The Monastery at Petra

Hidden Treasures of Jordan

12 days
from
£1,379
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Traveller ratings
4.5 / 5 from 51 reviews >
Trip code: 
AXE
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailor Made Adventures
Activity:
Culture
Group size:
4–16
Min age:
16

Explore archaeological highlights with a knowledgeable local leader

This 12 days trip to Jordan is ideal to truly appreciate what 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, home to centuries of history
  • Explore the ancient city of Jerash and Bethany beyond the Jordan
  • Float in the Dead Sea
  • Visit to Mt Nebo, claimed to be Moses' burial site
  • Two days in Petra, the rose-red city

Key information

  • 10 nights hotels and 1 night private 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 tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
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.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

Amman
to
Amman
  • Day 1

    Start Amman.

    Start Amman.
    Standard Hotel

  • 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.
    Comfortable Hotel

    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.
    Standard Hotel

    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.
    Comfortable Hotel

    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.
    Comfortable Hotel

    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.
    Standard Hotel

    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.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Discover Little Petra en route to the Wadi Rum desert; 4WD excursion and overnight in a Bedouin camp.

    Explore Little Petra with its well preserved ruins which are hidden away in the mountains, before continuing to the Wadi Rum desert, a stretch of beautiful sand and rock desert. This 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 film of 'Lawrence of Arabia' were shot. We take a four-wheel drive vehicle far into the area for an exciting desert adventure before arriving to our permanent camp and destination for the night.
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 10

    Transfer to Aqaba for optional snorkelling over the coral reefs of 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.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 11

    Morning drive to Amman; city tour including Citadel Hill, Archaeological Museum and the Roman Theatre.

    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.
    Comfortable Hotel

    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.

No other meals are included. Whilst staying in hotels we usually eat in local restaurants and on some occasions the leader will take those who wish, to a restaurant for a 'mezze' style meal. These allow fast service and a good quality of food for the group and usually cost 10-15 JOD pp. Allow about £250-300 (approx. US$320-480) to cover these 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 choice for vegetarians. There is also a good choice of seafood available when at the Red Sea.

Weather

Spring and autumn are very popular as it is cooler, around 24ºC in the day and down to 8ºC at night. Rain is more likely, but 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. Aqaba is very hot when the air is still, but there is usually a breeze. Rain is unusual but possible. In winter it is generally crisp and warm in the day - approximately 10-15ºC - but temperatures can approach freezing or below at night in the desert. There are even occasions when it snows in Jordan during winter.

Is this trip for you?

Although this is a cultural trip some days can be long and tiring, such as the two days in Petra. These are both long days. To walk up to the sacrificial high places, you should have a reasonable level of fitness. Your leader will be able to offer you further advice about the walk. It can be quite an arduous day but it is well worth the effort. Please also consider that, although trips are planned outside of the summer heat, days in the desert can be very hot.

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 tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
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 standard 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, except in Jerash where we spend the night in a more basic hotel. 

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 tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
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.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
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

Embracing a healthy lifestyle can be a challenge, but if you’re going to keep it up there’s got to be more to it than

  • 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.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Patricia Burritt

    A ‘must do’ trip for anyone who I loves archaeology, history and amazing geography!

    I have wanted to visit Jordan for at least 40 years and finally I made it! The Exodus trip was fantastic and the experience met up to every expectation. I took over 2,000 photos! The journey was so well organised, informative, action packed - we didn’t seem to miss any detail of the ‘treasures’ of this amazing country try!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Arriving at Petra - the site is incredible and so vast and the Exodus itinerary with 2 full days there is perfect!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Nidal Alateaq, was excellent. He was so well organised, conscientious and informed. Nidal managed every aspect of the trip so smoothly and efficiently. As a tour guide on sites and en route he always gave us a thorough explanation of the culture, history and geography of Jordan.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be ready to undertake a very full itinerary and long days each with an interesting agenda. I visited during Ramadan - which can mean that there is a need to work around closure of some facilities and sites.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Hotel accommodation and meals were of a high standard. Thank you Exodus for another wonderful trip!
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Elspeth Bull

    See all of Jordan, whatever the weather.

