We decided to visit Jordan in the month of December 2019 from Memmingen in Germany. The flight tickets were dirt cheap from this little known airport that we could not resist the temptation of ticking off another country from our list. We decided to do a road trip in Jordan as the public transport in Jordan is either non-existent or unreliable. To plan a trip to Jordan then keep reading our Jordan Road Trip Itinerary – The Ultimate Guide. From booking a car to the do’s and don’t’s, we have tried to cover it all in this post.
Blessed with dramatic landscape, rich in history and culture, Jordan is one of the gems that you don’t want to miss in the Middle East. We went there with no expectations and came back falling in love with this beautiful country.
Driving in Jordan
You can drive in Jordan with an Indian driving license. Remember, Jordan is RHT (right-hand traffic). The petrol prices in Jordan are comparable to Indian petrol prices, however, we found it a lot cheaper compared to Ireland. You can book your car online. You will find almost all global car rental companies in Jordan. Our Jordan road trip wouldn’t have been so amazing, had we not rented a car.
READ OUR POST – Driving in Jordan – Tips & Things to Know
JORDAN ROAD TRIP ITINERARY
- Day 1: Fly to Amman. Visit Amman Citadel, Roman Theatre and relish some Jordanian Delicacies.
- Day 2: Start early for Petra. You can also stop at multiple pit stops to admire the salt deposits and unique formation on your way to Petra. Take the Dead Sea Highway Route and Dana Biosphere Reserve. Most of the salt formations are near Mujib Bridge. Try reaching Petra before noon. Visit Petra and attend Petra by night if you are willing to.
- Day 3: Start early, pack your lunch and hike to the Monastery at Petra.
- Day 4: Drive to Wadi Rum and spend a night and sleep under the starry sky.
- Day 5: After Breakfast, head to Aqaba if you love diving or snorkeling ( Distance from Wadi Rum to Aqaba – 1 Hour )
- Day 6: Spend your day at Aqaba
- Day 7: Head back to Madaba via King’s highway. On your way back visit Dana Biosphere and Kerak Castle.
- Day 8: Visit Wadi Mujib if you are up for some adventure. If you are going during winter months, spend your time at Ma’in Hot Spring or check the amazing Spa at the resort nearby.
- Day 9: Day trip to Jerash and Ajloun Castle. Locals also suggested us to include a quick stop at Umm Qais which is a hilltop Settlement ( Note: This place is quite close to the border so do enquire the latest status if you are planning to include this to your itinerary )
- Day 10: Fly back to your home country. 🙂
(Note: You can change it according to your wish, you can easily do this in 5 or 7 days as well. Do plan your Jordan road trip itinerary depending on your flight timings. Also, do factor in the sunset and sunrise timings while planning your itinerary, it does vary from winter to summer.)
Our Jordan Road Trip Itinerary
Day 1 – Arrival at Queen Alia International Airport & Dead Sea
We reached Amman International Airport (Queen Alia) around 11:30 AM local time. We already had our Jordan pass with us so we proceeded to get the visa on arrival. Upon reaching the counter, we were informed that we would need to report to the Home Police office in the airport before we could be given the on arrival visa. The Home Police office is located just 200 meters from the Visa On Arrival (VOA) counter. In the Home Police office, we had to submit our passports and Irish Residence permits and they gave us a slip with our exit date and some other details which were in Arabic. We had to produce this slip at the VOA counter and our visas were stamped to our passport. Then we had to go through passport control. The overall process took about an hour or so. If you have a Jordan pass, then you don’t have to pay for the visa else you will have to pay the visa fee at the counter.
From the month of December 2019, Indian passport holders are no longer being given Visa on Arrival. However, if you have an Indian passport and a valid visa for the US, Canada or if you have a residence permit from any European country, you still qualify for the visa on arrival.
