Small Group Travel
An extraordinary adventure in Jordan
From the great starkness of Wadi Rum to the majestic ruins of bygone civilisations and the wonders of the Dead Sea, Jordan is one of the region’s most fascinating and strikingly beautiful destinations. The people are multicultural, extremely hospitable and take huge pride in welcoming visitors to their vibrant country.
This meticulously crafted trip for a small group of like-minded individuals is an unparallelled pass to Jordan – full of exclusive experiences usually reserved for foreign dignitaries. Your host, Henrietta Loyd, has perfected every detail, ensuring that your travels here are seamless. It is through our unrivalled knowledge and relationships on the ground that we can ensure the best guides, the finest places to stay and private access to both the highlights and the more off-the-beaten-track, undiscovered gems.
One of the most memorable experiences will be two nights staying in a spectacular tented camp in Wadi Rum, one of the world’s most mesmerising desert landscapes, booked out exclusively by cazenove+loyd. Here, you will enjoy a traditional Bedouin feast under the stars, before retiring to huge, plush, white tents, with double beds, running water and working electricity. You will wake up in the serenity and silence of the desert, surrounded by rolling sand dunes and huge sandstone mountains, before you have the entire day to explore this glorious landscape. Quite simply, staying in a luxurious camp deep in this natural wilderness is extraordinary.
All in all, we promise you a truly unforgettable trip in this captivating destination.
"I highly recommend cazenove+loyd due to their impeccable service and attention to detail. My experience in Jordan was beyond my expectations. I felt incredibly lucky to have had the inside track to Jordan and visit many places with special privileges such as the Kings Horses stables. The ultimate travel experience. Truly beyond luxury."
What makes this trip spectacular?
Having your own private desert camp in Wadi Rum all to yourself is an experience like no other. Peaceful and remote, this retreat makes you feel like a true explorer and has fantastic staff and delicious food too. It is the perfect base to explore this stunning region. In addition to this incredible camp, you will be staying in some of the best hotels in Jordan on this trip.
You will visit Petra with a top specialist guide who will bring this incredible place to life, informing and inspiring you as you explore at your own pace. Exploring this extraordinary UNESCO World Heritage Site with a real expert is a sensational way to get under the skin of the ‘lost city’.
Through our connections, we have arranged for you to visit the Royal Stables for a private Arabian horse show performed by the king’s horses. From here, you will travel in one of the king’s very own vintage cars for an exclusive visit to the Royal Automobile Museum, set up in honour of the late King Hussein who was an avid car collector. This experience is only possible with cazenove+loyd.
The journey is designed by our co-founder, Henrietta Loyd, who will be leading the group every step of the way, ensuring that everything runs smoothly. Everything is flexible, and with her on hand throughout, the trip will evolve along the way to ensure it is tailored to the group’s needs and pace. This will be her fifth trip to Jordan so she is an extremely experienced and knowledgeable travel companion, and her passion for the country is infectious.
Welcome to Jordan
On arrival at Queen Alia Amman International Airport, you will be met and assisted through customs and baggage collection. You will then be driven to the Fairmont hotel. We have left this evening free under your own arrangements but can, of course, recommend and arrange bookings at some top-notch restaurants for a sumptuous first dinner in Jordan.
The Fairmont is a very comfortable place to stay in the 5th circle of Amman. Centrally located, it is within walking distance of the city's most affluent neighbourhoods of Abdoun and the adjacent diplomatic area. The spacious guest rooms are elegant and stylish, with views of the Amman hills, and there are some superb restaurants as well as an oversized spa.
Get a flavour of Amman
After breakfast, you will explore Amman. The capital was originally built across seven hills (known as ‘jabals’) but the city now spans 19 of them. It is full of welcoming, friendly locals, markets and spectacular viewpoints. You will be taken to the main sights, including the Citadel, which has panoramic vistas of the city, the King Abdullah Mosque, the Roman Theatre, the Jordan Archaeological Museum and The Jordan Museum.
