Surrounded by countries with ongoing political issues, Jordan itself is relatively peaceful although it deserves to be crowded with visitors.
From the sprawling city of Amman, gateway and ancient capital, take the 5,000-year-old King’s Highway to Jerash and Ajiloun, via Madeba, the city of mosaics, and Mount Nebo, burial place of Moses, whose archaeological treasures are but a prelude to Petra, the fabled ‘rose red’ city hewn out of rock 2,000 years ago. Spirit yourself back to the time of Lawrence of Arabia in evocative Wadi Rum — a spectacular collection of rock formations known as jebels; enjoy the traditional hospitality of the Bedouin people as you camp out in the stark desert landscape; marvel at the numerous and outstanding mosques and soak up the atmosphere in this largely undiscovered destination.
Fiona’s travel tips
TOP TIP: The Musandam Peninsula is just a 90 minute drive from Dubai — an easy way to combine the two countries.
READ: Wilfred Thesiger’s Across the Empty Quarter.
BEST TIME TO GO:
Jordan and Syria: Spring and autumn
Lebanon: year round
UAE/Oman: October to April
Jordan: 5½ hours (direct)
Lebanon: 4½ hours (direct)
Oman: 9 hours (indirect)
Syria: 6¾ hours (direct)
UAE: 6¾ hours (direct)
“We had a wonderful visit, from the moment we arrived until the day we left. A few eyebrows were raised when we said we were off to Jordan, especially two women of mature years, but we could not have felt safer. Our itinerary was perfect from bustling Amman to scenic Aqaba and 10 days was the ideal stay. We were amazed at how mountainous and beautiful the country is. Mt. Nebo really conveys a biblical atmosphere, but the highlight is definitely Petra, just breathtaking. The food was very good and caters for all tastes and the people are charming. The spa at the Dead Sea was the best I have ever had, I only wish I could have another! Highly recommended.”
June Waring and Elizabeth Pybus, Jordan, October 2018
“We thoroughly enjoyed our two weeks in Jordan. It was a marvellous experience visiting so many interesting places, meeting such friendly and welcoming people and learning a little about the past and the present of this beautiful and varied country."Rob and Jane Aylott, Jordan
“One of the very best holidays we have had. In fact we are seriously talking about going back to Oman next year. The agency was excellent….The guide and the trips were more than adequate, and the rest days perfect. Thank you for your efforts”.
Mrs Joan Dampney, Oman
“We had a truly memorable trip to Jordan from start to finish and cannot thank you enough for putting it together so professionally and in such a short space of time. One of the best holidays we have ever had.”
Paul Crayford, Jordan
“We wanted to write and thank you for arranging our recent holiday. It was superb and we had a very happy time. I wrote a little travelogue – I’ve attached it for your possible interest (less a travelogue and more a novel...it’s 5 pages long!) The itinerary was fine, we saw and experienced a great deal but never felt rushed. Loved all of it, I think my ‘travelogue’ speaks for that; planned experiences were as hoped but, as so often, it's the unexpected things that make you smile which are mostly to do with the people you meet. A most wonderful experience was up in the mountains and stopping at a ‘lay-by’ where suddenly we were aware of goats and a Bedouin and two tatty chairs and a little table placed to overlook this beautiful valley below which was the Dana Nature Reserve; the Bedouin produced two plastic cups of the most exquisite Arabic tea and there we sat, drinking in both the tea and this wonderful place which was silent and still and the air so fresh. Asked if I may take a photo of him, the Bedouin seriously and graciously adjusted his headdress and beamed into the camera. Such happenings as this and many others could not have been possible if we’d come on a tour holiday.”
Stewart and Sue Thomson, Jordan, April 2011