Things To Do in Jordan
- 233 views
The moment you step foot in Jordan, the country will capture your heart with its contrast of jaw-dropping vistas, ancient ruins, and seaside getaways. Jordan offers an incredible array of attractions and activities for visitors. Explore the mesmeric rock city of Petra, experience the ageless hospitality of the Bedouin tribe at Wadi Rum, go stargazing in the Dana Biosphere Reserve, and discover the exquisite beauty of the Red Sea coral reefs. A tour to Jordan offers travelers an incredible range of sights and activities. Here is our list of top 10 things to do in Jordan.
1. Stargaze and unwind in the Dana Biosphere Reserve
One of the best things to do in Jordan is star gazing. The sky over Jordan is extraordinarily dark and filled with more stars than you can imagine. Even if you have been stargazing countless times before, the heavenly display you get to witness from Dana Biosphere Reserve will still blow your mind. This is Jordan’s largest protected area, comprising a dramatic landscape of mountains and valleys, making it a perfect place to hike.
Best time: Spring (March to May) sees the valley walls of Dana awash with flowers. Meanwhile, the leaf-drop during fall (September to November) makes it easier to spot the reserve’s endangered species, including the Nubian ibex and bird-hunting caracal.
2. Uncover Ancient Cities
From ancient times to the modern, Jordan has a long history of serving as a crucial trading hub and religious site for both Islam and Christianity. So, one of the top things to do in Jordan is to take a sightseeing tour of the country. The country has many sites that are mentioned in the Bible. Jordan is a living museum with a long history that dates back to more than 8,000 years ago. The country has many ancient sites that tell the story of the rise and fall of empires as well as the development of the contemporary state.
- Petra: Petra which is a historic city founded in the fourth century BC. The ruins of the once-impressive metropolis and commercial hub today function as a significant archeological site and a popular tourist destination. Petra is also known as the "Rose City" because of the color of the stone from which it is carved. This half-built edifice carved on a rock face is surrounded by mountains riddled with passages and gorges. It has been on UNESCO’s world heritage list since 1985.
- Jersah: Perhaps the largest and best-preserved Roman city outside of Italy, you do not have to be a history buff to find Jerash fascinating. A trip to Jerash lends visitors an extraordinary insight into life 2000 years ago, with its colonnaded roadways, temples, theaters, and bathhouses. Just beyond the present-day city of Jerash are the ruins of the fortified Greco-Roman hamlet known as Gerasa. These include the Hadrian's Arch from the second century, the Corinthian Columns from the Temple of Artemis, and the enormous oval colonnade of the Forum.
Best time: The winter months (September to November) are perhaps the most atmospheric time to visit because of the reduced crowd numbers. Spring (March to May) is also a great time to visit, as the temperature is moderate during this time.
3. Relax in the Dead Sea
Yes, the Dead Sea is the lowest point on the Earth’s surface, but it is more than just a geographical wonder. One of the fun things to do in Jordan is floating in the Dead Sea. Its high salt levels, almost ten times that of the ocean, offer an incredible buoyancy, so much so that you simply float in its waters. What's more, its mineral-rich waters and mud are hailed for their healing properties. So get ready to relax and get mucky when you visit the Dead Sea.
Best time: Spring (March to May) and fall (September to November) have the most comfortable temperatures for swimming in the Dead Sea. September and October have the least rainfall but these months see a huge uptick in visitor numbers and prices.
Insider Tip: Do not dive or soak your head (or face) when at the Dead Sea. And if you have open cuts, avoid the waters. And remember, do not shave or wax the day you are planning to bathe in the Dead Sea.
4. Canyoning Fun in Wadi Mujib
Canyoning is the ideal activity for thrill-seekers to enjoy the splendor of Jordan's best and most impressive canyons. Explore the secret gorges and rappel, jump, and descend through waterfalls. Canyoning among the breathtaking rock walls of Wadi Mujib is one of the best things to do in Jordan. There are trails suitable for beginners through experienced canyoners.
Best time: Most of the top trails are only open between April and October. So make plans accordingly.
5. Camel Safari
One of the activities in Jordan is the camel safari. There may be no better way to explore Jordan’s desert destinations than on a camel safari. Riding these desert ships lets visitors connect with the region’s landscapes in a way that is simply impossible on a 4x4 safari.
