Ancient cities, desert and sea, deep in Bedouin territory

Rock-hewn amphitheatres, desert dune bashing and reef exploring – this trip may be quick, but it packs in a lot of action. Take a nine-day Lonely Planet Experience through the best of Jordan and Egypt to discover the most epic of histories and striking of landscapes. Wander the ancient city of Petra, relax along the Gulf of Aqaba coastline, and finish up among the souqs and pyramids in Cairo. As you travel this land of courageous adventurers, mighty pharaohs and biblical prophets, be greeted by the legendary hospitality of local Bedouin people at your Wadi Rum desert camp and discover the underwater worlds that lie beneath the azure waters of the Red Sea.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Amman, Jordan
Finish
Cairo, Egypt
Destinations
Egypt, Jordan
Style
Basix
Theme
Lonely Planet Experience
Code
EERJ
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

A powerful partnership

Lonely Planet and Intrepid Travel share the same philosophy: we help curious people explore the world.

Why you'll love this trip

  • Lay back and take an effortless float in the super salty waters of the Dead Sea after visiting Moses’ Promised Land at Mt Nebo. Everywhere you visit in Jordan has a story to tell!

  • Spend a whole day uncovering the majesty and mystery of Petra. Follow your local leader down the narrow path of the Siq for your first unforgettable glimpse of the hand-carved Treasury.

  • Jump in a jeep and experience the extraordinary desert scenery of Wadi Rum with your small group – a rugged lunar-like landscape of huge sandstone mountains and sandy plains.

  • Join Bedouin locals at a desert camp in Wadi Rum for a night of traditional hospitality, good food and starry skies. You’ll learn about the Bedouin way of life and fall asleep to the eerie silence of the desert.

  • Explore the incredible underwater world that lies just offshore at the Red Sea by snorkel and get into the laidback vibe of Dahab, full of seaside cafes and sheesha.

Is this trip right for you?

  • Before booking this trip, it is recommended that you read the ‘Safety’ section of the Essential Trip Information regarding special safety considerations for Egypt trips.

  • 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. Often there is little to no shade, so remember to bring sun protection and comfortable walking shoes.

  • Your desert camp stay in Wadi Rum may be simple, but it is an incredible experience. 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, so warm clothes and a sleeping bag are highly recommended – especially when travelling outside of the summer months.

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

  • The Aqaba–Nuweiba ferry travels across the Gulf of Aqaba and can be rough, on occasion. If you do experience sea sickness, please take appropriate precautions for the journey. This journey can often be held up due to scheduling or weather conditions, and if delays or cancellations occur, alternative transport arrangements will be made to ensure your seamless journey from Jordan to Egypt. Please see the Day 5 ‘Special Information’ section of the trip itinerary for more details.

  • This trip offers a ferry transfer from Aqaba (Jordan) to Nuweiba (Egypt), which is the easiest way to travel between the two destinations. The only alternative to a ferry transfer is a flight over the Red Sea. We understand that this mode of transport, while tried and tested, is not for everyone, so consider if this trip is right for you. Other Intrepid Egypt and Jordan itineraries can easily be purchased together and linked with a flight, like Egypt Express (XESB) and Explore Jordan (EESJ), or Egypt Experience (XEKI) and Jordan Discovery (ELKD). Search the trip codes on the Intrepid website for more information, or speak to an Intrepid booking agent for further details and how to book.

Itinerary

Ahlan Wa Sahlan! Welcome to Jordan – cosmopolitan, contemporary and teeming with biblical history. Your Lonely Planet Experience begins with an important welcome meeting at 6 pm today, where you’ll meet your local leader and travel crew. If you do happen to arrive early, be sure to take in the sweeping views of Amman from the citadel, explore the Jordan Museum that’s home to the Dead Sea Scrolls, or take a trip out to the ruins of Jerash – an ancient walled town that remarkably recalls life 2000 years ago. After meeting up for your briefing, head out on the town, perhaps feasting on ara’yes – Jordan’s answer to a toasted sandwich, packed full of spiced meat.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Amman - Citadel -Entry Fee - JOD3
  • Amman - Roman Theatre Entrance - JOD2
  • Madaba - Bethany Baptism site (Al-Maghtas) -Entry Fee - JOD12
  • Jerash - Roman ruins - Entry Fee - JOD10
  • Amman - Jordan Archaeological Museum -Entry Fee - JOD3
  • Amman - King Abullah Mosque -Entry Fee - JOD2
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Please note that the prices listed for Optional Activities are for entry only.

