If you are interested in discovering the Middle East, there is no better place to start than Jordan. Jordanians are extraordinarily welcoming, the country is very safe for travelers, and has been granted more
10 DAYS JORDAN ITINERARY OVERVIEW
- Day 1&2: Explore the Roman ruins of Amman, Jordan’s capital
- Day 3 Dive into Christian history in Madaba & Mount Nebo
- Day 4: Discover Karak, Jordan most impressive Crusader fortress
- Day 5&6: Hike in magnificent Petra
- Day 7&8: Camp and drive through Wadi Rum
- Day 8&9: Float in the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth
DAY 1 & 2: AMMAN
The city of Amman is one of my favorites in the Middle East. Most of the city is made of low rise, beige color stone buildings, spread over 19 hills, and despite the traffic, I always feel a sense of calm in Amman. Because of its topography, you can’t really explore the city on foot, and driving can also be a challenge because of the traffic and some very sharp hills. Taxis are great and affordable options to go around. Here a few things you shouldn’t miss in Amman:
Explore the Citadel: Amman has been occupied by various civilizations and there is no better place to see that rich history than at the Citadel. The Citadel regroups ruins from various times in history, including the Temple of Hercules, dating back to the 2nd century AD, a Byzantine church and an Umayyad Palace built in the 8th century. Sitting on top of the highest hill in Amman, the Citadel also offers a beautiful view of the city.
Admire the Roman Theatre: From the Citadel, walking down a maze of small roads and
Visit King Abdullah Mosque: Built in the late 80s, this blue dome mosque is dedicated to the great grandfather of today’s Jordanian king and is one of the only
If you have more than 10 days to visit Jordan, consider adding Jerash to your itinerary. This ancient Roman city is located only 1h drive north of Amman.
Where to eat in Amman?
- Sufra: For authentic Jordanian cuisine, in a traditional and very homey setting.
- Tannoureen: Fine Lebanese food in a chic setting, with excellent service, a beautiful courtyard and a warm atmosphere.
Eostrix: A modern gastropub with delicious food, colorful decoration, and gorgeous tableware.
Where to stay in Amman?
Fairmont Amman: If you can splurge a little you should definitely stay at the Fairmont, one of my favorite hotels in the Middle East. The rooms are tastefully decorated, the marble bathrooms are stunning (they have Le Labo amenities too), the breakfast hall is gorgeous, and the spa is the best I have experienced in the region!
La Locanda: One of the only boutique hotels in Amman, La Locanda is a pretty little hotel located in Jebel Al-Weibdeh, the cultural heart of Amman. The decoration of each of the comfortable 14 rooms is inspired by a famous Arabic musician. True to that inspiration, there is a bar downstairs with a live band, that can be quite noisy during the weekend.
Find more options here.
DAY 3: MADABA & MONT NEBO
The small town of Madaba is famous for its numerous Byzantine-era mosaics.. The most famous one lays inside St George’s Church and represents an impressive map of Palestine, the oldest in existence. With a 30% Christian population, Madaba is one of the largest Christian communities in Jordan and an excellent place to dive into the history of Christians in the Middle East.
Tip: It takes around an hour drive to reach Madaba from Amman, so it can easily be visited as a day trip.
A 15 min drive from Madaba, on the edge of the East Bank, is Mount Nebo, believed to be the burial place of Moses. A beautifully renovated church sits on the top and hosts some impressive mosaics dating from around 500 AD. From Mount Nebo, on clear days, you can see the Dead Sea and the West Bank.
Madaba is often overlooked by visitors. but if you have the time, it is definitely worth adding to your 10 day Jordan itinerary.
DAY 4 – WADI MUJIB & KARAK
Around 2h drive south of Madaba
A self-guided visit to the Karak castle takes a good 2 hours. The castle ruins are impressive and the view of the city around is beautiful. However there is a lack of signage and information displayed on site. In order to learn a bit more about the place, I
DAY 5&6: PETRA
Don’t be fooled into thinking that Petra is only about the extraordinary Treasury. The Treasury is definitely one of the most Instagrammable places in Jordan, but there is so much more to see that you should spend at least 2 full days in Petra. Each day, aim to be at the entrance before the opening (6 am) in order to beat the crowd.
