Official language: Arabic
Currency: Jordanian Dinar
Welcome to the country of Jordan, probably the safest and most secure destination currently available to tourists traveling to the Middle East. Its home to intriguing ancient biblical sites that take you back to an era long lost, but tradition here is kept very much alive when you gaze upon modern day local men whom can still be seen dressed in full flowing robes leading livestock across the timeless dessert sands. Jordan offers tourists on a spiritual journey a life changing opportunity. There’s the ancient city of Petra, magnificent in all its might, that competes with other famous sites such as Machu Picchu and Angkar Wat in the showdown of most dramatic lost city, and then there’s the ruined Roman cities boasting the great Crusader Castles, that all scream out architectural brilliance. In the capital city of Amman locals carry on with timeless traditions that have seamlessly integrated into modern times. Jordan offers some of the wildest adventures available in the region with attractions such as the red desert sands of Wadi Rum, the great Gulf of Aqaba, and the astounding lifeless Dead Sea. The country might well be covered in 85% dessert but offers opportunities that surpass the imaginable. Step inside and sip some authentic cardamom coffee with the scent of the nargileh (water pipe) looming in the distance and ravel in all that this amazing destination has on offer.
Jordan’s fame dates back to biblical times as this country is home to the brook where Jesus was baptized and also the mountain from where Moses laid eyes upon the ‘Promised Land’. Furthermore the blockbuster film ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’ is set in the landscapes of the enchanting country of Jordan.
The country of Jordan holds the most amazing scenery, wild adventures that are possible, rich cultural heritage as well as great historical landmarks and ruins. They have the Dead Sea which is a natural wonder of the world and have some of the most well preserved Roman ruins in the region. But what makes Jordan truly exceptional is the fact that it remains one of the most stable and safest Middle Eastern destinations for tourists. Together with these facts the warm and seemingly overwhelmingly friendly people of Jordan are essentially what makes this country truly unique in every sense of the word.
Must see places in Jordan
Along the banks of the Jordan River ancient churches and hermits’ caves point to the location where John the Baptist performed the baptism of Jesus. It’s a great attraction and for those on a spiritual journey it proves to be more rewarding than ever thought possible.
Showcasing extensive archeological remains such as an old Islamic Palace, Byzantine churches and the Roman Temple of Hercules makes this hilltop a fascinating discovery site that offers scenic views over the capital city.
Nestled in the southern hills of Jordan lie the ancient fortress castle of the Crusaders and nearby is also the historic headquarters that have eerie underground passageways and instantly takes you back to a biblical time.
Explore the castle where Lawrence of Arabia built his headquarters during the 1917 Great Arab Revolt. Filled with rich architectural insight into the lifestyles of fallen heroes, this site offers tourists an educational tour of more modern yet historical lifestyles.
Columns, silent churches and temples make up the landscape of this greatly preserved age old Roman City.
One of the great wonders of the Middle Eastern world, Petra is truly a magnificent ‘lost city’. An entire city carved straight into solid rock, this top tourist attraction lends an atmosphere of mystery and grandeur. It boasts wondrous sites such as el Khazneh (The Treasury) Museum, The Temple of the Winged Lions, the al-Deir (Monastery) and the archeological museum.
Excavated in the city of Um er Rasas lies the spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Site that showcases the most amazing mosaic floors imaginable.
Things to do in Jordan
Wadi al-Mujib is the lowest nature reserve in the world, reaching the highest level in 900 meter, the lowest in 400 meter below sea level. The area about 220 square km offers a variety in nature and wildlife and is a hotspot for eco- and adventure tourism.
Experience the Bedouin Culture
In the hidden city of Feynan the award winning eco lodge offers superb accommodation and allows visitors the opportunities to experience the lifestyle of authentic Bedouin families, gaze upon the awe inspiring night skies lit by millions of stars or venture out on breathtaking wilderness walks.
Explore the wildlife
In Azraq Wetlands you can truly soak up the natural beauty of the wild landscapes and even encounter the wild animals such as hyenas, wolfs, gazelles and ostriches.
