11 DAYS / 10 NIGHTS JORDAN
Please note we may have to alter details of our itinerary slightly depending on weather, access to sites and other unplanned events.
Airport pickup and transfer to the hotel. Depending on guest arrival times we may include a visit to some key locations in Amman such as The Citadel.
Welcome drinks and a run through of your holiday followed by a group dinner savoring some of Jordan's finest traditional dishes.
We head to Jerash, with morning tea at Jalaad Cultural Centre and its extensive private collection of Arab art. After an early lunch at a local restaurant we have a full afternoon for painting at Jerash archeological site with time to explore the ruins and the fine examples of provincial Roman urbanism with the paved and colonnaded streets, temples, theatres and impressive plaza. We will spend several hours here to give you time to capture the afternoon light and be inspired by imagining what life might have been like in the 1st Century.
Dinner is at a local restaurant giving you the chance to try more of Jordan's wonderful cuisine.
We travel one hour north of Amman, through the pine forests to Ajloun, site of the medieval Ayyubid Castle (Qal'at Al Rabadh) built in 1184 AD. We enjoy morning tea taking in the expansive views from the top of the castle over the Jordan Valley.Moving further north to another Decapolis city – Umm Qais which was known as Gadara in previous times. Perched on a splendid hilltop overlooking the Yarmouk River and the Sea of Galilee, it is the site of the famous miracle of the Gadarene swine as well as being the home of several philosophers and poets in Roman times. There is plenty of time to sketch at the museum and the open air. We will take lunch on the terrace of the rest house with its breathtaking view of three countries.
Wine tasting in the evening with our host Omar Zoumot, sampling his award winning selection with a light supper.
A morning of exploring the old neighborhood of Jabal el Webdeh, with its private galleries and the National Gallery of Fine Arts. Lunch in a local cafe followed by a change of pace by heading 400m below sea level for an overnight stay at the Dead Sea.
Sunset at the Dead Sea with time for a therapeutic float in the mineral rich waters and a mud wrap before dinner at our hotel.
Enjoy another early swim before heading off to Madaba and Kerak on our way to Dana following the 2000 year old King's Highway. For the trip south, our first stop is Mt Nebo, one of Jordan's most revered religious sites, where Moses is believed to be buried. Standing atop the hill, the breathtaking view can extend to Jerusalem and Bethlehem on a clear day. Lunch in Madaba, known for its well preserved Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics, and time to view the magnificent 6th Century mosaic in the St George church.
During the 2 hour drive to Dana, we leave behind the stark desert landscapes and travel up to 1600 metres above sea level across spectacular mountains with views through the valleys below. A hike around the reserve either in the evening or early next morning.
Finally you will get to see Petra in all its glory. The dramatic walk into the Nabatean capital to catch the glimpse of the famed 'Treasury'. We spend all day in the site exploring the temples, the tombs, meeting the bedouin and walking through the ancient city that was once home to 30,000 people. Lunch on site and for the energetic, the hike up 800 steps to the Monastery is worth it.
A traditional dinner then a good sleep for those who want to catch the early light the next day.
Early risers can take advantage of another trip into Petra as we will head to Wadi Rum in the afternoon to be there in time for sunset views over the vast landscape. A jeep tour to one of the best viewing spots for a sunset drink before heading to our 'camp' of cabins with private facilities.
A traditional desert meal and time to reflect on the previous days' experiences.
For the adventurous, there is the option of a very early start to take a balloon ride to see the desert from above. A magical start to the day! (Price of ballooning is additional and pending weather conditions)
After breakfast we head off on a jeep tour of the Wadi Rum Protected area to see the Nabatean rock carvings, the natural arched bridges and where 'Lawrence of Arabia' was filmed.
The afternoon is given over to relaxing at the camp, finishing sketches, making new ones, writing or just gathering your thoughts of Jordan together.
Photo by Jane Taylor
We head back to Amman with a stop for lunch. We arrive in time for a free afternoon exploring the 'downtown' markets, more gallery visits, shopping, or our other suggestions. Your time is your own for the afternoon and to plan your own evening meal. We will be happy to make recommendations and reservations for you at some of our favourite restaurants.
Our last day is spent with free time in the morning. The we explore Jabal Amman, another of the historic and charming neighborhoods of Amman with its beautiful old houses, galleries and cafes. This is the time for gallery visits, meeting artists in their ateliers and relaxing strolls.
We gather together for a casual dinner on our last night to celebrate new friends and reflect on our experiences.