Challenge level: 3 out of 5
|17 October - 24 October 2020||On Sale|
Ladies, step up for your favourite charities and join us for a once-in-a-lifetime challenge across the Jordan Desert, from the beautiful Dead Sea to the ancient, hidden city of Petra. Trekking from one iconic World Heritage Site to another with our Bedouin guides, we’ll discover the local culture and legends of this unspoiled landscape, while getting fit and making new friends.
By day, we’ll make our way along ancient trails through awesome mountains, valleys and vast, barren expanses and past stunning canyons and waterfalls. The terrain may be tough, but the incredible panoramas are more than worth the work out! By night, we’ll rest in Bedouin camps and choose to sleep in tents or under a sky full of more stars you have ever seen in your life.
This women-only challenge ends with a day exploring Petra and gaining brilliant insight into the city’s fascinating history, carved into the desert mountains.
Our Jordan Desert Trek is phenomenally popular and sells out very quickly every year. Not only do we have an incredible trekking leader with an abundance of experience and insight into the desert; but we also have two doctors accompanying us for the entire challenge, along with friendly Bedouins, porters and a group of challenge guides.
Read up on what you can expect from this challenge and check out our fab interview with our Desert Guru here.
Places for our Step by Step challenge will go faster than shooting stars, so please register soon to avoid deserting yourself from this life changing opportunity.
Worried about fundraising? Don’t be…
This trek is an Open Challenge – this means you have the option to self fund your participation and there is no minimum fundraising requirement. You are, of course, more than welcome to commit to a minimum sponsorship target instead and fundraise for a charity, hospice or animal sanctuary of your choice; but it's completely up to you.
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Our adventure begins when we meet at the airport in London to catch our flight to Amman, the capital of Jordan and perhaps one of the most modernised Arab cities. Once we touch down, our challenge leader greets us at the airport and we have a short coach transfer to our hotel by the shores of the Dead Sea. You may have heard of the Dead Sea’s amazing skin-healing properties due to its high concentration of precious natural minerals; but did you know that it isn’t actually a sea at all but a massive salt lake, nearly ten times as salty as the ocean? It’s also the lowest place on our planet, at 410m below sea level and fast receding, due to climate change.
We wake today for a free morning at the Dead Sea, which gives us a perfect chance to check out how salty it actually is! The lake is said to have 300% more magnesium, calcium, sodium, bromide and potassium than all the oceans and seas on Earth and it’s very difficult to swim in it – you’ll find your whole body will just float on top. In the afternoon, we have a beautiful coach transfer along the shore of the Dead Sea, past pretty waterfalls and canyons, until we reach our start at the wonderful Wadi Araba. This ancient valley connects the Dead Sea with the Red Sea and from here, we ease ourselves into the challenge with a gentle trek and feel the vastness of the land for the first time. Passing a number of Bedouin camps, we hike on until we reach our own in Feynan, close to the biblical Feynan copper mines, in the heart of the desert valley.
Warmed up from yesterday, our challenge hikes up now and today we enter the desert’s Black Mountains, trekking from our camp at 200m in the low-lying valley floor to Faron, which sits in the mountains at 1,350m. Following ancient canyon trails, we’ll trek across a range of rock formations and through wild Bedouin country, with a few glimpses over the Wadi Araba border area. Once we reach the ancient Roman copper smelting site of Umm el Amad, we’ll know we’ve reached our half-way point. From here, we step into a stunning landscape of beautiful, white sandstone domes, dotted with patches of Juniper trees, the last sign of the ancient Juniper forests that once covered the area. Climbing higher through the mountains, we gain more insight into the Bedouin lifestyle, passing several camps and finally stopping for the night when we reach our own camp at Faron.
Our third day walking keeps us on higher ground and our terrain changes again as we follow donkey trails though vast and rugged land, barren but beautiful. Along the way, we’ll catch glimpses of the Crusader fortress at Shaubak that towers over the desert and after a long day’s trek, we’ll eventually reach Um Ellada and rest once again beneath a mind-blowing canvas of stars, unspoiled by light pollution.
Trekking across highland desert, our first few hours takes us to Little Petra (aka Beidah), an awesome archaeological site, which is believed to have once been a fortified roadside resting place of the Nabataean capital. Little Petra gives us a great feel for what awaits us in Petra and as we trek into the hidden valley, we’re treated to amazing views of white sandstone domes and an archaeological wonderland. We then trek along the awesome sandstone rocks in the afternoon and end our day at Moseera for a final night camping in the desert.
Rise and shine to our last day of walking! Today, we enter the World Heritage Site of Petra. This ancient, hidden city is one of the Seven Wonders of the World - and so it should be! We use the eastern approach to enter, close to the ancient monastery, a fascinating monument carved from one massive rock. From this ridge, we have the staggering views of the valleys beneath – plus we’re using a quieter entrance, avoiding the crowds. We now have the brilliant opportunity to explore the site and visit Petra’s historic landmarks, taking in the ancient monastery, treasury and library. Rejuvenated from our walking tour, we leave Petra through the famous 1,200m-long canyon, a crack in the towering cliff and trek our last stretch to our finishing point in the town of Wadi Musa.