Do a desert castle tour
Built by the Umayyad in ancient times the group of early-Islamic hunting lodges and trading posts have become known as the Desert Castles. Just east of the city of Amman sites such as Kharanah and Amra offers tourist scenic exploration opportunities.
Bob like a cork in the Dead Sea
A true natural wonder and also the lowest point in the world, the Dead Sea attracts thousands of visitors wishing to float about in the dense salt water that seems to be disappearing and is actually shrinking in size at an alarming rate
Dive the Red Sea
At Aqaba once you emerge in the beautiful waters you are sure to be amazed by the psychedelic wonder world that waits below
Best time to visit Jordan
Tourists visit Jordan between June and August
Jordan is essentially a year round destination but it all depends on where you want to go. June through August sees the high summer times and in cities such as Amman the heat isn’t excessively hot, but the Eastern Desert, Jordan Valley and Aqaba tend to become intensely overheated during peak summer. All areas throughout Jordan can quickly cool down come nightfall, and even in the mid-summer can get rather chilly at night. Winter runs from December through February and areas such as Petra can expect cold conditions, rain and even snow, but offering a welcome relief from the colder temperatures are the areas of the Jordan Valley and Aqaba that are warm all through the winter months.
Did you know?
Greet locals with the phrase “Salam wa aleikum” which translates to peace be upon you and is the most common greeting term used by locals.
Held weekly along the lanes of the Rainbow Street in Amman, this festival showcases the finest crafts, cuisine, books and fashion the region has to offer 9 (May through September)
A spectators delight that sees racecar drivers speed their vehicles through the hills of North Amman and around the Dead Sea (May)
Al Balad Music Festival
Relish yourself in the traditional cultural music of the Jordanian people and experience the rich heritage through the great performances held in the Roman Odeon in downtown Amman (June)
Expect bustling performances from top entertainers from Jordan as well as a magical sprinkle of international stars at this annual arts festival that showcases concerts and poetry readings as well as craft markets that take over the Roman ruins of Jerash just north of Amman.
- Mezze – this is a selection of starters that gets served with just about every main meal. It usually includes fool (broad bean stew) hummus (mashed chickpeas with olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, tahini paste and salt) moutabel (smoked aubergine dip) and tabbouleh (finely chopped parsley salad).
- Mensaf – This traditional Bedouin dish is basically stewed lamb in a yoghurt sauce and is eaten straight with the right hand. It’s delectable and very filling.
- Maglouba – This traditional chicken dish gets roasted with cinnamon, cardamom, allspice and nutmeg.
- Kibbe – This deep fried ground meat dish is served with burghul (ground, steamed wheat) onion and cinnamon.
- Baklava – It’s a dessert dish that has become world famous and is one you have to try the authentic way. Philo pastry layers stuffed with pistachio nuts and drizzled with heaps of honey make for a decadent sweet treat.
- Kunafeh – this authentic Palestinian dessert is made up from goat’s cheese that gets layered with pastry and is served warm and drizzled with syrup.
Get the recommended vaccinations which include; yellow fever, measles, polio, hepatitis A and hepatitis B as well as typhoid.
Jordan is a desert country and tends to get hot real fast; something that travelers often forget is to drink enough fluids to prevent dehydration and even worse, heat stroke.
Always dress conservatively, covering shoulders down to the knees, as this is required by the cultural beliefs.
- Find and use a reliable tour operator or guide in order to safely and effectively guide you through the various destinations on offer
- Make sure you carry enough small change to tip vendors when out and about as tipping is an integral part of business.
When going to visit the Red Sea, stick to just floating in the water, never try to swim as you will instantly be flipped over and inevitably end up with an awful mouth full of very salty water.
Be aware that Jordan does not have heavy fines or penalties when it comes to rules and regulations about smoking in public places, so you might find people smoking cigarettes and water pipes right under your nose.
A public display of affection, even in married couples, is not at all tolerated.