The Temple of Bacchus in Baalek at Baalbek
The Temple of Bacchus in Baalek at Baalbek

Archaeological Tours

NEW FOR 2020

Lebanon & Jordan: Travels through Antique Lands

Two of the Near East’s most intriguing and diverse destinations, Lebanon and Jordan are home to awesome landscapes and unique archaeological sites that reveal the stories of their past civilizations. The former is the homeland of the Canaanites/Phoenicians, whose great coastal trading emporia supplied the known world with luxuries, including cedarwood, spices, and metals. When Pompey the Great absorbed the region into the Roman Empire in 64 CE, Lebanon became part of the province of Syria. Under the Pax Romana, the cities of the Levantine coast prospered, and the Romans built their largest ever temple at the cult center of Baalbek. Castles, churches, mosques and souks recall the medieval period, when Lebanon was a battleground between the Crusaders and Islam and a vibrant mixing bowl of religions and cultures.

In nearby Jordan, we explore traces of biblical tribes, Roman legions, Christian crusaders, and Islamic caliphates. We also spend time in legendary Petra, but its tombs and temples are only a fraction of this country’s fascinating past.

What's included?

  •  Expert scholar & tour manager
  •  Accommodation
  •  A/C coach
  •  Flights (excluding airfare from the US)
  •  Meals - as per the itinerary
  •  Entries & tips
  •  A study guide, reading list, and other useful tour documentation compiled by your expert scholar and your Archaeological Tours team
  •  A name badge, luggage strap and bag tag
  •  Four lectures from your expert scholar

Led by...

Nick Jackson

Nick Jackson Expert Scholar

Nick Jackson graduated in archaeology from the prestigious Institute of Archaeology UCL in London, and later took up a research post at the University of Cambridge.

Full Price
$8,195

Today's Price
$8,095

Saving
$100

Deposit: $1,250 Single supplement: $1,300

Tour highlights:

  • Take a tour of Byblos, the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world and one of the great trading cities of the Bronze Age
  • Pay a visit to the awe-inspiring Baalbek Temple in the heart of the Bekka Valley, truly gigantic in scale and home to the Temple of Jupiter Heliopolis
  • Explore fascinating Crusader castles that tell the stories of this fascinating period in history
  • Follow in the footsteps of Indiana Jones and Lawrence of Arabia at Petra and Wadi Rum, both used as major motion picture film sets
  • Experience weightlessness in the hyper saline waters of the legendary Dead Sea

Tour details

Dates September 2 2020 - September 15 2020
Duration 14 days
Cost
Full Price
$8,195
Today's Price
$8,095
Saving
$100
Deposit: $1,250 Single supplement: $1,300 Balance due by June 10 2020
Activity Level
Tour code B20LEB

Book Now or call 866-740-5130 if you have any questions

September 2 2020: Itinerary

Upon arrival in Beirut, we transfer to our hotel.

Meals include: Dinner

Hotel: Four Points Sheraton, Beirut

Byblos, the site of one of the great trading cities of the early Bronze Age and one of the oldest continuously inhabited sites in the world, awaits discovery today. Through its trading contacts with the Greek world, Byblos exported the alphabet to the West. We visit the citadel and St. John’s Church, and later we explore the archaeological park as well as monuments from the Crusader period. We also view the inscriptions left by ancient armies at Nahr-el-kalb (the Dog River).

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: Four Points Sheraton, Beirut

A full day exploring Beirut – a city reborn – is ours. The rebuilding program that followed the civil war (1975 -1990) gave rise to an opportunity for an archaeological study of the city. The earliest occupation dates to the Paleolithic period, but the first urban phase belongs to the middle Bronze Age (c. 3000 CE). The Roman city of Colonia Julia Augusta Felix Berytus was famous in the 3rd century for its law school. We also visit the National Museum, which houses excellent exhibitions on Lebanon’s cultural heritage and the central archaeological zone with the remains of Roman Berytus. Tonight we stay in Chtaura, in the heart of the Bekka Valley.

All meals included

Hotel: Chtaura Park Hotel, Bekaa Valley

This morning we discover the great temple complex of Baalbek, which includes the vast Temple of Jupiter Heliopolis – once the largest in the world (22.9 m high) with peristyles and hexagonal courts. To its side lies the Temple of Bacchus. The remarkable state of preservation of these temples, particularly the latter, show fine detail of their devotional purpose. We also visit the nearby quarries, which contain some of the largest monoliths ever quarried.

All meals included

Hotel: Chtaura Park Hotel, Bekaa Valley

Following the Arab conquest in the 7th century, the first Islamic dynasty – the Umayyads – saw themselves as heirs of Rome and Byzantium, and used the architectural and artistic language of those earlier powers to express their own ideas. This fusion between East and West is nowhere more evident than at the planned city of Anjar. In the afternoon, we visit the temple of Dekweh and the two distinct groups of temples of the Roman period at Niha. The chief temple here is dedicated to the god Hadranus and has been well restored.

