10 Feb 11-Days Jordan Travel Itinerary
~ Days 1 & 2 ~
Highlights of Amman
A myriad of the desert landscape from the air invites us to The capital of Jordan – Amman. As we disembarked our flight at Queen Alia International Airport, the warm air and the friendly faces greeted us with open arms.
Having pre-arranged our booking, our tour guide, Mohammed (from Jordan Inspirational Tours), waited patiently for us on arrival and made the entry into Jordan seamless.
But if you were doing it alone, the signs are well-posted and easy to follow.
For the first day, settle down into your accommodation and take it easy so you can be well-rested for the rest of the journey.
Places of Interest
King Abdullah Blue Mosque
King Abdullah Mosque was built between 1982 to 1989, adorned by a magnificent blue mosaic dome. The mosque is located approximately 3 km east of Amman Citidel and is the only worshipping mosque that welcomes non-Muslim guests.
Out of respect, Men must wear long trousers, and women must cover their heads, arms, and legs.
One of Amman’s highest hills: Jabal Al Qal’a, sits Amman’s Citadel offering 360-degree panoramic views, 850 meters above sea level. Here, various architectural remains are excavations for many civilizations that once inhabited the area.
Signs of human inhabitants can be dated back to 1550 – 1650 BC (The Middle Bronze Age). The Roman Hercules Temple, The Umayyad Palace, and The Byzantine Church are three significant sites.
Hercules’s hand in front of the temple is an impressive ruin worth looking at to realize the power of the ancient Greek civilization.
The Roman Amphitheatre
The impressive Roman Amphitheatre was built during the reign of Roman emperor Antoninus Pius. The centrepiece seated up to 6,000 people and was built on three tiers where the rulers sat closest to the action; the military sat in the middle section, and the general public perched from the top rows.
The Jordan Museum is worth visiting as it is the national centre for learning and knowledge. It reflects Jordan’s history and culture and takes you through the Kingdom’s historic, antique and heritage.
Rainbow Street and Souks
After a morning of visiting the Citadel and the Roman Amphitheatre, we wandered through downtown Amman to immerse ourselves in the traditional market area and Souqs. Here you can embrace the scents of the unique spices and experience the hustle and bustle of the locals shopping for vegetables, meat, clothing and gold.
If you decide to come out to Shawarma street, make sure you stop by Nafisa too! Nafisa is a famous Arabic sweet shop renowned for their Knafeh, a Syrian dessert made with cheese, ground cashew, and pistachio.
Rainbow Street (or Jabal Amman): This is a popular and modern area with cobbled streets, cafes, and art galleries. Great for shopping or people watching!
You must try Jordan’s famous traditional Arabic food, Falafel. Jordan has some of the world’s delicious Falafel, consisting of ground chickpeas and spices, deep-fried in little patties until golden brown and crispy. You can eat them plain or stuffed into a sandwich for typical street food snacks.
We noticed all houses and buildings are cladded in limestone (by law) – So if one decided to paint their house a different colour- the government will not provide them with electricity & services! Hence why all buildings are off-white & creamy colours – just like the picture below.
See more of our Amman travel photos here.
~ Day 3 ~
Northwest of Amman
Approx 1hr 30min drive (northwest) from Amman to Ajloun sits a 12th-century Muslim castle on a hill which towers over from the west. It was formerly the site of an isolated Christian monastery, home to a monk named Ajloun, and by 1184, amid the Crusades, the monastery had fallen into ruin. Once you have reached the top, enjoy the spectacular panoramic views of the Jordan Valley.
Archaeological Site – Jerash Ruins
Explore the ancient Roman ruins. Walk past temples and amphitheatres, considered some of the best examples of Greco-Roman architecture. You can spend hours here, so consider a full day out.
Click here for more Northwest of Amman travel photos.
~ Day 4 ~
East of Amman
We drove (approx 2 hours) to the “Desert Castle Loop” through endless desert sand & barren basalt landscapes – (Quite close to the Saudi & Iraq border)
Along the way, we saw military camps (unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to take any pics of these camps) and drove through a section of the highway that converts into a runway if there’s an emergency landing!! Also saw lots of camels & sheep!
All three desert castles belong to the Umayyad dynasty.
See more of the Desert Castle travel photos here.
~ Day 5 ~
Kings Highway & West Bank
An ancient town in Jordan, southwest of Amman, known for its 6th-century mosaic map of the Holy Land & which houses a treasure of early Christianity.
Back in the 1800’s, Christian builders came across the flooring of mosaic, which represents the oldest map of Palestine in existence which provided many historical insights into the region.
Al Hakaya Wax Museum
A cultural museum & mosaic centre depicting Jordan’s past takes you on a journey through history to explore Jordan’s religious, historical and cultural heritage, including the story of Jesus.
Approximately 15 minutes drive from Madaba is Mount Nebo is, a sacred mountain located about 710 metres above sea level. As mentioned in the Bible, Mount Nebo is where Moses saw the Promised Land before his death at the mountain. On a clear day, Jerusalem, Jericho & the Dead Sea can be seen.
Entrance to Mount Nebo costs 2 JD (3 USD), and the easiest way to get to the base of Mount Nebo is to drive from Madaba. From the bottom of the mountain, visitors will have to take a short walk to the top.
