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Jordan: Women's Expedition


Join an eight-day Women’s Expedition in Jordan as we break the barriers of traditional tourism and discover sisterhood in this inspiring desert nation. Spend a night in Wadi Rum, learn the art of henna with Bedouin women and discover how it has been used for centuries. Relax at a female-only beach, float in the Dead Sea and visit stunning Petra. Learn about traditional marriage from a professional matchmaker, pick up local cooking tips from unsung experts, enjoy afternoon teas and chit-chat with local women. On this female-only adventure, travellers are granted access to a side of life seldom seen by tourists while developing a deeper understanding of Middle Eastern women – with full respect for their traditional cultural values.

8 days, from

$1,701

per person

GROUP SIZE

12 people max

ACTIVITY LEVEL

3
Trip code: EESF
Style: Original
Theme: Women's Expedition
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Details

Countries Visited:  Jordan
Accommodation: Hotel (6 nights), Desert camp (1 night)
Transportation: Private Vehicle , Jeep
Meals: 3 dinners, 7 breakfasts
Group size: Minimum 1, Max 12

  • Uncover a lesser-seen side of Jordan as you travel with an all-women group guided by a female tour leader and eat, sip tea and chat with local women along the way.

  • Take a cooking class at Beit Sitti, an inviting cooking school run by three sisters who carry on their grandmother’s legacy and dedication to tradition. Hear their stories and help prepare a delicious meal.

  • Float in the salty waters of the Dead Sea, then visit a local beach resort that’s only open to women on Saturdays. Hang out by the pool and say hello to the local ladies.

  • Experience the majesty and mystery of ancient Petra during a guided tour. The first glimpse of the Treasury from the narrow path of the Siq is simply unforgettable.

  • Drive through the remarkable desert landscapes of Wadi Rum, then take a look behind closed doors as local Bedouin women join you to share their knowledge of henna application – a truly special experience.

  • Pop in for a cup of tea at the home of a renowned Jordanian matchmaker where you’ll learn about local marriage customs and how she pairs couples together.

Itinerary

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Day 1: Amman

Ahlan Wa Sahlan! Welcome to Amman, a city that's cosmopolitan and contemporary yet steeped in biblical history. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm, followed by dinner at a cooking school, Beit Sitti, which is run by three sisters who continue their grandmother’s legacy. Learn their stories as you cook and enjoy an authentic meal under the sisters' supervision. On the menu is maqluba, a dish that literally translates to ‘upside down’. It's a hearty casserole with rice, vegetables and chicken that's cooked, flipped and served with either yoghurt or an Arab salad with tahini.

Day 2: Amman

Take a walking tour of Amman, starting with the citadel, Roman Odeon, and the Roman Theatre. Then head over to Rainbow Street, the heart of Amman’s arts and shopping scene and home of the city’s best falafel. A stroll along this lively street takes you past cafes, arts venues and galleries. Check out the Rainbow Theatre, admire 1920s villas and take in Mango Street, Malouf Street, and the Souk Jara market. Sit, relax and grab some lunch afterwards. In the early afternoon, leave Amman for a short drive north (approximately 1 hour) to Jerash, a city famed for its Greco-Roman ruins. Reaching its zenith as a favourite of the emperor Hadrian, it has a striking collection of archways, theatres, baths, public buildings and colonnaded streets to explore. Return to Amman in the late afternoon and head to the home of a local matchmaker for a cup of tea while learning about the tradition of arranged marriage in Jordan and how she helps couples get together.

Day 3: Wadi Rum

Rise early and drive to the rugged sandstone mountains of Wadi Rum (approximately 4 hours). Perhaps pick up some lunch in the small village of Rum, then it's off to see some of the world’s most stunning desert scenery. Great gouts of rock around Wadi Rum have been eroded by wind and ancient water into fantastical gnarled shapes. Aboard jeeps operated by the local Bedouin community, ride through swathes of desert, perhaps wondering how this place could be livable – until you see a Bedouin camp, a group of dark tents low-pitched to the ground. In traditional Bedouin culture, a huge onus is placed on taking in and feeding any visitor, so a very warm welcome is assured. Later in the evening when your drivers depart camp, you'll be joined by local Bedouin women. This is an honour, as these ladies of the desert are usually very reluctant to mix with visitors. Note that it will be necessary for one man to be present in the camp, as per local culture. This evening, learn the ancient art of henna (and how to apply it just right). When it's all over, fall asleep under a huge expanse of stars.

Day 4: Petra

After waking up in the unique surrounds of the Bedouin camp this morning, enjoy a walk around the area (the length of which will depend on your energy levels) before scaling one of the large dunes to enjoy sensational views of the surrounding area. Keen photographers will be delighted. Depart mid-morning to the 'Rose City' of Petra (approximately 2.5 hours). The site remained unknown to the wider world until 1812 when it was visited by Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt. In 1985, Petra was designated a UNESCO World Heritage-listed site, and rightfully so – this is truly one of the most remarkable places on the planet. Spend the afternoon exploring Petra on a guided tour. Squeeze through a mile-long narrow path known as the Siq and get your first glimpse of the iconic Treasury, which amazingly was hand-carved out of rock. If your dates align, you may also like to take the opportunity to witness Petra by night.

Day 5: Petra

Enjoy a free day of self-discovery as you explore Petra on your own. The site is surprisingly big, and you can explore the old Roman road, temples and several old tombs, as well as the rock-hewn amphitheatre. For those with the energy, there's the challenging but highly rewarding walk up the steps to the monastery (approximately 1 hour). Speak to your leader for their recommendations for where to dine this evening, you may like to ask them where to find the best mansaf, the national dish of Jordan, made with lamb cooked in a sauce of fermented dried yogurt.

Day 6: Madaba

Travel to the Dead Sea (approximately 3 hours), stopping along the way at the World Heritage listed Al-Maghtas Bethany Baptism site, where its believed Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. Continue to the Dead Sea and head for the shores of this famously salty sea that marks the lowest point on Earth (420 metres below sea level). This isn’t actually a sea, but in fact a super-salty lake, and it's called 'dead' because of the lack of life in it. The density of the water makes it beautifully easy to float in; you'll be going for more of a float than a swim. Spend some time relaxing here – the mud here is said to have healing properties, so make the most of it by covering yourself from head to toe in a nutrient-rich natural mineral mud bath. Later, join the local ladies at a Dead Sea beach resort for the afternoon. The locals are most often found around the pool, which on Saturday is open and available for ladies only. Meet some new friends, relax and enjoy. Travel onwards to Madaba (approximately 1 hour) for the night.

Day 7: Madaba

Start your morning with a visit to St George’s Church, home to the 6th-century mosaic map of Jerusalem and the Holy Land. A short drive from here is Mt Nebo, the spot where the prophet Moses is said to have seen the ‘promised land’ and is believed to be buried. Explore this sanctuary and view the remarkable mosaics of the 4th century church. Later, pay a visit to the Bani Hamida Women’s weaving project. Founded by Save The Children in 1985, this social enterprise provides employment for women while teaching them valuable skills and preserving traditional weaving techniques. Since its inception, the project has benefitted more than 1600 Jordanian women. Find a common thread with the ladies who work here as you swap stories over lunch, then return to Madaba where you will spend the evening and enjoy a picnic dinner of local Arabic mezze.

Day 8: Madaba

This trip comes to an end today. There are no activities planned and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.

8 days, from $1,701

to book call 1-844-205-6226


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