Aside from admiring the Treasury (Al-Khazneh), here are 3 hikes you shouldn’t miss:
The Monastery (Al-Deir): A 2 hours hike from the Treasury, the Monastery is one of the most spectacular
The Treasury from above: The view of the Treasury from above is now quite famous, but still totally worth checking out. There are several ways to reach this kind of viewpoint. One way is to take the stairs behind the Royals Tombs and just keep going up! At some point, a sign will point towards a wild path going downwards to the left. You might feel you are lost, but just keep going. You will eventually find a Bedouin tent, sitting on the edge of a cliff, with a spectacular view!! Back in 2016 is was quite off the beaten track but by now I wouldn’t be surprised if the path is well indicated.
High Place of Sacrifice: After the Treasury and before the Street of Facades, there is a staircase on the left. This 1-hour hike leads to some more spectacular view of Petra and Wadi Musa.
If you happen to be in Petra on a Monday, Wednesday or Thursday, you can complete your experience with the show “Petra by Night“. In the evening, start by walking in silence through the Siq, illuminated by candles. Then seat in front of the Treasury and enjoy some traditional Jordanian music and storytelling. Personally I thought the show was a bit too touristy, but I must admit that the sight of the Treasury lit up at night is amazing.
DAY 7&8: WADI RUM
Leave Petra in the morning and drive 2 hours south towards Wadi Rum, one of the most beautiful
Where to stay in Wadi Rum? Explore the best hotels in Wadi Rum here
If you can splurge a little, consider an early morning hot air balloon ride. An incredible way to discover Wadi Rum from the sky!
IF YOU HAVE MORE TIME
If you are interested in diving and snorkeling in the Red Sea, consider spending a couple of days in Aqaba. You will get a chance to discover the more than 200 species of corals and 1000 species of fish living in the Aqaba Gulf or scuba dive the famous wreck dive site “The Tank”. Getting from Aqaba to Wadi Rum or vice-versa is very easy so it is great to combine both!
DAY 9-10: DEAD SEA
Taking a dip in the Dead Sea is a bucket list experience and one of those places you simply have to visit while in Jordan. The best way to enjoy the Dead Sea is to splurge a little and spend a couple of days in one of the resorts on the coast. If that is over budget, hotels like the Movenpick, Kempinski or Mariott Dead Sea sell day access to their pool and beach. You can check the different options here.
If this is your last day in Jordan, the drive back from the Dead Sea to Queen Alia International Airport takes around 1 hour.
BEST TIME TO VISIT JORDAN
March to May is the best time to visit Jordan. The weather is pleasantly warm during the day, and cool at night. It is the most touristic season too, so hotel prices and occupancy can be high. September to November is also a good time to visit Jordan. Very much like March to May, temperatures are in the high 20 deg Celcius during the day, ideal for some hiking.
June to September are the very warm summer months with temperatures going well into the 40 deg Celcius. December to February is a harsh cold winter with freezing winds and regular snow in Amman, Petra, and even Wadi Rum. Unless you are very used to these kinds of temperatures, avoid visiting Jordan during those months
MUST KNOW BEFORE VISITING JORDAN
- Capital City: Amman
- Currency: Jordanian Dinar (in Oct 2019, 1 JD = 1.4 USD)
- Money: ATMs are easy to find in main cities, but you won’t find any around Wadi Rum.
- Religion: Most Jordanian are Sunni Muslims, while around 4% of the population is Christian
- Dress code: Jordanians are very open-minded but still relatively conservative, and you won’t see anyone wearing revealing clothes. As a tourist, you should do the same and avoid mini-skirts/shorts, deep cleavages, crop tops, etc.
- Safety: Jordan is overall a very safe country to travel through, including for women. You are unlikely to run into a scam, and Jordanian will get out of their way to help if you have an issue.
- Visa: Most nationalities need a visa to enter Jordan. A single entry visa is valid for 1 month, costs 40 JD and can be obtained on arrival.
- Jordan Pass is a sightseeing package covering over 40 attractions in Jordan as well as the entry visa fee. Although I never tried it, it seems to be a convenient,
wallet – friendlyoption to discover Jordan. Find more info here.
I hope you enjoyed this 10 days Jordan itinerary. If you have any questions or comments about the best places to visit in Jordan, please don’t hesitate to leave a message in the comment area below and I will come back to you shortly. Thank you for reading, and happy travels!
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