Petra's Treasury

Hidden Treasures of Jordan

12 days
from
£1,749
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Activity level:
Leisurely / Moderate
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Trip code: 
AXE
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Private Group Adventures
Activity:
Culture
Group size:
4–16
Ages:
16+

Explore archaeological highlights with a knowledgeable local leader

This 12 day trip to Jordan is ideal to truly appreciate all that the country has to offer. It will give you enough time to take in its world famous monuments, such as Petra and Jerash, and explore the less well-known historic and archaeological treasures. This itinerary includes visits to several of these sites as well as offering the opportunity to see the beautiful desert landscape of Wadi Rum and snorkel in the Red Sea, ensuring enough time to relax and unwind as well as sightseeing.

Highlights

  • Visit Jordan's desert castles, steeped in centuries of history
  • Explore the ancient city of Jerash and Bethany beyond the Jordan
  • Float in the Dead Sea
  • Visit Mt Nebo, claimed to be Moses' burial site
  • Two days in Petra, the rose-red city

Key information

  • 6 nights 4 - 5 star, 3 nights comfortable & 1 night basic hotel,1night private desert camp
  • Travel by air-conditioned minibus and 4WD in Wadi Rum
  • Group normally 4 to 16, plus leader. Min age 16 yrs

 

  • Countries visited: Jordan

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 3 dinners
  • All accommodation (see accommodation section)
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Arrival & departure transfers

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for private group trips:
020 3885 9103
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Sustainable Travel

People, Places & Planet

We work hard to create trips which improve life for the people and places we visit, and look after the planet we explore. Find out more about our sustainable travel ethos and practice here, and find out about the work of the Exodus Travels Foundation here.

In Jordan we are very proud to work with a local partner who received the Travelife Partner award in July 2021. Travelife is a certification system dedicated to achieving sustainable practices in the global tourism industry. In order to receive the award our Jordanian partner had to comply with over 100 criteria related to Corporate Social Responsibility. The Travelife standard is formally recognised for full compliance with the UN Sustainable Tourism Criteria.

Some sustainable travel highlights of this trip include:

People

How this trip helps improve life for local communities.

  • The use of a local guide means our customers will be well informed about local traditions, and cultural and social sensitivities.
  • This trip brings income and opportunity to the destination community through the inclusion of locally-owned hotels and restaurants, the emphasis on eating locally produced food and support of other local enterprise.
  • The hotels we stay in are dedicated to hiring local staff, this helps to benefit the surrounding community by providing employment opportunities and income alternatives where they may be otherwise hard to come by.
  • This trip stays one night in Wadi Rum desert at the Exodus Private camp which is owned and managed by a local Bedouin family. This not only provides a source of income for the family but is a wonderful opportunity for our guests to interact with local people and share aspects of their traditions.
  • In Wadi Rum we also do a jeep safari which provides another source of income for local people.
  • This tour encourages guests to visit local cafes and restaurants and use markets to purchase traditional crafts.

Places

How this trip helps protect and conserve local landscapes and nature.

  • Read about our commitment to nature protection and restoration here including our rewilding commitment for every customer who travels.
  • By travelling in a small group, led by a local guide, we ‘tread lightly’ to minimise our impact on local resources and the environment.
  • On this trip we visit 8 national heritage sites and the entrance fees included generates income which is used for the upkeep and development of these important monuments and nature parks.  
  • Our trips adhere to ABTA’s industry-leading animal welfare guidelines to ensure the best possible practices with regard to working animals and wildlife viewing. Our animal welfare policy can be found here.
  • In Petra we do not recommend that guests ride horses or mules as we are not convinced their treatment is in line with industry-leading animal welfare guidelines.
  • We work with our partners on the ground to proactively eliminate or reduce waste, for example eliminating all single-use plastic water bottles and instead providing refills for re-usable bottles.
  • It is standard practise in Jordan to distribute left-over restaurant food to people in need.
  • Where possible on this trip paper bags are used as an alternative to single-use plastics.

Planet

How we seek to keep the carbon footprint of this trip low.

  • Read about our climate action here, including our carbon reduction and compensation commitments.
  • Accommodation and restaurants in the itinerary use locally-sourced food which has not been transported long distances.
  • The Exodus Private camp in Wadi Rum uses solar power.
  • This trip favours locally-owned and run accommodation.

