You'll start your itinerary with two nights in Amman, which includes a day trip to Azraq through the desert, before departing for Petra. Explore Petra's ancient temples and spend a night at a Bedouin camp in the desert of Wadi Rum before heading to the salty waters of the Dead Sea, where you'll spend the night, and then travel back to Amman. On the way back to Amman, you'll visit Bethany on the Jordan River, and the following day you'll enjoy a day trip to the ruins of Jerash, the Decapolis city Um Qais, and to Aljoun.

Highlights

  • Visit the desert castles in Jordan's Eastern Desert
  • Discover the colorful mosaics decorating the town of Madaba
  • Climb up to the High Place of Sacrifice in Petra
  • Watch the sunset over the Dead Sea
  • Wander along some of the best-preserved Roman ruins in Jerash

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Amman Amman
Day 2 Azraq Desert Castles & Wetlands Amman
Day 3 Discover Mount Nebo - Petra Petra
Day 4 Petra - Wadi Rum Camp Wadi Rum
Day 5 Wadi Rum - Dead Sea The Dead Sea
Day 6 Sacred Jordan River - Amman City Tour Amman
Day 7 Day Trip - Ajloun & Um Qais Amman
Day 8 Departure  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Amman

Sunset over Amman
Sunset over Amman

After arriving, your driver will be waiting for you at the airport to transfer you to your hotel in Amman. 

Depending on your time of arrival, you may have some time to explore this bustling capital city.

Suggested activities include:

  • Walk around in Jabal Weibdeh, which is the oldest neighborhood in Amman. There are lots of small side streets, shops offering local goods and produce to be explored, as well as many cafés and restaurants.
  • Close to Jabal Weibdeh is also the King Abdullah II Mosque which welcomes visitors. 
  • Explore the Citadel with the Temple of Hercules which offers a 360-degree view over Amman. It's best to be there during prayer time, as you'll hear the calls to prayers from the various mosques, creating a surreal echo. 
  • Continue to the Roman Theater, and then head through the bustling downtown souks.
  • Head to Rainbow Street in Jabal Amman, which is lined with shops, restaurants, and shisha cafés. You can explore the side roads, and you'll have great views over the surrounding "white hills".
  • Visit the Jordan Museum, where some of the Dead Sea Scrolls are on display.

*There is an optional activity of visiting a local home near Amman where you will help prepare a traditional Jordanian dish for dinner.

Day 2: Azraq Desert Castles & Wetlands

The desert castle, Qasr Amra
The desert castle, Qasr Amra

Today, you'll travel into Jordan's Eastern Desert, a destination that hasn't been discovered by most tourists.

On the way to Azraq, you'll visit the desert castles of Kharaneh, Amra, and Azraq. In the past, these were used as weekend retreats and hunting lodges by the Ummayad kings.  Qusayr Amra is one of Jordan's UNESCO World Heritage sites because it features rare frescoes from the early Islamic period with humans and animals.  Qasr Kharaneh is believed to have been built sometime in the early 8th century (Ummayad period). 

Once you reach Azraq Reserve, you can have lunch and visit the Wetlands where you can go on a boardwalk, which takes approximately half an hour. 

You'll return to Amman in the evening.

*If you're feeling extra adventurous, you can opt to spend the night in a refurbished military hospital. Azraq lodge offers cozy rooms and mouthwatering local food.

Day 3: Discover Mount Nebo - Petra

A unique street in Madaba
A unique street in Madaba

After breakfast, you'll depart for a trip to Mount Nebo.

At Mount Nebo, you can enjoy a spectacular view over the Jordan Valley, and you'll be able to spot Jericho on the other side. You will also make a stop in Madaba to check out the famous mosaics that color the town, including the oldest map of the holy land in existence at St George's Church. Your driver will then take you down the ancient Kings Highway to Karak, one of the largest crusader castles in the Middle East. This castle fell to Saladin in 1189 when he conquered the Transjordan.

