The Bedouin tradition of Jordan is rooted in family values and hospitality. Food is thus the most important ingredient that binds these values. This small country is as rich in food as it is in history. A Culinary Journey Through Jordan is an unforgettable way to experience the culture and even the history of the Jordanians. As we taste the scrumptious food, we will also be touring the historical sites of this cradle of civilization and falling in love with the fascinating country. Speaking of wonderful food, no trip to Jordan would be complete without sampling dishes at the famous Bedouin zarb. For example, the light galayet bandora, the tasty Dolma, the spicy Kofta B'tahini, the "upside down" Maqluba, and of course the national dish of Jordan – mansaf. This journey not only allows you to taste these distinctive dishes but also give you the opportunity to cook with home visits and cooking sessions.
|International air not included
Day 01: Arrive Amman
Ahlan Wasahlan is Arabic for “Welcome”. Upon our arrival at Amman International Airport we are warmly welcomed and transferred to our hotel. Check in from 1500 hrs. The balance of the day if free for you to recover from your flight.
Overnight: Movenpick Hotel (3 nights)
Day 02: Amman
We start with the historical and cultural side – a good introduction to Amman and Jordan. We start Al Salt to visit its historical museum, Ein Plaza, Madafat al Khalili - once the city grinder mill converted to a guesthouse and at Al Khader an Orthodox Church. After the visit of this historical church we will get a close cultural experience as we have lunch with a local family. From here we head for Jerash to visit the most complete and well-preserved city of the Roman Empire. Nestled in a green and well-irrigated valley in the biblical land of Gilead, the remains of the ancient city have long attracted tourists from all around the world. We will visit its original temples, theaters, plazas, paths and colonnaded streets. We end the day with one of its highlights, a local Jordanian dinner along with wine tasting at the Zumot Winery. (B, L, D)
Day 03: Amman
Another specially designed day starts as we head to downtown for a breakfast treat at the famous Hashem Restaurant. Acclaimed by many cookbooks for the best falafel and humus in all of Amman the restaurant holds its charm as a simple eatery that is frequented by locals. It made front-page news when King Abdullah II and his family came to dine one evening during Ramadan 2006. We next visit the Citadel, the Roman Amphitheater and the spice market. A stop will also be made at the Habiba Sweets shop for a taste of Kanafeh, which is a Levantine cheese pastry soaked in sweet, sugar-based syrup. We will also learn how Kanafeh is cooked.
Nestled in one of Amman’s oldest neighborhoods – Jabal Al Weibdeh – sits an old 1940’s style house where Beit Sitti is located. Here we have a unique cook and dine experience that blends grandma’s home cooking with a fun night out. The idea started when three sisters collaborated to keep their grandmothers’ heritage alive by passing on the recipes she taught them to the locals, expats and tourists. Here we will be taken to the vegetable market and learn how to bargain as well as pick the right produce then return to the house to cook a 4-course Arabic meal for our lunch.
Next we’ll head back to the hotel from some rest time and to prepare for the event of the day. At sunset we head for the famous Sufra Restaurant which is famous for its tasty dishes inspired from the Bedouin Kitchens coupled with its warm hospitality. The menu at Sufra is traditional Jordanian dishes that “capture the spirit of the Jordanian palette”. Many restaurants in Jordan offer traditional Middle Eastern food but they are usually not solely based on Jordanian cuisine as this one is. Try the mutabbal, eggplant with tahini sauce, mansaf, freekeh with chicken, fatit jaj (chicken with bread, rice and yoghurt sauce), and for dessert try the Arabic Ice-cream with cotton candy. (B, L, D)
Day 04: Amman/Petra
Bid farewell to Amman as we head to Bethany to visit its Baptism sites. On the route we will see where Moses is purported to have been buried, Mount Nebo. Then at Madaba the city of Mosaics, we see the oldest known mosaic map of the holy land. Lunch will be another treat at the Haret Jdoudna restaurant, which is popular with the locals and discerning diners from Amman. The restaurant is set in one of Madaba’s restored old houses. Sit indoors by a roaring fire in winter or in the shaded courtyard in summer and sample the traditional Jordanian dishes such as mutaffi bethanjan (fried eggplant with sesame). Other popular dishes include fatteh (fried bread with garlic-laced yoghurt and hummus, sometimes with chicken) and sawani (meat or vegetables cooked on trays in a wood-burning oven).
After lunch we head for the Pink City of Petra, the Jewel of Jordan and the Middle East. After some rest at our hotel it is the event of the day with dinner at the famous Petra Kitchen. Here we will participate in the cooking of a full Jordanian dinner including a soup, a number of both hot and cold mezze dishes (appetizers), and a main course. We can appreciate that you already know how to chop vegetables, but you may appreciate that in most households, food preparation time is an anticipated and a joyous social event as family members, especially the women, come together to share the day’s stories and gossip while they cook. We’ll have that same chance to chat and laugh with our fellow cooks and the staff at Petra Kitchen while we prepare our evening meal—from the most basic chopping and grating to the elegant presentation of each mezze dish – a hallmark of Levantine cuisine.
Overnight: Old Village Hotel (1 night) (B, L, D)
Day 05: Petra/Wadi Rum
A historical site like none other, Petra is also known as Sela in the Bible. It was lost to the world for five centuries until it was rediscovered in 1812. We enter Petra on horseback through a narrow gorge carved in the sandstone and at the end of the path, we will be rewarded with the most stunning view of the Treasury, made famous in the movie “Indiana Jones and the Temple Doom”. We visit this famous site before enjoying a buffet lunch at the Basin Restaurant, located inside the site of Petra. It is a spread of international dishes including a healthy selection of salads, fresh falafel and barbecued spicy sausage. Lots of desserts are also on offer, including fruit and Umm Ali (a bread-pudding-like dessert).
This afternoon we take a short drive to Wadi Rum – one of the locations that Lawrence of Arabia was filmed in. Here we are treated to a traditional Bedouin meal. The meat and vegetables are cooked under the desert sand, generically known as "zarb" or as we might say, "roast". The cooked foods have a barbecue flavor to them and the meats are moist and fall off the bone. Don’t wander too far, though. You’ll want to be close at hand when they unearth the food as the aroma released is mouth-watering!
Overnight: Sun City Camp (1 night) (B, L, D)
Day 06: Wadi Rum/Dead Sea
This morning we experience a camel ride near the camp and get a feel for how Lawrence of Arabia actually lived. Our next destination is to the famous, Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is a body of water that has a high salt content thus containing a low level of life. It is part of the biblical holy land. However, most of all it is famous for being the area that the Dead Sea Scrolls are from. Specifically a cave in Qumran is the site where a number of ancient manuscripts were found. They were written just after the time of Christ. These scrolls provide contemporary and philosophical information about Jesus and his followers. There is some time to enjoy and relax and try the wonder of the Dead Sea Mud. Bursting with 21 earth-given minerals, natural Dead Sea Mud is unequalled in its ability to enrich, enhance and hydrate. With seemingly magical results, your skin will look and feel positively radiant.
Overnight: Dead Sea Holiday Inn Hotel (1 night) (B, D)
Day 07: Dead Sea/Depart Amman
This morning we head for the community of Ghor Al-Mazra’a where we will get an opportunity to learn from the local residents the rich cultural heritage and simple lifestyle of the Dead Sea region. Together, we will be making simple bread and a local dish called Gallayet Bandorah (tomato based stew). After a simple but no less delicious lunch we continue onto the airport for our flight home. (B, L)
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
Departure Dates & Prices
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This tour operates on a minimum of 02 and a maximum of 08 participants
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