Jordan road trip: itinerary 7, 8 or 10 days

Jordan road trip plan: the perfect self-drive route

Jordan is a beautiful kingdom in the Middle East that many travelers avoid because it borders on countries where there is very frequent political unrest. Meanwhile, Jordan has been a country that lives in peace for years. As a tourist you can explore the Middle East in a safe way, all on your own. Imagine yourself in a completely different world in less than 4.5 hours of flying! I will show you the route we took for our road trip through beautiful Jordan. Are you looking for the perfect Jordan itinerary for 1 week to 10 days? You have come to the right place.

Jordan road trip one week

About this route through Jordan

Jordan has two major airports, in Amman and in Aqaba. The most obvious and often the cheapest is flying to Amman, both for traveling to and from. Our road trip also started in Amman.

The prices mentioned in this route are indicative and may vary per travel period. The listed hotel rooms are for two people, unless stated otherwise.

Day 1 – Departure and arrival in Jordan / Amman

We fly from Brussels with Ukraine International Airlines at 02.00 in the afternoon and with a stopover in Kiev (very nice airport by the way). We land at night at 00.30 in Amman.

By Plane

There is a direct flight from Schiphol with Royal Jordanian, in general you also pay more for this. The cheapest flights to Amman are with Ukraine International. And from Brussels Zaventem it is just a little cheaper than Schiphol.

I paid €155 for a single ticket to Amman. We ended this road trip in Israel and flew back from Tel Aviv (if you have more time, this is a cheaper alternative to fly back and you get the chance to discover another beautiful country). For a return ticket on Amman you spend around €400 to €500.

Visa at the airport

A visa is required in Jordan if you plan to stay for three nights or more. If you have a shorter stay, you will only pay an exit fee of 10 JOD / 12 euro. The visa itself is very easy to arrange upon arrival at the airport. This therefore does not have to be arranged in advance in the Netherlands. A visa costs 40 JOD / 48 euros (or is free with the Jordan Pass). The Jordan Pass includes your visa, access to the city of Petra and much more discounts on all the tourist attractions that Jordan has to offer. We chose the Jordan Wanderer for 70JOD / 85 euro because we only stayed in Petra for 1 day.

From the airport to the center

From the airport we take a taxi for 30 JOD / € 35 to our first hotel: Zaman Ya Zaman Boutique Hotel. We arranged the taxi in advance through the hotel. I personally liked this idea because we landed at night and I read that there is no Uber in Jordan. By the way, it is safe to take a taxi, you can negotiate the fare.

Where to spend the night in Amman

We stayed two nights in Amman.

Our choice: Zaman Ya Zaman Boutique Hotel

This hotel is ideally located opposite the Roman theater. An excellent base for exploring the city. The rooms are basic but neat. You can sleep here for €43 a night and the hotel is rated with an 8 average on Booking.com.

Day 2 – Discover Amman

Today our journey really begins. We start in Amman, the largest city and also capital of Jordan. Amman is a chaotic city with thousands of years of history. As soon as you walk out the door of your hotel, you enter a great world of chaos, delicious food and, above all, a lot of history.

Visit the Citadel on the highest mountain of Amman, the Jebel al-Qala’a. The Roman Theater in the heart of the city is equally impressive. Just like Amman’s largest mosque, the King Abdullah. In the meantime, don’t forget to taste the local dishes: Hummus, Falafel, Shawarma and Kebab. These are dishes that you will find everywhere in the Middle East.

Day 3 – Jerash, Aljun and Madaba

+/- 165 km and a 3 hours’ drive

Arrange your rental car

We opted for the local car company Monte Carlo, a reliable and inexpensive alternative to the slightly more expensive international car companies. This costs us 120 JOD / €145 for 6 days. Read more about driving in Jordan!

We paid extra for:

  • Drop off in Aqaba (wen went on to Israel).
  • Additional Insurance (driving in Amman can be a challenge and the Jordan landscape is generally quite rough).

We also have good experiences with Rentalcars.com.

Our rental car is dropped at our door at 9 a.m. and then we drive to the cities of Jerash and Aljun in an hour. In the Roman city of Jerash you will find an enormous number of beautiful Roman remains. Aljun Castle is an Islamic fort with fantastic views over the green and hilly surroundings

Tip: the Aljun forest reserve is a beautiful place for forest lovers!

