Tour type: Family
Group size: Min: 3 | Max: 16
Accommodation: 3 to 5-star hotels & Bedouin camp
Transport: A/C minibus
Highlights: Jerash Roman ruins, Kerak Crusader Castle, drive the King's Highway, Wadi Rum jeep safari and camel ride included, Petra tour, Dead Sea swim, Red Sea beaches
This family holiday in Jordan has been specially designed to combine visits to some of Jordan's most famous and important historical sites with some more fun and adventurous activities for the children. Jordan is an interesting and beautiful country which offers a good mix of fascinating historical sites, beautiful landscapes and fun activities such as snorkelling in the Red Sea, a desert jeep safari, camel rides, and a dip in the Dead Sea. Group sizes are kept small and we use guides who are used to dealing with children to ensure you get the best experience possible. You can also book this tour privately if you wish.
After arriving in Amman, you start with a tour out of the city to explore the Roman ruins at Jerash, one of the best preserved Roman sites in the Middle East. Whilst here you will have a guided tour and plenty of free time to explore on your own. When it is operating, we will also combine your visit with the Roman Army and Chariot Race re-enactment which we’ve found is very exciting for children (and parents too!). In the afternoon we will return to Amman where you will have some free time to do a little exploration on your own or take part in our optional visit to Jordan's Children's Museum, which houses over 150 interactive exhibits which are sure to delight visitors of every age.
Leaving Amman, we drive down the beautiful King's Highway, through unique villages and beautiful Wadis to Petra. Along the way we will make stops to visit the Roman mosaics at Madaba, take in the spectacular views across to Israel from Mt Nebo and stop at the old crusader castle of Kerak (bring a torch, as there are lots of passageways and caverns to explore).
Your full day in Petra includes a 3-hour guided tour followed by plenty of free time to explore yourselves. In the evening we will offer an optional return visit to Petra by candlelight.
Leaving Petra behind we continue to the stunning desert landscapes of Wadi Rum. Here you will have a 3-hour jeep safari where you will be able to view strange rock formations and the immense rust coloured 'jebels' which scatter the desert floor. In the evening we join a semi-permanent Bedouin Camp where we will spend the evening in pre-erected tents (or outside beneath the stars if you prefer). We head out of the camp late in the afternoon for a fun 1 1/2-hour camel ride, hopefully taking in a spectacular sunset over the desert and cliffs. After breakfast and traditional Bedouin tea we make the short drive to Aqaba, renowned for its coral reefs, water sports and luxurious accommodation. We have left today free for you to spend as you please, whether this be relaxing in your accommodation or beside the sea, taking the opportunity to dive or snorkel in the Red Sea or joining our optional coral viewing tour.
Finally our journey begins north again, back to Amman along the Dead Sea road. Along the way we will make a stop to swim, or float at least, in the strange salty waters of the Dead Sea. The tour finishes in Amman the next day with a transfer back to the airport for your departure.
The accommodation for the tour chosen has been designed to provide a balance of deluxe accommodation in Amman, Petra, and Aqaba with a comfortable and fun night at the Bedouin camp in Wadi Rum.
We meet you at Amman airport and transfer you to your city centre hotel The rest of the day is free for you to settle in and relax.
Amman 5-star hotel
Extra day in Amman - pre-tour
Single room supplement (JOFAFA)
We head out of Amman today and visit the extensive Roman ruins at Jerash, some of the best preserved in the whole of the Middle East. After returning to Amman, we'll spend the afternoon at the fun and interactive Children's Museum. The museum has sections on the human body, ancient civilisations, stars and space, optical illusions, and some fun flight simulators built into child sized planes, hot air balloons, pedal planes and much more. There are several outdoor exhibits and this is a great way for your childern to see the type of museums and activities available to local Jordanian children.
If you'd like to skip the museum on a private tour, then further sightseeing options can be added in today, perhaps to Ajloun Castle or the hilltop town of As-Salt.
Amman 5-star hotel
Today we drive south out of Amman along the incredibly scenic King's Highway, crossing deep Wadis, olive groves, and driving through remote rural villages. En-route we take time to visit the Roman mosaics at Madaba, and explore the walls and tunnels of the massive crusader castle at Kerak (remember to bring a torch as the tunnels and halls are ideal for children to have some fun exploring). We end the day at the world famous hidden city of Petra.
Petra 4/5-star hotel
Today we take a tour of the spectacular hidden Nabatean city of Petra, which is sure to be a highlight of the trip. Petra is the perfect place for children. Its wonderfully dramatic scenery, fascinating history, and many hidden paths and monuments are great fun to explore. We start you off with a 2-3 hour guided tour and time for lunch, then there's plenty of free time to explore. Perhaps take a walk up to the High Place of Sacrifice and the Monastery if your children are feeling energetic. There is an option to head back into Petra in the evening for the beautiful 'Petra by Candlelight' tour.
