Your Holiday Essentials
This tour has it all! It has a fascinating subject in the shape of Thomas Edward Lawrence - a 26 year old postgraduate researcher at Oxford, sent to Arabia in 1916 to work in the nascent Arab bureau as an observer and liaison point to Prince Faisal - and the rest, as they say, is history. This tour takes us to a seemingly un-ending series of dramatic and exotic locations. And all this in the company of one of the leading experts in the subject who, in the course of a fascinating week will not only follow the fortunes of Lawrence of Arabia but also introduce us to the desert and the dramatic Wadi Rum, the incomparable rock hewn city of Petra, the Dead Sea and the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Crusader Castle at Kerak and the wonderfully preserved Roman remains at Jerash. History, architecture, archaeology - all in one tour - a truly exciting cultural experience!
Initially dismissed by critics as a sideshow, the Arab Revolt was one of the most successful campaigns of the First World War. Conceived and plotted by the Arab Bureau, a branch of British Military Intelligence, from their rooms in Cairo’s Savoy Hotel, Lawrence and his colleagues brought the idea of a Bedouin uprising to life. Between 1916 and 1918, the Arab Revolt wrought havoc and destruction upon Ottoman-Turkish forces, from the deserts of Arabia to the gates of Damascus. Subsequently called “the first modern intelligence war,” the Arab Revolt is the perfect example of what we might today call asymmetric warfare. Using guerrilla tactics and superior knowledge of geography and tribal alliances, the irregular Bedouin forces, supported by Lawrence, secured numerous dramatic victories – and kept tens of thousands of enemy troops running in circles trying to find them – until their eventual, triumphant entry into Damascus.
- With historian and desert explorer Eamonn Gearon
- Aqaba, Wadi Rum, Petra, Dead Sea, Jerash, Amman
- Epic tour following an epic historic and cultural story
- Far more than 'just' a battlefield tour
"We felt it a privilege to benefit from Eamonn's knowledge, experience and scholarship."
Day 1 – Depart.
Fly London to Amman, and check-in to our hotel for two nights.
Day 2 – Amman.
A full day exploring Jordan’s capital including its Roman Theatre, Odeon and the Archaeological Museum with its examples of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Day 3 - Kerak.
Transfer to Aqaba, stopping to view the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth where you might choose to float on the Sea’s famous healing waters. After lunch we visit the dominating Crusader castle at Kerak which most impressed Lawrence the architecture undergraduate prior to WW1. On to Aqaba for two nights.
Day 4 – Aqaba and Wadi Rum.
Visit the archaeological and Arab Revolt museums in Aqaba and explore the battle site, also known as Aqaba Castle. Then on to Wadi Rum, the multi-coloured gorge that Lawrence and the Arab troops operated from throughout 1917 and from where they launched their attack on Aqaba. The wadi was widely used by David Lean for the epic 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia, with sites including Lawrence Springs and Lawrence House.
Day 5 - Petra.
A full day to explore the wonders of Petra, the incomparable capital of the Nabatean Empire, known throughout the ancient world for the wonders of its architecture and innovative means of moving water across the city. Lawrence visited Petra before and during the war and was captivated by the beauty of the rock-hewn Treasury, the Royal Tombs, Qsar al-Binty and the Temple of the Winged Lion, all of which we will visit. Overnight Petra.
Day 6 - Azraq, and the Hijaz Railway.
It was at Azrak with its castle that Lawrence based his operations for much of the Arab revolt. During our travels we will also pass the Hijaz Railway with its abandoned stations, track and rolling stock still extant after 100 years.
Day 7 – Jerash.
We explore the magnificently situated Jerash, one of the best-preserved Roman sites in the world. Free time in Amman.
Day 8 – Depart.
Fly Amman to London.
Recommended Reading List
- A Prince of Our Disorder: The Life of TE Lawrence
- Hero: The Life & Legend of Lawrence of Arabia
- Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East
- Setting the Desert on Fire: T.E. Lawrence and Britain's Secret War in Arabia, 1916-18
- Seven Pillars of Wisdom (Classics of World Literature)
- The Arab Bureau: British Policy in the Middle East, 1916-1920
- The Fall of the Ottomans: The Great War in the Middle East
- With Lawrence in Arabia
Your Holiday Essentials
Read our Lawrence of Arabia Tour Report here