This 7-day itinerary of Jordan whisks you through the country's highlights, including the unmissable Petra, Wadi Rum, Roman ruins, Byzantine mosaics, and Crusader castles. You'll have lots of time to float in the famous Dead Sea, and can take advantage of opportunities to personalize your trip with a smattering of unique options!

Highlights

  • Float in the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth
  • Experience the mars-like landscape of Wadi Rum 
  • Explore the ancient rock city of Petra
  • Wander the Roman ruins of Jerash
  • Relax in the cozy town of Aqaba at the Red Sea

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Amman Amman
Day 2 Day Trip to Jerash & Ajloun  Amman
Day 3 Madaba, Mt. Nebo, Karak, Dana, and Petra Petra
Day 4 Petra & Wadi Rum Wadi Rum
Day 5 Wadi Rum & Aqaba Aqaba
Day 6 Dead Sea The Dead Sea
Day 7 Dead Sea and Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Amman

Temple of Hercules in the Citadel
Temple of Hercules in the Citadel

Welcome to Jordan! After arriving at the Queen Alia International Airport, your driver will meet you and transport you to the capital of Amman, which will serve as your home base for the next few days of adventure. 

Relax at your hotel, wander out for an incredible meal, or if your flight arrives early in the day, enjoy an optional tour of the city's highlights, complete with a delicious lunch. 

Day 2: Day trip to Jerash & Ajloun

Colonnaded street in Jerash
Colonnaded street in Jerash

This morning, enjoy breakfast, then embark on a trip north to the wonderful Roman city of Jerash. Walk along towering colonnades, visit the Temples of Artemis & Zeus, and take a seat in the enormous Hippodrome, which once hosted epic chariot races. You can wander the city on a self-guided tour or opt for an expert to guide you around. Lunch in the city is also optional. 

In the afternoon, you'll journey on to Ajloun to visit its 12th-century Muslim castle. Also known as Rabad Castle, this hilltop fortress overlooks three wadis and stands on the ruins of a pre-Byzantine monastery. Be sure to pop into the museum to learn more about the castle's history and view some fantastic artifacts from the middle ages. 

After you've pounded the storied grounds, you'll return to Amman, where you can get some wonderful recommendations from your specialist about nearby restaurants for dinner. 

Day 3: Madaba, Mt. Nebo, Karak,  Dana, and Petra

Directions from Mount Nebo

Today, you will drive south along the King's Highway, an ancient trade route that winds through mountains and around rural villages. Your first stop will be in Madaba to visit spectacular Byzantine mosaics and churches. Don't miss climbing up the bell tower of St. John's Church (sometimes called the Church of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist): from the top you will have a great view of the city below. You can also climb down below the still-operational church to see a well that dates back to the Moabite era, 3,000 years ago. 

You'll continue on to Mount Nebo, where, according to the Old Testament, Moses lived out his final days and saw the Promised Land, which he himself was forbidden from entering. You'll then journey south to the Crusader Castle in Karak, which is one of the largest crusader castles in the Middle East. Construction of the fortress began in the 12th Century and its final form is a mix of Byzantine, Western European, and Arab techniques. You can choose to wander the grounds yourself or opt for a guided tour or lunch here. 

It's then onto the Dana Nature Reserve, where you can explore the old Ottoman village, and enjoy a breathtaking view into the Great Rift Valley. At the end of the day, you will reach the town of Petra, where you can settle into your hotel to get some rest. Depending on the time of your arrival here, you can also choose to explore the incredible stone complex at night! Enjoy dinner on your own, opt to sit down for the evening meal with a local family in their home, or if you're up for it, learn how to cook traditional Jordanian specialties in a fun Petra Kitchen cooking workshop. 

Day 4: Petra & Wadi Rum

The Monastery
The Monastery in Petra

Start the day exploring the fantastic UNESCO World Heritage site of Petra. Also known as the "Rose City" and the "City of Stone," this pink sandstone complex is a network of caves, temples, and tombs, all carved from the rock about 2,000 years ago. Spend the day exploring at your own speed or elect to use an expert guide to show you around the city.

If you want to start your day out with a memorable bang, set out early to visit The Royal Tombs and make the climb to the viewpoint to look down onto the Treasury as the morning sun hits the stone. You can also climb up the mountain across from the High Place of Sacrifice and take the trail down to the Garden Temple Complex for stunning views. If you have enough energy, hike up through the hills to the largest of Petra’s monuments: the Monastery, built in the 3rd century BCE. There are myriad trails around this area, all of which will reward you with incredible views of the desert and land below.

At the end of the day, your driver will be waiting to take you south to the beautiful desert of Wadi Rum. Here you’ll spend the night under the stars at a Bedouin camp, where you'll feast on traditional cuisine and learn about the hospitality of this desert people. 

Day 5: Wadi Rum & Aqaba

Rock bridge
Rock bridge in Wadi Rum

There are a number of ways you can explore the magic of the desert today. If you're itching to catch an epic sunrise, take off in the early morning to float above Wadi Rum in a hot air balloon. Or sleep in and, after breakfast, head off on a two-hour jeep tour to visit the highlights of the desert. Explore Nabatean inscriptions, canyons, red sand dunes, and rock bridges. You could also choose to navigate the land on a camel ride or add in a 2.5-hour hike of the area with a local guide.

Afterward, your driver will transport you south to Aqaba, where you can spend a free afternoon by the Red Sea. Go diving or snorkeling, explore the quirky little city center or relax by the beach. Enjoy a delicious meal in town and rest up back at your hotel. 

Day 6: Dead Sea

Looking out onto the water

 

After breakfast, your driver will take you north to the lowest point on earth: the Dead Sea! Float effortlessly in the salty water and make a face-mask (or body mask) with the mineral-rich mud that abounds the shore. You can also opt for a professional mud treatment or just spend the day relaxing in the water or in your hotel pool. 

Unwind after soaking up some rays with dinner before spending the night here at the sea. 

Day 7: Dead Sea and Depart

Salt crust on the shore

Depending on the time of your flight, spend some more time relaxing and enjoying the beach, or head directly to the airport for your flight home. If your flight is later in the day or at night and you were unable to explore Amman on the day of your arrival, you can tour the city before checking in at the airport. Either way, you'll have plenty of memories of Jordan to take with you as you travel home or onto your next adventure.