In the Downtown area, you will have the opportunity to taste some of Jordan’s best street food for lunch. The country’s delectable cuisine is a huge allure for foodies; from the aromatic coffee, spices and smells to the local dishes and refreshing mezze, it really is a Middle Eastern melting pot and a feast for the senses.
After lunch, you will visit the Royal Stables for an exclusive private Arabian horse show all performed by horses owned by the king. You will then travel from the Royal Stables in one of the king’s very own vintage cars for an exclusive visit to the Royal Automobile Museum, set up in honour of the late King Hussein who was an avid car enthusiast and collector. The stunning fleet of cars will then return guests to the Fairmont. This experience is exclusive to cazenove+loyd clients and these cars have not been on the road since King Hussein died. It is quite the thrill for the Amman residents to see the magnificent cars on the city’s streets once again. We have booked dinner tonight at Fakhreldin, one of the best Lebanese restaurants in Jordan.
Gain an insight into Jordan’s Roman past
After breakfast, you will be driven north to some of the amazing Decapolis, a league of cities originally set up in the Hellenistic period, which continued into the Roman times. Amman, with its Roman centre, was also once part of the Decapolis.
Your first stop will be the ancient city of Gadara, now called Umm Qais. The Decapolis cities are mentioned in the bible as a group, but Gadara is mentioned by name, as it is the site where Jesus’ Miracle of the Gadarene Swine took place. You will enjoy a light mezze lunch in the Romero restaurant overlooking the site.
Afterwards, you will continue on to the newly restored hippodrome, with its original stone seating, where you will enjoy a thrilling spectacle of Roman gladiators and charioteers re-enacting how they appeared some 20 centuries ago. From the hippodrome, you will be taken to Jerash, often referred to as the Pompeii of the East due to its unique state of preservation. The city features theatres, churches, temples, a nymphaeum, colonnaded streets and a well-preserved oval plaza.
In the late afternoon, you will return to Amman via the scenic Jordan Valley.
Journey to Wadi Rum
After breakfast, you will leave the hustle and bustle of Amman, and head 300km south to the Wadi Rum desert. Stop en route at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Um er-Rasas, a site with undoubtedly one of the most important and significant Byzantine mosaics in the world. You will enjoy a delicious lunch at Al Qatranehh restaurant en route.
We have carefully planned the arrival at Wadi Rum to be at sunset. Marvel at the stunning technicolour sky and breathtaking landscape, as you go to your luxury canvas tent and enjoy a scrumptious Bedouin dinner under the stars.
Designed to blend in with the natural surroundings, this bespoke camp offers an authentic desert experience, without compromising on comfort, in the heart of the truly spectacular Wadi Rum. The area’s stunning panoramas are shaped by giant granite, basalt and sandstone mountains rising up to 800m sheer from the sand. Each tent is fully furnished with comfortable, low Bedouin seating and an ensuite bathroom. Staying in a traditional-style campsite deep in this wilderness is unforgettable.
Explore Wadi Rum
After breakfast, you will explore Wadi Rum by 4WD. Along the way, we have arranged for your Bedouin guide to take you to the home of a local family for a cup of Arabica coffee and to help bake some fresh Arboud bread to be enjoyed together around the stove.
After lunch, you will continue through the desert to some of the most dramatic rock formations, including a stop at Burdah Rock Bridge, the sand dunes and Jabal Umm Fruth. Travel back across the desert by camel as the sun sets, riding through awe-inspiring scenery, before spending your second night at your luxury desert camp.
Travel to Shobak Crusader Castle + Petra
This morning, you can rise early to enjoy a hot-air balloon flight before breakfast to take in the otherworldly scenery of Wadi Rum from above as the sun rises, or simply lie in and wake to the sound of silence. You will then enjoy a peaceful morning at the camp.
