If you search for Jordan on the map, planning a trip there may seem like a death wish. However, unlike the other Arab states in the Middle East, Jordan not only has no oil of its own, it has somehow managed to remain neutral and peaceful, despite being surrounded by carnage.
In addition to beautifully rugged landscape, the friendliest and hospitable people, Jordan is home to the ancient city of Petra. Known as “The Rose City” it is famous for its unique architecture carved directly into the rock face. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. While the primary purpose of our trip was to spend hours staring at this marvel, Jordan surprised and delighted us throughout our week-long trip and we came back with more FOMO than when we went in.
Day 1/2: London to Amman
Like majority of tourists, we flew in to Amman, with lour flight landing close to midnight. We had just enough time to grab something from the street and retire to bed. We stayed at Jabal Amman Hotel. While located on the infamous Rainbow Street, the hotel was very disappointing, given the cost. In saying that, we are glad we stayed here because we met a mother and daughter from Bucharest, who were heading back home and they literally planned our trip for us.
We were in Amman for one whole day and managed to walk around the main tourist attractions including the Citadel, the Hercules Temple and the Roman Theatre. I could have spent another day walking around aimlessly through the streets of Amman, but if you’re in a rush, a day in Amman is all you need.
Day 3: Amman to The Dead Sea
After our day darting around the streets of Amman, we met with our driver Abed (more on him later) who picked us up and took us on our first road trip. On the way we stopped over in the mosaic city of Madaba for some lunch, followed by a quick
insta photo detour at Mount Nebo and finally arriving at the amazing Mövenpick Resort & Spa Dead Sea.
This resort was absolute luxury, but it also meant that the food that you could normally buy for less than 2 JD, was being sold at the rest for 20 JD, but it was worth the indulgence. Plus, we got to take our silly newspaper shot at the Dead Sea.
Day 4/5: The Dead Sea to Wadi Musa (Petra)
Relaxing by the Dead Sea was just what we needed before making our way to Petra. After a three-and-a-half-hour drive from the Dead Sea, we arrive at Wadi Musa, the closest town to Petra. We stayed at a great value guesthouse called Rocky Mountain, that is a 25-minute walk/hike from the entry to Petra or 4 JD, depending on your haggling strength and charm.
In total, we had one full-day, one half-day and a night at Petra. Depending on what’s on your list, I think you need a minimum 2 days to explore main attractions as well as some of the off-the-beaten path spots within Petra. However, given the opportunity, I would have loved one more day so I could just be there.
Day 6/7: Wadi Musa to Aqaba
Since we are FOMOists, usually we always return shattered from our overseas trips. Not because we try and fit too much in, we just like being on the go till the last minute. This time however, I think spending two sleepy days by the beach in Aqaba South Beach was the best decision I’ve made in a very long time.
We stayed at Sol Y Mar Beau Rivage Resort. It’s described as “boutique” however we weren’t impressed. The resort was average at best, however the South Beach was a great place to chill out. In addition to spending most of our time by the beach, we did manage to walk around the streets of Aqaba city, buying souvenirs for a day.
Before I get into the other boring details of how to make your Jordan trip a smooth affair, can I just say that the trip to Jordan was a breath of fresh air. Despite the growing interest, Jordan remains authentic and untouched. If you have ever given this part of the world a consideration, but people around you have talked you out of it. Talk yourself back in and get yourself there.
Most countries are eligible for visa on arrival. Rather than paying for the visa, we highly recommend buying a Jordan Pass. In addition to getting you access to all major tourist attractions, Jordan Pass waives the visa fee. We highly recommend buying the Jordan Pass before you arrive because there is no way of buying it at the airport.
Taxis are cheap for shorter distances. Initially, we wanted to drive around, but the mother-and-daughter duo from Bucharest recommended we get a driver. This was the best decision we’ve ever made. Thanks to our driver Abed, our trip was an absolute breeze. If you’re looking for a polite, friendly and caring driver, please use the detail for Abed below:
Name: Abed Oqeli
Phone/WhatsApp: +962 7 9568 1194
The local currency of Jordan is the Jordanian Dollar. It was on par with the GBP when we went (April 2018). We only had some cash, but mainly used ATMs to withdraw money.
No one, including locals, drink tap water so make sure you stock up on bottled water, that is readily available everywhere.
I can’t emphasise enough that Jordan is extremely safe and the people one of the most hospitable. If you are respectful of the locals and their culture, you will be blown away with their welcoming nature.