Jordan has always been on my list of place to go this year, after a couple of travel blogger friends had visited it last year. When I received the news that I am heading to Jordan I could think of Jordan as a land of dramatic contrasts, ancient Roman structures juxtaposed with modern skyscrapers and charismatic eyes of the Bedouin people. The first look of the country was so overwhelming in each direction that I looked – I couldn’t think where to start writing from. I decided to give a sneak-peek into the entire itinerary as some of the readers mentioned they are planning to go in July. No matter how much I write about Jordan, words are going to fall short. However, this is quick one for you guys 🙂
Day 1: Views of Amman, the Capital
I landed at Queen Alia International Airport flying with Air Arabia, thus starting my journey to the city of history. I don’t think Amman gets as much attention as it deserves. Amman is a beautiful chaotic city – where from my Crown Plaza room view, I could see a bright gold buildings where the sun was shining. After a tiring long flight, I introduced myself to the traditional Jordanian cuisine for lunch. I then head to Citadel, while I stopped by to see the splendid panoramic view of the city which is located on a hill. The drive towards Citadel will keep you intrigued as you get closer to the view – the top gets more beautiful as you go. The Roman temple of Hercules, a hand at the base of the columns which is a part of the temple’s huge statue of Hercules is something you cannot miss. My favourite piece of art was the ‘Dome of the Vestibule’ within Umayyad Mosque. Spending an evening in Jerash is one of the best things you can do. A mesmerizing experience at Roman theatre would make you believe that this Jordan trip is something you might never forget. Jerash is an amazingly well-preserved Roman city, complete with amphitheater, temples, Jordanian musical drama and the Chariot race show. An evening walk around the Rainbow street would showcase happening restaurants, trendy lit shisha spots and this is where I ate my Jordanian dinner at Sufra restaurant which has a great ambiance. I ensured I slept well as my trip ahead was going to be long.
Tip: A photographers tip, take the picture of the Hercules temple from the other side to avoids tourist in your frame.
Day 2: Local Market & Cooking Jordanian Meal & Little Petra
I woke up early to relish a heavy breakfast as my day ahead was going to be long road journey. Now the local market is something I never miss in any country I visit. The fruit & vegetable market behind the mosque left me with splashes of colourful views. Along the market, there is Al Bukharia market with the teas, spices, and fruits. The aromas and colours here are mesmerizing. You should pick up the mixed dry fruits, chamomile tea, sumac, and zaatar. The petrolhead in me was excited for the Royal Automobile Museum. King Hussein, King of Jordan from 1956 until his death was a car lover – his son, Abdullah II restored the beauties like 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB, WWI-era armored car, WWII-era motorcycle and more antiques. I was looking forward to the lunch, as I was going to be cooking a Jordanian meal. If this is something not in your itinerary, ensure that you tell your guide. This is something you definitely can’t miss. I learned to make Zatar bread, Fattoush, Galayat Bandura and much more. The King’s highway is one of the most scenic routes and the one with the longest history. Do not miss to take pictures of the scenic mountainous landscapes. It was impossible to stay in the room when I heard I was heading to “The Little Petra”. Locals call it Siq al Barrid (the cool siq), sandy little canyon some 8km from Petra itself, it has a charm rather than grandeur. I explored the tomb, dining rooms which have a Nabataean influence. I grabbed a tea when I was on my way back to the hotel and was getting my excitement ready for Petra by Night. The most alluring experience of my Jordan trip was this. When the ancient ruins are illuminated by candlelight and the light show on the Siq the Treasury, the place looks like a fairy tale. I was prepared for the 2 km walk in the night and the ambiance was breathtaking. While you reach back at the hotel to sleep, the experience will stay with you for a while.
Tip: Carry your tripod with you for Petra by Night for some lovely night pictures.
Day 3: Magical Petra, Drive to Wadi Rum
Early morning breakfast at Petra Guest House was enough for me to kick start a long walk to explore this magical place. The UNESCO heritage site and the new 7th wonder of the world, Petra, will confound your mind as to how the Nabataeans carved such a gigantic city out of the rose-colored rock. The first view of the Treasury from the narrow alley was stunning. A guide with you is really important as it is so vast it is easy to get lost in the splendid history. I cannot fit the Petra experience in the itinerary but you would want to wait for the Petra guide coming up. But ensure you see The Treasury or al-Khazneh, Cave tombs, amphitheater, the Monastery or Ad-Deir. After a long walk of discovery, I was looking for lunch at Qantarah Restaurant. I head to next destination, which you can consider as my favourite.
