Damascus Holidays

Sample Itinerary - REF JORDAN 721

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Day 1: Damascus

Welcome to Damascus. Airport arrival and included transfer to your hotel. Damascus is believed to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world and the Umayyad Mosque stands on a site that has been considered sacred ground for at least 3,000 years! The Old City is practically a living museum, that has witnessed many empires rise and fall and boasts a truly fascinating history. A thriving modern metropolis now surrounds the Old City, filled with bustling bazaars, winding alleys and numerous mosques.

Day 2: Damascus

Enjoy a full day’s touring of the city’s historic heart, including the beautiful Ottoman Azem Palace, the tomb of Saladin and the Grand Mosque Umayyad Mosque. Filled with exquisite guilded mosaics, the mosque is without doubt one of the greatest architectural creations of its time and one of the most important sites in the Islamic World. We continue on to Straight Street, the baptism site of Apostle Paul, St. Ananias Church with its sunken crypt and Hamedieh bazaar. Tonight, we enjoy a traditional Damascene meal with oriental show 'Whirling Dervish'.

Day 3: Damascus - Palmyra

Today we drive to ancient Palmyra. The extensive ruins at Palmyra reveal the network plan of the ancient city. The Corinthian order marks almost all the monuments, but the influence of Mesopotamia and Iran is also apparent. As we walk the colonnaded street leading to the ruined city we find most of the monuments and tombs reflect the artwork and influences of the ancient Roman and Persian empires. We tour the preserved theatre, fascinating museum, the striking Ba’al temple and the Valley of Tombs.

Day 4: Palmyra - Aleppo

On the way to Aleppo – the main city of northern Syria, stop off at the once mighty, now ruined city of Rasafeh. Climb the walls to get great views of the remaining buildings and the desert. Then visit Al’Assad lake on the Euphrates River, where we take a relaxing boat trip around the pink fortress - the Ja’abar citadel.

Day 5: Aleppo

This morning we visit the museum, the magnificent and huge Citadel which contains the beautifully designed Great Mosque (also known as the Umayyad Mosque) and the old covered bazaar – a complicated maze of narrow cobbled streets where you can find anything from gold to clothes to various foods and spices. In the afternoon drive to the impressive Basilica of St Simeon, who became famous because he lived on a small platform on top of a pillar for about 40 years! Afterwards we head back to Aleppo. In the evening we get together for dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 6: Aleppo - Damascus

Today we travel to the remarkably beautiful and extremely well preserved crusader castle of Krac des Chevaliers. The UNESCO Listed castle looks almost exactly as it would have 800 years ago. Afterward we tour the small, richly historic and biblical village of Ma’alula. The predominantly Christian village with a population of about 2,000, still speak Aramaic – the language of Jesus. Home of two ancient Christian monasteries (Mar Sarkis and Mar Taqla) we will explore the area and often encounter faithful Christian and Muslim pilgrims seeking blessing within this holy village. We drive onward to Damascus.

Amman's old city walls

Day 7: Damascus - Amman

Bidding Damascus farewell, we travel south to Amman via Bosra, a city of the ancient Roman Decapolis, which boasts possibly the best preserved Roman theatre in the Middle East. Leaving Bosra, we continue south to the frontier, where we attend to customs formalities and cross back over into Jordan on our way to Amman.

Some of the Roman ruins in Amman

Day 8: Amman

Full day city tour in Amman, including visits to the King Abdullah Mosque, Citadel, Jordan's National Archaoelogical Museum, the Roman theater and Folklore Museum, souks and modern city. Drive through fertile Wadi Seer to visit the Tobaid hall of Qasr al-Abd.

Amman amphitheatre

Day 9: Amman

Drive to Jerash to tour the world’s best-preserved Roman provincial city, including visits to the Southern Theater, Cardo, Forum, Temple of Artemis and Byzantine church. Finish your visit in a truly Roman fashion—join the crowd in the actual Roman Hippodrome to watch the RACE performance (Roman Army and Chariot Experience)—a demonstration of Roman Army weapons and tactics, gladiator contests and an exciting 7-lap chariot race in the Hippodrome. Drive to visit Um Qais, and then return to Amman.

Amman fruit stall

Day 10: Amman - Petra

Visit Mt, Nebo, legendary site from which Moses viewed the Promised Land. Then, drive to visit the ruins and beautiful mosaics of Umm ar-Rassas. Continue south to visit Shobak Crusader Castle, before heading onto Petra.

Looking through the Siq at the Treasury

Day 11: Petra

Full day touring in Petra, including horseback entry, visits to the Treasury, Theater, Colonnaded Street and Ad-Deir, Petra’s largest carved façade. Ticket to Petra by Night (without a guide).

The deep reds of the Treasury

Day 12: Petra

Second day touring in Petra by the “secret road” route. Visit the High Place of Sacrifice, Wadi Farasa and the Royal Tombs.

Petra Siq

Day 13: Petra - Wadi Rum

Visit Siq al Barid ("Little Petra"), the northern Nabatean customs point outside the bounds of the city of Petra. And then drive to Wadi Rum for four hours jeep tour. Overnight camping in Wadi Rum.

Local camel boy in Wadi Rum

Day 14: Wadi Rum - Madaba

Enjoy hiking in Wadi Rum from the camp till Rum Village where they will visit Lawrence spring during the way (The hike will talk take around 3 hours approx). Drive to the Dead Sea, lowest point on the earth’s surface, for a chance to swim in the buoyant mineral rich waters of the world’s oldest spa. Lunch at the Dead Sea hotel, and then drive to Madaba for dinner at the renowned Haret Jdoudna restaurant.

Sunrise in Madaba

Day 15: Madaba

Spend the day exploring Madaba. You’ll visit the Madaba Archaeological Park, St. George Church, Madaba Museum and Apostles Church. Around midday, drive to tour the newly excavated Maqdas Baptismal Site. Biblical archaeologists, working from clues supplied by the Madaba mosaic map, believe this to be the spot where John the Baptist lived and worked, and where Jesus baptized in the waters of the Jordan River. The walk past "Elijah's well" to the St. John church on the banks of the Jordan is a pleasure in itself, as you follow the winding trail through marshes of high reeds and tamarisk trees.

Mosaic painting in Madaba

Day 16: Madaba

Departure transfer to the airport.

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Ummayad forecourt

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last updated - 09 Jul 2014 9:02 PM