Going Somewhere New: The Wonders of Jordan

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For most people, the idea of travelling means stuffing a backpack with your camera, clothes, and passport and heading on an adventure on tuk-tuks through Thailand, climbing Machu Picchu in Peru, interrailing through Europe, or taking a classic road trip from coast to coast across the USA. 

However, while these places are popular for a reason, they are not the be-all and end-all of the potential travel destinations. Sure, they will bring superb experiences and heaps of new people, but the world is so large that there are so many other places, often not teeming with Gap Year students, for you to explore. 

If you’re hoping to go somewhere new, somewhere different and away from the crowds, then Jordan is a fantastic option for both experienced and newbies travellers. It’s steeped in culture and history and offers something a little different to your regular travel itinerary. 

Where Is Jordan?
You will find Jordan, officially known as the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, in the Middle East. It sits on the East Bank of the Jordan River bordered by Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Syria, Israel and Palestine’s West Bank. The capital city is Amman. 

If you’re travelling from London, the flight takes 4 hours and 50 minutes. However, flying from other parts of the UK non-stop can be as long as 7 hours, while flights with stopovers can extend as long as 30 hours. 

Best Time to Go
Previous travellers who have enjoyed everything Jordan has to offer recommend visiting during March to May, which is the Jordanian Spring. During this time, desert blossoms into wildflowers and forest cover the countryside is lush greenery. 

If March to May doesn’t work, Autumn (September to November) is also ideal. It comes at the end of summer, so you won’t struggle with the heat, and the areas around the Gulf of Aqaba are perfect for diving. 

How Long to Go For
Jordan is not a vast country; however, it’s also not small enough to see all the essentials over a weekend. Experts recommend the optimal amount of time to spend in Jordan to be 4 to 6 days, as this allows you to see the main attractions. 

However, if you want to have a more leisurely trip, then 4 to 6 days may not be enough time. If you want to take in as much as possible and see everything on your itinerary, you can enjoy a relaxed adventure in 10 days. This gives you time to recover in between activities and also gives you time to spend a day extra somewhere, especially if your tour gets cancelled and needs to be rescheduled. 

What to Bring
As Jordan is a hot and humid country, you’ll need to take appropriate clothing such as shorts and t-shirts, or at least something equivalent to such clothes. However, you’ll also be spending some time in the desert, so make sure to pack long sleeves and breathable trousers. You can layer these clothes and remove or add depending on the temperature. 

It’s also essential to bring makeup and deodorant (over antiperspirant) as this allows your skin to breathe. You can also protect your face and eyes with sunglasses and a scarf to prevent whipping sand catching you when out in the desert.

You won’t spend all your time in the desert, though, so bring swim shorts or swimming costumes so you can cool off in the water during Dead or Red Sea tours. For this, you’ll need sun cream too, so that you don’t burn from exposure to the sun. 

Finally, two pairs of comfortable shoes will suffice: a pair of regular shoes you can wear in the evening, and a pair of hiking shoes for any treks you might take. To minimize weight in your suitcase, wear heavier shoes when boarding the plane. 

What to See
Now your suitcase is packed, you can start thinking about what to see and do in Jordan. Despite the fact it doesn’t have the reputation as a huge tourist destination, there is still an array of things to explore depending on the type of traveller you are. 

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The undoubted main attraction of Jordan is Petra which demands two days to explore the entire of 60 miles of the Lost City. The best time to go is in the early morning or late afternoon when the temperature is more bearable and before and after most of the other tourists have looked around. 

You can also visit the Treasury at night every Monday, Wednesday and Friday where over 1500 candles light the ruins as you make your way through the gorge. 

Petra is a 2-hour drive from Aqaba. 

You’ll fly into Amman, the capital city and have the chance to get your bearings. There are plenty of great restaurants with traditional Middle Eastern food, while the Citadel is the perfect place to start your trip once you’ve recovered from the flight. 

History lovers will also adore the Roman Hercules Temple, an Umayyad Palace, and Byzantine church, while at sunset, you can visit King Abdullah II’s mosque. 

