wadi rum desert ultimate jordan road trip itinerary

Middle East Treasures: The Ultimate Jordan Road Trip Itinerary

From the extra-terrestrial landscapes of the Wadi Rum desert to the mesmerizing waters of the Red Sea. Jordan is full of surprises and rich in experiences. Come join us on an amazing adventure. Our travel guide to your Jordan road trip is based on a 7-day itinerary. It’s a see-it-all journey alternating trekking, cultural discoveries, and relaxing sunbath days.

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Table of Content

Best time for your Jordan Road Trip

Surprisingly in Jordan during Winter, the temperatures go very low, and it also snows! But most important the main cultural sites close their doors (Petra, Wadi Rum, etc…).

The high season to visit Jordan goes from April to May and from September to October. But since Jordan is a very touristy destination, you may consider traveling during summer. The temperatures are high but it’s windy and if you stay hydrated and covered with hats, scarves, and umbrellas you won’t have problems.

Documents and currency

If you have a European or North American passport, there aren’t particular restrictions for entering Jordan. In fact, you can buy the visa upon your arrival at Queen Alia International Airport, or if you’re staying 3 nights or more you can reserve the Jordan Pass online. In this case, It will be valid as a visa, and it also grants free access to over 40 tourist attractions.

The Jordan dinar is the local currency since 1950. Currently, it’s stronger than the euro. 10 JD converts in 15 € approximately, 50 JD in 70 € and 100 JD in 140 €. Keep that in mind when shopping. You can exchange money directly at the airport but it’s cheaper to do it in Amman.

Also, you can use credit cards almost everywhere, and the commission rates are very low. But remember to check the commissions rates with your bank.

My advice is to don’t take a large amount of money. Use the card for restaurants instead and keep the cash only for souvenirs and tips. That’s also very important because the guides and drivers will expect extra tips.

amman bazar ultimate jordan road trip itinerary

Day 1: Jerash and Ajloun castle

Situated in the North of Jordan and one hour from the capital Amman, Jerash is one of the most well-preserved sites of Roman architecture outside Italy. Wander among the ruins of ancient buildings such as the two theatres, the many markets, and temples.

One of the main surprises the site reserves for its visitors is the Christian church which has a beautiful mosaic floor. Book a guided tour for a few dinars it’s absolutely worth to enjoy all the hidden details of this magnificent archaeological site.

Before heading back to Amman stop by the beautiful Ajloun castle. The castle was an ancient byzantine monastery until its renovation in the 12th century. Dominating three different valleys the castle’s strategic position made it impregnable for centuries. Inside the fortress walls two rooms host a small permanent exhibition of objects coming from the area.

Not willing to drive? Check out this tour from Amman to Jerash and Ajloun Castle or Umm Qais. Note the tour doesn’t include the guide inside Jerash that you can book for about 5 JD.

jerash ultimate jordan road trip itinerary

Day 2: Mount Nebo, the King’s Road, and Kerak castle

Mount Nebo is the Biblical place where God showed Moses the Promised Land. On a very clear day, the landscape is impressive, you can see Jericho and Jerusalem. The church has also a small yet very interesting museum.

You can also admire a beautiful modern statue of the Brazen Serpent that towers in front of the entrance showing the Promised Land. Beautiful and colored mosaics that are very well preserved, decorate the interior of the church.

Once you’ve left Nebo you can continue the road to Petra on the modern and faster highway. Or (If you’re a #magicallandscapes lover) take one of the world’s most scenic routes: the King’s Road.

This ancient road was once the passage for the Nabateans moving through the region. Today it’s mostly crossed by tourists and the inhabitants of the area. You can stop at two panoramic points each on one side of the valley. We also stopped for tea at Sami’s house. Situated on a cliff, his terrace has a breathtaking view of the wadi.

The last stop before reaching the Rose City is Kerak castle. This large complex is one of the largest in the Middle East. It was strategically built on the crossroad between Egypt, Damascus, and Mecca. With narrow hallways and steep stairs, Kerak castle is a paradise for explorers. We climbed in some passages that were enlightened only by our phone’s torches. But don’t forget to be careful as protections like barriers and panels are almost absent.

Day 3: Exploring Petra

There is a reason if on the Jordan Pass you can book up to three days in Petra: the place is HUUUUGE. In fact, Petra archaeological site isn’t only the famous treasury palace. The monastery, the Necropolis, the Byzantine Church, and Temple are all part of the finds of this ancient city only to name a few.

One day isn’t enough to explore it all, and in my complete Petra travel guide you can see why. But if you really have no choice you should go for two main attractions: the treasury and the monastery.

Before going, just note that the trek to reach the monastery is hard and it will take you about three hours to go on top and come down again. But once on top, the view is absolutely worth it and maybe even more impressive than the treasury.

