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Welcome to Jordan and the start of your holiday! Arrive Amman, included transfer to hotel and overnight.
This morning we explore the Madaba, the Church of St George with its fascinating map of the Holy Land made in the 6th century out of two million stone pieces and Mt Nebo, where Moses is said to have viewed the Promised Land. The afternoon offers a visit to Shobak Crusader Castle before arriving to the Rose city of Petra.
Today we explore Petra. Taking a walk through the mysterious siq to reach the breath-taking rose-red facade of the Treasury. Amazing Nabataean and Roman ruins are on tap here at Petra, including tombs, a Roman road, temples and amphitheatre. The intrepid can ascend the many stone carved steps to the Monastery.
This morning early we drive to Wadi Rum the moonscape terrain T. E. Lawrence rightly described as "vast, echoing and God-like." Here enjoy a 4x4 jeep tour of the vast landscape of ancient riverbeds, pastel coloured stretches of sandy desert and amazing rock formations known as jebels that rise from the desert floor, the desertscape of Wadi Rum represents some of the most stunning countryside on the planet. We then drive on to the Dead Sea.
Jerash is recognised as one of the best-preserved member cities of the Decapolis, a confederation of 10 Graeco-Roman cities. Exemplifying the finesse of Roman urban life, the town boasts a Triumphal Arch, hippodrome, the old sports field that once held 15,000 spectators, a stunning amphitheatre, a colonnaded street paved with original stones and the rut marks of chariots, and various temples. Continuing north we cross the border and arrive to Bosra, another city of the ancient Roman Decapolis. Bosra's boasts possibly the best preserved Roman theatre in the Middle East.
Thoroughly charming and compact Damascus is studded with rich examples of Islamic and Ottoman architecture. In the centre of the city is Martyrs Square, however the beating heart of Damascus - the Old City. Surrounded by what was once a Roman wall and rebuilt several times over the last 2000 years, the Old City boasts a main thoroughfare, Straight Street which has been here since Graeco-Roman times. Just beyond the Citadel is the colourful Souq al-Hamidiyya and Umayyad Mosque. Built in 705AD, the facades around the central courtyard are adorned with golden mosaics. South of the mosque is Azem Palace.
Drive to ancient Palmyra today, for a city tour. Palmyra was an important and wealthy city from the 2nd century BC as it was located on the caravan trade routes connecting Persia, India, China and the Roman Empire. A colonnaded street leads us to the ruined city where we will see a well preserved theatre, the striking Ba’al temple and the Valley of tombs.
Today we tour the remarkably well preserved and beautifully formed UNESCO crusaders castle of Krac des Chevaliers and the pretty Ma'alula village where the people still speak Aramaic – the language of Jesus. A visit is made to the Byzantine Monastery and Church of St Sergius. Built in 325 its one of the oldest churches in the world.
After crossing the border into Lebanon we tour 8th century World Heritage Listed site of Anjar. Then, there is time for wine tasting at Chateau Ksara in the Bekaa Valley before visiting the temple complex of Baalbek. Monumentally scaled temple ruins tower over the Bekaa plain.
We tour the magnificent Beittedine Palace, built by Emir Bashir Shihab II viewing the Harem suites, Turkish baths, intricate mosaics and beautifully groomed gardens. Near to the palace is the charming stone built and redtiled roof village of Deir el Qamar where we visit the 15th Century Fakhreddine Mosque and Palace as well as Moussa Castle.
Our sightseeing today offers visits to the subterranean labyrinth, known as the Jeita Grottos, ’Our Lady of Lebanon’ - a towering statue of the Virgin Mary, that overlooks the Jounieh Bay at Harissa and harbourside city of Byblos with touring of its 12th century crusader castle.
Today you can explore cosmopolitan Beirut and its beach front. Taking a short drive to Sidon this afternoon we discover the ruins of the fortress church known as the Castle of the Sea and the Shell of the Castle of St. Louis.
Spend the morning at leisure, hotel check out is at noon and onward departure transfer to the airport.
Aleppo’s strategic position meant it has been used as a meeting point and trade link between Mesopotamia, the fertile crescent ...