Following the footsteps of Jesus – in Jordan (8 Days 7 Nights)
Day 1: Arrival to Amman
Meet and great upon arrival at Queen Alia International Airport by Jordan Experience representative. Drive to Amman for overnight.
Day 2: Amman - Pella – Jabbok River - Umm Qais – Anjarah – Amman
Today, travel through the Jordan Valley to reach Pella, home to one of Christianity’s earliest churches. Persecuted early Christians from Jerusalem fled to Pella for safety. Drive north stop at the Jabbok (Jacob) River which is mentioned in the Bible. Twenty years after the quarrel between himself and his brother Esau (grandchildren of Abraham and sons of Isaac), Jacob came back from Padan-Aram with his family and settled in this area. Here Jacob became involved in a fight with a stranger and won. Later on he found out that he had fought against God and God blessed him by decreeing that forthwith he should be named Israel (1 Moses 32:22 - 32).Then head to Umm Qais , the site of the ancient Greco-Roman city of Gadara, a member of the Decapolis, that is mentioned in the New Testament as the site where Jesus cast out demons and sent them into pigs, who then ran into the sea (Matthew 8:28-34). Um Qais, was built mainly out of black basalt. Here you can enjoy the impressive view over Lake Tiberias and the Golan Heights. Gadara was renowned in its time as a cultural centre. It was the home of several classical poets and philosophers, including Theodorus, founder of a rhetorical school in Rome; one poet called the city "a new Athens". Perched on a splendid hilltop overlooking the Jordan Valley and the Sea of Galilee, Gadara is today known as Umm Qays and boasts impressive colonnaded streets, vaulted terrace and the ruins of two. Continue to visit Anjara. Pilgrimage to Our Lady of the Mountain Church - a rebuilt cave that is venerated as a place where Jesus and his mother Mary passed during their journeys between the Sea of Galilee, the Decapolis cities, Bethany beyond the Jordan and Jerusalem. Anjara was designated by the Vatican as a Millennium 2000 pilgrimage site. We will then head north to visit the splendidly preserved Greco-Roman city of Jerash. Return to Amman for overnight.
Day 3: Amman Visit – Raqeem Cave ( 7 Sleepers Cave) – Umm Rasas – Madaba
After breakfast, we start the day by visiting the capital of Jordan, Amman. Amman, “ Rabbath Ammon “ as mentioned in the Bible, goes back many millenniums in history, as it was the capital of the Ammonites, who fought the Israelis for centuries before falling under the yoke of the Assyrians. Later it was dominated by the Nabataean, later it became a great trade center in the Roman era and was renamed Philadelphia. It was also the place where Uriahs died in battle in orders of David to be put on the front line in battle. We will visit the Roman Theater and Citadel of Amman before we drive to 7 km east of Amman, where al Raqeem cave lies or better known as the Cave of Seven Sleepers. The great skeletons of the cavemen were pooled together in a small area, which can be seen through a small glass opening. Authenticity of the site, as cited in the Holy Qur'an swing between affirmation and negation. Al Raqeem cave is a part of a Byzantine grave yard on the foot of a mountain. The Qur’an says “the People of the Cave and the raqeem” (18:9), and there has been great controversy among the Quranic commentators on what the word raqeem means. It seems that the area where the Cave exists is called Raqeem, and if this name was really there since before the revelation of the Qur’an, then the mystery is solved! Raqeem is the name of the area of the cave! Some said that it is either in the valley, mountain, or town in which the cave is found. After the visit we will head to one of the many world heritage sites in Jordan, Umm al-Rasas. Umm al-Rasas is an important archaeological site that was declared a World Heritage Site in 2004. Its structures date from the 3rd to 9th centuries and most have not yet been excavated. The site is especially known for its magnificent Byzantine mosaics, which have been uncovered in 2 churches dating from the 6th and 8th centuries. After we finish visit we will head to the Byzantine era city of Madaba, check in at hotel for overnight.
