Amman, Jordan

Half-Day Private Tour to Qasr Al-Abd and Ancient Caves

(10 reviews)

One of the most interesting tours in Jordan is a half-day trip to Iraq Al-Amir to discover Qasr Al-Abd and Ancient Caves. Along your journey, you will pass by multiple unique cultural attractions including an ancient dovecote carved out of a rock and a mysterious Byzantine cave church as well as a striking Hellenistic Palace called Qasr Al-Abd which dates back over 2 thousand years ago! The stunning architecture alone makes Qasr Al-Abd worth visiting. You will also discover ancient caves, as well as the handicraft village run by women from this community where you can observe pottery-making and purchase some unique souvenirs.

Departure Location
Amman, Jordan (your hotel or residence)
Departure Time
What's Included
✓ Private luxury transfer✓ Entrance fees✓ Bottled water, soft drinks, snacks✓ Coffee/tea (on request)✓ WiFi, iPhone charger, iPad with Netflix✓ Masks and hand-sanitiser
What's Excluded
✕ Professional on-site (local) guide✕ Personal expenses✕ Lunch
Tour Checklist
✓ Comfortable shoes✓ Sun hat✓ Sunblock✓ Sunglasses

Note: We will meet you at the hotel lobby or at your residence five minutes before the scheduled departure time for an introduction and small briefing. Please be on time.

After the tour, we will drive you back to Amman and drop you off at your hotel, where we picked you up or any other location specified by you, at no additional cost.

Tour Itinerary

Amman - Iraq Al-Amir

We’ll begin with a friendly introduction, and a small tour briefing. A detour to Starbucks to pick up your favourite coffee and snacks (on request) will take place after. From there, it’s a short drive (30-40 min) from Amman to Iraq Al-Amir in a luxury car which includes WiFi, sipping coffee and enjoying your selected snacks. Water and soft drinks are provided at no extra cost. There is also an iPhone charger, headphones and you’ll have access to an iPad with an internet connection, and Netflix.

Muallaqat al-Dayr

Muallaqat al-Dayr (the monastery) is an ancient columbarium (dovecote) more than 7 meter high, divided in two chambers. Its interior displays about 800 triangular niches carved into the walls in three floors, thought to have been to accommodate doves for breeding. A stare-case has been built to reach this site easily, it won't take you more than 5-10 minutes to climb. I will give you a small introduction to the history of this place and show the best spots to take photos.

Al-Bassah Church-Cave

Al-Bassah Church. It is a large cave church - closed because of on-going excavations -, and a second church built outside right in front of it. The entrance of the cave can be identified by a facade decorated with a pediment with crosses. The site is called Mugharat al-Kaniseh (Cave of the Church) by the local community. The church outside (21 x 10 m) was built with well-cut limestone ashlars. Clearly identifiable is the apse with its two rows of seats. The floor was covered with mosaics of coloured tesserae. An inscription in old Greek was found on the mosaic floor, translated as "Jesus the saviour from the first and last". You are free to discover this place, at your own pace.

Ancient Caves

Iraq al-Amir, meaning "Caves of The Prince", is the name not only of the cave system on the northwest side of Wadi al-Seer, but of the whole area and small town in the valley. The fifteen caves in the cliff face have an easy access via stone staircases from the paved road. Six caves are on the lower level, while the nine of the upper level are connected through a 300 m long gallery, from which a spectacular panorama of the landscape can be enjoyed.

Iraq Al Amir Women's Association

Women’s Cooperative Association and Handicrafts village. The project, launched in the early 1990s by the Noor al-Hussein Foundation and the Wadi Al-Seer Community Development, trains craft skills of local women and girls, to develop income-generating opportunities. Several historical houses, renovated preserving its unique architectural heritage, host handicraft workshops where women make and sell ceramics, weavings and embroideries, clear soap and chemicals-free paper products, as well as home-made food. You you can visit and shop for hand made souvenirs here, have a coffee or lunch. Bathrooms available to the visitors.

Qasr Al-Abd

Qasr al-Abd is perhaps the best example of Hellenistic palaces in the Middle East, was built between 182 and 175 BC, on an elevated platform in the middle of an artificial lake. To reach Qasr al-Abd one had to cross a dam and access through an imposing gate. The heavily decorated two-storey stone structure (measuring about 40 metres by 20 metres, and 13 metres high) was built from some of the largest single blocks of any building in the Middle East, with the largest block measuring seven by three metres. You will be dropped off at the entrance gate to discover this amazing site at your own pace. I will give you short introduction into the history and point out some interesting details of the architecture. For photographers, I will advice the best spots to take photos.

Iraq Al-Amir - Amman

To conclude the tour, we will drive you all the way back to Amman and drop you off at your hotel, where we picked you up. No doubt after a satisfying and inspiring few hours in beautiful Iraq Al-Amir and Jordan’s most famed archaeological sites.

Photo Gallery

Additional Info

  • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Infants must sit on laps

Cancellation Policy

You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the tour for a full refund.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the tour’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the tour’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the tour’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on Jordan’s local time.

What our customers say


29 reviews

Oliver S
Our best experience in Jordan
If you are in Jordan, you must visit Hellenistic Palace and Ancient Caves. We book this tour with Alex and indeed did in in style. We learned so much about Hellenistic culture from Alex and visited some amazing ruins which we never thought existed in Jordan. I wish we had more time and gone to see more places. We highly recommend Alex for your day tours from Amman.
Written August, 2022
Aria S
A wonderful, wonderful tour!
That was one of the most beautiful castles in Jordan and I loved all the additional stops. It’s one of the best tours I had in a while. Highly recommend!
Written April, 2022
Annabel G
Fabulous Tours with Alex
Alex is a superb guide who has done extensive research in art and archeology. He really loves showing people these amazing sites and is great company.. I spent the whole day with him doing the ancient caves and Quasr-ai-Abd, both of which were fascinating and in stunning settings. Afterwards, he also drove me to see the gorgeous mosaics in Madaba and to photograph and sit by the magnificent Dead Sea, I highly recommend Alex's tours and will be signing up for other excursions with him in 2023.
Written March, 2022
Tatiana H
Best way to spend a day around Amman!
This tour is absolutely amazing and I have to recommend it to anyone who has even a little bit of time in Amman! I only had one full day to spend in Amman and I feel like this was the best way to spend it. I deeply enjoyed all of the unique and beautiful sites Alex showed me and I had an unforgettable experience. Alex, the tour guide, is very friendly and has a lot of insight into all of the hidden caves and coves around Amman. This is probably one of the most personable and fun tours I’ve ever been on, and I’m thankful to Alex for being such a great guide! Please do yourself a favour and take this tour!
Written March, 2022
Alexander F
Amazing tour, beyond our expectations
Excellent tour, very informative and enjoyable. Alex took us on Range Rover to the caves and castle as well as other places. The caves were very interesting to discover and the castle is truly amazing. We had coffee and the workshop and were dropped at the restaurant on the way back. Alex is very polite and flexible. I would highly recommend him for all tours in Jordan.
Written December, 2021
Nicole P
Amazing day just outside of Amman
We had a great time with Alex. I highly recommend this tour to everyone who has a few extra hours in Amman. He took us to places, which we wouldn't have found without him. Thanks again for having us.
Written October, 2021

from $103 (73 JOD)

Fixed price per group (1-3 travellers)

Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance

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Tour Price: $103 (73 JOD)
Tour Price: $103 (73 JOD)
Tour Price: $103 (73 JOD)

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