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Jordan Tour

Our Jordan Tour explores how Jordan remains resilient, despite significant challenges at home and across its borders.

Dates: 24 Feb – 4 Mar, 2018

Cost: £3940.00

Single Supplement: £500.00


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Thoughts & Views

Political Tours in The Independent on Sunday

Former Independent Foreign Editor Ray Whitaker writes that “a political tour is the perfect way to get to grips with a nation’s recent history”....
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    Tour Itinerary

    The Hashemite Kingdom seems like an island of stability compared with the turbulence to its north and east. It remains a must for travellers exploring the Middle East.

    This 9-day journey explores how Jordan remains resilient, despite significant challenges at home and across its borders. Refugees from Syria and Iraq now number over a million. Its economy also depends overwhelming on state spending that provides little room for error. Many are pushing for political and economic reform.

    We look at the history of the kingdom whose borders were supposedly drawn up by Winston Churchill on the back of a napkin after the First World War, and its relations both with Israel, and with the Palestinians who make up the majority of Jordan’s citizens.

    No visit to Jordan would be complete without taking in some of the key sites it is blessed with, from the Roman city of Jerash in the north, to the desert splendour of Wadi Rum and the hidden city of Petra in the south.

    Jordanian journalist, Suha Ma’ayeh, leads the tour. She writes for The National, Foreign Policy and contributes to the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point.


    Day One

    Meet at 7p.m. for dinner with Nicholas and Karen Wood and Political Tours expert Suha Ma’ayeh. An introduction to the week ahead.
    Overnight Amman

    Day Two: Amman

    Introduction to Amman – including the political history of Jordan from the founding of the Hashemites, to the reign of the current King Abdullah – plus a walk around the historic downtown. Learn in-depth about the Jordanian relationship with the Palestinians, from the 1948 to 1967 wars and Black September. We will visit a Palestinian family in their home. Over dinner with guests we discuss the Hashemite balancing act.
    Overnight Amman

    Day Three: Jerash and the new refugees

    We drive north for an hour to the historic Greco-Roman city of Jerash and meet with NGO’s and UN agencies dealing with Syrian refugees – of which there are well over 600,000 and counting; many of whom are trapped in a kind of no man’s land at the border with Syria. How does Jordan cope? Learn more on the dilemma faced in managing the refugee situation, and in effectively combating security threats from Isis and others.
    Overnight Amman

    Day Four: The economy, media, and reform

    Overview of the economy, to which refugee aid is now a big contributor, whilst the state remains the major employer in the country. We visit key media outlets to discover how Jordan’s press is notoriously self-censored. We look at the security services (GID) who retain a big say in the day-to-day running of the country, and meet with a former government and court official who are advocating reform. They argue that the kingdom needs substantive political reform, or risks a backlash. Dinner with speakers.
    Overnight Amman

    Day Five

    Meetings with government officials to learn about where Jordan is heading now. New hopes are being pinned on a deal that will give Jordan access to the EU’s single market and in turn provide much needed jobs for refugees and a boost for the economy; this is in marked contrast to other countries where refugees are barred from work. A visit to a project run by furniture manufacturing giant, IKEA. Plus diplomats will talk on the country’s tightrope location, sandwiched as it is between Iraq, Israel, Syria and Saudi Arabia.
    Overnight Amman

    Day Six: Aqaba and Wadi Rum

    Morning 55-minute flight to Aqaba, where we will lunch and receive an introduction to Jordan’s sole port, a vital trade entrepôt that’s located on its 26 kilometres of Red Sea coast. Four countries almost meet at this point and perhaps surprisingly co-operate in a range of areas from commerce to the environment. It’s an hour’s drive from here to Wadi Rum, made famous by the exploits of T.E Lawrence during the First World War, for dinner Bedouin style in the desert.
    Overnight Wadi Rum

    Day Seven: Wadi Rum and Petra

    Day to explore the desert in spring bloom with expert guides before a two-hour drive along part of the kings highway to Petra and the Movenpick Hotel. Dinner in the modern settlement of Petra, then Petra By Night, which involves an atmospheric walk down the ceremonial entrance called the Siq – a 1.5 kilometre long cleft through the rock which is flanked by 1,500 candles for the occasion, all the way to the iconic Treasury façade.
    Overnight Movenpick Petra

    Day Eight: Petra

    Full day in Petra with time to explore the highlights of the vast ancient site, which was once the centre of the 2,000 year old Nabatean empire, and was ‘lost’ for 500 years before being rediscovered in 1812. The Nabatean people toiled here carving giant ceremonial buildings from the living rock – like the so-called Theatre, Treasury and Monastery, the Colonnaded Street and the Royal Tombs. At dinner we look back over the tour and Jordan’s prospects in the region.
    Overnight Movenpick Petra

    Day None: Petra

    Tour ends after breakfast.


    If you would like to book a tour please click here to fill in our booking form. Or call us on 0843 289 2349 or email us at [email protected] to find out more.

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