    This itinerary gave the group the opportunity to see the highlights of Jordan at an easy pace.The cold, wet weather in the north was not anticipated and meant that we did not see some of the sights in their best light. However, the later section of the trip to the Dead Sea Petra and Wadi Rum were up to expectation.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The walk to Petra with the anticipation of seeing the Treasury at the end of the siq.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our guide was the weakest part of the trip and the reason for the lower rating. He was inexperienced and did not always communicate clearly what was happening or give much information about what we were seeing. This was not up to the usual standard we have experienced from guides in the past.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The tour flights arrive late in the evening in Amman. This means you do not get much sleep before starting the tour. If you are able to, I would suggest arriving a day or two earlier and seeing Amman in your own time rather than in a rush on the last day. Be prepared for all weather conditions.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Rhina Batra

    Amazing Jordan !!

    Jordan was everything that I'd hoped it would be and more. The trip had a great mixture of learning the history of Jordan and adventure. Our guide was very helpful and knowledgeable, the local people we met were warm and friendly and the food was very good.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Petra and walking down the Siq to discover the "rose-red city" was the most inspirational moment of our trip. The Treasury and Monastery were amazing! Walking to some of the high places was both exhilarating and beautiful.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nidal Alateaq was a great leader. He was very knowledgeable and wanted very much to show us his beautiful country. He was friendly and approachable.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I am glad that we did the 12 day trip as opposed to the 7 day because we had three nights and three days in Petra. This was definitely required if one wants to visit Petra properly. We went from April 12th to 23rd and the weather was just right-not too hot but not too cold either. I would recommend taking a light jacket for this time of the year as it did cool down in the evenings. The coach/bus we travelled in was compact so don't take excess luggage.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would strongly recommend reasonable walking shoes if you wish to do some of the walks in the higher areas in Petra. The hotels were of a reasonable standard but the best one was the Holiday Inn in the Dead Sea. It was only the standard of hotels that stops me giving this an excellent rating.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Bob Vaughan

    Fabulous Jordan

    A wonderful trip to a beautiful and welcoming country. The experience far outstripped our expectations. The scenery was stunning, the variety of sites amazing, and the accommodation and transport arrangements excellent. Our guide Nidal was brilliant and ensured we got the very most from our trip. He looked after us so well and helped us experience the "real" Jordan and meet the ever so friendly Jordanians as well as seeing the tourist hot spots. We've been on many Exodus trips and this is without doubt one of the best.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    To try and sum this up is a challenge. There were so many and so varied. They range from walking through Petra with the amazing carved rocks faces, to watching the pale crag martins (birds) "floating" along the cliff faces; watching the sun-set over the Martian like landscape of Wadi Rum and then drinking tea around an open fire in the desert camp; Taking in the 360 vista of the quiet flat rocky desert around Qasr El Kharana, to travelling alongside the Dead Sea knowing you're 380+ metres below sea level; and finally being waved to by the whole school when we stopped outside, to taking in the view of Jordans own Grand Canyon - Wadi Mujib.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nidal was a great guide, very experienced and excellent company. He seemed to know everyone, and everyone knew him too. Very knowledgeable and friendly, and a great ambassador for his country. He took care of all our needs and ensured we got to see every aspect of Jordan. He was ably assisted by our great driver Mather.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a well balanced trip that ensures you see and experience a great deal of Jordan. Although jam packed it was well paced and we had enough time to really soak in all of the sites and meet the locals. I would not hesitate to recommend this trip.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Eric Lassiter

    Two full days in Petra

    My decision to take the 12-day tour (really only 10 days since the first day was only "arrival" and the last day was only "departure") with Exodus was the best decision of my trip planning. Most basic Jordan tours offer only two full nights (one full day). Three nights in Petra meant we had two full days morning to night. One full day really really is not enough for Petra. Three full days, one more than we had, would have been ideal.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Most inspirational moments: Traveling over the sands of Wadi Rum at sunset on the back of a small open jeep was sublime. Traveling over the sands of Wadi Rum at dawn on the back of camel was far beyond sublime. These are moments when one truly feels fully alive; amazing, moments that will remain sharply vivid long after the trip. Hats off as well to the Exodus tent camp at Wadi Rum, tucked in a narrow cleft between two "jebels," the hard rock mountains that give Wadi Rum its distinctive look.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nidal Alteaq was a great pleasure to travel with. Tour leaders are nearly always friendly, informative, personal and professional; Nidal's proud, unbridled joy at showing off and wanting to share his Jordan shone through. Thank you Nidal, for that gift. Shukran!
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Tanya Page

    Fantastic!