We continue our journey to Madaba, where our next accommodation is located, about an hour and a half drive from Jerash. Madaba is a small town that is best known for its mosaics, in particular the Madaba Map (a road map of the Holy Land). The famous mosaic of St. George’s Church dates from 560 AD and originally consisted of 6 million pieces! Today, a small portion of the original map can still be seen.

Spend the night in Madaba

We stayed here for two nights.

Our choice: Moab Land Hotel

We spend the night in the Moab Land Hotel. A small-scale hotel with basic rooms and a beautiful roof terrace, from where you have a beautiful view of the city and the mountains. This hotel is also opposite the famous Sint-Joris Church! You sleep here for €30 a night and the hotel is rated with an 8.1 on Booking.com on average. You can park in the general parking lot of the town for 2 JOD / €2.50 per day.

Day 4 – Trip to Mount Nebo and the Dead Sea

More than a 1-hour drive and +/- 46km to the Dead Sea. Mount Nebo is on the route

Madaba is an excellent base to visit the Dead Sea and Mount Nebo. It takes you less than an hour to drive there. The mountain area from Madaba to the Dead Sea is absolutely stunning! Many photo moments guaranteed! And then we arrive at the Dead Sea, a lake 410 meters below sea level.

It is a fantastic experience to float in this lake. There are often large resorts along the coastline of the Dead Sea and these do not offer access for day visitors. We stopped at Amman Public Beach. We understood in advance that this was (almost) free, but on arrival we had to pay 20 JOD / € 25 per person and then the magic mud is not even included. Parking is free of charge.

On the way back to Madaba we visit Mount Nebo. The place where Moses overlooked the promised land. This is a special place for Christians, as well as Muslims and Jews. We arrive at this holy place when it is cloudy. So unfortunately, we didn’t the see holy land from here.

Day 5 – From Madaba to Dana Nature Reserve

About 3 hours’ drive and +/- 180km. Depending on which route you choose

From Madaba we leave early for the Dana Nature Reserve. You can follow two routes here: The Dessert Highway (faster) or the famous King’s Highway (more beautiful). We did a combination, first a part of King’s Highway and then crossed the mountain area to see another part of the Dessert Highway. We wanted to take a walk through the Mujib Nature Reserve on the Dessert Highway, unfortunately this was closed due to the many rains that had recently fallen.

The Dana Nature Reserve is a very beautiful nature reserve in the middle of Jordan, southeast of the Dead Sea. You can take several hiking trips here. Depending on your physical condition, you can possibly take several days for this.

At first, we went for a walk in the Wadi Mujib, but it turned out to be closed. We then called the location in Dana, where we originally only wanted to spend the night, to ask if a guided walk was still possible. This was not a problem at all and I would absolutely recommend this to anyone! Dana is often skipped by the standard trips that are offered to Jordan. That is such a shame, because I was very surprised by the beauty and tranquility that this beautiful nature reserve offers. There is a lot of diversity in plants and animal species in Dana and there are many beautiful routes through the park. The best experience is to take a walk with a Bedouin guide (price depends on duration, route and number of people).

Spend the night in Dana

Stay here for one night.

Our choice: Wadi Dana Eco Camp

We sleep in a simple tent with two beds, a lamp and a fantastic view over the valley! In the town of Dana there are not many options to spend the night, but if a tent is not entirely your thing, there are also 2 small-scale hotels. You sleep in these hotels for €63 a night and it is rated with an average of 9 on Booking.com.

Day 6 – From Dana to Wadi Musa & Petra

One-hour drive and +/- 54 km

After a decent breakfast we go to the magical and mysterious city of Petra, the most famous place of Jordan. The city is one of the seven wonders of the world.

The rich history in this town is impressive and beautiful to see. The treasure room is the most famous building, but feel free to take a whole day to explore the rest of the city. The monastery and the royal tombs are in no way inferior to the most famous building in Petra. You have several hikes through this beautiful area, from which you have great views of the city and beyond!

Visit Petra

We had the Jordan Pass which includes access to Petra. Without Jordan Pass a day ticket Petra costs 50 JD (around € 60). A two-day ticket Petra: 55 JD (approximately € 65) and a three-day ticket Petra: 60 JD (approximately € 70).

