This morning we take a short 30-mile drive north of the capital to the ancient Jerash where will explore the magnificent Roman complex.
Jerash was populated for over 6,500 years. Once ruled by the Romans after being conquered by General Pompey in 64BC, the city became one of a confederation of ten important Middle Eastern cities, known as the Decapolis League.
The dry climate in Jerash and the way the ruins were preserved in sand before excavation means this ancient site is renowned for being one of the best preserved Roman provincial towns and archaeological sites outside of Italy.
Entering the site through the imposing Hadrian’s arch, we will take a leisurely pace to explore the colonnaded streets, hilltop temples, striking theatres and chariot racing stadium. With the background hustle and bustle of the surrounding city it easy to reflect on how Roman life might have been here.
Jerash is still not fully discovered – it is estimated that this treasured site is only 10% of what remains to be uncovered.
After lunching in Jerash we will start the short journey back to Amman. Here we will start our walking tour to explore the history and life of the city.
Our explorations start with a panoramic view out across the city enjoyed from its highest point, the Citadel - Jabal al-Qala perched on a hill near the centre of the city. Artefacts discovered at the site suggest that the area has been a royal city for thousands of years. No longer inhabited, it is believed to have been fortified during the Bronze age some 3,000 - 4,000 years ago. History and time have left their mark on this site which is now like an open-air museum. The tall pillars of the Roman Temple of Hercules remain in place and make their presence felt alongside parts of the 7th century Umayyad Palace.
As we make our way down the hill to downtown Amman, we will weave our way through the winding streets of the souk (bazaar), soaking up the ambience and taking in the aroma of the spices and Arabic delicacies on sale. At the lively fruit and vegetable market near the Grand (King Hussein) Mosque, delicious looking produce is sold by competing vendors melodiously calling out to attract the passing shoppers: a true Middle Eastern experience.
We will finish today’s tour in an old-style cafe whose interior takes you on a journey through time to experience the cafes in the early days of Amman.
Grade: Premium Hotel
SINGLE ROOM AVAILABLE
SWIMMING POOL AVAILABLE
MEALS PROVIDED: BREAKFAST