Hey! This is Justin and Karolina from @julinaexplores, and we’re here to share with you our tips and recommendations from our adventures around the world! As our first spot, we would love to introduce you to Jordan, a beautiful country in the Middle East which should be way higher on your list! Not only does it contain the Petra- one of the seven wonders of the world- but countless other historical sites and impressive scenery, including better preserved Roman ruins than in Italy!
What is there to see?
Jordan is a country of stunning mountains, deserts, and coastlines, with some nice beaches to boot! You can spend some time hiking in the mountains, diving and relaxing in the Red Sea, visiting the many archaeological sites, or sleeping under the stars in the beautiful red sand deserts. Look out below for our recommended seven day itinerary!
What’s the culture? How safe is it to visit?
Jordan ranks 57th out of 163 on the world peace index, making it one of the safest countries in the Middle East, above even the UAE/Dubai, and we personally never felt unsafe in our two weeks. Jordan is a predominantly a Muslim country, they are pretty tolerant to guests due to high numbers of tourists – however a level of respect is still required. PDA is not generally practiced, and fashion skews conservative, we’d recommend not exposing too much skin at once (no bikinis outside the beach!). Alcohol is only served in the coastal city of Aqaba.
Should I take a tour?
If you don’t want the hassle of organising a trip, there are plenty of large tours that operate in Jordan, but those are often packed, rushed, and exhausting as you’re always on the go with no time to relax. Private tours can be pricier, but are normally flexible to your needs and timescale – make sure you pick the right local guide! We prefer a self-guided experience, going where you want; when you want, the ultimate freedom.
How do I get around?
Off-tour there are two main options, taking coaches between major destinations and cheap taxis inside them, or renting a car. We personally rented a car for freedom, and although we don’t regret it, just know that driving in Jordan is not for the faint hearted; local drivers are aggressive, there are no such things as indicators or even lanes, and potholes are everywhere outside the major highways. However, the scenery as you’re driving along the mountains or coast is so beautiful it makes up for it!
Our Top Tips:
Buy a Jordan Pass before you fly!
To enter Jordan you will need a visa, however it is quite expensive by itself. Instead we recommend buying a Jordan Pass online, which includes the visa as well as entry to most of the historical sites across the country, including Petra!
When is the right time to fly?
Jordan can be swelteringly hot in the summer and chilly in the winter, so late spring and autumn are the best months to visit. Don’t forget about Ramadan – although we really enjoyed our visit during this period (a lot less people travelling!), most restaurants were shut during the day and a small amount of attractions were closed.
Bring some cash!
Most tourist focused places accept cards; however, when you’re at a market stall or in the desert, cash is still king. There are ATMs but most will charge so grab some cash before you go.
The prices for tourists feel inflated, so make sure you haggle for both goods and services – this counts for double inside of Petra, where (if you’re not careful) prices can be two to five times more than what you should be paying!
Day 0: Land in Amman: Grab Dinner
Day 1: Jerash in the morning – Citadel & Roman Theatre in the afternoon
Day 2: Drive South Desert/Kings Highway – Karak Castle
Day 3&4: Petras
Day 5: Wadi Rum
Day 6: Drive up the coast – Dead Sea
Day 7: Relax at the dead sea – Fly Home from Amman
If you have more time, add Aqaba for beach vibes and water activities like scuba diving, or Dana biosphere for hiking!
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