    This was an excellent tour of Jordan, covering the main sites and some that are more off the tourist trail. After 12 days we felt like we had really experienced the best that Jordan has to offer, fascinating culture, lovely people, amazing archaeology and great food!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    So many to choose from but here goes! The two days in Petra were amazing. This site is vast and to make the most of it you need a good pair of walking shoes/boots and a lot of stamina for the steep climbs. In two days we walked a total of 20 miles, we had not realised how much there is to see here, truly breathtaking!! The night in Wadi Rum was very special, the Exodus camp is private and very intimate, we enjoyed the Bedouin stories, music and traditional food. The camel ride at sunrise is not to be missed!!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mohammad was not as experienced as we would have hoped for however I don’t think it’s fair to be too critical as I believe this was his first Exodus trip and with such a large group and I think perhaps he was not prepared enough. That being said, he was a good escort and we felt safe with him, he was entertaining and fun to be with, and anything we were not sure about we just looked up in the guide book or googled!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don’t underestimate the amount of walking at Petra if you really want to cover all the main sites and some hidden spots away from tourists! Take snacks with you during the day as meal times were not always predictable and not on European time, that’s how it is in Jordan! Go with the flow and don’t moan, not everything will go to plan, it’s impossible with a packed itinerary and a group of 16 people so try to keep an open mind and maintain a sense of humour!
  • Reviewed April 2019
    David Scott

    Jordan’s treasures explored

    A fairly comprehensive tour of the antiquities of Jordan, from the Prehistoric to the medieval and then up to recent history. The Roman sites in particular were much more impressive than I was expecting, with wonderful mosaics and architecture. The highlight however must be Petra and spending three nights at the hotel there does enable two full days of exploration and time to recover afterwards. There is a lot of walking required, with many steps, to get around which is quite tiring, as the site is large and much more than the “Treasury”. The campsite at Wadi Rum was also outstanding. The itinerary is extensive and enables a good overview of the impact of the various empires that have swept over the country and left their mark to be appreciated.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    That must be either my first view of the “Treasury” after walking down the Siq, (even if it was crowded), or looking out over the quite breathtaking beauty of the landscape in Wadi Rum, after a night spent in the desert camp.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nidal was outstanding and had a fairly comprehensive knowledge of the history of Jordan, whether he was talking about the details of Roman architecture, the water management system of Petra or the geology of the region. He answered questions about the recent history of Jordan’s place in the Middle East and it’s culture with patience and good humour, whilst demonstrating a passion to show and explain what the country had to offer. He was also very well organised and worked extremely hard to ensure that everybody in the group got as much as they wanted out of the tour.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Looking back after the tour had ended I realised that not much time is allocated to Amman. We visited the citadel and Roman theatre on the afternoon of the last day, after a necessarily long and tiring drive back from Aqaba. There was no time to visit the Jordan museum, (where some of the Dead Sea scrolls are displayed), the Hijaz railway museum, (for those like myself who are interested in Lawrence of Arabia), or any other parts of the city. I would in retrospect arrive a day early, or leave a day later and spend a day there.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The recommended reading is Lawrence’s “Seven Pillars of Wisdom”. This is a very long and not at all straightforward text, and I can’t imagine any but a committed Lawrence enthusiast reading it nowadays. He did write an abbreviated version for the popular market called “Revolt in the desert”, but it would be a lot easier to read one of the many books published about the Arab Revolt in general, and his part in it, if you did want to read something in advance. Lawrence does not figure greatly in the tour however, and you will find that the glories of Roman mosaic and the architecture of Petra much more important. Finally I found the Jordanian people unfailingly polite, friendly and welcoming wherever we went. They contributed greatly to the success of the trip with waves, smiles and “good morning, how are you ?” from teenagers to old men.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Peter Fielding

