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Welcome to Syria and the start of your holiday! Arrive into Damascus and transfer to your hotel.
Today, we enjoy a tour of reputedly the oldest inhabitated city on earth. Straight Street was one of the main streets of Roman Damascus and still exists today. Studded with examples of Islamic and Ottoman architecture, we see the Umayyad Mosque - one of the largest mosques and one of the oldest sites of continuous prayer since the rise of Islam and much more.
Full day excursion to Palmyra. Palmyra (Tadmor in Arabic) is in the heart of Syrian Desert, and is often described as the bride of the desert. Its magnificent remains tell of a heroic history during the reign of Queen Zenobia. The Oasis, as it is sometimes called, is located near a hot-water spring called Afqa, which made it an ideal halt for caravans moving between Iraq and Al-Sham (present day Syria, Lebanon, Holy Land and Jordan), trading in silk from China to the Mediterranean. We then return to Damascus for the night.
Today we drive to Ma’alula, an ancient town located in the mountains and where the locals still speak Aramaic, the language of Christ. It is home to two famous monasteries: St. Sergius & Bacchus monastery, built in the fourth century A.D., housing valuable icons from the 17th and 18th centuries. St. Tecla monastery: St. Tecla, who was one of the first saints in Christianity. We then head on to explore Krac des Chevaliers, a crusader castle of epic proportions and one of the most important preserved medieval military castles in the world.
Bidding Damascus farewell, we travel onward to Madaba via Bosra, a city of the ancient Roman Decapolis.
This morning we visit Jerash, the world’s best-preserved Roman provincial city, built over 2,000 years ago. Here we visit the Forum, the arena, where the chariot wheel tracks can still be seen, the Temple of Artemis and the South Theatre. We continue to Umm Qais, a dramatic black-basalt Roman city with panoramic views over the Sea of Galilee.
Today, we tour the citadel, Archaeological Museum and enjoy free time in the local souq. We then have time for a dip in the Dead Sea before we head down to Petra.
Welcome to the Rose City! Access to the city on our guided exploration is through the famous narrow, deep siq. The rocks then give way to the most amazing site – that of the Treasury. We’ll explore the ancient Nabatean tombs and the Roman rock-carved streets lined with temples, royal tombs, staircases, arched gates, public buildings.
This morning you have the option to revisit Petra in your own time before we drive you to Wadi Rum. Wadi Rum is a vast, silent landscape of ancient riverbeds, pastel coloured stretches of sandy desert and amazing eroded rock formations that rise from the desert floor. We camp with the semi-nomadic Bedouin and enjoy a Jordanian dinner tonight.
Leaving Wadi Rum we drive to Madaba. Madaba a bustling Muslim-Christian market town, is renown for its mosaics including the stunning 6th century Byzantine mosaic map depicting Jerusalem and other holy sites, located at the Greek Orthodox Church of St George.
We will transfer you to the airport in time for your departure flight.
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