Antarctica & Arctic
Explore some of the Jordan's most magnificent historic and natural sites on foot.
a Destinations d > Jordan > Spice Trails of Petra
Seven nights accommodaiton, meals as indicated, all transport and Explore Worldwide tour leader throughout.
Selected Saturdays; Sep - May
Retrace the steps of the ancient Nabateans along Jordan's old spice trails, trek across wild plateaus to the rock-carved city of Petra and into the breathtaking canyons of Wadi Rum.
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Walks through the majestic desert scenery staying in a Bedouin camp in Wadi Rum
Spend two days to exploring the spectacular 'Rose Red City' of Petra, entering via the Monastery
Float in the saline waters at the lowest point on Earth in the Dead Sea
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Join tour today in Amman, the capital of Jordan.
From Amman we immediately head south on the Desert Highway to Wadi Rum. On arrival we load our bags into vehicles which set off to deliver them to our nightstop whilst we walk through one of the most powerfully evocative places in the Middle East, to our campsite. The legend of Lawrence of Arabia and his Arab revolt lives strongly here and scenes from the famous film were shot here - deep in the fabulous purple-black and yellow mountains that rise from the sands of the desert. We generally arrive in the late afternoon as the hot desert sun starts to set, revealing an evening of incredibly clear skies studded with stars. (B)(L)(D)
Today's six-and-a-half kilometre walk is expected to take around two hours, along a flat route with some walking on soft sand.
We spend the next day exploring the beautiful desert area of Wadi Rum. Starting from our desert camp, we walk in the footsteps of the early Nabatean traders. Spices, silks and perfumes were once carried along this same route. We will explore the northern side of Wad Rum visting the natural stone bridge, walk past sand dunes, follow camel foot prints and see inscriptions and graffiti on the weathered pink granite mountains. The desert is another world, inhabited by the Bedouin people for generations. After an unforgettable day's trekking through this remarkable desert scenery of sculpted sandstone canyons and pristine dunes, we return to our camp and enjoy another night under the star-studded sky. (B)(L)(D)
Today's 17 kilometre circular walk is expected to take around seven hours. Walking on mainly soft sand ascending gradually.
After breakfast there is an optional camel ride through a landscape of sandstone canyons. Non-riders are welcome to walk with the riders - quite a moderate pace, given the speed at which camels walk - or transfer ahead by 4WD to the road. Descending from Wadi Rum to Edom (red) Mountains, we see the largest sand dunes area and pass the remains of Nabtain inscriptions in Jabel Elmezeet from 3rd century BC.
Meeting our bus we drive northwards to Petra where our luggage is taken onto the campsite and we look forward to a day exploring this dazzling site on foot. We first enter via the twisting and colourful Siq gorge arriving at the famous Al-Khazneh (The Treasury), and continue through the heart of the ancient city before heading up to our basic campsite in the Wadi Shamassat. We have special permission from the Petra authorities to wild camp in this unique location. (B)(L)(D)
Today's 13 kilometre walk in Wadi Rum is expected to take around five hours, descending to Edom and ascending 270 metres to the campsite.
Today we head back to Petra to walk up to one of Petra's greatest monuments, Ad-Deir (The Monastery), set high above the city and almost hidden in the mountains.
From our camp we trek across a wild and windswept plateau called Alzantour, overlooking the Wadi Araba to the ruins of Petra. Upon reaching the rim of Jabel Almatalah we are rewarded with a superb panorama over the mountains of Petra. From here we follow a trail along some spectacular ledges until we arrive at the cliffs at the top of Petra where we enter via the Monastery (1,120m). This is the part of Petra which is visited the least and a unique and unforgettable vantage point offering excellent views out over the whole city. We walk down the steps from the Monastery and visit the church, Alhabes Castle, then to the main tombs and the Nabatean Temple . The remainder of the day is free to explore the site at leisure. In the late afternoon our trek follows small paths called Wadi Alturkmanyah back to our campsite.(B)(L)(D)
Today's 18 kilometre walk is expected to take around seven hours, ascending to The Monastery.
This morning we walk from the campsite to little Petra. The ruins of little Petra are approached from one end by the narrow canyon known as Siq Barid (the Cold Canyon). Inside the Little Petra valley the walls are lined with tombs and the remains of caves previously inhabited by the Nabateans.
After visiting the site we drive along the Desert Highway before joining one of the oldest trade routes in the world, the King's Highway, up to the impressive Crusader Castle of Kerak, imposingly sited on a hilltop. Kerak became famous in the time of the Crusades as one of a chain of fortresses in the Holy War against Islam. The castle was built in 1132 by Baldwin of Jerusalem, a Crusader king. Later in the afternoon, we continue to the small, mainly Christian town of Madaba where we spend the night. (B)
Today's three kilometre walk is expected to take around 45 minutes along a flat route.
Madaba is famous for its collection of extraordinary mosaics, including the Great Map of Palestine (6th century). Discovered in 1896, and only fragmentary, it contains a good picture of Jerusalem. From Jebel Neba, better known as Mount Nebo - the point from which Moses saw the Promised Land - we descend to the lowest place on earth, the shimmering Dead Sea. Surrounded by barren hills, this unique water body has an amazingly high salt content (33%) that means no animal life survives and that it is almost impossible to sink. The experience of floating naturally is unique and relaxing on the calm sea. There is also the opportunity for mud pack treatments, renowned for their precious mineral contents and their health and beauty benefits. We have access to the use of showers and washing facilities.
After a float we continue ancient Jerash. Located in the Gilead Hills, it is considered to be the best-preserved city of the Decapolis, a confederation of ten Roman cities. One of the highlights of the Middle East, a triple arch gateway gives way to colonnaded streets, theatres, temples and baths. Particularly striking is the elegant forum - a fitting place to reflect on our exploration of this wonderful desert kingdom before we return to Amman. (B)
Our trip ends in Amman after breakfast. (B)
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