Jordan 1 Week Itinerary

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Ancient temple in Petra, Jordan

World-renowned archaeological sites, amazing desert scenery, delicious fresh food, friendly culture and lots of sunshine; these are just a few of the reasons for which you must visit Jordan. The famous Treasury at Petra is one of the wonders of the world. Floating on the Dead Sea like you are weightless is an experience you must not miss.

Though it is a small country, Jordan packs a punch. It is home to some of the most well-preserved ruins in the world from the Roman Kingdom. You can visit one of the Wonders of the World here, along with ancient cities, castles, citadels, a sprawling desert valley and wildlife sanctuaries.

There is so much to see in Jordan that even one week would feel like less time. It is a great country to explore with a road trip due to excellent roads and cheap fuel.

There are a number of coaches and buses that travel around the entire country, but the best way to go from one city to the other is to rent a car. However, if you don’t feel comfortable driving, you can hire a car with a driver as well.

If you want to see the highlights of this historic and culture-filled country in 1 week, here is the perfect Jordan 1 week itinerary.

  • 7 day itinerary
  • Average of 3 stops per day

Explore Amman

Sunset over the Roman Ruins in Amman Jordan
Sunset over the Roman Ruins in Amman Jordan
Ancient Citadel of Amman Jordan
Ancient Citadel of Amman Jordan
The Roman Theatre in Jordan Amman
The Roman Theatre in Jordan Amman
The famous stairs near Rainbow Street in Amman, Jordan
The famous stairs near Rainbow Street in Amman, Jordan

Jordan is a small country, but it has a lot to see. Being home to some of the most well-preserved ruins from the Roman Kingdom, there are amazing fortresses, castles and ancient cities to see here. We will begin our week-long vacation in the capital city of Amman.

Amman is much more than a gateway city for the rest of the country. It is home to some incredible archaeological sites that you must visit.

Once you fly into Amman from any part of the world, for this 7 day Jordan itinerary, we will spend one whole day exploring Amman. If you have more time, you can easily spend 2 days exploring Amman as well.

The Citadel

Start the day by visiting the Citadel, perched on top of the highest hill in Amman. It is one of the best places of interest in Amman, especially for history buffs. Located on the highest hill in the city, it offers amazing views of the entire city as well.

The Citadel gives you the chance to discover the ruins of Jordan’s history. Here you can explore the Roman Hercules Temple, Umayyad Palace and a Byzantine Church. You can either choose to hike up the street trail or simply drive up / take a taxi to the top.

Once you reach, head to the Temple of Hercules and view the giant hand previously belonging to the Statue of Hercules. Built by Romans, it is believed to be a symbol of the strength of this Roman hero. Two giant pillars reaching to a height of 30 feet also stand here with inscriptions dating back to 1600 CE.

The Citadel is also home to Jordan Archaeological Museum which houses artefacts dating back to Bronze Age. You can explore various excavations from the period as well as the Ain Ghazal Statues dating back to 600 BCE.

The Roman Theatre

After you finish exploring the Amman Citadel, walk downhill for about 10 minutes to reach the Roman Theatre. Dating back to 2nd century AD, the Roman Theatre was built at the time when the city was called ‘Philadelphia’.

It is one of the major landmarks of Amman’s Old City and is capable of seating 6000 people. There is also a smaller Odeon theatre next door which you can also check out. Entry to this landmark costs 2 JOD and can also be accessed through the Jordan Pass.

Rainbow Street

Perched atop Jebel Amman, this is the most happening street in the city and a must-visit for all visitors. It gives a great opportunity for visitors to walk and explore the area, which is not easy in Amman as it is built completely on hills.

There is so much to see and do on Rainbow Street that you can easily spend the entire afternoon here. Hop from cafes to souvenir shops to rooftop bars to restaurants. If you visit on Thursday night, you will witness a thriving scene with lots of pedestrians and cars due to the start of the weekend.

Whether you want to try some authentic local cuisine, sample the dessert Kunafa or enjoy the nightlife, Rainbow Street is the place you need to be.

Discover the Ancient City of Jerash

Ancient City of Jerash, Jordan
Ancient City of Jerash, Jordan
Ancient Roman Ruins, Walkway along the Columns in Jerash, Jordan
Ancient Roman Ruins, Walkway along the Columns in Jerash, Jordan
King Abdullah Mosque in Amman, Jordan
King Abdullah Mosque in Amman, Jordan

On the second day, take a day trip from Amman to Jerash – an ancient city with the best-preserved ruins anywhere in the world.

On the way back, visit the Al Ma’wa Sanctuary to see amazing species of rescued wildlife from different parts of the world.

We will also visit the grand King Abdullah Mosque and end the day by witnessing the gorgeous sunset in Amman.

Jerash

This is undoubtedly the best place to explore for archeology buffs. These Roman ruins of an entire city are the best preserved ruins anywhere in the world.

You can explore the ruins of the entire city packed with temples of Greek Gods, gates, agoras and theatres. Entering into the main entrance, you will come across the City Wall and South Gate, a monumental arch standing on the southern side of the city.

On entering you will find yourself inside the Oval Plaza, connecting the Sanctuary of Zeus with the major street of Jerash. The columns and plaza you will see here date back to 2nd century AD, whereas the paving was done around 4th century AD.

Making your way down the street, you will see Propylaeum of Sanctuary of Artemis. Artemis, the patron goddess of Jerash, the Sanctuary was built on orders of Hadrian on top of earlier necropolis. You have to cross a bridge and climb the giant stairways to visit the temple.

Other major landmarks to see here include the North Theatre, South Theatre, Great Temple of Zeus, Hadrian's Arch and the Hippodrome.

