During my visit, Jordan took me completely by surprise and instantly became one of my favourite countries. For those looking for a real adventure, Jordan awaits you. It’s filled with loads of awesome sights to see and things to discover.
For me it was all about the friendly hospitality of the local people who open their arms to welcome visitors. They love to share their unique culture that makes it extra special.
From exploring the desert lands of Wadi Rum, sailing the Red Sea of Aqaba, to discovering the UNESCO site of Petra, Jordan simply has a lot to offer and has a compact itinerary that could be filled to the brim for those wanting to visit over a week long trip.
This travel guide is all about what I got up to over the course of a week, so if you wish to visit Jordan to (Which I highly encourage you to do) you will have a rough idea of what you could get up to on a visit.
This was my first visit to Jordan so this is a very typical first time visitor guide. Those wanting to visit again should totally look into hiking the Jordan Valley and many other hiking and cycling journeys that can be found across the country.
And believe me, you will want to visit this stunning country again again. So, make sure you save up the experiences you don’t have time to do for another visit because one visit to Jordan will simply not be enough.
Here is my guide to what to do for a week of adventure across the Jordan.
Stop off in the capital of Jordan, Amman for a few days
Often on a trip to Jordan Amman gets overlooked as a place to visit, simply as the country has so much to offer you have no time to hang around in the capital city.
As well as being the capital of Jordan, Amman is used as a gateway destination to this country as many international airlines use the airport.
Why not check out my 48 hour guide to exploring Amman to give you an idea of what you can get up to prior to arrival, or when you happen to be flying home?
Flying to Jordan with Royal Jordanian Airlines
To get to Jordan I travelled with the national carrier Royal Jordanian Airlines from London Heathrow to Amman international airport on a new 787 Dreamliner – and the experience was fantastic.
They’re a part of the OneWorld alliance, which helps with armies too. Love flying with the Dreamliner and would fly with them again when I return to Jordan in the near future.
Friendly staff, wonderful service, top inflight entertainment and spacious seats, what more do you need!
Head to Jerash to find the old Roman Ruins
An hour’s drive from Amman will take you to Jerash which has an incredible collection of old Roman Ruins – that’s probably the best collection you will find outside of Italy.
A perfect location to get lost in for half a day, going back in time and imagining what once stood here thousands of years ago.
A must visit stop off in Jordan for any history buff, you will be lost for hours walking around this site.
Explore Petra in all its glory
One of the Seven Wonders of the New World. A visit to Petra simply has to be on your bucket list and it won’t disappoint.
A highlight for any visitor making a trip to Jordan and rightfully so.
A visit to the UNESCO sight will take up a whole day and you will need to get your ticket to enter as gates open around 06:00am in the morning. I would say 07:00 is still an OK time to enter and beat the crowds.
I would recommend purchasing a Jordan Pass if you plan on making a visit to Petra, as the entrance ticket can be expensive on its own. The Jordan pass will also waive the cost of your tourist entry visa at the airport, as well as giving you access to a whole host of attractions across Jordan. It’s worth having a look into if Petra is on your list.
Before you go, be sure to check out Little Petra on the day before (it’s often not mentioned in guide books), but can be a wonderful experience in the evening and a perfect build up to visiting Petra the next day.
Al-Khazneh (or more commonly known as the Treasury) is the most popular attraction within Petra, and is most often seen as the poster child of the whole complex. However Petra is a huge area with much ground to cover. A day visit is enough to cover most parts.
Depending on how fast you walk, around 45 minutes is enough time to walk from the entrance towards the Treasury through the cave valleys that were first formed by earthquakes thousands of years ago.
Take your time through this section, as the cave valley is spectacular to take in with all its colours and formations.
Once you see the Treasury firsthand you will start to understand why this place won its award as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
Funnily enough, you can find a cafe stand, gift shops and camel rides conveniently located outside the Treasury.
To get a better overlook of the Treasury from above, you can take one of the mapped out hiking paths to the top of the valley.
You can find marked out trails on the map that you can easily pick up from the entrance.
It’s advised for your safety and the protection of Petra as an ancient site that you follow the mapped out routes – as many locals will tempt you with short cuts. To avoid damaging Petra or yourself it’s best to follow the mapped out routes.
You can find around 8 walking trails all marked with their difficulty levels, depending on how much time you have in Petra.
My suggestion would be to take the Al Kubtha Trail – this will take you around 5 hours to complete and will offer a Treasury viewpoint at the end.
