How to Spend a Week in Jordan

It may be the most tumultuous of times in the Middle East but the tiny nation of Jordan is having none of it. A few months ago, we embarked on a road trip through Jordan and were pleasantly surprised by its incredible landscapes, stunning monuments, rugged nature, and friendly locals. Given the size of Jordan, it is possible to pack in most of its key places in a week’s drive. Here’s how you can spend an amazing week in Jordan, driving from the North all the way down South.

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Day 1 – Dead Sea

Arrive at the Queen Alia International Airport and head straight for the Dead Sea, the lowest point on our planet. The Dead Sea coast is lined with high-end resorts that offer private access to the beach and provide all necessary facilities like sunbeds, towels, et al. Smear your body with therapeutic mud of the Dead Sea and float effortlessly while reading a book – one among the many photographic moments that you’ll have during your trip. The feeling of floating in the sea is an incredibly special one.
From Petra to Amman everything you'll want to do during a week in Jordan. Where to stay, activities and where to eat. Plus extra tips for a week in Jordan.

Where To Stay

The Kempinski Hotel Ishtar, Dead Sea  – Awash with infinity pools, deluxe suites, and multiple restaurants, you’ll enjoy the most luxurious of your stays in Jordan here.

Key Information

  • There are barely any restaurants or eateries outside the resorts. If you want to grab a bite outside of the resort, head over to Samarah Mall on the main road.
  • Wearing a bikini/ shorts is allowed only on the private beaches of the resorts. The public beach requires you to cover your body fully.

Day 2 & 3 – Petra

Embark on a spectacular drive from the Dead Sea towards Petra, around 120 miles away. Through the drive, the landscape changes from the blue waters of the Dead Sea to the rugged mountains along the King’s highway. Petra is one among the new seven wonders of the world. Situated in the valley of Wadi Musa, Petra is an old city once inhabited by the nomadic Arab tribe called the Nabateans. They built their city into the rocks and mountains, giving Petra a unique feel to it.From Petra to Amman everything you'll want to do during a week in Jordan. Where to stay, activities and where to eat. Plus extra tips for a week in Jordan.

On the evening you arrive, head over for a Petra by Night tour where a thousand candles light up the incredible facade of the ‘Treasury’. Bedouin music plays, stars pop out on the sky one by one, and you will be transported a few hundred years back in time.

After experiencing the lost city in the dark, spend the entire next day exploring it under the sun. Take the 10 km long trek up to the Monastery, feel your hair rise staring at the royal tombs, walk up to High Place Of Sacrifice for a top-down view of the Treasury, and admire the architectural marvel of this pink-hued city.From Petra to Amman everything you'll want to do during a week in Jordan. Where to stay, activities and where to eat. Plus extra tips for a week in Jordan.

Where To Stay

Movenpick Resort, Petra – Located right outside the entry gates, it is the perfect place for your tired body to get some rest before the onward journey.

Key Information

  • Petra is a humongous city, not just a monument. Carry shades, caps, water, and snacks for your day there.
  • Wear sturdy shoes as the route can get tricky at a few places. The hikes are easy for people of all age groups, albeit lengthy.
  • Your visit to Petra is included in the Jordan Pass but the Petra By Nights tour is not. The latter is available only three days of a week.

Day 4 – Wadi Rum

Petra may be the main attraction in Jordan but Wadi Rum is the real winner. The vast rocky desert of Wadi Rum is just an hour and a half’s drive away from Petra. Its Mars-like landscapes have been the setting for many movies, including the likes of ‘The Martian’ & ‘Lawrence Of Arabia’.

Wadi Rum is best experienced through an arranged tour. We took the 1-night bivouac camping experience with Wadi Rum Nomads and were left wanting for more. During the day, drive through the desert in the open jeep exploring a bunch of special spots while hearing stories from your Bedouin guide. Enjoy a freshly cooked Bedouin lunch in the middle of nowhere and watch the sun paint the desert in its colors during sunset. When night falls, head over to a little cave in the desert where you’ll sing songs, drink Bedouin tea, cook food under the sand, and sleep under a gazillion stars.

Key Information

  • It is also possible to include a camel ride on to your package.
  • If open camping is too adventurous for you, book yourself into a tented camp. Obeid’s Bedouin Life Camp is one among the highest rated. They’ll also take you around for a tour.From Petra to Amman everything you'll want to do during a week in Jordan. Where to stay, activities and where to eat. Plus extra tips for a week in Jordan.

Day 5 & 6 – Dana Biosphere Reserve

Located on the route to Amman from Wadi Rum, Dana is a bit of a Jordanian secret. Known mostly to adventure lovers and peace seekers, Dana is one among the few places in Jordan that play host to desert creatures. Offering multiple hiking trails, Dana is best experienced over two days at your leisurely pace. The ‘Wadi Dana’ trek that lasts 7 hours is one among the most popular ones, offering everything the valley has to offer. Above & beyond hiking, indulge in a cooking class with Bedouins or learn how to make eyeliners like the locals do.From Petra to Amman everything you'll want to do during a week in Jordan. Where to stay, activities and where to eat. Plus extra tips for a week in Jordan.

Where To Stay

Feynan Ecolodge – This award-winning eco-hotel is situated in the lap of nature and runs completely on sustainable sources of energy. The stunning hotel is sure to be a top highlight of your time in Jordan

Key Information

  • Dana is a small historic village perched by the hillside, looking down into the valley. The eco lodge, however, is located down the hill in the village of Feynan.

