Top things to do and Places to visit in Jordan
Jordan is one of our top picks and one of the countries on the list of places to visit before you die. Floating listlessly in the dead sea, feeling like Lawrence of Arabia while exploring Petra and feeling like you are part of an after earth Saga or like Matt Damon as you sit in the bubble and dome hotels of Wadi Rum and stare at the beautiful red desert are some top experiences of Jordan.
Below we have a list of top things to do in Jordan, that our clients have absolutely loved!!
If the there is one thing everyone knows about the Dead Sea it is you can’t sink in it. Another thing we all read in our geography text book but have probably forgotten is it’s the lowest point on earth, about 423 meters below sea level!
The high salinity not only helps you float but also prevents any marine life from existing in its waters, hence the name dead sea. The waters and muds however are high in minerals and considered therapeutic. Many Spa hotels have developed on the Jordan as well as Israel side of the Dead Sea. No Jordan itinerary is complete without a soak in the salt waters, coating oneself in the dark mud and maybe even a nice spa treatment post the dip.
At CustomHolidays we like to do things a bit differently so while we encourage you to enjoy all these activities that most tourists do we also offer light flights over the lake for a lovely bird’s eye view of the region. We also offer tours with special certified guides who will take you to explore the salt caves and crystals few see. We also have special offers and rates with the top Luxury Spa hotels of the region for a comfortable Dead Sea experience.
Imagine a red Martian desert, you living in a glass dome, like something out of a Startrek or other sci-fi movie. At nights your view is the entire Milky Way with millions of stars and planets. Yes it does not get more other worldly than that now does it?!
The Wadi Rum is visited by many from the coastal town of Aqaba but we strongly recommend staying in the beautiful red desert. The stay experience in one of the tents or bubble or dome hotels is unique. The night sky is beautiful and we arrange desert walks with an experienced guide with astronomy and folklore as his expertise.
A jeep tour or a camel back tour takes you around the desert. Have a sundowner in the dunes, climb the rock arches in the day and see the beauty of the desert with a local. ATV rides, hot air balloon rides and hikes in the desert make for an adventurous experience. If you come to Jordan the Wadi Rum is an absolute must!!
Aqaba is ‘the beach town’ of Jordan and its gateway to the waters of Red Sea. Aqaba like any coastal town has a relaxed vibe with a beautiful castle, lovely beaches and a decent nightlife. If you did not know, Red Sea is one of the top places in the world for Scuba diving and from Aqaba you can even enjoy glass bottom boat ride on the water.
Amman is where most international tourists enter and exit the country. The city is overlooked by many but a night or two here is a good way to get a proper feel of Jordan and its people. Also the city offers many daytrips to Roman towns like Jerash. Amman has a decent nightlife and is a good place to explore the countries cuisine.
Mt Nebo and Madaba
Most tourists visit these places enroute from Amman to Dead Sea or vice versa. If you are historically inclined then consider spending a night. Mt Nebo is considered to be where Moses saw the promised land before he died. It is also believed his body is buried here and if nothing else come for the beautiful views of Israel and Dead Season a clear day. The church here is also known for its beautiful ancient mosaics. Come on a tour or hike with our experienced local guides.
Not far from Mt. Nebo is the town of Madaba “The City of Mosaics.” The most important site here is the Mosaic map of the holy land that was found inside St. Georges Church. There are many more churches and it is also a good place to buy local carpets.
Wadis and Hot springs of Jordan
Wadi Mujib is the most popular wadi in Jordan and is absolutely stunning. Canyoning in the wadi is one of the top adventure activities to enjoy in Jordan. Incase you are wondering what a wadi is, a wadi is a popular term in the middle east used to describe a gorge cut by the flowing river into the rock face. These are generally narrow to prevent too much water from evaporating.
These make for nice hikes in the dry season and for swimming and canyoning in the wet season. Canyoning is traversing the path or a gushing river or streams and includes rappelling or abseiling down waterfalls and jumping into tiny ponds, sliding down natural slides and all in all a lot of wet fun.
Besides Wadi Mujib there are wadis to be found near Kerak and in Dana Biosphere Reserve also. The Ma’in Hotsprings are also a nice place to soak in therapeutic hot waters rich in minerals. There is a public pool ( paid entrance) and two private pools belonging to resorts, which you can access only if staying there. We even offer our clients overnight trips with camping by the stream for those who like an extra dash of adventure.
Dana Biosphere Reserve
This is Jordan’s largest and the only reserve in Jordan that encompasses the four different bio-geographical zones of the country (Mediterranean, Irano-Turanian, Saharo-Arabian and Sudanian). This gorgeous place of stupendous beauty has many wadis and hikes ranging from a few hours to few days and everything in between.
Accommodation is basic and limited in the reserve and you can get Bedouin local guides to take you on hikes and to help spot wildlife. Dana does not appear on many Jordanian itineraries but if you are really interested in nature and adventure you will love exploring this place.
Last but not the least is Petra, a lost city which once found put Jordan on the world tourist map. Pictures of Petra are infact used extensively to promote Jordan especially the one where it is lit by thousands of candles at night. Today Petra and little Petra are filled with tourists but we have a few tricks to avoid the crowds.
Pour local guides know the best view points and spots for pictures. They also take you to spots other tours tend to miss. We highly recommend staying the night, not so you can see Petra by night which is beautiful but also super touristy but so you can visit Petra early morning when the day trips from Aqaba, Amman and dead sea have not reached with their busload of tourists.