There are few places that can instil more mystery and awe than Petra. Undiscovered for more than a millennium, this rock-hewn ancient Nabatean city is one of the world’s archaeological jewels, and even today, new sites are being discovered and new mysteries are slowly being unravelled. On this four day trip you can make like the intrepid explorer yourself and we take you on the best hikes, along hidden trails and to its newest discoveries, so you can completely engross yourself in the wonders that have made it a UNESCO World Heritage site. This is our ultimate Petra expedition.
As soon as you touch down into the capital Amman, you’ll be whisked off into the desert to your room at the Mövenpick Resort at the gates of Petra, where you can unwind with a glass of wine in their Al Ghadeer Rooftop Garden under the star-flecked sky. Then, your Petra experience begins.
Your first day you’ll get to discover the city just as the Bedouin tribes did over 200 years ago—through its winding one kilometre-long siq, a magnificent gorge flanked by high rock cliffs on either side famous for its enthralling rose coloured rocks. This is where you’ll get your first hit of Petra magic, as you emerge from the siq at the iconic Treasury in time to see the sun creeping down the intricate face of this awe-inspiring rock-carved tomb. Listen to the legends of the locals, some of whom were born in the very caves you walk past, and learn what it was like to live and trade here in ancient times.Read more
After all that exploring you’ll have worked up an appetite, so in true Black Tomato style you’ll get the chance to have your own private BBQ amongst the haunting ruins of Little Petra; the historical site where the caravanserai unloaded their camels and feasted for long into the night. Look forward to dining on traditional Jordanian cuisine, with dishes such as Taboleh, and Mansaf; the national dish made of succulent lamb and rice, you know you’re in for a feast for the senses. Once you’re full to the brim, you can relax under the star-filled sky and soak in all the history and culture you’ve absorbed so far.
After you’ve had your cultural fill, it’s time to explore Petra’s adventurous side. On your second day, we’ll take you by donkey (you’ll need to save that energy for later) into the magnificent ruins to scale some of the incredible hikes that riddle the site. Take a trek up to Al Deir, which features a monolith that you will have virtually to yourself to take in 360 degree views of the city and its desert surroundings. Or try the Al Kubtha trail to get a view of the Treasury from above. For those wanting to push themselves a little further, the Monastery is another relatively high climb but the rewarding views of this impressive tomb (it dwarfs the Treasury in terms of size) and the black mountains a little further up makes it worth the effort.
The mysteries of Petra lie far and deep, but on your next day we’ll take you one of it’s newest discoveries. The new monument uncovered nearly 800 meters south of the Treasury shows that this incredible city actually extended farther than we think. And you’ll be able to channel your inner archaeologist as you’re one of the very first to visit the site and hear about the 21,000-year-old pottery found and other excavation tales that this new site has unearthed. A truly once-in-a-lifetime experience.
PETRA BY CANDLELIGHT
While you can marvel at the grand scale of Petra by day, seeing it at night is when you truly feel the power of its magic. After the sun goes down, take your final walk into the siq now lit with paper lanterns so that you can fully appreciate the velvety night sky and the Milky Way visible between the cracks in the cliffs above. Then, arrive to the Treasury lit by nothing more than a field of candles as Bedouin tribesmen play music and around sweet hot tea on silver trays. It is one of the most enchanting experiences in Jordan, and the ideal way to wave goodbye to this great and majestic monument.
DEAD SEA DOWN-TIME
With all the incredible moments you’ve experienced, coming back to reality will be a shock to your system, so to ease you slowly back into modern day life, you’ll be whisked off to the shores of Jordan’s renowned Dead Sea for some proper pampering. Your final moments will be spent at the Kempinski Hotel Ishtar for some well-deserved rest and relaxation. The lowest point on earth is a naturally tranquil place and its legendary healing powers have a calming effect, so it’s the perfect place to indulge your senses the Jordanian way. A serene end to a magical journey.