If you are a fan of the Roman period, you have great interest in the Roman Empire or maybe you just love history? This program is then made for you! In Jordan there is so much to
discover and explore about the Roman Empire. The Romans have left their signature here
very clearly and you will find so many sights that were part of the Roman Empire. Go back in time right here in Jordan!
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.
Meet your guide and the other members of the group. At 09.00 am start your city tour of Amman. The city was part of the Roman Empire. The Roman general, Pompey, annexed Syria and made Philadelphia part of the Decapolis League – an alliance of ten free city states with overall allegiance to Rome. The Romans rebuilt the city with colonnaded streets, baths, a theatre and impressive public buildings. Philadelphia found itself at the centre of the new Roman province of Arabia and of lucrative trade routes running between the Mediterranean and an interior that stretched to India and China as well as routes north and south. Start with visiting the Citadel, where Roman remains have been found. The Citadel also gives a stunning view over the city. Continue to visit the Roman Theatre, located in the middle of Amman and till this day still in use for big events.
Leave Amman and drive to Um al Jimal, located in the North of Jordan, and located close to several ancient trade routes. Visit the tall barracks with their little chapel, several large churches, and numerous open and roofed water cisterns, the outlines of a Roman Fort and the remains of several town gates. Overnight at your hotel in Amman. (B)
Today visit the Desert Castles, located in the Eastern desert of Jordan. Visit Qasr Al Hallabat and then continue to Qasr Al Azraq. Have lunch at the Azraq Eco Lodge before continuing to visit Qasr Kharanah and Qasr Amra. The Desert Castles are named castles because of their impressive sights. But they all have had different uses such a trade stations etc. They were inspired by the Persian and Graeco-Roman traditions. Transfer back to Amman for overnight. (B, L)
At 07.30 am, drive to Jerash (under Roman rule known as Gerasa) to tour the world’s best preserved Roman provincial city. Drive on to Um Qais, the old Decapolis city of Gadara, with its spectacular panoramic views overlooking the Sea of Galilee. Gadara, was once called the new Athens by a poet. Continue to Pella, where you will find ruins of the Graeco-Roman period including an Odeon (theatre). Continue to Bait Ras for visit, only recently there have been 19 Roman ruins found. Transfer back to Amman for overnight at your hotel. (B)
Drive to visit Um Ar Rasas, the town was probably build during the Roman period , then continue to Mt. Nebo from where Moses viewed the Promised Land. Drive on to Madaba, where you will visit the St. George Church, with its famous mosaic map and the Archaeological Park. Overnight at a hotel in Madaba. (B)
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. Follow the King’s Highway to Karak for a visit to the immense Crusaders Castle. Continue to Little Petra for a visit, before transferring to Petra for overnight.
Today you will visit Petra. It is a vast, unique city, carved into the sheer rock face by the Nabataeans, an industrious Arab people who settled here more than 2000 years ago, turning it into an important junction for the silk, spice and other trade routes that linked China, India and southern Arabia with Egypt, Syria, Greece and Rome. Despite successive attempts by the Seleucid king Antigonus, the Roman emperor Pompey and Herod the Great to bring Petra under the control of their respective empires, Petra remained largely in Nabataean hands until around 100AD, when the Romans took over.
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)
Drive to Wadi Rum for a half day jeep tour including a fresh prepared lunch; of this beautiful desert, famous about the red sand and rock formations. Spend the night under the stars in the desert at a fixed campsite. (B, L, D)
Drive to the Dead Sea, lowest point on the earth’s surface. Float in the salty waters and try out a pampering spa treatment. Overnight at a hotel at the Dead Sea. (B)
Transfer to Amman Airport for departure. 3 hours in advance of your departure (2 hours for the check in and less than 1 hour driving from Dead Sea to Amman Airport). (B)