Ancient Encounters

Al Khazneh - The Treasury in Petra, Jordan
Felucca boat on the Nile river, Egypt
Edfu Temple, Egypt
Rasoun homestay, Jordan
Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • What's Included
  • Dates
  • Encounters Travel

Our signature two-week small group Jordan and Egypt tour, packing in both countries' iconic highlights plus many other activities and experiences

Recently redesigned, this two week Jordan and Egypt tour takes you to some of the most popular attractions in both of these beautiful countries, with activities and experience geared to giving you an authentic Middle Eastern experience. The Jordan leg of the tour takes you to the capital city of Amman, where we explore its 'desert castles', before we explore downtown Amman on foot, tasting all of its unique foods and exploring its bustling markets. We'll the make our way to the ancient city of Jerash, visit the towering Aljoun Castle and its surrounding forest and hills, searching for the towering Bronze Age Dolmens.We'll spend the night in a friendly local village homestay follows before we descend to the Dead Sea for a swim and float in its incredibly salty waters. We'll explore the hills around the restored Dana village amidst the Dana Biosphere Reserve en-route to Jordan's biggest highlight, the hidden city of Petra. After spending some time in the rose-red city, we'll head into the Wadi Rum Desert, where we'll camp underneath the stars with the local Bedouins, learning about their nomadic desert lifestyle. The Egypt leg of the tour starts in Cairo, as we explore its Great Pyramids, Sphinx and Egyptian Museum, before we take a boat trip on the Nile River towards the island Philae Temple. We'll spend a night on the Nile River in a traditional felucca sailboat sleeping on the deck of the boat, with a hotel upgrade available for those who want some more comfort. Our final guided sightseeing tour starts in Luxor, home to one of the largest concentrations of ancient monuments on the planet. We'll see the huge columned temples and halls at Karnak, delve into the Pharaonic tombs in the Valley of the Kings, see the imposing temple of Queen Hatchepsut and walk around Luxor temple as it is beautifully lit up at night. Our last stop is at the Red Sea for some well-earned relaxation time in a 5-star resort on the coast. Options for snorkelling, scuba-diving and other water sports are available before we fly back to Cairo. Here you have a little free time to explore independently or take an extra optional guided tour, before we take a guided walk through the back streets of the Khan-el-Khalili bazaar and finish the tour with time at Wikalat al Guri for the evening display of Sufi music and dance.

Highlights
Jordan's desert castles, Jerash Roman ruins, Ajloun & Shobak castles, Dead Sea swim, Dana Biosphere Reserve, Petra tour, Wadi Rum safari & camp, Pyramids & Sphinx, Philae temple, Felucca cruise, Valley of the Kings, Karnak, Red Sea beaches.
Destinations
  • Middle East
  • Egypt
  • Jordan
Tour Types
  • Cultural
  • History
  • Singles
  • Adventure
  • Small Group
Day 1, Your Jordan tour begins in Amman. Airport to hotel transfer included
Once you arrive at Amman's Queen Alia International Airport, we'll be there to meet and transfer you to your hotel in Jordan's busy capital city. Once you've settled in, we'll let you know the plan for the next few days and arrange a time to collect you tomorrow.
You have the rest of the day free to relax in your hotel or explore the city independently.
OVERNIGHT:
Amman hotel
EXTRAS:
Extra day in Amman - pre-tour, Single room supplement (required for solo travellers if a same-sex room share is not available)

Day 2, Visiting Jordan’s imposing Desert Castles
After a tasty breakfast, we start the day with a trip to Jordan's ancient desert castles of Qasr al-Kharrana, Qal’at al-Azraq and Qseirr Amra which can be found along the old trade routes which were frequently used during the Umayyad era. There are still reminders left behind of this time period, such as frescoes, wells and bathhouses - visiting it will give you great insight into learning how these ancient structures were built.
We make our way back to Amman at lunchtime, where we'll have falafel and hummus at a local restaurant. Afterwards, we'll head out on a sightseeing tour of Amman - visiting its popular attractions such as the Citadel, the Amphitheatre and the Jordan Folklore Museum.
We'll also have some time to visit Amman's markets, giving us the chance to taste some of its unique sweet treats such as Knafeh - before we are taught some basic Arabic phrases which will come in handy throughout our Jordan tour.
OVERNIGHT:
Amman hotel
MEALS:
Breakfast, Lunch