 Tips for sustainable travel on this trip

  • Leave no trace: We do all we can to ensure we leave no rubbish behind in the wild and beautiful places we visit; we ask that you do the same. If there are no recycling facilities in-country, we’d ask you to consider bringing recyclable materials home with you.
  • Plastic waste reduction: Please bring your own re-usable water bottle on this trip; filtered water will be provided where tap water is not drinkable.
  • Cultural respect:
    • Some Jordanians especially women and the elderly object to being photographed so please ask first.
    • Jordanians are very proud of their country and can be offended if you take pictures of anything ‘negative’ or suggestive of poverty. Photography in military zones and strategic areas like public buildings is prohibited.
    • Handshaking is only between members of the same sex.
    • It's polite to use only your right hand when eating something without cutlery and when handing money and small objects to someone else.
    • It is common practice to remove one’s shoes before entering a mosque or someone’s home and you should tuck them under if sitting on the floor. It is respectful for women to cover their heads with a scarf when entering a mosque. Please note many mosques are not open for tourist visits.
    • Generally men’s and women’s clothing should cover shoulders and be on or below the knee.
    • During the holy month of Ramadan Muslins refrain from eating, drinking, and smoking during daylight hours. Even chewing gum is considered haram. (forbidden). Although foreigners are not expected to follow these practises it is respectful to be discrete and not eat, drink, or smoke in general public.
    • Making the effort to fit in is invariably appreciated so being aware of these aspects of cultural respect will assist you during your travels in Jordan.

 

Itinerary

Expand all
Amman
to
Amman
  • Day 1

    Start Amman.

    We start at our hotel in Amman on day 1 of the itinerary.  Those on the group flights from London will arrive in the evening.  Land only clients need to provide their flight details if they would like to receive a FREE arrival transfer. Your leader will leave instructions for you at the hotel. 

    Hotel Toledo (4-start) or similar

  • Day 2

    Visit the castles of the 'Desert Loop' East of Amman.

    After breakfast we depart for a visit to Iraq El Amir. Set in the desert to the east of Amman is the much-famed Desert Loop, consisting of numerous palaces and minor forts dating back to the Omayyad period 661 AD to 750 AD. Our first stop is Qasr al- Hallabat. Originally Roman, this castle was rebuilt during the Umayyad period when it was elaborately decorated in mosaics, carved stucco and fresco paintings, thus transforming the castle into a palatial residence. There are about 150 inscriptions within the castle, mostly in Greek. The vast majority of these inscribed stones, which were reused as building material, belong to an edict issued by the Byzantine Emperor Anastasius (491-518 AD). A few kilometres away is the Hammam as-Sarakh, a bathhouse and hunting lodge. The buildings have been almost completely restored, and here we can see the channels that were used for hot water and steam. One hundred kms east of Amman, the oasis town of Azraq has a large castle built from black basalt, which was Lawrence of Arabia's headquarters during the Arab Revolt. Heading back towards Amman, the Qasr El Kharraneh and Qusayr 'Amra are the best preserved of the desert castles, Qusair Amra is noted for its extensive fresco paintings which cover virtually all the interior walls. The paintings include themes such as hunting, dancing, musicians, bathing scenes, cupids, and personifications of history, philosophy and poetry. We drive back to the hotel in Amman.
    Hotel Toledo (4-star) or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Head North to Irbid's archaeological museum, Umm Qais and Pella.

    Today we begin early as we have a long day heading north. We visit Irbid, which hosts an interesting museum. The most remarkable artefacts are the Ain Ghazal statues dated to the Pre-Pottery Neolithic period; between 7500-5500 BC. In addition the museum contains a number of artefacts from the later periods. Umm Qais, in the north of the country has fantastic views of The Sea of Galilee and was once a centre of culture and arts. As one of the cities of the Decapolis, it was a centre for arts and culture and with its amazing setting it is an enchanting place. Later we proceed to Pella, once an important city in Roman times; most of the remains actually date back to the Byzantine period. Overnight in Jerash. 
    Olive Branch or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Visit the ancient city of Jerash and Ajlun Castle.

    After breakfast we visit the ancient 'Gerasa'. In Roman times this was one of the ten wealthy, self-governing cities of the Decapolis, and was famous throughout the Roman empire for the luxury of its lifestyle. Buried for centuries under blown sand, Jerash is the only city of the Decapolis to have survived to any extent, with an outstanding forum, colonnaded main streets with the drains still intact, two theatres and a most impressive temple of Zeus. Our journey continues on to the only Arabic castle in Jordan, Ajloun. It is perched on a hilltop and has fantastic views of the surrounding countryside. Originally constructed in 1184 AD, it was destroyed and rebuilt over the centuries following numerous wars and earthquakes. Drive for overnight stay at the Dead Sea.
    Holiday Inn Dead Sea (5-star) or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 5

