Hidden Treasures of Jordan

Hidden Treasures of Jordan

12 Days



Hidden Treasures of Jordan

12 Days Starting and ending in Amman

Visiting: Amman, Umm Qais, Tabqet Fahel, Ajloun Castle, Madaba, Dead Sea, Wadi al Mujib, Wadi Musa, Seven Wonders Bedouin Camp, Aqaba

Tour operator:


Tour code:


Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

4 - 16

Physical rating:

Leisurely / Moderate

Age range:

16 to 99

Special diets catered:

Please inform Exodus of specific dietary requirements

Tour operated in:

Cultural, History

$2918 (USD) Operator discount: -$298 The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$83 -12%
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Tour Overview

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.


  • Float in the Dead Sea

  • Visit to Mt Nebo, claimed to be Moses' burial site

  • Explore the ancient city of Jerash and Bethany beyond the Jordan

  • Visit Jordan's desert castles, home to centuries of history

  • Two days in Petra, the rose-red city


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Day 1 : Start Amman.
Location: Amman
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: No Meals

Start Amman.
*Comfortable Hotel*

Day 2 : Visit The Castles Of The 'Desert Loop' East Of Amman.
Location: Amman
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast

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*

Day 3 : Head North To Irbid's Archaeological Museum, Umm Qais And Pella.
Location: Umm Qais, Tabqet Fahel
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast

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*

Day 4 : Visit The Ancient City Of Jerash And Ajlun Castle.
Location: Ajloun Castle
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

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*

Day 5 : Visit Bethany Then Head To Madaba, The 'City Of Mosaics' And Mt Nebo Then Back To The Dead Sea.
Location: Madaba, Dead Sea
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

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*

Day 6 : To Petra Via Wadi Al Mujib, Al Karak And Al Shawbak Castles.
Location: Wadi al Mujib, Wadi Musa
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast

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*

Day 7 - 8 : Two Days To Explore Petra.
Location: Wadi Musa
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast

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*

Day 9 : Discover Little Petra En Route To The Wadi Rum Desert; 4Wd Excursion And Overnight In A Bedouin Camp.
Location: Wadi Musa, Seven Wonders Bedouin Camp
Accommodation: Camp
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

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
*Full-service Camping*

Day 10 : Transfer To Aqaba For Optional Snorkelling Over The Coral Reefs Of The Red Sea.
Location: Aqaba
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast

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.

*Comfortable Hotel*

Day 11 : Morning Drive To Amman; City Tour Including Citadel Hill, Archaeological Museum And The Roman Theatre.
Location: Amman
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast

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*

Day 12 : Trip Ends After Breakfast In Amman.
Location: Amman
Meals Included: breakfast

Trip ends after breakfast in Amman.

What's Included

  • Meals
    10 breakfasts, 0 lunches, 3 dinners.

* 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

  • Single accommodation (available on request)

  • Visas or vaccinations

  • Travel insurance


Just like the trip itself, the accommodation is delightfully varied. Typically, we use a three-star hotel in Amman, a basic hillside hotel in Jerash, a five-star retreat by the Dead Sea, a well-located yet simple hotel near Petra, and a four-star hotel in Aqaba, plus we spend a night in our private Bedouin camp in Wadi Rum.

Exodus Private Camp in Wadi Rum 

Reserved exclusively for our groups, the permanent Bedouin camp in Wadi Rum is a highlight for many travellers. We sleep in simple, traditional tents sheltered by rugged stone cliffs and enjoy the warm hospitality of our Bedouin hosts. In the evening, they serve us a zarb dinner, cooked underground in the traditional manner, while the rest of the night is typically spent around the campfire, chatting and sharing an unforgettable experience.  

Holiday Inn Dead Sea 

Another standout stay for many is the Holiday Inn at the Dead Sea. Checking into this five-star retreat allows us to kick back and relax, perhaps in one of the many pools or with a float in the salty Dead Sea waters from the private beach. There’s also a free-to-use gym, a selection of excellent restaurants and bars, and the bliss of five-star service. 


