When you pick up a map of the Middle East, you can see it being dominated by Saudi Arabia and Iran. Zoom in a bit to the north of Saudi towards the Mediterranean and you can spot a bunch of countries squeezed in – Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
We were looking for a place to add onto our Egypt trip. And Jordan was the most logical choice. Home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World and one of the safest countries in the region to travel in, Jordan would be perfect for a 5-day trip.
When you think of the Middle East, you usually think of deserts and rugged terrain as far as the eye can see. Jordan is far from that – in fact, we were stunned by the biodiversity and geography as we travelled from north to south!
Jordan is a historically significant region thanks to its location at the crossroads of Asia, Europe and Africa. Humans have been living here for over 200,000 years. The ancient Egyptians, Canaanites, Babylonians, Assyrians, Romans, Nabataeans, Byzantines, Umayyads and Ottomans have ruled it at some point in history. Its modern shape started forming after World War I when France and UK re-drew the borders in the region. This gave the British control over Israel, Palestine, Transjordan and south Iraq. The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (as it is called today) was finally formed in 1946 as the British Empire started retreating globally. Thanks to all these cultural influences, Jordan is a perfect destination for history lovers as well as foodies!
Best time to visit
Most parts of your Jordan itinerary would include outdoor activities and having good weather really makes for a memorable experience. March-May is considered the best time to visit. September to November is also a good time to visit. Avoid the summer months of June-August and the winter months of December-February. We travelled in March and got beautiful weather throughout the trip.
Getting around Jordan
You can fly into Jordan at the Amman Queen Alia Int’l Airport or the Aqaba King Hussein Int’l Airport depending on where you want to start your trip.
While you do have the option of taking public transport (buses between cities and taxis within them), we would recommend picking an option where you have your own vehicle. You can choose to hire a car and drive yourself. Or you could customize your itinerary with a local travel agency – they will arrange the car and hotels as well as your Visa. We went for the latter option as it was the most convenient one while being very cost effective. Also, we did not want to spend our trip trying to decode signboards and getting used to driving on the other side of the road (in India, we drive on the left).
We picked Sherazade Travel as our agency – they arranged 3-star hotels, a private AC van, Visa and entrance tickets for our tours. Our driver/guide Ameen was the most amazing host as well. We totally recommend them!
Arabic is the main language in Jordan. The currency is the Jordanian Dinar (JOD) which is one of the strongest currencies in the world (1 JOD = 102 INR / 1.41 USD as of Mar 2021).
How many days to spend in Jordan?
Jordan has a lot to offer from the beautiful Roman ruins at Jerash up north to the mesmerizing desert of Wadi Rum in the south. You can spend anywhere between 4 to 10 days in Jordan depending on the activities you’d like to fit in.
Day 1: Fly into Amman. Explore the Amman town, Citadel. Drive for a tour of the ancient city of Jerash. Spend the evening enjoying local food in the Amman market. Here is our guide to Amman and the amazing Jordanian food!
Day 2: Drive to Mt Nebo (the place where Moses saw the Promised Land). Visit Madaba and the mosaic church. Explore Kerak castle. Arrive at Petra by night. Read about the historical melting pot that is Jordan here.
Day 3: Spend the day at Petra exploring one of the seven wonders of the world. Evening drive to a desert camp in the middle of Wadi Rum desert. Here’s our experience and guide to Petra and Wadi Rum.
Day 4: Desert safari in Wadi Rum – Mars on Earth. Drive back towards Amman and go below sea level to the Dead Sea. Arrive at Amman by night.
Day 5: Fly out from Amman.
If you have additional days, consider adding one or more of the following
- Wadi Mujib – a water filled canyon
- Ajloun Castle – an ancient castle a short distance from Jerash
- Aqaba – perfect place for scuba diving in the Red Sea
You can read all about our Jordan trip here:
A Visit to a World Wonder and the Red Planet
A Guide to Amman and some Amazing Jordanian Food
A Historical Melting Pot and a Sea Where You Cannot Drown
If you have any questions on how to plan your trip, please leave a comment below and we’d love to help! You can subscribe to our blog for all the updates and travel tips. For a lot more pics and stories about our latest travels, follow us on Instagram @fridgemagnet.tales