Hello and welcome! My latest journey took me to the wonderful country of Jordan! I had the most amazing time ever and I want to share our itinerary with you! Along with it, you will get some safety tips, information about what to pack and tips on how to have the most amazing time in Jordan. So nice to see you are to my 5 Day Jordan Itinerary!
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Day 1 : Amman & Jerash
Welcome to Jordan! That’s something many people will tell you the following week. Whenever someone greets you, they will aks, where you are from and once you replied, they welcome you to Jordan and each of them does that with a big smile. Now that you are here you will start your journey to Jordan with Amman.
In Amman, there waits the Citadel for you. This site is really an incredible place. It combines the beauty of an ancient sight with the most breathtaking views on Amman you can imagine.
We spent approximately 1 hour on the top of Amman, exploring the Citadel area with all of its details. The most impressive things were the mentioned view on Amman and the massive fist that belongs to a now-destroyed Hercules statue. Given the size of this fist, he must have been a huge dude, can you imagine it?
We started our day there at 8:00 am, which is quite early but nevertheless the sun was already up then. But lucky us, the place was very empty back then!
After exploring the Citadel, our driver Ghassan picked us up and drove us to Jerash! Going there I was surprised of how hilly Jordan really is. Although I am not sure, what I actually expected, it still made me catch my breath again. But let’s talk about Jerash again.
It is nothing less but the biggest Greek / Roman sight that is still preserved today. Really incredible if you ask me. As we had a tour guide, we learned many different things that day that helped us to understand more of the place we just explored so that’s one of the things that I recommend to you: get you a guide for all these sights I am describing here.
Back in Amman
After walking around and taking pictures of every old stone we could find, we made our way back to Amman. There we parked the car in the city center and walked to the place where we had our lunch. As you except it on a journey in the Middle East, we had hummus and falafel. And it was just delicious! The restaurant where we had it was chosen by our driver and he knows where to get some great falafel.
After lunch we also went for a small walk to the souk of Amman. It was my first time ever to visit a market like this and I wasn’t disappointed! The spices, nuts and vegetables create and incredible scenery that is filled with foreign scents and the shoutings of the sales men that want to sell you their produce. It is vibrant and hectic and I got to say I love it.
Staying in Amman
In Amman we stayed in the Toledo Hotel which was awesome! It was clean, comfortable and had a great buffet.
Day 2: Mount Nebo & the Dead Sea
The next day started early again! At 8:00 we got picked up by our driver and he drove us to Mount Nebo, our next big sight. It was from this mountain where Moses could see the holy land for the very first time and where he was buried. Unfortunately, we were not as lucky as he was; due to some stormy weather, we couldn’t see the land of Canaan or anything else. Then it also started to rain.
So we escaped into the church that is sitting on top of Mount Nebo and admired the wonderful mosaic that can be seen there. In general I want to say that Jordan does an amazing job to preserve its history; there are so many treasures in this country that are simply incredible.
Driving to the Dead Sea
From Mount Nebo and Madaba we drove to the Dead Sea. And while I love to fall asleep during long car rides, this is not one to miss! The landscapes you will be able to see will knock you right over. The vast mountains are bright red and after each one you pass, another breathtaking valley appears that shows you more Bedouin tents with its inhabitants sitting together, drinking sweet tea while some of them are herding the sheep.
Arriving at the Dead Sea
We decided that we would like to stay at a good resort at the Dead Sea, so we checked into the Holiday Inn Dead Sea! As we arrived there quite early we couldn’t check in right away and we decided to use this time with a first dip in the Dead Sea!
Later we would realised how clever we were to check it out right away. When we just started to float, thunders started crashing and we had to leave. Once we sat it out and returned to the beach we saw that all the mud from the sorrunding area had been washed into the bay, making it impossible to swim anymore. Therefore we were quite lucky that we made it right away!
But even if you can’t float in it, there is still a way to benefit from the Dead Sea! At the beach where we were, we had a huge bucket of mud that can be used as a face and body mask. It was so much fun and left out skin super soft and glowy!
Day 3: Transfer to Petra & Petra
Where do I even begin to describe the magnificence of Petra? I really can’t. But let’s start way earlier. As we wanted to be in Petra as early as possible, we had to leave quite early from the Holiday Inn. At 3:00 am exactly. Alttough we were super tired, we did it for some amazing shots! And it was worth it! Seeing the landscape of Jordan changing in front of our car window was incredible.
Our driver Ghassan was really incredible and did an fantastic job and delivered us to Petra at 7 am. That’s one hour after its opening time and we were still able to get some amazing shots, although it got quite crowded behind us.
But as we arrived, we saw ourselves faced with one of the greatest threats that travellers face: a giant group of tourists that just arrived with one of their tour busses. Luckily we took a shortcut: we rented two horses that took us right in front of the big crowd.
Disclaimer: A lot of times when you are offered a ride on the back of an animal at sights, it goes along with heavy pain and suffering for the animal. That’s why you should keep off of them most of the time. However, as someone who owned a horse for more than 10 years, I feel quite confident about evaluating the look and health of a horse that I see. No horse / donkey I saw that day was too thin or seemed malnourished. When you enter the area there are signs everywhere requesting you to tell the authorities when you get the impression of an animal being not treated properly.
