Last week we explored the breathtaking Jordan. This undervalued Middle Eastern country is perfectly safe to travel to, and taking a rental car road trip is the best way to explore the country. We would like to tell you our route, which we found quite spectacular, and some things to look out for on a road trip in Jordan.
Start of the Road trip in Jordan in Amman
We landed at Amman airport to stay in Jordan for a week. The airport is still a short distance from the busy centre of capital Amman so you don’t have to be afraid to drive through the busy city centre. A road trip through Jordan is the best way to explore the country and so it’s best to rent a car at the airport. It’s better that you book this in advance, so you can be sure of a car even in high season. We rented our car with Dollar and that’s been incredibly good. The service is honest and friendly. You also get more value for money and the cars are in fine condition.
In Amman we didn’t stay ourselves because it’s so busy and we’re not city people at all. We also don’t think Amman is an added value to your stay in Jordan. If you have a lot of time, of course there are some things to see here. You have to make that choice yourself. From Amman we drove the first day to Sowayma on the coast. However, our beautiful hotel was located not on the coast but in Ma’In in the mountains next to the beautiful waterfalls and hot springs of Ma’In.
And that is without a doubt much better than staying on the coast itself. Why? Because the Ma’In Hot Springs Resort is located on the hot springs, has been awarded an international award and breakfast with a view of a huge waterfall is simply impressive. We were blown over from this place. It is a must visit and is only an hour’s drive from the airport. Tip: visiting the hot springs and waterfalls costs 15 JOD (19 euros). If you are staying at the hotel, this visit is of course free.
During our stay at the Ma’In Resort we visited the coast of the Dead Sea. This is only a good half-hour drive. However, one of the most beautiful places on the Dead Sea was found only after an hour’s drive. Just down the road from Wadi Al Mujib, also beautiful to visit but closed in the winter months, you’ll find a piece of paradise. You park the car by the side of the road and you walk downhill to the piece of “beach” on the Dead Sea. The white salt flats draw nicely against the bright blue water. The ideal place to float around in the Dead Sea. Definitely a very special experience!
We stayed at Ma’In for two nights and then continued our road trip through Jordan towards the desert. Wadi Rum is a unesco world heritage site and rightly so! This stretch of desert is one of the highlights you should not skip in a trip to Jordan. The most special place we have ever stayed is the UFO Luxotel in Wadi Rum. The hotel didn’t steal that name. Here you imagine yourself on another planet and it seems that time stands still. Surprise, disbelief, romance, peace, relaxation and bliss are some of the many emotions we have felt there. All those emotions together make this hotel the absolute highlight of our trip in Jordan, and perhaps of all our previous trips.
During the high season the prices of this hotel are quite high (around 250 euros per night), but this unique experience is worth every euro in our opinion. You should also remember that the extensive breakfast and dinner is included in this price. This means that the price for a unique room – rather a private house with a large terrace – is not so bad. It’s quite an experience. But if you still want to save on your stay here, you can choose to come in the winter months. The view there is equally breathtaking and you only pay a third (around 100 euros per night) of the price for its own luxurious bubble with a view of the desert and the starry sky.
In total we stayed two nights at the UFO Luxotel and frankly this was way too short. We could definitely stay here and stay week. Although there aren’t many activities to do outside desert safaris and stargazing, but it’s so beautiful that you just don’t want to leave here. But if you want to keep your budget in mind, two nights is perfect. And you relax by staying in the middle of nature. Our only consolation when we had to leave this place? We were going to trade Wadi Rum for another spectacular place: the wonder of the world Petra.
Wonder of the World Petra
The hotel car park in Wadi Rum was about a four-hour drive from Petra. A long way so but perfect to do on a day if you leave around noon. With the Jordan Pass, it’s best to have two days of access to Petra’s historic site. It’s so big that you don’t want or can’t discover everything in a day.
Staying in Petra itself doesn’t have to be expensive at all. We stayed at the Nomad Hostel, with private room, for about 20 euros per night. There is also a modest but decent breakfast included here. The Nomad Hostel is a five-minute drive from the entrance to the wonder of the world. Ideal to stay out of the hustle and bustle of the tourist centre but close to where you need to be. In total we stayed three nights in Petra and that is enough.
Petra herself is once again a breathtaking place. Jordan has several but Petra is one of those places you should visit now and not within ten years. The tourism is not overdone and the people there are not pushy. Unlike the other six wonders of the world. Here you can still walk around on your own and fall from one surprise to another. Petra is more than just the well-known Treasury (Al Khazneh, the treasury,the most famous construction).
All the sandstone rocks are beautiful and you notice throughout the landscape several constructions that have remained almost completely in stroke. The different routes take you to the most amazing places. Our favorite route? The green one. It takes you along the large rocks all the way to the highest point overlooking the Treasury. A tough climb of 3.6 kilometers but the view is more than worth it. And the best? You hardly meet any other tourists here. Petra pleasantly surprised us. It’s a wonderful wonder of the world.
After our days in Petra we stayed for one night in the city of Madaba as this is located near the airport. We stayed right in the center at the Grand hotel Madaba. This hotel is very budget friendly and typically Jordanian. It is easy to get to and there is also parking. It is the ideal location to spend your last day. If you’re staying here, you’ll need to eat a pastry at the best bakery in the country: Anabtawi Oriental Sweets. You buy the best pastries for only 1 JOD and the owners are standard friendly and offer you some other goodies for free. Highly recommended for all lovers of sweet. You can also visit the Castle of Karak or Madaba Archeological Museum from Madaba. Both activities are also included in the Jordan Pass.
When to take a Road Trip in Jordan?
As mentioned earlier, we travelled to Jordan outside the high season. This made our road trip a bit shortened as during the winter months (December to March) not all Wadis are open for safety reasons. Due to the increasing chance of rain, it is not always safe to walk around the Wadis.
And although Jordan is only a small country, there is still a huge variety of landscapes. On the coast it is still pleasant during the winter months with temperatures between 10 and 20 degrees. In the summer it can get very hot. If you go into the mountains or desert of Wadi Rum, it is very cold in the winter months with sometimes even temperatures below zero degrees. Therefore, always bring enough warm clothing and decent shoes. It can also snow in Jordan. We went in February and have driven through the snow on the highest mountains and on some roads. However, in the lowest places, such as Petra and on the coast, there was no snow. The chance of rain is also greater in the winter months.
So if you decide to go to Jordan in the winter months, bring both light and warm clothing and something that can withstand the rain. In the summer months you almost always have radiant weather and no rain, but the hottest months from June to September, are then avoidable again because of the too warm temperatures.
A week was definitely not enough to see everything in Jordan. If you go, like us, in the winter months then unfortunately there are many sights including for example Wadi Al Mujib closed which makes a week is enough to see the other highlights. If you’re going in the summer, you’ll need a little more time to see everything at your leisure. Especially if you have purchased the Jordan Pass it pays to stay on the spot longer and visit more. It’s a small country but there’s an awful lot to see and do! Take your time because everything is more than worth it. Ten days seems perfect to us to have a good impression of the country. Longer is also not really needed unless you like to relax for a few days in an all-inclusive hotel on the coast.
Our road trip in Jordan
This road trip through Jordan is without a doubt the most beautiful we have already made. The freedom, landscapes and friendly faces make this country the ideal place for a road trip. We can more than recommend it to yours!