Day 1 —Arrive Queen Alia International Airport, Amman, where we will be met by a representative of Near Eastern Tours–an IIPT partner. After passport control and baggage claim we will be transferred to our Amman hotel. Overnight Amman Grand Palace Hotel (D)
Day 2 —After breakfast we will have a half-day tour of Amman, an ultra-modern city with 50 centuries of history, an intriguing blend of the new and the ancient. The old city is crowned by the Citadel, with ruins of a Temple of Hercules, an Ummayyad Palace…and a Byzantine church. At the foot of the Citadel lies the 6,000 seat Roman Theater. Lunch and orientation will be held at Wild Jordan Restaurant, which overlooks the ancient city and is operated by the Royal Society for Conservation of Nature. In the afternoon we will be hosted at Amman City Hall by His Excellency Akel Biltaji, Mayor of Jordan and a member of the International Advisory Board of IIPT. Overnight Grand Palace Hotel. (B,L,D)
Day 3 —After breakfast we will head south along the Desert Highway toward Wadi Rum. Lawrence of Arabia called Wadi Rum “…vast, echoing and God-like.” We will have the afternoon to explore this spectacular landscape and add our description to Lawrence’s. Four-wheel drive vehicles, along with four-legged camels are available to show us this stupendous, timeless place. We will explore the canyons and water holes to discover 4000-year-old rock drawings and other treasures in this seemingly boundless site. We will have dinner under the stars and spend the night in luxury tents. Overnight Captain’s Desert Camp (B,D)
Day 4 —Petra, “the rose-red city” is rightfully designated as one of the 7 Wonders of the World, and it is Jordan’s most visited site. Little can be added to all the descriptions of this magical place, but we have added a special opportunity–HRH Princess Dana Firas will host our group and tell us about her work among the Bedouin children in the Petra area. Overnight Petra Guest House (B,D)
Day 5 —This morning we head across the eastern desert of Jordan to the Azraq Refugee Camp, one of three official camps operated by the United Nations. In the afternoon we will visit Azraq Westlands Preserve. A marshland in the desert? It seems improbable, but the Azraq Oasis was a stop-over for centuries for millions of birds in their migratory routes between Asia and Europe. During our tour we will learn about the RSCN’s efforts to replenish this important ecological site. We will have dinner at Azraq Lodge, one of the facilities operated by the Royal Society for Conservation of Nature. Overnight Azraq Lodge (B,D)
Day 6 —This morning we will visit Azraq School, a non-accredited school providing education for 100+ Syrian refugees, ages 6-12, most of whom have never been to school before. In the afternoon we will visit the homes of Syrian refugees who have fled the war in their native country, offering food parcels and hygiene kits to needy families. In the evening we will return to Azraq Lodge for dinner. Overnight Azraq Lodge (B,L,D)
Day 7 —Today we head west, dropping down the steep hills toward the Jordan River Valley. There we will visit Bethany beyond Jordan, where John the Baptist baptized Jesus. Afterwards we will visit the Dead Sea before transferring to our Dead Sea hotel. Overnight Ramada Inn Dead Sea (B,D)
Day 8 —After a leisurely morning we will head up the hills to Mt. Nebo, where Moses looked across to the Promised Land. Madaba, the nearby city, is one of the best sites in Jordan for shopping and we will afford some time to look in the shops. Our farewell dinner will be at Kan Zamaan Restaurant and before transfering to Queen Alia International Airport for departure.