Petra 4/5-star hotel
Petra by night
Today we head into the desert for a 4x4 jeep safari through the spectacular mountains and sand dunes of Wadi Rum. Eventually we arrive at our Bedouin camp set out beneath the towering cliffs inside the desert reserve, where we enjoy a fun sunset camel ride. We spend the night sleeping at the camp (beds and bedding are provided but you can sleep outside under the stars if you prefer (bring a sleeping bag).
Wadi Rum Bedouin camp
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
A short drive after breakfast takes us to Aqaba, where we check into our 5-star beach resort. The rest of the day is free to relax on the beach or by the pool. There is an option to take a boat ride into the Red Sea to enjoy some snorkelling around one of the nearby islands. There are also glass-bottomed boat rides available.
If you'd like to book this tour privately, then extra nights can easily be added into your time by the Red Sea if you would like some more time relaxing here. Half or full board options are also available at the resort if you're adding extra days.
Aqaba 5-star resort
Snorkelling in the Red Sea
The morning is free for a final swim or relax by the pool, before we head north again along the Jordan Valley back to Amman. Our route takes us past the strange, incredibly salty waters of the Dead Sea, and we'll make a stop for a swim - or more accurately a 'float'. Towels and showers are provided, and a fun mud bath can also be taken here. The evening is free for a final farewell meal in Amman.
Amman 5-star hotel
The tour ends today in Amman today, your time is free before we transfer you to the airport for your flight home. There are optional extensions available if you wish to spend more time in Jordan, or cross into Israel to visit Bethlehem and Jerusalem.
Extra day in Amman - post-tour
Hotel Gala Dinners
Most of Jordan's higher level hotels and Beoduin camps arrange a very special gala dinner with entertainment in the evening on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. Payment for these is often optional on Christmas Eve (24 Dec) but normally compulsory for all guests of the hotel on New Year's Eve (31 Dec), whether you attend or not. Prices can range from around US$50 to over US$150 per person. Final decisions on prices and whether dinners are compulsory are made relatively close to the time. We aim to always select hotels that make their Gala Dinners optional, though this is is not always possible. Gala dinner prices are therefore not included in our prices above, but will be added to your booking if they become required. Please budget accordingly. More information is available on request.
If you would like to do this tour privately just for your family or together with some other families you like to travel with, we can certainly arrange this for you. Please contact us for details and prices.
The hotels and accommodations listed below are the ones we most often use on this tour. From time to time we may exchange these for similar properties at the same level. In general, specific hotels cannot be guaranteed on our group tours, but you may select your preferred options if you are booking a tailor-made trip.
Old Village Resort
This newly renovated 5-star property is located just outside of Wadi Musa, 2km from Petra. It has a traditional design, and fully-equipped rooms with modern amenities. It has an indoor pool, sauna, several relaxation areas, and free shuttle service.
This 5-star resort boasts a highly convenient location just outside of Wadi Musa, and 2km from the famous World Heritage site of Petra. It has been recently renovated, and has an old-style traditional feel with rooms spread about a village style area. Rooms are fully-equipped, with amenities including Wi-Fi access, air-conditioning, tea and coffee facilities, TVs, minibars, and safes. Complimentary toiletries are offered as well. Facilities include an indoor pool and sauna. There are several areas to relax in and enjoy the views, including a sun deck, terrace, garden, and spacious grounds. The resort offers a free shuttle service to Petra, and transfers are included on our tours as well.
Overall we feel this is a really nice resort with lots of character but can be considered a good 4-star level rather than full 5-star standard.
Movenpick Tala Bay
This property is 6 minutes walk from the beach. This beachfront, 5-star Tala Bay resort has a dive centre, lagoon-style pool with waterfalls and 1,200 m2 spa and wellness centre . All rooms include a private balcony and free minibar.
This property is 6 minutes walk from the beach. This beachfront, 5-star Tala Bay resort has a dive centre, lagoon-style pool with waterfalls and 1,200 m2 spa and wellness centre . All rooms include a private balcony and free minibar. It features Wi-Fi in all areas.
Al fresco dining overlooking Tala Bay is available at Movenpick Resort & Spa Aqaba's restaurant Selan. Other dining options include Italian cuisine and a pub serving light meals. Poolside and beachside bars are also available.
Movenpick Resort Tala Bay Aqaba's spacious rooms are decorated with light colours and have floor-to-ceiling windows. Twenty-four hour room service is available, and some rooms have Red Sea views.
