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Travel future: My Jordan itinerary

Wadi Rum desert in Jordan

Jordan has been on my travel wish-list for years. I like to think it’s because of the amazing historic sites and other-worldly desert scenery which make it a dream place to visit for a photography lover. But who am I kidding, it was famous view of the Treasury at Petra through the rock corridor of the Siq in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade that sold it to me. Either way, after my original travel plans for 2012 had to be abandoned, the combination of a free week in November, a search for the sun and some unexpectedly cheap flights conspired to make this the year that I finally make it to Jordan. This will be my first trip to the Middle East and I have plenty lined up to pack into next week…

Ancient and modern in Amman and Jerash

After flying into the capital, Amman, we’ll be spending a couple of nights in the city. So there should be time to see some of the ancient and modern sides of this city – from the art galleries and bars to the souks and Citadel. And after visiting Pompeii earlier this year, we’ll also be visiting the Middle East’s own version at Jerash. Just north of Amman, Jerash is an amazingly well-preserved Roman city, complete with amphitheatres, temples, and even a (slightly less authentic) gladiator and chariot race show.

Roman ruins at Jerash, Jordan

The Roman ruins at Jerash – photo credit jemasmith

Following the King’s Highway to Petra

From Amman, we’ll be heading south towards Petra on the King’s Highway. The Highway is a 5000-year- old trading route that runs past Crusader castles, Byzantine churches, Biblical sites, nature reserves and viewpoints. We’ve hired a car and are going to spend a day driving the 200 miles so we can stop off for as many photo stops as we like en route. Then we have three nights in Petra, to see the Treasury by day and lit by candles at night, clamber over rocks and wander through temples. Hopefully there’ll also be time to eat with the Bedouin out in the desert or take a Jordanian cookery class while we’re there too.

The rock temples of Petra, Jordan

The temples of Petra – photo credit Kyle Taylor

Floating in the Dead Sea

Then from Petra we head down into the epic desert landscapes of Wadi Rum, before travelling back north for a couple of days of luxury along the shores of the Dead Sea. We’ll be experiencing the weird feeling of floating in the salty waters and covering ourselves in mineral-rich mud at the lowest point on Earth. And from there we’ll stop off at the Ma’In hot springs for a bit more soaking, before heading back to Amman and home (to spend the next week processing the thousands of photos I’ll have taken!).

The salt water of the Dead Sea, Jordan

The salty shores of the Dead Sea – photo credit CharlesFred

So that’s my Jordan itinerary. Have you ever visited any of these places? If you have any tips or suggestions of places to see, eat or drink while I’m out there, please let me know.

41 Comments Post a comment
  1. dustysoles #

    I think Jordan has made it on to my own wishlist now!

    November 12, 2012
    • Excellent, there should be lots of posts and pictures to come to sell it to you even more!

      November 12, 2012
  2. missmadaboutravel #

    Wow! Jordan’s been on my bucketlist for a very very long time… and I wish I’ll have the time to visit it some time soon! Enjoy it a lot… and I’ll look forward to reading you once you’re back! 😉

    November 12, 2012
    • Thanks, it’s such a fascinating country, I shall no doubt be taking hundred of photos out there!

      November 12, 2012
  3. This is such a coincidence as ony this weekend my husband and I discussed a trip to Jordan! I will watch your experiences unfold with great interest. Your itinerary sounds very exciting, just the right amount o f time everywhere. We’re you tempted at all to include Aqaba and the Red Sea?

    November 12, 2012
    • How strange! We did think about including the Red Sea but with only 8 days it would’ve meant squeezing the time in other places and a load more driving, so we’re giving it a miss this time (a good excuse to go back!). Should have lots of tips to share by the time I get back.

      November 12, 2012
  4. Sounds good. Wadi Rum and the desert is great. Avoid Aqaba, Petra good too.
    We also stayed at Wadi Dana, quite isolated but very relaxing.

    November 12, 2012
    • Thanks, Wadi Dana looks amazing and relaxing is always good!

      November 12, 2012
  5. Sounds like a brilliant week! Have yet to make it to Jordon but I am sure it will be crowding my list for top interests for 2013! Have a great time. Can’t wait to see your photos.

    November 12, 2012
    • So many places to go, so little time! Jordan’s been on my list for years so I’m excited to finally make it out there.

      November 12, 2012
  6. I envy you. The Middle East isn’t on my radar yet as a travel destination, but maybe after reading of your adventures I’ll think otherwise. Have fun!

    November 12, 2012
    • This will be my first Middle East trip so it’ll be interesting to see a new part of the world.

      November 12, 2012
  7. Don’t miss the High Place of scrifice at Petra for knockout views and the building known as the Monastery, it’s like the treasury only on a mountain top!

    November 12, 2012
    • Thanks for the tip, mountain top views sound just my thing!

      November 12, 2012
  8. I’ve been longing to go here to for ages. Have a wonderful time and I’m looking forward to the photos.
    P.S. lovely to finally meet you in person last week at WTM.

    November 12, 2012
    • Thanks Kat, I suspect there will be a lot of photos to see! Lovely to meet you last week too and will definitely have to sort out a mini blogger meet up.

