Itinerary #1: City, Sea, and Stars
You'll find the perfect balance of adventure, relaxation, history, and culture as you weave your way from Jordan's capital city of Amman, through the winding roads to Ma'in, breaking for a dip in the Dead Sea, trekking into the desert, exploring the ancient city of Petra, and ending with a refreshing escape to the Red Sea.
Day 1: Your Jordan journey starts in Amman. The best way to see the capital's Old City is by walking through it - you can't miss the Citadel, an ancient hilltop settlement, along with the Roman Theater. Take a break to shop at the handmade craft markets, and grab a bite of authentic cuisine. Try the mansaf - roasted lamb with yogurt sauce, the country's unofficial national dish.
Day 2: Follow the steps of Moses to Mount Nebo where you will be rewarded with that panoramic view of the Promised Land. Check out the mosaics in Madaba and enjoy lunch at a local favorite, such as Haret Jdoudna. End your evening enjoying the therapeutic waters and spa services at the Ma’in Hot Springs Hotel.
Day 3: After a relaxing morning at the hot springs, check out of the hotel and continue on the winding road to the ruins of Mukawir Castle. Climb the hill for a stunning view of the Dead Sea with Palestine in the distance. Continue to a Dead Sea area hotel or the rustic Mujib Chalets and spend the afternoon soaking in the salty waters and mineral muds at the lowest point on Earth.
Day 4: Today you can choose between a variety of activities, depending on your mood, interests, and budget. Visit Ghor Al-Mazra’a with the Zikra Initiative - a community-based tourism project that connects locals with visitors through activities such as bread-making, hiking, and harvesting. For the active adventurers, book a guided hike through the canyons of Wadi Mujib Biosphere Reserve (be sure to call ahead - wadi access is dependent on weather and the season). Or, if your goal is total relaxation, laze by the pool and float in the Dead Sea at leisure.
Days 5 & 6: Leave the Dead Sea behind and head for Dana Biosphere Reserve. Take a slight detour and stop by Kerak Castle en route before arriving at Feynan Ecolodge - a perfect place to spend a night or two getting closer to the local community and nature through engaging, eco-friendly, and socially conscious activities. Be sure to join other guests on the rooftop for some stellar desert night stargazing. Spend the next day getting deeper into the reserve and the community. Ask our specialist to arrange a guided hike or extra special community activities - such as a day with a shepherd or bread making with a Bedouin.
Possible Detour: For those who are looking for a more challenging hike and want to give some of the Jordan Trail a try, you can depart on the Dana to Petra hike. In this case, the rest of your trip will be spent on the trail, ending in Petra. Inquire about the duration and difficulty before planning - unless you are an experienced hiker with all of your own equipment, you'll need to arrange a guide and supplies.
Days 7 & 8: Set out for Petra today, and consider a stop by Shobak Castle en route. Opt for an overnight experience in a Bedouin camp or choose the comforts of a hotel. If you have the time and desire, book a sunset yoga session on the sandstone rocks of Little Petra. Spend the next day trekking the trails of the ancient city of Petra - on your own or with a knowledgeable local guide. Be sure to pack water, sunscreen, a hat, and good hiking shoes, as much of the trails are in the sun and many include a significant number of stairs.
Day 9: To see the "Pink City” from another angle and pay a visit to The Monastery, enter through a lesser known access point to Petra today, known as "The Backdoor." Or try a family-friendly equine "soul session" with a trainer and her Arabian horses near Little Petra. Enjoy your final Petra night under the stars around a Bedouin campfire.
Day 10: UNESCO World Heritage Wadi Rum awaits. Explore the world famous “Valley of the Moon” by foot, camel, horse, or jeep - you can't go wrong, as long as you're taking in the gorgeous colors or rock, sand, and sky. Head back to camp for the night, where a Bedouin meal will be prepared - accompanied by live music played on traditional instruments around the fire.
Days 11 & 12: Spend today discovering more of this vast desert. Sip tea with local Bedouins, climb some giant boulders, or slide down the dunes. When you’ve had enough desert sand and you’re ready for the sea, hit the road and head for Aqaba. Check into a seaside resort and watch the sunset from your balcony or a boat. The next day, you can choose to simply relax in a beach chair with a good book, snorkel, or join a dive. Full and half day boats and diving trips, as well as sunset sails, are all available.