Stay the night at Feynan Eco Lodge
The Feynan Eco Lodge is located off the beaten track, and was awarded by National Geographic as one of the top 10 Eco lodges around the world.
As well as a place to stay you can take part in many activities – such as cooking classes using local ingredients and preparing local dishes, as well as enjoying many of the surrounding hiking routes around the close-by valleys.
The whole lodge is focused on sustainability – each room is lit by candles at night time, and the sun heats the water during the day for hot showers in the evening.
You can also make the most out of the pure darkness and enjoy a spot of stargazing at night time on the roof decking.
This was a highlight for me on this trip to Jordan as the stay focuses on connecting you with the local community, and on your hiking trail you will get the chance to meet local bedouin communities to enjoy some freshly baked bread, hot tea or freshly ground coffee.
I enjoyed this visit at Feynan Eco Lodge and was a great way to have a look into local Jordanian life and bedouin culture.
The desert land of Wadi Rum
A visit to Jordan just wouldn’t be complete without visiting the vast, enchanting desert lands of Wadi Rum.
A popular thing to do on a trip to Wadi Rum is to stay in one of the local Bedouin camps to experience an overnight stay in the desert, and to learn about the ancient Bedouin culture.
Did you know that the landscape of Jordan is so similar to Mars that it was recently used as the filming location for the Hollywood blockbuster movie The Martian starring Matt Damon?
As you go on a journey around the desert of Wadi Rum you notice that the landscape and scenery is indeed very Martian and a bit surreal, like being on a red alien planet.
A visual mixture and blend of butterscotch-brown-tan with a red tint, this unique desert colour landscape does look and feel like you’re walking around on Mars.
The unique rocky landscape is also perfect and popular amongst mountain climbers and outdoor enthusiasts. You can find many hiking routes to enjoy in the area, or jump in a 4×4 Toyota and explore the dunes.
Be sure to keep a look out for the mushroom-like formations that are scattered around the landscape, and keep an eye out for the ledge formation that has an overhang that you can climb up and walk along.
These valleys have been formed over thousands of years to create the unique, magical landscape of the Wadi Rum. This is glamping on a whole other level, in fact, another planet!
Aqaba and the Red Sea
Aqaba is a gateway to the Red sea and a top destination for scuba diving in the region.
On a trip to Jordan be sure to join a Red Sea boat cruise and explore the sea life below by doing a spot of scuba diving or snorkelling, or even just going for a swim.
The water is super clear and despite its name, the sea isn’t that red after all.
Jordan safety concerns
I’ve had a few direct messages on social media from readers asking me if Jordan was safe to travel around whilst on my trip – so I thought I would address this question in this blog post.
Of course, for UK travellers, always read the current FCO travel advice and follow what they have to say as they offer more solid and up-to-date advice.
On a personal note of my own experience, Jordan was completely safe. I felt safer in Jordan than I do in London at times, so my personal opinion is that you have nothing to worry about.
They take tourism to heart in Jordan, and you will find police and security on every corner ensuring that everything is safe for its visitors.
I didn’t feel at any point that I was in any danger whatsoever, and wanted to share my experience for those who have doubts.
Discover the Dead sea on a trip to Jordan
Another popular attraction in Jordan is to visit the Dead Sea. I stayed at one of the resorts, Crowne Plaza Jordan Dead Sea Resort & Spa, which is located along the Dead Sea Bank.
The banks are more than 400m below sea level, which makes the Dead Sea one of the lowest points to be found on dry land.
It’s popular for extreme levels of salt that can be found in the water – which makes you float. No need for swimming here, just let the sea do all the work and ensure you don’t get any water in your eyes as you will get a nasty salty sting.
The Dead sea also has mineral-rich black mud which is used for therapeutic and cosmetic treatments. Many resorts have the mud ready and available so you can cover yourself if you wish.
Best to go for a float first, then apply the black mud, rest for 10 minutes, then wash it off in the Dead Sea before having a cold shower for the best smooth skin effect. Enjoy!
Travel with Experience Jordan and thank you for reading
Thank you for reading by blog post – I hope you’re excited to go on an adventure around Jordan!
My above trip was hosted by Experience Jordan, The Adventure Travel Trade Association and the Visit Jordan Tourism board.
If you like the above Jordan adventure trip, Experience Jordan has a culture package that is similar to the trip I did so you can also book directly with them and they will take care of your whole itinerary for you.
I had a wonderful time travelling around Jordan with Experience Jordan and hope to travel with them again in the close future on one of their hiking or cycling trips. Be sure to check them out.