      November 12, 2012
  9. Havent been to Jordan yet but we recently did Israel. Looking forward to your trip as well

    November 12, 2012
    • You have some great photos from Israel. Looking forward to my first experiences of the Middle East.

      November 12, 2012
  10. I’ve been to Jarash & the dead sea… unfortunately I was sick on the day we went to Petra so I never made it there! Have fun, you’ll enjoy it 🙂

    November 12, 2012
    • What a shame to get so close and miss Petra! Hope you make it out there sometime. Looking forward to seeing Jerash after doing Pompeii earlier this year.

      November 12, 2012
  11. This has been on my wish-list for a few years too. Have a fabulous time and I can’t wait to see your photos and posts when you get back – they’ll definitely fuel the wanderlust 🙂

    November 12, 2012
    • Thanks, I’ve seen so many fabulous photos from Petra I hope I can do it justice!

      November 12, 2012
  12. Great itinerary Lucy. I’m looking forward hearing more about it. I have a tour booked for next April. Can’t wait to get trigger happy in Petra 🙂

    November 13, 2012
    • Hopefully I should have some tips to pass your way before your trip. I’ll be stocking up on the spare memory cards before I go!

      November 13, 2012
  13. This sounds amazing! I can’t wait to travel Jordan and the Middle East. I look forward to reading about your adventures there!

    November 13, 2012
    • Thanks, it’s such an interesting region I suspect that this taster might start me off on another huge list of places I want to visit!

      November 13, 2012
  14. I have not really researched Jordan much. But like everyone, I am so excited to hear about it and see TONS of pictures!

    November 13, 2012
  15. OMG, Petra is just impressively great and I love to visit on day. You also captured Petra the best it should and I am inspired.

    November 17, 2012
    • Thanks, I should have lots of Petra posts and photos to come in the next few weeks.

      November 17, 2012
    • exciting! Id love to see and read it 🙂

      November 17, 2012
  16. What can I say? You’re there already!

    November 21, 2012
    • Just back now! The week flew by but had a great time – though coming back to the English cold and wet weather is a bit of a shock!

      November 26, 2012
  17. Have a great time Lucy!
    We followed a near identical itinerary in reverse – went to the Dead sea straight from the airport and then did Jerash and Ajloun from Amman at the end. Jordan was amazing. Look forward to reading your personal take on it 🙂

    November 21, 2012
    • Thanks Madhu, just back and had a fantastic trip, lots of photos and posts to come!

      November 26, 2012
  18. I have been to all of these places 🙂
    Wadi Rum, Petra and the dead sea are an absolute must!! Out of all the places Ive been to (which is quite a lot), Jordan has got it’s own unique beauty! One of the best places I’ve ever seen!

    November 28, 2012
    • You’re right, it was such a great country and so much to see, I only had a week to scratch the surface but really enjoyed my time there.

      November 30, 2012
  19. Sonia #

    Hey Lucy! Are you done with your future itinerary of Jordan? We are just back from a 9 day trip..Petra, Wadi Rum, Dead Sea and diving in the Red Sea.
    Working on a blog to share the trip….glad to share.

    April 9, 2014
  20. Dear Lucy,

    I am planning a 5-days trip to Jordan from Kuwait with my wife and our “then” 8 months-old Infant son with the following tentative itinerary from 3 Oct to 7 Oct (Eid Break):

    D1: Land at 10 AM and direct from airport to Wadi Rum and overnight in camp

    D2: Petra full day, overnight in Petra

    D3: Dana, Dead Sea, Mount Nebo, Madaba, overnight in Madaba

    D4: Jerash, Ajlun and/or Umm Qais), overnight in Amman

    D5: Amman and departure at 10 PM

    Would Early October be a good time to travel to Jordan and more importantly with all the internal travel involved, would it be a huge trouble/inconvenience with our Infant son?

    And Should I plan a self-drive trip following the above itinerary or a tour-operator trip which would cost me somewhere in the range of USD 1500 to USD 2000? I was doing my research and this seems a bit too high considering it is just a 3-star accommodation cost.

    I am absolutely fine with self-driving and it would also provide a bit og flexibility to us and also the fun of self-exploration.

    How safe would be a self-drive across Jordan and how convenient considering we can’t speak Arabic.

    Look forward to your response.

    Thanks a ton in advance!



    June 25, 2014
    • Hi Nishant, sounds like you have a great trip planned. Early October should be a good time weather wise. We visited in early November and the days were warm (hot in the sun) and the nights were cool, so you should avoid the hottest times, though I’d try and factor in visiting Petra early morning and late afternoon and having a break over midday (when it’s busy anyway).

      We found self-driving very easy, though if you can hire a GPS with your car I would recommend it as the road maps and signposting aren’t great. Petrol costs are very reasonable and the roads are all good (though there are a lot of speed humps and sometimes they’re not marked so watch out). Your itinerary sounds reasonable in terms of distance and the car means you can be flexible if you want want to stop off more with your son.

      Hope you have a fantastic time!

      June 27, 2014

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