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JGT “Bucket List” Special
Do it before you kick it! Limited places
Land of Ancient History & Culture
A tour to explore Amman, Jerash, Mount Nebo, Dead Sea, Petra and lots more besides.
Group departs Saturday 20th May 2023 for 9 nights.
Fully escorted from Dublin by senior JGT Staff.
If you are interested in seeing this wonderful country, please e-mail us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on (01) 207 6555 and book your place now.
Itinerary for May 2023
Saturday 20 May ’23: Dublin – Amman
1055 Depart Dublin on Turkish Airlines flight TK 1976 to Istanbul.
1720 Arrive in Istanbul. You will have time here to get a bite to eat. This is the new and hugely impressive Istanbul Airport with fantastic shopping, snack and dining facilities.
2055 Depart Istanbul for Amman on TK 812.
2310 Arrive in Amman. Our airport representative will be waiting for you with a name sign and will help you with immigration and customs procedures. Your English-speaking guide will wait for you in the Arrivals Hall, also holding a name sign and will transfer you to the 5* Rotana Amman Hotel for overnight. Your visa is taken care of already.
L (on flight)
Sunday 21 May ’23: Amman – Jerash – Amman
Leisurely breakfast at hotel.
0930 Your English-speaking guide will be waiting for you in the lobby of your hotel. Start your first morning in Jordan with a city tour. Visit the Citadel in Amman, with beautiful views over the city. Continue to the Roman Theatre, located in the heart of Amman, for a visit. Then drive out of town to Jerash, to visit the world’s best preserved Roman provincial city. This is a spectacular example of a Roman city and one of the best preserved examples in the world. Stroll along the Via Maxima with its intact columns lining the road and feel like a Roman for a brief while. Togas and sandals are optional.
Afterwards, enjoy (included) buffet lunch at the nearby Artemis Restaurant.
In the afternoon, return to your hotel, where you will be free for the evening, to explore Amman at your own pace or have an early night.
Overnight at 5* Rotana Amman Hotel.
Monday 22 May ’23: Amman – Madaba – Mt. Nebo – Dead Sea
Breakfast at hotel.
After breakfast your tour today starts with visiting the St. George Church in Madaba with its famous mosaic map. Reputed to be the first map of the Middle East. Drive to Mt. Nebo, from where Moses viewed the Promised Land.
Enjoy (included) lunch at Mazayen Restaurant in Mount Nebo and then drive on to the Dead Sea, the lowest point on the earth’s surface. Float in the salty waters and try out the famous healing mud. Bring swimming goggles, as this is very salty and stings the eyes badly. Also bring sturdy swimming shoes as the underwater surface is rocky. Overnight at the 4* Holiday Inn Dead Sea Resort at the Dead Sea.
Holiday Inn Dead Sea Resort (4 Star)
Tuesday 23 May ’23: Dead Sea – Ma’in Hot Springs – Dead Sea
Breakfast at hotel.
1000 Today, visit the Ma’in Hot Springs, to enjoy the mineral-rich waters of these hyper- thermal waterfalls. The springs are located 264m below sea level in one of the most breath-taking desert oases in the world. These falls originate from winter rainfalls in the highland plains of Jordan and eventually feed the 109 hot and cold springs in the valley. This water is heated to temperatures of up to 63° celsius by underground lava fissures, as it makes its way through the valley, before emptying into the Zarqa River. Included is an entrance to the Ma’in Hot Springs Hotel and you will have use of its tourist facilities, including towels. Lunch is booked or you here too. Return to your hotel and you will be free for the rest of the day.
Overnight at the 4* Holiday Inn Dead Sea Resort.
Wednesday 24 May ’23: Dead Sea – Shabok – Petra
Breakfast at hotel.