Day 3, Exploring the ancient city of Jerash & Aljoun Castle
After spending a few days in Amman, we'll make our way to the city of Jerash, which is often known as the "Pompeii of the East". Its known for being one of the largest and well-preserved Greco-Roman cities outside of Europe.
We'll explore some of Jerash's top sites, which includes the Forum, its Roman colonnaded streets, the Nymphaeum and the Temple of Artemis - built on one of the highest points in the city.
From Jerash, we'll visit the Aljoun Castle, which served as the base for Saladin’s Arab forces when he defeated the Crusaders in the 12th century. Its also a great destination for a hike, with its surrounding mountains, hills and forests boasting a variety of trails.
After exploring the Aljoun Castle, we head to the Rasoun village, where we'll meet our homestay hosts for the evening, who will help us settle into their home. We'll then make our way to the hills around the village to witness the Bronze Age Dolmens - megalithic tombs created with massive stone slab atop two or more standing stones.
We'll head back to the village, where we'll enjoy a traditional Arabic meal made by our hosts, as we spend the rest of the night chatting and gaining insight into their daily lifestyle in Jordan.
OVERNIGHT:
Rasoun homestay
MEALS:
Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4, Travel from Ajloun to Madaba, Mount Nebo & the Dead Sea
After a shared breakfast this morning, we'll say our final goodbyes to the Jordanian family as we make our way to Madaba, visiting the impressive Madaba Map - the oldest preserved map of the Holy Land as well as its beautiful Byzantine mosaics.
After visiting Madaba, we'll head to Mount Nebo - the location where Moses cast his eyes over the Promised Land and it's also his final resting place. We'll have some lunch before we travel to the Dead Sea, giving you the perfect opportunity to float in its salty waters or relax poolside at a Spa Resort.
OVERNIGHT:
Dead Sea Spa Resort
MEALS:
Breakfast

Day 5, Dana Biosphere Reserve and Shobak Castle en-route to Petra
Today, we'll make our way down the Dead Sea coastline, passing lots of deep canyons and gorges as they meet the sea. After we pass some salt flats at the southern end of the Dead Sea we head up through the mountains towards Petra, stopping for a short hike in the beautiful scenery and hills of the Dana Biosphere Reserve along the way. This is Jordan's largest nature reserve, and there are great views of the valleys and hills on the various trails around the restored Dana village. Spring is a particularly lovely time to visit with the terrain surprisingly green and full of flowers. We'll stop for a home-made lunch in the village and take a walk before continuing to the imposing crusader castle at Shobak, finally arriving at Petra late in the evening.
An option is available this evening to get a first taste of Petra on the atmospheric Petra by Night tour, during which the Siq Trail and area outside the Treasury are lit up with hundreds of candles.
OVERNIGHT:
Amra Palace hotel
MEALS:
Breakfast
EXTRAS:
Petra by night

Day 6, The rose-red city of Petra and a Wadi Rum Bedouin Camp
We start the day with a visit to one of the modern 7 Wonders of the World - the ancient city of Petra. We'll make our way through the winding Siq, until we reach the impressive Treasury.
Our Jordan tour guide will educate us on its history, as we learn how this magnificent site was built by the Nabatean people, who carved caves and tombs into the sandstone cliffs which surrounds you. We'll have some free time to explore its imposing Monastery overlooking the Jordan Valley and if there's time, we definitely recommend a visit to the High Place of Sacrifice.
Later in the day, we'll head to the Wadi Rum desert, as we'll spend the night camping underneath the starry skies with the Bedouins.
You can sleep in a traditional goat hair tent, with a proper bed and all bedding provided, or take a sleeping bag and find a secluded location to sleep outside under the stars.
OVERNIGHT:
Wadi Rum Camp
MEALS:
Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7, A jeep safari and Bedouin experience in Wadi Rum. Travel to Amman
We'll enjoy breakfast with the Bedouins, before we head out on a jeep safari, over the sands of the Wadi Rum desert, stopping every now and then to marvel at its towering sand dunes and rock bridges.
Afterwards, we'll take part in a few activities inspired by Bedouin traditions, such as assisting a local shepherd with his cattle until we reach a Bedouin tent, where we'll help make lunch. Other activities which you can participate in include shearing the sheep & goats hair, milking, grinding grains, and roasting coffee until our lunch is ready.
After lunch, we head back out in our jeep as we make our way back to camp, before we journey down the Desert Highway, back to Amman.
Tonight, we'll explore the town, visiting a coffee shop or café near our hotel in Downtown Amman to enjoy a shisha, a game of backgammon and to reminisce on our Jordan tour.
OVERNIGHT:
Antika hotel
MEALS:
Breakfast, Lunch

