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Jordan

With every step forward, go back in time
From the rose-red city of Petra to the glittering waters of the Dead Sea, Jordan, the country that captivated Indiana Jones himself beckons you to find its hidden treasures, too. 

Come and discover Jordan's colorful interplay of modern day culture with its ancient heritage. Take in the street art scene in the capital, visit the baptism site of Jesus Christ,  and make like Lawrence of Arabia in dramatic Wadi Rum. Snorkel amidst a kaleidoscope of fish in the Red Sea, and drink tea with the Bedouins. No matter which of Jordan's treasures call out to you, its colour, culture and history guarantees you a wealth of experience.
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From the rose-red city of Petra to the glittering waters of the Dead Sea, Jordan, the country that captivated Indiana Jones himself beckons you to find its hidden treasures, too. 

Come and discover Jordan's colorful interplay of modern day culture with its ancient heritage. Take in the street art scene in the capital, visit the baptism site of Jesus Christ,  and make like Lawrence of Arabia in dramatic Wadi Rum. Snorkel amidst a kaleidoscope of fish in the Red Sea, and drink tea with the Bedouins. No matter which of Jordan's treasures call out to you, its colour, culture and history guarantees you a wealth of experience.

Location

This Middle Eastern country is located at the crossroads of Asia, Africa and the EU, bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south, Iraq on the east, on the north by Syria and Israel and Palestine to the west.There is easy access from international stopovers such as Cairo and Tel-Aviv. It is also just a three-hour flight from Dubai. Thanks to this ease of travel, Jordan packages from India are offered almost all through the year.

When to go

Jordan receives more than its fair share of  sunshine and very little rainfall. With good weather lasting for at least 8 to 10 months a year, anytime from April to November would be the best time to visit Jordan.

Where to go

There is no shortage of places to visit in Jordan, must-see sights (from ancient cities to Crusader castles) and spectacular natural landscapes that have graced cinema screens countless times; here, you can literally walk in the footsteps of Jesus, Lawrence of Arabia and Indiana Jones, feel the magic of floating on the most saline waters on Earth or take a surreal hot air balloon ride. Included in most Jordan tour packages are the cities of Amman, Wadi Rum, Petra, and Aqaba along with sites in Biblical Jordan.

Pro tip: Make sure your all-inclusive holidays to Jordan include the Jordan Pass. Made available online by the Tourism Ministry of Jordan, the pass draws a waiver of the entry fee to cities like Jerash and Petra among others. Well-recognised throughout the land, a pre-purchased pass is an excellent way to save on expenses while on a Jordan vacation.
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At a glance

Weather

The valleys next to the Dead Sea, Jordanian deserts and the western plateau areas mostly form the three distinctive regions defining Jordan weather. So, travellers can expect cool evenings accompanied by dry, hot days on most days.

Currency

Jordanian Dinar
The currency across Jordan is the Jordanian Dinar (JD). The Jordan currency to INR conversion is 1 JD= 97.93 INR at the moment. However, it is best to re-verify the exact Jordan currency conversion rates at the time of travel.

Language

Arabic
The official Jordan language is Arabic. However, natives mostly speak a Jordanian Arabic dialect. Most people who visit Jordan understand and speak English. Russian and French are other common foreign languages.

Expert travel advice

Travel tips and insider advice that have made the most difference to us, sourced from our
community of like-minded travellers and global experts.

See Petra bathed in the light of a sea of candles   

Recommended by On The Luce

“A bright full moon lit the route down from the visitors centre to the Siq, into the darkness where the only light comes from the luminaries – candles in paper bags.”

On The Luce, a popular travel blog run by Lucy Dodsworth, shares travel tales, photos and in-depth info to help travellers make the most of their trip.

Explore rose-red Petra, a city half as old as time   

Recommended by National Geographic

“...a honeycomb of hand-hewn caves, temples, and tombs carved from blushing pink sandstone in the high desert of Jordan some 2,000 years ago...Petra remains Jordan’s top tourist attraction and one of the most revered of the World Heritage sites.”

The world’s most loved travel magazine is a resource for active, curious travellers; features and recommendations help consumers plan their trips.

Hike through the sandstone gorge of Wadi Mujib   

Recommended by Drink Tea & Travel

“the canyon trail in Wadi Mujib is one of the best things we did in Jordan...This canyon which has been carved out by centuries of rain and flowing water is spectacular, with its orange walls, bright blue water and enormous scale.”

An award-winning travel blog by Oksana and Max, an eco-conscious couple on a mission to inspire sustainable travel practices around the world.

Float fearlessly on the Dead Sea   

Recommended by Adventurous Kate

“ You can float so many ways. Float on your back, float on your belly (but be prepared to do a hell of a back-bend to keep your head above water — and don’t get any of that salty, salty water in your mouth!!), even float while standing up. The Dead Sea will accommodate all kinds of floating.”