After breakfast it is a short journey to visit the Crusader castle at Shabok. From there, continue on to the highlight of the trip to Jordan – Petra. If time allows, this afternoon you will visit Little Petra too. Check-in at your hotel and enjoy dinner there or in Petra town (dinner not included). For those who are up to it, tonight will give you the chance to experience Petra by Night. This is an optional extra ($25pp) and is entirely up to you whether you want to go or not. It is a magical way to see this fabled city, totally illuminated by 1,500 candles. It requires walking the entire Siq to the Treasury Building, on uneven surfaces after dark and may not be for everyone. For those who want to go, we will arrange that locally.
Overnight at the new 5-star Petra Moon Luxury Hotel.
Thursday 25 May ’23: Petra
After breakfast, transfer to Petra for a full day to explore one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. You will enter through the Siq and visit the Treasury, Street of Facades, Theatre, Colonnaded Street etc.
Enjoy your (included) lunch in the Basin Restaurant at the 5* Crown Plaza Resort. You will then be able to visit the Monastery and/or the High Place of Sacrifice today. There are a lot of steps involved but it is definitely worthwhile for the spectacular views! Make sure that your camera or phone is fully charged because you will take dozens of photographs in one of the most spectacular places on earth. Return to your hotel for a rest.
Overnight at the 5* Petra Moon Luxury Hotel
Friday 26 May ’23: Petra – Wadi Rum
After breakfast, drive to Little Petra for a short visit before transferring to Wadi Rum Visitors Centre. here you will be greeted by our local guide. Your visit will start with a jeep tour including a freshly prepared BBQ lunch. A jeep tour is the best way to discover lots of sites in Wadi Rum. The jeep will stop at each site giving you time to explore the area and maybe even climb up on some of the beautiful natural formed bridges in Wadi Rum.
Afterwards, transfer for dinner and overnight at Memories Aicha Campsite. At sunset, you will have a great position to watch the spectacular natural occurrence. The absence of light pollution at Wadi Rum means you will have the best possible view of the spectacular night sky.
Accommodation at Memories Aicha is in Junior Suites. A limited number of Executive Suites are available at a supplement (€50pp sharing/€100 single) or Panoramic Star-Gazing Luxury Tent (€65 pps/€110 single).
Overnight at Memories Aicha Luxury Campsite
Star Gazing Panoramic Tents
Saturday 27 May ’23: Wadi Rum – Aqaba
This morning, after breakfast you will transfer to Aqaba on the Red Sea, where later you will check in at your hotel and have a chance to relax after your hectic days in Wadi Rum and Petra.
Overnight at the 4* Double Tree by Hilton hotel in Aqaba.
Double Tree by Hilton (4 Star)
Sunday 28 May ’23: Aqaba
Breakfast at hotel.
After breakfast, enjoy a 4-hour cruise (included), including snorkeling kit and BBQ lunch at the Berenice Beach. At this beach club, you can book one of the many water activities or return to your hotel to relax for a free afternoon and evening. Tonight you will be departing Aqaba and flying home from there. Your room is booked overnight, so you will have it until you depart at about 2300. So get some rest before you depart for the airport.
Overnight in the 4* Double Tree by Hilton hotel.
Monday 29 May ’23: Aqaba – Dublin
0140 Depart Aqaba on Turkish Airlines flight TK 819 to Istanbul.
0420 Arrive in Istanbul. Transfer to your next departure gate.
0730 Depart Istanbul on TK 1975.
1000 Arrive Dublin.
B (meals on flights)
John Galligan Travel are licensed and bonded by
the Commission for Aviation Regulation TA 275. Your Money is secure with us!
To book this hotel call John Galligan Travel on (01) 207 6555 or e-mail email@example.com
(Single Supplement: €540)
Non-refundable deposit € 310pp. Balance due 10 weeks before departure.
Consumer Protection Levy is an additional €10pp and is mandatory for all clients.
