Travel with PQA founders Mirjam Evers and Najat Naba, a fluent Arabic speaker, as we take an in-depth Photo Quest back in time to the ancient worlds of Jordan and Lebanon. Jordan is a photographer’s delight, rich in spectacular landscapes and historic sites. All locations are a true photographer’s dream come true.
Starting in Amman, explore the city highlights and photograph the Greco-Roman ruins of Jerash. Moving on to Petra, you'll have time to thoroughly explore the ancient city both by daylight and lit by candle light. Shoot the magical stars, ridie a camel with local Bedouins, capture the stunning mystic landscapes of Wadi Rum from a hot air balloon, while sleeping in 5 star luxury tents,. End the adventure floating weightlessly on the water of the Dead Sea before moving on to Beirut if you opt for the extension.
All throughout our journey, you will enjoy top-level photographic instruction. From an abundance of opportunities for travel and landscape images, to long exposure and night photography to daily lessons and review sessions that will captivate your mind and entice your senses to create once-in-a lifetime memories and images!
November 1 - Depart USA
Depart on your flight from the USA to Amman, Jordan
November 2 - Arrive Amman, Jordan
Transfer directly to your hotel in Amman. You will have a welcome dinner at a local restaurant where you will enjoy the delicious traditional Jordanian dinner. Overnight Kempinksy Hotel, Amman. (D)
November 3 - Amman-Jerash-Ajloun -Um Qais
After breakfast head north to photograph Jerash, one of the most important and best preserved Roman cities in the Middle East. We will spend time exploring and photographing this stunning location. Then on to Ajloun and visit the castle, dominating the Ajloun skyline and built to ward off the Crusader armies at the key trade and pilgrimage intersection between Jerusalem, Cairo, Damascus and Mecca.
Drive to the northern tip of Jordan and savor the beauty of Umm Qais, the Greek and Roman city overlooking the Jordan valley and the Sea of Galilee. Overnight Kempinksy Hotel, Amman. (B,L)
November 4 - Amman -Petra
Early morning, head out to the old city of Amman to photograph the Temple of Hercules, a Byzantine church, the Umayyad Palace and the Roman Theatre, two of the most popular archaeological sites in the city.
Afterwards drive to the Nabatean Red Rose city of Petra, one of the 7 world wonders and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Enter the city through the long narrow gorge called the Siq, which is flanked either side by 80m high cliffs! Photograph the dazzling colors and rock formations. The site is massive, and contains hundreds of elaborated rock-cut tombs, a treasury, Roman-style theatres, temples, sacrificial altars and colonnaded streets. Dinner and overnight at Petra Marriott Hotel. (B,D)
November 5 - Petra by night
Full day to discover Petra's canyons and the grand library and the archaeological sites. Great photo opportunities of Bedouins, camels and horse driven carriages racing through the canyons to the hidden treasure of the magnificent rock-cut architecture of the library. Take a stroll down the Street of Facades, a row of forty houses and easily accessible tombs with ornately carved exteriors, or hike up to the High Place of Sacrifice, where you can get an up-close look at its famous obelisks and sacrificial platform - all while surrounded by panoramic views of the rocky desert below.