As this was our first day in Jordan, we didn’t want it to be too adventurous hence we opted to stay at the Holiday Inn near the Dead Sea. We picked up our car from the airport and drove to the resort. It took us about an hour and a half to reach the resort. We took the Ma’in street road that passes by the outskirts of Madaba. The road to the Dead Sea becomes extremely scenic just after Madaba. The landscape is barren and surreal. We stopped at a couple of places to admire the landscape and click some pictures. Obviously road trip in Jordan is incomplete without pitstops and pictures.
We reached the resort by 2:30 PM local time and after checking in, we had some food as we were starving. The resort has a private beach so we decided to go and try floating in the Dead Sea. However, our plans to float in the Dead Sea had to wait for a few days as the weather Gods were not kind on that particular day. We were advised not to go into the water by the Lifeguards on duty. So we spent time sitting at the beach and watching the sunset.
If your flight arrives early then it is best to visit Amman Citadel for a beautiful sunset, Roman theatre, and Mount Nebo on day 1 itself.
Day 2 – Night at Petra Bubble Hotel
The next day we drove towards Petra via the beautiful Dana Biosphere Reserve.
We had decided to stay in a Bubble tent in Jordan and as luck would have it, we found a last-minute deal near Petra. We always wanted to sleep under the starry skies in a bubble tent. But unfortunately, it rained heavily that night. However, we did get to enjoy traditional music and sumptuous food. The Bubble Hotel is a luxury hotel and every bubble tent has a jacuzzi with it. We had a view of the barren landscape from the room. The booking included dinner and breakfast, so we were sorted for the stay. The stay here was the highlight of our Jordan road trip.
Day 3 – Visited the famous Petra – One of the Seven wonders of the world
We visited the famous Petra. Petra, the ancient city of Raqmu, is a historical and archeological city in Southern Jordan. It is believed that the area around Petra has been inhabited since 7,000 B.C.
🐪 The name is derived from a feminine Greek word “Petros” which means “rocks.”
🐪 The city was first established in 312 BC; making it one of the oldest metropolises in the world.
🐪 Commonly known as the ‘Lost City’.
🐪 It was rediscovered by the Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt in 1812.
🐪 Petra is also called the ‘Rose City’ due to the colour of its rocks.
🐪 Petra is home to over 800 carved monuments that include tombs, treasury, streets, halls, and homes.
🐪 Petra by Night light and sound show is organized on Monday, Wednesday & Thursday. So, plan accordingly.
🐪 Entry to this beautiful UNESCO Heritage Site is included in the Jordan Pass.
🐪 There are various hiking trails that lead to the Monastery, Royal Tomb and other monuments.
We attended the Petra by Night. It definitely looks stunning at night but to be honest the show was not worth 17 JD per person. Luckily the day we visited, there were only 40 – 50 people and everyone was quite, listening to the traditional Bedouin music which lasted for just 15 mins and after that everyone was busy taking pictures.
If you want to truly enjoy and make the most of the tour then don’t go back to the entrance gate and join the group. Stay back at the small shop in front of the treasury and wait to see the whole process as to how they set it up and see the whole transformation. We enjoyed more in that 2 – 3 hours waiting than the actual show. The walk back to the entrance with candles lit on either side; the sky full of gazillion stars and the background music, it all made the evening more magical than the actual show. 🧙♀️ ⭐️🌟🌟🌟
Day 4 – Petra & Hiking Trails
It is advisable to start early if you are planning to squeeze in some trails whilst your visit and don’t forget to pack something to eat as there are limited options inside Petra. Here are some popular trails that you can do, all the trails start from the visitor center of Petra-
- Main Trail
- The Treasury Viewpoint Trail
- The High Palace of Sacrifice Trail
- The Monastery Trail
We started the day early and visited Petra again in the first half and after having an early lunch (11:30 AM) we drove towards Wadi Rum to spend the night in the Desert. Try reaching Wadi Rum before 2:30 PM.
Wadi Rum is known as the valley of the moon. Famous for its red-pink sands, stunning natural arches and mountains, and prehistoric rock engravings. We stayed in Wadi Rum just for one night and unfortunately missed the sunset tour but we did opt for the sunrise tour which was magical. The place where we stayed was not as luxurious one like the other camps in Wadi Rum but the location was quite good. If there is one thing that we would love to change from our Jordan road trip itinerary, it would definitely be our stay at Wadi Rum. The food was ok and there was no performance or activities planned like other camps. There are other good luxury camps to stay like Martian Bubble Tents and Bubble Hotel, we highly recommend to consider staying in one of these if budget is not a concern.
