My 8-Day Jordan Itinerary
I just recently returned from a quick trip to Jordan! This is the furthest I’ve ever travelled, and my first experience travelling semi-independently (I was travelling with my partner and not my parents).
This was an incredible trip, and I would 100% go back given the opportunity. But, Jordan was never high up on my travel wish-list, especially since it is completely surrounded by countries that aren’t necessarily considered safe.
We stumbled across a flight deal for $390 roundtrip including taxes (thank you YYZ deals!) to Amman from Toronto. In order to get this deal, we needed to travel in February and only for 10 days, which I was perfectly fine with since I have a job and don’t have much vacation time.
This deal really sparked our interest. We knew that we wanted to go somewhere in the winter, but knew we didn’t want to do the resort vacation thing. So this was perfect! It was a place neither of us had been; there were lots of things to do (history, hiking, relaxing); and it was a great deal! We booked it the next day and I immediately started planning.
The first thing I did was buy the Lonely Planet guide to Jordan and read it front to back. I then reached out to bloggers who had been to Jordan before to get more personal information and started making our itinerary.
Here is a breakdown of what we did with our full 8 days in Jordan:
Day 1: Explore Amman
We got up fairly early and decided to hit the town! Amman is known for their various coffee shops, souks and roman ruins.
We walked across the street from our hotel (Amman Pasha Hotel) to explore the Roman Theatre. There was a beautiful little museum at the site containing pieces of historical dress and jewelry and traditional meanings behind fabric and stones.
The main attraction in Amman is the Citadel which is known for the Temple of Hercules and amazing views of the city. We decided to walk up the “mountain” (Amman is apparently the city built on 7 mountains) so we could see more of the city. Getting to the top was amazing!
Day 2: Drive to Aqaba – with a quick jeep tour in Wadi Rum
With an early start, we drove across the country to Wadi Rum for a 3-hour jeep tour. This was incredible! The views were magnificent and the history was mind-blowing. We stopped at a canyon with ancient Nabatean symbols that were written on the walls. These peoples lived in the desert around 10,000 years ago! To stand in a place that our most ancient of ancestors lived was one of the most unbelievable experiences.
After the jeep tour we finished our trip down to Aqaba – the coastal city of Jordan.
Day 3: Snorkelling and drive to Petra
Snorkelling was on the agenda today! It was just warm enough for us to do it (about 20C) but the Red Sea was so much warmer!! The only problem was that it was quite windy and wavy so it was a bit of a workout!
Day 4: Petra
We knew that we wanted a full day at Petra – to fully explore the ancient city, so we went to bed early with the intent to be there for opening at 6am. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t the best and I was kind of sick so we decided to sleep a bit more and get to Petra for 10am.
I’m so glad we waited because the weather got nicer and I started to feel a bit better.
We did the 850 step trek up to the Monastery (the most beautiful building in my opinion) and it was so worth it! People who were going down would encourage us, saying that it is worth it and that we were almost there, and we would stop to take breaks occasionally, and kind Bedouin women would offer us tea. The walk was quite lovely, even though it was tiring.
When you get to the top, you’re out of breath, not only from the walk, but from the magnificent view of the building carved in stone. We stopped and had a tea in a little cave café before we decided to go to the lookout point to see the entire landscape.
Day 5: Drive to Feynan Ecolodge & make traditional Arabic coffee
The drive to the Feynan Ecolodge was a beautiful one. You are basically zig-zagging down a mountain for an hour. We had the perfect day, so but I can imagine that it would be a stressful drive in the rain or if the roads were busy.
We drove as close as we could to the Ecolodge and then were transferred the last 8km by 4×4 because there was no road.
If you have the chance to stay at Feynan, it is absolutely marvelous. This is a completely off-grid, all-inclusive hotel with wonderful staff that are employed from the area.
We checked in early, so that we could take part in the coffee making experience. Our guide took us to a local Bedouin family’s tent (which the lady of the family had weaved by hand from goat hair!), who had agreed to show us how it is done. Coffee is a traditional drink and only something that is enjoyed on special occasions or business deals.
We roasted the beans on a fire inside the tent and then ground them up by hand with cardamom. The beans were then put in dallah on the fire to steep.
When the coffee was ready to drink, we were taught that you must drink your small cup as quick as possible and then you may ask for 2 more cups if you want.
This experience was one of my favourites from our entire trip. The coffee making ceremony brought a bunch of village children into the tent to enjoy it with us and we learned a great deal about local Bedouin culture from a Bedouin himself. It was an honour to entire our hosts home and share this traditional experience with them.
That night we went stargazing and our guide taught us about the traditional knowledge of stars and the galaxy and we got to see a close-up of the moon using a telescope. The sky was perfectly clear for our night under the stars and it was wonderful.
Day 6: Cooking class at Feynan Ecolodge and drive to the Dead Sea
The next morning at Feynan we relaxed in the warm desert sun until our cooking class started. We learned how to make falafel and manakish from the hotels chef and it was great fun.
After the cooking class we were transferred back to our car and drove up the coast to the dead sea resort we were staying at next.
Day 7: Relax at the spa and drive to Madaba
This was such a relaxing day. The weather was absolutely perfect and the resort was not crowded in the slightest.
Being at the lowest point on earth and floating in the Dead Sea was definitely a bucket list item that I crossed off.
After relaxing at the spa we drove to Madaba for our last night in Jordan.
Day 8: Explore Madaba and Jerash
This was a jam-packed day for sure. We woke up early to see the Mosaic Map (oldest map of Palestine) in the Byzantine Church of St. George across the street from our hotel (Moab Land Hotel). It was incredible to stand in a place with so much history. The interesting thing about this accurately-scaled map was that it was made during a time when the technology to accurately make maps to scale did not exist. This map is thought to have been made in 540-570 AD and was not rediscovered until the 1800’s during construction of the church.
We then drove to Mount Nebo which is the site where Moses first laid eyes on the Promised Land but was told by God that he would never reach it. He is apparently buried on the premises. Again, to stand in a place that has such history was such an incredible experience and really made this trip special.
To finish off the trip, we drove 2 hours north to Jerash – the site with the most well-preserved Roman ruins outside of Italy. Being at this site almost reminded me of watching the movie Hercules. It was incredible and mind-boggling and definitely worth the drive.