To boldly go where no man has gone before: 10-day off-road challenge

Did you ever watch the Land Rover G4 Challenge and dream about participating yourself? Desert Paramours Tour can make your dream come true. Our off-road challenge will make you jump over sky-high sand dunes and let you drive the most fabulous off-roads of Jordan. You will follow the dry riverbeds all the way up to the spring emerging from the rose-red mountains. Unless of course your way is blocked by the rocks, placed there by the spring floods. You will enjoy breathtaking views of the barren landscapes and imagine you will go where no man has gone before. This tour combines adventure with the highlights of the Jordanian history and nature.

 

Day 1  Flight to Amman, where your jeep will be awaiting you. You will drive to Amman to enjoy dinner and spend the night.

 

Day 2  After breakfast you will depart early for the Eastern Desert. The Romans were not deterred by the desert climate and built a chain of fortresses along the ‘limes arabicus’, the frontiers of their new Arabic province. Most of the castles you can visit nowadays were built by the caliphs during the Ummayyad period. Some are decorated with fine mosaics, frescoes, stone and stucco carvings and illustrations. They stand as silent and impressive evidence of Jordan’s rich history. Today you shall see three of the best-preserved desert castles.

Qasr al-Mushatta is the largest and most richly decorated Ummayyad castle in Jordan. It’s a large, square fortress, surrounded by walls with circular towers on every side. Qusayr Amra is placed by Unesco on its World Heritage List. Its interior walls and ceilings are covered with lively frescoes and two of its rooms are paved with colourful mosaics. Qasr al-Azraq is built in black basalt and has been in continuous use since Roman times. During the Arab Revolt it functioned as the headquarters of Lawrence of Arabia. At the end of the day you will drive to the Azraq Guesthouse and stay there overnight.

 

Day 3  You will depart early for Madaba, the city of mosaics. In the church of Saint George you will find the famous mosaic map of Jerusalem and the Holy Land. The journey will continue to Mount Nebo, where like Moses you will be able to overlook the Holy Land and the Dead Sea. The Moses Memorial Church on top of the hill contains some beautiful mosaics. Finally you will drive to Hammamat Ma’in, which offers the possibility to relax in one of the many hot springs. You will stay here overnight. The hotel offers a wide variety of services, such as aroma-massages and mud wraps with herbal essences.

 

Day 4  A beautiful off-road takes you to Wadi Mujib, the grand canyon of Jordan. Your adventure tour along the river will take you through deep canyons and pools, where you can swim and enjoy the spectacular scenery and wildlife. At the end of the day you will arrive in Karak, where you will stay overnight. You are free to spend the evening according to your own wishes.

 

Day 5  Before leaving Karak you will visit the castle where Saladin and Richard Lionheart fought during the crusades. After visiting the castle you will drive to Wadi ibn Hammad, one of the most beautiful nature spots in Jordan where you can hike through the canyon and enjoy the colourful cliffs and palm trees. Your journey will continue to Numeira, which was a large walled town during the early Bronze Age. Numeira is believed to be the location of the biblical Sodom and Gomorrah. From there you will drive to Wadi Hasa, the valley that formed the natural border between the kingdoms of Moab and Edom centuries ago. You will jump over the sky-high sand dunes of Wadi Araba. The best off-road of Jordan will take you to Ras Namalah, the 1000 meters high peak in the Rift mountains. At the end of this road Petra will be awaiting you, glorious as ever. Here you will stay overnight.

 

Day 6  On this day the off-roads near Petra and Wadi Dana will be explored. Dana Nature Reserve is a system of mountains and wadi’s, dry riverbeds. The height drops dramatically over 1600 meters from the tops of the Rift Valley to the desert lowlands of Wadi Araba. This, combined with the compact variety of landforms, results in a very high biological diversity, ranging from densely vegetated mountainous areas to the Rummana fountain. From white desert sands covered with fanciful acacia trees to small streams flanked by man-size oleander bushes. From sky-high sand dunes to barren basalt or granite rocks. In the afternoon you will visit Beidha or Little Petra, which dates back to the Stone Age. In the evening a traditional Bedouin dinner will be prepared for you near the campfire.

 

Day 7  On this day a local guide will escort you into Petra and show you the highlights of the Nabatean city. Entering the city through the Siq, the narrow gorge, you will be rewarded with the most astonishing and dramatic monument in Jordan: the Treasury. You will visit the theatre, the tombs and façades and the colonnaded street. You can climb the stairs to the Monastery or to the High Place of Sacrifice to see the obelisks believed to represent Dushara and Al ‘Uzza, the most important Nabatean gods. In the evening dinner will be served in your hotel in Petra.

 

Day 8  The journey will continue to Wadi Rum, mainly by off-roads. You will enjoy driving through the vast and empty places in the wilderness. And have the feeling to boldly go where no man has gone before. At the end of the day you will pass the seven pillars of wisdom, described so vividly by Lawrence of Arabia. The sign that you will have reached your next destination: Wadi Rum. You will spend the night in a traditional Bedouin camp, the moon and stars shining brightly above your head.

 

Day 9  This day is dedicated to the beauty of Wadi Rum, a unique and timeless place where uniquely shaped massive mountains rise out of the rose-red desert sand. You will explore Wadi Rum escorted by a Bedouin guide, visit Lawrence of Arabia’s house and see the inscriptions written by the Thamudic and Nabatean people a long, long time ago. If you like you can even climb the famous rock bridges. The trail will lead you to the red sand area to contemplate the silence, sitting on top of one of the sky-high sand dunes. In the evening a traditional Bedouin dinner will be prepared for you at a campfire.

 

Day 10  You will drive back to the airport and fly back home.

Desert paramours Trek and Travel, Petra - Jordan

Wadi Mousa - Tourist St. P.O.Box: 143, Zip: 718111, Tel: 00962 777 282 730, Fax: 00962 3 2155 955, E-mail: info@desertparamours.com, www.desertparamours.com