Jordan Road Trip

The Complete Guide to a Jordan Road Trip

From the extra-terrestrial landscapes of Wadi Rum desert to the mesmerising waters of the Red Sea. Jordan is full of surprises and rich of 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 discovers and relaxing sunbath days.

Best time for your Jordan Road Trip

Surprisingly during Winter, the temperatures go very low, it also snows! And 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 has become a very touristy destination, you may consider travelling during summer. The temperatures are high but it’s windy and if you stay hydrated and cover with hats, scarfs and umbrellas you won’t have problems.

Documents and currency

If you’ve a European or North American passport you won’t have any particular restriction entering Jordan. In fact, you can buy the visa upon your arriving 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 touristic 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 doing shopping. You can exchange money directly at the airport but it’s cheaper to do it in Amman. Also, almost everywhere the credit card is accepted, and the commission rates are very low. My advice is 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.

Jordan Road Trip

Day 1 : Jerash and Ajlun 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. Wonder among the ruins of ancient buildings such as the two theatres, the many markets and temples. One of the main surprises the site reserves to its visitors is the Christian church that has a beautiful mosaic floor. Book a guided tour for a few dinars it’s absolutely worth for enjoying all the hidden details of this magnificent archaeological site.

Before heading back to Amman have a stop by the beautiful Ajlun castle. The castle was rebuilt in the 12th century on the ruins of an ancient byzantine monastery. Dominating three different valleys it was situated in a strategical position that made it impregnable. The castle has two rooms that hosts a small permanent exhibition of objects that were found in the area.

Jordan Road Trip

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

Mount Nebo is the Biblical place where Moses was shown the Promised Land before dying. 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 the front of the entrance showing the Promised Land. The interior of the church is decorated with many mosaics very well preserved.

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 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 on two panoramic points each on one side of the valley. We also stopped for a tea at Sami’s house. Situated on a cliff his terrace offers a breath-taking view on the wadi.

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. 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 really enough to explore it all. But if you really have no choice you should go for two main attractions: the treasury and the monastery.

Before to go 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 in 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 have a stop by the royal tombs and enjoy the view on the city and the temple.

Jordan Road Trip
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 Jordan Pass. Even If It’s very touristy and you’ll spot many Bedouin camps the place has preserved an incredible charm of past times.

Book a jeep tour before your arrival. 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 desert. You may choose between 3 different formulas: 8 hours (with a lunch outside the camp), 4 hours 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. The nights in the desert may be cold especially in April / October so don’t forget to bring at least a warm garment.

Jordan Road Trip

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 its barrier reef and the beautiful beaches you’ll go south a few minutes from Aqaba and next to the Saudi Arabian borders. To enjoy your day, you can book a daily cruise that will bring you snorkelling or scuba diving. Explore Aqaba’s fort and city centre. Or go dune exploring on quad.

We had the chance to be the first tourists to do 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!

Jordan Road Trip

Day 6 : Relax at the Dead Sea

The dead sea is like no others. 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 the book I was reading. If you are bathing in these waters, be careful to splashes as the salt will burn your eyes. 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 a private access to beach and they place buckets full of mud on the shore so that you can alternate salt baths and mud treatments.

Jordan Road Trip

Day 7 : Visiting Amman citadel and downtown

Amman is Jordan 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 Umayyads remains 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 colourful Rainbow Street. Where you can take a tea or have lunch before heading back to the airport. And fill your luggage with souvenirs in Downtown. This area is full of bazar and beautiful graffiti. Its peculiarity: the areas. Every type of shop is situated in a specific area. Do you need spices? Go in the apothecary district. Are you looking for jewellery? There is a full street sparkling with gold and silver shops. And how not to mention the clothing areas both for men and women. Must be difficult to have monopoly!

Conclusion, is it worth to visit Jordan?

Absolutely! The amazing landscapes, the warmth of Jordanian people and also the delicious food definitely deserve to be discovered. It’s a trip that will leave you the desire to learn more about this beautiful country and its people.

Have I convinced you? Or have you already been there? Let me know in comments. Check the destination section to find more inspiration from other countries all around the world… and pin this for later!

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