Day 7 – Amman

On the final day, drive to the atmospheric capital of Jordan – Amman. While most travelers tend to skip it from their itineraries, we strongly recommend spending at least a day in the city of two faces. On one side is the conservative downtown of Amman, with its bustling souks, hookah joints, and crowded eateries. On the other, right above the hills from downtown, is the trendy modern metropolis with hipster cafes, trendy pubs, and glamorous restaurants. Visit the Roman amphitheater, get a 360-degree view of Amman from its citadel, and indulge in a sit-down at the popular Sufra restaurant.From Petra to Amman everything you'll want to do during a week in Jordan. Where to stay, activities and where to eat. Plus extra tips for a week in Jordan.

Where To Stay

Four Seasons, Amman  A no-frills luxury hotel in the city center with an award-winning spa.

Key Information

  • The airport is equally close to both Amman and the Dead Sea, giving you the freedom to start and end your trip at different points.
  • Shawarma at Reem, Knafeh at Habibeh Sweets, & Falafels at Hashem are must-try items to eat when in Amman.

Plan Your Logistics

Visa

A Jordan visa is available on arrival for all nationalities at around $55 USD. However, recently, the Jordan Tourism department launched the Jordan Pass that waives the visa fee, while giving you access to almost all of the sights you’re likely to visit in the country. The pass can be bought online here.

Transportation

The best way to experience Jordan is by car. It gives you the freedom to stop anywhere along the way (and trust us, you will want to!) and enjoy the spectacular landscapes. It also is possibly the cheapest way to go around, given the laughable fuel prices. The local car rental company, Monte Carlo, is highly-rated and provides the best value for money.

Safety

Unlike its neighbors, Jordan is an extremely safe country shielded from most of what is going on around. Dress respectfully by covering your body when you’re in the main city or exploring the countryside. Tourist sites like Petra and Wadi Rum, however, are full of foreign nationals and your dress code barely matters.

About the Authors

Divya & Vikas are India-based travel bloggers and writers. They write on budget travel, food, and coffees on their blog – Beyond The Wall. Follow their travel stories on Instagram here.From Petra to Amman everything you'll want to do during a week in Jordan. Where to stay, activities and where to eat. Plus extra tips for a week in Jordan. From Petra to Amman everything you'll want to do during a week in Jordan. Where to stay, activities and where to eat. Plus extra tips for a week in Jordan.

About Divya & Vikas

Divya & Vikas are India-based travel bloggers and writers. They write on budget travel, food, and coffees on their blog - Beyond The Wall. Follow their travel stories on Instagram here.
  • NowThatsAHoneymoon

    How long was the 10 km trek to the monastery, did you join a tour group? What time did it start and end? Looks like there’s a lot of hiking to be done, which month did you visit and was the weather okay?

    • Hi!
      The trek to the monastery took us about 2.5 hours, including tea breaks & stopovers at sites on the way. We did not join any group, it’s quite easy to just do it yourselves. Anyone can point you in the direction of the monastery.

      Yes, hiking is inevitable when you’re in Jordan. We went in October and the weather was pleasant enough. It was around 25-35 degreeC. Summers (April – August) can get very hot.

      There’s a whole lot of more info on our blog, if you need 🙂 Happy travels!

  • Sasha

    Thanks so much for writing this, I also wanted to explore Jordan independently by car but could never find info on doing this. You have inspired me!

    • You’re most welcome, Sasha. We’re glad to have inspired you to visit Jordan – it is an incredible country and you won’t regret traveling there.

      Lot more info on budget tips & tricks on http://www.beyond-the-wall.co 🙂

  • Jennifer Morrow

    Amazing sites in Jordan! I would be thrilled to tour the Dead Sea and Petra alone, the others are an added bonus.

    • Couldn’t agree anymore. Wadi Rum was our personal favourite actually.

  • Jorden is one of the countries that I’ve never really thought of traveling to, but after reading this I really would like to go. Floating in the dead sea, visiting Petra- it all looks amazing.

    • With the currency at its lowest in a long while, 2017 may just be the year then, Chanelle! 🙂

  • Great itinerary here! I visited Jordan for just over a week back in 2014 and visited very much the same places as you other than the Dana Biosphere Reserve! Instead I used the time to go to Aqaba and the Red Sea as my friend wanted to go scuba diving. I think I would have much preferred your choice though!

    • We missed going to Aqaba. Since we didn’t plan to dive, it didn’t fit into our idea as such.

      Dana is a good reason to head back there then, Rhiannon? 😉

  • Diana C

    I had never heard of Dana before but it looks like somewhere I’d definitely want to visit. Jordan’s on my list for sure (as well as other countries in the Middle East) and hopefully one day in the near future it’ll be easier for Americans to travel to that part of the world. Thanks for sharing!

    • You are most welcome, Diana. Dana is a very interesting place to do some offbeat stuff in Jordan. If you love to hike, it is a must-do. We do hope more people from the West go to the Middle-East. Jordan, none the less, is incredibly easy & safe even today.

  • Jenni Sheldon

    Thanks for sharing this at just the right time I am heading to Jerusalem and wondering if to go to Jordan after I think after reading this the answer is going to be yes.

    • Don’t think twice, Jenni. Just head there. You won’t regret it one bit!

  • Julianne

    Great post! Petra is super high up on my bucket list. Thanks for the tip about the Petra by Night tour — having the Treasury lit up by a thousand candles sounds amazing. Wadi Rum also looks gorgeous!

    • Julianne, you’re most welcome. You should check up the dates for Petra by night tour though 🙂 Wadi Rum is even more gorgeous when the stars come out @ night. We couldn’t capture it unfortunately.

  • I’ve seen pics of people floating reading a book in the Dead Sea! I’d go for that! I’ve heard a lot about Wadi Rum, I’d definitely make the trek out here, your pic with the moon is amazing by the way. I’ve never heard of the Dana Biosphere in any other Jordan post, an interesting stop from Amman.

    • You’d love your time in Jordan, James. We’re raving about it to this day!