The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, a place which once captivated ancient travelers, continues to enthrall a new generation with it’s eclectic mix of modernity and tradition.
From the enchanting starkness of Wadi Rum, to the restless city centre of urban Amman, and the majestic ruins of civilizations once forgotten. Jordan is a unique destination offering breathtaking sights, charming accommodations, and exquisite cuisine. Jordan is home to countless wonders that are sure to leave you in awe.
Quietly becoming a premier destination within the region, Jordan has witnessed an emergence of luxury hotels in Amman, Petra, Aqaba and the Dead Sea. Whether you’re looking for the authentic backpacker experience, or the casual refinement of 5 star service, the Hashemite Kingdom is fit for both the aristocrat and the modest.
hink of things to do in Jordan, and the first image that comes to mind is usually the enigmatic lost city of Petra. Petra is truly magnificent, but it’s not the only jewel in this magnificent country – you’ll find plenty of amazing things to do in Jordan. With all that Jordan has to offer, it deserves to be at the top of every adventure seeker’s bucket list. Jordan is ideal for hiking, camping, and exploring archaeological sites.
Jordan is a constitutional monarchy bordered by Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Israel and the West Bank, and Syria. Despite its position in a volatile region, Jordan is remarkably stable, making it attractive and safe for tourism. In fact, Jordan has a robust and flourishing tourism industry, and many Jordanians rely on tourists for their income. As a result, you’ll find that the local people go out of their way to make sure that visitors are safe and happy. Hospitality is a core part of Jordanian culture, so you’ll be guaranteed a warm welcome!
Jordan is mostly arid desert with the occasional oases and rivers, and a lush forest to the west. Average summer daytime temperatures sit at 32°C, but this is tempered by cool, dry breezes. Winters cool down to an average of 13°C accompanied by rain, some of which can turn to snow in higher elevations.
A rich history dating back to the beginning of civilization, with Roman, Ottoman, and Arab influences, makes Jordan a treasure trove for tourists. According to the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, there are over 100,000 archaeological and tourist sites in this small country.
Jordan has a mature hospitality industry, built on service and trust. The major International chains are well established in the destination but there are a number of local as well as regional brands as well.
Service and facilities are usually very good and the international guest is made to feel well at home by the local as well as international staff.
For the tourist infrastructure, and remembering that Arabian Lux is based on 5* properties, we work with approximately 20 properties in Amman, 9 properties in Aqaba, 8 in the Dead Sea and 6 in Petra
We also do have extensive contacts with 4* hotels as well as specialist accommodation around the country
There is no mistaking the fact that Jordan is a Kingdom steeped in history and culture.
From the moment you arrive, you get a sense of its rich heritage; all around are remnants of ancient civilizations long since passed, yet they still remain, stamped into the very fabric of this amazing Kingdom and etched into the soul of the people who live here.
The ancient city of Petra is one of Jordan’s national treasures and by far its best known tourist attraction. Located approximately three hours south of Amman, Petra is the legacy of the Nabataeans, an industrious Arab people who settled in southern Jordan more than 2,000 years ago. Admired then for its refined culture, massive architecture and ingenious complex of dams and water channels, Petra is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site that enchants visitors from all corners of the globe. Much of Petra’s appeal comes from its spectacular setting deep inside a narrow desert gorge. The site is accessed by walking through a kilometre long chasm (or siq), the walls of which soar 200m upwards.
A sprawling city spread over 19 hills, or “jebels,” Amman is the modern – as well as the ancient – capital of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Known as Rabbath-Ammon during the Iron Age and later as Philadelphia, the ancient city that was once part of the Decapolis league, now boasts a population of around 4 million people. Amman, often referred to as the white city due to its low size canvas of stone houses, offers a variety of historical sites. There are a number of renovations and excavations taking place that have revealed remains from the Neolithic period, as well as from the Hellenestic and late Roman to Arab Islamic Ages. The site which is known as the Citadel includes many structures such as the Temple of Hercules, the Umayyad Palace and the Byzantine Church. At the foot of the Citadel lies the 6,000 seat Roman Theatre, which is a deep-sided bowl carved into the hill and is still being used for cultural events. Another newly restored theatre is the 500-seat Odeon that is used for concerts. The three museums found in the area offer a glimpse of history and culture; they are the Jordan Archaeological Museum, The Folklore Museum and the Museum of Popular Traditions.