Day 4: Madaba visit – Mount Nebo – Mukhait – Mukawir- Madaba
After having breakfast we will head to explore the Mosaic city of Madaba. Madaba has a very long history stretching from the Neolithic period till present day. The town of Madaba was once a Moabite border city, mentioned in the Bible, Numbers 21:30 and Joshua 13:9. Madaba dates back from the Middle Bronze Age. It has become known as the "City of the Mosaics" for the many Byzantine mosaics that have been uncovered throughout the city. The most famous of these is the map of the Holy Land, a 6th-century mosaic map of the Holy Land. After the visit we will transfer to where Moses climbed to Mount Nebo, from the plains of Moab to the top of Pisgah, across from Jericho. There the Lord showed him the Promised Land.... Then the Lord said to him, "This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said, 'I will give it to your descendants.' I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not cross over into it." And Moses the servant of the Lord died there in Moab, as the Lord had said. He buried him in Moab, in the valley opposite Beth Peor, but to this day no one knows where his grave is. --Deuteronomy 34:1-6. After visiting Mount Nebo, we will continue to Khirbat Mukhayyat , Scholars suppose this village to be the site of the Biblical city of Nebo. In the middle of the 9th century B.C. King Mescha boasted that he had slain 7000 men, women, boys, girls and maids at this place and had taken it from the Israelis. In Byzantine times, Khirbet El Mukhayat had a monastery complex and at least 4 churches. Driving south-west of Madaba, we will reach Mukawir. In the Bible, Mukawir is referred to as Machaerus. On a mountain which resembles a cone with its top cut off, can be seen the imposing remnants of the fortress Qasr El Mashneqh. The Arabic name means "Castle of Gallows". The castle was built by Alexander Jannaeus. The historian, Josephus, reports that it was here that John the Baptist was imprisoned, Salome danced and John was beheaded (Matthew 14:3 - 11). In the evening we will drive back to the hotel in Madaba for overnight.
Day 5: Madaba – Bethany & Jordan River – Moses spring – Petra
After breakfast, we will continue our journey and head to visit the “Bethany”. In this site we will also visit Wadi tell Kharrar which is the place where Elijah ascended to the heavens. When Elijah said to Elisha, "Stay here; the Lord has sent me to the Jordan." ... Fifty men of the company of the prophets went and stood at a distance, facing the place where Elijah and Elisha had stopped at the Jordan. Now some Pharisees who had been sent questioned him, "Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?" "I baptize with water," John replied, "but among you, stand’s one you do not know. He is the one who comes after me, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie." This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptizing (John 1:25-28). Then Jesus went back across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing in the early days. Here he stayed and many people came to him. They said, "Though John never performed a miraculous sign, all that John said about this man was true." And in that place many believed in Jesus (John 10:40-42). When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased." Now Jesus himself was about 30 years old when he began his ministry (Luke 3:21-23). When Jesus (pbuh) spent 40 days in the wilderness after his baptism (Mark 1:12), he had been in the stark, desolate marl area immediately east of Jordan River and north of Bethany. He spread his message throughout Transjordan on several different occasions, including during his last journey from Galilee to Jerusalem (Matthew 19). Driving south via the Kings’ Highway to visit the Moses Springs. It is one of the 2 places where the great man is believed to have obtained water by striking a rock. You can get the chance to see some low lying ruins of a couple of churches in the very charming countryside. Further continue to Petra, the giant red mountains and vast mausoleums of a departed race have nothing in common with modern civilization, and ask nothing of it except to be appreciated at their true value - as one of the greatest wonders ever wrought by Nature and Man. Transfer to our hotel in Petra for overnight.
Day 6: Petra full day visit
After breakfast, a full day dedicated for the exploration of the breathtaking Nabataean city of Petra which was carved out of the rose-red sandstone about 2,000 years ago & has recently been voted as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. The tour starts by passing by the Obelisk Tomb and then proceeding through the Siq – the narrow gorge that leads to Petra’s most impressive monument, the Treasury. Then on to the Street of Facades, the Theater, the Royal Tombs, the Colonnaded Street, the Byzantine Church, the Temple, the Monumental Arch, Qasr el-Bint Faroun & finally climb up to the gigantic 1st century AD monument of the Monastery for those who wish. Return back to your hotel in Petra for overnight.
Day 7: Petra – Wadi Arava – Lot's Cave – Dead Sea – Amman
Breakfast in the hotel. Leaving Petra we will head north to Amman, via Wadi Arava. First stop will be at Lot's Cave, the Biblical story tells of Lot and his family escaping from the un-righteous cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot's wife looked back, and turned to a pillar of salt. The cave that the family took refuge in became a shrine. Most of an ancient monastery built in front of the cave has crumbled down the hill due to earthquakes. Driving all the way north till you reach Amman, on the way we will stop to have time for a swim in Dead Sea. After our stop at the Dead Sea, we will transfer to the hotel in Amman for overnight.
Day 8: Amman – Airport (Departure day)
After breakfast: meet our representative and drive to Airport for final departure.