A Handy Itinerary for the Most Memorable 12 Days in Jordan

Photo of A Handy Itinerary for the Most Memorable 12 Days in Jordan by Ragini Mehra

From the ancient ruins of Petra to the sand dunes of Wadi Rum, from the underwater experiences in Aqaba to a wonderful authentic culinary journey – Jordan has a lot to offer to the holidaymaker. Here is how the perfect 12-day itinerary looks like with all the top things to do in Jordan covered.

Day 1

After you land in Amman, spend a relaxed evening at your luxury hotel to prepare yourself for the adventures that follow. Four Seasons Hotel Amman, InterContinental Amman and Grand Hyatt Amman are some great options for your stay.

Day 2

Begin your sightseeing tour with the exploration of Amman, the capital city of Jordan.

The Citadel in Amman

Photo of Amman, Jordan by Ragini Mehra

The highlights of your sightseeing tour today will include a visit to the Citadel, dating back to the Bronze Age, among other places. The Citadel’s most popular attractions include the Temple of Hercules and the Ummayad Palace. Other striking sights you will visit today are the ancient Roman Theatre, Jordan Museum, Royal Automobile Museum and the art galleries at Darat Al Funun.

During the day, take a café stop at the extremely popular Hashem Restaurant and try their brilliant falafel and mint tea.

Day 3

Get set for a culturally rich experience as you opt for a traditional cooking class at Beit Sitti Restaurant.

Credit: http://beitsitti.com

Photo of Beit Sitti Restaurant, Amman, Jordan by Ragini Mehra

Early in the afternoon, begin your trip to Madaba and visit St. George’s church known for the 6th-century mosaic map of the Holy Land. Mt Nebu is next on your itinerary. Legend has it that Moses first saw the Promised Land at Mt Nebo. Plan an excursion and see for yourself! Don’t forget to keep your camera handy as this mountain (700 metres above sea level) offers beautiful views of the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea.

Day 4

Today is when you will head to the lowest point of Earth, 408 metres below sea level. Welcome to the Dead Sea!

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Photo of Dead Sea, Jordan by Ragini Mehra

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Photo of Dead Sea, Jordan by Ragini Mehra

The Dead Sea definitely tops the list of things to do in Jordan. The intensely salty water of the Dead Sea makes floating in a sea possible for even non-swimmers. So spend as long as you like floating in the hypersaline water of the Dead Sea, without any tubes or worry!

That’s not it. The Dead Sea mud is considered to be a great detox element for your skin. Simply rub some onto yourself to experience the wonder of nature or head to one of the high-end spas located nearby later in the evening. Thank us later!

Dead Sea mud is considered to be great for the skin. | Credit: Israel_photo_gallery/flickr

Photo of A Handy Itinerary for the Most Memorable 12 Days in Jordan by Ragini Mehra
Day 5

Bethany-Beyond-the-Jordan will be your first stop for the day. Considered to be a holy land by Christians across the world, it is believed that Jesus was baptised at this spot and the first five apostles met here.

Credit: David Stanley/flickr

Photo of Dead Sea, Jordan by Ragini Mehra

After this, plan an excursion to Hammamat Ma’in, the thermal spring located about 20 kilometres from the Dead Sea hotels. If you’d like, you can also include a visit to Mujib Biosphere Reserve during the day.

Get back to your resort before evening if you wish to experience the Dead Sea floating experience one last time before you leave. Wind up your day with a lavish dinner at your resort.

Day 6

On reaching Petra, enter through the Al Siq (a narrow canyon) into the glorious ancient city.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Photo of Petra, Jordan by Ragini Mehra

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Photo of Petra, Jordan by Ragini Mehra

You will be busy throughout the day learning about the secrets of this ancient city and exploring the many ruins here. Some of them are Ad Deir, Temple of Dushares, The Great Temple, Little Petra or Siq al-Barid, Nabatean Theatre and Blue Chapel, among others.

Dine at Al Qantarah (also offers live music!) or Oriental Restaurant in Wadi Musa if you wish to taste authentic Jordanian food. Basin Restaurant (ancient city) and Al Saraya Restaurant (Wadi Musa) are some places serving delicious international cuisine.

Day 7

Begin your day with a bit of hiking as you set out to explore the Monastery here. Other sights you must add to the itinerary are the ruins of the Theatre in the ancient city, the Treasury and the High Place of Sacrifice viewpoint. The Royal Tombs, including the Urn Tomb, date back to AD 70 and are worth exploring too.

The Petra by Night show is among the top things to do in Jordan. It begins from the Petra Visitor Centre at 8:30 p.m. sharp on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Credit: Momo/flickr

Photo of Petra, Jordan by Ragini Mehra
Photo of Petra, Jordan by Ragini Mehra

This is your chance to explore the historic city of Petra by candlelight. The Siq is lighted up with thousands of candles and the beautiful path leads to you the Treasury. Truly a delight for photographers and admirers of all things good!

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Photo of A Handy Itinerary for the Most Memorable 12 Days in Jordan by Ragini Mehra

You cannot leave Petra without visiting the oldest bar in the world! Cave Bar is located in a 2000-year-old Nabataean rock tomb just behind the Petra Visitor Centre. It remains open till the wee hours and has a simple menu with cocktails, burgers, salads, pastas and more.

Day 8

Take the 2-hour bus ride from Petra to Aqaba and reach the port city on Red Sea's Gulf of Aqaba.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Photo of Aqaba, Jordan by Ragini Mehra

Once you are here, head straight to the Aqaba Fort for a tête-à-tête with history. Right next to it is the Aqaba Archaeological Museum, which houses artefacts dating back to the 7th century.

After lunch, get set to visit the sixth tallest free standing flagpole in the world. The Aqaba flagpole stands as high as 130 metres and offers stunning photo opportunities for the shutterbug. The remains of the Islamic city of Ayla, Sharif Hussein bin Ali Mosque and Aqaba Bird Observatory are other places you can visit today.

Get back to your resort early to be able to catch the sunrise over the vast Red Sea the next day.

Day 9

Today is when you can enjoy the beach life at the only coastal city in Jordan. The Red Sea is great for water sports and serves as a wonderful snorkelling spot, thanks to its rich marine life and coral reefs. Ahlan Scuba Diving Centre, Aqaba International Dive Centre and Arab Divers are some local operators you can get in touch with for the adventure activities.

Photo of Red Sea by Ragini Mehra

You can also head to Berenice Beach Club in the day for beach fun at the Aqaba Marine Park. Spend the evening admiring the beautiful sunset at Palm Beach.

Day 10

Day 10, 11, 12:

There’s nothing like spending a night or two at one of the desert camps in Wadi Rum. Choose between an uber-luxurious tent in the middle of the desert or lie down under the open skies, admiring the starlit night until you go off to sleep.

Photo of Wadi Rum, Jordan by Ragini Mehra

During the days, enjoy adventurous four-wheel drives or camel rides across the stunning Al Hasany Dunes.

Photo of A Handy Itinerary for the Most Memorable 12 Days in Jordan by Ragini Mehra

A sunrise camel ride is also highly recommended. Next, head to popular attractions like Burdah Rock Bridge, Khazali Siq, Barrah Canyon, Alameleh Inscriptions and Ain Abu Aineh.

Adventure enthusiasts can also attempt to climb Jebel Rum (the second highest peak in Jordan) and explore Jebel Umm Al Ishrin, the famous 20-domed mountain in Wadi Rum.

Alternatively, you can opt for a half or full day tour of Wadi Rum from Petra.