Red Sea
If you’re into diving, then taking a Jordan Tour to the South Red Sea at Aqaba delivers stunning coral reefs and diving opportunities. The area is full of colourful wildlife which you can spot even if you don’t want to get into the water. 

It’s a 1-hour drive away from Wadi Rum, so you can take a day trip or use it as a stopover for your next leg of the tour, especially if you want to save Petra until the end. 

Dead Sea 
The famous Dead Sea takes an hour and a half to get to via car driving from Amman. Aside from Petra, it is considered the top attraction Jordan has to offer, and gives you a chance to lie back, relax, and let the ultra-saline water float all your troubles away. After you’ve taken a float, you can enjoy a cleansing mineral mud bath and feel rejuvenated.

If you’re not too short on time, you can also stop off at Mount Nebo, which is a Biblical pilgrimage said to be where Moses observed the Promised Land.

Dana Biosphere Reserve
The Dana Biosphere Reserve gives you the chance to take a long but leisurely hike through the wilds of Jordan. You can do it either independently or, if you’re prone to getting lost, you can hire a guide from the local Bedouin tribe who can answer questions about the history, ecology, and more. At the end of your day, lie back, relax, and take in the stars, as the lack of light pollution makes it a sight to behold. 

Wadi Rum
Wadi Rum offers stunning and almost alien vistas as far as your eyes can see. You’ll be surrounded by red rock, and you can travel through the desert by jeep. This takes you on a tour that starts at 9 AM and goes through until 4 PM. along the way, you can visit Lawrence Springs, Red Sand Dunes, Burdah Arch, and Khazali Canyon, among a plethora of other fantastic attractions that you must photograph. 

You’ll end the day in a Bedouin tent and dine on authentic Jordanian cuisine known as a Zarb, that will make you think no other barbeques you have will ever match. 

Getting Around
You’ll be happy to learn you won’t be stranded in Jordan if you miss your bus. The infrastructure is such that you can get around the country relatively easy by bus. However, there are no timetables, and the stops are often not where you’d expect. The locals will be able to help you if you’re unsure, though. 

If you’re short on time, you can also take a flight from Amman to Aqaba. 

Things to Remember
As with any trip, you’ll need to remember certain things to make sure your adventure is successful. 

Plugs - Jordan uses plug types C, D, F and G with a standard voltage of 230V and frequency of 50Hz. A universal adapter is the best way to get around this, but only if it has a built-in converter to prevent overloading. 

Currency - The currency of Jordan is the Jordanian Dinar, and 1 JOD is equivalent to 1.10 GBP at the time of writing. There are plenty of ATMs in the city, but few (if any) in places such as Wadi Rum. If this is on your itinerary, make sure to take enough cash with you. 

Safety - Jordan is a relatively safe country, even for solo travellers. However, like most places around the world, travelling in a group, even if it’s just people you meet at your hotel or hostel, is recommended. 

The Culture - Jordan is a majority Muslim country, so be sure to respect the culture when visiting. As a tourist, you will be allowed to get away with more than others, but as with anywhere, do not take advantage of this or risk getting in trouble. 

Your New Favourite Place
With so much to do both in and out of the bug hubs of Jordan, it’s no surprise that many people who visit consider it to be their favourite Asian country and perhaps their favourite country overall. It’s fun to chat with other travellers about shared experiences in the usual places every backpacker ventures to, but going somewhere a little different from the norm can bring untold riches and memories to cherish. 

Source: Unsplash
Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post.

I really hope you guys enjoyed this post and found it ever so useful; I'm 100% sure that this will come in handy in the near future if you're looking for a new and exciting destination to visit as Jordan is, quite frankly, STUNNING and deserves as much attention as it can get. 

Do you enjoy travelling? If so, would you consider visiting Jordan?

Let me know in the comments section below and, as usual, follow myself and this blog for more intriguing posts, just like this, as often as I can!

Until next time,
Marina Rosie x

1 comment

  1. I would have never thought to visit Jordan, but it sounds quite interesting and that there's a lot to see and do!

    Di from Max The Unicorn


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