The Nabateans migrated from Arabia in the 6th century BC into Southern Jordan when they built their capital city, Petra. Skilled traders, they dealt in spices, gold, animals, medicines and fabrics from as far afield as China, Greece and Rome. You will be treading in their footsteps as you traverse the desert.
from Petra to Wadi Rum
10 days with 6-days riding (approximately 5 hours riding per day)
Day 1: Arrival in Amman where you will be met and driven the 20 minutes to Madaba. Madaba is famous for its mosaics and archaeological sites; St. George’s church and an excellent museum should your flight time allow. We can easily add an extra night here if you would like time to visit the sites of Madaba or go to the impressive Roman site of Jerash which is only just over an hour away)
Day 2: After an early breakfast, you will be collected at 0730 for the 2 ½ hour drive to Petra. You will have a 3-hour guided tour and the rest of the day is yours to continue exploring or to relax in the Turkish bath at your hotel. In the evening, meet with your local guide to discuss the days to come.
Day 3: After breakfast, your adventure really begins. A 30-minute drive will take you to the starting point of the ride where you meet the team and your horse will be allocated to you according to your abilities and wishes. The ride starts with a stunning view over Petra followed by about a 3-hour ride crossing a natural spring with panoramic views over the Wadi Araba desert. Lunch is freshly prepared for you by your Bedouin cook, there will be some relaxing time before a 2-hour ride though the Dilagha valley with its steep banks before pitching your bivouac in time for dinner and some sweet Bedouin tea around the camp fire.
Day 4: After breakfast and breaking camp, saddle up again prepared to ride through the last of the mountains and into the Hisma desert with its expansive red sands and spectacular sandstone formations. After lunch in the shade of a rock, there will be another 2 ½ hour ride through Humayma village which was one of the major settlements in the Hisma occupied from about 90 BC until the early Islamic period. You are now about 29 miles from Petra and in a place which only receives about 80mm rainfall per year. Carrying on into the Wadi Rum desert (also known as the Valley of the Moon) with its lovely open valleys allowing a chance for a good long canter.
Day 5: Today will be spent in Wadi Rum visiting some of the famous sites such as the “mushroom rock” and the natural rock bridges. After another delicious Bedouin lunch, you will ride for another 2 ½ hours crossing the Um Salab area in into the Wadi Rum Protected Area. You will camp at the entrance of Um Ishrin canyon.
Day 6: After breakfast, you will cross the Cerdan valley visiting among other a Neolithic well that is still used today. You will also see the huge red sand dunes and the Nabateans rock inscriptions. After lunch in the Qattar area, you can visit the natural springs before setting up camp in a “tor” (natural cave) at Shikshok for another evening around the camp fire sharing stories, hearing Bedouin stories and music.
Day 7: About a 3-hour drive will get you to Wadi Saabit close to the Saudi border. You will get a magnificent view over the Saudi mountains and may well see wild camels. You will pass old dams still used by the Bedouins to water their camels and goats. Tonight, you have a treat! A real bed, a hot shower and a chance to re-charge your electrics.
Day 8: A long morning – about 4 hours riding – crossing the Barragh canyon, the longest in Wadi Rum, marvelling at its imposing cliffs before crossing the Disseh plain to the stables and the horses’ home. One last Bedouin lunch, a hot shower to get rid of the sand and the adventure is over – for now. The bus will take you back to Madaba for a 2-night stay. (optional extension to the Red Sea is possible from here)
Day 9: A tour of the Amman old city including the Citaldel and the Roman theatre plus an afternoon at leisure on the Dead Sea Beach. Floating in the salty water is a surreal experience. It is almost impossible to get your feet on to the sand and very easy to lie there reading a book. Lastly the tour takes you to Mount Nebo to admire the view over the Holy Land.
Day 10: Transfer to the airport in time for your homeward flight.