After lunch, you will be driven to Petra via Shobak Crusader Castle. Built in 1115, this was the first of many fortifications built to guard the road from Egypt to Damascus. The walls and towers are Mamluk, and all those still standing have exquisitely carved external calligraphic inscriptions dating from the 1290s. Shobak is one of Jordan’s most evocative Crusader period castles.
On arrival at the Mövenpick Resort Petra, you can go for a stroll or relax at the hotel until dinner at Al Saraya, the hotel’s lovely, Mediterranean-style main restaurant.
Mövenpick Resort Petra
The Mövenpick is situated right beside the entrance to the historic city of Petra. With an oriental style and plenty of natural stone, handcrafted wood and Middle Eastern fabrics, the recently remodelled rooms are elegantly designed and decorated, with all the modern conveniences.
Discover ancient Petra
Experience Petra before the crowds on a fabulous day in the ‘lost city’. Your guide will lead you through Petra’s Siq – the main entrance flanked on either side by soaring cliffs. This vast UNESCO World Heritage Site, carved into the rockface by the Nabataeans, the industrious Arabs who settled here more than 2000 years ago, is Jordan's most valuable treasure and one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. Explore at your own pace.
You will enjoy lunch at Basin Restaurant, before making your way on foot or horseback up to the Monastery, with its immense, rock-cut façade – the largest in Petra. If you are feeling energetic, you can continue walking out of the site along the stunning old Nabataean Trail. After an hour or so, you will enjoy sweeping views across the Jordan Rift Valley.
Scenic drive to the Dead Sea
After a relaxing morning, you will head to the Dead Sea, driving through the phenomenal Dana Biosphere Reserve along the King’s Highway. En route, you can stop at the Lowest Point on Earth Museum and adjacent Lot’s Cave. On arrival at the Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea, you will spend the rest of the day unwinding at this lavish hotel, where you can enjoy heavenly spa treatments and also the world’s greatest natural spa: the Dead Sea.
At 400m below sea level, the Dead Sea is the lowest place on earth. This vast stretch of water is flanked by mountains to the east and the rolling hills of Jerusalem to the west, and has evolved into a major hub of both religious and wellness tourism in the region. Tonight, you will enjoy delicious local and international dishes at the hotel’s Obelisk restaurant, which overlooks the Dead Sea.
Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea
This is our favourite hotel beside the Dead Sea. Situated on the edge of the famous salt lake, it has uninterrupted views across the vast sea towards the west bank. It is the best base here to kick back, relax and recharge at the end of an adventure-filled trip. There is a lovely swimming pool and two good restaurants – one serving Jordanian cuisine and the other, Italian. The spa facilities are fantastic and we can make some bookings for you ahead of your trip.
Visit Jordan’s Byzantine + Christian heartland
This morning, we have arranged a stop-off at Mount Nebo, the alleged burial site of Moses. It overlooks the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea, and is home to one of the nation’s best preserved mosaics. Next, you will go to the ancient town of Madaba, where you will find the oldest map of the Holy Land – dating to the 6th century AD – on the floor of the Church of St George. Afterwards, you will have lunch at Haret Jdoudna before being driven back to the Kempinski. Alternatively, you can just spend the morning relaxing at the hotel.
In the afternoon, you can wile away the hours floating in the mineral-rich waters of the Dead Sea or indulging in some spa treatments. This evening, we have organised a farewell dinner to celebrate the end of your journey in Jordan.
Drive to Amman and home
Today, you will be driven to Amman’s international airport in time for your flight home.
Henrietta Loyd, the Co-Owner + Founder of cazenove+loyd, will personally host this adventure. This will be her fifth trip to Jordan. On her very first visit, she was blown away by the landscape, the monuments and the friendliness of the people. Henrietta has assiduously honed this itinerary, ensuring that guests are introduced to the country in the most inspiring way. She believes nothing should be compromised. This means staying at the best hotels and having the finest desert camp in Wadi Rum entirely to yourselves. It means arriving at the historic sites at just the right time to avoid the crowds. It means seeing a side of the kingdom that others cannot usually access and travelling with a superb local guide who Henrietta has worked with for the last five years.
