The Kingdom of Jordan offers the unique opportunity to combine discovery trips to the desert with visits to hidden historical treasures and spending unforgettable days swimming and diving in the Red Sea. Here is what to do in Jordan.
Visiting Wadi Rum
Wadi Rum, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a protected desert wilderness in southern Jordan stretching over a length of 100 kilometres. Between 800 and 1832 metres above sea level, the stony desert landscape with its granite and sandstone cliffs is a perfect example of this. The desert offers some great places for climbing where you can enjoy fascinating views of the reddish-brown rugged, steep sandstone mountains.
Bathing in the Dead Sea
Have you ever taken a healing bath in the Dead Sea? The health-promoting effect of the up to 33 percent saline water is known worldwide and the mud is also said to have extraordinary healing powers. One significant advantage of Jordan is that there are comparatively few visitors. So the beaches are spotless.
Scuba diving in the Red Sea
Good visibility underwater, pleasant temperatures, and magnificent underwater life – that’s what you find in Aqaba. Here divers can explore the fascinating wreck “Cedar Pride”, and discover over 300 coral species as well as countless fish.
Need a break from the beach? Then it’s time to make your way from Aqaba to Petra – a beautiful two hour drive through a hilly, desert landscape.
Exploring the Treasury of Petra
The breathtaking gorge, the Siq, is the entrance to the treasures of Petra. The rock formations rise gracefully and form a narrow passage. Once you have crossed the Siq, you will be blown away by the beauty of this place. More than 2000 years ago Petra was a legendary royal city of the Nabataeans. You can still see their rich culture (and feel like “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”) when you stand in front of these massive stone walls with their impressive buildings hidden deep within the desert mountains. A unique experience! No wonder that Petra is one of the wonders of the world.
When is the best time to travel to Jordan?
Jordan is hot and dry in the summer months from May to October. In winter, however, in the higher altitudes, e.g., Petra, there can be frost and snowfall. Good travel times are in spring between mid-March and late May and in autumn between mid-September and late November, when it is not too hot.
How to find a hotel in Jordan?
In Amman and other more touristy places, you can find hotels of all categories and from most international chains. Many hotels are beautifully situated on the Dead Sea and the Red Sea.
Can you rent a car in Jordan?
In Jordan, you can rent a car easily and at comparatively low prices from several car rental companies. However, driving a car in Jordan is a challenge. The best way is to rent an off-road vehicle as driving cross-country can be rough. And driving in the bustling traffic of the city can be a challenge too.
Is it safe for women to travel in Jordan?
Jordan’s state religion is Islam. Therefore you will find many women covering their heads. But it also depends where you’re going.
Amman, the capital, is very cosmopolitan and used to seeing tourists on the streets. The Jordanian women here are stylishly dressed, and many decide not to cover their heads.
Jordanians are also aware of the importance of tourism to their economy. Those who work in the industry know that mutual respect and tolerance are essential.
Always dress appropriately
However, it is well known that Jordan is not the right place to wear a bikini top and short shorts. Also, avoid tight clothing and tank tops. Instead choose fitted tops covering shoulders, longer and wider (capri) pants or skirts (by the way this applies to men too!). Carry a headscarf with you when visiting a mosque. In large, touristic mosques, scarves are usually given to female visitors at the entrance.
All travelers, not just women, should avoid accepting trips from strangers. Ask at your hotel reception for a reliable taxi driver or additional information about the safest means of transport.
Jordan is seriously trying to curb violence against women and calls on all women who feel harassed or in a dangerous situation to call the police on 911. And it doesn’t have to be a life-threatening situation; if you feel threatened or just lost, they will come and help you.
How is about travelling with children?
The Jordanians are people with many children, and so children are welcome everywhere and welcome.
Jordanian cuisine is delicious. As a starter, you get typically many different small dishes, which are called mezze, and are served with freshly baked flatbread. The main course usually consists of different kinds of grilled meat or small meat skewers. A very refreshing, recommendable drink is mixed from lemon juice and fresh mint. Not only does it look great, but it also tastes delicious!
As everywhere in the world, you should always ask for permission before taking a picture of people in Jordan. They may refuse due to religious reasons. You should respect that and not trying to get a secret photo. It may also happen that someone asks for some money to be photographed.
What is the general security situation in Jordan?
Jordan, despite its situation in an unstable region, has so far managed to maintain peace. However, before travelling to Jordan, it is always advisable to follow the travel advice of the respective ministry or office of foreign affairs.
At present, many official agencies strongly advise against travelling to the Syrian-Jordanian border region and the northeast of the country in the border region with Iraq. Also, there is a general danger of terrorist attacks in Jordan and a security threat, especially in places visited by foreigners. Therefore, one should always behave cautiously and avoid large crowds as much as possible. Many hotels have security checks at the entrance.
Jordan is undoubtedly a fascinating and very diverse country worth discovering. From the mysterious rock town of Petra to the magnificent desert landscape of Wadi Rum; from the Dead Sea to the Red Sea, from the sites of the Bible to the city of contrasts, Amman: Jordan is a land of impressive beauty and diversity in the heart of the Middle East.
As a tourist, like everywhere else, you should respect the local customs and traditions. However, if you stick to a few rules, it’s not that difficult, and you will have a fantastic time in Jordan.