After pickup from your Dead Sea hotel, relax into your private, air-conditioned vehicle with your driver, and journey to the ancient site of Umm Qais in northern Jordan.
On route, travel through the rugged interior, taking in the passing countryside, towns, and villages. Your driver will point out places of interest but will not act as your guide at Umm Qais.
On arrival at Umm Qais, make your way to the hillside archaeological site, home to the ruins of Gadara, an ancient city that was one of the Roman Decapolis league. Meet a local guide and set out to explore, stopping to admire the views of the north Jordan valley, Golan Heights, and Sea of Galilee as you go.
Stroll around the ruins, some built in black basalt and mingled with the remains of an abandoned Ottoman-era village, as your guide shares tales of Gadara’s 2nd-century golden age.
Stride along the Decumanus, one of the still-paved streets, and admire the black-rock, restored West Theatre, unusual for facing west rather than north. Learn how it seated around 3,000, and inspect the 6th-century Byzantine Basilica, seeing its octagonal interior with its altar space and columns, and the remains of what were shops underneath.
Continue along the main Cardomaximo street, learning how it travels east-west rather than in the usual north-south direction. Look for marks of long-ago chariot wheels, and admire other must-sees such as the city gateway, arches, temples, and more.
Round things off at the Umm Qais Museum, housed in the former, restored Ottoman governor’s residence. View the impressive artifacts here, including statues, mosaics, and other relics excavated from the site.
With your explorations over, reconvene with your vehicle and relax on your ride back to the Dead Sea, where your trip finishes with a hotel drop-off.