Excellent local guide
Our expert on the ground has oodles of knowledge and enthusiasm. Henrietta has described him as follows: “He is one of those gems – fun to be with, brilliant at ‘reading’ a group, very flexible and integral to making the trip engaging and full of learning. He also has a great sense of humour and gets our sense of humour. Having worked with him for so long now, we work very well together and he ensures the days are seamless. I love him!” He has been guiding since 1995, and during that time, has encountered different cultures from all over the world, allowing him to improve his communication and leadership skills. This has made him a successful programme director approved by Harvard University, National Geographic Tours and the Royal Hashemite Palace of Jordan.
THE BENEFITS OF SMALL GROUP TRAVEL
Our hand-picked specialists, guides and leaders ensure unrivalled insider access that you wouldn't normally be able to achieve unless you were travelling as a group, allowing guests to experience the destination in a very special way.
Small group travel gives you an amazing opportunity to spend time with true experts in their field. Each trip is accompanied by an owner – either Christopher Wilmot-Sitwell or Henrietta Loyd – as well as top specialists, guides and leaders.
Our small trips often form the beginning of life-long friendships. Much of the journey is spent as a group, but there is plenty of time to relax and enjoy your own space too. Henrietta and Christopher are brilliant at reading their guests and being proactive and reactive to the flow of the trip.
From £5,595 / US$7,497 per person sharing
Single supplement: £2,000 / US$,2680
+ Accommodation and breakfast, lunch and dinner, as specified, for nine nights with the group
+ Mineral water, soft drinks + a glass of beer or wine at restaurants where alcoholic drinks are offered throughout the trip
+ All road transfers in an air-conditioned vehicle and 4WDs in Wadi Rum
+ Specialist guiding and private access, as specified, with the group
+ Jordanian visas can be arranged by providing passport details
+ Tips to cover all involved in Jordan
+ Return international flights
+ Some meals
+ Optional hot-air balloon flight, costing £200 / US$268 per person, on a first-come-first-served basis
+ Travel insurance
Our small group trips are in some of the most ecologically and culturally sensitive parts of the world. With that in mind, most of our itineraries include an inbuilt donation to a local initiative that you are likely to visit on the trip.
The price of all of our small group trips includes domestic flights but excludes international flights. We suggest flights for our clients that work well with the itinerary and are happy to book and manage these flights. However, guests can also book their own international flights if they would prefer.
We have a fantastic VIP service in place to help you navigate the airport and make your journey as smooth and easy as possible. We can collect you from your home, take you to the airport and escort you through check-in and immigration to avoid any queues, straight through to the airport lounge before boarding your flight. The same service can be put in place on your return journey.
We understand that one of the most important factors to our clients is flexibility in order to give you as much assurance as possible when booking your next trip. We are on hand to discuss with you the latest updates on flexibility on any one of our small group trips.
We have excellent relationships with a handful of insurance companies who provide various forms of cover. Each one offers a different policy with varying terms and conditions, so we strongly recommend getting a series of quotes and discussing your personal requirements in detail with them in order to find the best one for you.
Booking and travelling with an accredited tour operator is more important than ever. cazenove+loyd is a bonded tour operator and is ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Our ATOL number is 3208. This means that the UK government guarantees all funds paid out to a bonded operator and is bound to pay in full if the bond holder is unable to deliver as contracted. This gives our clients peace of mind and full financial protection. Please see our booking conditions for further information.
We have put the relevant measures in place on every one of our small group trips, so that we are ready to welcome you safely. Sanitation and hygiene in our vehicles and the properties in which we will be staying are extensive, with cleaning protocols rigidly followed as well as other necessary safety requirements.