Popular travel blogger Kate McCully shares travel stories, photo essays, and travel advice geared toward travelling women.

Drive and camp in Wadi Rum   

Recommended by Bruised Passports

“A desert safari to Wadi Rum is an unforgettable experience. The first feeling is that of deja vu – the surreal landscape has been featured in dozens of films including Lawrence of Arabia, Red Planet, and Prometheus. The deja vu wears off as one goes deeper into the desert. All around endless sand-dunes, dramatic canyons, impressive mountains, inscriptions, and drawings of humans and animals jostle for attention. It is hard to pick a favourite.”

Award-winning Indian travel bloggers Vidit Taneja and Savi Munjal have been to over 80 countries in 6 continents, and share their experiences through a mélange of impactful writing, and captivating photography

Incredible places to visit in Jordan

Biblical Jordan

Interwoven in Jordan’s history are significant events depicted in the Bible. Whether making a trip to Jordan as a casual traveller or on a holy pilgrimage, make time to visit some sites of Biblical importance that make your trip even more special. To mention a few, Mount Nebo links to the story of Moses and the Jordan River with at least 180 references in the Bible. To experience the religious history of the country, these sites are a must-add to your Jordan vacation packages.

Bethany beyond Jordan

The waters of Wadi Gharrar, a small tributary of the Jordan River is one of Christianity’s most sacred spots. This is the place, the Bible tells us, Jesus Christ was baptised by John The Baptist. Visit Elija’s hill and the ruins of churches and mosaics nearby, or arrange to be re-baptized in the holy waters of the river for an intimage spiritual experience.

Mt. Nebo

Climb to Mt. Nebo’s summit and you will be standing where Moses once stood and looked upon the Promised Land for the first time. Gaze out as he did at the sweeping view of the Jordan River Valley, and if it’s a clear day, a glimpse of Jerusalem rooftops. Walk around the summit to find a modern sculpture by an Italian artist representing Moses’ staff as well as the olive tree planted by Pope John Paul II as a symbol of peace. You can also visit the Memorial Church of Moses constructed to commemorate his death. Inside, see six tombs hollowed from the natural rock beneath the mosaic floors of the church.

Umm Qais

Umm Qais is a splendid architectural juxtaposition of Roman-era vestiges and Ottoman-style settlements. Nestled in the North West of Jordan, it is the land where Jesus performed a miracle by casting demons out of two men and into a herd of swine. Today, Umm Qais is more of an adventurous spot. Activities ranging from biking to beekeeping and cooking classes add to the reasons to include it in your Jordan travel plan.

Dead Sea

Many allusions have been made to the Dead Sea in the Bible, including ‘Salt Sea’, ‘Sea of the Plain’ and ‘living water’.‘It was also considered the site of significant Biblical events,’including preventing invaders from reaching Judah. It is also known for the scrolls and manuscripts, containing ancient Biblical writing, that were found in the caves dotting the shoreline.

Umm Al Rasas

Situated in the South East of Madaba along the King’s Highway, the Umm Al Rasas site has been associated with certain settlements as mentioned in the Book of Jeremiah. In 2004, the site was named a UNESCO World Heritage site for the many ruins of Byzantine, Roman and early Muslim eras that were excavated by wide-eyed archaeologists.

Wadi Rum

Experience a spectacular wilderness of red sand dunes where Lawrence of Arabia and Red Planet were filmed. Dotted by natural monuments of another era, Wadi Rum is ideal for those with a sense of adventure. You can camp out in the soft desert sands, hike through massive mountains, rock-climb up colossal rock formations and rappel/abseil into narrow canyons marked by ancient drawings.

4x4 Jeep Safaris

Jeep safaris allow travellers to cover a multitude of famous sites in as little as half a day with more leisurely explorations spread over two days or more. Lawrence’s Spring, Um Fruth Rock Bridge, the Khazali Canyon, Lawrence’s House and the red sand dunes are some of the common pitstops. Do ensure you book your seats in advance as the jeep rides every day are limited as a step to preserve the local environment.

Stay in a Bedouin tent

Whether you’re hiking to the mountain peaks of the Wadi Rum, or racing down dunes on a sandboard, a stay in a nearby Bedouin tent is an excellent way to kickstart these adventures. In the evenings, enjoy Bedouin hospitality by drinking the many cups of traditional hot tea extended your way.

Hot air balloon ride

Usually done quite early in the morning, a hot air balloon ride usually lasts for about an hour. From the balloon, you can enjoy a bird’s eye view of the majestic desertscape and make your Jordanian trip that much more memorable. Stirring many a romantic heart, the hot air balloon ride is an essential experience on Jordan honeymoon packages.