You might also trek (or take a donkey ride!) up the 800 steps to The Monastery, a gigantic mountaintop temple. On the way, you’ll pass Qattar ad-Dayr, a pleasant, oasis-like grotto where water always flows, and the Hermitage, a pinnacle carved with decorative crosses. The Monastery itself is the largest monument in Petra. Tonight we will photograph Petra by night. Overnight at Petra Marriott Hotel. (B,D)
November 6 - Petra-Wadi Rum
After your visit to Petra you will drive to Wadi Rum & enjoy the wilderness adventure of a 4×4 3-hour Jeep tour. In Wadi Rum you will marvel at the sunset and gaze at the stars in the night sky, while enjoying the legendary hospitality of the Bedouin. You will have the chance to work on photographing the sunset, sunrise amazing night photography and landscape images. Overnight at the 5 star "Martian tents" at Sun City Camp (B,L,D)
November 7 - Wadi Rum-Hot Air Balloon
Early morning hot air balloon ride( weather permitting) in Wadi Rum, nicknamed the Valley of the Moon, which is made up of sandstone and granite rock surrounded by endless desert. Our balloon ride is not only adventurous, but allows for magnificent landscape photo opportunities. We will end the evening with more long exposure photography by learning how to photograph star trails. Overnight at the 5 star "Martian tents" at Sun City Camp (B,L,D)
November 8 - Wadi Rum-Dead Sea, Jordan
After lunch at a local restaurant, transfer to our relaxing 5 star Dead Sea resort. (B, L)
November 9 - Amman, Jordan back to the USA
Transfer to the airport for your departure back to the USA. The transfer is included from the Dead Sea to the Queen Alia International Airport in Amman and takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Allow a minimum of 3 hours for int lfight check-in. If you are joining us to Lebanon for the next 6 nights, we will fly as a group to Beirut, Lebanon.
Itinerary is subject to change.
November 9 - Arrive Beirut, Lebanon
Transfer directly to your hotel in Beirut. You will have a welcome dinner where you will enjoy the delicious traditional Lebanese food. Overnight at Lancaster Plaza Hotel, Beirut for the next 5 nights.(D)
November 10 - Beirut, Byblos - Harissa by Cable car
After breakfast Visit Byblos the world’s oldest continually inhabited city; nowadays its charming Phoenician harbor and the rich archaeological and historical heritage make Byblos the most enchanting place to visit in Lebanon. Discover Harissa by cable car and photograph from the top of the Basilica the most beautiful bay in the Middle East After lunch photograph the city of Beirut, a city of contrasts. Beautiful architecture, small houses nestle in the shadow of tall modern buildings. You will visit downtown, the corniche, the pigeon grotto and Beirut Souks. (B)
November 11 - Cedars - Qadisha Valley - Bnachii Lake
After breakfast visit Cedars, the Ski resort and the small grove of trees, which stand at an altitude of 2000m. Today a few of the original groves are the remnant of an extensive forest which once covered the Mount- Lebanon range. The Lebanese Cedars (Cedrus Libani) the most famous Cedars species, mentioned in the Old Testament is the country’s national symbol.
Proceed to visit the Qadisha Valley also known as the Holy valley where the early Maronite community established itself. The valley, classified, as world heritage site by UNESCO, is steep-sided with springs, waterfalls and dotted with ancient monasteries and churches all that makes it an ideal place for photography. In the afternoon, visit the Bnachii Lake, located not far from Zgharta north Lebanon. (B)
November 12 - Baalback - Ksara – Anjar
Drive to Baalbeck, also called Heliopolis or “the City of the Sun” by the Greeks and Romans, who dedicated the main temple to Jupiter the god of the sun and two other temples to Venus and Mercure, Jupiter’s partners in the triad of god. This site is the best preserved of any temple complex in the Middle East. It’s building still largely intact and survived wars, earthquakes and ravages of the time. Baalbeck is undoubtedly one of the greatest places to photograph in Lebanon.
Proceed to Ksara caves dated from the Roman period. The Jesuits enlarge the domain in the beginning of the 20th century.
Continue to visit Anjar the only significant Umayyad site in Lebanon, founded in the 8th century by the Caliph Walid after a Roman city- plan. Its palaces, baths and mosques make us believe that it was an Imperial residence.
November 13- Baatara Gorge water fall in Tannourine – Laqlouq
The Baatara gorge sinkhole (Balaa gorge waterfall) is a waterfall in the Tannourine, Lebanon near Balaa. The waterfall drops 255 meters (837 ft) into the Baatara Pothole, a cave of Jurassic limestone. The cave is also known as the cave of the three Bridges.