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. 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. If you’d like to spend more time in Amman, we'll be happy to book additional accommodation (subject to availability).
This morning, travel by minibus to Mt Nebo (approximately 1.5 hours). Mt Nebo is the place where the prophet Moses is supposedly buried and is said to have seen the 'Promised Land'. Explore this sanctuary, checking out the remarkable mosaics inside its fourth-century church. On a clear day, the views over the Dead Sea to Israel and the Palestinian Territories are spectacular. Afterwards, take a 30-minute drive to the super salty Dead Sea. Technically sitting below sea level, it’s perfect for swimming and floating in, and the mud on the sea floor is said to have healing properties – so lather up! Continue on to the crusader castle of Kerak, sitting in a commanding position on top of a cliff overlooking Kerak town and the valley below. Spend time exploring the seven-level fortress and learn the legends of 12th-century battles between Crusaders and Muslim armies. Continue on to Petra for the night (approximately 4.5 hours).
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Mt Nebo - Mt Nebo visit - JOD2
  • Dead Sea - Dead Sea visit - JOD8
  • Kerak - Kerak Castle -Entry Fee - JOD2
  • Petra - Petra By Night tour - JOD17
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Your tour today includes stops at the Dead Sea, Mount Nebo and Kerak Castle, but keep in mind that entry fees are not included. When swimming at the Dead Sea, towels are available for hire.

Many travellers like to experience Petra by night; however, this is only available on certain days of the week. Feel free to ask your group leader for more information, and if this optional activity is available to you on your dates.
The jewel of Jordan, the lost city of the biblical Nabateans, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World – Petra is a magical hand-carved wonder. Today, you’ll have the chance to discover this sixth century BC masterpiece with your small group. Be dwarfed by the towering rock formations as you squeeze through a narrow path called the Siq until you reach the grand entrance of the iconic Treasury. Gaze up at the intricate carvings and details, and spend the afternoon exploring the site at your own pace. There’s the old Roman road, other temples and old tombs, as well as the rock-hewn amphitheatre to explore. For those feeling more adventurous, take a challenging hike up a set of stairs to the smaller but no less impressive monastery, taking approximately one hour. After arriving back at your accommodation, why not find a traditional bathhouse to rejuvenate after a day of incredible sightseeing.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Petra guided tour - One day pass
Optional Activities
  • Petra - Additional Petra day pass - JOD5
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
One day's entrance fee to Petra is included in your Lonely Planet Experience. Please note that 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 Travel doesn't recommend that you take this option due to the safety and insurance liability involved.
Follow in the footsteps of Lawrence of Arabia with a short drive to the extraordinary desert scenery of Wadi Rum – a rugged lunar-like landscape framed by huge sandstone mountains (approximately 2 hours). Head on a half-day jeep safari, taking you through some sublime scenery and uncovering traces of ancient civilisations seen in the many carved inscriptions found throughout the area, from pictographs to Thamudic, Nabataean and Arabic texts. The most enduring monuments in Wadi Rum are those carved by nature – natural rock bridges, towering rose-coloured sand dunes and scattered rocky peaks. Spend the night sleeping in a simple desert camp, with the choice of sleeping under a camel hair tent or out under the starry night sky. Enjoy a delicious dinner cooked in an earthen oven by your desert dwelling Bedouin hosts, and soak in your truly unforgettable surroundings.
Accommodation
  • Desert camp (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Wadi Rum - 4WD jeep safari and desert camp
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
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.

Tonight, 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.
This morning, leave Wadi Rum and make tracks for Aqaba (approximately 1 hour). You’ll have some free time in Aqaba today, and have the option of day-use rooms to freshen up and store your luggage. Early in the evening, bid your Jordan local leader farewell and transfer to Aqaba port to board a comfortable air-conditioned ferry bound for Nuweiba. Depending on timing, weather conditions and delays, this journey over the Gulf of Aqaba can take between 2.5 and 5 hours, so be sure to have a good book or device with you to kill the time. On arrival, meet your Egyptian group leader and transfer to your accommodation for a well-earned rest.
The ferry can be rough at times and those who suffer from sea sickness may want to prepare themselves. The journey can take from 2.5 hours to in excess of 5 hours which means that arrival into Nuweiba can often be after midnight. Your Egyptian Tour Leader will be waiting for you regardless of delays. In rough weather, there's a chance the ferry might be cancelled altogether, in which case we'll travel overland through Israel.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Please note that the Aqaba–Nuweiba ferry can be rough, so take precautions if you experience sea sickness. The ferry can be delayed, which means that arrival into Nuweiba can often be after midnight, but your Egypt group leader will meet you on arrival regardless of delays. In the event of adverse weather conditions, the ferry may be cancelled altogether, in which case overland travel through Israel and The Palestinian Territories will be arranged.

