It’s easy to see why Jordan stands at the vanguard of the recent boom in Middle East tourism. The Kingdom is by far the most stable and welcoming in the region, with a highly educated populace and a culture that manages to be both pro-Western and pro-Arab. Its written history dates back to the Old Testament (this is where Moses first glimpsed the Promised Land, and where Jesus was baptized). The desert landscapes are simply out of this world, the coastal scenery stunning and the Greco-Roman ruins on a par with anything in Europe or in the Levant.
The reason almost everyone comes to Jordan, however, is because the country is the home of one of the great wonders of the ancient world. Hidden at the end of a winding, narrow ravine in the depths of the desert, Petra is a lost city whose marvels, which lay undisturbed and forgotten for over a millennium and a half, are often mentioned in the same breath as the Taj Mahal, Machu Picchu and the Egyptian pyramids.
The legendary rose-red ruins fully deserve to top any list of sightseeing priorities, but a visit to Petra can be combined with a string of no less memorable experiences. Camp under the surreal desert mountains and starry skies of Wadi Rum; wallow in a Dead Sea mud bath; crowd watch over a cardamom coffee amid the exotic bustle of Amman’s souk; or climb the sun-bleached ramparts of a crusader castle for a view over the desert you’ll remember forever.
Talk to us today about your tailor-made Jordan holiday.
Area: 92 300 sq km (About a third the size the UK)
Population: 6 million (A tenth the size of the UK’s)
Religions: Majority Sunni Muslim (92%) but also Christian (6% majority Greek Orthodox, but some Greek and Roman Catholics, Syrian Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, and Protestant denominations), other (2%) (small Shi'a Muslim and Druze populations)
Languages: Arabic, though English is widely understood among upper and middle classes and in tourist areas
Time: +2/3 hrs (GMT)
When to go
The best time to travel to Jordan is March through to May, and September through to November. During these months the temperatures are most pleasant, with warm days and cool nights. As expected summer can be extremely hot, though this is a good time to travel if you want to avoid the crowds! Winter in Jordan can be cold, especially the nights in the desert. Snow fall in certain areas (including Petra) is not unheard of.
Private transfers and sightseeing
All our itineraries in Jordan are based on private cars, vans or 4x4s with an experienced driver.
Direct flights are available on Royal Jordanian Airlines and BMI, taking about 5hrs. Indirect options are also possible on Emirates or Qatar Airways or via Europe.
Internal flights link Amman with Aqaba and there are also good connections to other parts of the Middle East.
Ferries sail from Aqaba to the Sinai Peninsula
Jordan has a superb network of internal roads, and the conditions are generally good. However, when going off the beaten track the roads can be a lot rougher.