Our last day in Jordan is free for us to enjoy as we wish, either revisiting the enchanting city of Petra or taking an optional tour to the beautiful Wadi Rum*, famously described as “The Seven Pillars Of Wisdom” by Lawrence of Arabia.
In the evening, we celebrate with a wonderful last meal together at a local restaurant and wake on Day 8 for our coach transfer to the airport. From here, we catch our flight back to the UK.
A note for those of you opting for the Wadi Rum tour:
*Please note that the optional tour isn’t included in your challenge cost, so you’ll need to budget for it if you choose to partake
The Wadi Rum tours are run by Bedouin cooperatives; they are the only people allowed to work within this nature reserve.
The vehicles are owned and maintained by the local tribes. They are usually open top, flat-bed pick-up trucks with bench seating (no seat belts).
They don’t race across the desert and generally stay in convoy. The vehicles are road worthy and well maintained but not particularly comfortable and you are exposed to the elements – see the photo below. The tour manager will give a full safety briefing before the group embark.
Pay a non-refundable registration fee and then commit to fundraising the minimum sponsorship target for a charity, hospice or animal sanctuary of your choice.
Minimum sponsorship target
Pay the challenge costs yourself and choose to fundraise or donate as much as you can for a charity, hospice or animal sanctuary of your choice.
Pay the challenge costs yourself.
This challenge is not designed for Olympic athletes – it is designed for people looking for an amazing goal to train and get fit for. A number of the people who will take part in this challenge will have a low fitness level when they sign up. This challenge is the perfect motivation to get fit and have an experience of a lifetime, while supporting the cause that means the most to you.
Please don't be! The majority of people will sign up on their own and our Dream Challenges are renowned for the amazing camaraderie and life long friendships made as our groups take on these incredible feats together.
Once you've signed up for the challenge, we'll send you a link to a private Facebook group for everyone registered for the Step by Step Jordan Desert Trek 2020. Please feel free to use this space to swap questions, advice and updates with your fellow trekkers on your training and fundraising. You may also want to reach out to the other participants in this group to see if there's anyone in your local area you can meet up to train and fundraise with.
Absolutely not! One of the amazing things about the challenge is that women of all ages will come together to do something very special. Everyone who is at least 18 years old by the challenge date is more than welcome to join this awesome Step by Step challenge.
You will of course need a pair of walking boots and you'll also need to bring your own sleeping bag (medium weight). We will supply you with a comprehensive list of everything you will need to take on the challenge well before your departure date.
On the trekking days, we'll be spending the nights camping in the desert. You can choose to sleep in the tents we provide or most of our challengers choose to sleep under the stars. On our first, sixth and seventh nights, we'll be staying in hotels. The hotel near the Dead Sea is luxurious, the one in Petra more modest but certainly adequate. It will feel like a 5-star hotel after 5 nights under the stars!
Yes of course! If you wish to extend your stay you will need to come out of our group flights (and of course we would deduct the cost from your balance). Please let us know as soon as possible if you decide to do this by emailing us at email@example.com
In addition to paying your registration fee and your challenge costs if you choose to self fund instead of committing to a minimum sponsorship target, you will need to budget for your airport taxes and the fuel surcharge (approx. £300 but subject to change) and any optional tours you choose to participate in. You will also need to budget for your personal travel insurance, gratuities, optional tours and personal expenses.
You will need to take out your own personal travel insurance covering health, accident, loss and repatriation. Dream Challenges has a recommended policy that provides appropriate cover for this type of activity. We will send you the details once you have registered. You can however take out your own insurance providing it covers you for a charity trek in Jordan. You will be required to obtain a tourist visa for entry into Jordan, we will send you all the relevant information and forms to do this before the challenge.
The Dream Challenges team are here to help you achieve your challenge and we'll support you all the way. We are on hand from the minute you sign up to answer any questions that you may have about your training or the challenge itself. Once you have registered, we will send you a realistic training programme to help you get fit for the event. The programme builds up gradually as the challenge gets closer.
We also have fantastic challenge guides, a group of porters and two doctors accompanying us throughout the challenge.
Step by Step is a women-only challenge; so we're afraid men won't be able to take part in this one. Most of our challenge are open to both men and women, though, so please take a look at our other treks and cycles as you'll be sure to find your Dream Challenge.
As we're not medically trained, we're afraid we can't offer you advice on this. We recommend you contact your GP or your local travel clinic, who will have the latest travel health advice.
We also recommend you visit the NHS Fit for Travel website here, to keep up to date with current travel health news and advice on staying healthy abroad.
NHS Fit for Travel website: https://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/home