At the heart of the exotic Levant, tucked in the Fertile Crescent, lies a kingdom with spectacular historical wonders, jaw-dropping landscapes and untold Bedouin hospitality that will keep you coming back for more. We’ll design a journey dotted with unique Jordanian experiences that will carry you way beyond the rose red city of Petra into a fascinating world you didn’t know existed.
Short and Sweet.
Resting neatly in the “cradle of civilization”, Jordan shares its borders with Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Israel and Palestine and has a lot going for it. With its political stability and rich cultural diversity, it is probably THE country to visit in the region.
While relatively unknown and often overlooked by travellers on a tight schedule, the Northern part of Jordan, from Jerash to Ajloun and Umm Qais, abounds in authentic local experiences and unexpected sights. Fertile green hillsides lined with olive groves, once home to Roman Decapolis and medieval Arab strongholds, offer breathtaking views of the Jordan Valley, the Sea of Galilee, and the Golan Heights. Enough to keep you glued to these lands for a day or two.
For the more intrepid travellers, seeking adventure and wildlife, Jordan is an enticing playground, from hiking the Dana Nature Reserve and swimming through the canyons of Wadi Mujib to rock climbing and hot air ballooning in the epic desert of Wadi Rum. But you can always take a break and float seamlessly on the mineral-rich waters of the Dead Sea or mingle with the colourful sea creatures while scuba-diving in the Red Sea.
Nestled at the crossroads of the caravan routes connecting Asia to Europe and Africa, the kingdom of Jordan has witnessed the passage of great ancient civilizations making it a heavan for those looking to delve into archeological treasures. The stunning Greco-Roman ruins of Jerash, the Crusader castles of Kerak and Shobak, Madaba and Mount Nebo’s 6th-century mosaics are captivating and exciting to visit, while the Nabatean city of Petra, “a rose red city, half as old as time” ranks proudly among the new seven wonders of the world.
And as if that weren’t enough to put Jordan on your bucket list, throw in the most hospitable people you can possibly meet and you’ve got yourself a trip to remember!
Good to know
• Getting to Jordan is very easy, with many direct-flight options from Europe and frequent flight connections to North America, Asia and Africa through major European hubs.
• We recommend a minimum of 5 days to visit the main sites, or 10 to 12 days to discover the whole country.
• Jordan may not look huge on the map, but it has enough jewels in its crown to keep everybody happy while on its lands: action, romance, mystery and fun. And, like all Arab countries it is very child-friendly. No matter how noisy or messy your little ones are, they will be welcomed with open arms and hearts.
• A visa is required for most nationalities and for many it can be purchased on arrival. Nevertheless, we highly recommend buying a Jordan pass that includes both the access to over 40 of Jordan’s tourist attractions including Petra, Jerash and Wadi Rum and the cost of your tourist entry visa.
• There are no specific medical requirements for your entry into the country, but we suggest you seek medical advice from your local health practitioner before travelling to check whether you need updated vaccinations or other preventive measures.
• The currency of Jordan is the Jordanian Dinar. Pound Sterling, US dollar, Euro and other major currencies can be exchanged at various exchange offices and banks in major towns have ATMs. That being said, the US dollar is the preferred foreign currency with a more or less fixed rate to the JOD. Most credit and debit cards are accepted in hotels, restaurants and larger shops.
• The national language in Jordan is Arabic, but you can easily get by with English in the touristic areas.
• The best way to get between major centres within the country is with a car and driver, roads being generally pretty good.
• Jordan is a vastly more expensive country than you would expect. In many cases it is similar in costs to Western countries.
• The flavours of Jordanian cuisine are already well-known, but the wave of Syrian refugees takes the local gastronomy to a whole new level. Foodies keep that in mind!
• Jordan is a predominantly Muslim country and although it is fairly liberal and has no imposed dress codes (apart from the mosque), we advise you to dress appropriately to avoid unwanted attention particularly in crowded places.
When to go
To experience Jordan at its best, spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) are the ideal time to visit. However, if unable to travel during these months, we can adjust itineraries and timings to experience the best of Jordan in summer and winter, too. And since these are quiet times to visit, you can have the sites practically to yourself!
- “Bee” inspired! If you’re an Epicurean and a nature lover, “bee” ready for the sweetest experience. You have to get up close and personal with an actual bee to understand its contribution to the world. Suit up in protective gear and let a passionate beekeeper lift the veil on the intriguing world of honey bees. You’ll learn about hive duties and organisation and witness how new bees are born through a hands-on exploration of an active beehive. The tour includes tasting the freshly harvested honey packed with an insight into Jordan cultural heritage and natural beauty.
- Taste of Jordan The best and quickest way to understand a destination is through its food, and Jordan, with a tradition of hospitality ingrained in its culture, makes for the homiest meal experience you can imagine. Whether you roll your sleeves and get actively involved in the cooking process or simply share the meal and exchange stories with the local family, one thing’s for sure, this experience will surely rank high on your best souvenirs of Jordan list!
- Desert dream Turn your visit to Wadi Rum into an epic experience. Start your day with a magical sunrise and breathtaking views of the desert from the basket of a hot air balloon and seal it with a romantic dinner only for you, surrounded by the vastness of the desert and bathed in the celestial light of the stars above you.
Matter of Fact.
