Petra & Desert Sky at Night - Astronomy Kids
Astronomy - Telescope time in the desert (2 nights)
Transport - Minibus, 4WD, on foot
Accommodation - Hotels (4nts), camp (2nts, possible multi-share).
Meals - 6 breakfasts, 1 lunch & 2 dinners.
Experience the desert kingdom of Jordan – explore Petra, the lost city hewn from the rock face and cruise the Wadi Rum desert by 4WD through towering landscapes and camping Bedouin-style under a blanket of stars. Swim in the Red Sea and float in the salt-laden waters of the Dead Sea. You are accompanied by an astronomy expert who brings the sky and constellations to life.
Arrive in Amman
Following your flight, you transfer to your first night’s accommodation and check in. Amman is a modern city with an ancient history and is the starting point for your exploration of this desert kingdom.
Al Fanar Hotel- 1 night
This morning you will transfer to the ‘lost city’ of Petra. Here you will have a full day to admire the natural beauty and breathtaking architecture of this ancient city. Walk through the Siq, a colourful narrow gorge over a kilometre long which leads to the magnificent Treasury. See royal tombs, the Roman-style theatre, beautiful temples and museums. Take an optional walk to the monastery or the high place of sacrifice.
Often described as the eighth wonder of the ancient world, it is without doubt Jordan’s most valuable treasure and the greatest tourist attraction. It is a vast, unique city, carved into the sheer rock face by the Nabateans, an industrious Arab civilization who settled here more than 2000 years ago, turning it into an important junction for the silk, spice and other trade routes that linked China, India, and southern Arabia with Egypt, Syria, Greece, and Rome.
The Nabatean Kingdom existed for centuries, and Petra became widely admired for its refined culture, massive architecture and ingenious complex of dams and water channels. Ultimately, however, the Roman Emperor Trajan annexed the Kingdom.
By the 14th century, Petra was completely lost to the West, and so it remained for almost 300 years. Then in 1812, a Swiss traveler, Johann Ludwig Burckhardt persuaded his guide to take him to the site of the rumored lost city. Secretly making notes and sketches, he wrote, “It seems very probable that the ruins at Wadi Musa are those of the ancient Petra.”
Amra Palace Hotel - 1 night (B)
After breakfast, you will travel to Wadi Rum. Here you will be able to relax for the afternoon in your Bedouin style camp before enjoying a night of star gazing with our expert astronomer.
Desert Camp - 2nights (BD)
You will have a full day exploring Wadi Rum by 4WD and your Bedouin desert guide will give you a closer look at this amazing place.
Wadi Rum is well known as the largest and most magnificent of Jordan’s desert landscapes, this is a stupendous, timeless place, virtually untouched by humans.
A maze of monolithic rockscapes rise up from the desert floor to heights of 1,750 meters creating a natural challenge for serious rock climbers. Hikers can enjoy the tranquility of the boundless empty spaces; explore the canyons and water holes to discover 4000-year-old rock drawings and the many other spectacular treasures this vast wilderness holds in store. Also known as ‘The Valley of the Moon’, this is the place where Prince Faisal Bin Hussein and T.E. Lawrence based their headquarters during the Arab Revolt against the Ottomans in World War I, and their exploits are intrinsically woven into the history of this amazing area.
This evening you will have another night under the stars and recognizing planets and constellations with the astrononmy expert and private use of a 16 inch reflecting telescope. (BLD)
This morning you will travel to the coastal town of Aqaba with its sandy beaches and coral reefs on the Red Sea. Here you will be able to relax on the beach or swim in the Red Sea and take part in a snorkel safari.
Aqaba’s reef is thriving, adorned with variety in its coral and fish. Common species are branch coral, fungi, and montipora, and the rare archelia, a black, tree-like specimen found at great depths and first discovered by the Late King Hussein himself. Darting through the reef are clownfish, Picasso triggerfish, goby, sea anemone, parrotfish, pipefish, and countless others. Two of the most intriguing are the harmless, plankton-eating whale shark, the largest fish in the world, and the willowy garden eel, almost invisible in the sea grass.
Aqaba Gulf Hotel - 1 night (B)
After breakfast, continue to lowest point on the Earth's surface: the Dead Sea. Spend the day sunbathing, swimming, or dining. Relax in the gently lapping waters and be amazed that you can’t sink! Treat yourself to a soothing massage, or try the well-known healing powers of minerals from the sea’s muddy floor.
Holiday Inn Resort - 1 night (B)
Trip Ends; Fly home
Transfer to Amman by road; clients travelling on our group flights fly home. (B)
Fabled City of Petra
The approach to Petra through a narrow siq (gorge) is dramatic. This ancient Nabatean city, hewn from solid rock, featured in the film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. With plenty of time to explore the area you'll be amazed by the rich history, incredible rock tombs and dramatic desert landscapes of ancient Petra.
Desert Camp in Wadi Rum
Travel deep into the majestic desert at Wadi Rum following in the footsteps of Lawrence of Arabia. You'll explore the ever-changing desert sands by 4WD and sleep under the stars in a Bedouin-style tent. The highlight is the spectacular night sky and private telescope use with your astronomy expert.
Our expert David Phillips will be travelling with you through this unique landscape. In the evening David will put on an live planetarium show using a Laser pointer to to show the wonders of the universe from talking about the phases of the moon to guiding you through constellations and searching for planets.