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Explore some of the world's most magnificent historic and natural sites on foot. Retrace the steps of the ancient Nabateans along old spice trails, trek across wild plateaus to the rock-carved city of Petra and into the breathtaking canyons of Wadi Rum.
Explore Tour Leader
2 nights simple camping
2 nights premium hotel
1 nights comfortable hotel
2 nights simple tented camp
Trip maximum 16 Explore Average 11
Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.
Arrive in Amman, the capital of Jordan, which is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Now home to almost half of the country's population, it is a fascinating city of contrasts, where the very ancient and the brand new collide.
For those arriving on time our Leader plans to meet you in the hotel reception at 7pm for the welcome meeting and for those that wish, there is the chance to go out for dinner. There are no other activities planned today, so you are free to arrive in Amman at any time. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you'll need to arrive into Queen Alia International Airport (AMM), which is around 30 minutes' drive. Should you miss the welcome meeting, you will find information on the hotel notice near reception.
If your flight arrives earlier in the day, you may wish to explore the streets and souks of downtown Amman independently.
Toledo Hotel (or similar)
From Amman we immediately head south on the Desert Highway to Wadi Rum. On arrival we load our bags into vehicles which sets off to deliver them to our nightstop. After a picnic lunch we walk through one of the most powerfully evocative places in the Middle East, to our campsite. The legend of Lawrence of Arabia and his Arab revolt lives strongly here and scenes from the famous film were shot here - deep in the fabulous purple-black and yellow mountains that rise from the sands of the desert. We walk to southern Wadi, where Lawrence of Arabia used to live, continuing to the highest point on this day the Seven Pillars Mountains (950m).
We generally arrive to the camp in the late afternoon as the hot desert sun starts to set, revealing an evening of incredibly clear skies studded with stars. The private campsite we use is intimate and for the groups exclusive use. The camp is located away from the main road and tourist centre and within the Wadi Rum protected area with great views over the desert. The sleeping is communal in one of the large tents, a shared washroom with flushing toilets and showers is available during our stay. The rest of the evening is normally spent around a campfire, with spectacular desert stars overhead.
Today's six-and-a-half kilometre walk is expected to take around two hours, with some walking on soft sand.
Wadi Rum Private Wild Camp (or similar)
Simple Tented Camp
We spend the next day exploring the beautiful desert area of Wadi Rum. Starting from our desert camp, we walk in the footsteps of the early Nabatean traders. Spices, silks and perfumes were once carried along this same route. We will explore the northern side of Wadi Rum visiting the natural stone bridge, walk past sand dunes, follow camel foot prints and see inscriptions and graffiti on the weathered pink granite mountains. The desert is another world, inhabited by the Bedouin people for generations. After an unforgettable day's trekking through this remarkable desert scenery of sculpted sandstone canyons and pristine dunes, we return to our camp and enjoy another night under the star-studded sky.
Today's 17 kilometre circular walk is expected to take around seven hours. Walking on mainly soft sand ascending gradually with stops for tea and lunch in the shade.
After breakfast there is an optional one-hour camel ride through a landscape of sandstone canyons. Non-riders are welcome to walk with the riders - quite a moderate pace, given the speed at which camels walk - or transfer ahead by 4WD to the road. The walk out of the desert descends from Wadi Rum to Edom (red) Mountains, we see the largest sand dunes area and pass the remains of Nabtain inscriptions in Jabel Elmezeet from 3rd century BC.
Meeting our bus we drive northwards to Petra where our luggage is taken onto the campsite and we look forward to a day exploring this dazzling site on foot. We first enter via the twisting and colourful Siq gorge arriving at the famous Al-Khazneh (The Treasury). Continue through the heart of the ancient city climbing to the Royal Tomb and Roman Theatre before heading up to our basic campsite in the Wadi Shamassat.
We have special permission from the Petra authorities to wild camp in this unique location, within walking distance of the Petra archaeological sites. This presents the opportunity to experience traditional Bedouin living arrangements in a large communal style goat hair tent, laid out with rugs, mattresses, pillows and blankets, this is where the group will eat, socialise and sleep. The camp is basic, there are no showers but a portable toilet and bowls of warm water will be provided for washing.
This evening there is the option to return to Petra after dinner, for an enchanting tour of the old city by candlelight.
Today's 13 kilometre walk is expected to take around five hours, descending to Edom and ascending 270 metres to the campsite.
Little Petra Baidah Camp (or similar)
Today we head back to Petra to walk up to one of Petra's greatest monuments, Ad-Deir (The Monastery), set high above the city and almost hidden in the mountains.
