8 day jordan itinerary www.dottedglobe.com Trip-planner

8 Day Jordan road trip itinerary

C & I created this week long Jordan itinerary on our recent trip to the country. The Jordan itinerary covers Petra, Dead Sea, Wadi Rum, Aqaba, Jerash, Amman and other major tourist attractions and is perfect for road-trip aficionados. Visitors can rent a car on landing at Amman International airport. Jordan is a great country to drive except for Amman where the traffic is bad compared to western standards. C & I are used to driving in Pune, India where the traffic is horrendous so this wasn’t an issue. Our Jordan itinerary starts with Petra since it is the star attraction of the trip. The itinerary is very well-researched and covers the country at a leisurely pace.

8 day jordan itinerary www.dottedglobe.com
8 day itinerary for a road trip through Jordan

About Jordan
Jordan is a land steeped in majestic ancient monuments, stunning landscapes, biblical history and religious wars. It is also a country that is slowly shedding religious conservatism, embracing progress and tourism, and filled with welcoming and friendly people. Bordering Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Israel and the West bank, Jordan has maintained its stability and encouraged tourism amidst political uprisings in the region and warring neighbors.

8 day jordan itinerary www.dottedglobe.com
The majestic crusader castle at Karak

Day 1: Land in Jordan, Amman in the morning. Pick up rental car at the airport and drive on to Petra which is 3 hrs away from Amman via the Desert Highway. We took the ancient King’s highway (Route 35) which goes through the Jordan valley and offers beautiful vistas. Traveling via Kings Highway takes about 4.5 hrs. We stopped and saw the large crusader castle of Karak on our way, had lunch in the town and continued to Petra. We reached Wadi Musa, the base for Petra, late afternoon. We had an early dinner and slept since we had a long day ahead at Petra.

8 day jordan itinerary www.dottedglobe.com
The treasury at Petra in the early morning

Day 2: The highlight of the trip! We reached Petra visitor center just as it opened at 6 am, bought our tickets and started the mile long hike through the Siq. We were rewarded with hard to come-by no other soul in sight views of the Treasury. We sipped on some excellently brewed Bedouin tea and then hiked the little known Treasury Overlook Trail and the rest of the ancient city. Petra has many beautiful monuments and photo opportunities; check out the 5 best ways to photograph the Treasury. Petra by night can be watched in the night. We ate some mouth-watering kebabs for dinner in Wadi Musa and slept like a log.

8 day jordan itinerary www.dottedglobe.com
Sunset over the Read sea and Sinai mountains of Egypt at Aqaba, Jordan

Day 3: We had kept this day to cover remaining Petra and then drove down to Aqaba and the Red sea via Kings highway. The journey takes about 2.5 hrs. We had excellent seafood lunch in town and then relaxed at our snorkeling and diving hostel. We snorkeled in the Red sea and saw beautiful fishes and corals. The evening offered a gorgeous sunset over Sinai Mountains of Egypt.

8 day jordan itinerary www.dottedglobe.com
Camels grazing in Wadi Rum

Day 4: We snorkeled some more, spent time on the beach and then started for Wadi Rum which is just an hour away via the Desert highway. C & I had planned to spend a night camping in Bedouin tent in Wadi Rum. We met our Bedouin guide at the Visitor center and were chauffeured to our camp in a 4WD truck. We had some hot tea at the camp at then went on the Wadi Rum desert safari. The safari is a beautiful experience with the chance to see and climb over various rock formations and venture deep into the red desert. Back at the camp we had a delicious Bedouin dinner cooked over the camp fire and then slept under the stars in the vast desert.

8 day jordan itinerary www.dottedglobe.com
View from Dead Sea Panorama overlook

Day 5: Hearty breakfast at the camp followed by Bedouin tea and we were ready for our 4 hr long drive to our resort on the Dead Sea via Dead Sea highway. The drive is spectacular with camels grazing on both sides and the road keeps descending to reach 1300 ft below sea level. We checked out the interesting Dead Sea museum and spectacular Dead Sea Panorama Overlook on our way.  We reached our resort, had a relaxing lunch and were soon ready for the second highlight of the trip – floating in the Dead sea!

8 day jordan itinerary www.dottedglobe.com
Roman ruins at Jerash amidst spring flowers

Day 6: We spent this entire day at Jerash which is 1.5 hrs away from the Dead sea region. Jerash is the site of most well-preserved Roman ruins outside of Europe. The ruins are majestic with beautiful colonnaded streets, carved pillars, Roma theatres, Greek temples and a grand forum. Since it was springtime in the valley beautiful flowers bloomed over the Roman ruins and magnified the beauty of the ancient city.

8 day jordan itinerary www.dottedglobe.com
View north from Umm Qais in Jordan, with Lake Tiberais / Sea of Galilee (Israel) and Golan Heights (Syria) visible

We also visited Umm Qais or the ancient Roman city of Gadara which is 1.5 hrs away from Jerash. It is mere 5 miles away from the Northern border; Israeli and Syrian lands can be seen from the ruins of Gadara. It was an incredible reminder of how close yet far we were from the civil unrest and violence that had gripped the region.