    Bethany, Madaba and Mount Nebo

    We start the day by visiting Bethany beyond the Jordan, the site where Jesus Christ was baptised by John the Baptist marking the beginning of the new era of Christianity. We then head to Madaba, 'The City of Mosaics '. Best known for its spectacular Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics, it is home to the famous 6th century mosaic map of Jerusalem and the Holy Land.  We see this historical map in the small Church of St George.   Made up of small pieces of coloured stone, the map depicts hills and valleys, villages and towns as far as the Nile Delta during the 6th century.  From here we head to the biblical Mount Nebo where Moses was shown The Promised Land before his death.  There is a purpose built church which houses some wonderfully preserved mosaics. After a good look round we head south back to the Dead Sea in time for a 'float' in the thick saline waters.
    Holiday Inn Dead Sea (5-star) or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 6

    To Petra via Wadi al Mujib, Al Karak and Al Shawbak castles.

    Leaving the Dead Sea behind us we drive through the deep gorge of Wadi al Mujib. This massive canyon is impressive and is now a huge nature reserve, covering 212sq km. We arrive at Al Karak and Al Shawbak, two castles that played an important role in the Crusades. Built in mediaeval times Al Karak is the larger of the two castles, its well-preserved fortifications towering over the town offer incredible views. Al Shawbak, though not as well preserved is equally as notable. Late afternoon we drive on to Petra. Overnight Petra.
    Amra Palace (3-star) or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Days 7-8

    Two days exploring Petra.

    Two days to explore Petra, the so called rose-red city, 'half as old as time'. Petra was hidden for centuries until the Swiss explorer Burckhardt made his great discovery in 1812. It was founded by the Nabateans, an Arab tribe that arrived here in the 6th century BC. Building at Petra began in the third century BC and continued through the Roman period, financed by taxes levied on the desert caravans. Two features of Petra are unique: firstly, it is a city made defensible by being built down a series of chasms, rather than on a hilltop. Secondly, it is built directly into the rock - beautiful red and yellow sandstone carved into the most impressive facades which glow in the brilliant sunlight. 

    To enter Petra we must begin by walking down a narrow chasm, known as the Siq, surrounded by high cliffs on either side. Unveiled at the end of the Siq is El Khazneh, the Treasury. This is just the first breathtaking sight of a remarkable day. Continuing to the centre of the city, we pass the houses and tombs of the rich citizens and the remarkable scale of the site begins to unveil itself.  A optional walk can then be done up 750 steps to El Deir, the monastery, with its superb facade topped by a huge urn. 

    On the second day your guide will take you into the site for either a hike up to the High Place of sacrifice or for free time to explore the city further.  Only a few people attempt to visit the High Place as it can be quite arduous and is not recommended for those who are unsure of their fitness or are uncomfortable with heights. However, those who do make it to the top are rewarded with wonderful views over parts of the site visited on the previous day.
    Amra Palace (3-star) or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Little Petra and Wadi Rum

     This morning we visit Little Petra before joining the modern Desert Highway to make our way south to Wadi Rum. The purpose of Little Petra is not clear however archaeologists believe it was probably a suburb of Petra where visiting traders on the silk route may have stayed. Today we enter the natural world heritage site of Wadi Rum where dramatic sandstone mountains rise from the sandy desert floor is where Lawrence of Arabia and Prince Faisal assembled the Arab tribes for the attack on Aqaba in the First World War and also where sections of the 1962 epic film were shot.

    After checking into our private Exodus camp our Bedouin hosts take us for around a 2-hour 4x4 jeep trip to explore some of the highlights of the protected area. We go to the main popular sights, have time to sample bedouin tea and then watch the sunset from the vantage point of a rock formation. From here we return to our camp where we enjoy Bedouin hospitality with a traditional dinner called Zarb which is cooked underground. After dinner we learn about Bedouin culture and music through interacting with the family who run the camp.

     Exodus Private Camp (Permanent Bedouin Camp)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 10

    Wadi Rum to Aqaba on the Red Sea

    We wake amidst the dramatic desert scenery and then make our way on to Aqaba, Jordan's port and holiday resort, famous for beautiful coral reefs. There is time to relax on a local beach with transport and entrance included. You can add to the experience with optional snorkelling and lunch packages which your leader will explain. Please note there is a cost for these extras. There are several good restaurants in Aqaba for our evening meal together.

