Day 1: Arrival Queen Alia Airport — Amman
Arrival at Amman Queen Alia International airport. After a quick and easy procedure you go through customs, through the luggage area into the arrival hall. Note that the visa is at your own costs (40 JD/57 USD per person). Your driver will wait for you in the arrival hall, also holding a name sign and he will transfer you to your hotel in Amman for overnight.
Day 2: Amman — Jerash — Amman
At 09.00 am you will start your city tour of Amman. The Jordanian capital, Amman, was known in the Old Testament as Rabbath-Ammon, the capital of the Ammonites around 1200 BC, it was also referred to as "the City of Waters". This is the place where David sent Uriah the Hittite to the front lines of battle. The massive fortifications, where David, an ancestor of Jesus, brought about Uriah’s death so that he could marry his widow Bathsheba, are still standing. You will start of by visiting the Citadel, towering above downtown Amman, the site gives beautiful views over the city. It includes many structures such as the Temple of Hercules, the Omayyad Palace and the Byzantine church. Continue to visit the Roman Theatre in down town Amman. After drive to Jerash (Gerasa), to tour the world’s best preserved Roman provincial city. In Jerash you can at least find 15 churches.
Overnight at hotel in Amman. (B)
Day 3: Amman—Ajlun (Mar Elias & Ajlun Castle) – Anjara — Amman
At 07.30 am you will drive to Ajlun Nature Reserve. Here you will hike the Prophet’s Trail. This is a guided tour taking around 4 hours. A moderate hike of 8.5 km. The hike takes you from Ajlun Forest Reserve Visitor Center to Mar Elias, the ruins of one of Jordan's oldest churches. It is named for the Prophet Elias, or Elijah, to whom Mar Elias is dedicated. The trail leads through fig and pear orchards, amongst forests of oak and oriental strawberry trees. The stonewalls that crisscross the valley guard the farmers' crops inside from both the winter rains and wild boar. Relax in the shade with a glass of tea before climbing to the hilltop ruins, which provide sweeping views of the surrounding area. The hike also includes a locally prepared picnic lunch near the ruins. After your hike you will visit Ajlun Castle and then continue driving to Anjara. Jesus Christ, his disciples, and the Virgin Mary, passed through Anjara once and rested in a cave there during a journey between the Sea of Galilee, the Decapolis cities, Bethany Beyond the Jordan and Jerusalem. The cave in Anjara has long been a holy place for pilgrims and has now been commemorated with a modern shrine, the Church of Our Lady of the Mountain. The cave was also designated by the Catholic Churches of the Middle East as one of the five pilgrimage sites for the year 2000. After back to Amman for overnight. (B, L)
Day 4: Amman—Bethany—Mt. Nebo—Madaba
After breakfast drive to Bethany Beyond the Jordan. The site of John the Baptist's settlement at Bethany Beyond the Jordan, where Jesus was baptized, has long been known from the Bible (John 1:28 and 10:40) and from the Byzantine and medieval texts. The area is also associated with the biblical account of how the Prophet Elijah (Mar Elias in Arabic) ascended to heaven in a whirlwind on a chariot of fire. Drive on to Mt. Nebo, from where Moses viewed the Promised Land. Continue to Madaba for a short city tour. Visit the St. George Church, with its famous mosaic map, the Apostle’s Church, Archaeological Park and Madaba Museum. Overnight at a hotel in Madaba. (B)
Day 5: Madaba — Mukawir — Um Ar-Rasas — Karak – Petra
After breakfast check out of your hotel in Madaba and drive to Mukawir. The 1st century AD Roman-Jewish historian, Josephus, identifies the awe-inspiring site of Mukawir (Machaerus) as the palace/fort of Herod, who was the Roman-appointed ruler over the region during the life of Jesus Christ. It was here, at this hilltop fortified palace, overlooking the Dead Sea region and the distance hills of Palestine and Israel that Herod Antipas, the son of Herod, imprisoned and beheaded John the Baptist after Salome’s fateful dance.
Continue to Um Ar-Rasas, a rectangular walled city, about 30km southeast of Madaba, that is mentioned on both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. It was fortified by the Romans and local Christians were still embellishing it with Byzantine-style mosaics well over 100 years after the start of the Muslim Umayyad rule. Just outside the city walls is the recently unearthed Church of Saint Stephen with its perfectly preserved outstanding mosaic floor, the largest of its kind to be discovered in Jordan and second only to the world famous mosaic map at Madaba. Follow the King’s Highway, Abraham who passed through northern, central and southern Jordan, would certainly have used this route on his journey from Mesopotamia to Canaan. Stop at Karak for a visit to the immense Crusaders Castle. The Tomb on Noah can be found in Karak as well. You will continue driving on to Little Petra if the time permits it, for a visit before continuing to your hotel in Petra for overnight. (B)
Day 6: Petra
Full day to explore Petra, one of the seven world wonders. Petra seems to be mentioned in the Bible’s Old Testament under several possible names, including Sela and Joktheel (2 Kings 14:7). Petra was almost certainly the last staging post of the three kings, who took frankincense, gold and myrrh to honor the baby Jesus in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:1-12).
After visiting the Siq, Treasury, Street of Façades, the Amphitheatre, you still have time to visit the High Place of Sacrifice and/or the Monastery. Overnight at a hotel in Petra. (B)
Day 7: Petra—Wadi Rum—Aqaba
Drive to Wadi Rum for a 3 hours jeep tour of this beautiful desert, famous about the red sand and the rock formations. Continue to Aqaba where you will visit perhaps one of the oldest churches on earth. There are remains of a mud brick building at Aqaba that may be the world's oldest known purpose built church. This Aqaba early church dates from the late 3rd or early 4th century AD (exactly between 293 and 303). After drive on to your hotel for check in and overnight. Overnight at a hotel in Aqaba. (B)
Day 8: Aqaba– Amman Airport
Transfer to Amman Airport for departure. 6 hours in advance of your departure (2 hours for the check in and 4 hour driving from Aqaba to Amman Airport). (B)