On-site leisure options include a watersports centre, several pools including a lazy river, and a nightclub. Zara Spa Tala Bay features a scented relaxation room, and younger guests can enjoy the Movenpick Aqaba’s children's club.
Wadi Rum, Jordan
This Wadi Rum desert camp has a fantastic location on the desert sands against the cliffs in the Wadi Rum Protected Area. Accommodation is in permanent goat hair tents with proper beds and all bedding provided. The food is generally excellent.
This Wadi Rum desert camp has a fantastic location and setting on the desert sands right up against the cliffs within the Wadi Rum Protected Area. We like it for its spectacular and remote location well away from the main road, and for the excellent food and friendly welcome the Bedouin hosts always provide.
Accommodation is in permanent traditional goat hair tents with proper beds and all bedding provided. We book the standard tents with shared bathrooms, though some en-suite tents are also available and subject to availability you can upgrade to these locally if you wish. You can also bring a sleeping bag if you wish, and find a sheltered spot on the rocks on the edge of the camp and sleep under the stars.
WiFi is available throughout the camp. Meals are traditionally cooked, with a delicious underground 'BBQ' prepared nearly every night.
Sunrise and sunset camel rides are available to book locally (around US$30).
Al Qasr Metropole
Located in the Shmeisani area of Amman, the Al Qasr Metropole is often regarded as one of the best 4-star hotels in the city.
The hotel offers guests comfortable and well-appointed rooms which feature flat-screen TV's, en-suite facilities, free WiFi and some rooms also feature a balcony with city views. In addition to spacious, modern rooms, the hotel has a choice of 4-restaurants to choose from and a cocktail bar.
Our tours are designed to include all that you need to enjoy a really special time in the destination youre visiting. However, we do also offer some extra options to complement the tour and add some additional sightseeing or activities, or some extra time at either end of the tour.
All accommodation based options (e.g. Single supplements, extra nights, cruise upgrades) should be booked and paid for in advance so that we can make the appropriate arrangements. Other options may either be booked and paid for in advance or while you are on the tour, though we recommend booking in advance to ensure there are no issues with availability.
Many options are priced the same throughout the year, but some may incur single or high season supplements - full details are given on the tour reservation form or on request.
The detailed Tour Notes below have been written to give you some more detailed information about how the tour runs, what to expect, and how to prepare for your holiday. We recommend downloading an up to date copy of these shortly before you travel in case of any changes.
We use good quality hotels at the local 5-star rating on this tour, with the Petra hotel are more boutique style which can be considered to be a good 4-star level. A night is also spent in a comfortable Bedouin camp inside the Wadi Rum desert reserve. Accommodation here is in en-suite tents with all bedding and facilities provided.
The tour can also be run privately and the hotel levels, styles and options adjusted to suit your preferences and budget. Please visit the accommodation tab of this tour for examples of the hotels normally used on the tour. If you have any specific accommodation requests please let us know and we'll be happy to provide you with a customised quotation.
Twin, double and triple rooms are available, as well as family suites, and extra beds / matresses can be added to some rooms for younger children. Connecting rooms are available in some hotels, but these can rarely be 100% guaranteed in advance as there are often only a few and availability will be subject to bookings starting on previous days. Please contact us if you have any questions about rooming arrangements for your family.
We are committed to being a small group operator, as we feel this gives both the adults and children in the group the best chance to get to know their fellow travellers, and to hear and make the most of their guide. So, on our Family tours we won't ever put you in a full size coach packed with other people and just one guide. Having a smaller group size also allows us to do some more interesting activities that just wouldn't work for larger numbers.
This tour has a minimum group size of 3, and maximum of 16.
To accompany you on the tour we provide a fully trained English speaking local tour leader/driver and specialist guides in Jerash, Amman and Petra. Groups of 5 or more will have both a driver and a professional guide throughout the trip.
At Encounters Travel we only use local Jordanian guides and reps. We feel this gives you the best experience of the country and the sites you are seeing.
The tour price does not include entrance fees to the sites visited on the tour. Instead, we recommend that you purchase a Jordan Pass prior to your travel to Jordan. This is a special package that has been designed by the Jordanian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities for tourists visiting Jordan. As well as including a discounted package of entrance fees covering all the sites in Jordan that you will visit on this tour (plus many others), the Jordan Pass also provides free downloadable digital brochures on each attraction, plus a free tourist visa for entering the country (40JD if obtained on arrival in Jordan).