Our Quote Includes:-
International flights from Dublin to Amman return from Aqaba on Turkish Airlines via Istanbul in economy class
1 Checked bag included – up to 30kgs
All Airline & Airport taxes (€305.00)
Coach transfers between airport and hotel on arrival and departure
2 Nights accommodation in twin sharing at 5-star Rotana Hotel in Amman
2 Nights accommodation in twin sharing at 4-star Holiday Inn Dead Sea Hotel
2 Nights accommodation in twin sharing at 5-star Petra Moon Luxury Hotel, Petra
1 Nights accommodation in twin sharing at Memories Aicha Luxury Campsite, Wadi Rum
2 Nights accommodation in twin sharing at 4-star Double Tree by Hilton, Aqaba
Full programme of touring, as mentioned above, including entrances and with services of English speaking guide
Services of Senior Tour Manager from JGT, throughout from/to Dublin
Lunch at Artemis Restaurant, Jerash
Lunch at Mazayen Restaurant, Mount Nebo
Lunch at Ma’in Hot Springs Hotel, entrace & towel hire
Lunch at Basin Restaurant, Crown Plaza Hotel, Petra
Half-Day Jeep tour including BBQ Lunch, Wadi Rum
Dinner at Memories Aicha Luxury Campsite, Wadi Rum
Half-Day cruise in Aqaba including BBQ lunch
Gratuities for restaurants, guides & drivers
Jordanian Visa Fee
Our Quote Excludes:-
Upgrade to Executive Suite at Memories Aicha, Wadi Rum €50pps/€100 single
Upgrade to Panoramic Tent at Memories Aicha, Wadi Rum €65pps/€110 single
Expenses of personal nature like tipping (other than mentioned above), laundry, telephone calls, alcoholic beverages, camera / video camera fees at monuments, medical expenses etc.
Optional extra Petra by Night US$25pp
Meals other than those specified above
Any insurance – mandatory
Any other services not mentioned in the inclusion
Please be aware that Jordan is a Muslim country and guests should respect their culture. While Jordan is quite westernised, standards there might differ from our own, so be prepared to accept Jordan for what it is. Alcohol is available but not everywhere and some restaurants may not serve it. Where it is available, it is very expensive. We try to use venues where you can get a drink but we do not guarantee it. In case of any currency fluctuations or amendments to local Government taxes, or any fuel price rises, we reserve the right to adjust the tour price accordingly. For bookings, we will require names including full first names, date of birth, passport number & expiry date. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months after your departure from Jordan at the end of your trip.
“John, you put an amazing itinerary together; it was all fantastic, exhilarating, varied, at times very emotional and a total privilege to be part of the trip. Ye were all amazing company and what a bunch of cool dude Irish are we?… It was such a great collective dynamic and I believe that there were new-found friendships started which will blossom and endure going forward.
As for Hamden and Ali, we were truly blessed to have them both as our guide and driver respectively. It will be hard to surpass our Jordan trip and I will hold the memories dear for a long time to come. Thank you all for adding to my enjoyment and pleasure Oct 2-10, 2022.
Go n-eirí on bóthar libh go léir”
A lovely reflection from MG who travelled on our October 2022 Group:-
” A Haunted Place – the Wadi Rum by Night
I am way out in the dark ochre deserts of the Wadi Rum in the south of Jordan. It’s the middle of the night and the moon is nearly gone. Starlight has flickered into life and now sparkles high up in a cooling desert sky. Stars will be my watchers and my enchanters until washed out by a rosy dawn, still many hours away.
I have the desert all to myself, and I’d never been to a real desert before. Nobody else is out here. Nothing is moving, near to me or far away, and there are no lights, anywhere. Even my boots make no sound in the soft desert sand. The silence is unique in my experience, cloying and almost oppressive. I hadn’t expected that.
We’d had a lovely meal, earlier that night, in the most spectacular desert resort in the Wadi Rum. There was no drink, a small drop of smuggled-in Gin maybe, just to dismiss that idea! My fellow-travellers on this, our John Galligan Tours “Bucket List” trip, had hurried nervously back along the network of boardwalks to our luxurious hemispherical sleeping pods out on the sand. Some told me not to go out into the surrounding darkness, a darkness made all the darker by the guiding boardwalk lights. “Who knows what things might come up out of the sand, and get you?” Things, they said, that we wouldn’t have seen on our bumpy, but beautiful, jeep drive here in warm sunlight, stopping only along our way to perch on timeless pink sandstone crags, and stop and sit and watch a fiery desert sunset.