Filming locations for ‘The Martian’ and ‘Lawrence of Arabia’

Much before it was designated as a World Heritage site, the desert lands of the Wadi Rum were one of the chosen locations for David Lean’s 1962 movie ‘Lawrence of Arabia’. This is known to have kindled the tourism industry in the region. Ironically, the movie was banned in Jordan. Through the years, the red sandstone hills and sands that are believed to resemble Martian terrain have served as locales for filming fictional movies such as ‘The Martian’ among other notable ones.

Al Hasany Dunes

There are dunes aplenty in and around Wadi Rum. However, the rich-red sands set against the inclines of the Jebel Umm Ulaydiyya are some of the most arresting. The best way to reach this place is a four-wheel drive or a camelback ride. The dunes are especially pretty at the time of sunset. For those feeling up to it, you can trudge your way to the crest of the dune.

Aqaba

The Red Sea’s Gulf of Aqaba, with its sandy beaches and crystal-clear water, is ideal for water sports, adventure activities and relaxation. Dive underwater and snorkel with sea turtles, hop aboard a glass-bottomed boat or simply stretch out and soak up the sun on the shore. A trip to Aqaba is a superb way to complete or start Jordan holidays.

Scuba diving

One of the best things to do in Jordan, Scuba diving in the Red Sea is one of the best things to do in Jordan. You can enjoy the warm waters and kaleidoscopic marine life all through the year. With wrecks, reefs, whales, dolphins, not to mention other thriving aquatic life all around, a diver, no matter how experienced, is always rewarded anew.

Sunset cruise

Lasting for about an hour at the very least, this cruise is a must add to your Jordan trip package. You can set sail along the local Aqaba beach and on waters bordering the neighbouring countries. Many operators offer on-board meals that you can relish alongside the sunset views.

Berenice Beach Club

Located in the heart of the Aqaba Marine Park Aquarium, a stay at the Berenice Beach club is a great option for accommodation as it offers a host of recreational choices for the whole family. It’s like a one-stop shop for everything interesting. From gigantic swimming pools, cruises on yachts, sporting activities like jet skiing on waters and snorkelling on islands away from the usual crowds and even a football pitch, The Berenice Beach Club seems to have it all!

Palm Beach

This public beach in Aqaba is located on Jordan’s south coast, and is only a short ride away from the city. For those willing to stay on the beach side, there are umpteen budget-friendly as well as upscale accommodation options.

Mamluk Castle

Built in the 1600s, this castle functioned as an inn for travellers on the way to Hajj for centuries. It is also known as a silent witness to famous First World War battles including the Arab Revolt of 1916.

Petra

Called the “Rose Red City” for its distinctive pink hued sandstone and soft red-tinted sand, this ancient city was hidden from the world’s maps until the 1800s. Known initially as Raqmu, the 2000-year-old city of Petra boasts of unmatched monolithic architectural wonders that have stood the test of time and many a natural calamity. Indeed, elegant remnants of the Nabataean civilization are still visible, inhabited today by indigenous Bedouin communities. Petra’s history on foot or clamber onto a donkey and journey through high sand dunes and oases.

The Siq

Walk through the winding Siq, bathed in shades of red, pink and brown to come face-to-face with the iconic Treasury. The path, which was once used as a caravan entrance, also has a few fascinating Nabatean inscriptions, carvings and underground chambers. The tall walls have been eroded by waters time and again making them smooth. It’s impossible not to feel like an adventurer here.

Petra by night

Considered as one of the 7 New Wonders of the World, this night show is a magical experience. It is held only on certain days of the week. Here, the ancient rock city of Petra lights up with over 1500 candles against a backdrop of twinkling stars and the dark skies. With only the light from candles dotted along the way, the excursion starts at the Siq and ends at the Treasury. With flickering lights, shadows, the story of Petra comes alive with a Bedouin score playing in the background;this
nearly 2-hour walk by night is a unique and unparalleled experience for any visitor.

The Treasury

Petra’s oldest ruin, the Treasury, made famous in ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’ covers more than 264 square kilometres, of which less than 20 percent has been excavated. It was originally meant to serve as a tomb for a Nabataean King, and indeed, the Treasury derives its name from Egyptian lore that a pharaoh hid his riches in the façade urn while in pursuit of the Israelites. Making the tale more believable are the rifle shot marks on the three and half metre-tall urn. You can spend hours here, wandering amongst hundreds of rock-hewn monuments cut with a refinement that’s hard to believe.

The Petra Monastery

You will need to climb 800 rock-cut steps (or take a mule ride) to the Monastery Al Deir, but the effort is worth it. The colossal monastery makes you feel minuscule and humbled, and from it, you will have  one of the best views of Petra. The monastery is often left out of Jordan group tour packages, so make sure you include it on your trip.

The little museum of Petra

With close to 300 artefacts belongings to various ages, the five halls of the museum mostly showcase the Nabatean life through the archaeological finds making it to the list of history buffs.

Top things to do & experience in Jordan

Nobody wants to be a tourist. Here are curated experiences in art, music, food, culture and communities
to help you have an authentic and memorable trip.

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