From our camp we trek across a wild and windswept plateau called Alzantour, overlooking the Wadi Araba to the ruins of Petra. Upon reaching the rim of Jabel Almatalah we are rewarded with a superb panorama over the mountains of Petra. From here we follow a trail along some spectacular ledges to arrive at the cliffs at the top of Petra where we enter via the Monastery (1,120m). This is the part of Petra which is visited the least and a unique and unforgettable vantage point offering excellent views out over the whole city. We walk down the steps from the Monastery and visit the church, Alhabes Castle, then to the main tombs and the Nabatean Temple. The remainder of the day is free to explore the site at leisure. In the late afternoon our trek follows a different route along small paths called Wadi Alturkmanyah back to our campsite.
Today's 18 kilometre walk and guided tour is expected to take around seven hours, it is approximately a two hour walk to The Monastery.
This morning we walk from the campsite to little Petra. The ruins of little Petra are approached from one end by the narrow canyon known as Siq Barid (the Cold Canyon). Inside the Little Petra valley the walls are lined with tombs and the remains of caves previously inhabited by the Nabateans.
After visiting the site we drive along the Desert Highway before joining one of the oldest trade routes in the world, the King's Highway, up to the impressive Crusader Castle of Kerak, imposingly sited on a hilltop. Kerak became famous in the time of the Crusades as one of a chain of fortresses in the Holy War against Islam. The castle was built in 1132 by Baldwin of Jerusalem, a Crusader king.
Later in the afternoon, we continue to the small, mainly Christian town of Madaba where we spend the night. Madaba is famous for its collection of extraordinary mosaics, including the Great Map of Palestine (6th century). Discovered in 1896, and only fragmentary, it contains a good picture of Jerusalem.
This morning's three kilometre walk is expected to take around 45 minutes along a flat route.
Mariam Hotel (or similar)
This morning we visit Jebel Neba, better known as Mount Nebo - the point from which Moses saw the Promised Land. From here we descend to the lowest place on earth, the shimmering Dead Sea. Surrounded by barren hills, this unique water body has an amazingly high salt content (33%) that means no animal life survives and that it is almost impossible to sink. The experience of floating naturally is unique and relaxing on the calm sea. There is also the opportunity for mud pack treatments, renowned for their precious mineral contents and their health and beauty benefits. We have access to the use of showers and washing facilities.
After a float we continue ancient Jerash. Located in the Gilead Hills, it is considered to be the best-preserved city of the Decapolis, a confederation of ten Roman cities. One of the highlights of the Middle East, a triple arch gateway gives way to colonnaded streets, theatres, temples and baths. Particularly striking is the elegant forum - a fitting place to reflect on our exploration of this wonderful desert kingdom before we return to Amman. There may be time this afternoon to visit a Hamman in Amman.
The trip ends after breakfast at our hotel in Amman.
There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart from Amman at any time. If your flight is departing later in the day, luggage storage facilities are available at our hotel. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you need to depart from Queen Alia International Airport (AMM).
Total distance : 39 miles
During April to November days are generally sunny and hot without rain with temperatures around 32°C. In spring and autumn evenings can be cool and night temperatures can drop suddenly especially in the desert. Expect cold nights in winter (December to February) when temperatures can drop to around 0 degrees. Some rain should also be expected at this time of year.
2 Pin Round
Wadi Rum - Camel trek JD20.00 pp; Petra - Petra by night JD17.00 pp; Plus return transfer from the camp to Petra welcome centre, from JD20 for a car of upto 3 people sharing, (price depends on size of vehicle and number of people).
Bring light and comfortable clothing that can be layered according to the temperature. The weather conditions can be changeable, and it can become cool, especially at night and early mornings can be very cold when camping in the desert so bring warmer layers. Tops made from wicking materials which keep you drier and warmer are recommended as a base layer, and walking trousers are preferable to trousers of heavier material such as jeans. A waterproof jacket is essential at all times in case of rain and wind. Women are advised not to wear shorts or dresses that are too revealing as this can attract unwelcome attention in the streets of Muslim towns - loose fitting trousers are ideal. Women should also cover their head and shoulders when entering a mosque and men should wear long trousers. -Breathable wind and waterproof jacket -T-shirts -Long sleeved tops -Sunhat -Long trousers -Warm sleepwear -Shorts (if you prefer to walk in them) -Swimwear and towel -Midlayer Fleece/pullover -Socks (liner and thicker pair) -Insulated jacket -Scarf
We recommend you bring lightweight walking boots with ankle support, make sure that your boots are worn-in and comfortable before the start of the trip. Also trainers or sandals for relaxing and general wear. We suggest that on international flights you either carry your walking boots in your hand luggage or wear them - should your luggage be lost or delayed, your own boots are the one thing that will be irreplaceable.
Bring one main piece of luggage and a 20-30 litre day sack is recommended. You will need to carry what you need for the day which may include a raincoat, jumper, camera, sun-cream, water and picnic lunch. On hot days you will carry fewer clothes but more drinking water. You will be carrying only your day bag during the walks and main luggage shall be transported between accommodations by car.