And people were a tiny bit, deliciously spooked by the otherworldliness of it all, of where we were. High dark crags and cliffs towered above us, and black shadowlands crept in and around our pods, cast down around us by a cresting moon. And, of course, we Irish aren’t used to deserts, though our ancestors did wander these very places, a multitude of millennia ago, on their long journey out of Africa to our island. Once we had real deserts too in Ireland, when the grains of sand now locked up in the Old Red Sandstone mountains of our south and west were blowing freely in the winds of 400 million years ago. But nobody would remember that!
Anyway, we had “done” all the tourist stops, the rose-red city of Petra, the Dead Sea, spectacular belly dancing shows. We had wandered the ruins and vestiges of history from Biblical through Greek and Roman and Crusader times and so much more besides. And now we were stopping off for a night in the deserts of southern Jordan on our way down to Aqaba and the Red Sea. These were spectacular and beautiful and magical experiences, and we were all having a ball. But I wanted to try something different, something maybe even a bit primal, something that might surprise me, maybe more than surprise?
I wasn’t heading out into this desert on a mission like TE Lawrence had in 1917, to co-lead the charge of Arab warriors in the celebrated attack on Ottoman-held Aqaba. Nor was I challenged to play out the role of a stranded astronaut in Matt Daemon’s film “The Martian”, which he did in this very place. I had no job or purpose or agenda, except that which this desert might bring to me, honour me with even. And it did surprise me, indeed shocked and disoriented me, and I loved that it did that, though perhaps more in safe retrospect than at the time.
I was out in the desert for about six hours. I walked and stopped and stood and walked and stopped and stood. Somehow the cool sand or the alien feel of it all scared me, I’ve no idea why, and I didn’t dare sit down, or even worse, lie down on it, maybe to look at the stars. On occasion I stood on the spot for maybe an hour, barely breathing. There were no reference points, nothing to focus on, nothing to “ground” me, only black starless spaces told me where the crags met the sky.
I was sure I was being watched, being wondered at, being appraised, even being played with by something swirling around me in the emptiness, maybe someone, whatever it was, getting too close for comfort. On a rational level I was fascinated, on an emotional level very disturbed, even slightly frightened, not of spirits but of and for myself.
But I knew it would pass. And dawn came and I hardly noticed it, wrestling with the lingering aftershock and surreality of it all. The crags took on colour and form, my boot-prints a hint of their Vibram signatures in the dark sand. I felt a stirring of desert air on my face. Reality was taking physical shape around me, and immensely away in the distance a wolf or a dog or something canine, something of this world, howled, almost reassuringly.
The long walk back was conventionally spectacular and emotionally anchoring. The Djinns or spirits or ghosts had perhaps been gathered in by the rising bright desert sun, the now red rose crags and blue sky all painting for me a familiar, comforting picture. Two or three others of our group had ventured out in that night, and we compared impressions, and all told similar stories of intense personal experiences, of walking and wandering a haunted place.
And after breakfast, we drove down the way of TE Lawrence’s camel charge to Aqaba. Much later, drinks in hand, we watched the sun set over the ancient hills of the Sinai Peninsula from the roof of our hotel. And I re-entered a wonderful, conventionally safe holiday experience, and looked forward to boating out into the Gulf and perhaps visiting Eilat, the sister city to Aqaba in this crowded narrow little corner of the Red Sea.
It was the best of holidays, the best of groups and guiding, and we all loved it. But, of all the great places we saw and the great stories we heard, and the fun we had, the experience I will never forget will be my night alone in a haunted, even disturbing place, the Wadi Rum.”
Comments from JS who travelled with us in April 2019:-
“Dear John and all the Staff,
To book this tour call John Galligan Travel on (01) 207 6555 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
John Galligan Travel
Tel: 01 207 6555
John Galligan Travel
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