Are you looking for the perfect Jordan itinerary to explore this cultural destinations? You have come to the right place.

Planning a trip to Jordan is easy because of short distances between major attractions. In this article we have listed ideas and recommendations to plan for 5 Day, 7 Day or 10 Day Jordan Itinerary. These itineraries are built on top of each other and are extremely flexible. They all incorporate Jordan’s main attractions of Petra, Wadi Rum and the Dead Sea. The longer itineraries also include outdoor activities and things to do including snorkeling or diving in Aqaba, seeing the Roman ruins of Jerash and shopping in the souqs of Amman. Jordan itinerary suggestions are for planning a self-drive trip and are perfect for road-trippers .

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Jordan – An Introduction

Jordan is an incredible destination for a cultural holiday and offers a great introduction to the Middle-East if this is your first visit to the area. Jordan has majestic ancient monuments, diverse and stunning landscapes, rich biblical history and religious sites and a history dominated by conflicts. Jordan is fairly conservative country; however it is not as strict as some of its neighbors. Certain pockets of Amman are quiet liberal; the country as a whole is slowly embracing tourism and welcoming of visitors. The locals are warm and friendly and curious about visitors.

Is Jordan safe to visit?

In short ‘yes, very safe’; if you are looking for the long answer: When we informed family and friends that we are visiting Jordan, the first question we faced was ‘Where is Jordan’ followed by ‘Is it safe’? Jordan’s location in the Middle-East often raises this very valid question. Jordan’s neighbors include Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Israel and the West bank; most people are surprised to hear that Jordan is very safe to visit, even for independent travelers. The fact is that Jordan has always maintained its stability and encouraged tourism amidst political uprisings in the region, warring neighbors, refugee crisis and general instability. We had an incredible time in Jordan and were always met by friendly locals and helpful authorities from the moment we landed. We traveled independently in Jordan in our rental car and often didn’t see other cars or travelers for miles, especially on the less popular King’s Highway, and never felt unsafe. We visited Umm Qais, 5 miles away from Syria in the North and never felt threatened or unwelcome. 

Renting a car in Jordan

Visitors arriving in Amman, Jordan via air can easily rent a car upon landing at Queen Alia International Airport. We booked our car online prior to arriving in Amman and received a great deal. Tourists do not typically need an International Driving Permit (IDP) to rent a car; we were able to rent on our Texas driving license. Our rental reservation included car insurance as well. 

Driving in Jordan

Jordan is easy to drive country for most parts – the infrastructure is modern with expressways and roads in good condition, traffic is fairly disciplined. There are occasional cattle on inner roads in small towns and roads are crowded on weekends – overall, if you are fairly confident about your driving skills then you will manage. Driving in Amman is a different matter – the traffic is much much worse and completely undisciplined. C & I are used to driving in Pune, India where traffic conditions are similar so this wasn’t an issue. However we still recommend taking taxis or walking in Amman. 

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Self-drive road trip is one of the best ways to see Jordan

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The majestic crusader castle at Karak

Jordan Itinerary 5 Days

Day 1 of 5 Day Jordan Itinerary: Rent car in Amman, visit Karak’s Crusader Castle and spend the night in Wadi Musa

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.

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The treasury at Petra in the early morning

Day 2 of 5 Day Jordan Itinerary: Visit Petra, see the famous Treasury at Petra, walk around Petra city-center and see Petra By Night

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.

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Sunset over the Read sea and Sinai mountains of Egypt at Aqaba, Jordan

Day 3 of 5 Day Jordan Itinerary: Leave Petra for Aqaba, snorkel in the Red Sea and watch sunset over the Sinai Mountain ranges

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.

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Camels grazing in Wadi Rum

Day 4 of 5 Day Jordan Itinerary: Take a breath-taking Wadi Rum Tour in a 4WD and desert camp in a Bedouin tent

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.

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View from Dead Sea Panorama overlook

Day 5 of 5 Day Jordan Itinerary: Float in the Dead Sea, relax with a Dead Sea Mud Mask and return to Aqaba

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!

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Roman ruins at Jerash amidst spring flowers

Jordan Itinerary 7 Days

We recommend following the 5 Day itinerary and then checking out the Roman ruins at Jerash and Amman followed by Madaba and Mt Nebo. 

Day 6 of 7 Day Jordan Itinerary: See the majestic Roman Ruins at Jerash and Umm Qais

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.

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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.

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Oldest surviving mosaic map of the Holy Land and Jerusalem at Madaba

Day 7 of 7 Day Jordan Itinerary: Visit the Roman Ruins of Amman, see the oldest surviving map of the Holy Land at Madaba and see Moses’s first view of Promised Land at Mt. Nebo

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.

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Moses saw first view of the Promised Land at Mt Nebo

Jordan Itinerary 10 Days

Day 8 of 10 Day Jordan Itinerary:

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.

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The dry fruit souqs of Amman

Day 9 & 10 of 10 Day Jordan Itinerary:

These 2 extra days can be used to customize your Jordan itinerary in many different ways. You can spend 2 extra days in Petra and hike the Monastery, Place of High Sacrifice and explore the beautiful ruins at leisure. Alternatively you can spend more time at Aqaba and dive or snorkel the various coral reefs and dive sites. For a relaxing and romantic time, spend more time at the luxurious Dead Sea Resorts and rejuvenate in the many spas and pools.  Or spend more time at Amman and explore the many things to do in the city. 

I visited Jordan in April 2015

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