What to do in Jordan
What to do in Jordan
Our guide on the best things to do in Jordan
With bustling cities, UNESCO World Heritage sites, sweeping desert landscapes and Crusade Castles, Jordan offers something for everyone. Whilst mainly a modern city, visitors to Amman, Jordan’s capital will find pockets of history dotted throughout. Located on a hilltop providing views over the city, Amman’s ancient Citadel provides archaeological ruins dating back to the Roman, Byzantine, and Islamic periods, whilst the Roman Amphitheater, one of the best preserved in the world, is one of Amman’s most popular landmarks.
With its dramatic landscapes with striking rock formations rising from the red and gold hued sand, Wadi Rum has long attracted those with an adventurous heart with many partaking in Jeep, hiking and camel trekking tours to discover concealed canyons concealing ancient Nabatean inscriptions, Bedouin cultural experiences and Hot Air balloon rides. Known for its clear skies and lack of light pollution, makes Wadi Rum famous for stargazing, so join a guided stargazing tour or simply lay out a blanket and enjoy the view.
Acting as an significant stopping point on the caravan trading routes between Asia, Arabia and Europe, Petra was once home to an estimated 30,000 people. After the increase of sea travel and a devastating earthquake, Petra was abandoned, with its only visitors for hundred of years being Jordan’s Bedouin tribes. Since it’s rediscovery by the outside world at the beginning of the 19th Century, Petra has become famous, with many visiting the Siq, a winding canyon featured in ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’, the awe inspiring Treasure, an the Monastery, the massive carved temple reached by 800 steps.
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Best activities in Jordan
We offer a broad range of tours and activities across Jordan, catering to all tastes and interests. We’ve picked our just a few of our favourites below. This is just the tip of the iceberg though: let us know what excites you most about Jordan, and we’ll map out the perfect itinerary.
History & Culture
Discover Ancient Petra
Ancient Petra, one of the New 7 Wonders of the World, will literally leave you breathless. You’ll walk through the narrow Siq amidst towering rock walls until suddenly, the grand Treasury with its massive columns comes into view. Carved into the cliffs, the ‘Lost City’ dates back to the 1st-century BC, lost in time after a series of earthquakes, rediscovered in 1812. Petra can also be visited at night by following a candlelit path through the Siq, a surreal experience strolling among the walls toward the Treasury, which is illuminated with thousands of candles after dark. Traditional Bedouin performances are held here at night providing just one more reason to visit at least twice, during the day and after the sun goes down.
Visit Petra on our 8-Night Jordan for Families Tour.
History & Culture
See the Ruins in Jerash
Nestled in a valley amongst the mountains of Gilead, Jerash is a popular day trip from Amman, home to one of the most well-preserved ancient Imperial Roman cities in the world, dating back 6,500 years. An important city on the Roman trade route, the dry climate kept it in excellent condition while it lay untouched for centuries. In 1925 excavations began, uncovering water fountains, theaters, arches, temples, columns, plazas and more. For those visiting during the summer, The Jerash Festival generally takes place towards the end of July and beginning of August. Combining a wide variety of performances including poetry readings, singers and folklore troupes with handicrafts, and art shows against the backdrop of Jerash’s plazas, theaters and colonnaded streets.
Explore Jerash on our 11-Night Discover Jordan & Israel Tour.
History & Culture
Visit Wadi Rum
This renowned desert valley, commonly known as Valley of the Moon, was the famous base for British officer-turned-author T.E. Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia. Filled with magnificent sandstone arches, soaring cliffs and narrow gorges, giving the area an other worldly feel, it’s no surprise that Wadi Rum has provided the backdrop for many Science Fiction films including Prometheus, several installments of the Star Wars franchise and the Oscar nominated, The Martian. With its proximity the home of the Bedouins, inhabited for almost 12,000 years, today visitors enjoy camel safaris and Jeep tours to explore its most impressive sights like the Seven Pillars of Wisdom.
Sleep in a Bedouin Camp
One of the top things to do in Wadi Rum is enjoy an authentic Bedouin experience by camping in a luxury tent. A nomadic herding community, considered to be Jordan’s original settlers the Bedouins or Bedou (meaning desert dwellers) in Arabic, are well known for their hospitality and warm welcomes. Whilst the majority of the Bedouins have settled to cultivate crops, and only a small number of Jordan’s Bedouins maintain a nomadic lifestyle, many of their traditions remain. Most Bedouin experiences include traditional dinners with the meal prepared underground, and after dark, your way is lit by candlelight. Far from light pollution, you’ll enjoy one of the world’s best night skies for stargazing, with billions sparkling overhead after dark.
Mount Nebo, an elevated ridge near Madaba, is said to be both the spot where Moses saw the Promised Land and his rumored burial place. Many make a spiritual journey here, with a Byzantium church and active monastery popular destinations on pilgrimages since the fourth. While it’s an important destination for all faiths, the picturesque views across the Holy land from the top are worth the visit alone.
Nature & Wildlife
See the Dana Nature Reserve
The Dana Nature Reserve is Jordan’s largest nature reserve, covering over 123 square miles with soaring mountains and Wadis, slicing through the Rift Valley. It’s one of Jordan’s best places for hiking, including the popular trek that travels from the 15th-century stone village of Dana, a farming and arts community overlooking the picturesque valley while providing a glimpse of the local life. Whilst not always easy to see, with hundreds of bird, mammal and reptile species, including the elusive Ibex, and several rare species such as the Syrian Wolf & and Sand Cats, Nature lovers will also find plenty to divert them and provide a photo opportunity for budding photographers.
Relax at the Dead Sea with a Mud Bath
At 1,413 ft below sea level (the lowest land-based elevation on Earth) the Dead Sea is actually a lake, loaded with salt – 10 times more than seawater. The high salt content famously causes people to float rather than sink – in fact, you can even lay on your back and read a book. Its waters and the mud along its banks are also known for their high mineral content with elements like magnesium that are said to be healing for the skin, while the area’s increased atmospheric pressure resulting in elevated oxygen levels and weaker UV rays are said to contribute to a wide range of health benefits. Whilst the area has been receiving visitors since Biblical times, today many of the hotels here feature modern spas which utilize the healing properties of the Dead Sea in indulgent treatments for luxurious pampering.
Float in the Dead Sea on our 7-Night Experience Jordan & the Dead Sea Tour.
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