Hospitality is particularly crucial to Jordanian culture to the point that if you compliment someone’s possessions, they will gladly offer them to you. To stay out of awkward situations, avoid admiring things excessively and add “Masha’Allah” (God has willed) somewhere in the compliment. Unless, of course, you can’t imagine yourself living without those beautiful earrings :)
- Umm Qais
- Dead Sea
- Wadi Rum
Jordan in a nutshell
10 days - starting at 320 Euros/person/day
Boots and Roses is all about bespoke experiences, so don’t think of this as a “prêt-à-porter” itinerary, but as a blueprint of one of the countless possibilities. To find out more, get in touch with us for a tailor-made trip based on your budget and interests.
Upon arrival at Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, you are welcomed by our representative who manages your customs and immigrations procedures, including your visa. You are then escorted to one of our preferred accommodation. Depending on your flight arrival time, you may want to wander the loud and boisterous streets of Downtown Amman or prefer a quieter walk down the leafy Rainbow Street with a stop for dinner at one of the restaurants favoured by the Jordanian Royal family.
After a restful night’s sleep, you begin your epic adventure with a morning tour of Amman, Jordan’s bustling and creative capital. Soak in the vibrant downtown market, visit the Roman Theatre and the Archeology Museum or simply explore the captivating street art scene that has recently animated the old city. Stop for lunch at an iconic street food restaurant downtown. Atop of one of the highest hills, the Citadel is to be best visited at sunset when the twilight hues and the muezzins calls to prayer make for a unique and touching experience. End the day with dinner at a restaurant of your choice. Accommodation as per previous night.
Amman - Jerash - Ajloun - Umm Qais (3 hour drive).
After breakfast, head north to discover a part of Jordan that few choose to explore. Wander among the original temples, theaters, plazas and colonnaded streets of Jerash, one of the best preserved roman cities in the world. Have lunch at a local restaurant to, then, continue the path of archeological discoveries to Ajloun and visit the castle built by one of the Islamic governors under Saladin to ward off the Crusader armies in the 12th century. Travel on to Umm Qais, formerly known as Gadara, the site of the miracle of the Gadarene swine, where Jesus cast the demons that possessed a man into a herd of swine who ran down the hill and drowned in the Sea of Galilee. Perched on a hilltop with magnificent historic vistas of the Jordan Valley, the Sea of Galilee and the Golan Heights, Umm Qais is the perfect place for a dramatic sunset and a friendly meal with a local family. Accommodation in a lovely guesthouse.
Umm Qais - Baptism Site - Dead Sea (3 hour drive).
Wake up to a heavenly breakfast made exclusively from organic locally-grown produce and spend the morning at leisure or go for a bee-harvesting adventure, bicycle tour or basket weaving class (optional). After lunch, set off to visit the baptism site of Jesus Christ on your way to the Dead Sea and your home for the next two nights. Accommodation in one of our preferred luxurious spa resorts.
Dead Sea - Wadi Mujib (1 hour drive).
Today you are in for an unforgettable water adventure! 30 km south of your current location lies the most famous wadi (gorge) in Jordan: Wadi Mujib. Lying 420 metres below sea level, Wadi Mujib is the lowest nature reserve on Earth and a Mecca for lovers of adventures and spectacular surroundings. To picture its sheer beauty, imagine the Siq gorge of Petra flooded just enough to make the hike refreshing to the body and soul. All three water trails start at the Visitor Center and have various difficulty levels, ranging from easy to challenging. The Siq trail is the most popular, being catalogued as easy to moderate. It takes over two hours to complete. After the hike, return to your wonderful resort and pamper yourself with a spa treatment and an exquisite dinner.
Dead Sea - Mount Nebo - Madaba - Kerak - Petra (6 hour drive).
In the morning you take the scenic King’s Highway south to Madaba, stopping at Mount Nebo on the way, to take in the views of the Promised Land as it was once seen by Moses. In Madaba, famous for its 6th-century Byzantine mosaics, stop for a visit at the Saint George’s Church to admire the oldest mosaic map of the Holy Land. Drive through the magnificent scenery of Wadi Mujib to Kerak to visit one of the largest Crusader strongholds in Levant, the Kerak Castle. Then, it is on to Petra where you will stay for 2 nights at your hotel. This evening or the next, take part in Petra by Night. Walk quietly through the candlelit Siq until reaching the Treasury, where a narrator tells the story of the ancient city, whilst traditional music is played, and tea is served: a magical experience that is hard to forget.
Today enjoy a guided tour of the UNESCO-protected archaeological site at Petra. You can explore this mysterious ancient city, as much or as little as you wish, on horseback, camelback, donkeyback or on foot. For those with energy, a climb up to the Monastery is totally worthwhile. If not, its most magnificent and iconic feature, the Treasury, together with the Roman Theater, the Courts, Qasr Bint Pharaoun, the Temple of the Winged Lion and the other monuments are sure to take your breath away. Lunch and dinner are at your leisure. Accommodation as per previous night.
Petra - Wadi Rum (2 hour drive).
After breakfast, cross the desolate landscape of Wadi Rum into the legendary homeland of the nomadic Bedouins. Enjoy a camel ride through the canyons and dunes, then hop in a four-by-four to visit the iconic sights of the most beautiful desert in the world. Continue to your luxury tented camp, arriving just in time to watch the sunset over a gourmet feast.
Wadi Rum - Amman (4 hour drive).
Wake up early and take a bird's eye view of the beautiful Wadi Rum scenery at sunrise by climbing into a hot air balloon (optional). Enjoy breakfast back in the camp before returning to Amman on the Desert Highway. Lunch at a local restaurant on the way. Overnight at one of our preferred hotels in Amman. Diner at your leisure.
Depending on your flight schedule, you will be escorted to Queen Alia International Airport at least two hours before your flight. We will say goodbye to you, hoping that you leave Jordan with a better and broader understanding of its people and places.