*This is the first of the series of blogs I plan to post for Jordan. Since, I got a lot of questions about my Jordan itinerary, and I am sure everyone would love to visit this magical country, so I wanted to at least publish my itinerary for you to go book those flights immediately!*
3 years ago, I had the perfect opportunity to visit Jordan, but I missed out on it. Since then I have been waiting for the right time to visit this gorgeous country.
After moving to UK, the European destinations took priority, and the wish to visit Jordan took a back seat.
But, the recent global political turmoil, made me realize that I have to visit this country and others before its too late! The issues shadowing Jordan actually acted as a catalyst for me to decide on making this trip this year, no matter what.
So, I picked the UK Easter holiday as the perfect time for my trip to the spectacular Kingdom of Jordan.
Its not scorching hot during April, but certainly way more pleasant than the gloomy weather of UK. And the 2 Easter public holidays, combined with the weekend and 2 days off, gave me 6 days in total, which was apt for discovering this little country.
I will be writing about each destination in more details eventually, but for anyone who is keen to know my itinerary so that they can start planning their trip to Jordan soon, here is a quick blog summarizing my 6 days self-drive road trip itinerary in Jordan.
Why a road trip?
My initial plan was to go for a solo trip. But considering I only had 6 days in hand, it seems a bit difficult to do everything that I have mentioned in the below itinerary.
There is only one bus (JETT bus info) that runs everyday from Amman to Petra, early in the morning, and one bus back. There are some infrequent buses going to Jerash everyday. And I had to rely on taxis (50-80 JOD per trip on average, each way) for going anywhere else, like Petra to Wadi Rum or Jerash to Ajloun Castle and even Petra to Dead sea.
All in all I found very unreliable information about public transport online, and if you are planning to just do Petra and Dead Sea and Jerash and have a lot of time in hand, then its better to get to Amman and check with your local hotel or at the airport to get proper schedule and bus center location details.
If you are ready to pay the price of taxi, or are traveling in a group of 3-4 and don't intend to drive, then hiring taxis is s good option. But, it could turn out to be a bit pricey if doing alone.
I was almost prepared to do the taxi hiring for the entire trip, as I have done this earlier in countries like Cyprus and Romania (yes, I need to learn how to drive!), and see if I could find some travelers to share cost, if I was lucky.
But then, luckily a friend of mine was excited about my Jordan trip and was happy to accompany me, and he could drive! We found a rental car for £105 for 6 days (excluding insurance), and hence, the road trip happened.
1st thing 1st, get the Jordan pass! It covers the entry fee to almost all the important sites in Jordan (including Wadi, Rum, Petra, Jerash and Amman) and also covers the Visa fee. So, I did the straight maths, and Jordan pass works out way cheaper even if you visit just the 4 major sites.
Day 0: Landed in Jordan Airport around midnight, picked up the rental car and then headed to the Hotel in Amman (45 mins).
Day 1: After breakfast, we started our road trip to Jerash (1 hour).
Since we had some time in hand, we decided to check out the Ajloun Castle (30 mins drive). (If you are tight on time, you can skip it. I leave it on you to decide based on the pictures.)
Day 2: The hotel in Amman was right in front of the Roman Amphitheatre, so we quickly checked it out, and then started driving towards Mount Nebo (the holy place of Moses) (1 hour drive)
We wanted to do Canyoneering in Mujib Natural Reserve (1 hour from Mount Nebo), but we were late, and the last entry into the Canyon is at 15:00 hours. So, we headed back to our resort for the evening in Dead Sea (45 mins from Mujib Reserve).
Night: Dead Sea
Day 3: Checked out of the resort in Dead Sea and continued with our plan from the previous day and headed to the Mujib Natural Reserve (45 mins). We started the Siq Trail hike around 11:00 am.
We took a guided tour, as the water level was said to be too high and I am a terrible swimmer, so it was totally worth having a guide, coz he really helps you in the difficult bits of the hike while climbing up and down the waterfalls and where to step and how to hold the rope and move ahead.
Mujib Natural Reserve:
After Mujib Reserve we continued our drive to our Bedouin camp in Wadi Rum for the night (3 hours).
Night: Wadi Rum
We started the day with a gorgeous sunrise from the lovely sandstone mountains. And then around 8:30 am we started the 4 hour long safari, where we leisurely visited a range of narrow gorges, natural arches, towering cliffs, and red sand dunes.
After the jeep safari, we started our drive to Petra (1.5 hour).
We did Wadi Rum before Petra because we wanted to see the Petra by Night event which happens on certain days, and that was the only day in the 6 days trip that coincided with it.
We got to Petra by 3 pm, and we had booked a hotel just 5 minutes walk from the Petra Visitor center, so we quickly freshened up and entered inside the Petra site, aiming to hike all the way to the Monastry for sunset view (6 km with 800 steps).
In the morning, we headed back to Petra, this time to do a different hike, which was to go all the way to the Royal Tombs and then hike up to see the Treasury from the top of the cliff, which looks best after few hours of sunrise when the sun completely falls on The Treasury (2 km walk plus 600 steps climb).
By 12 pm, we were back from Petra and started our onward journey to the Dead sea (3 hours).
We booked a night in the Movenpick Resort and Spa, which has a great infinity pool for some amazing views of the Dead Sea and Isreal, on the other side, for sunset.
So, it was just a relaxing evening thereafter, much needed after all the hiking in the past 24 hours!
Dead Sea (again):
We checked out of the resort after a relaxed breakfast and headed back to the airport (1 hour) for our flight back to UK.
It was a peaceful and safe trip with no issues, personal or political. I was traveling with a male friend, so couldn't get a solo female traveler experience first hand, but as per my interactions with expats I met in the trip and living there, Amman is the only city where you face mild verbal harassment if you are a female seen alone at night. Apart from that, we found the most friendly and helpful people in Petra, Wadi Rum and Dead Sea!