Umm El Jimal
Umm El Jimal is considered an Arabian Oasis for the desert caravans. It is eighty six kilometers away from the capital, Amman, and it is well known as “the Black Oasis”, as it contains a large number of black volcanic rocks. History of this city goes back to the Romanian Byzantine Age.
The trip south from Amman along the 5,000-year-old Kings Highway is one of the most memorable journeys in the Holy Land, passing through a string of ancient sites. The first city to encounter is Madaba, “the City of Mosaics.” The city, best known for its spectacular Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics, is home to the famous 6th century mosaic map of Jerusalem and the Holy Land. With two million pieces of colored stone, the map depicts hills and valleys, villages and towns as far as the Nile Delta. Other mosaic masterpieces found in the Church of the Virgin and the Apostles and the Archaeological Museum, depict a rampant profusion of flowers and plants, birds and fish, animals and exotic beasts, as well as scenes from mythology and everyday pursuits of hunting, fishing and farming.
A close second to Petra on the list of favorite destinations in Jordan, the ancient city of Jerash boasts an unbroken chain of human occupation dating back more than 6,500 years. The city’s golden age came under Roman rule and the site is now generally acknowledged to be one of the best-preserved Roman provincial towns in the world. Hidden for centuries in sand before being excavated and restored over the past 70 years, Jerash reveals a fine example of the grand, formal provincial Roman urbanism that is found throughout the Middle East, comprising paved and colonnaded streets, soaring hilltop temples, handsome theatres, spacious public squares and plazas, baths, fountains and city walls pierced by towers and gates. Beneath its external Graeco-Roman veneer, Jerash also preserves a subtle blend of east and west. Its architecture, religion and languages reflect a process by which two powerful cultures meshed and coexisted – The Graeco-Roman world of the Mediterranean basin and the ancient traditions of the Arab Orient.
Perched on a splendid hilltop overlooking the Jordan Valley and the Sea of Galilee, Umm Qays boasts impressive ancient remains, such as the stunning black basalt theatre, the basilica and adjacent courtyard strewn with nicely carved black sarcophagi, the colonnaded main street and a side street lined with shops, an underground mausoleum, two baths, a nymphaeum, a city gate and the faint outlines of what was a massive hippodrome.
A maze of monolithic rockscapes rises up from the desert floor to heights of 1,750m creating a natural challenge for serious mountaineers. Hikers can enjoy the tranquility of the boundless empty spaces and explore canyons to discover 4000-year-old rock drawings and the many other spectacular treasures this vast wilderness holds in store. There are several options for exploring Wadi Rum. Visitors should head to the Visitors Centre where, apart from visitors’ facilities, they can hire a 4×4 vehicle, together with driver/guide, and then drive for two or three hours into the protected area to explore some of the best known sites. Alternatively they can hire a camel and guide. The duration of the trip can be arranged beforehand through the Visitors Centre, as can a stay under the stars in a Bedouin tent, where they can enjoy a traditional campfire meal accompanied by Arabic music.
The Gulf of Aqaba is famous for its marine wildlife. It is the north-eastern arm of the Red Sea, measuring a length of 180km and expanding to a width of 25km, with a shoreline shared by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Jordan. The Gulf of Aqaba has the world’s northernmost coral reef ecosystem. An average water temperature of °23 Celsius, the absence of stormy weather, and mild water currents have created a hospitable environment for the growth of corals. Favorable salinity levels are perfect for the myriads of other marine life-forms. As a result, it is home to 110 species of soft corals and 120 species of hard corals. The reefs that fringe the Gulf host over 1,000 species of fish, corals, crustaceans, and mammals living in its waters. Nocturnal animals such as the crab, shrimp, and lobster appear in search of food in the dark hours of the night. Seasonal visitors to the Gulf of Aqaba include sea turtles, dolphins, sea cows, and harmless whale sharks.
Feasting like a king is not only a staple of Jordan, but the Middle East as a whole.
Enjoy delectable Jordanian food coupled with the legendary lore of Jordanian hospitality creates an unforgettable atmosphere of festivities each time a meal is served.