We made the 2 hrs drive back to Amman and spent the night at our downtown hotel.

8 day jordan itinerary www.dottedglobe.com
Oldest surviving mosaic map of the Holy Land and Jerusalem at Madaba

Day 7: We checked out the Roman ruins of the Amman citadel and Umayyad mosques and palaces, and then went to Madaba and Mt Nebo. Madaba is where the oldest surviving mosaic map of the Holy Land and Jerusalem was found and can be viewed even today. The map has excellent pictorial depictions of Sinai peninsula, Jerusalem and the Dead sea. Mt Nebo has a special place in biblical history as it is where Moses had his first view view of the Promised Land. We spent the evening sampling street foods of Amman; check out different Jordanian foods we ate here.

8 day jordan itinerary www.dottedglobe.com
Moses saw first view of the Promised Land at Mt Nebo

Day 8: All we did on our last day was wander through the Souqs of Amman and sample some more local delicacies. We ate the best falafel in the region and shopped among Gold souqs and dry fruit souqs. We drank sugarcane juice and ate kunafa, the syrupy cheese pastry. We purchased lots of souvenirs, gifts and baklavas. Then it was time to finish our packing for the midnight flight out of Amman.

8 day jordan itinerary www.dottedglobe.com
The dry fruit souqs of Amman

The Jordan itinerary can also be extended to 10 days by spending 2 entire days in Petra and staying overnight at one of the Dead Sea Resorts. 

I visited Jordan in April 2015

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Have you been to Jordan? Share your Jordan itinerary below in comments. Let us know if you have any questions about traveling to Jordan and we will try to address them. 

14 COMMENTS
  • Carissa
    Reply

    I have always wanted to go to Jordan and see most of these sites! Unfortunately most of your images will not load for me 🙁 Not sure if it’s on your end or mine, but something to look into as I’d love to see the beautiful pictures you have from your trip!

    1. Carissa
      Reply

      Naturally, after I post that they suddenly decided to load! Absolutely gorgeous, a location I definitely cannot wait to visit 🙂

  • stephturci
    Reply

    Thanks for the itinerary! This looks like the most incredible place to visit 🙂

  • Kimmie Conner
    Reply

    WOW! This has completely inspired me to visit Jordan, and seems like the perfect amount of time, too! Stunning Photos!

  • RosiEscapes
    Reply

    cool itinerary. interesting to see Bible come to life. cool pics esp. sunset

  • naominavigates
    Reply

    Jordan hasn’t really been on my radar, until now. The photos really convey how beautiful it is! You went in April – what was the temperature like?

  • Travel Textbook - Lucy
    Reply

    Visiting Jordan as a kid is one of my fondest memories — I can’t wait to get back and experience it again. Thanks so much for the amazing post!

    Lucy x

  • authenticfoodquest
    Reply

    Oh wow….these photos are so captivating and inspiring. Jordan is on my list of countries to explore and it so steeped in history. Love your pic with the camels. I really can’t wait to visit at some point. Thanks for the push!!

  • Melissa @ The Family Voyage
    Reply

    I’ve only visited Petra, but the rest of the country looks amazing! I’d love to see that mosaic map some day.

  • Bidisha
    Reply

    Jordan has long been on the bucketlist for me. The pictures are absolutely brilliant and pretty alluring. Seems like you made the most out of your time in Jordan.

  • Pablo
    Reply

    We’re heading to Jordan in the new year. You mention tha you drove and that you’d had experience driving in India. Having been to India the driving experience would have prepared you well to drive anywhere. Apart from being difficult to drive in Amman, what’s your thoughts on driving Jordan for th less experienced? Would appreciate your thoughts.

    1. Ketki R S
      Reply

      Hi Pablo, so apart from Amman, driving in Jordan is fairly easy. We did find school children walking along the road, sheep and goat crossing the road and even camels at one point but as long as you are driving cautiously you won’t face any issues. Driving in Amman (or for that matter in city centers of Madaba, Aqaba and Jerash) is an entirely different matter. Lanes are not followed, roads are heavily trafficked and turn indicators are not followed. You will have to be prepared for that and drive cautiously till you get the hang of it. It is doable as long as you are prepared. When are you going and have you finalized your itinerary?

  • Kathy
    Reply

    Leaving next week for Jordan and Israel. Did you feel renting a car was advantageous over public transportation? Did you need an international drivers license? Did you arrange for the car prior to getting into Jordan? How much?

    1. Ketki R S
      Reply

      Hi Kathy, renting a car definitely saved us a lot of time and offered flexibility for road-side stops along Kings Highway. Also the Dead Sea region is not really accessible via public transport, so having a car helps a lot. We could rent a car on our US drivers license without any issues. I booked the car for airport pickup in Amman for roughly 350/week including insurance online through either Kayak or rentalcars.com (don’t remember exactly which) How many days will you be in Jordan? Are you planning to stay in Bedouin camp in Wadi Rum? I highly recommend it after Petra http://dottedglobe.com/destinations/middle-east/jordan/desert-camping-wadi-rum-jordan/

What do you think? Leave comments and let me know!