At the Aqaba ferry terminal, you will pass security and pay a JOD 10 departure tax, keeping the receipt to get stamped. On board, take your passport to the counter in the middle of the ferry where it will stay for the journey. Once arrived, an escort will take you and your passport to the arrival terminal, where you will pass immigration and then meet up with your Egypt group leader. Know your Egypt visa requirements by visiting the ‘Visa’ section of the Essential Trip Information.
It's a short drive to the laidback resort area of Dahab – your base for the next two nights. Dahab, meaning 'gold' in Arabic, has gone from a Bedouin fishing village to a popular tourist town, thanks to the excellent conditions for activities like diving, windsurfing and rock climbing. However, the town hasn't lost its authenticity and lowkey appeal that’s attracted visitors since the 1970s. The rest of the day is free for you to take in the many treats this spot has to offer – cafes, seafood or some snorkelling in the Red Sea. Dahab is well known for its drop-offs – spectacular coral reef shelves that plunge into the vast blue depths of the ocean below. There are also plenty of relaxed bars and restaurants to sit back and enjoy good local food and some sheesha.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
In the morning, why not strap on a mask and head to the Blue Hole for some snorkelling at one of the best diving spots in the world. The area gets its name from a submarine sinkhole about 94 metres deep, with an arch in the coral reef down at 54 metres – a challenge that’s only open to highly experienced technical divers. Snorkellers can enjoy one of the greatest spots in the Red Sea here. Float on the surface and look down into an endless world of blue, then make your way around to ‘the Bridge’, where the visibility is always great and the untouched coral swarms with all different types of colourful fish and marine life. After you’ve had your fill of snorkelling, return to Dahab for an evening feast at a waterside restaurant, or perhaps head inland to Assalah, where local joints serve up plates of roast chicken and falafel with some cold regional beer.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Dahab - Blue Hole snorkeling - EGP70
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today you’ll be able to experience the contrast between seaside Dahab and the wonderfully chaotic, always colourful capital city of Cairo. Transfer to Sharm El Sheikh Airport and take the short flight to Cairo (approximately 1 hour). On arrival, transfer to your hotel for the night. Cairo is one of the great cities of antiquity and its history can be embodied by two of its imposing landmarks – the Pyramids of Giza and the Mosque of Mohammed Ali. Tonight, why not join your new travel mates for a celebratory dinner in the city – your local leader will know of some delicious places to eat.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Cairo - Sound & Light Show at the Pyramids Tour (Min 2 customers)-Transfers/Entry-p/p - EGP700
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time following check-out. While this trip doesn't include time to explore the sights of Cairo, it’s strongly recommended that you spend a few extra days to see more of what the city has to offer. If you would like to spend more time here, we’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation (subject to availability). You’ll see donkey carts alongside expensive cars, medieval slums and modern shopping malls, and the incredible Pyramids sit just outside of town. What’s not to like?
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This trip is a Lonely Planet Experience
Our Lonely Planet Experiences include plenty of free time so you can do the things that suit your budget and interests. Between your Intrepid Travel leader’s local knowledge and Lonely Planet’s trusted travel tips and recommendations, your trip will be more epic than ever.

Meals

7 breakfasts, 1 dinner

Transport

Plane, Ferry, Minibus, Jeep

Accommodation

Hotel (7 nights), Desert Camp (1 night)

Included activities

  • Petra guided tour - One day pass
  • Wadi Rum - 4WD jeep safari and desert camp

Lonely Planet extras

  • Free access to the Lonely Planet mobile app for one year
  • 25% discount on all items in the Lonely Planet Shop

Dates & availability

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Important notes

 SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights on your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.

INTERNAL FLIGHT
On Day 8 there is an included internal flight from Sharm El Sheihk to Cairo. The maximum check-in baggage allowance is 23kgs per person plus 7kgs hand luggage.

FERRY
The ferry to Nuweiba 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, you are likely not to arrive in Egypt until after midnight, please see Day 5 of the itinerary for more details.

Following recent safety incidents we recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest information on travelling in Egypt before your departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas of your itinerary. We have links to prominent government travel advisories and regular updates on issues affecting this trip on our Travel Alerts page - www.intrepidtravel.com/au/travel-alerts

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.

View Essential Trip Information

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