November 15-Departure back to the USA from Beirut, Lebanon
Transfer to the airport for your flights back.
Mirjam is a New York City based travel photographer specializing in international environmental portraiture, landscape photography and adventure images. Born and raised in the Netherlands, she has photographed in more than 75 countries, including many of the most exotic places in the world. Mirjam's photographs are indicative of her unique capacity to personally connect with diverse cultures and communities. Her eye for location lighting is highly stylized and works to illustrate and heighten the unique characteristics of each international locale. She is able to transcend cultural and language barriers with an intangible spirit that is conveyed in every image. Her work has appeared in AFAR, The New York Times, AARP, Outdoor Photographer, PDN, American Photo, Popular Photography, Digital Photo, Departures, MSN Travel.
Born in Brazil, Najat grew up in between the mountains of Lebanon and the skyscrapers of New York. Her diverse upbringing helped shape her desire to travel the world. Leading workshops, she has introduced many groups to photography while still exploring the cultures and diversity of the more than 40 countries she's visited. Her gift for languages (she speaks Arabic, Spanish and English fluently and a bit of Dutch and Portuguese) has enabled her to put people at ease through out her travels. She enjoys the opportunity that workshops give her to meet different types of people and introduce them to the beauty and marvel of the world. A huge believer in giving back, she is dedicated to supporting local charities throughout her travels. Her work has appeared in NY Times Magazine, American Photo, Financial Times, Interior Design, Popular Photography, The Editor at Large, HGTC.com, Trail of Inspiration.com, mocoloco.com and Oprah.com.
Officially called the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Jordan is a country located on the east bank of the River Jordan. Almost half of Jordan is covered by the Arabian Desert. A safe haven in a region of conflict, Jordan has delighted visitors for centuries with its World Heritage Sites, friendly towns and inspiring desert landscapes.
Arabic is the official language of Jordan. English is widely spoken throughout the country; it functions as the de facto language of commerce and banking, and is also used for education purposes.
The best season is from October through May when the temperature is comfortable in the daytime, and cool or even cold at night.
·Bring materials that breathe; wear layers that can be taken off during the heat of the day and put back on for cool evenings. Conservative clothing such as lightweight pants, loose shorts, long skirts or trousers and at least short-sleeved shirts are recommended for both sexes when sightseeing in towns. Long, loose Bermuda-style shorts are acceptable for both sexes, but women may feel more comfortable in a skirt or long trousers. Formal clothing is not necessary.Women should pack a scarf large enough to cover bare neck and shoulders. Pack a swimming suit.
Jordan’s unit of currency is the Jordanian Dinar. Israel’s unit of currency is the Shekel. Exchange money only at authorized outlets such as currency exchange kiosks, banks and hotels. Only exchange what you feel you will need while visiting.
Tips are not included in your bill and the normal rate for tipping is 10% of the total bill.
In order to enter Jordan as a citizen of the United States, you will need:
A signed, valid passport. Your passport must remain valid for at least 6 months beyond the completion of your trip. It is also imperative that your passport has enough blank visa pages available for entry and exit stamps. Visa fees are (approximately USD $$60) and are due upon arrival in Jordan.
No vaccinations are currently needed for visitors. During your stay, it is preferable to drink only bottled water and to avoid eating from street stalls.
Be careful of the sun, which can often feel cooler than it really is due to the cool breezes and lack of humidity. Drink plenty of water when staying outside during the day.
Jordan is 7 hours ahead of New York (EST).
All appliances require a double round pin type plug for 220 volts AC, 50- hertz.
Computer / Digital Accessories
$6400 based on double occupancy. Single supplement is an additional $1650.
PQA will try to match you with a roommate if you do not opt for a single supplement. However, if a roommate is not available, you will be charged the additional single supplement fee.
If you only want to do the Jordan portion, please email us.
Limited to 12 participants.
We highly recommend that you purchase travel insurance.