Join this remarkable Petra day tour from Tel Aviv . From here the tour takes you on a long drive in an air-conditioned vehicle south below sea level and past the Dead Sea. Continuing through the Negev Desert and Arava Valley to Eilat, Israel’s Red Sea city where the Arava Border Crossing is located. Our team will help you navigate border control and customs before entering Jordan. The tour continues from the Arava Border Crossing traveling on the Desert Highway through the stunning desert landscape to the Petra Archaeological Park.
Petra is an ancient desert city created by the Nabataean people over 2,000 years ago. The Nabataeans carved their city out of rose-hued rock cliffs earing it the name “The Rose City.” Petra was a stop along the trade route from the Arabian Peninsula to the Mediterranean and at its peak Petra was home to about 20,0000 people. They managed to survive in the harsh desert environment thanks to an ingenious water gathering system. As the Nabataean civilization faded Petra was taken over by subsequent inhabitants including Romans. Petra was later abandoned and remained hidden for hundreds of years before being rediscovered in the 19th century. This earned Petra the name “The Lost City.”
We enter Petra through the narrow Siq, a gorge flanked by towering cliffs. For an additional fee you can opt to cover the first 200 meters of the route on horseback and enter Petra as merchants did thousands of years ago. Towards the end of the Siq the gorge opens up to reveal the wondrous Treasury, one of the most stunning of Petra’s sites. The Treasury was a Nabataean tomb with an ornately carved façade featuring tall columns and soaking almost 40 meters high.
You are given a fully guided tour of Petra including the Treasury, Obelisk Tomb and the colonnaded Street. Your knowledgeable guide will tell you about the history of each site including the ancient Roman theatre, carved into the mountain beneath the High Place of Sacrifice. Learn about the Street of Facades lined with monumental Nabataean tombs and the various tombs like the Silk Tomb, Palace Tomb, Corinthian Tomb and the Urn Tomb. Discover the many Nabataean temples and a Byzantine church created in 446AD when Christians turned the Urn Tomb into a place of worship. One of the largest monuments in Petra is the Monastery measuring 47 meters wide and 48.3 meters high.
After lunch in an authentic local restaurant we begin our return trip stopping at several lookout points along the way. We pass through the dramatic landscape of Wadi Rum, the land of Lawrence of Arabia, a desert wilderness with mountains and wonderful sandstone rock formations. We head for Aqaba, Jordan’s Red Sea port city. Time permitting we can take a brief panoramic tour of Aqaba before continuing on to the Arava Border Crossing. Back in Israel we make the long drive to Tel Aviv.