The cost for the Jordan Wanderer Pass suitable for this tour is JD70 (approx. US$99). Passes are available by completing a simple online form before you travel, taking care to make sure your passport details are entered correctly as this doubles as your visa application. Your Jordan Pass will then be emailed to you as a pdf document, which you should print out and bring with you. You will then need to show this print out at the immigration desk on arrival in Jordan to obtain your free entry visa, and also at each attraction where it will be scanned to confirm your entry. Obtain your Jordan Pass here
Note - Children under 12 do not need to pay entrance fees to the sites visited in Jordan so do not need a jordan Pass.
The local currency in Jordan is the Jordanian Dinar (JD). You do not need to arrange to bring any Jordanian Dinar with you to Jordan as exchange facilities are available in the international airports and in most hotels, banks and bureau de changes in major towns. You should try to obtain and keep hold of small denomination notes or coins on you during the tour as these are useful for toilets, tips and small purchases. ATMs are readily available in major towns and many local shops will accept VISA/Mastercard or Amex, but may charge fees of up to 10% - check before you pay. Travellers cheques are not recommended as they can not be changed in many places now, and can incur high fees.
While in Jordan you will need sufficient funds to cover meals not included in the itinerary, drinks, snacks, souvenirs and personal expenses such as laundry. These should generally all be paid for in Jordanian Dinar, though tips for guides and drivers may be paid in hard currency (GBP, USD, EUR).
It is difficult to recommend a level of personal spending money which will suit everyone as this can differ greatly, but as a guideline, we would suggest allowing USD 15-25 per person per day as a minimum. Allow more if you plan on doing lots of shopping, or buying many alcoholic drinks.
You should ensure you are fully insured for medical emergencies including emergency evacuation and repatriation.
Recommended vaccinations and other health protection measures vary according to the country you are visiting and where you are travelling from. We recommend you contact your GP/medical practitioner or a travel clinic for current information on vaccinations needed for your destination. You should ensure that you are up to date with vaccines and boosters recommended for your normal life at home, including for example, vaccines required for occupational risk of exposure, lifestyle risks and underlying medical conditions.
In addition, additional courses or boosters normally recommended for the countries in this region are:
Egypt: Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis A
Jordan: Tetanus, Hepatitis A
Israel: Hepatitis A, Poliomyelitis
Lebanon: Dipheria, Hepatitis A
Malaria is not generally present unless it has been contracted abroad; you do not need to take malaria prophylactics.
Note: We are aware of some places in Egypt using ‘black henna’ instead of pure brown henna. Black henna contains a chemical dye PPD (paraphenylenediamine) which can result in severe allergic reactions and resultant scarring. To be safe we recommend avoiding any henna tattoos while in Egypt unless you are certain they are using pure brown henna.
Passports should be valid for at least six months after your departure from the country. Please do not bring an almost full or almost expired passport. Visa arrangements are the responsibility of the traveller, and requirements are subject to change by the local authorities.
To promote tourism to the country, the Jordanian government has designed the Jordan Pass. This provides most nationalities with a free single entry Jordan visa (for stays of 3 nights or more), a discounted package of entrance fees, and free digital brochures for the various sites in Jordan. Please check the Jordan Pass tour note for more information.
Double or multi entry visas for Jordan are no longer available and you will need to arrange two visas if you are doing a combination tour (eg. with Egypt and/or Israel) that visits Jordan more than once. Exceptions may occur if you are crossing to and from Israel via the King Hussein Bridge - please contact us for details.
If you wish to arrange your visa separately in advance, or if your stay will be shorter than four days/3 nights, then a visa fee of 40JD (approx. USD 57) will be due.
Other nationalities may require a visa prior to arrival and to obtain this in advance, please contact your local Jordanian embassy or consulate or a visa agency for details. In addition, if you plan to enter Jordan via the southern Wadi Araba crossing (Eilat-Aqaba) or the Allenby Bridge/King Hussein border with Israel in the north, you will need to obtain your Jordan visa in advance as these are not available on arrival at the border.
The time in Egypt, Jordan and Israel is GMT plus 2 hours. Daylight saving adjustments have historically been applied in some years but not others. At present it appears that there will be no daylight saving changes in Egypt 2016 and beyond, though this may change at short notice (with a resulting impact on flight times and schedules). In Jordan and Israel, daylight saving of one hour is generally applied between the end of March and the end of October, making it GMT plus 3 hours. Exact dates vary from year to year and sometimes the changes may be scrapped altogether.
Sockets are two round pronged and 220 volts (Type C). Universal adaptors are available in most airport shops if you don’t have one already. Standard European adapters will work fine, though sometimes they may feel a little loose in the sockets. All hotel rooms have electrical sockets where you can re-charge cameras, phones etc. Hair dryers are normally available on request from the hotel reception if not in your room already.