    La Costa Hotel (4-star) or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 11

    Morning drive to Amman; city tour

    After breakfast, drive from Aqaba to Amman to explore the ancient city. Amman has served as the modern and ancient capital of Jordan. It 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 7000 BC. The earliest written records refer to the city as Rabbath Ammon, the capital of the Ammonites in the 12th century BC. Later the city was named Philadelphia under the reign of Ptolemy Philadelphus 283-246BC. As one of the cities of the Decapolis under King Herod in 30BC major building works were conducted. The 6000 seated Roman Theatre on the citadel is testimony of Roman architecture, although extensively restored it remains a classic example. Also on Citadel Hill, just northwest of the Temple of Hercules, is the Jordan Archaeological Museum. This small museum houses an excellent collection of antiquities ranging from prehistoric times to the 15th century.  From here we head to the Roman Theatre in the old town. This evening your leader will arrange a group dinner for those who would like to join. 
    Hotel Toledo (4-star)or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 12

    End Amman.

    Trip ends after breakfast in Amman.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Jordan

Visas are required by most nationalities, including British, and can be obtained at the border or Amman airport. At time of print, visa fees (usually 40JOD) have been waived for all nationalities travelling to Jordan with a tour operator and spending a minimum of 2 nights in country. Our airport representative will meet and assist you with obtaining the free visa on arrival in Jordan at Customs & Immigration. He will be carrying an Exodus sign.

For more information on the free Jordan Visa, please see the link below:
http://international.visitjordan.com/MediaCenter/News/JordanianGovernmen...

Vaccinations

Jordan

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts and 3 evening meals are included on this trip.

When not half board we usually eat in local restaurants and the leader arranges bookings for those in the group who would like to join. We suggest you budget around 15- 20 JOD pp ( GBP £16-21, USD $21-28, CAN $27-36, AUD$30-40 at time of writing) for non-included meals.  If you are vegetarian, please note that main meals are limited in choice; however, mezze is almost always available in restaurants and is a good, filling vegetarian choice. There is a good choice of seafood available when at the Red Sea. At the camp in Wadi Rum we enjoy a traditional dinner called Zarb which is cooked underground.  This consists of rice with a selection including chicken, lamb and vegetables. Vegetables are cooked separately to the meat. 

Weather

Spring and autumn are very popular in Jordan as it is cooler, around 24ºC in the day and down to 8ºC at night. Rain is more likely, however, protracted bad weather is unlikely. It is hot and dry, but not unpleasant, throughout Jordan in the summer. Daytime maximum temperatures are around 32ºC in Amman. Jerash temperatures are the same.

Wadi Rum on average in summer is around 30ºC though it can get as high as 40ºC. At night it is usually around 10ºC cooler. In winter it is much cooler and can get as low as 10ºC during the day. In the evening it is around OºC . There are occasions when there is rain or even snow in the desert. If weather conditions require it we may need to modify the itinerary or the camp location for your comfort and safety. Aqaba is very hot when the air is still, but there is usually a breeze. Rain is unusual but possible. The Dead Sea air temperatures vary from around 14ºC in winter up to high 30s in summer months. The water temperature however doesn’t drop below 20ºC.

As with many countries in the world seasons can go on longer than usual so it is advisable to always check the weather of the country you are travelling to a week or two before your trip so you can pack appropriately.  

Is this trip for you?

Although this is a cultural trip, some days (such as those in Petra) can be long and tiring. To do the optional 850 steps up to the monastery or the climb up to the High Place of Sacrifice you should have a reasonable level of fitness. Your leader will be able to provide you with further advice about these hikes.  It is not advisable to do the High Place of Sacrifice if you suffer from vertigo as there are some very steep narrow steps and cliffs.  The leader always accompanies any one doing this option. 

Whilst camping in Wadi Rum please be aware that although the campsite does have plumbed toilets and showers it is basic and hot water may be limited. Our private Exodus camp is however often mentioned as a highlight of the trip for many of our guests. 

In very rare instances we may need to amend the order of the itinerary but we will ensure that all the elements of the itinerary are still included and site visits are of the same duration.

Please note Ramadan runs from 2 April to 1 May 2022. Ramadan is a special time to visit Jordan as it is one of the most important times on the Muslim calendar.  Each evening the streets empty while people return home to break the fast and then there is an air of festivity every evening.  Our leaders and drivers choose to work at this time so we continue to run trips however please be aware their energy levels may be slightly lower.   Tourist sites are still open although closing times may be earlier than usual.  Your leader will know how the timings for each day need to be adapted in order to still experience all the inclusions on this trip.  Restaurants may close during the day and this is also accounted for in planning meal arrangements for your group. Shops are usually open though their hours may vary and they will definitely be closed during the breaking of the fast.  To fully enjoy your holiday experience at this unique time of year we suggest patience and flexibility.   (In fact these are useful at any time of year on any overseas holiday.)

