Today we’ll drive East from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem to the Sheikh Hussein border crossing and make our entry into Jordan. Our first stop is Jerash – city of the Decapolis, located about 45km north of Amman in the fertile heights of the Gilad. Our visit to the ancient Roman city will reveal colonnaded streets, elaborate public baths, lovely temples and a beautiful arch to commemorate a visit by the Emperor Hadrian. The short drive to Amman will set us up for a panoramic city tour of the bustling Jordanian capital. We’ll overnight here.
After breakfast we’ll drive to Mount Nebo, where Moses looked out over the Promised Land – from here you can see the Jordan Valley, Jericho and the Dead Sea. Continuing south along the Desert Highway, we’ll reach Wadi Musa, the modern village of Petra. Entering the site of Petra, we’ll walk, or ride on horseback to the entrance of the “Siq” (Canyon). Walking through the “Siq” we’ll enter the incomparable red-rock city, the ancient capital of the Nabateans from the 3rd century BCE to the 2nd century. You’ll visit all of the most interesting monuments such as the Treasury (El Khazneh – the tomb of a Nabatean king), the field of tombs, obelisks and the altar (Al Madhbah) – from this point you can view the entire site. Following our exploration of the ancient site, we’ll return to Wadi Musa for the night.
After breakfast we’ll drive south to the towering mountains and rock formations of Wadi Rum, which once mesmerised Lawrence of Arabia. Drive through the stunning desert landscapes on a 2 hr jeep safari, visiting the Lawrence Spring and the rugged Khazali Canyon, full of mysterious ancient inscriptions. On the drive north to the capital, we’ll stop at Madaba to visit the remains of the Byzantine church with its mosaic floor map, the oldest surviving cartographic depiction of the Holy Land and Jerusalem. We’ll sleep tonight in Amman.
After breakfast, we’ll leave the hotel and head to the border. Crossing the Jordan River, we’ll settle back for the drive to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.