This is the baptism site of Jesus on the banks of the Jordan River.
Another sacred place to visit is Bethany which is approximately 2 hours 30 mins drive from Mt Nebo.
The Baptism Site located in the Jordan Valley is an archaeological World Heritage site on the east bank of the Jordan River. Also is the Church of St. John the Baptist.
As a child, I read the stories of Jesus, but to be standing here and feeling the water where Jesus was baptized felt very nostalgic.
But what struck us most while standing on the bank of the Jordan River (literally a few yards in front of us on the opposite bank) was ISRAEL.
Two countries so close, yet so far apart!) It is also guarded by the military so that no one can cross the border!
See here for more travel photos of our Day 5 in Jordan.
~ Day 6 ~
The Dead Sea
Also called the “Salt Sea”, it lies between Israel & Jordan.
The Dead Sea is the lowest place on Earth at 420m or 1,400 ft below sea level. The Dead Sea has an extraordinarily high level of salination (it’s more than eight times saltier than the average ocean). It is possible to float as it is so salty, and there is no sea life as nothing can live in it. One must be careful that water does not get into your eyes or nostrils. The blue of the water was so colourful and surreal.
It was a clear day, and we had a fantastic panorama of the entire length of this 67 km (or 42 miles) lake. It was simply breathtaking!
Most of the five-star resorts line the beach, but public beaches are accessible. They charge an entrance fee of 8-20 JOD per person.
What to expect at the dead sea:
- With so much salt, it’s easy to stay afloat.
- The water is extremely salty; you wouldn’t want to stay in too long as you will find the skin starting to get itchy after about 5 minutes.
- Most beaches at the resorts have the dead sea mud ready to apply to your skin. This dead sea mud is supposed to be very good for your skin.
Where to stay at The Dead Sea
We stayed at Dead Sea Marriott Resort, a beautiful property with many facilities, luxurious spas, and private access to the dead sea just for resort guests. There are many options from mid to high range resorts.
Look us up here to see more photos of Kings Highways and the Dead Sea.
~ Day 7 ~
Kings Highway – Dead Sea to Petra
Today, we drove on the famous King’s Highway, a beautiful drive worth experiencing. It winds from North to South passing many changing landscapes and points of interest, from Roman ruins, pilgrimage sites, crusaders castles to spectacular sceneries of Wadi Mujib.
Kings Highway connects the capital Amman to the Nabatean city of Petra. Driving from the Dead Sea to Petra takes approx 2.5hrs, but the stops took us approx 6 hours. Depending on what part of the year you travel, there is a vast difference in the temperature. As we were visiting in December, the average temperature was 25 degrees at the Dead Sea and went down to 11 degrees in Petra.
Karak Castle is known for its Crusader Castle and later Mamluk Fortress. It is a fine example of the blend of European, Byzantine, and Arab architectural styles located at the southern part of the King’s Highway.
In the earlier days, Shobak Castle was called the “Royal Mountain” Montreal or Mons Regalis and was the first Crusader fortress in a line of strongholds in Oultrejourdain, the territory East of the river Jordan.
Little Petra (Siq al-Barid)
Approximately 6 km north of the Nabataean capital centre, sits the Siq al-Barid, also known as Little Petra. Siq al-Barid is Arabic name for Little Petra, which literally means a cold canyon.
~ Day 8 ~
Petra, the Rose City
Petra (which means Rock) is half-built and half-carved in stone. The monuments are cut into cobblestone cliffs and mountains, showing a whole spectrum of colours. Many were walking approximately 8km / 5 miles from the Visitors Centre. A great day out exploring this wonder of the World!
Petra is famous worldwide but known initially as The Nabatean ancient city Petra.
The Treasury (Al-Khazneh)
To get to the Treasury, it is a 1.2km walk along the Siq, a narrow walkway that serves as the entrance to Petra. And what a magical doorway to see the Treasury.
~ Days 9 & 10 ~
Our last two days were at Wadi Rum Camp in the middle of the desert. Freezing cold & No Wifi or phone connection!! But what a lifetime experience. (remember we travelled in January when the temperature in the desert can get to as low as 3 degrees and average during the day to 15 degrees) December and January are the coldest months to travel to Jordan.
But staying in the desert was the highlight of the whole trip! The landscapes portray sandstones taller than some of the significant buildings in the world. The extreme terrain is perfect for some Hollywood movies filmed in these locations.
Here we visited many of the film locations of Star Wars, Lawrence of Arabia, Martian, Alladin.
Here at Wadi Rum, you can take a desert tour that takes you on a 4WD around the desert or alternatively ride a camel. It is a fantastic experience.
I also highly recommend going on a camel ride to see the sunset or if you are very keen to get up early and see the sunrise. It’s absolutely breathtaking!
Where to stay in Wadi Rum
We stayed at the Wadi Rum Luxury Camp in the middle of the desert – which has a combination of a traditional Bedouin-style camp or igloos where you can sleep and watch the stars. A unique experience, stargazing in the desert, one that you will remember forever.
~ Day 11 ~
Drive Back to Amman
And finally, your stay in Jordan has come to an end. Driving back to Amman from Wadi Rum took approximately 4 hours.
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