When you first arrive, you have the feeling that the monastery was built from the ground instead of being carved into the mountain. That’s because contrarily to the other buildings it comes out from the mountain instead of being set in it. Also, while going to the monastery stop by the royal tombs and enjoy the view of the city and the temple.

Would you like to know more about the highlights in Petra? Check out my 5 MUST-see when in Petra.

petra ad deir the monastery
The Monastery

Day 4: Wadi Rum desert

The red desert of Wadi Rum is a reserve you can access only after buying a ticket or the above-mentioned Jordan Pass. Even if It’s very touristy and you’ll spot many Bedouin camps the place has preserved the incredible charm of past times.

Book a jeep tour among the dunes. You can either book it before your arrival or contact the camp you are staying in to see if they have them. It’s an exciting experience to enjoy the dunes exploration, do sand board or observe the ancient petroglyphs that witness 10.000 years of life in the desert.

You may choose between 3 different formulas: 8 hours (this tour includes also the night stay), 5 hours (check out this tour with a night in the camp), or 2 hours. Regardless of the duration you choose, you’ll end the tour at sunset from one of the panoramic points. Note that the tour is very funny but also tiring. It’s like a rodeo in the back of the pickup!

The traditional dinner is cooked by the sun’s heat in holes in the sand. Once the lunch is over you can stargaze the sky. If you’re interested in this don’t forget to check the lunar calendar before booking your stay. The moonlight may be a source of pollution especially if you want to take pictures or observe the milky way.

What to wear in Wadi Rum?

The nights in the desert may be cold, especially in April/October. When packing, don’t forget to bring at least a warm garment for the evening.

Are you interested in exploring the Wadi Rum desert? In this travel guide you will learn everything you need to know before going.

wadi rum desert ultimate jordan road trip itinerary

Day 5: Aqaba and the Red Sea

On the 5th day leave the desert’s heat to go sunbath in the Red Sea. Aqaba is the only coastal city of Jordan and one of the largest ports in the Red Sea. It serves the 4 different states you can spot from the gulf: Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia.

To enjoy the beautiful barrier reef and sunny beaches, you can go south a few minutes from Aqaba and next to the Saudi Arabian borders, that’s were the best hotels are. You can also book a daily cruise to do snorkeling or scuba diving, explore Aqaba’s fort and city center, or go dune exploring on a quad.

We had the chance to be the first tourists to try the Sea Trek. Equipped with a diving helmet you go trek under the sea at the private coral reef of Luxotel Aquaba. It’s a great way to discover the underwater world and you don’t need to know how to swim to enjoy it!

Wanna splurge during your stay in Aqaba? Check out the best Luxury Hotels in Aqaba!

aqaba tala bay area ultimate jordan road trip itinerary

Day 6: Relax at the Dead Sea

The dead sea is like no other. It’s surprising to see a large sea with absolutely no life or human sign. The salinity of its waters makes it impossible to navigate for boats. The salt will also make you float when you’re bathing and that’s a very funny experience. I’ve personally read a few pages of a book while I was floating.

Just be careful while bathing in these waters, if you splash water into your eyes the salt will burn them (it’s a very painful experience!). It’s also preferable to avoid baths if you have cuts because the salt may cause pain.

The Dead Sea mud and waters are well known for spa treatments. The resorts on the Dead Sea usually have private access to the beach and they place buckets full of mud on the shore so that you can alternate salt baths and mud treatments.

Check out the best Dead Sea resorts for your stay.

dead sea jordan side ultimate jordan road trip itinerary

Day 7: Visiting Amman citadel and downtown

Amman is Jordan’s capital and the largest city in the Levant region with over 4 million inhabitants. Nowadays a megalopolis Amman has been colonized by some of the greatest civilizations during time. That stratification is clearly visible in the Citadel.

Roman, Byzantine, and Umayyad remain of buildings can be visited while wandering in the open-air museum. Since 1951 the Citadel hosts the Jordan Archaeological Museum, which collects finds collected all over Jordan coming mainly from Jerash and Petra.

Before ending our road trip indulge in the colorful Rainbow Street. Where you can sip tea or have lunch before heading back to the airport. And fill your luggage with souvenirs from Downtown. This area is full of Bazars and beautiful murals.

But what is surprising, is the way areas are arranged. Shops are divided following their type in specific areas. Do you need spices? Go to the apothecary district. Are you looking for jewelry? There is a full street sparkling with gold and silver shops. And how not to mention the clothing area? Both for men and women. Must be difficult to have a monopoly!

Are you ready for the ULTIMATE Jordan Road Trip Itinerary?

Follow the ultimate Jordan road trip itinerary to live an extraordinary adventure filled with rich history, stunning landscapes, and unforgettable experiences! From the ancient ruins of Petra to the vibrant markets of Amman, this captivating journey will leave you with everlasting memories of this colorful country.

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