Jordan is a diverse country that is perfect for a road trip. During your trip through Jordan you will discover the rose-red city Petra, drive through desert landscapes in Wadi Rum and float in the Dead Sea. You can even visit the Roman ruins in Jerash or experience traditional Jordanian culture with a modern twist in Amman.
Jordan will overwhelm your inner wanderer in a positive way and in this guide you will read everything you need to know about planning a itinerary for Jordan.
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Things to know before you go to Jordan
The Jordan Pass and tourist visa
When entering Jordan you need a tourist entry visa and therefore we recommend you to buy a Jordan pass in advance. Getting a Jordan pass gives you a lot of benefits during your stay in Jordan. If you don’t get a Jordan pass you will have to buy a tourism entry visa on arrival costing 40 JOD. The visa is valid for one month and for all non-restricted nationalities waives the condition that the traveller spend a minimum of three consecutive nights in Jordan.
⫸ Read more: The Jordan pass: save time and money
Is Jordan safe?
Because Jordan is located in the Middle East region, people often think it isn’t safe. But that is not true. The people are really kind and helpful and will do everything to make you feel welcome and comfortable in their country. The Jordan tourism board is working hard to get rid of the negative image the country has to get more tourism, and that is what Jordan deserves.
Airports in Jordan
Jordan has two International airports: the Queen Alia International Airport in Amman and the King Hussein International Airport in Akaba. For us the Airport in Akaba was the starting point of our road trip through Jordan. But you can easily do this trip the other way around if your flight is to Amman.
From Europe a flight to Akaba is cheaper than to Amman. We booked a round trip ticket from Köln to Akaba and paid only €135. When it comes to finding the best flight rates we usually check Skyscanner and Kiwi.
How to get around in Jordan
The best way to travel through Jordan is with a rental car. Public transport in Jordan is very limited so renting a car gives you the freedom to travel at your own pace. The roads are in good condition and are really quiet most of the time. Driving in Amman is a little bit different in comparison to other destinations in Jordan. The capital city is busy and driving there can be really stressful, so be warned.
The views you experience while driving in the mountains are breathtaking. When driving in those secluded places make sure your car is fueled up and you bring enough water and food. We also recommend to drive during the day instead of night, not all roads have street lights and that can be really tough in the mountains.
Jordan is the perfect country for a road trip and a rental car will bring you along the most beautiful landscapes.
Car rental in Jordan
Renting a car in Jordan isn’t that expensive. You can rent a car from €35 to €40 a day including full insurance. We booked our car at Rentalcars, a website where you can compare different companies to find the best prices. For us the best price was with Europcar. We paid €315 for 8 days with full insurance and had to pay a deposit of only €450.
Most rental companies make it possible to add GPS, but if you travel with more people it is easy to use Maps.me and Google Maps to navigate.
Our road trip in numbers
CAR RENTAL €315
FUEL COSTS: €103
DAYS ON THE ROAD: 8
KILOMETERS DRIVEN: 983
Day 1: AQaba
Jordan’s only coastal city is well known for world-class snorkeling and scuba at the Red Sea. If you are looking for an adventure in the underwater world you should pay a visit at Deep Blue Dive Center. They offer several PADI courses and the Red Sea is a perfect location to discover colorful sea creatures, shipwrecks and coral reefs.
Another great thing to do in Aqaba is going to the beach. But keep in mind that Jordan is an Islamic country and it is not recommended for females to wear a bikini. So if you’re looking for some time to relax, a private beach like Berenice Beach club is a good option.
⫸ Find hotels in Aqaba
Day 2: Wadi Rum desert
One thing that has to be in every Jordan itinerary is exploring the Wadi Rum desert. This UNESCO World Heritage site was recently used as a movie set for Disney’s Aladdin starring Will Smith. This wasn’t the first time the Wadi Rum was used as a set for a movie, and when you walk among the dunes you understand why. With 720 square kilometers of beauty, phenomenal rock formations and the glowing red sand Wadi Rum literally feels out of this world.
The best way to explore Wadi Rum is by a 4x4 jeep tour. They bring you among some of the best spots in Wadi Rum which isn’t achievable if you travel by camel. Sleeping in the desert can be done in a traditional Bedouin camp or in a luxury bubble tent. We prefer the last one as it gives you the total Martian experience.