What I didn’t know is that Petra is a whole giant area with different sights that cover more than 260 square kilometers. Once you passed the gates you will walk through the hills that will only give you a small preview of all the beauty you are about to see. There you can already see some tombs and statues of gods.
When you follow that road you will get to the entrance of the Siq. This will already take away your breath! The surrounding stone walls are shining in all different colour due to different sediments. Such a magnificent view!
Sadly, Petra suffers from Mass Tourism quite a bit, having more and more visitors each year. In my post about Mass Tourism Around the World, you can find an impression on Petra from Ellis. For my mother and me, the corona pandemic came as a blessing in disguise. During our trip, Jordan closed its borders for tourists to enter. We had an amazing trip since the major sights were free of tourists and we had a lot of them to ourselves mostly. However, you can also learn how we all together can beat mass tourism, if it will ever get back to what it was before.
All along the way through the Siq you will find holy statues. They are actually quite hidden for the non trained eye: for the Nabataeans squares meant something holy. So all the square shaped carvings that you find are displaying gods. Besides the gods you will also find various carvings and aqueducts that once provided the region with water.
The Treasury of Petra
You will walk on and on seeing more and more incredible stones and carvings, until fast than you thought, you will see the Treasury of Petra for the first time! This view is one of the most marvellous you can imagine and if you got up early enough, you will get to enjoy this without any crowds that could get in front of your lense! Well with one exception: the Beduins’ camels will sit in front of the treasure but to be fair, they make a beautiful photo prop!
Recommended: Jordan Photography Tour!
The whole day we continued to explore Petra by foot! There are many things to see and we made it up to the monastery (more about that later!) but describing everything should get its own blogpost (I am teasing you here for later!).
Now let me just say that after this day in Petra, we were exhausted but so grateful for each magnificent view that we got to see and we fell asleep with a smile on our faces!
Day 4: Petra Pt. 2 & Wadi Rum, Camping in the Desert
Petra Part 2
The next day, we got up super early (again) to be the first ones to be at the treasury again. Our German speaking tour guide Fadi was at our hotel at 6:00 am, ready to bring us up to the best viewpoint upon the treasury! The way up is long and steep but you will take a lot of breaks in between to admire the stunning desert panorama.
Once we finally got up, we were granted an incredible view on the Treasury, that made the whole climb up worth it.
Once we reached the top and took our pictures, we made our way down again and walked back to our hotel, so we could head to our next adventure!
Before we made our way to Wadi Rum, we first had a first stop at Little Petra, which is an area quite close to the real Petra where the Nabateans first tried to settle but which they’d abandoned quite fast before building the real Petra. It was fun to explore but we spent only 30 minutes there.
Let’s talk about the real highlight of the day (of course, seeing Petra in the morning was a highlight too, but as we saw it the day before already, let me make Wadi Rum the highlight of the day!)
Driving there was already breathtaking as you see the landscape change in front of your eyes.
We arrived in Wadi Rum in the nearby town were we boarded our jeep for our 4 hour tour with Bedouin Life Style where we also stayed the night. When you book your tour I would definitely recommend you to book at least a 4 hour tour and an overnight stay! The desert is so beautiful, you will need as much time there as possible!
The tour itself will take you on an amazing time. Starting with a spring where Lawrence of Arabia once lived (supposedly), from going to sand board, to climbing the crazy rock formations and will finish in a spectacular sunset that you will enjoy with a cup of sweet tea. It was one of those days that will forever stay in your heart and mind, where you think back with your heart aching for more.
Sleeping in the Desert
Once the sun has set, you will go to the Bedouin Life Style Camp, where you will camp in Wadi Rum desert. But before you go to sleep you will experience authentic Bedouin cuisine, cooked in a hole in the ground combined with the best lentil soup ever. Afterwards, you will hear the Bedouins sing a song for you and invite you to dance with them. Oh, what a day!
Recommended: What You Need For Travel Photography
Day 5 Transfer to Aqaba & Chilling
Well to be honest, I couldn’t fall asleep in our little tent. But it is ok, the day before gave me enough pictures to edit while I was wide awake.
Once it was time we got up and had our breakfast with a panoramic view above the desert! Easy to say that it was so wonderful.
We got back from the desert to our driver Ghassan and he took us to Aqaba, a beach paradise. That’s also were our journey will end. From here on you can relax and chill for a day or two until you can fly home from the local airport. I hope when you go to Jordan you will have such an amazing time as I did!
Bonus Tip: Try the shrimps at the Movenpick Resort with one of their Lime Mint Juices. So incredible delicious.
If you want to learn more about my camera and photography essentials, check out my post about everything you need for travel photography.
Sony Alpha 6600 – the best travel camera out there!
Sony 35 mm f 1,8 lense – perfect for sharp shots with blurred background!
Amazon Basics Tripod – small light tripod, that fits in any bag!
Cullman Camera Bag – well padded camera bag, that will fit your camera body and two lenses. Ideal for the light traveler!