If you have US appliances (110 volts) you will need a voltage converter as well as a plug adapter.
We run regular small-group departures on this tour throughout the year. These are aimed to fit in with typical school holiday periods. All departures are guaranteed to run with a minimum of 3 travellers and maximum of 16. Departure dates and prices are listed on our website (please check for up-to-date prices and special offers).
The tour can also be run privately on any other dates for a small supplement, with the itinerary then being customisable to fit your personal requirements and budget. If more than one family would like to travel together on a private date then we can normally offer the standard group tour pricing. Please contact us for details.
If you would like to book a place on this tour, please complete the online reservation form on our website (via the Dates & Prices tab on the tour page). You can pay your deposit or full balance online, or just hold a reservation if you prefer. We will then contact you with more details about how to complete your booking. Payments may be made by debit or credit card (subject to a card processing fee), or by making a bank transfer or posting us a cheque/bank draft. Full details will be provided in your booking confirmation email. Please contact us if you would like any more information or have any questions before making a booking.
Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our tours and needs to cover personal accident & liability, medical expenses and repatriation, travel delay & abandonment. We also strongly recommend that you take out cover against cancellation and lost/stolen baggage. Personal medical insurance does not normally provide sufficient cover and is generally not suitable for travel on our tours. You will not be able to join your tour if you have not provided us with details of your insurance or if you arrive without cover in place (no refunds will be due in this event). More information...
You may arrange your own insurance, or you can take advantage of a comprehensive policy that we can arrange for you through Endsleigh Insurance which has been designed to be suitable for our tours. The policy is available to travellers of all nationalities and you do not need to live in the UK to take out the policy. For full details of cover provided, prices and to apply for one of our policies, please complete travel insurance application form.
Note: Any country that borders the Mediterranean is considered as 'Europe' for the purposes of travel insurance (including Turkey, Israel, Egypt and Morocco). If you are doing a tour that visits one country in 'Europe' and one that is 'Worldwide' (for example, an Egypt and Jordan tour), then you need a 'Worldwide' policy. When completing the form you should enter your travel dates including any extra days involved in overnight flights or connecting travel between your home and the tour. Our policies are not able to cover any extra time or activities other than your tour and options booked with us and your travel to & from home.
If you plan to arrange a hot air balloon flight locally, or do some scuba diving during your tour, you should check the small print in your policy to make sure these are covered (these are covered in our policy). Please also check the maximum altitude that you will be reaching and that full cover including emergency evacuation is provided up to this altitude.
IMPORTANT: We must have your travel insurance details (policy number and type of insurance) before you depart or you may not be allowed to join the tour. If you haven't told us already, please let us know the details when you can. You should take a paper copy of your insurance policy with you as you may be asked to show this at the start of the tour.
We are a UK registered company and an ABTA Member (Y4447) and you can be confident when booking with us that your money is safe and protected. Financial failure insurance is provided through Affirma to protect all customers for the land portion of their tour.
Please see our website or booking conditions for more information.
It is impossible not to have an impact on the local environment, cultures and eco-systems when you travel. However, it is very possible to try and ensure that these impacts are as limited, or positive as possible. We are committed to ensuring that we try to leave our host countries in a better state than we found them and encourage and assist our travellers to help us with this.
The following are a few simple tips that require very little effort on your part but which will help ensure that any effect you have on the locations you visit is positive rather than negative.
All porters are employed and equipped following guidelines set by the International Porter Protection Group (IPPG).
You can stay in touch with us online by following us on Facebook and Twitter. We post updates on relevant travel news in our destination countries, special offers and discounts and other interesting travel related news and information.
www.twitter.com/encounterstravl (yes, without the 'e')
It is important when considering and preparing to travel anywhere in the world that you have a good understanding of the country you are visiting, its laws and customs, and the possible risks and situations that may occur. This includes specific risks related to your itinerary (eg. does it involve water & can you swim, are you fit enough for the activities included), as well as more general risks such as terrorism and natural disasters.
General details and links to more information about health risks, visa requirements, money, and travel insurance are given in these tour notes. We recommend that you re-read all these before your departure as well as the small print of your travel insurance policy so you know exactly what is covered and what is not.
You should take copies of your important travel documents with you and ideally also store them online securely as a backup. Make sure that you have given us your emergency contact details and told that person where and when you are travelling. Ensure you take enough money with you and that you have access to emergency funds.
Finally, you should read through and stay updated with the current official government travel advice for your destination. We are registered partners with the UK Foreign Office's 'Travel Aware' campaign which provides further useful and invaluable information.