You'll then continue south to the town of Wadi Musa, Petra. You'll arrive in Petra at around 8:30 pm for your overnight stay.

Optional activities include: 

  • Lunch in Karak and a guided tour.
  • Dinner at a local family home in Petra.
  • A Petra Kitchen cooking workshop.

Day 4: Petra - Wadi Rum Camp

Local donkeys in Petra
Local donkeys in Petra

You'll have a full day to visit the famous UNESCO world heritage site of Petra, also called the Red Rose City because of its famous red-colored rocks. You can also hire a private guide to show you around this ancient city.

You can walk through the mystic Siq until you reach the famous Treasury. There is also a viewpoint opposite it which you can climb up for a view from above. Then, you can visit the Street of Facades and walk through the Roman area, where you can climb up to the High Place of Sacrifice and follow the path to the Garden Temple Complex.

For lunch, you can visit the Basin Restaurant inside Petra.

If you have the energy then climb the 800 steps up to the Monastery, Petra’s largest Temple.  As the day comes to an end, you'll be transferred to your Bedouin camp, where you'll enjoy dinner and the night under the stars.

The suggested camp is Hassan Zawaideh Camp.

Day 5: Wadi Rum - Dead Sea

Sunset over the Dead Sea
Sunset over the Dead Sea

In the morning, you'll depart from Petra for a two-hour trip in a Jeep through the magnificent desert of Wadi Rum. Starting from Rum Village, you'll visit the best places of the Wadi Rum Protected Area including red sand dunes, canyons, Nabatean inscriptions, bizarre rock formations, and huge rock bridges.

In the afternoon, you'll head the lowest point on earth: the Dead Sea. Here, you have a free afternoon to float in the salty waters, go for a full-body mud treatment or relax in the sun. In the evening, you can enjoy the sun going down over the mountains on the other side.

You'll spend the night at a hotel at the Dead Sea.

Day 6: Sacred Jordan River - Amman City Tour

The Citadel in Amman
The Citadel in Amman

You'll start the day off with a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bethany Beyond the Jordan, where Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River.

You will then head to Amman for a city tour. First, you'll visit the Roman Theater, which is located in downtown Amman. As you walk up the stairs, you'll notice that it is much steeper than it looks from afar. You'll also visit the Citadel with the Temple of Hercules, where you can enjoy a 360-degree view over Amman. 

You'll then continue to the Cave of the Seven Sleepers which is a little outside Amman. Here, according to Christian and Islamic tradition, seven young men hid in the cave to escape religious persecution at around 250 CE and slept for 300 years.

Day 7: Day Trip - Ajloun & Um Qais

Ancient Jerash ruins in Jordan
Ancient Jerash ruins in Jordan

In the morning, your driver will pick you up and take you to Jerash, which is one of the best-preserved Roman ruins outside of Italy.

You'll then travel to Ajloun to visit the 12th-century Muslim fortress that was built by the nephew of Saladin. Afterward, you'll visit the Decapolis city Um Qais, which is famous for its ancient Gadara. From here, you'll also have a breathtaking view over the Golan Heights in Syria, Lake Tiberias in Palestine and on clear days, the mountains in Lebanon.

At the end of the day, you'll travel back to Amman.

Day 8: Departure

Village of Salt in Jordan
Village of Salt in Jordan

It's time to say goodbye!  Your driver will take you to the airport in time for your departure flight.

If you have an evening flight, you can opt for a morning visit to the As-Salt Area. Here you will visit the Sahabab shrines where you can find the final resting place of Prophet Shoaib which is located in a mosque (remember to dress accordingly). You'll then continue to the Shrine of Yusha who accompanied Moses on one of his journeys. If you want, you can spend some more time in the village of Salt, where you'll explore the small alleys, the main square, and the various shops. 

Map

Map of Best of Jordan: Amman, Petra, Wadi Rum, & the Dead Sea - 8 Days
Map of Best of Jordan: Amman, Petra, Wadi Rum, & the Dead Sea - 8 Days