We spend three nights in Wadi Musa, the town adjacent to Petra. Demand for rooms near Petra is extremely high; over the years, we have built relationships with several accommodations, which allows us to secure spots even during peak season. The limited amount of accommodation and high demand can result in varying quality in both the accommodation and service. However, we stay at these hotels as they are well-located for our trip to Petra: some are within walking distance of the main entrance to the Red Rose City, others are no more than a 10-minute transfer away. Places we stay include Edom Hotel, Petra Plaza, Petra Palace, Amra Palace and La Maison among others.

Worth knowing 

The hillside hotel in Jerash is basic, without air conditioning, but does have beautiful views over the countryside, while sunset can be enjoyed from the pool terrace.  

Demand for accommodation in Wadi Musa is high; this can create problems with hot water and plumbing. In general, the accommodation is more basic compared to the rest of Jordan. 

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


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

Check out our Q&As

  • Are flights included in this tour?

    International flights are not included with this tour.

  • Is there a supplement for solo travellers?

    If you would like to be paired with a tour member of the same gender, there is no additional charge. A single supplement can be requested if you would like your own room.

  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?

    Yes, our local guides are English speaking.

  • Can you assist with pre or post tour accommodation?

    We are happy to assist with pre and post tour accommodation. Please enquire for detailed information.

  • Are children permitted to take part in the tour?

    The minimum age for this tour is 16 years old.

  • Who is Exodus Travels?

    At Exodus Travels, we've been exploring the world for nearly 50 years. From Walking and Trekking, Cultural and Cycling, Responsible Wildlife, to Polar and our new Premium Adventures, we are proud to offer award-winning small group and self-guided tours to 100+ countries worldwide.

  • What happens if I need to change my holiday date once I’ve booked?

    If you wish to make any changes to your booking, particularly if you need to alter any flights booked through us, please let us know as soon as possible. There is a booking or flight amendment fee of £40 per change and flight amendments often incur extra airline costs depending on the changes to be made and if the ticket has been issued or not.

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Exodus has been trading since 1974

  • What documents will I receive before I travel?

    Your final joining instructions and flight details, if booked with us, will then be sent out 2 to 3 weeks before departure. If you would like a hard copy posted, or if you require these any earlier, please contact the customer operations team. We advise that if you are booking connecting travel before receiving these, please ensure you leave plenty of time.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Travellers are welcome to opt to share a room with a tour member of the same gender for no additional charge. If you'd like your own room, we can request a single supplement so that you will have your own room throughout.

  • Can I join the tour once it has departed?

    You are welcome to meet the group after the tour has departed however there is no reduction in rate for joining a tour after the departure date.

Reviews from Travellers on this Tour

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.

Jordan's time machine - from the Stone Age to Lawrence of Arabia in 12 days...

If you want to see an in depth showcase of Jordan's historical and archeological treasures in 12 days, then this holiday is exceptional value for money. Winter is an excellent time to visit because of the cooler weather, although the shorter daylight hours meant that some site visits - particularly Jerash - were just a little rushed. Expect to put up with long days of coach travel - it's worth it for the world class archaeology.


Our tour guide Sami was the best. The Olive Branch Hotel in Jerash was terrible. Cold shower,no hot water til way too late when one of us requested it be turned on and it had to heat through. Hotel looked abandoned, broken doors and windows. Breakfast was white bread and processed cheese, nothing fresh.

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.

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.


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.


It was a really good trip… maybe a few less castles and extra time in Aqaba ..

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.

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.


Fantastic trip, with a great mixture of ancient ruins and adventure.

Read all 62 reviews

Dates & Availability

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Friday - Tuesday

May 10, 2024 - May 21, 2024
$3298 $2918 (USD)

Operator discount: -$298 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$83 (USD)

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Friday - Tuesday

May 17, 2024 - May 28, 2024
$3298 $3063 (USD)

Operator discount: -$148 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$87 (USD)

Book with Confidence

  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    Exodus allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform exodus, 43 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    Exodus requires a minimum deposit of 25% or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 90 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of exodus charges.

    Up to 70 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

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