The mysterious city of the Nabateans, Petra, is so securely concealed by the craggy encircling mountains that it was once ‘lost’ for 1,000 years and is one of the modern Seven Wonders of the World. From this natural fortress, the Nabateans commanded the trade routes from Arabia and the East, until the Romans conquered them in 106 AD. On arrival, you’ll walk to the entrance of the Siq - a very narrow, twisting pathway between towering sandstone and rainbow-coloured cliffs. The narrow passage is an adventure in itself, for the towering walls create an artificial gloom until you suddenly emerge into the blinding light, and there before you is the Treasury, your first glimpse of the ‘Rose-Red City’.
The Treasury is the most famous and outstanding of all the monuments; its Pediment, Rotunda and Corinthian pillars are all carved from the solid rock, and it is in a marvellous state of preservation. Your guide will lead you down the Outer Siq, passing the Street of the Façades before the fine Nabatean Theatre comes in to view. There are tombs everywhere because they were cut into the rock, whereas the temples and public buildings were free standing and destroyed by earthquakes.
The site is surrounded by stunning mountains and as you approach the main Colonnade Street, you’ll pass a series of fascinating tombs; The Urn, the Corinthian and the Palace Tomb are known collectively as the Royal Tombs. The Palace Tomb is one of the largest, a 3-storey imitation of a Roman Palace. The partly restored Qasr al-Bint is the only freestanding structure in Petra and is thought to have been the main place of worship in the city.
Enjoy a buffet lunch in a local hotel and reflect on the sights of this unforgettable day of your life.
This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. The journey to Petra will take approximately 2 hours each way. This tour involves extensive walking with a total walking distance of approximately 5 to 6 miles over undulating terrain. Whilst the ground is mainly sandy, in places it can be rough, stony and uneven. You should stay in the company of your guide for the inbound walk to the site, which means it is not feasible to do the tour at your ‘own pace’. Inside the site passengers will be given free time to explore and will return to the lunch venue independently. Horses are available at the entrance of Petra at Elji to ride to the entrance of the Siq, however due to our concerns for your safety, even experienced riders are strongly recommended not to use this form of transport and the horses are not permitted to pass through the Siq. There are carriages available to ride both on the way in and out at an extra cost, which you can independently arrange. Again, carriages are not advisable due to concerns for your safety and you will not be able to follow the group, thus missing out on the guide’s briefing, to do so would be at your own risk. It is advisable to wear comfortable, flat walking shoes, a hat and a light, long-sleeved top to protect your arms and shoulders. It is recommended that you take a bottle of water with you. Wearing sun block is highly recommended as you will be in the sun for most of the day. It can also become cold and windy, so please bring a jacket. There are only bathroom facilities outside the site itself and some small shops just outside the Visitors’ Centre and inside the site. Coaches will be equipped with toilets and there are facilities available upon arrival at Petra. Please note that credit cards are not accepted inside. Due to its popularity Petra can often become crowded, particularly when high numbers of people are walking through the Siq.