Pay attention! A Bedouin tribe lives in the city of Petra, which is the only tribe in Jordan to be labeled as aggressive. Not in the form of violence, but very focused on the tourist. They want to sell you anything and everything, but above all they want you to believe that the many walks in the city are not free. Don’t fall for this. The only walks that are not free lead you to the most photogenic point of the entire city and where (almost) every tourist does take a photo (also for a fee).

They also deal very poorly with the animals in the city, such as the camels and donkeys. For someone with a heart for animals, this is not always pleasant to see.

Spend the night in Wadi Musa

Wadi Musa is the base to visit Petra. We stay here for one night.

My hotel tip: Al Rashid Hotel

A fairly modern hotel in the town of Wadi Musa, which borders the town of Petra. It is enormously touristy, but that makes sense since it is adjacent to the largest tourist attraction in Jordan. You sleep here for €62 a night and it is rated on average with an 8.1 on Booking.com. A nice extra is that parking is free in the street.

Day 7 – From Wadi Musa to Wadi Rum Desert

Depart very early! 1.5 hours’ drive and +/- 105 km

A unique and fantastic experience is spending a few days in the Wadi Rum Desert. Set off with a Bedouin guide to discover the amazing red desert of Jordan.

There are various activities that you can do in this desert, such as a camel ride, a jeep safari and / or climbing a mountain. If you want to make it truly unforgettable, a night of sleep under the starry sky is a must!

You must book an overnight stay in advance to avoid disappointment. There are different camps, almost all offering the same in terms of accommodation type and activities. We opted for the two-day Wadi Rum Desert Tour for 145JOD / €175 per person with Wadi Rum Nomads. You must report to the tour operator and you can also park your car there. The tour starts at 9 a.m. or 10 a.m.

Spend the night in Wadi Rum Desert

We stay here one night with an organized tour. This is run by a nice, Dutch lady who, together with a Jordanian, has been running this beautiful camp for a number of years. The tents are basic, but very neat and the (shared) sanitary room is really well cared for. You can see that a Dutch person contributed to this. We chose the two-day Wadi Rum Desert Tour for 145JOD / €175 per person. Food and all activities are included.

Day 8 – From Wadi Rum Desert to Aqaba or Amman

Almost 4 hours of driving and +/- 311 km

We are brought back by the tour operator at 3 p.m. to the Wadi Rum Visitor Center, where our car is parked. We drive from here to Aqaba and cross the border to Israel the same day.

If you fly back from Amman, I recommend the following: drive from Wadi Rum back to Amman. Enjoy this great city for another evening and fly back home the next day.

Relaxing in Aqaba

Another option is to drive on from Wadi Rum for an hour to Aqaba. This is the only port city of Jordan and is located on the Red Sea. Here you can relax for a few more days at the beach to end the holiday. You can also go diving and snorkeling in the Red Sea. From Aqaba you will be back in Amman in about a 4-hour drive.

Day 9 – Travelling home or on to Israel

Unfortunately, this beautiful road trip through Jordan is coming to an end. Have a great return trip!

Money in Jordan

The currency is the Jordanian dinar (JOD). The prices in Jordan are generally slightly lower than in the Netherlands.

Banks and ATMs are quite scarce in Jordan. The larger cities offer this option, it is best to use it. Cash is always handy in Jordan. The smaller towns and villages have no ATMs and would prefer that you pay everything with cash. This also applies to the Dana Nature Park and the Wadi Rum desert.

  • Officially, all credit cards are accepted in Jordan. We did experience some problems with our Mastercard. The Visa card always worked.
  • The bank card is generally accepted at ATMs and payment machines with a Cirrus or Maestro Logo. Note that even this not always worked out for us.
  • Tips are common in Jordan. Coin money is therefore always handy. Note: at the tourist spots, local men often offer to take pictures of you. The first time I found this very sweet (naive) and a complete photo shoot was shot. In the end he just wanted to get money for this. This has happened to my boyfriend twice because it is hard for him to say no!

Culture and religion

The majority of the population is Islamic and that means that different norms and values apply. This is something to keep in mind when you visit the country. I adjust my clothing style, or not too bare legs, a T-shirt and no top AND a large scarf / sarong that always comes in handy! Alcohol is not available everywhere and is more expensive than in the Netherlands.

The Jordanians, by the way, are the most sincere and hospitable people I know. The first few days I really had to get used to this sincerity because I am used to a favor often having to be rewarded with money. Of course, there are always exceptions.

Are you planning to take a road trip through Jordan? Let me know what you think of this route!

blogger evy

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