Sands of the Middle East

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  • Group Tour
  • Starting Price: $8,695
  • Length: 15 days
  • Operator: Travcoa
  • 866-591-0260
    Destinations: Middle East, Jordan, Syria
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Tour Description

Travel back in time on this one-of-a-kind journey through the lands of the Middle East. Wander the winding streets of Damascus and the covered marketplace of Aleppo with private guides who will show you all the secrets of these ancient cities. Stand on the ramparts of a hilltop fortress - the 12th-century Crusader castle of Crac des Chevaliers. Explore Baalbek, a Lebanese outpost where the Romans constructed their largest temple - and listen as your expert guide makes the history come alive. Then discover Petra, a lost city carved from the sandstone cliffs within a desert canyon. Throughout these lands - from the buzzing metropolis of Beirut to the beautifully preserved Greco-Roman ruins of Jerash - you’ll enjoy special access to unique experiences. And you’ll end your journey through the Middle East with some relaxation in a luxurious resort at the Dead Sea - just as the Romans did thousands of years ago.

  • Discover the ruins of the lost city of Petra with your private guide
  • Explore the ruined temples of Baalbek, some of the finest examples of Roman architecture still standing
  • Traverse the striking landscape of the Syrian desert to see the fortress and ruins of the oasis city of Palmyra
  • Visit Crac des Chevaliers, one of the best preserved medieval fortresses in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Witness a chariot race in ancient Jerash

Itinerary

DAYS 1 - 3

Damascus, Syria

Arrive in Damascus on Day 2, one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world, and visit the National Museum which boasts a stunning collection of art and artifacts. Visit the major landmarks of the city including Al-Takieh al-Suleimaniyeh, a wonderful example of Ottoman architecture; the Christian quarter; and the immense Umayyad Mosque, which lies at the heart of the Old City. Before sunset drive to Mount Kassioun, 1,150 feet above Damascus, for a panoramic view of the city.

Four Seasons Hotel, Damascus

DAYS 4 & 5

Aleppo

Journey to Crac des Chevaliers, a stately 12th-century Crusader castle and one of the most famous medieval citadels in the world. Then drive north to Aleppo, one of the great Middle Eastern trading centers, and a link between Europe and India. Visit the hilltop sanctuary of St. Simeon and take a private guided tour of Aleppo’s Great Mosque, massive fortress and labyrinthine covered marketplaces or souqs, where you can buy anything from Bedouin robes to gold jewelry.

Sheraton Hotel, Aleppo

DAYS 6 & 7

Palmyra

Drive across the stark Syrian Desert to the oasis city of Palmyra, once a contender against Rome for regional domination. On the way, walk along the same street as Antony and Cleopatra, visit the impressive collection of mosaics in Apamea and experience Hama’s massive waterwheels that have been pumping water from the Orontes River and pouring it into irrigation canals for millennia. In Palmyra, explore the monuments with your private guide: Discover the great Temple of Bel, the Arch of Triumph

Tadamora Palace Hotel, Palmyra

DAY 8

Baalbek Beirut, Lebanon

Cross the border into Lebanon and explore Baalbek’s awe-inspiring temples and city ruins, which are among the largest and finest examples of Roman architecture in the world. Continue to Beirut, an important cultural and commercial hub of the present-day Middle East region.

Mövenpick Hotel Resort, Beirut

DAYS 9 & 10

Beirut, Lebanon Amman, Jordan

On your private city tour of Beirut, stroll along the lively waterfront promenade, venture out to explore the natural stone arches of Pigeon Rocks and visit the fascinating National Museum, which boasts an impressive collection of archaeological artifacts spanning nearly 6,000 years of history. Fly to Amman and discover the wonders of Jerash, one of the best-preserved Greco-Roman cities in the Middle East. Jerash is a fine example of grand, formal provincial Roman urbanism, with paved and colonnaded streets, soaring hilltop temples, handsome theaters, spacious public squares and plazas, baths, fountains and city walls pierced by towers and gates.

Four Seasons Hotel, Amman

DAYS 11 & 12

Petra

Passing through a string of ancient sites along the 5,000-year-old King’s Highway, you are rewarded with a true treasure at the end of the journey. Hidden deep in a canyon, the ancient rose-red city of Petra is an indescribable wonder intricately carved from sheer rock faces. A “lost city” for 1,000 years - until being rediscovered in the 1800s - Petra offers one of the most unique sights in the world.

Petra Mövenpick Hotel, Petra

DAYS 13 - 15

Wadi Rum, Aqaba, The Dead Sea Depart for Home

Travel by 4-wheel-drive vehicles to explore Wadi Rum, a maze of monolithic rockscapes that rise up from the desert floor to heights of 5,700 feet, like towering skyscrapers between the canyons and water holes. Then enjoy dinner on a private cruise on the Red Sea before ending your journey.

On Day 15 you will be taken to the airport for your flight home or on to your next destination.

Mövenpick Resort Residence, Aqaba; Evason Ma-In Hot Springs and Six Senses Spa, Dead Sea

Departures

Pricing Information

March 3, 2012

From $8,695.00 per person double occupancy.

From $2,135.00 single room supplement.

April 1, 2012

From $8,695.00 per person double occupancy.

From $2,135.00 single room supplement.

September 22, 2012

From $8,695.00 per person double occupancy.

From $2,135.00 single room supplement.

October 13, 2012

From $8,695.00 per person double occupancy.

From $2,135.00 single room supplement.

October 27, 2012

From $8,695.00 per person double occupancy.

From $2,135.00 single room supplement.

Journey Includes

  • Deluxe rooms in the best available hotels
  • Three meals per day, including our unique Dine-Around program that lets you enjoy any restaurant you choose with à la carte dining, or relax with room service when available*
  • A professional Travel Director as your personal concierge
  • Local sightseeing with professional English-speaking guides with unparalleled knowledge, including entrance fees for places visited
  • Active participation and up-close encounters to experience the cultures of your journey
  • Bottled water, soft drinks, coffee and tea included with meals; bottled water during sightseeing excursions
  • All gratuities to hotel and restaurant staff and local guides and drivers
  • Group or individual airport transfers on arrival and departure flights
  • TheTravcoAssist Travel Protection Plan, including emergency medical evacuation insurance coverage for injury or illness, and 24-hour Worldwide Live Travel Assistance through Travel Guard Assistance

*Due to remote or undeveloped locations on some journeys, accommodations may not always meet Western standards. Dine-Around opportunities will be limited in remote or unsecured locations.

All prices are in US dollars and do not include international airfare, unless otherwise noted.

Prices displayed are based on the lowest season base price and assume double occupancy. Prices are shown in U.S. dollars and may or may not include administrative fees, taxes, meals, airfare (where applicable) and Single Supplements. Cancellation penalties, blackout dates and other restrictions may apply.

Options and Extras

Tour Notes