Day 8, Enjoy free time in Amman. Flight to Cairo.
You have the day free to explore Amman independently before we head to the airport to board your flight to Egypt’s busy capital of Cairo (not included). If your flight is later in the day, you have an option to head out on a half-day city tour in Amman.
Once you arrive in Cairo, one of our staff will be there to meet you before taking you to your hotel, situated close to the Great Pyramids. We’ll have some time to settle in before being introduced to the local area and we’ll also arrange tomorrow’s collection time.
You have the rest of the day to explore Cairo independently. If you managed to arrive early, why not head out on an evening dinner cruise on the Nile River or enjoy a mesmerising sound and light show at the pyramids (both available to book locally on arrival).
Note: the Amman-Cairo flight is left out of the set tour price as it is often more cost effective for you to include this flight as part of your main international flight ticket. We are happy to book all your international flights, just this Amman-Cairo flight, or none of them at all, whichever works best for you. Direct flights are available with both Egypt Air and Royal Jordanian Airlines. You can fly at anytime during the day - all transfers in Amman and Cairo are included.

OVERNIGHT:
Cairo hotel
MEALS:
Breakfast

Day 9, Cairo, Pyramids, Sphinx & Museum tour
Our Discover Egypt tour begins with a drive to Giza on the outskirts of Cairo to visit the Sphinx and the three great pyramids of Egypt. One of our local Egyptologist guides will be accompanying you on this and all of your other sightseeing tours, and you'll find them a wealth of knowledge and full of enthusiasm about Egyptian history, and their country in general. At 500 feet high and 750 feet wide at its base the Great Pyramid of Khufu (Cheops) is an awesome man-made structure constructed of giant stone blocks with a hard limestone casing. The casing has, over the years, been stripped away to leave exposed the inner block structure. Together with the smaller pyramids of Khafre (Chephern) and Menkaure (Mycerinus), the majestic sight of these enormous structures rising out of the desert is a breathtaking spectacle. You will have the opportunity to climb down right inside the pyramids if you wish, though your guide cannot accompany you (a limited number of tickets are available for the Great Pyramid). Following on from the Pyramids we then head to the Egyptian Museum in central Cairo. Home to the fantastic Tutankhamun exhibit the museum hosts a huge number of other ancient Egyptian artefacts.
This evening we transfer to the station for the overnight sleeper train to Aswan (approx. 12 hours).
OVERNIGHT:
Sleeper train
MEALS:
Breakfast, Dinner
EXTRAS:
Cairo/Aswan flight upgrade

Day 10, Aswan, Nubian Village and Philae Temple
Upon arrival in Aswan we take a short transfer to our hotel overlooking the Nile. The river here is at its most scenic in Egypt, and is dotted with islands and felucca sailing boats. Aswan itself is an intriguing mixture of African and Middle Eastern cultures, and lies in part of the ancient region of Nubia. Many Nubian people still live here and work on the river, and we'll visit a Nubian village away from the main town where we'll walk through narrow alleyways seeing colourfully painted houses, friendly people, wandering animals and enjoy a traditional local lunch.
We continue our day with an afternoon tour to the Temple of Philae. This beautiful island temple is dedicated to Isis and was saved from the rising waters of Lake Nasser. It can only be reached by a scenic boat ride. The evening is free at leisure to explore Aswan's various markets and to walk up and down the Corniche on the banks of the Nile. There's also an option to ride a camel across the sands on the far banks of the Nile to St. Simeon's monastery.
Those who have chosen to visit Abu Simbel tomorrow should aim for an early night tonight ready for a very early start in the morning.
OVERNIGHT:
Aswan - 5 star hotel
MEALS:
Breakfast, Lunch
EXTRAS:
Camel ride to St. Simeon's Monastery

