Desert and History Tour

Jordan Tour – Desert and History – an 8 day Small Group Tour.

This tour combines with our Israel and Palestine Tour

Jordan’s relatively small area belies its wealth of cultural, archaeological and natural sights, while allowing succinct exploration. Nabatean Petra tops many wish lists, and for once the reality exceeds the hype. Roman Jerash too surprises in terms of scale and preservation. However, for some the wonder of Wadi Rum’s epic natural landscape easily surpasses any manmade monument.

Memorably excellent cuisine, surprisingly good white wine and genuine hospitality are all aspects of Jordan missing from headlines that seem only to feature the Middle East in the event of bad news.

Right now, the region’s tourism languishes in the doldrums, normally popular sights are devoid of crowds… which means it’s a great time to tour Jordan.

In a region of geopolitical turmoil, Jordan is a safe and welcoming land of remarkable contrast.

Dense with history, full of natural wonders and historical sites, a bridge between sea and desert, east and west and linking ancient and new civilisations. It is essentially an open air museum in almost all its entirety. On this comfortable small group tour, marvel at astonishing Roman amphitheatres, Crusader castles and Christian mosaics. Imbibe the splendid desert isolation of Wadi Rum Protected Area and wander open mouthed amongst the pink sandstone and rock-hewn antiquities of the Lost City of Petra (UNESCO).

Spend time in the village of Dana allowing for opportunities to experience the legendary warmth of the Jordanian people and assist in the preparation of tasty local dishes with the Iraq Al Ameer Women’s Association. No visit to Jordan is complete without a float, rather than a dip in the ultra-saline Dead Sea set against an other-worldly backdrop.

This tour through Jordan is a must for those that wish to experience an exciting combination of rich history and stunning landscapes.

Tour ratings.

  • Fitness
  • Off the beaten track 
  • Culture
  • History
  • Wildlife

Tour Pace


Tour style


Relaxed Pace

Relaxed tours are easy paced with plenty of leisure time built in. The tour will in all probability still be off the beaten track, with the occasional early start and there may still be occasional long drives. In general on a relaxed pace tour you can enjoy easy-going activities and experiences with opportunities to absorb the sights and immerse yourself in the local surroundings.

Moderate Pace

Moderate pace tours are ideal if you want a tour experience that combines activities and experiences with some time to relax. Typically you will be active and busy for part of the day but then also have time to rest and recharge your batteries. In general on a moderate paced tour there may be some long journeys involved but the tour is not an expedition or a road trip. On a moderate paced tour it will be necessary to have some early starts.

Busy Pace

A busy paced tour means that you can expect to be doing, seeing or experiencing something new almost every day, and moving on from place to place to pack in as much as possible. There may be early starts, long journeys and tiring days along the way, but you’ll return home feeling you’ve really experienced as much as you possibly could.

Pioneer Class Tours

On our Pioneer tours, you will be amongst an elite group of intrepid travellers and some of the first to explore a country that few have been privileged enough to discover. Of course, exploring such areas of the world will come with its challenges; it may mean several nights camping, long journeys by 4WD and the need to maintain a degree of flexibility for when carefully laid plans change. These are challenging tours in countries and areas that may have poor infrastructure, high levels of poverty and illiteracy. This can translate in to low standards in hotels, bad roads and poor driving standards among other issues. We try and smooth out as much of these issues as we can but you should be prepared to experience the bad with the good.

Traveller Class Tours

Our Traveller itineraries are at the core of our programme. These journeys are designed for travellers who still want to discover a land away from the tourist crowds but expect minimum standards. Accommodation will be primarily hotel based, although you could still find yourself camping, or the guest of a local family. Depending on the destination and itinerary, you’ll likely be travelling in a private vehicle, with occasional use of public transport. This is adventure travel with some of the rough edges smoothed out.


Begin your tour of Jordan. Arrive in Amman and transfer to your hotel. Depending on your time of arrival, there may be time to explore the city at leisure. No guided services are provided today. Overnight Hotel Larsa Hotel or similar.

 (Approximate driving time: two-and-a-half-hours)

After a breakfast there’s a tour briefing before we take a city tour of Amman. Highlights include the Roman amphitheatre, the Citadel, the Jordan Museum, and the city’s atmospheric souk. In the afternoon we drive to the Roman city of Jerash and explore the extensive ruins of a remarkably well-preserved archaeological site. Overnight Olive Branch Hotel or similar. (B)

(Approximate driving time: five-hours)

This morning we drive along the King’s Highway, the world’s oldest continuously used communication route, to Kerak. On arrival we explore the city’s fortress, a fine example of Crusader architecture. Afterwards we drive to Dana Biosphere Reserve, taking a short and easy hike above Dana village. Walking through terraced gardens, we visit craft workshops, meet local residents, observe Ottoman architecture, and learn about Dana’s rich history. We take a picnic lunch while enjoying views over the beautiful landscape. Later we drive to Wadi Musa, adjacent to the archaeological site Petra. Overnight Petra Guesthouse or similar. (BL)

Please NoteThe walk is around 1 hour and is of an easy grade. 

