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Join Eat Smart Culinary Travel in getting to the heart of the culture through an exploration of Jordan's tantalizing cuisine. Sample the most authentic regional cuisine in homes, neighborhood eateries, and elegant gourmet restaurants. Delve into the secrets of Jordanian dishes by participating in a cooking class, talks on culinary topics, and market visits. You will also see major tourist sights, including the Dead Sea, Petra, and Wadi Rum. You’ll come away with a knowledge of the culinary traditions of Jordan and a deep appreciation of the magnitude of history and culture that this ancient land possesses.
Hotels subject to change if situations arise beyond control. In this case, hotels will be substituted with others which are in the same class.
It’s very much your own home away from home and a perfect combination. Ideally located within the city.
Located near the entrance of the red rose city (Petra), the Jordanian world wonder, Petra Sella Hotel is just a five minutes' walk to the city center and another five to Petra entrance.
The hotel is located in the center of Aqaba, where it is a short walk from the shopping area and a short drive to the beach.
Please note you might have to leave for Amman on October 31 to arrive on November 1.
Upon arrival at the airport, you will be welcomed by a representative who will help you obtain your entry visa. Afterwards, you will drive (about 45 minutes) to your hotel for some free time until 4 p.m. when you will gather in a group and attend a wine tasting with appetizers at JR Winery, Amman. Return to Amman hotel.
You will begin your journey early and drive two hours from Amman to Gadara (Umm Qais), which belonged to the famous Decapolis, a union of 10 cities, founded by Alexander the Great. There is an overwhelming view over the north Jordan Valley, the Golan Heights, and the Sea of Galilee.
After lunch at Umm Quais Rest House, you will leave for Jerash, the best example of a Roman provincial city in the whole Middle East. You will see the spectacular Forum, Roman colonnaded street, the Nymphaeum, and the Temple of Artemis. Dinner at Tawaheen Al Hawa. Return to hotel Amman hotel. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included.
The day will begin with a 45-minute drive to the town Salt. You will walk along Hammam Street to see the highlights of 19th-century architecture; houses with long-arched windows in picturesque narrow streets. Well-known is the Abu Jabermansion, built between 1892 and 1906, reputed to be the finest example of a 19th-century merchant house in the region. The building now houses the Historic Old Salt Museum recounting the golden age of salt, which lasted from the end of the 19th century until the thirties of the 20th century.
You will return for a city tour of Jordan's capital, Amman, already mentioned in the Bible as Rabbath Ammon. It is a bustling modern city. The historical places are located downtown, where following lunch at Hashem Restaurant and kanafeh from Habibah Sweets, you will visit the Citadel with remains from the Roman to the early Islamic period, and a small Archaeological Museum. You will see the Roman Theater (built in the second century) with 6000 seats. In the heart of downtown, you will explore the markets (Souqs), and spice and herb shops.
You will complete your day with a cooking class and dinner at Beit Sitti in Amman. Return to Amman hotel. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included.
After breakfast, you will drive to Mt. Nebo, the place where Prophet Moses gazed at the Promised Land before he died. You will see the old monastery and overlook the Jordan Valley, Dead Sea, and parts of the Holy Land. You will then proceed to Madaba, for lunch at Haret Jdourdna Restaurant, and the famous sixth-century mosaic map of Palestine in St. George’s church.
Driving along the famous ancient caravan route, the King's Way, you will have a short stop in Wadi Al-Mujib, a great wide valley with a magnificent geological formation. In Kerak, you will visit the famous Crusader Castle built in 1132 / 34 by King Baldwin I of Jerusalem.
You will then continue to the Dead Sea where you will have leisure time to float on salty waters or to try a mineral-rich mud bath on its shores before continuing to Petra. You will check into your hotel and have the rest of the evening at leisure. Dinner will be on your own. Breakfast and lunch included.
After breakfast, you will walk to the red rose city of Petra, the biggest attraction of Jordan. Petra was first established around the sixth century B.C. by the Nabataean Arabs, a nomadic tribe that settled in the area and laid the foundation of a commercial empire that extended into Syria. With the guide, you will go through the canyon, the so called Siq, to see the most beautiful monument: the Treasury.
You will continue walking via the Street of Facades to the Royal Tombs and Pharaoh's Castle. The guide says farewell to you at the restaurant area and you will have free time to explore Petra on your own (for example, climb the 800 stairs to the Monastery El Deir) and return the same way to the entrance gate. After your Petra visit, you will have lunch at Grand City Restaurant.
You will go to a Bedouin camp for a demonstration of Zarb, Bedouin barbecue - meat and vegetables cooked underground - before returning to the hotel to rest. Then you will return to the Bedouin camp for Zarb dinner. Return to Petra hotel. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included.
You will begin your day with a 1.5-hour drive southwards to the protected area of Wadi Rum, one of the most impressive desert landscapes in the world. Here Bedouins still live in the traditional way. Touring in 4x4 LandCruisers, you will discover canyons, sand dunes, and Nabatean rock inscriptions. You will enjoy a lunch of homemade shishbarak at Rum Village. You will then drive one hour to your hotel in Aqaba. Dinner will be at Ali Baba Restaurant. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included.
Today you will enjoy a glass boat bottom boat ride with lunch. The rest of the afternoon will be free to explore, followed by a farewell dinner. Overnight in Aqaba hotel. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included.
After breakfast (included) at the hotel, you will depart for Aqaba airport to connect with your international flights.
You will visit some of Jordan's best attractions, including Umm Quais, Jerash, Salt, Amman, King’s Way, Mt. Nebo, Madaba, Kerak Castle, Petra, Wadi Rum in a three-hour LandCruiser ride, Aqaba, and more.
Joan Peterson received her Ph.D. in Cell Biology / Electron Microscopy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She started the publishing company Ginkgo Press and created the EAT SMART series of guidebooks designed for travelers and cookbook lovers. To date, she has written or co-written 11 of the 14 available culinary guidebooks (Brazil, Turkey, Indonesia, Mexico, Poland, Morocco, Sicily, India, Peru, Norway, and Portugal). She leads culinary tours to Turkey, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Morocco, Norway, Peru, Portugal, and Sicily.
Susan Chwae, Joan Peterson's daughter, has a degree in Graphic Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is the Marketing Director and technical advisor for Ginkgo Press and the EAT SMART series. Since 1997, she has provided all creative and marketing support for the EAT SMART guidebooks and the website. She has been assisting Joan or leading her own culinary tours since 2005.
You will be staying in Amman, Petra, and Aqaba as you discover Jordan and its wonders.
Most meals are included, as indicated on the itinerary. There are no meals on the first day. Days 2, 3, 5, 6, and 7 include three meals. Day 4 only includes breakfast and lunch. The last day only includes breakfast. All cooking demos are also included unless otherwise stated. Establishments include Umm Quais Resthouse (lunch), Tawaheen Al Hawa (dinner), Hashem Restaurant (lunch), Haret Jdoudna Restaurant (lunch), Little Petra Campsite (dinner), Rum Village (lunch), Ali Baba (dinner).
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