Day 11, Abu Simbel option, Nile felucca cruise
After a free morning, we board a traditional felucca sailboat this afternoon for a great day sailing down the Nile. Drifting down the Nile on a felucca is one of Egypt's most enjoyable experiences, and you'll see local rural Egyptian life pass you by. Our Nubian crew will handle the boat and provide entertainment to you on the way, as well as preparing all your meals. Our fully equipped facilities boat will drop by from time to time during the day and moor up with us at night. Our boat has a western toilet and showers on board as well as a modern, hygienic kitchen where the crew will prepare and cook a tasty evening meal. You sleep on the deck of the boat tonight and we provide mattresses, blankets and mosquito nets as required. You can also choose to upgrade your Nile felucca cruise to stay in the hotel in Aswan instead of on board the boat. All other touring remains the same.
For those not averse to a very early morning start, there is a very special option morning visit to the UNESCO world heritage site of Abu Simbel available. This amazing site was completely dismantled and rebuilt when Lake Nasser was built, and is one of Egypt's biggest highlights.
OVERNIGHT:
On board felucca
MEALS:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
EXTRAS:
Abu Simbel tour, Felucca to hotel upgrade

Day 12, Edfu temple &, Karnak Temple in Luxor
After breakfast on-board we leave behind our felucca crew and take a tour of nearby temple of Edfu before driving north to Luxor. Luxor is built on and around the ancient site of Thebes, and has the greatest concentration of ancient ruins in the Nile Valley, if not the world. To the west, across the Nile, lies the City of the Dead, with its mortuary temples and rock carved tombs, and to the east stand the Temples of Luxor and Karnak. After lunch we'll visit the massive temple complex of Karnak , once the religious heart of Thebes and Upper Egypt. It was linked to the town of Luxor by a long sphinx lined avenue, and the temple itself was linked to the Nile via a canal along which sailed the sacred boats of the god Amun. The entrance is via a smaller sphinx-lined avenue, built by Ramesses II, after which you enter the temple proper through the enormous pylon entrance. Inside the large Courtyard are three temples dedicated to the gods Amun, Khous and Mut. The much photographed Hypostyle Hall has an impressive 134 towering columns, each is carved with scenes of gods and pharaohs, and hieroglyphic inscriptions cover the walls. In the evening we'll take a walking tour of the smaller Luxor Temple, which is in the centre of town and is colourfully lit up by night.
OVERNIGHT:
Luxor - 5 star hotel
MEALS:
Breakfast
EXTRAS:
N/A

Day 13, Luxor West Bank tour. To Hurghada
Today we cross the River Nile for an early morning tour of Luxor’s West Bank. We first visit the Valley of the Kings, whose ancient tombs are still revealing their secrets today and is one of most important archaeological sites in the world. We include a visit to several of these Pharaonic tombs, and then explore the temples of Queen Hatchepsut and Medinat Habu, before stopping at the huge Colossi of Memnon. There is an optional hot air balloon flight over the west bank of the Nile available in the morning (expect an early start to catch sunrise as the balloon rises). In the afternoon we leave the Nile Valley behind and drive to the Red Sea resort town of Hurghada where we check into a 4-star resort. Your stay here is on a 'soft all inclusive' basis, with all meals, soft drinks and snacks included but not alcoholic beverages.
OVERNIGHT:
N/A
MEALS:
Breakfast, Dinner
EXTRAS:
Hot air balloon in Luxor

Day 14, Red Sea at Hurghada. Free day
Today is free to relax and enjoy your time by the Red Sea. Hurghada is an excellent place for scuba diving and snorkelling and the varied Red Sea marine life here attracts divers the world over. Other activities available include quad biking, wind surfing, camel rides, kite surfing, sea fishing trips and glass bottomed submarines. Our local rep in Hurghada is always on hand to help arrange any optional excursions. Hurghada also has an interesting marina and old town just waiting to be explored. We can also book extra nights in the resort in Hurghada if you wish to extend your stay - please contact us for details and prices.
OVERNIGHT:
Hurghada - 5 star resort
MEALS:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15, Fly to Cairo, Khan-el-Khalili bazaar, Al Guri Sufi show
We fly back to Cairo this morning and then you have time to explore Cairo as you choose or you may take an optional tour. These include a city tour visiting Coptic Cairo, the Citadel and Mohamed Ali Mosque, or a half day tour to Saqqara, Dashour and Memphis to learn more about the history and evolution of pyramid building. Other full day options further afield include a visit to the colonnial city of Alexandria on the Mediterranean, or a trip into the desert outside Cairo to see the World Heritage Site of the Valley of the Whales at Wadi Rayan.
In the late afternoon we take a guided walk through the back streets and bazaars in central Cairo. We'll walk through the huge Bab al-Futuh gateway and explore streets dedicated to metalwork, spices, pottery, fabric, jewelery and anything else you can imagine as we gradually enter the more touristy Khan-el-Khalili bazaar. We'll have time for a break to try some tea and a shisha pipe and perhaps enjoy an early dinner of Egypt's unofficial national dish, Kushari. Our tour then finishes with an evening highlight, the Al Guri sufi show, very popular with local Egyptians as well as tourists. This takes place at the Wikalat al Ghuri 16th century marketplace which has some beautiful Islamic architecture to form a great setting for the exuberant, colourful and entertaining performance. You'll see a medley of sufi dervish inspired dancing, eerie chanting and singing and vibrant percussion. Finally we transfer you back to your hotel.
OVERNIGHT:
Cairo - 5 star hotel
MEALS:
Breakfast
EXTRAS:
Cairo city tour, Saqqara, Dashour & Memphis

