar, jebneh (cheese pastry) and tomatoes. You may get the chance to wash it all down with a cup of Bedouin whiskey; it’s non-alcoholic and consists of tea with sugar and sage, so don’t worry about getting tipsy before lunch. Prepare for a 3.5-hour drive back to Amman through stunning desert scenery and stop for a delicious falafel sandwich along the way. The final meal of this Real Food Adventure awaits in the city with a self-prepared dinner at the Beit Sitti cooking school, known as one of the most innovative developments in Jordan’s dining scene. Visitors to the school get to cook (and eat) an authentic meal under supervision, with tonight’s dish being maqluba. Literally translating to ‘upside down’, maqluba is a casserole with rice, vegetables and chicken which is cooked, flipped, then served with either yoghurt or an Arab salad with tahina sauce. Savour this last meal with newfound friends before the trip comes to an end tomorrow morning.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Amman - Beit Sitti maqluba cooking class and meal
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
With no activities planned today, you are free to leave at any time. However, that doesn’t mean that your food adventures have to come to an end! If you would like to consider continuing your journey with a culinary escapade through Israel, search for our trips Israel Real Food Adventure (EUZF) and Jordan, Israel & the Palestinian Territories Real Food Adventure (EUZJC) on our website.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

5 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 4 dinners

Transport

Private vehicle, 4WD Vehicle

Accommodation

Hotel (4 nights), Desert Camp (1 night)

Included activities

  • Amman - Welcome Dinner
  • Amman - Knafeh tasting
  • Madaba - St Georges Church
  • Dead Sea - Visit and float
  • Petra - Local Family Dinner
  • Petra - Guided tour of Petra
  • Wadi Rum - 4WD jeep safari and desert camp
  • Wadi Rum - Zarb dinner
  • Petra - Breakfast with a shepherd
  • Amman - Beit Sitti maqluba cooking class and meal

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Day 4 (Wadi Rum) where you will be in shared accommodation, and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
2. While we endeavour to cater for specific dietary requirements, some meals and food activities are set in advance and may be difficult to adjust. Please advise us of any dietary requirements at the time of booking so that we can ensure you’ll enjoy this trip.
3. Petra By Night is offered as an optional activity. This activity is currently scheduled to operate on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. Please check your departure date if you are planning this activity as it is not available on all departures.

Essential trip information

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