Jordan is not widely known in tourist circles. This is surprising, because there are several unique natural and historical monuments here.
Most of the population is Muslim, but Jordan has more "European" style of life than any other Islamic country. Young people wear European clothes, watch American movies, there are no restrictions in the Internet.
The country does not own any mineral and energy resources. Everything is imported, and because of that the country's politicians should be tactful with neighbors, especially in such a dangerous region. For this reason, Jordan is not involved in any wars. However, there are a lot of soldiers in the country. If you drive along the Dead Sea, you will see many posts with soldiers on "Hummers" with guns. Protection of the border with Israel is funded by other countries, particularly the United States that pay financial aid since 1952.
The main reason for the low popularity of the country among tourists is poor public transport and infrastructure. Traveling here is not easy for independent tourists. The best way of transportation is a private tour by car with a driver. Such tour will cost about $600-700 per person for BB (hotel + breakfast, tickets and dinners are not included). There's no point in taking a group bus tour, as it will cost the same.
Main points that are worth paying attention to:
- There's nothing to do in Amman.
- If you don't have a lot of time and don't like religious objects, then you can replace the Jesus Christ's baptism site with the Mujib canyon.
- Read information about the Dead Sea.
- Be sure to take rubber slippers for bathing.
- There's no infrastructure near the hotels on the Dead Sea. You can dine only at the hotel and prices start from $50. If this is expensive for you, visit the sports bar on the hotel territory, where you can eat at reasonable prices.
- Better visit Petra either in the morning or in the evening, or even better a little bit in the evening to see the lights, and then the main visit early in the morning.
Below is our route and advice on how to improve it:
Watch Jordan on a lager map
Arrival at Amman. Overnight in 4* Ibis.
City tour of Amman. Absolutely useless, as there's almost nothing that can attract tourists here. The only place we liked was an observation deck near the ancient amphitheater. If you spend the entire day in Amman, it makes sense to visit the ruins of the ancient city of Jerash and desert castles nearby.
|Amman ©Yuriy Buriak|
Next we went to the Dead Sea, looked at Madaba mosaic map in St George's church and climbed Mount Nebo.
|Mount Nebo ©Yuriy Buriak|
During the descent to the Dead Sea the driver showed us the place with gravitational anomaly. The next place on the program was the Jesus Christ's baptism site, but we asked the driver to take us to the Mujib Canyon instead and didn't regret it.
| ©Yuriy Buriak|
|Mujib ñanyon ©Yuriy Buriak|
In the evening we swam in the Dead Sea at the hotel beach and stayed overnight. There are only four hotels here.
Early in the morning go down to the sea. If you are lucky and the weather is quiet, you will see a unique picture - perfectly flat water surface.
|Dead Sea ©Yuriy Buriak|
We had agreed about a trip to the Ma'in hot spring with the driver and went there in the afternoon. On the way back we stopped at the local public beach for dinner, since the dinner at the hotel was too expensive.
|Main hot spring ©Yuriy Buriak|
In the morning we went to Petra. If you came to the Dead Sea not for treatment, then there is nothing to do here for more that 2 days. You will see this after the first bathing :) The road is long, but the we enjoyed driving along the Dead Sea very much. In Petra we spent about 5 hours.
|Treasury in Petra ©Yuriy Buriak|
If you have an extra day, better come in the evening and visit Petra twice: a short visit in the evening to see the lights, and a long visit early in the moring when there is no sun and crowds. We went further in the direction of Aqaba and stayed for 3 days at the Tala Bay resort, where there's only a few hotels.
We had a rest in the hotel and swam in the Red Sea. In the afternoon we went by taxi (15 km) to Aqaba and had a dinner there.
|Aqaba ©Yuriy Buriak|
We had a rest in the hotel and swam in the Red Sea. In the afternoon we went to the Wadi Rum desert with a driver.
|Wadi Rum desert ©Yuriy Buriak|
We had a rest in the hotel and swam in the Red Sea. Then we walked on the beach, found a deserted beach with a great riff and snorkeled there.
In the morning we went to Amman and flew home in the afternoon.
|Map of Jordan ©@|
http://www.visitjordan.com - official travel website
http://www.jordanjubilee.com - very good website about Jordan
http://www.kinghussein.gov.jo/tourism.html - one more touristik website
http://www.montecar.com - car rentals
http://www.visitpetra.jo - travel website of Petra
http://wadirum.jo - travel website of Wadi Rum
http://www.aqaba.jo - travel website of Aqaba
http://www.rj.com - Royal Jordanian airline
http://www.royalwings.com.jo - Royal Wings airline
http://www.arabwings.com.jo - Arab Wings airline
http://www.jordanaviation.jo - Jordan Aviation airline
http://www.jhr.gov.jo - railways
Some of the movies where you can see the Jordan:
Lawrence of Arabia (1962) - this film made Jordan famous. Almost all the events of the film take place in the country and the most impressive ones in the desert of Wadi Rum and near Aqaba (video).
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) - the first blockbuster, which showed Petra (video).
Prometheus (2012) - Ridley Scott filmed partially in Jordan. The role of the alien planet was played by Wadi Rum and special effects.
The Last Days of Mars (2013) - this fantastic film was shot entirely in Wadi Rum, which is not surprising, since there are "Martian landscape" (video).
Mission to Mars (2000) - another Martian film that was filmed in Wadi Rum (video).
Red Planet (2000) - and one more (video).
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009) - the second part of the series was filmed in several locations in Jordan, including the desert of Wadi Rum and Petra.