Things to Do in Wadi Rum –
- Stargazing Tours
- Sunset or Sunrise Tours that cover places like
- Um Sabatah (rock formation)
- Um Mugur (mountain)
- Al Ramel near Jabal Al-Qattar (sand dune)
- Seven Pillars of Wisdom
- Sleep in a Martian Tent or Bubble Tent under a starry sky.
- Get to know up and close the Bedouin Lifestyle.
🐪 Don’t forget to pack your warm clothes as temperature drops during the night.
🐪 Don’t forget to try your hands at night photography during your stay at Wadi Rum.
🐪 Wifi or Mobile Network is pretty bad so it’s a good excuse for a digital detox.
🐪 Don’t forget to carry drinking water if you are planning to go for the sunrise/sunset tour.
There are some amazing places to stay at Wadi Rum on Booking.com
Day 5 – Wadi Rum and Ma’in Hot Spring
We opted for the four-hour Sunrise Tour in Wadi Rum as we missed out on the Sunset tour by 10 minutes and the group had already left by the time we reached the camp.
Do check our Youtube video on all the places we visited during our 4-hour sunrise tour. After having breakfast we checked out of the camp and drove back to Amman. We checked in to Ma’in Hot Spring Resort.
Optional: If you love water sports, you should definitely add Aqaba to your list which is famous for snorkeling and diving in the Red Sea. Aqaba is a beach town and it is just an hour away from Wadi Rum.
Day 6 – Explore the trails at Wadi Mujib
Our initial plan was to visit Wadi Mujib which is a river canyon in the Dead Sea and is at 420 metres below sea level. But unfortunately few trails were closed and we did not have water shoes with us, so we decided to spend all our time at the resort, relaxing in the hot springs, Spa sessions and relish some Jordanian delicacies.
Day 7 – Amman Citadel and Roman Theater
We had no plans for the day as well as we wanted to relax and enjoy the warm weather before heading back to cold and freezing Germany. We started the day quite late, had our breakfast and decided to visit the Amman Citadel on our last day and enjoyed our time at the Ramada resort and floating in the dead sea.
Amman citadel is one of the most popular as well as historic sites in Jordan. Perched on the highest hill in Amman. It comprises a 1,700-meter long wall that dates back to the Bronze Age, iconic temple of Hercules and the Umayyad Palace.
Travel Tip: Entrance to the Citadel is 2 JD or free with Jordan pass. There is parking right at the entrance. You can easily club your visit to the Roman Theatre. It’s better to walk downhill to the Roman Theatre and hail a taxi back to Citadel if you are not planning to walk back uphill.
The place gets really crowded so try to visit early if possible during peak seasons. 🙂
Tips for visiting the Dead Sea
- You won’t find any salt formation in any of the resorts however you will get to use the Dead Sea mud and the private beach.
- Don’t forget to pack your water shoes.
- It’s advisable not to spend too much time in the Dead Sea as too much salt is not good for the body.
- Be careful when trying to float in the sea as the water stings and burns if it gets into your mouth or eyes.
- You don’t need to stay in any luxury resort to access the Dead Sea, there are multiple public beaches that are accessible for free, however, make sure to carry fresh water for cleaning yourself.
- If you are looking for the salt formation deposits then you need to drive towards the Mujib bridge. There are a lot of places where you can park your car and enjoy your time floating in the dead sea amidst the stunning landscape.
OTHER ATTRACTIONS TO VISIT
- The Duke’s Diwan in Amman
- Shobak Castle & Kerak Castle on your way to Petra
- Baptism Site in Jordan near Dead Sea/ Amman
Hope our Jordan road trip itinerary helps with your travel planning for Jordan. Do check our Instagram account for more pictures and also our Jordan Series on Youtube.
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