All meals included

Hotel: Chtaura Park Hotel, Bekaa Valley

Sidon – one of the oldest Phoenician cities – grew wealthy from the production of glass and textiles, and held a favored position with the great King of Persia. In their wars with the Greeks, the Persians relied on Sidon’s navy. Here, we visit the Temple of Eshmoun, patron god of Sidon, as well as discover evidence of the area’s Crusader past with a visit to the Sea Castle. Next, we visit Tyre. Ezekiel’s description of Iron Age Tyre, one of the great cities of the ancient Near East, explains that it is a “city standing on the edge of the sea, doing business with the nations in innumerable islands.” Its wealth, through trade and manufacture, particularly through purple dye from the murex, was the benchmark from which all others were measured, and the influence of the city’s colonies spread right across the Mediterranean. We visit two archaeological parks here that help us to uncover evidence of Tyre’s wealth in the Roman period.

All meals included

Hotel: Four Points Sheraton, Beirut

We start our day at the Beiteddine Palace. Built by Emir Bechir at the end of the 18th century in an opulent oriental style, today it contains a museum of Byzantine mosaics. We also visit the contemporary town of Deir El Qamar before returning to Beirut.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: Four Points Sheraton, Beirut

We travel to the airport this morning for our flight to Amman. After transferring to our five-star hotel in the heart of the “White City”, the remainder of our day is spent at leisure. Amman has been inhabited since around the 8th millennium BCE, and has since seen the influence of occupying Ammonites, Assyrians and Persians – not forgetting the Greeks, Romans and the Arabs. Tonight we enjoy a welcome dinner at a leading Lebanese restaurant – one of the few remaining vestiges of its type.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Rotana Hotel, Amman

After breakfast, we embark upon a city tour of Amman. We start at the Citadel, a historical site that towers above the city atop Jabal al-Qala’a. The Citadel is the site of ancient Rabbath-Ammon and excavations here have revealed numerous Roman, Byzantine, and early Islamic remains. Downhill from the Citadel, we make our way to the Roman Theater, which is a prominent and impressive relic. Next, we drive on to Jerash. Second only to Petra in appeal, this ancient city is remarkable for its long history of human occupation. Here, in the hills of Gilead, remains from Neolithic times (as well as Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Umayyad and more) have been found. Following a stop for lunch, we drive back to our hotel in Amman. The rest of our day is free, but we reconvene in the evening for dinner.

All meals included

Hotel: Rotana Hotel, Amman

Today begins with a drive to Mount Nebo, mentioned in the Bible as the mountain from which Moses was granted a view of the Holy Land, but was not allowed to enter it. From here, we are treated to magnificent views over Jordan, the Dead Sea and Israel. If the weather is clear, we may even be able to gaze upon Jerusalem. Next, we make our way to the market town of Madaba, a destination famed for its mosaics. The world-famous mosaic floor inside of St. George’s Church contains a large map of Palestine, which also features a detailed map of Jerusalem as it was during the 6th century. We then continue on to Shobak Castle, an imposing 12th century stronghold that sits on a wild and open plateau, boasting secret passageways, carved catacombs, and partially reconstructed kingly courts. Finally, we end our day with a drive to Petra before checking into our hotel and enjoying dinner together.

All meals included

Hotel: Mövenpick Resort, Petra

We dedicate today to the ancient city of Petra. Built from 800 CE to 100 CE by Nabatean Arabs, Petra was a fortress, carved out of craggy rocks in an area that was virtually inaccessible. In the 1st and 2nd centuries, the city reached the peak of its fame. Petra covers an area of about 40 miles, within which over 800 monuments can be found. When shipping slowly displaced caravan routes, the city’s importance gradually dwindled. It fell into disuse and was lost to the world until 1812, when it was rediscovered by the Swiss explorer, Johann Ludwig Burkhart. The Khazneh (Treasury), was featured in the popular “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” movie.

All meals included

Hotel: Mövenpick Resort, Petra

This morning we explore Al Beidha – or Little Petra – a site hidden away in the center of a mountain just north of Petra. This miniature version contains a number of notable tombs as well as a collection of stairs leading to higher viewpoints. Like Petra, it is believed the site here dates back to the 1st century and features some well-preserved structures. This afternoon, we drive out to Wadi Rum. This is Jordan’s largest valley, made famous because of its links to the writer T.E. Lawrence and its usage as a filming destination for major
motion pictures such as “Lawrence of Arabia”, “Prometheus” and “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”. Traces of prehistoric civilizations abound here in rock art, graffiti and temples. After lunch, we explore the desert in a fleet of 4x4s before settling down for the night in our wonderful “Martian” domes beneath the stars.