Tip: Carry a Petra history audio with you in case guide is not there to know the history.Carry a Jordanian Keffiyah to cover your head and neck area.
After watching the Martian movie, I was ready to see Mars on earth. Being the off road junkie that I am, I was excited to experience dune bashing in Wadi Rum on 4X4 desert tour. Well, I have done too many off road trips –Dune bashing in Dubai & Qatar, still I enjoyed this small drive in the red sand area of Wadi Rum. I tore through the desert’s dramatic landscape while not falling from the truck. Then comes the interesting part – a camel ride. I made friends with my camel, naming it ‘Lalu’. Camel ride and sunset in Wadi Rum was something I can cherish for years! I stood awestruck at the mesmerizing beauty that stretched out before me. End the night at the camp where I watched Zarb, a Bedouin-style BBQ comprising of meat, potatoes and all kinds of vegetables cooked underground for extra deliciousness. A sumptuous dinner and starry night end my day.
Tip: Have Jordanian tea in of the Bedouin camp to dust off the ride.
Day 4: Snorkelling time in Aqaba
Remember to stop by Hejaz Railway station while you head to Aqaba. Finally, you will have some time of your own after busy days spent learning history. I was looking forward to swimming and cool off the heat. A lovely room at Movenpick Resort and a gift on my bed, made me fall in love with this place. Snorkeling in the red sea where on one side you can see Israel, was interesting. I saw beautiful blue corals and parrot fish strolling in the cool water. Lunch on the boat was interesting as well. I spent my evening shopping around the area for spices. An evening walk in Aqaba market with neon lights over all shops will make you excited for the ambiance. We had a formal dinner at Royal Yacht Club and I believe we all needed this break from the dust.
Tip: Ensure you carry your classic shades with you on a boat to enjoy the sun.
Day 5: Float in the Dead Sea
My bucket list of visiting the lowest point of the earth was going to be completed today. Checked into Jordan Valley Marriott Resort & Spa was something I was looking forward too. Had heard lots of interesting things about this magnificent property. Having an Italian lunch at Terrazzo was a change in the cuisine, which I must say I needed it. I quickly changed and head to Dead sea experience. HELL SALTY! Was my first reaction when I went in the dead sea. It took me 25 minutes to get used to floating in the water. No doubt it was fun, I think it was the whole of different experience. I’m like a little kid when it comes to getting messy so when I heard you could cover yourself in the Dead Sea mineral mud… well, you can guess what happened. And the ultra cheesy shot is a must in the dead sea. Head for sunset and a quiet dinner. A hell of an experience, you will get today!
Tip: Don’t forget to carry a book for the Dead sea shot. A mud pack is must as well!
Day 6: Baptism Site & Mt. Nebo, Madaba
Each day is a long day while travelling in Jordan. Today we did religious tourism trip around Madaba. The king’s highway has a spectacular view just like any road trip in Jordan. I learned about Baptism of Jesus in detail today. A recently developed tourism site, just upriver on the Jordan River – you will find the Baptism Site of Jesus.I found some of the excavated remains of Bethabara. At Mt.Nebo, visit the byzantine church which was built in the late 4th century, a serpentine cross sculpture, the museum and don’t miss the famous mosaic. After spending an hour atop Mount Nebo, we drove to “City of Mosaics”. Here I learnt to indebt about creating Mosaic art. Well, I was intrigued to even try my hands on it as well. As per artisans, I did good job J ( didn’t pay them to tell this ) I was starving from the morning, and I was ready to relist my lunch at Haret Jdoudna, Madaba. You can clearly say this place will be on your top list of “Fav restaurants in Jordan”. A quick visit to St. George Church Orthodox Church and then I headed to Evason Main Hot Springs. The view of the room looking at the waterfall was somebody great to go with my evening tea. Taking a dip in hot spring water which is around 40 degree Celsius is something I couldn’t take it much. But it was kind of nice that oases of relaxation in between the climbing, hiking, and sightseeing. I slept early after dinner as was heading back with great memories to the airport early morning.
Tip: Remember to learn Mosaic art, as you will enjoy with locals in this.
Day 7: To the airport and departure
The final day of the Jordan trip; catching a flight back home!
I hope this overview of my Jordan itinerary helps you plan yours. It is a beautiful country with a wide variety of landscapes, cultures and has a lot of activities to offer. I for sure did enjoy Jordan, it amazed me in every aspect. Let me draw this clearly here. Without the help of my guide ( new friend) Salah, I would not be able to write about Jordan so well.
Are you planning to go to Jordan?Let me know if this helps you.