Day 16, Cairo. Free time. Departure transfer to the airport
Today is free for some more sightseeing or a spot of last minute shopping until we take you back to the airport for your departure flight. If you have an evening flight, then the Cairo City Tour and Saqqara, Dashour & Memphis tours can also be done today. Alternatively if you can add extra nights to your time in Cairo you can take a day trip to the colonial city of Alexandria, which lies on the Mediterranean coast, or a explore the desert outside Cairo to see the little known World Heritage Site of the Valley of the Whales at Wadi Rayan.
OVERNIGHT:
N/A
MEALS:
Breakfast
EXTRAS:
Extra night - post-tour, Alexandria day trip, Cairo city tour, Wadi Rayan day trip (Valley of the Whales)
  • 5 nights in 3 to 4-star hotels in Jordan
  • Jordan village homestay in Rasoun, and Bedouin desert camp in Wadi Rum
  • 6 nights in 5-star hotels in Egypt
  • 1 night on sleeper train in private twin-berth cabins (flight/hotel upgrade available)
  • 1 night on Nile felucca sailboat with accompanying support boat (hotel upgrade available)
  • 24-hour airport arrival & departure transfer service
  • All transport and transfers in private AC vehicles (plus Bedouin jeeps in Wadi Rum)
  • Sightseeing tours as detailed in the itinerary
  • Services of an English speaking tour leader and local guides in Jordan
  • Services of a local Egyptologist guide in Egypt
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary

Dates Price Single Availability
30-Jan-2021 for 16 Nights View live deal View live deal
20-Feb-2021 for 16 Nights View live deal View live deal
13-Mar-2021 for 16 Nights View live deal View live deal
03-Apr-2021 for 16 Nights View live deal View live deal
24-Apr-2021 for 16 Nights View live deal View live deal
22-May-2021 for 16 Nights View live deal View live deal
19-Jun-2021 for 16 Nights View live deal View live deal
17-Jul-2021 for 16 Nights View live deal View live deal
14-Aug-2021 for 16 Nights View live deal View live deal
11-Sep-2021 for 16 Nights View live deal View live deal
02-Oct-2021 for 16 Nights View live deal View live deal
23-Oct-2021 for 16 Nights View live deal View live deal
13-Nov-2021 for 16 Nights View live deal View live deal
04-Dec-2021 for 16 Nights View live deal View live deal
21-Dec-2021 for 16 Nights View live deal View live deal

Touring with Encounters Travel

Encounters Travel specialise in creating imaginative, adventurous small group tours all around the world for the open minded traveller. They are always looking for new ways to add value and excitement to your travel experiences so that you see more than just the usual tourist spots, as well as having great fun at the same time. Their tours are designed to give you the best possible experience in each country, whilst at the same time providing good value for money without making compromises.

You will see and learn about local cultures and historic sites while enjoying some more adventurous activities along the way. They also try very hard to keep the overall style and inclusions/exclusions of their tours as consistent as possible from country to country, while taking into account the different highlights and activities available in each destination. Their escorted group tours are hosted by specially selected experts who bring their knowledge and skills to add an extra dimension to the tour.

Encounters Travel are committed to travelling responsibly, and leaving a positive impression and impact on the countries through which they travel.

 

 

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tour details

This tour is operated by Encounters Travel

16 nights from pp exc.flights; per Night
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Suitable For: Over 9s
Accommodation:3*
Meals:15 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 6 dinners
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