All meals included

Hotel: Sun City Camp, Wadi Rum

Our final full day in Jordan has arrived and we drive to the Dead Sea. On the way, we visit a women’s collective and have lunch together there. Upon arrival at the Dead Sea, we check in to our hotel and have some free time. With the highest content of minerals and salts in the world, water from the Dead Sea possesses anti-inflammatory properties, and the dark mud found on the shores has been used for therapeutic purposes for over 2,000 years. Tonight, we enjoy our final dinner together in Jordan.

All meals included

Hotel: Hilton Hotel, Dead Sea

We transfer to the Queen Alia International Airport and catch our individual flights home, or continue with onward travel.

Meals include: Breakfast

September 2 2020: Additional Info

September 2 2020: Accommodation

The elegant Four Points By Sheraton Hotel is a 4-star business hotel located in the heart of Beirut. Since 2004, it has been hosting guests in the center of Beirut.The property lies within 1.6 km from National Museum of Beirut, Hamra Street and Monot Street (nightlife). A 20-minutes walk to the center of Beirut and walking distance to ABC shopping mall. Four Points By Sheraton Hotel provides 132 guestrooms appointed with a laptop safe, satellite TV, free Wi-Fi and a living space for a pleasant stay. A fridge and coffee/tea makers as well as family bathrooms with a hairdryer, a shower or bathtub are available in each room. A buffet breakfast is offered at the Bistro Restaurant. A fine selection of fusion dishes is served at the poolside restaurant. Guests can try selected best brews in the lobby bar.

Chtaura Park Hotel is a 5 star hotel located in the heart of the Beqaa Valley and is 45 km away from the Rafic Hariri Beirut International Airport. The hotel is perfectly located with easy access to local banks, hospitals, restaurants, public transport, pharmacies, etc. It is an ideal destination for family escapes, business trips, fancy receptions, team building activities, and stunning weddings. The hotel offers ultimate comfort through 75 newly renovated rooms and suites, indoor and outdoor fine dining restaurants, Cheers Bar, meeting outlets, outdoor swimming pools, and a fitness center.

Located in the central business, social and residential destination, Amman’s new downtown, Al Abdali, Amman Rotana offers business travellers and holiday makers alike the serenity and warmth of home as well as the splendour and modern extravagance that can only be offered at Rotana. The hotel is within a 45-minute drive from Queen Alia International Airport.

Amman Rotana is the first tower hotel in Jordan offering 412 lavish rooms and suites, housed across 50 floors at 188 metres high. All rooms boast floor-to-ceiling windows offering remarkable views of the city.

This 5-star hotel is designed in a vibrant modern style providing a combination of deluxe accommodation, diverse culinary experiences, state-of-the-art meeting and event facilities including the Monarch Ballroom.

Guests with recreation in mind can enjoy their workout at Bodylines Fitness & Wellness Club or take a dip at our outdoor swimming pool.

The Mövenpick Resort Petra is located directly at the entrance to the historic Jordanian city of Petra. This resort with an oriental flair features an exciting combination of natural stone, handcrafted wood and Middle Eastern fabrics and textures.

With 183 rooms and suites plus a wide variety of restaurants for your culinary cravings, the Mövenpick Resort Petra will certainly provide long lasting memories. Enjoy your time spent in one of the world’s most extraordinary destinations.

With an à la carte and buffet restaurant, Sun City Camp is located in Wadi Rum. It features a coffee shop and a 24-hour front desk.

Tents include a dining area and a private entrance. The bathroom is fitted with a bathtub or a shower.

Other facilities offered at the property include a tour desk. An array of activities can be enjoyed on site or in the surroundings, including horse riding and hiking. There is evening entertainment.

Located in Sowayma, 8 miles from Bethany Beyond the Jordan, Hilton Dead Sea Resort & Spa features a fitness center and a private beach area.

All guest rooms feature individually controlled air-conditioning units, WiFi, satellite TV with international channels, safe, mini bar and mineral water. Some rooms include a large terrace overlooking the Dead Sea.

Redefining the culinary arts experience, Hilton Dead Sea Resort & Spa boasts seven extraordinary dining venues. Spectrum; the all-day dining restaurant, 1312; features a contemporary menu of Lebanese cuisine created by famed Chef Joe Barza, Bacchus; the pool-side Italian restaurant, VUE; the lobby lounge, Infinity; the pool bar, Beach Bar; that serves refreshments to guests enjoying their time on the beach and Sky Bar & Lounge; the seasonal roof-top lounge that serves innovative cocktails and snacks and comes alive after sunset with the beats of the resident DJ.

You will find a 24-hour front desk and a gift shop at the property.

September 2 2020: Enquiries

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