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Anybody who has visited Jordan will tell you that it is an unjustly underrated tourist destination. From the underwater splendor of Aqaba to the mesmerizing desert stars in Wadi Rum to the breathtaking experience of floating in the Dead Sea, Jordan has so much to offer its visitors. Here is a guide to shed light on all you need to know about a vacation in Jordan, the country’s highlights, and travel tips.
- Lee Allred
- From USA
For the perfect combination of pleasant weather and reasonable rates, the best time to visit Jordan is in the fall season from September to early November. The scorching summer temperatures have dropped significantly by September, affording perfect conditions for hiking, snorkeling, diving, and many other outdoor activities.
The peak tourist season in Jordan is in the spring, between March and May. But expect more crowds when visiting the country’s attractions and higher accommodation rates if you are visiting Jordan during this time.
Jordan promises several must-see sites and views. Here is our list of the top things to do on a Jordan vacation:
- Ruins of Petra and Jerash: The ancient city of Petra boasts more than 800 tombs, temples, and intricate archeological sites that make for a wholesome visiting experience. To get the maximum value for your money, purchase a Jordan Pass, which provides access to the Citadel, Petra, Amman, Karak Castle, Jerash, and about 35 other sites.
- Mineral-rich Dead Sea: The Dead Sea offers the best natural spa experience anywhere in the world. The high salinity aids floatation, and the water is famed for its healing properties.
- Stargazing at Wadi Rum: Jordan’s famous bright stars and dark skies are more intense away from the cities. Enjoy the magical stars at Wadi Rum via bubble tents or by taking a wild camping trip if you are feeling adventurous. During the day, feel free to book a camel ride in the desert and enjoy a wholesome meal of Zard, a traditional Bedouin BBQ.
- Scuba Diving in Aqaba: Explore the world from underwater by booking a boat dive into the Red Sea. Discover the sunken relics at the Underwater Military Museum and swim alongside sea animals like lionfish, hawksbill turtles, blue-spotted rays, and many other marine species.
Jordan’s most popular tourist sites are not very far apart. So if you are all about ticking off the important destinations, a five-day itinerary will do. However, if you care about exploring Jordan's rich culture and history, your vacation in Jordan should last for at least 10 days.
Most incoming flights arrive via Queen Alia International Airport, Amman. You will get direct daily flights to the airport if you are traveling from the US, Canada, the UK, or most European countries. If you are traveling from Australia, the journey by flight typically requires one stopover route, commonly via Bangkok, Dubai, or Abu-Dhabi. If you are traveling overland, you can get direct buses to Jordan from Cairo in Egypt and Eilat and Tel Aviv in Israel.
Public buses are the staple means of transportation in Jordan. But they do not typically operate according to a fixed schedule. Passenger buses move only when they are full. Travelers in Jordan should also note that some of the popular destinations in the country are inaccessible by public transport. So you might have to rent a vehicle while vacationing in Jordan. The country has a bustling car rental market, and many Jordan vacation packages will include a car rental service.
Generally, Jordan offers pretty good value for your money as transportation, accommodation, and food are relatively cheap. If you desire no more than basic comfort, you can sleep and eat adequately, move around on public buses, and see some sights for about USD 50 to 80 a day. However, entering Petra is particularly expensive. A two-day ticket for one person costs USD 78. You can save some money by getting the Jordan Pass.
Jordan is one of the most liberal countries in the Middle East. However, it is advisable to dress conservatively. Do not wear sleeveless tops, very short skirts, or shorts to avoid unwanted attention. Below are a few more points to note on your trip to Jordan:
- Shops and markets may close during the Jumat prayer time on Fridays.
- Alcohol consumption is not a social taboo, and pubs are not in short supply, especially in Christian-dominated areas.
- Most restaurants and cafes will remain closed till sunset during the month of Ramadan. Supermarkets and grocery stores may also have shorter operating hours.
- Jordan is a safe country by most standards and the citizens are quite hospitable.
- The country has English-speaking tourist police officers as part of their police force.
- It is illegal to insult the royal family and you must not be caught preaching any religion other than Islam in public.
Jordan’s refreshing mix of history, culture and hospitality promises to leave you wishing you never had to leave. The magic of the desert stars, the splendor of the Red Sea, and the rich history of the ancient cities are just some of the things that make Jordan special for its visitors. If you need help planning a trip to Jordan, you can check out our tailor-made Jordan tour page to connect with our local travel experts and plan an itinerary to your liking. For more ideas on what you can do on your trip to Jordan, see our guide on things to do in Jordan.