Jordan is an ideal destination for those seeking cultural knowledge and spiritual enrichment. Jordan values its ethnically and religiously diverse population, consequently providing for the cultural rights of all its citizens. This spirit of tolerance and appreciation is one of the central elements contributing to the stable and peaceful cultural climate flourishing within 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. Mount Nebo became a place of pilgrimage for early Christians from Jerusalem and a small church was built there in the 4th century to commemorate the end of Moses’ life. In addition to Bethany Beyond the Jordan and Mount Nebo, there are three other holy sites in Jordan that were designated by the Vatican as Millennium 2000 pilgrimage sites. Our visit of the Holy Land in Jordan, include 3 nights in the Old City of Jerusalem and visits to All Christian Shrines in Israel.
Evening departure from JFK.Detroit;Chicago; Montreal to Amman on Royal Jordanian airlines. Dinner & Breakfast are served on board.
Reception at airport and transfer by private car to your hotel in Amman. Evening you will be escorted t o have dinner at Kan Zaman, a hundred-year old village that is now a charming complex of shops, a handicraft center, cafes and a large restaurant located in what originally were very high-ceilinged stables. The shops sell everything from spices to antiques, and in many of them visitors can watch the artisans practice their trades. Local music provides the background for a delicious home-style dinner. D
Full Day of visiting Holy Sites (Old Testament Ammonite Kingdom) in Amman – Um Qais (ancient Gadara) – Jerash (ancient Gerasa) – Pella (Tabaqit Fahl) – As-Salt – Overnight in Amman
Amman Citadel In the early morning, visit the Citadel of ancient Rabbath Ammon, capitol of the Ammonite Kingdom, and the simple archaeological museum that houses one of the finest collections of ancient artifacts in the Middle East, including some of the Copper Dead Sea scrolls. Stand atop the fortress where David sent Uriah the Hittite to his death. Afterward, time permitting; make a quick coffee break before heading northbound. On your journey north, you will pass through olive groves and pine forests (referenced in the Bible as the Forests of Gilead) along rolling landscape that overlooks fertile valleys and farmland. Along the way, you will pass near Mahanaim (near the Jabbok River), where Jacob wrestled with the Angel and where David sought refuge during his son Absalom’s rebellion. Arrive at the ancient Decapolis city of Gadara (now known as Um Qais), location of the miracle of the Gadarene swine (Matthew 8:28-32). Stand at the junction of Syria, Israel and Jordan and enjoy the inspirational vista overlooking the Sea of Galilee (Lake Tiberias). Explore the Greco-Roman remains of this spectacular destination, where many of the structures are built with black basalt stone, giving the city a grand and unique feel. A rare five-aisled basilica from the 4th century was recently excavated here. It had been built directly over a Roman-Byzantine tomb and has a view into the tomb from the interior of the church. Located alongside the old Roman city gate on the road from the Sea of Galilee, everything about this distinctive arrangement of a church above a tomb at this particular place strongly indicates it was designed and built to commemorate the very spot where the Byzantine faithful believed Jesus performed his miracle. After lunch, visit the Decapolis city of Jerash (noted in the Bible as in the “region of the Garasenes”). Remarkable for its unbroken chain of human occupation since Neolithic times, Jerash is considered one of the best-preserved Roman provincial towns. A large ecclesiastical complex within the city houses a fountain where Byzantine citizens once annually celebrated Jesus’ miracle of turning water into wine. Today, the “Fountain Court” within Jerash is a popular destination for modern pilgrims who want to commemorate the travels and teachings of Jesus in the most spectacular remains of a city of the Decapolis. The next day, head back north and visit Pella, another Decapolis city and a favorite of archaeologists as it is exceptionally rich in antiquities, some of which are exceedingly old. On the way back to Amman, just thirty minutes outside of the city, visit the ancient city of As-Salt, which houses the tomb/shrine of Job, the wealthy, righteous man from the Land of Uz. It is also the location of the tomb/shrine of the prophet Jethro, who was the father-in-law of Moses, and the tombs of Jad and Asher, who were both sons of Jacob. On one of these evenings, enjoy an evening of wine-tasting at the Zumot Winery headquarters in Amman where you will sample and learn how some of Jordan’s finest organic wine is made and an interesting history lesson on Jordan through the history of its wine. B