- Petra: This UNESCO World Heritage Site, is no stranger to camel trains, having been a significant base for the Bedouin tribe for hundreds of years. Draped in hand-weaved fabrics, the tribe’s camels can be picked up outside the famed Treasury building, from where they head towards the Qsar el Bint (the Temple of Dushares), exploring Petra’s finest structures along the way.
- Wadi Rum: As Jordan’s largest wadi (dry riverbed), Wadi Rum makes for a great alternative location for a camel safari. Here, journeys can last from a morning to multiple days, giving visitors great views of the desert panoramas.
Best time: Both Petra and Wadi Rum are best visited during spring (March to May) or fall (September to November). During the summer, the temperature in these parts can hit 40°C, while the winter is close to freezing.
6. Glamping in Wadi Rum
If Wadi Rum’s camel safaris do not interest you, how about an altogether more luxurious way to take in the region — glamping. One of the newest activities in Jordan, glamping in Wadi Rum allows you to have the full desert experience whilst nestled in perfectly finished Bedouin and bubble tents.
Best time: The desert heat dictates that the best time to enjoy a night of glamping at Wadi Rum is either from March to May or from September to November.
7. Stand on Mount Nebo
It is not the highest peak in Jordan (which is Jebel Um Adaami), but Mount Nebo is both religiously and culturally important to Jordanians. Said to be the summit from where the prophet Moses was granted a view of the promised land. The trek to the top provides views right across the region, from the Jordan Valley to Jericho and even Jerusalem.
Best time: Most people visit Mount Nebo between April and October, although the mountain is open year-round.
8. Scuba Diving in Aqaba
With 17 miles of coastline separating Israel and Saudi Arabia, Jordan is ideally situated for scuba diving and free diving. The Red Sea is home to some fantastic dive locations and vibrant, healthy reefs. Warm, clear waters, extensive reefs, and no shortage of dive sites make the Red Sea’s Aqaba one of the world’s top scuba diving destinations. Explore the beautiful reefs and historic shipwrecks alongside sharks, dolphins, and around 1000 species of colorful tropical fish.
Best time: October and November are the best months for diving in the Red Sea. These months see warm waters and the best underwater visibility.
9. Hiking and Rock Climbing
With more than 350 well-known rock-climbing sites, the nation offers the ultimate climbing playground, away from crowded tourist destinations. Along with biking and hiking, rock climbing is one of the best ways to see and experience Jordan. Jordan is a true paradise for outdoor activities.
- Wadi Rum: Called ‘Rum the Magnificent’ by Lawrence of Arabia, adventures in Wadi Rum extend far beyond camel safaris and glamping. It is also an incredible destination to enjoy hiking and rock climbing, as its blend of sandy floors and rocky outcrops offers almost unlimited possibilities, whatever your level of expertise.
- If you enjoy canyoning, you might prefer to head to Jebel Rum, which has several scrambling routes as well as an east face that has long attracted climbers.
- You can also take the less popular route through Al-Makara’s Canyon to Wadi Um Ishrin, taking in views of the rock formation known as the Seven Pillars of Wisdom along the way.
Best time: The best times to visit are spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) when the weather conditions are mild.
10. Explore Jordan's Holy Site
Jordan is a must-see destination for anyone with a passion for religious history. Jordan, which is home to the Holy Land and some of the oldest Christian settlements in the world, is awash with stunning sacred sites that draw tourists from all around the globe.
- Baptism Site ‘Bethany Beyond Jordan’: Al-Maghtas sits on the east bank of River Jordan and is considered the Biblical site where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. This UNESCO World Heritage Site draws lots of visitors, thanks to its range of ancient dwellings, churches, and baptismal pools.
- Hop across the Israeli border into the West Bank to explore Qasr Al- Yahud, a national park that shares the site’s history. It also has a visitor center to help travelers explain the site’s religious importance in more detail.
- Incorporate a trip to Al-Magtas with a tour of Mount Nebo, just 30 kilometers away. The Baptism Site of Jesus.
Best time: April to May and October to November are the best times to visit, as the weather is mild and the crowds are thin.