The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is a microcosm of the Middle East: terraced fruit orchards at high altitude surrounding Roman colonnaded streets, the spectacular desert landscapes of the Wadi Araba, ancient tell sites in the Jordan Valley, hill-top Nabatean temples, a vibrant contemporary art community and street musicians in the markets of Amman. This tour explores exceptional archaeological sites and ancient cities, spectacular natural environments and a rich modern culture, so that even for those who have travelled previously to the Middle East or Jordan, there are plenty of secrets to discover.
Explore the best-preserved Roman ruins outside of Italy, at Jerash
Spend two full days exploring the unique rose red city of Petra
Gain a firsthand insight into the University of Sydney excavations at Pella in Jordan
The Martian-like landscape of Wadi Rum, where T.E. Lawrence became legend
Step back in time at the crusader castles at Kerak and Shobak
Journey along the King’s Highway, the Grand Canyon of the Middle East
Walk through spectacular desert landscapes on the Jordan Trail and through canyons in the Dana Biosphere Reserve
Days 1–3: Arrive Amman. Visit Umm Qais, Roman Jerash and the Australian excavations at Pella; hike part of the Jordan trail.
Day 4: Drive the King’s Highway via Mount Nebo, Madaba and Umm ar-Rasas to Kerak.
Days 5–7: Visit Kerak and Shobak castles and spend two days exploring Petra.
Day 8: Traverse Wadi Rum in 4WD’s and stay in a tented camp.
Days 9–10: Explore ancient Humayma and walk through Wadi Dana Biosphere Reserve to Wadi Feynan.
Day 11: See Lot’s Cave, travel to the lowest piece of land on earth and relax in the Dead Sea.
Days 12–14: In Amman, visit the citadel and the National Art Gallery.
Start & Finish
The tour begins and ends at our hotel in Amman. Emirates and Qatar Airways offer direct daily flights into and out of Amman from most Australian cities. Contact us for quotes and bookings.
A detailed itinerary for this tour will be available in the coming weeks. To receive a copy of the published itinerary once available, please register your interest below and we will be sure to email you a copy. If you have any questions in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 02 9235 0023.
Dr Kate Da Costa
A long-standing member of the Near East Archaeology foundation and co-director of Sydney University’s dig at Pella in Northern Jordan.
Dr Kate da Costa is an archaeologist who has worked in the Levant since the 1980s. Her research has focussed on northern Jordan, the country she knows best, while her personal interests are in architecture and mosaics, as well as the uses of cultural heritage for sustainable tourism.
Kate has a Bachelor of Arts (Hons I) in Near Eastern & Classical Archaeology from the University of Sydney, where she also undertook her PhD on the ancient ceramic lamps of the Levant from the Roman to early Islamic period. She also has a Masters in International Development Studies from UNSW.
Kate taught several courses on an ARC Teaching Fellowship at the University of Sydney, taught as a sessional lecturer in the Department of Archaeology, and has been a guest lecturer at Macquarie University. She continues to lecture at the Near Eastern Archaeology Foundation, University of Sydney.
Kate’s research interests are in the responses of local cultures in the Levant: to the Roman Empire, from the 1st century BCE, through the Islamic conquests of the 7th century and up to the Crusader period. She has extensive expertise in objects of daily life across the Mediterranean world, using such artefacts to explore how traditional life persists despite the best efforts of ancient bureaucrats and taxation officials.
Working in small villages across Jordan, Kate has developed a keen interest in the ownership of heritage and how that can best be managed for local communities. Her Arabic is a source of amusement to most Jordanians. Her German is much better.
For many years before completing her PhD, Kate worked for the Near Eastern Archaeology Foundation, supporting the development of the tour program which has been operating as a key part of NEAF’s outreach for over 20 years. She has assisted in the design of many tours, from Iran to Moorish Spain.
In order to avoid unnecessary transfers and allow for individual exploration, we select comfortable, centrally-located hotels wherever possible. Where possible, most of the hotels we use are 4-star. We prefer smaller hotels if available, and we are constantly researching and reviewing our choices.
What is included in the tour price?
Unless otherwise stated in the itinerary, our tours include the following:
Any flights mentioned in the itinerary that take place during a tour
Land travel by private air-conditioned coach. Where appropriate, taxis or public transport are also used for short distance travel on some tours
All accommodation in hotels or apartments as stated in the itinerary
Breakfasts, lunches and dinners specifically stated as included in the itinerary
Drinks at welcome and farewell meals. Other meals may not have drinks included
Background talks on tour, site notes and online resources
Services of tour leader throughout tour
All entrance fees to sites mentioned in the itinerary
Local guides at some sites
Tips for drivers, local guides and restaurants for included meals
Costs involved in obtaining visas for countries visited, where required and when stated as included
Tours begin either at the arrival airport or the first hotel, depending on the itinerary. If you have booked your international flights with Academy Travel and arrive before the tour commences, we will provide airport to hotel transfers to the closest main city on your arrival, and to the closest airport at the end of the tour. These may be either individual or group transfers.
What is not included in the tour price?
Our tours do not include the following:
Return international/domestic air travel unless those flights take place during the tour
Special taxes and airport levies that can only be paid in cash at the destination. We will advise you of these charges (if any) before you depart
Travel insurance. We require all participants to have comprehensive travel insurance. A typical policy for one of our tours will cost from $160 upwards, depending on your age, pre-existing medical conditions, the countries you are visiting and the overall length of your trip
Lunches and dinners not specifically mentioned as included in the itinerary
Personal expenses such as laundry and phone calls
Costs associated with any activity mentioned as “optional” in the itinerary, or any suggested free time activity
You will be asked to sign an acknowledgement of these conditions when you book a place on a tour.
A deposit of $500 per person is required to confirm your booking on a tour. Final payment of the tour fee, insurance and any additional travel will be due 60 days before departure.
If you decide to cancel your booking the following charges apply:
More than 60 days before departure: $500*
60-45 days before tour start: 25% of total amount due
44-15 days before tour start: 75% of total amount due
14 days or less before departure: 100% of total amount due
*This amount may be credited to another Academy Travel tour within 12 months of the original tour you booked.
Unused Portions of the tour
We regret that refunds will not be given for any unused portions of the tour, such as meals, entry fees, accommodation, flights or transfers.
Academy Travel requires all participants to obtain comprehensive travel insurance. We offer a comprehensive policy with a reputable insurer if required.
Passport and Visa
A valid passport is required for all international travel. If you do not hold an Australian passport you may require a re-entry permit. Some countries require a visa to be issued before you depart Australia. We will advise you of all passport and visa requirements, but it is your responsibility to ensure that you meet passport and visa requirements before you depart.
Will the tour price change?
If the number of participants in a tour is significantly less than budgeted, or if there is a significant change in exchange rates Academy Travel reserves the right to amend the advertised price. If this occurs you will be given the option of cancelling your booking and obtaining a full refund. If an Academy Travel tour is forced to cancel you will get a full refund of all monies paid.
Will the itinerary change?
Occasionally circumstances beyond the control of Academy Travel make it necessary to change airline, hotel or to make slight amendments to daily itineraries. We will inform you of any changes as soon as they occur.
Full and final payment for the tour, airfare travel, insurance and any additional travel you book is due 60 days before departure. Payment may be made by bank deposit, cheque, cash or credit card. Please note there is a surcharge for payments made by credit card.
Academy Travel reserves the right to decline the booking or terminate the holiday of any traveller. We aim to be fair and reasonable in all our dealings with our clients. We aim to provide full and accurate information about our tours and promptly provide information of any changes or alterations that take place before departure.