Jordan Travel Guide
If you’re looking for a new country to explore and a totally
unique experience, Jordan is the ideal destination and is one of those special
places where you may unexpectedly leave a piece of your heart and soul behind. From
the ancient hand chiselled city of Petra to the vibrant capital city in Jordan,
Amman, Jordan’s rich history and vibrant culture offers a truly unforgettable
experience for all travellers visiting Jordan and the Middle East.
We recommend trekking because
it is the single best way to see a place like this and the impact it has is
much more powerful. Tour buses tend to be like spaceships that drop you off in
one location and it can often feel like it's a bit out of context. Trekking
takes you up close and personal, allowing you to gain more understanding of
everything around you and experience the culture, textures, hot desert air and
takes you off the beaten track.
To accompany our Travel Guide to Jordan, we have put
together a list of the top 10 places you must visit when travelling in Jordan.
Whether it's an ancient Roman
city, Byzantine ruins or desert castle from the early Middle Ages, Jordan has a
rich history that tourists can explore. You don’t have to travel far to
see some of Jordan’s most fascinating archaeological sites including a restored
Roman Theatre and ruins of the Temple of Hercules in the Amman Citadel which
are a short walking distance from one another.
The city also offers an
amazing setting to explore Jordanian food, culture and art. Amman has a
surprisingly vibrant hip hop and street art scene that has a unique vibe.
Rainbow Street is a popular destination with visitors, hosting a number of
authentic cafés and souvenir shops. There are several art galleries and museums
worth seeing such as the Royal Automobile Museum and the Jordan Museum that
host impressive archaeological collections.
2. Red Sea
If you’re looking for a relaxing beach holiday, Red Sea
resorts are the perfect setting to relax and enjoy the glorious scenery. There is
27 kilometres of coastline found along the Red Sea in Jordan, upon which there
are many seaside resorts which offer the perfect place for you to unwind after
your trip exploring Jordan.
3. Dead Sea
Within the Dead Sea region there are also lots of hiking
opportunities and fascinating historical monuments to visit such as the Qumran
ruins and Wadi David valley. There really is so much to do and see when
visiting Jordan, incorporating a trip to one of Jordan’s historic monuments
with a dip in the Dead Sea is a great way to make the most of your visit.
4. Wadi Rum
‘Wadi’ is an Arabic term that
basically means riverbed, with or without a running river. Wadis may be flowing
with water or simply laying on a valley floor, waiting for rain to come. They
make up a distinct and special ecosystem in the desert and the arid lands of
the middle east.
‘Rum’ is a term for Romans,
and the whole area of Wadi Rum is thought to be named for an ancient lost city.
This picturesque place in Southern Jordan was inhabited by people for thousands
of years, whether they were here for long periods of time or just passing
through. On your trip to Wadi Rum look out for ancient petroglyphs that can be
found on the rock faces.
The Wadi Rum valley
offers a number of unique experiences including camel and horse riding, rock
climbing, hiking through canyons and stargazing. It’s the ultimate playground
for adventure lovers!
Petra is one of the most
stunning examples of human engineering and imagination of the ancient world. Petra
was established as a capital for nomadic merchants who created the Nabatean
Kingdom in the 4th century B.C. It later becomes a Roman, and then later still
a Byzantine city. The almost abandoned Petra was ruled by Muslims after Saladin
declared victory over invading Crusading forces.
There are lots of things you
can do when visiting Petra so you might want to consider spending at least two
days exploring all the site has to offer. Inside Petra you can travel through
the Siq canyon pathway and see incredible monuments such as the Obelisk Tomb
and Treasury. Following rock-cut steps, you can climb to the Monastery that is
tucked into the mountain.
It’s no wonder Petra is on
the iconic list of the new Seven Wonders of the World as the site continues to
amaze all its’ modern-day visitors to date. Enjoy the peacefulness of visiting
Petra at night and experience the magical atmosphere of the ancient city
created by thousands of lit candles.
The Jerash ruins feature a hippodrome sports theatre
constructed in the 2nd century which would have once hosted chariot
races to an audience of 15,000 spectators. Jerash’s fascinating history and
Jordan Roman ruins are definitely worth discovering when experiencing Jordan.
7. Wadi Mujib
Visitors travelling in Jordan that wish to hike through Wadi
Mujib can do this on their own or book with a guided tour. There are several
different trails and something for everyone. The Siq Trail is known as the
easiest among the Wadi Mujib trails, providing plenty of jaw-dropping photo
opportunities and swimming spots along the way. The Wadi Mujib gorge is home to
several waterfalls and pools, making it a great place to cool off on hot days!
8. Quseir Amra
If you are travelling in
Jordan and are planning to visit Quesir Amra, complete the Desert Castle loop
which visits all the surrounding sites, including three interesting desert
castles. Visit the fortress of Azraq Castle, Qusayr Amra that features stunning
frescoes, and a roadside inn Qasr Kharana as well as Quesir Amra which is just
over an hour drive from Amman, Jerash or Madaba. This Desert Castle loop is a
lesser-known gem in Jordan but makes for a truly unforgettable experience and
perfect day out for adventure-seekers.
9. Umm ar-Rasas
Umm ar-Rasas exhibits remains
from the Roman period, Byzantine and Early Muslim periods. There are 16
churches at this historic site that come from the town's Byzantine period and
you can see the characteristic Byzantine mosaics still adorning the floors.
Christian monastic remains can
also be found here. They are a testament to the fact that ascetic Christianity
was tolerated here even as Jordan became a Muslim country. Monks would seclude themselves to fasting and
prayer in tall towers, and a number of them still survive to this day.
Umm ar-Rasas is a must-see
for anyone who is a fan of Byzantine history and art.
If you are familiar with the
Old Testament, you will recognise a lot of nearby religious landmarks as this
is the actual biblical territory where a lot of the "action" is set. To
name a few, Jericho, the Dead Sea, Mount Nebo and Madaba, the King's Highway are
all here. Al-Maghtas is also said to be the place where the Prophet Elijah
crossed the Jordan River into the Promised Land. The Al-Maghtas site includes more
than 20 points of interest including caves, a monastery and baptism pools.
Aside from the Holy Land just
beyond the border, the baptism site at Jordan river has been an important point
of pilgrimage for Christians from all over the world. Some people come here on
a day tour as a part of a holy land holiday and spend a day exploring what has
been considered to be the baptismal site of Jesus since at least the Byzantine
Visiting Jordan FAQs
- What to pack
- The official language
- Local currency
- The type of electricity adapters you need
- Safety and security while in Jordan
- What to bring
- Best time to visit