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for private group trips:
020 3885 9103
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels & Camp

We spend 3 nights in a 4-star hotel in Amman, 1 night in a basic hotel in Jerash, 2 nights in a 5-star hotel at the Dead sea, 3 nights in a comfortable hotel in Petra and 1 night in a 4-star hotel in Aqaba. Throughout the tour the hotels have en suite facilities and air conditioning.  The hotel in Jerash does not have air conditioning. Even though this is a basic hotel it is set on a hillside with stunning views of the surrounding countryside. It is wonderful to watch the sunset from the pool terrace. 

Some hotels have more facilities than others however it is always good to keep in mind that the star rating in Jordan is quite different to what you may expect at home. Sometimes we use less centrally located hotels in the interests of comfort.  Accommodation in Petra is limited and demands on the infrastructure are high; this creates occasional problems with hot water and general plumbing for all hotels. In general, the hotels in Petra are of an older style and much more basic in comparison with the rest of Jordan. 

One night is also spent in our Exodus Private camp in Wadi Rum staying in traditional style tents equipped with basic beds, sheets and blankets. There are plumbed toilets and basins, and simple shower facilities with (limited) hot water.

Single supplements are available for this trip however cannot be guaranteed at Wadi Rum. Please enquire at the time of booking for details and up-to-date prices.



Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for private group trips:
020 3885 9103
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for private group trips:
020 3885 9103
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed June 2022

    Very enjoyable

    We had a great time and throughly enjoyed our holiday, with a few caveats. This was a much anticipated trip as was originally booked for April 2020! but we swapped from ‘A week in Jordan’ to this ‘Hidden Treasures’ and I wish we hadn’t bothered as the first couple of days visiting the desert loop and Irbid were not that interesting. However after that Jerash, Black Sea, Petra and Wadi Rum were amazing.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Climbing to the High Place of Sacrifice at Petra and the subsequent walk through the amazing rock formations.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mikhled was a nice guy, and really tried to accommodate the various requests from our group, but as a guide he gave little information about the sights we were seeing and very often when he did it was to only the first few people in the group who kept up with him. People take pictures and some were slower walkers, that’s just how it is with group tours but he would speak before most of the group were there. His English was good but his accent very strong and sometimes there was lack of understanding both ways in that we couldn’t grasp his meaning and he didn’t understand our questions. He also didn’t seem to convey the plan for the day and timings to the group, like stopping for lunch, although we enjoyed the process of going into the sandwich shops and bakeries, sometimes it was 11:30, sometimes 14:30.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The food is plentiful and of good quality, except breakfast at some of the hotels. As anywhere be prepared to pay over the odds for drinks at the tourist sites or try to shop at the supermarket beforehand. Alcohol is not easily available and very expensive so try to do without.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Our driver was great, but the bus we were allocated was not big enough, we were 14, plus guide and tourist policeman which was OK when on a day tour but when moving with luggage it was unsafe. They originally put cases on the back shelf as they wouldn’t fit in the boot, but one of our party pointed out that this was dangerous as in the event of an accident or even sharp braking, those cases could shoot forward and injure people. Therefore our guide had to order a taxi to transport some of the luggage from hotel to hotel separately. Exodus, you need to address this, if it hadn’t been for the lady in our group being absolutely adamant that we should not travel with cases on the back shelf we probably would have accepted it and we shouldn’t.
  • Reviewed May 2022

    Adventure in Jordan -

    We travelled as a couple. The tour was well organised, we visited all major sites and had some free time for relaxation towards the end. We visited deserts, castles, dead and Red Sea, biblical and iconic sites such as Petra. The tour also gives a good understanding of the culture and the gastronomic scene in Jordan. Our guide Nidal and driver Jamal were very hospitable. They were friendly, helpful, accommodating and knowledgeable. They wanted to show us all the beauty of their country and we had a fabulous time throughout the trip. We also covered 35km over the course of the time spent in Petra. This is entirely up to your fitness level as already mentioned in previous reviews and the trip notes. This trip was also our first time with Exodus and will definitely recommend.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Petra: Treasury, Monastery, High Place of Sacrifice & Mt Nebo

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nidal was excellent in his approach and was responsive to the group needs

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be aware that Jordan is still a place where smoking is allowed inside buildings Petra by Night is optional. Whilst the show itself was mediocre , the walk through the Siq at night under the stars was an experience to remember.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Due to unseen circumstances our first driver was replaced by Jamal at short notice. Jamal was exceptional considering it was the first time he was doing this trip. He also worked quite well with our Tour Leader Nidal.
  • Reviewed May 2022

