Day 1 UK – Amman
Depart on your flight to Amman, the capital of Jordan, today. On arrival, we'll transfer you to your hotel.
Day 2 Jerash
This morning we're going to Jerash, one of the largest and best-preserved Roman cities in existence. Highlights here are the Temples of Artemis and Zeus, Hadrian's Triumphal Arch and a street of columns a mile long.
We'll return to Amman this afternoon, and after some time at leisure we'll head to a restaurant for dinner. Here we'll feast on mezzes of local Arabic specialities as we listen to traditional music.
Day 3 Amman
Our day begins with a city tour of Amman. You'll see many of its treasures, including a Roman amphitheatre, the magnificent citadel and the King Abdullah Mosque.
We'll then head to Madaba, to visit St George's Church, the home of the Mosaic Map. This treasure of early Christianity dates back to the 6th century and is the oldest map of Palestine in existence. We then visit Mount Nebo, an elevated ridge that rises more than 700 metres above sea level and is cited in the Hebrew Bible as the point from which Moses saw the Promised Land. From here, you can take in panoramic views of the Holy Land and the valley of the River Jordan.
We then return to Amman and dinner will be served at the hotel this evening.
Day 4 Christmas Eve, Amman – Petra
We're heading south to Petra today, and on the way we'll visit the ancient fortress of Shobak. This is one of the largest and most impregnable of the chain of forts built by the Crusaders and is an impressive example of architectural military genius. Every stronghold was built to be a day's journey from its neighbour, and at night, beacons were lit to signal to Jerusalem that each was safe.
The rose-red city of Petra is our final destination, and our hotel here is built in and around a traditional Jordanian village. Dinner will be served at the hotel this evening.
Day 5 Christmas Day, Petra
It's Christmas Day and you're going to explore Petra on a guided walking tour. This extraordinary city carved into the sandstone is concealed beyond a long, narrow gorge – the Siq – and your Local Guide will lead you through this corridor of rock. Get ready for your first glimpse of the magnificent Treasury building, it will not disappoint. There will be the opportunity for you to explore the area at leisure before returning to the hotel for dinner.
Day 6 Boxing Day, Petra – Wadi Rum – Dead Sea
Start the day with a visit to Siq al-Barid, a northern suburb of Petra known as 'Little Petra'. Here you'll see houses, temples and staircases all carved out of rock and hidden away in the centre of a mountain.
The Beduoin people who live in the deserts of Jordan consider it a great honour to receive guests, and you'll experience their hospitality when we visit a Bedouin village, the Ammarin Camp. Over herb tea and lunch, we'll get to know our hosts and learn about their semi-nomadic lifestyle and traditions.
We then head to the desert of Wadi Rum, which was immortalised in the 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia. With sand dunes and sandstone rock formations of all shapes, sizes and colours, this magical landscape is sure to leave a lasting impression. We'll make a stop at the visitor centre before continuing our journey to another famous destination, the Dead Sea. This is the lowest spot on earth, and you will stay here for two nights in a hotel right on its shores.
Day 7 Dead Sea - at Leisure
Today is yours to relax at leisure. You might choose to experience the unique waters of the Dead Sea, which are renowned for their buoyancy and therapeutic qualities. Alternatively, you could join an optional excursion to the River Jordan and the biblical site of the baptism of Jesus.
Day 8 Dead Sea – UK
This morning we will transfer you to Amman for your flight back to the UK.