Jordan tour highlights
Jordan may be famous as a desert nation, but there’s much more to this famously hospitable country than sand dunes. Of course, the lunar landscapes of Wadi Rum are a massive highlight, but consider also the ancient ruins of Petra and the thriving capital of Amman, the sublime beaches and snorkelling of the Red Sea and the salt-ruffled shores of the Dead Sea. You can visit all of these places and more on our selection of small group holidays to Jordan.
From trekking or cycling through the astounding desert scenery, to touring Crusader castles or spotting underwater treasures on snorkelling excursion in Aqaba, here are a few of our top things to see and do in Jordan.
Of all the places we visit in Jordan, the rose-hued city of Petra is a guaranteed stand-out. Once abandoned by the Nabateans and later rediscovered, the ancient settlement of wind-sculpted sandstone preserved for many centuries is perhaps the most enduring image of Jordan. Even the entrance to the archaeological site is jaw-dropping: you edge your way though the narrow canyon called the Siq to emerge in front of the magnificent façade of the Treasury. Though uninhabited since around the 7th century AD, it offers a fascinating glimpse into life in ancient Jordan. While its incredible detail is revealed during the day, it’s also wonderfully atmospheric to visit after dark, when it is lit by thousands of candles – an optional extra on our Spice Trails of Jordan holiday.
Despite being blanketed in desert, Jordan is a fascinating destination to visit on an active break. One of the best places to explore on foot or by bicycle is Wadi Rum, where the tawny dunes are sculpted by the winds and jaw-dropping rock formations provide an otherworldly backdrop. While you’ll certainly take note of the rippling sandstone and unbroken dunes, take time to enjoy the wondrous silence – just the sound of the wind whistling between the dunes and footsteps or bicycle wheels crunching over the sand. It’s also a great spot for meeting the friendly Bedouin people of Jordan; on our Cycle Jordan tour you’ll spend a night out under the bright desert stars in a secluded Bedouin camp.
Located just 50km north of Jordan’s capital city, Amman, is the Roman city of Jerash. In its heyday around 1st century AD, this vast settlement was the most significant in Jordan and part of the Decapolis – one of the 10 most important cities in the Roman Middle East. Today, the scattered ruins include arches, columns and temples, all in various states of preservation. Most of our holidays to Jordan visit Jerash, including our Treasures of Jordan tour.
Many people assume that Jordan is a landlocked country, but that’s actually not the case. In fact, the seas that lap against its short coastline are some of the best in the world for snorkelling and scuba diving. Jordan may have just 26 miles of coastline but this includes the resort of Aqaba – almost on a par with Egypt’s Red Sea Riviera for marine life and clear waters. Head to the Red Sea resort on one of our small group holidays to Jordan and you’ll discover lovely beaches and shipwrecks, reefs and dive sites easily accessible from the shore.
It may not be a sea as we know it, but the Dead Sea is one of the world’s most famous bodies of water. With its intense, milky blue waters, the Dead Sea is the lowest point on Earth and creates the border between Israel, the West Bank and Jordan (it’s actually a landlocked lake rather than a sea). Its heightened levels of salinity also make it the saltiest body of water on the planet; it’s about 10 times saltier than the ocean. When you visit the Dead Sea – perhaps on our Jordan Discovery holiday – take time to float in the waters and wallow in the mud. Both are rich in natural minerals and said to cure all manner of skin ailments.
Solo travel in Jordan
Each of our Jordan holidays has been designed to suit solo travellers as well as those travelling with friends, family or in a couple. The numbers differ depending on the choice of tour, but you can expect that about half of our customers will be travelling solo. If you’re considering travelling on an Explore holiday as a single person then you can be sure that you’ll receive exactly the same welcome and service; not only that, you’ll spend time visiting fabulous destinations in the company of likeminded travellers. If it’s your first time travelling solo, why not read up on what it’s like in our frequently asked questions.
A real plus point of taking an Explore trip to Jordan is the complimentary visa system available to our customers, which provides you with a saving of around £30 per person. The only criteria you must meet is that you have booked an arrival airport transfer through Explore. A representative will meet you on arrival and assist with the visa process making it both quick and easy for you.
Best time to go to Jordan
Jordan is a year-round destination, but the most pleasant time to visit is in the spring, March - May, and autumn, September - October. These are also the busiest times to visit, though, so you may encounter more tourists and higher priced flights.
If you want to avoid the crowds, a trip to Jordan in the summer or winter months is a great choice, but be prepared for more extreme climates. Get up early to discover the majesty of the red-rose city of Petra during the sizzling summer months of June through to August, and wrap up warm to explore the copper-coloured sand dunes of the Wadi Rum valley from November to February.