    Excellent full-on tour of Jordan

    Excellent full-on tour of Jordan, with its wonderful variety of scenic and historic attractions. The Jordanians were very welcoming, friendly and honest people. Organisation and itinerary were great, and our guide Nidal was excellent.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Most inspirational moments were in Petra, particularly the Monastery and the Wadi Farasa Trail from the High Place. Also floating in the Dead Sea, Wadi Rum and Jerash.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nidal was excellent in every respect. He arranged very good restaurants for our group dinners and good value lunch stops.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Alcoholic drinks were expensive when available. Jordanian wine is good but beer is bland.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I'd recommend avoiding the optional “Petra by Night”, the least good sound and light show I’ve ever seen.
  • Reviewed April 2022

    Hidden Treasures of Jordan

    Not much to add to the previous reviews, as they are comprehensive on what to expect. Visit Jordan – you won’t be disappointed by the many ancient sights and lovely people.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking through the Roman city in Jerash, seeing the Treasury at Petra for the first time, floating in the dead sea, sitting around a camp fire in the desert, too many things to mention ……...

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mohammed was friendly with a great sense of humour, he explained a lot about the modern way of life in Jordan which was interesting, but not as knowledgeable as perhaps we would have liked on the sites we visited – nothing a good guide book or Google couldn’t sort out though.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It does get very, very cold in the desert at night, pack more warm clothes than you think you'll need. Be aware if you have binoculars in your luggage as you will be stopped numerous times at the airport when leaving Jordan, they will be taken away to be checked, bizarrely by the same person but in different areas of the airport, in all I was waiting around for over an hour!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Exodus really should not use the Olive Branch hotel in Jerash, it was disgraceful; bare live electric wires in the rooms half-heartedly taped up, unclean bathrooms with bad plumbing (wet-wipes to the rescue that day) and very unhygienic areas on the way to the ‘breakfast room’. The other hotels were perfectly adequate, the Holiday Inn being the highlight or was that because it was immediately after the night in Jerash?
  • Reviewed March 2022

    Spectacular

    This is an action-packed trip with so much variety of history, culture, food and landscape to discover. There was always something new and enough time to stroll around the sites.We saw all the highlights mentioned in the guide books! Jordan is not a big country so travel is a reasonable proportion of each day. All journeys are interspersed with visits or sights. We would heartily recommend this trip to others.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Jerash was an amazingly complete Roman city where it was possible to imagine the shopkeepers in their shops and the theatregoers at the theatre. Covering an enormous site we had plenty of time to explore and also saw the oval forum. Views from the city are exceptional. The flowers in the desert of Wadi Rum were a real surprise. So small and delicate that at first they are unnoticeable, their variety and beauty cannot fail to excite. Set in the stunning landscape they enhance any carefully framed photo.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nidal was outstanding. He combined a thorough knowledge of the sites, their history and significance with a good understanding of British humour and an excellent grasp of the English language! He organised the group well without being officious and was flexible to enable us to see as much as we could of the country. He handled issues in a friendly and appropriate manner and generated the overall respect of the group. He listened and responded well.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It can be very cold in March! Bring at least two warmer tops and a warm jacket in case. It was colder than in the UK! Pack essentials in your hand luggage - sometimes baggage arrives late! Western Swimming costumes aren’t easy to buy in Jordan markets.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Mohammed Odwan was an exceptional driver. He was kind and caring and always had a spotless bus. Despite very bad weather conditions, he ensured the windows were always cleaned and we could see out and take photographs. He was a real gentleman.
  • Reviewed March 2022

    Friendly people, Roman ruins and Petra!

    This trip was an excellent opportunity to see the best of the historical ancient sites of Jordan - it has many! The food was wonderful, the people we met were friendly and welcoming, and the sights were always better than expected.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The best moment of the trip was walking along the Siq at Petra and seeing the Treasury for the first time. However, there was so much more to see and explore in Petra and we loved it all. Petra by Night (optional) was also a highlight. The night in Wadi Rum was special and Jerash was stunning.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nidal Al Ateeq was kind, attentive, very knowledgeable and managed our group very well given difficult circumstances. He had a sense of humour which was well received.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take layers! It was much colder than expected for the time of year (March) - there was a strange cold snap and it snowed! The night in the desert was pretty chilly. We wore fleeces and down jackets for the whole trip so be prepared for all weathers. The flight arrives very late at night and we did not arrive at the hotel until after 2am. We had to get up at 6am to start the first tour. It might be better to come a day early and have time to get some sleep.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Jordan is a very welcoming place and we always felt incredibly safe even when out and about on our own. There was a lovely enthusiasm to help tourists and make sure that they saw and experienced the best of Jordan.
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Chris Pope

    Lots of treasures to see but some oddities in there too!

