Jordan offers a wealth of natural and historical attractions for adventurous travellers, including the famous rock-carved city of Petra, the remarkable Dead Sea, the well-preserved Roman ruins of Jerash and the otherworldly desert of Wadi Rum.
Not sure about going it alone? A guided tour of Jordan is a fun way to experience this remarkable country with other like-minded people and will invoke a deeper understanding of this Middle Eastern gem.
If you’re planning to visit Jordan, here are some must-see highlights to include on your tour itinerary:
- Roman Ruins of Jerash
- Visit Petra
- Explore Dana Nature Reserve
- Float in the Dead Sea
- Experience Wadi Rum
Roman Ruins of Jerash
The Roman ruins of Jerash are an hour’s drive from Amman, Jordan’s bustling and vibrant capital. Jerash flourished here in the 1st century AD because of its position on the spice trade route between Syria and the Mediterranean. It later became Christian under the Byzantine empire. Guided tours by locals are the best way to learn about Jerash and its well-preserved structures such as:
- Hadrian’s Arch - built in AD129 to honour the visit of Emperor Hadrian, Jerash was one of his favourite cities.
- Hippodrome - a partially restored stadium where chariot races were held.
- Forum - an unusually wide asymmetrical paved plaza surrounded by ionic columns.
- The Cardo - a colonnaded street that runs the length of the city, once lined with shops and residences, you can still see chariot ruts in the stone.
- South Theatre - restored to its former glory and can hold 5000 people, still used for concerts today and has excellent acoustics.
Jerash is a large site and can get hot, so a hat, water, and sunscreen is advised. If you wish to avoid the scorching heat of summer then we recommend visiting in the cooler months between March and May.
The UNESCO Heritage site of Petra is reason enough to visit Jordan, and indeed many people specifically come to marvel at this ancient rock-carved city in the south of the country. Whilst at Petra a local tour guide will cover the main highlights such as the:
- Colonnade Street
- Colour Caves
- Byzantine church
It’s also worthwhile to make the climb up to the Monastery, equally as breathtaking as the Treasury, and with the added benefit of exceptional views stretching out over the Araba Valley.
Explore Dana Nature Reserve
Dana Nature Reserve just north of Petra is Jordan’s largest nature reserve and is a protected area situated in a chain of valleys and mountains. It contains a variety of rare birds, plants and animals, as well as geological formations and habitats which extend from the top of the Jordan Rift Valley down to the desert lowlands of Wadi Araba.
A guided tour offers the opportunity to hike through the old village of Dana and then follow one of the nature trails through the Wadi Dana and Wadi Feinan, where you can stop to soak up the amazing views and learn about the flora and fauna.
Float in the Dead Sea
Floating in The Dead Sea is one of those bucket list experiences that you can tick off in Jordan. The water here is 34% saline making it the saltiest sea on earth, almost six times saltier than the ocean. Due to all the salt, the water is incredibly buoyant so you can float on the surface. It also has a high concentration of magnesium and potassium which are said to be good for skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, eczema.
Experience Wadi Rum
Wadi Rum awaits in the south with its otherworldly desert landscape, likened to being the closest you’ll get to walking on Mars. This is also where scenes from the classic “Lawrence of Arabia” film were shot. Here are some of the ways you can experience Wadi Rum:
- Jeep Safari - The best way to experience the unique landscapes of Wadi Rum is to go on a 4WD jeep tour to fully immerse yourself in this red sand splendour.
- Ride a Camel - Take a camel ride across the dunes with specialised camel guides. Get to know your camel, how to control it, how to saddle and unsaddle it, and how to groom, water and feed it.
- Wild Camping - Spend a night under the stars in a Bedouin camp in modern dome tents with all equipment provided and dinner prepared by your guide.
Jordan Hospitality & Food
There’s no place on earth quite like Jordan for its friendly people and generous hospitality. Every comfort is taken care of whether you’re staying in one of Amman’s luxury five-star hotels, a high-end resort in Petra or a luxury Bedouin eco-camp in Wadi Rum.
Jordan has a range of culinary influences including North Africa, the Middle East, Persia, and the Mediterranean. Some popular dishes to try include Shawarma, (a type of kebab), Manakish (Arabic Pizza), Mansaf (the national dish) and Zarb (a Bedouin BBQ consisting of meat, rice and vegetables all cooked together in an underground oven and served at an overnight desert camp).
Are you interested in visiting Jordan?
Jordan is a safe haven in the Middle East offering numerous fascinating sights to inspire and reward travellers. These Wild Frontiers tours provide all the must-see highlights mentioned above. Check them out:
- Jordan: Lost City of Arabia
- Jordan, Petra, Wadi Rum & The Dead Sea
- Wild Jordan Adventure
- Jordan: Ancient and Natural Sights