Mount Nebo Church Before leaving Amman, you will make a brief stop at King Abdullah Mosque for a guided tour. Travel southward to Bethany beyond the Jordan, located in what was the ancient wilderness just north of the Dead Sea. Experience the profound simplicity of Bethany-beyond-the-Jordan, the area between the Jordan River and Tell el-Kharrar, where John the Baptist came in the spirit of Elijah to preach and baptize, and where his baptism of Jesus marked the first recorded manifestation of the Trinity. Tell el-Kharrar’s other name, Tell Mar Elias (Elijah’s Hill) is reminiscent of the Prophet Elijah, who — according to Tradition — ascended from here to heaven on the famed chariot of fire (and whose ministry and proclamations were parallel to John the Baptist’s, thus underscoring the close connection of the two prophets). See the remains of Byzantine churches, large baptism pools and an extensive water system — all part of the Byzantine tradition linking this place with Jesus’ baptism. Depart the baptism site for Madaba, known throughout the world as the City of Mosaics (mentioned in the Bible as the Moabite town of Medeba). Visit the contemporary Greek Orthodox Church of St. George, which features the masterpiece sixth-century Byzantine mosaic map of the Holy Land. Afterward, enjoy a brief walking tour of the town on the way to lunch at Haret Jdoudna (meaning house of my grandfather), in the heart of the city. There you will enjoy a hearty meal prepared with herbs picked fresh from the garden, and also have time to browse through the shops filled with exquisite ceramics, Dead Sea health and beauty products, clothing made from the finest fabrics and various handicrafts. After lunch, enjoy a short drive to Mount Nebo, where Moses arrived after his long Exodus journey and viewed the Promised Land he would never enter (the Bible says Moses is buried near Mount Nebo, in an unknown place). Sixty years of excavation on the hilltop have revealed a basilica and one of the most magnificent mosaic floors in the world. From the platform nearby the church, you will have a breathtaking view across the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea to the rooftops of Bethlehem and, on a clear day, Jerusalem. After Mount Nebo, drive along the Kings Highway heading south to Petra and make a quick stop along the way at Karak, dominated by the castle built by Baldwin I of Jerusalem in 1142 AD, and enjoy exploring this maze of stone-vaulted halls and endless passageways. Make sure to bring a flash light with you. Overnight in Petra B
Stairs at Petra The Nabataeans were an industrious Arab people who settled the area more than 2,000 years ago. Petra was widely admired for its refined culture, massive architecture and ingenious complex of dams and water channels. It served as a crossroad for trade and commerce. Petra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Enjoy a full day at Petra, this magnificent “rose-red city, half as old as time”, as you explore its rich history and impressive remains. Jordan abounds in archaeological riches, but few places in the world can rival this city carved from the rose-red rock by the Nabataeans, who controlled the ancient trade routes in this area. This UNESCO world heritage site, featured in Steven Spielberg’s “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” is connected to the Scriptural Exodus journey. Moses and the Israelites are said to have passed through the Petra area in ancient Edom. Enjoy lunch at the Basin Restaurant followed by a hike to the Monastery, the largest of Petra’s monuments and certainly worth the climb up to it. This evening, head to the Petra Kitchen which is a relaxed, informal atmosphere where you will gather to prepare an evening meal, working alongside local women and men under the supervision of a local chef and which offers an evening of learning, fun and a very special dining experience, with each dish gaining the special flavor of a reward well-earned. B/D
Depart Petra for Wadi Rum, drive for 10 minutes down the Wadi “Valley” to Little Petra historically known as “Al Beidha”. It may not be quite as monumental as the main site but it was an important suburb of Petra and there is still much to see here. No trip to Jordan is complete without a visit to the newest UNESCO world heritage site, Wadi Rum, where Lawrence of Arabia operated throughout 1917 in this extraordinary desert landscape and from here the strike on Aqaba was launched. It provided David Lean with his most memorable movie locations. “Vast, echoing and God-Like” is the way Lawrence described Wadi Rum, where you will enjoy this largest and most magnificent of Jordan’s desert landscapes. Your experience in Wadi Rum can begin with a visit to the museum, craft shops and a sumptuous lunch at the Visitor’s Center. The center is also where you must register and pay the entrance fees to enter the protected area and all vehicle tours operate out of the center. After lunch, venture off the beaten path in a four-wheel-drive vehicle to explore the desert and see up close the “Seven Pillars of Wisdom” about which Lawrence wrote as well as Lawrence’s spring and what’s left of the house in which he resided. Wadi Rum is indeed a foreign world. Afternoon drive to your hotel by the Dead Sea.