Mealtime in Jordan is not merely a biological function, but rather a social event. Food represents community and no group of people embodies this tradition like Jordanians; with lunch time regarded as “the meal of the day” fellowship with your loved ones as you take in plate fulls of love and mansaf.
A Tradition of Food and Hospitality
Food is commonly used by Jordanians to express their hospitality and generosity. Jordanians by nature are very hospitable people and, often, it is presented within minutes of a person’s invitation to a local house.
No matter how modest their means; it is with pride that Jordanians fill your belly with food and your spirit with Joy.
A ‘Jordanian invitation’ means that you are expected to bring nothing and eat everything. This invitation is followed by the popular Arabic phrase “Sahtain wa ‘Afiya.”
If you’ve found yourself in Jordan than it’s a must you try Mansaf. Served with Arabic rice, lamb, and a flavorful broth of dried sour milk; Mansaf is the national pride of Jordan which often symbolizes a joyous occasion. Mansaf is also served during condolences and as a means to patch up ties with others.
Mansaf is the greatest symbol of Jordanian generosity.Usually eaten during social gatherings the savory meal is traditionally served in a communal dish. Ratherly served with utensils, Mansaf is a feast meant to be eaten with your hands.
Stuffed to the Brim
When it comes to food, Jordanians loved for their guests and their food to be stuffed. Though it doesn’t have the lore of Mansaf, stuffed baby lamb is an experience of its own. Also served as a delicacy, roasted lamb stuffed with rice, chopped onions, nuts and raisins is sure to leave your stomach content.From the Ground Up
In the mood to feast like a bedouin? Then you should try Al-Zarb. Jordan boasts a rich bedouin tradition and you can relive a delicious taste of it. Al-Zarb is a lamb dish prepared in a hole dug one metre into ground and coated with bricks to seal in the authentic smokey taste.
No matter your preference, Jordanian cuisine will most definitely offer you something to please your taste buds.
Pro-Tip: When consuming Mansaf, use the bread and the jameed to pick up the rice and lamb; forming a condensed ball of food in your hand, it makes it a lot neater and Jordanians will be impressed by your technique. Oh yeah, and try to only use one hand.
Culture & Museums
Amman, the capital of Jordan, is a fascinating city of contrasts – a unique blend of old and new, situated on a hilly area between the desert and the fertile Jordan Valley. In the commercial heart of the city, ultra-modern buildings, hotels, smart restaurants, art galleries and boutiques rub shoulders comfortably with traditional coffee shops and tiny artisans’ workshops. Amman’s neighborhoods are diverse and range in cultural and historical context from hustle and bustle of the downtown markets to the art galleries of Jabal Lweibdeh and the modern shopping district of Abdali.
If a journey through history is what you’re looking for then the best place to start would be the Citadel. Located on a hill it gives visitors a glimpse into the evolution of Amman and provides stunning views of downtown Amman. Among the sites you can’t afford to miss at the Citadel are the Umayyad Palace complex, the Temple of Hercules and the Byzantine Church.
This summer street market in Jabal Amman is open on Fridays and includes stalls selling local wares, pop-up cafes, street food and live performances from local bands and musicians. If you’re in Amman during the summer, you can’t miss out on this family friendly activity!
Hijaz Railway Station
View the great collection of working steam locomotives, formerly used for as part of a pilgrimage route connecting the Ottoman Empire to Saudi Arabia and an intrinsic part of the Great Arab Revolt in 1918. For more of an in-depth look at the history of the station make sure to visit the onsite museum.
The Jordan Museum is located in the dynamic new downtown area of Ras al-‘Ayn. Presenting the history and cultural heritage of Jordan in a series of beautifully designed galleries, The Jordan Museum serves as a comprehensive national center for learning and knowledge that reflects Jordan’s history and culture, and presents in an engaging yet educational way the Kingdom’s historic, antique and heritage property as part of the ongoing story of Jordan’s past, present, and future.
National Gallery of Fine Arts
The National Gallery of Fine Arts is one of the most important art museums in Jordan, because it is contains some of the most important art collections from 60 countries with a highlight on local and regional artists. The museum’s collection comprises of over a thousand pieces of art.
Located at the main tourist street and only three minute walk from the main gate to Petra. Opening Times are seven days a week throughout the year from 8:30am until 7:30pm
It contains 280 artifacts, dating back to different ages, the exhibition consists of five halls showing the history of Petra and information about the nabatean’s life and their civilization.