    A very good trip, November is after the clocks go back in Jordan so the days are shorter and the first couple of days felt a bit rushed whereas perhaps the summer hours would have enabled more time in each place. Thereafter settled into the pace of the tour and enjoyed it. Petra is huge and I could have done with more time there to see the museum. Covered about 40km walking in 2 days! (You don't have to!) Personally I could have left out Wadi Rum camp but that might have been the overnight 4c weather, uncomfortable bed, and the camp fire "meal" which left us all smelling like a smoked kipper. I didn't do the camel ride but feedback was it was a waste of time - hopefully someone will cover that in their review. The entire Aqaba day where we were trapped on a beach resort with competing music around the various pools waiting for the rooms to be ready, then whiled away the day waiting to get back to archaeology in Amman on the final day. Aqaba is very odd choice for this tour. Therefore (or despite the moans) 4 stars.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We had a good build up to Petra visiting various "castles" but nothing can prepare you for walking down to Petra. I didn't do any research before going so it was all a surprise for me including the walk in and out - best not give away too much! Various optional walks inside Petra allows each person to do as much or as little as they wish. Jerash is excellent and Amman Citadel a great surprise too. Jordanians are happy tolerant people, there are no pushy people selling you things.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nidal was very knowledgeable and well organised, I think he had a bit of a challenge getting everything done on the summer schedule with sunset being around 4.30 but he kept us organised and it didn't feel overly rushed other than the first two days which were a lot of coach time compared to visit time.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a water bottle, the coach has a fresh supply which is also taken into the hotel when staying more than one night. Lunches are really cheap! a falafel wrap or something from the bakery costs about 40p, packaged food and drinks are UK prices. You really need a sleeping bag liner for Wadi Rum!!! Take a hard copy of your passport and travel insurance - the passport is needed to go with the Jordan Pass and they do check it at Petra especially. Taking a copy will save time on day 1 briefing. Should be in the trip notes. Pack light the mini-coach isn't that big and you can wash and dry in the hotels very easily or use their laundry service. Read the other reviews for more tips!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Evening meals were usually a set menu priced at 15JD which was cited as the trip note budget - cant help but think this was either a bit of a rip off or, judging by the amount of left over food, they cooked up to the budget. Either way I eventually opted out and just had a single main course for around 5 to 8JD - should have done it sooner in the trip. Aqaba is an odd destination for this tour and one I could have done without. Those who wanted to had about an hour to snorkel at the out of town beach "compound", we were searched on the way in for food and drink! Those who didn't want to snorkel had to try to find a quiet spot to wait for the rooms to be ready. A huge amount of time out of the schedule just for that one hour. I would have preferred a return visit to Petra museum and then back to Amman or insert another destination. I know I have moaned a bit but really don't be put off! The two bits I didn't like were far outweighed by the rest of the tour.
  • Reviewed October 2019
    Roxanne Crawley

    Highly recommended!

    This trip surpassed all my expectations, has given me confidence and rekindled the travel bug! Having not been abroad for 9 years I was feeling somewhat nervous about going to Jordan, but it was a wonderful experience, I loved both Jordan and the incredibly welcoming Jordanians. Our guide, Ibrahim was excellent in all respects and had a super sense of humour too, what more could you ask for?!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    This whole trip was full of awesome moments, all unforgettable, and often totally unexpected, such as standing in the River Jordan with Israel just a few yards away where baptisms were taking place. Finding rock faces in Petra that looked just too incredible to be natural, like they have been vividly painted with abstract patterns. Seeing the Monastery in Petra for the first time, it’s not as ornate as the Treasury, but it’s HUGE! The incredible welcome and hospitality from the Bedouin and Jordanian people completely took me by surprise.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ibrahim was a brilliant leader, who has been doing this for many years and his enthusiasm and infectious smile reflects how much he enjoys what he does. Any problems were dealt with quietly and efficiently with no fuss. Nothing was too much trouble and he repeatedly offered to make arrangements for any individual requests within his remit. He totally understands the British sense of humour which really contributed to the great atmosphere of our group. I felt he could deal with any situation if it arose so I was relaxed and able to fully immerse myself in enjoying a wonderful trip. Wherever we went people knew him and warmly greeted him which says it all really.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I found that if you catch their eye and nod and smile, many Jordanians want to engage in conversation and ask where you are from and welcome you to Jordan. I was thrilled when I encountered a gentle elderly Bedouin man while going around a castle and he welcomed me and indicated he was happy to see tourists back in Jordan. Another time, in Petra, I managed to communicate to one of the men in the Siq (who cleared up after the donkeys,) that he kept it beautifully clean and he kissed my hand and seemed very pleased that his work had been acknowledged! Hospitality is everything in Jordan and with such friendly people I think it’s good to try and show your appreciation to them.
  • Reviewed October 2019
    ELAINE WILLIAMSON