    Hidden treasure of Jordan

    I saw the things that I hoped to see and they more than lived up to my expectations. However there were numerous aspects of the trip that left me frustrated, annoyed and at times angry. I was assured by others who had travelled before with Exodus that my disappointments were not usual. Even so from my one experience it did not compare favourably with my trips with Intrepid or G adventures and so couldn’t be recommended.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The approach to Petra through the winding narrow passageway with the rock walls towering above creates a feeling of anticipation that is totally fulfilled as you step out into the Wider space with the Treasury facing you. Both the climbs up to the monastery and the Place of Sacrifice are the other highlights of apetra not to be missed Finally our stay in the desert amidst the amazing rock formations.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    If you were making a training video highlighting how not to behave and what not to do then Mohammad Baninazet would be perfect. His English is not good, pronunciation poor and he slurs one word into the next. He was confused about the number of nights in the various hotels, the times for meeting constantly changed partly because he kept confusing 8.30 with 10.30. On the journeys he was totally engrossed with his mobile phone and if not for being prompted by the driver told us nothing about the places on our journey. He appeared to have little knowledge of the sites we visited so that as the trip progressed people wandered off. If you questioned anything he said or asked for clarification he would say we hadn’t been listening . Some were told off for ‘undermining ‘ by listening to other guides who had far superior knowledge and English. I arrived the day before in Amman and a notice was displayed giving the time of the group meeting as 8am the next day. At 8.15am I asked for the second time about this and he said there wasn’t one. I pointed out the notice and he dismissed this as being from the Exodus Office. He wouldn’t accept that it had anything to do with him. No meeting happened and even on day 4/5 we were still trying to get to know each other. The staff doing the transfers were helpful and efficient. I can’t praise the driver enough for even with his limited English he was always courteous and helpful. Though writing for myself alone I know we all tried to make the best of it and not let him spoil our trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Definitely arrive a day early otherwise you will not see Amman especially the souks and the Jordan Museum which house the Dead Sea Scrolls. AsThere isn’t enough time on the last day

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The hotel Mena in Amman is too far out. The holiday Inn was fine as was theCosta in Aquaba. The desert camp was brilliant and the guy running it a gem. The content of the trip was great and our choosing a trip which had 2 days in Petra was definitely correct. I’ve been on many trips and this the first time I’ve given negative feedback. At the end I could all most feel sorry for our guide because he was totally out of his depth. It felt as if we were there for his benefit when it should be the other way round

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank Peter for his feedback, although we are very sorry that some aspects of this trip fell below his expectations, especially with regards to the tour's leadership. A more experienced tour leader was originally assigned to lead Peter’s group but was regrettably called away at very short notice due to a family emergency. Whilst the replacement tour leader, Mohammed, was briefed by more experienced leaders and we were confident he had the necessary enthusiasm, energy and skills to lead this departure  we are very sorry that his leadership impacted on Peter’s enjoyment of the trip.  We would like to confirm that as a result Mohammed will not be leading any Exodus trips in the foreseeable future.  We would only consider him again as a leader for Exodus if we were sure that his English skills had improved sufficiently along with his leadership abilities. Should Mohammed lead any future tours for us, we will closely monitor the feedback regarding his performance, to ensure he is meeting the high standards we expect from our tour leaders. Kashka Lantis – Product Manager

  • Reviewed April 2019
    stephen gilbert

    very interesting trip

    Thoroughly enjoyed a comprehensive trip of a diverse set of sites within the compact country. Easy to get around with good roads. All the sites are well kept. People are friendly and easy to get by and find what you want or need.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Certainly the 2 days at Petra. You really get a feel for it as you get into all the nooks temples and caves. Although the bright spring flowers at Jerash within the 2000 year old ruins was also pretty special too.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Bassam was enthusiastic, tried hard and meant well. His English was very easy to understand. Through no fault of his own his weakness came from inexperience with the details of trip (like how much spare time we need for photos, where exactly we went next, what they wanted from experience) and also with the diverse group of travellers that come with an Exodus group tour. But I have to say the tour ran according to the itinerary and he was pleasant company.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We went in March. The Spring flowers were in bloom and some sites were set off beautifully. With Spring in mind the weather was variable. Hot and sunny at Petra, hail stones at Wadi Rum and either hot sunny or cool and overcast at Dead Sea. Changed every day, pack for all weathers. For camping at Wadi Rum in Spring we recommend a sleeping bag liner, probably thermal or wear thermal pyjamas? The bus transport was a good size for us as everyone packed reasonably. Be aware if you take oversize luggage it may overflow into passenger compartment to make it cramped for travellers.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Highly recommend swimming shoes at both Dead Sea and Red Sea. Small stones and sea urchins and present. Regarding walking at Petra, we used trainers and these were suitable. You'll need some rugged grip in places and because its covered in stone shards the soles should be quite thick to cushion the bumps.

Dates & Prices

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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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