-Sunglasses -Sun cream -Head Torch / Small Torch (with spare batteries and bulb) -Camera -Walking poles (if you usually use them) -Personal toiletries (including anti-bacterial hand sanitiser and/or wash) -Personal first aid kit - On each walk a first aid kit is carried but you should have your own blister kit, supply of plasters, aspirin and other essentials. -Insect repellent -Small waterproof dry bag (for items such as your mobile phone) -Reusable water bottle (minimum 1 litre) - Get 15% discount on a Water-to-Go bottle www.explore.co.uk/about-us/responsible-travel/water-to-go-discount-with-explore -Sleeping bag liner (fleece will add warmth) -Pillow case Sleeping bags, blankets and mattresses are provided
The camping for the four nights is basic but a wonderful chance to experience life in a Bedouin tent with some of the most amazing backdrops to your nights' sleep. It will be communal camping in traditional Bedouin style goat hair tents, which provides the best protection against typical desert extremes of hot and cold weather. The large communal sleeping tent will be laid out with rugs, mattresses, pillows, sleeping bags and blankets. The camp in Wadi Rum is located deep in the desert, we stay in a simple communal Bedouin campsite, private for Explore travellers. There are shared washrooms, with flushing toilets and showers and water for the group to use. Private tents can be paid for loacally should you wish, costing $30 per night and subject to availability. 20 The Little Petra communal campsite is within walking distance of the Petra archaeological sites. We have special permission to wild camp at Little Petra and due to the restrictions here we are not permitted to have any permanent fixed structures or facilities as such there are is no washroom or showers but a portable toilet and bowls for washing. Filtered water is provided daily in large jerry cans, which can be drank and heated in the morning and evening for washing.
Can you drink the water?
The water quality is poor and therefore it is recommended to avoid drinking tap water during your trip.
We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK citizens, check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice.
Please refer to our COVID-19 entry requirements page for any country-specific conditions of entry. Whilst we strive to update this on a regular basis we recommend you also check the FCDO website for the latest advice on entry requirements in this fast-evolving situation. Information can change at any time.
Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.
Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. However, please note that if you voluntarily make any changes to your booking including changing your trip or departure date, any additional costs or charges incurred will not be covered. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions
Jordan: Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the time you arrive. Visa fees are waivered for tourists of British, American, Australian, New Zealand and Canadian nationalities on arrival at an international Jordanian airport. There are however, certain conditions that each tourist of these nationalities must meet in order to gain the free visa. Most of these are already met by Explore trips; however flight information, passport details and arrival date into Jordan all have an effect on qualifying for the free visa. Please see below for the category that is applicable to your flight arrangements: The following information relates to the above nationalities travelling on flights to Jordan arranged by Explore arriving on the first day of the tour: In order to qualify for the free visa, the above nationalities must advise their passport details at least 16 days prior to your departure date to Explore and must be met by a representative who will assist with the visa process, this is already arranged by Explore as part of the transfer arrangements from the airport to the start of the tour. The following information relates to the above nationalities with Land Only arrangements arriving on the first day of the tour: In order to qualify for the free visa, these tourists must advise their passport details at least 16 days prior to your departure date to Explore and must be met by a representative who will assist with the visa process. Land Only customers of the above nationalities arranging their own flights to arrive in Jordan on the first day of the tour must advise their full flight details to Explore at least 16 days prior to your departure date. We will then arrange for the representative to meet you as part of the transfer arrangements from the airport to the start of the tour. The following information relates to the above nationalities arriving in Jordan prior or after the first day of the tour: In order to qualify for the free visa, tourists of the above nationalities must advise their passport details at least 16 days prior to your departure date to Explore and must be met by a representative who will assist with the visa process. To qualify for the free visa, you must contact Explore at least 16 days prior to your departure date to arrange and purchase a private transfer. We will then arrange for the representative to meet you as part of the transfer arrangements. Please Note: For all tourists of the above nationalities that do not advise their passport details and for all above nationalities that arrange their own travel arrangements and do not advise their flight details to Explore within the above specified timelines, the Jordanian visa fee of JD40.00 (approximately £45) will be applicable. This must be paid on arrival at an international Jordanian airport in order for individuals to gain a visa to enter the country. All other nationalities should consult the relevant consulate to determine if they are applicable for the above free visa on arrival or must gain a visa prior to departure.
If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may be able to apply through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.
Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.
Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information.
You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.
Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.
The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.
Free transfers are not available for Polar customers.
If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.
For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here
It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.
Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.
You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.
We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.
On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.
Nothing compulsory, but we recommend protection against typhoid, tetanus infectious hepatitis and polio. Consult your travel clinic for latest advice on different prophylaxis available against malaria. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.
In 2024, Ramadan runs from the 10th of March to 9th of April. Read more about travelling during Ramadan.
The following 2024 departures of Walking Jordan's Spice Trails will coincide with Ramadan.
09 March 2024
16 March 2024
23 March 2024
06 April 2024