Days 13 & 14: Enjoy your last seaside morning in Aqaba before returning to Amman. The journey back is long (approximately four hours), so consider booking a flight if you’d like to save some time. Celebrate your Jordan journey with a rooftop dinner in the capital city. On your last morning, transfer to the airport for your flight home.
Itinerary #2: Local Eats and Activities, from North to South
You'll get a true taste of local food, culture, history, and landscapes as you travel from north to south. Explore oak forests, wander Roman ruins, and participate in community activities in northern Jordan. Then relax in the mineral-rich waters of the Dead Sea, trek the Nabatean trails of Petra, and enjoy a grand finale of starry nights and desert discoveries in Wadi Rum.
Day 1: Your Jordan journey starts in Amman. Set out on a guided city tour and learn about the history, food, and culture of this lively capital city. Whether you are wishing to sample the best falafel, visit colorful local markets, or explore Jebel al-Qal'a (Citadel Hill), our specialists can tailor the tour to suit your interests.
Days 2 & 3: Head north to the archeological ruins of Jerash. Spent some time wandering this ancient Roman city before continuing on to Ajloun Castle. Ask our specialists to arrange dinner at a local family home so you can get a true taste of local flavors and culture. Get a peaceful night's sleep at Ajloun Cabins. The next morning, enjoy a tea on your balcony overlooking the oak trees and sample locally-sourced foods at the on-site restaurant before heading out on a guided hike in the forest reserve. In the afternoon, continue your northern journey to Um Qais.
Days 4-6: Once in Um Qais, settle in to local guesthouse Beit Al Baraka and watch the sunset from the rooftop. Or, book a foraging or harvesting activity with a local farmer and a Jordanian cooking lesson with a local family, and feast on the fruits of your labor. You can also participate in a special wine tasting at a local vineyard. Wake up to a bright and hearty breakfast at Beit Al Baraka - locally-sourced fuel for your day of adventures.
Dive into local history with a guided tour of Gadara, and then get a closer look at local flora and fauna in the Yarmouk Nature Reserve. If you prefer to spend the night in nature, camping options are available - just be sure to inquire when booking. Spend your last day in the region getting to know your neighbors with activities such as beekeeping, biking, and basket weaving with local experts. In the afternoon, say goodbye to Um Qais and head south to the Dead Sea.
Days 7 & 8: Choose from a variety of Dead Sea area activities today. You'll want to indulge in a mud wrap or another spa treatment that utilizes Dead Sea minerals, said to have healing properties, at one of the area's luxury resorts. Go for a relaxing float, lay by the pool - or if you're looking for something more active, pay a visit to the nearby Hammamat Ma'in, a group of natural hot springs and waterfalls funneled into man-made pools and baths. Whatever you choose, you'll want to rest up before your big days at Petra ahead.
Days 9 & 10: Set out for Petra today, and consider a stop by Kerak en route. Check into your Wadi Musa lodging - try the Fig Tree B&B, which offers packed lunches for your day of exploration at Petra (and chair massages when you're done!). Rest up, because in the morning you'll be getting up bright and early to trek the trails of the ancient "Rose City" on your own or with a knowledgeable local guide. Be sure to pack water, sunscreen, a hat, and wear comfortable walking shoes - you'll likely be walking in the sun and up a few large sets of stairs.
Days 11 & 12: For your trip's worthy grand finale, make your way to UNESCO World Heritage Wadi Rum. The expanse of breathtaking desert known as the “Valley of the Moon” can be explored via hiking, camel ride, or Jeep tour, so get your fill of rock formations and dunes before settling into camp for a night under the stars. Wake up and sip tea with local Bedouins, before discovering more of the desert - ask your specialist about a sunrise hot air balloon ride. End the day with a Bedouin BBQ and stories by the campfire.
Days 13 & 14: Say farewell to Wadi Rum and head back to Amman. The car journey is long (approximately four hours), so you may consider booking a flight from Aqaba. Celebrate your Jordan journey with a rooftop dinner in the capital city. Then, transfer to the airport for your flight home.