Today is dedicated to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Petra, 2nd century Nabatean capital and Jordan’s pre-eminent ancient site. Winding through the atmospheric canyon of the Siq to emerge in front of the remarkable 40m façade of the Treasury is a revelatory experience. However, Petra is huge – over 26,000 hectares, at its peak encompassing an estimated population of 20,000. We explore the site on foot, taking in the theatre, tombs, and numerous other structures. There’s the opportunity to ascend nearly 800 steps, taking 40-minutes, to the exquisite monastery of El Deir, a quite astonishing building carved from living rock and one of site’s highlights. Since its rediscovery in the early 19th century much has been written about Petra, but nothing really prepares for the scale and extent of the reality. Overnight Petra Guesthouse or similar (B)

(Approximate driving time: two-hours, not including Wadi Rum jeep tour)

This morning we drive to Wadi Rum, an otherworldly landscape whose dramatic mountainous vistas define incredible. David Lean’s 1962 cinematic masterpiece, Lawrence of Arabia, captured just some of Wadi Rum’s majesty. Lawrence and forces of the Arab Revolt did indeed camp close to the wadi’s freshwater spring of Ain Shalaleeh, before the attack on Aqaba in 1917. However, this landscape needs no celebrity endorsement. Throughout the day sunlight falling on the valley’s immense monolithic peaks presents an ever-changing kaleidoscope of colour. After tea with local Bedouin, we explore the wadi by 4WD, attempting to absorb views that culminate in an unforgettable sunset. Overnight Captains Camp. (BLD)

Please Note – The Wadi Rum camp in this magnificent desert wilderness comprises of Bedouin style tents which are furnished and comfortable inside but basic. It is possible to have your own tent if you are paying the single supplement but bathrooms facilities are in a separate unit and are shared.

 (Approximate driving time: five-hours)

Today we drive to Madaba and visit the Church of St. George, known for its remarkable mosaic map of Palestine and the surrounding region. Afterwards we drive to Mount Nebo, from where Moses is said to have been shown the Promised Land. Later we continue to Amman. Overnight Larsa Hotel or similar. (B)

 (Approximate driving time: two-hours)

After a leisurely breakfast we drive just south of Amman to the Iraq Al Ameer Women’s Co-Op and take part in preparation of traditional dishes, which we’ll enjoy for lunch. Afterwards we drive to the shores of the Dead Sea, 430.5m below sea level, on the border with Israel and the occupied West Bank. We take the opportunity to float in the exceptionally salty water among a most dramatic and barren landscape. Later we return to Amman where the rest of the day is free to relax. Overnight Larsa Hotel or similar. (BL)

The final day of your tour of Jordan is at leisure until your airport transfer. If you flight is late evening do let us know if you require any further additional guided services. (B)

Dates & Price.

Tour Notes

Single Supplement from £325 per person.

Flights from London to Amman on direct flights start from £350. Please contact us for a quotation. At busy times of year around holidays prices of course may be much more for flights.

Kindly note that this tour can also be arranged as a private tour. Prices start from £2150 per person based on 2 people travelling sharing a room.

Tailor-made options are also available in Jordan. Please contact Mark to design your ideal tour of Jordan.

From March 2020 this tour runs back to back with our small group tour of Lebanon. Vineyards and Valleys of Lebanon Small Group Tour

Mapped itinerary.

Want to see details of your itinerary on a map?

Download PDF.

Download the full tour dossier for this trip here.

Jordan - Desert and History Tour Map

For expert advice get in touch now with our passionate,
well-travelled team.

+44(0) 191 296 2674 from THE UK
1-800-614-2967 from THE US & CANADA
1-300-956-415 from AUSTRALIA

Tour inclusions.

  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • All accommodation as per the itinerary or similar
  • Land transportation in minibus/minivan or similar vehicle
  • Services of an English-speaking guide/tour leader – note smaller group sizes have driver and local guides
  • Meals as listed (B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner)
  • Jordan Pass (includes all entrance fees and also waives visa on arrival fee)

Tour exclusions.

  • International flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Drinks
  • Tips (discretionary)

This was my first ever holiday to Jamaica. I felt we were treated like royalty and everyone was so friendly. There was so much to take in and the history of the island is fascinating. Thank you for taking such good care of us both.

Ms Beryl Shotton, UK