Welcome to Jordan, a country that is home to some of mankind's earliest settlements. We begin in Amman, Jordan's bustling and vibrant capital and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities of the world. Our tour begins with a visit to the amazing Amman Citadel that is perched atop the Jabal Al Qal'a, one of the city's highest hills and one of the seven Jabals that originally made up the city. We will walk through this ancient ruin to gain insight into Jordan's history while also enjoying incredible panoramic views. Next, we'll visit the magnificently restored Roman theatre, a highlight for most visitors to Amman.
We'll continue to the Royal Automobile Museum. Inaugurated by his Majesty King Abdullah II in 2003, the museum displays a remarkable collection of the late King's cars and motorcycles. We'll enjoy some free time to relax and freshen up, before meeting our fellow travellers at a group welcome dinner this evening. (D)
Dana is one of Jordan's hidden gems. The 15th century stone village of Dana is a wonderful place to enjoy some village atmosphere and spectacular scenery. En-route to Dana, we'll stop in Madaba, known as 'The City of Mosaics', where underneath almost every house lies a fine Byzantine mosaic. We will visit the Greek Orthodox Church of St George, home to Madaba's main attraction, a wonderfully vivid, 6th century Byzantine mosaic map showing the entire region from Jordan and Palestine in the north, to Egypt in the south.
We'll also stop at Mount Nebo, the centre for pilgrimages since the earliest Christian times. Mount Nebo is one of the most sacred holy sites of Jordan as it is said to be the place where Moses was buried. Special Experience: We head to the spectacular UNESCO World Heritage-listed Dana Biosphere Reserve where we walk a section of the Dana Village Trail. Dana Biosphere is Jordan's largest nature reserve and home to hundreds of species of flora and fauna. (B/D)
This morning we discover the sights of Luxor on a half day tour. Our first stop for the day is the Valley of the Kings. Carved deep into the limestone rock, each tomb has a similar pattern of three corridors, an antechamber and a sarcophagus chamber. We'll be able to descend into some of the tombs to see examples of the elaborate and incredibly well-preserved hieroglyphic paintings. Our next destination is the Temple of Hatshepsut. Queen Hatshepsut was one of only a few women to be given the title of pharaoh.
We'll then visit the Colossi of Memnon, a historic landmark consisting of two massive statues of the Pharaoh Amenhotep III. We then stop at a nearby alabaster workshop, to learn how the locally quarried stone is carved and crafted and can purchase a souvenir piece to take home if so inclined. This afternoon we embark our Nile River cruise ship. Lunch is served on board and the rest of the afternoon is free to enjoy at leisure.
Optional Excursion Don't miss this opportunity for incomparable views of Luxor's famous temples! Enjoy a hot-air balloon ride directly of the Nile River's West Bank. Away from the crowds in the peaceful glow of dawn, your flight over Egypt's ancient monuments promises to be a highlight of your visit. 1.5hrs (includes transport from your hotel) – from US $160pp Optional Excursion Deir el-Medina is one of the most well-preserved ancient settlements in Egypt. It lies near Thebes and was once a highly skilled community of craftsmen and their families. Visit Medinet Habu, the Mortuary Temple of Ramesses II. Also see the Nobles tombs of the great dignitaries from the middle & new kingdom dynasties. 3 hours – from $75pp US - minimum 4 participants required. (B/L/D)
Today marks the completion of our incredible adventure across Egypt and Jordan. We bid farewell to Egypt and begin our journey home. We hope you leave with fantastic memories! Please note, in order to undertake the following optional tours additional post tour accommodation in Cairo may be required. Please check with your Travel Specialist for details.
Optional Excursion Discover the ancient sites & culture of Coptic Christians throughout Old Cairo. Visit the Hanging Church, possibly the oldest Christian church in Egypt & Abu Serga, a place where the Holy Family rested after fleeing Israel from King Herod. See Ben Ezra Synagogue, one of the oldest synagogues in Egypt. 3 hours - from $52pp US.
Optional Excursion Visit the Gayer Anderson Museum - two houses from the 16th & 17th century built with a unique architectural style & filled with antiques from all over the Middle East. Nearby is the Ibn Toulon Mosque, one of Cairo's biggest mosques, built in the 8th century with strong Persian design influences. The final stop is the El Sultan Hassan Mosque, built in the 13th century & considered one of the best examples of Islamic architecture from that era. 3 hours – from $52pp US.
Optional Excursion Dahshur forms the southernmost area of the Memphis Necropolis & contains a number of pyramid complexes & monuments. This site was used as funerary grounds beginning in the time of the Fourth Dynasty, where King Senefru built two of his three pyramids: the 'Bent' pyramid, named for the angle of the sides, & the 'Red Pyramid' named for the red limestone used in its construction. 2 hours – from $63pp US. (B)
Jewels of Jordan
Unlock the mysteries of Egypt's ancient civilization