    WONDERFUL OVERVIEW OF JORDAN

    The Hidden Treasures of Jordan was a wonderful overview to this spectacular region. The tour covered all the major sights with a great two days spent in Petra. Yes - good walking shoes are required and be prepared for long distances as Petra is pretty much one way in, one way out. First day was around 20km round trip over rough terrain and a multitude of steps. The surprise was the ruins of Jerash and it would have been great for more time here. Loved the Dead Sea but found the Red Sea area a bit over rated. The night spent in Wadi Rum although not isolated was very enjoyable. The majority of hotels were acceptable but sometimes a bit too far out of the town to do anything else. I would recommend this tour it was just long enough to cover all of the highlights Jordan has to offer. Be aware that if you like a beer at the end of a long hot day then you will be struggling for most of this journey.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Petra and Jerash - what unbelievable monuments that remain standing today. A bucket list item for sure.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Wasfi was a suitable leader that had a vast array of knowledge but sometimes we had to drag it out of him.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for a lot of walking - sensible shoes are required and at times the heat can be quite confronting.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Changes that would improve this tour. For those who arrived from other countries not on the group flight the communication was lacking. Transfers and visa process from airport were fine but upon arrival at the hotel nothing. We were not advised where or when to meet the group, what time we were leaving the next day or what to do for breakfast. The following morning a note was put up in the hotel but the tour was due to commence at 9am. When the meeting was held it was just a waste of time going over the itinerary that we already knew. Amman Hotel Mean Tyche - although the hotel was fine with a basic pool area and a new wing with updated rooms it is just too far out of the centre of Amman. Even taxi drivers had trouble locating the hotel. Wadi Rum Desert Camp arrival was around 4pm in the afternoon for an overnight stay and only 1 can of soft drink was allowed per person. Lucky we had water but there needs to be an availability of other drinks during the stay, even at a charge.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Janet Peckam

    Hidden Treasures of Jordan

    It was a great trip and I enjoyed every minute of it. However, Jordan was going through a heat wave during the time, which made it very uncomfortable to walk outdoors. Additionally, it was the Ramadan and all cafes, bakeries and many other places were shut during the day. Apart from that everyday of the trip was different and offered us a wide range of amazing experiences.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Petra and Jerash were the most inspirational moments of the trip. It has been on my list to visit Petra for a long time and seeing the Treasury for the first time was sensational. Two full days in Petra was great and gave us enough time to cover a lot of that vast area. Also spending enough time in the Petra museum is a must. Jerash was a great surprise as I did not know anything about it. There is so much to see in Jerash and the time we spent there was well worth it.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nidal was an excellent guide with extensive knowledge of Jordan and a passion for his country. He was also a very friendly, polite caring person who tirelessly looked after everyone in the group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Jordan is a peaceful country surrounded by turmoil. I was struck by its closeness in proximity to Israel, Palestine, Syria and Iraq. It is a wonder that Jordan has managed to stay out of wars and retained its sovereignty. Jordanians are very friendly, polite and helpful. We felt very safe in Jordan. Do not travel to Jordan during Ramadan as most places are closed.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Group members including myself, thought that the itinerary will be much improved by dropping the dessert loop trip altogether on the second day and instead adding Amman sightseeing on that day and ending the trip in Aqaba. Coming back to Amman on the 11th day and continuing with sightseeing seemed somewhat disjointed. In addition very little time was given to Amman. It would also be great to add the Jordan Museum to the itinerary as most of us wanted to visit it and had no time left. Especially not being able to see the Dead Sea scroll was very upsetting. It would have also been great if a nature reserve such as Wadi al Mujib had been added to the itinerary. That would have made a wonderful change to the dessert landscape that accompanied us during most of the trip. We were not able to see much of the flora and fauna of Jordan unfortunately. It would be better if we had a trailer for the luggage as the mini bus did not have enough space. Also, on some days we could have started earlier, which would have given us more time in some sites.

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An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

 

Private Adventures 

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