8 days in Jordan

posted in: Experience, Jordan | 6


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Jordan is one of the peaceful countries in Middle East bordering Iraq and Syria, the two most unstable countries in the world. It also shares border with Israel where land crossing is possible. With many historical sites and natural wonders, Jordon is one of the top tourist destination in the world. Recently, I travelled along with my family to Jordan for 8 days and this post provides a brief overview of our journey.

Our travel map in Jordan

Madaba

Duration: 2 nights
Madaba was our first place of stay in Jordan. Being close to Amman airport, it is much more peaceful than the capital city of Jordan. We made it as a base to cover the nearby places like Jerash, Amman and Dead Sea. Madaba is famous for its mosaic descriptions of 6th century. We planned to visit it at the end of our journey before reaching airport. But unfortunately that plan had to be dropped due to severe dust storm that raged the country on our last day.

The columns of Oval Plaza

Jerash

Duration: Day visit
We covered Jerash as part of our day visit from Madaba. Famous for its Roman ruins, one need to dedicate at least 3-4 hours (of walking) to visit. You go back 2000 years as you walk through the Hardian’s arch (Southern gate), Hippodrome (Roman era stadium), Oval plaza, Cardo (street running along the ruined city), Nymphaeum (fountain), 2 large Amphitheaters, Temple of Artemis and finally the Northern gate. It was the first time we visited a Roman ruin and we fully enjoyed it.

Oval plaza in Jerash

Amman

Duration: Day visit
Amman is the capital city of Jordan. Like many other capital cities, it is modern and crowded. Our visit was very short covering the citadel and Roman Amphitheater while retuning from Jerash to Madaba. The citadel contains many Roman ruins, important of them being the temple of Hercules. Roman theater can be seen from the citadel itself. This 2nd century theater can house 6,000 people. It is quite popular with locals. The roads were confusing and I missed the route couple of times.

Temple of Hercules, Amman

 

Roman Amphitheater, Amman

Dead Sea

Duration: Day visit
Any visit to to Jordan is incomplete without the visit to Dead Sea. Situated between Jordan and Israel, it is the lowest elevation of on land (1,412 feet below sea level). The salinity level is around 34% which is about 9-10 times than that of normal ocean. No plants or animal can survive in such water and hence the name Dead Sea.

Dead Sea view in Amman beach

 

We visited Dead Sea on our way from Madaba to Petra. From outside, it looks like any other lake but the main attraction of Dead Sea is its salinity level and density. One can effortlessly float on Dead Sea!! Needless to say, that was the first thing we did in Dead Sea. Tanu also managed to read a book floating. Of course, it was for photography purpose. Due to high salt levels, it is not advisable not to drink water from Dead Sea or splash it on eyes. Dead Sea mud is also said to have some health benefits.

Tanu floating and reading a book

 

Access to Dead Sea is via numerous resorts on its shore line. We went to Amman beach which was relatively cheaper but had good facilities like changing rooms, shower, restaurant and swimming pool.

View from Mt. Nebo

 

On the way to Dead Sea, we also visited Mt. Nebo that provides view of Dead Sea. It is also the place where Moses went to see the “promised land”.

Petra

Duration: 2 nights
Petra requires no explanation at all. It is one of the new 7 wonders of the world. It was the capital city of Nabataen kingdom who built great structures. Petra requires a minimum of one full day visit and expect to walk around 10-12 kms. The walk through 1.2 km of siq (long gorge) brings us to “Treasury”, the most iconic structure of Petra. Photos do not do any justice to this place at all. Continuing further, we were stunned by looking at the street, palace, amphitheater, Royal tombs and several ruins all along the way. At the end of the route is 800 odd step climb to the monastery!! Tanu and Chaya covered the onward stretch on donkeys while I managed to follow then closely on foot.

Siq – A narrow passage to Treasury

 

This visit itself will take one complete day with good amount of walking. There are several detours and other places which needs another day.

Treasury

Wadi Rum

Duration: 1 night, 2 days
After seeing lot of historic places, it was time to go further south and enjoy natural beauty. Wadi Rum is a scenic desert valley with spectacular views of barren land resembling Mars, red sand dunes, natural arches and beautiful mountains. We spent two days with a night stay in a desert camp. Two great days, I must stay. It involved lot of walking and climbing and we enjoyed every bit of it.

Wadi Rum

 

A natural arch in Wadi Rum

Aqaba

Duration: 2 nights
With so much of physical activity during the trip, it was time to just relax and the Aqaba was the perfect destination. The corals of Red Sea provide a perfect spot for activities like snorkelling and scuba diving. We primarily indulged in snorkelling where we just needed to rent the equipment and walk into the beach!! Its was Tanu’s first experience in snorkelling and she enjoyed it fully.

Red Sea in Aqaba with Sinai mountains of Egypt in background

 

Aqaba is very near to the borders of Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. It is also possible to cross over to Israel by land here.

Tanu snorkelling in Red Sea

Final words

I must say with just 8 days of visit, we could only get a small glimpse of Jordon. We dropped few desert castles like Ajloun and Al Karak for lack of time. It will also be interesting to spend few days in Dead Sea exploring canyons like Wadi Zarqa and Wadi Mujib. Hiking in Dana Biosphere Reserve would also be fun.

Related post: Jordan travel guide

6 Responses

  1. srikanth manjunath

    A complete information guide.. super details, you covered in your narration the minutes things..good writeup and images what i can say..beautiful.. seen this places in many movies.. and nice to read about the places.. hats off

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