Nabatean Traces in Jordan and Israel

The Naba­te­ans were an anci­ent people, con­trol­ling a wide tra­ding net­work in nort­her Ara­bia and the Sou­thern Levant bet­ween 37 and around 100 CE. Today, they are best known for their remar­ka­ble rock-cut temp­les, tombs and buil­dings in the city of Petra in sou­thern Jor­dan. Yet, many more tra­ces of this mys­te­rious desert people are still visi­ble in Jor­dan, but also in neigh­bou­ring Israel and this tour invi­tes you to tra­vel along the tra­ces into the fasci­na­ting world of the Jor­da­nian and sou­thern Israeli desert.

Day 1
Arri­val Day

Upon arri­val and after com­ple­ting for­ma­li­ties (lug­gage, pas­sport con­trol and cust­oms) you will be met by your dri­ver and trans­fer­red to your hotel in Amman.

Day 2
The Decapolis

After bre­ak­fast, meet you guide and drive north to the area of the for­mer Deca­po­lis. The Deca­po­lis ("Then Cities") was a group of ten big­ger and smal­ler cities in what is today Jor­dan, Israel and Syria during the time of the Roman Empire. Howe­ver, they did not form a poli­ti­cal body of its own, they shared the same lan­guage, cul­ture and poli­ti­cal sta­tus. On your way, visit Pella (Tabaqat Fahl) near Irbid, Gadara (Umm Qais) and later on, pay a short visit ot the medi­eval fort­ress in Ajloun.

Along your day, you will be intro­du­ced to anci­ent tra­ding sys­tems and the cul­tu­ral exch­ange which came along with the goods trans­por­ted from Mem­phis in Egypt along the Kings' High­way to Resafa in Meso­po­ta­mia. Over­night in Amman.

Day 3
Gerasa, Irbid, Amman Citadel

In the morning, com­plete your intro­duc­tion to the Deca­po­lis with an exten­sive visit of the archaeo­lo­gi­cal exca­va­tions of Gerasa (Jerash) and fol­low this with a gui­ded tour through the Archaeo­lo­gi­cal Museum of Irbid. In the after­noon, enjoy a pan­o­ra­mic view of Amman from the Amman Cita­del and pay a visit to its anci­ent ruins as well as to the adja­cent musem.

Day 4
Bibli­cal Jordan

After bre­ak­fast, drive in west­ward direc­tion to the river­bank of the Jor­dan River and visit the tra­di­tio­nal bap­tism site in "Bethany beyond the Jor­dan" where John the Bap­tist is said to have been bap­ti­zing his fol­lo­wers, among them Jesus him­self. After­wards, drive up to Mt. Nebo and enjoy the pan­o­ra­mic view from its top, which Mose him­self once saw (Dtn 34,1-5). After lunch, arrive to the small city of Madaba which is home to the famous mosaic map of the Holy Land, dating back to the 6th cen­tury CE. The Madaba Map covers parts of the floor of the Greek Ortho­dox Church of St. George and is the oldest map of Chris­ti­ans sites found to date.

Day 5
The Kings' Highway

In anci­ent times, the so-called "Kings' High­way" con­nec­ted Mem­phis in Egypt with Resafa on the banks of the Euphra­tes. Along its way, it pas­sed through Helio­po­lis, Suez, Nakhl (all in Egypt), Aqaba, Petra, Kerak, Madaba, Amman, Jerash (all in Jor­dan) and Bosra and Damas­kus in Syria, crea­ting one of the most import­ant tra­vel and trade rou­tes of the Anci­ent World.

Today, you will tra­vel along this route from Amman to Petra with stops in Kerak (cru­sa­ders' castle, bulit in 1140 CE as "Crac des Moa­bi­tes") and Sho­bak (ano­ther crusader's castle, built by Bald­win I. of Jeru­sa­lem in 1115). In the late after­noon, you will arrive to Petra for rela­xa­tion and overnight.