⫸ Read more: Wadi Rum: a trip to mars on earth
Day 3-4: Petra
There it is, the place you initially came to Jordan for: Petra. Hidden between the desert and mountains of Jordan you will find the ancient rose-red Nabatean city carved out of sandstone and currently one of the new seven wonders of the world. The beauty of Petra is hard to describe but it will certainly be the highlight of your trip through Jordan.
To get the most out of your trip to Petra, plan at least two days in Wadi Musa. This small town is at only 10 minutes from the Petra Visitors centre. Have a look at booking.com to see the current rates for hotels in Wadi Musa.
⫸ Read more: Explore the lost city of Petra
Day 5: The Dead Sea
You cannot leave Jordan without floating in the Dead Sea. With almost 10 times more salt than the ocean it is impossible not to float. Even though it is called the Dead Sea it is actually a salt lake located in between Jordan and Israel. The Dead Sea is known as the lowest point on earth at around 400m below sea level. Beside the fact that you can float in the sea, you will also like to find some of the most photogenic salt formations of the area.
⫸ Read more: The Dead Sea: chasing salt formation in Jordan
Day 6: Wadi Mujib
Wadi Mujib is located next to the Dead Sea and this is also the place where you can find the best salt formations. At the Mujib Biosphere Reserve you can walk in the water (canyoning) between huge rock formations. Follow The Siq Trail, this can be done without a guide or one of the other guided hike trails. For more information check out WildJordan.
Day 6: Ma’in Hot Springs
Another nice place to visit, is the Ma’In Hot Springs. This hot spring provides mineral-rich water that are perfect for bathing. The water is natural warmth to temperatures that range between 45 to 60°C by underground lava fissure.
Day 6-7: Amman
Amman is a spirited city and home to both cultural and historical sites. The city is a great example of traditional Jordanian culture combined with a modern twist. This makes it easy to explore for people who are not familiar with travelling to the Middle East. In the heart of downtown Amman you will find sites like Amman Citadel, the Blue Mosque of King Abdullah and the Roman Theatre.
If you plan to stay more than one day in Amman visit Rainbow Street in Jabal. This street is packed with pubs, restaurants and cafes. On Friday morning the Souk Jara Market opens and offers the best local souvenirs. One thing you need to know is that they only open during summer.
⫸ Read more: The ultimate guide to Amman
Day 8: Jerash
Jerash is located North of Amman and is considered one of the most important and interesting Greco-Roman-Byzantine cities of the Middle East. As one of the best preserved roman ruins you will experience a totally different side of Jordan. The archaeological site in Jerash comes right after Petra as the second most popular site in Jordan and your Jordan Pass gives you free entrance.
⫸ Read more: The Roman ruins of Jerash
THE Weather in Jordan
June to August - During the summer in Jordan temperatures can be quite extreme. Exploring places like Wadi Rum and Petra is really tough during this period. The prices drop but most places close during low season.
September to November - The hot summer period is coming to an end and this is a good time to plan a trip to Jordan. Keep in mind that the nights become a lot colder as winter is coming. Shoulder season is the best time to visit Aqaba located at the Red Sea as diving conditions are at their peak.
March to May - Although the prices will be a little higher this is the perfect time to visit Jordan. The weather is great as the temperature is not that extreme yet. If you’re in to hiking this is the best time to travel in Jordan.
What to wear in Jordan
Jordan is a Muslim country and that means that woman cover their arms, legs and head. As a Western woman you don't have to stick to this, but revealing clothing is not appropriate. In the old part of Amman and outside the bigger cities it is better to wear conservative clothing. At public beaches women aren’t allowed to wear a bikini and a one-piece swimsuits is preferred. In touristic resorts it is allowed to wear a bikini.
If you visit Jordan during shoulder or high season it is wise to wear layers. The days start chilly and the temperature rise quickly during the day. At night the the temperature drop just as quickly.
And last but not least, bring good sneakers or hiking shoes. You will walk a lot during your travels in Jordan.
Let us know what you think
Thats about it guys. Hopefully this Jordan itinerary will help you plan your trip through beautiful Jordan. Does it contain all the information you’re looking for, or do you miss something? Let us know in the comments below!