The Dead Sea, the lowest point on Earth at 400m (1,312 ft.) below sea level and one of the most dramatic places on earth, with its stunning natural environment equally matched by its powerful spiritual symbolism. The infamous Sodom and Gomorrah and other cities of the Dead Sea plain, or (Cities of the Valley) were the subjects of some of the most dramatic and enduring Old Testament stories, including that of Lot, whose wife was turned into a pillar of salt for disobeying God’s will. Visit Lot’s cave and the site believed to be Lot’s wife along the way to the Dead Sea. The curative properties of the Dead Sea have been recognized since the days of Herod the Great and Queen Cleopatra. A series of good roads, excellent hotels with spa and fitness facilities, as well as archaeological and spiritual discoveries make this region as enticing to today’s international visitors as it was to kings, emperors, traders, prophets and pilgrims in antiquity. Enjoy a relaxing day and treat yourselves to a soothing massage, or try the renowned healing powers of the minerals right from the sea’s muddy floor. Enjoy a beautiful sunset dinner at the Dead Sea Panorama Complex that sports an indoor dining area and an outdoor dining terrace where you will enjoy the dazzling views of the Dead Sea and the surrounding mountains at every turn. Jordan – the eastern part of the Holy Land – has always been at the crossroads of civilizations, where the bulk of events in the Old Testament took place. B/D
Morning transfer to your hotel in Jerusalem. Afternoon visit the all Christian Shrines in the Old City of Jerusalem including Church of Old Nations; Garden Tomb; Garden of Gethsemane; Bethlehem and the Church of Nativity. Overnight in Jerusalem. B
Full Day Tor to visit the Church of Annunciation in Nazareth. Continue via Cana of Galilee to Capernaum on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Visit the Church of the Miracle of the loaves and Fishes at Tabgha. Drive via Tiberias to the Baptismal site at “Yardenit” on the Jordan River. Overnight Jerusalem. B
Transfer from Jerusalem TO Amman airport via Allenby Bridge, in time for your return flight departure.
- RT air from JFK; Chicago; Detroit or Montreal on Royal Jordanian Airlines
- All Transfers & Tours by private car with private guide in Jordan
- Organized guided tours from Jerusalem
- Hotel accommodation as per category selected.
- Breakfast daily plus other meals as noted.
- All admission fee to Museums and other Places of Interest
- SLT Guaranteed Tour Performance Warranty
- SLT $1 Million Liability Insurance Coverage
Prices include airfare, fuel surcharges, airport taxes and fees. All prices are per person based on twin occupancy. Air & land tour prices apply from the gateway airport or city specified in the Package Highlights. Airfare based on lowest class of service (approx. $1200) and subject to availability, other classes of service will be subject to a supplement. Prices will vary from alternative gateway airports or cities and may be higher. Airfare prices subject to change until ticketing. Additional baggage charges may apply.
Notice: Jordan Visa will be granted free on arrival Amman Airport
NOTICE: Sunny Land Tours is not responsible for any issues/costs resulting from delays or interruption in air transportation. All such issues should be addressed directly with the airline.
Changes in the program are possible due to Holidays or force major.
For the tours to Jerusalem, and Nazareth, modest attire is required for visiting holy places of any religion (men with head covering,women with shoulder covering; for both men and women – no shorts).
For the tours to Madaba and the Dead Sea head covering, sun protection lotion, bathing suit and towel are recommended.
For all tours, comfortable walking shoes are suggested.
Daily tours are conducted in English (second language upon request).
Valuable belongings should never be left unattended in the vehicle.
High Season supplement + $200 per person
June, July, August & Christmas
HOTELS USED OR SIMILAR:
Amman – San Rock Hotel
Petra – Petra Palace
Dead Sea – Holiday Inn
Jerusalem – Grand Court
Amman – Le Meriden
Petra – Beit Zaman
Dead Sea – Movenpick
Jerusalem – Dan Panorama