This trail starts from the Visitors’ Center and takes you into the ancient city of Petra through the Siq and past some magnificent monuments. This includes what is known as the ‘street of facades’, as well as a theater craved out of the rock, after which you will explore the intricately carved ‘royal tombs’, which include the Urn Tomb, Silk Tomb, Corinthian Tomb and Palace Tomb, before reaching Al-Khubtha High Place and Cistern to enjoy the breathtaking view.
The trail takes around 4 -5 hours to complete
Al-Deir Main Trail
This trail begins at the end of the Main Trail, from the museum inside Petra, which is located next to The Basin restaurant. It leads you northwards up ancient steps and after a short walk you reach the Lion Triclinium, which is set in a small side wadi on the left. Continue past this up the carved stairway to reach a hermitage with chambers excavated in the rock and decorated with many carved crosses. You then move on upwards to reach Ad Deir, which lies a short way beyond and offers a fantastic view over the area.
Henna Fantasia Show
Henna Fantasia is a daily activity “show” in Petra at the Grand Hall of the Old Village Resort. Experience the folklore dances performed by Henna men and women, each dance will have its own unique customs and accessories giving the full experience of old traditional folklore. Your dancing skills will be tested at the end of the show.
Wadi Rum Nature Reserve
Marvel at the boundless energy of Wadi Rum’s amazing landscapes. With its towering rock formations, slender valleys, and infinite skies Wadi Rum is an exclusive getaway inclusive of all. Explore the prehistoric inscriptions carved on even older mountains, forming an ancient combination of man and nature
There are many activities to be done here – whether it be on horseback or by hot air balloon. Please contact your Arabian Luxpert for more information
Jerash Archeological City
A close second to Petra on the list of favourite destinations in Jordan is the ancient city of Jerash, which boasts an unbroken chain of human occupation dating back more than 6,500 years.
Jerash lies on a plain surrounded by hilly wooded areas and fertile basins. Conquered by General Pompey in 63 BC, it came under Roman rule and was one of the ten great Roman cities of the Decapolis League.
The city’s golden age came under Roman rule, during which time it was known as Gerasa, and the site is now generally acknowledged to be one of the best-preserved Roman provincial towns in the world.
The Jerash Archaeological Museum was established in 1923 inside one of the vaults of the courtyard of the Artemis Temple. In 1985, the museum was moved to the renovated old rest house and the first special exhibition there was entitled “Jordan Through the Ages.” The museum is now dedicated solely to discoveries from the Jerash region and its collections span the archaeological periods in the area, from the Neolithic up to the Mameluk period. The displays are in chronological order with typological and functional divisions.
- Amman Rotana Hotel
- Bristol Hotel
- Crowne Plaza Amman
- Fairmont Amman Hotel
- Four Seasons Hotel Amman
- Grand Hyatt Amman
- Grand Millennium Hotel Amman
- InterContinental Jordan Hotel
- Kempinski Hotel Amman
- Landmark Amman Hotel and Conference Center
- Le Grand Amman
- Le Royal Hotels & Resorts Amman
- Movenpick Hotel Amman
- Regency Palace Hotel Amman
- Sheraton Amman Hotel
- The Boulevard Arjaan by Rotana
- The House Boutique Suites Amman
- The St.Regis Amman Hotel
- Thousand Nights Hotel Amman
- W Amman Hotel
- Al Manara, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Saraya Aqaba
- DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Aqaba
- Grand Tala Bay Resort Aqaba
- Hyatt Regency Aqaba Ayla Resort
- Intercontinental Aqaba Resort
- Kempinski Hotel Aqaba Red Sea
- Movenpick Resort & Residences Aqaba
- Oryx Aqaba Hotel
- Tala bay Residence
- Hyatt Zaman Hotel & Resort
- Marriott Hotel Petra
- Movenpick Nabatean Castle Hotel
- Movenpick Resort Petra
- Petra Bubble Luxotel
- The Old Village Hotel & Resort
- Grand East Resort & Spa – Dead sea
- Hilton Dead Sea Resort & Spa
- Holiday Inn Resort Dead Sea Jordan
- Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea Jordan
- Movenpick Resort & Spa Dead Sea Jordan