Days 6 to 7
Petra

Spend two full days visit­ing the most famous and most asto­nis­hing of all Naba­tean cities, Petra. Fol­low your guide through the nar­row pas­sage, the "Siq", that will lead you deep into the rocks, directly into the heart of the anci­ent city, pos­si­bly foun­ded as early as 312 BCE. Dis­co­ver the magni­fi­cant rock-cut temp­les, tombs and hou­ses, before hea­ding south to Tala Bay for a rela­xing over­night by the shore of the Gulf of Aqaba.

Day 8
The Sou­thern Negev

Cross the bor­der to Israel and visit the archae­lo­gi­cal park of Timna inside Timna Val­ley, a UNESCO World Heri­tage Site offe­ring a remar­ka­ble example of anci­ent mine­ral mining and smelting. After­wards, drive through the desert to Mitzpe Ramon for a first view of the impres­sivly large Ramon Cra­ter and overnight.

Day 9
Naba­tean Cities of Avdat and Shivta

Depart Mitzpe Ramon and visit the Naba­tean strong­hold of Avdat in close pro­xi­mity to Ein Avdat Natio­nal Park. The anciet city of Avdat was one of the most import­ant tra­ding posts on the Incense Route after Petra and even today stands out from the other anci­ent cities due to its com­man­ding loca­tion on a hilltop. After your visit, drive deeper into the Negev to the anci­ent Naba­tean city of Shivta for an exten­sive visit before returning back to Mitzpe Ramon.

Day 10
Har Kar­kom Plateau

As a con­clu­sion of your tour on the Naba­tean Tra­ces, head deep into the desert to the pla­teau of Har Kar­kom, a wide flat area, covered with debris. Howe­ver, the area appears to be quite empty, actually boring on first sight, it won't take long, until you dis­co­ver the first tra­ces of human pre­sence, such like rock engra­vings, anci­ent temp­les struc­tures and even rock for­ma­ti­ons, some bibli­cal scho­lars link to the pla­ces men­tio­ned in the book of Exo­dus and Leviticus.

Please note: Since the Har Kar­kom Pla­teau is part of a restric­ted mili­tary area, visits are only pos­si­ble on Satur­days. Yet, we will be happy to tailor your tour in a way that the Har Kar­kom visit will fit your tra­vel dates.

Day 11
Depar­ture Day

Depen­ding on your flight time, trans­fer to Tel Aviv Air­port or extensions.

Tour Details

Inclu­ding

All our tours are pri­vate tours inclu­ding pri­vate trans­por­ta­tion and pri­vate guiding.

  • Meet & Assist at Amman and Tel Aviv Airport.
  • All visa for­ma­li­ties at the bor­ders of Israel and Jor­dan, all visa fees included.
  • 10 nights stay in men­tio­ned pla­ces in good middle class hotels, basic accom­mo­da­tion in Mitzpe Ramon, all over­night stays incl. breakfast.
  • All men­tio­ned sight­see­ing tours, inclu­ding trans­por­ta­tion by pri­vate modern & tourism-licensed a/c vehi­cles (accor­ding to group size).
  • Pro­fes­sio­nal gui­ding by a qua­li­fied & tourism-licensed guide in Israel and Jordan.
  • Half board (bre­ak­fast + din­ner, excl. bever­a­ges), full board on days 8, 9, 10.
  • Recom­men­ded gratuities.
  • Tra­vel Secu­rity Con­sul­ta­tion prior to and throug­hout your tour.

Pri­ces

All pri­ces are inclu­sive of all men­tio­ned ser­vices and valid throug­hout the year except major holi­days during the high sea­son. Please inquire for details.

  • Pri­vate tour, 1 to 9 people: Please inquire for indi­vi­dual pricing.
  • Pri­vate tour, 10 to 14 people: 1930 €
  • Pri­vate tour, 15 to 20 people: 1680 €
  • Pri­vate tour, 21 to 30 people: 1525 €
  • Pri­vate tour, 31 to 39 people: 1440 €
  • Pri­vate tour, 40 and more: Please inquire for indi­vi­dual pricing.

Cust­o­mize Your Tour

Please feel free to pro­vide us with your own ideas and pre­fe­ren­ces about your tour. Our tra­vel pro­fes­sio­nals will be happy to tailor your per­so­na­li­zed tour exactly as you want it to be!

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