Al Ma’wa Sanctuary

While visiting Jerash from Amman, visit the Al Ma’wa Nature & Wildlife Sanctuary. It is a great place to visit for wildlife and nature lovers. Located 20 minutes from Jerash, it was built as a collaboration by Four Paws and Princess Alia Foundation in 2011.

It was built to provide a housing and rehabilitation solution for rescued wildlife. It occupies a huge space covering 70 hectares and provides great conditions to suit the particular needs of each animal.

Opened to visitors recently, it is home to 2 Asian black bears, 4 bears, 23 lions, 2 Syrian brown bears and 2 Bengal Tigers. Most animals have been rescued from poorly run zoos, warn torn countries or illegal animal trade.

King Abdullah Mosque

One of the most important places of religious interest in the country, the King Abdullah Mosque was built by late King Hussein in the memory of his grandfather. It is an iconic landmark in Amman with its blue-coloured dome.

It hosts as many as 10,000 worshippers and is one of the few mosques around the world that welcomes tourists from all religions. However, you must make sure to dress appropriately and cover your arms, legs and head before entering the mosque.

It is a great place to watch the sunset as the view is truly mesmerizing.

Dead Sea, Mabada & Mount Nebo

The Mount Nebo valley in Jordan
The Mount Nebo valley in Jordan
The rooftops of Madaba, Jordan
The rooftops of Madaba, Jordan
The Memorial Church of Moses at Mount Nebo, Jordan
The Memorial Church of Moses at Mount Nebo, Jordan

Make the most of the time in Amman by taking another day trip to the Dead Sea. Float on the salty waters of this salty sea; it is one of the most unique experiences ever.

On the way to the Dead Sea, you can also visit the historic city of Madaba along with an excursion to Mount Nebo.

Madaba

On this day, we will head out from Amman to the 5th largest city in the country called Madaba. Madaba is located south from Mount Nebo; it is about 30 kilometres from Amman.

Here we will visit the Basilica of Saint George, which is famous for its giant floor mosaic. The mosaic floor map depicts the Holy Land and was created in the 6th century, making it the oldest mosaic in the world.

The mosaic is in the Basilica of Saint George. It is a great example of how talented and precise the ancient people were while creating their artwork.

Mount Nebo

After Madaba, head to Mount Nebo, the summit from where Moses saw the Promised Land. Located halfway between the Dead Sea and Amman, it is a major historical and religious site. According to the Bible, God showed the Promised Land to Moses from this peak.

Standing at the height of 810 meters above sea level, Mount Nebo is a place of religious interest. Numerous important sites of the Holy Land can be seen from the top, including the place where water appeared after Moses struck the rock with a staff. According to some stories, it is also said to be the place of Moses’ death.

The monument at the site, designed by Italian artists, is marked with a huge brazen cross that looks like a serpent. It was built to commemorate the serpent made by Moses and the cross where Jesus was crucified. There is also a Byzantine Church from the 4th century; it was built to honour the place where Moses took his last breath.

Dead Sea

The saltiest water body in the entire world, the Dead Sea gets its name as no living beings are able to survive in its water due to the high mineral content. It is located 1,300 feet below sea level, due to which it is the place with the lowest elevation that you can visit on Earth.

Floating in this salt lake is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you cannot do anywhere else in the world. It has an extremely high concentration of salt, eight times more than any ocean. Due to this, it produces a natural buoyancy effect which can make a person float in the water.

The waters of the Dead Sea, as well as the mud on its shore, has been used for numerous health benefits for centuries. The Dead Sea mud is believed to have amazing healing properties for the skin, such as minimizing pores, fine lines, wrinkles, and improving skin elasticity. Due to this, visitors slather this mud all over them before washing it off the mineral-rich Dead Sea water.

Due to its low elevation, it has the highest level of oxygen, 12 percent more in comparison to any other place. Due to this, the Dead Sea is considered to be the perfect natural spa. Spend a relaxed day at its shores, and don’t forget to take the perfect floating picture for your Instagram.

Wadi Mujib & The King’s Highway

Wadi Mujib, Jordan
Wadi Mujib, Jordan
The Kings Highway in Jordan
The Kings Highway in Jordan
The river canyon, Wadi Mujib, in Jordan
The river canyon, Wadi Mujib, in Jordan
Petra, Jordan lit up at night time
Petra, Jordan lit up at night time

Today we will leave the beautiful city of Amman behind and head south towards Petra. This route will take you along the iconic King’s Highway, which is a beautiful sight in itself.

We will also visit Wadi Mujib on the way, which is known as Jordan’s Grand Canyon. We will finish off the day in an unforgettable way by taking the Petra by Night tour, which is a magical experience.

The King’s Highway

As we bid goodbye to historic Amman, we will start heading south to reach Petra by the end of the day. The quickest way to reach Petra from Amman is through the modern Desert Highway, which takes around 3 hours.

However, we will take the much more scenic route and go via the serene King’s Highway, which will take about 4 hours and 45 minutes to reach your destination.

Presently renamed as Route 35, the King’s Highway was a pilgrimage and trade route passing through the Middle East for 5000 years. There are numerous gorgeous photo stops and beautiful scenery you can enjoy throughout the journey.

You can also visit Madaba along the way, which is home to the largest Byzantine mosaic in the world.

Wadi Mujib

Heading further south, the King’s Highway twists down into Wadi Mujib. This is a 1300 meter deep gorge which is considered to be the Grand Canyon of Jordan. It offers amazing views from the top, looking down on patches of farmland in the midst of miles of sand.

Further south, you will come across Karak, a small town dominated by a huge Crusader Castle. Built in the 12th century, it is definitely worth visiting on the way.

Head further through Shoubak before finally reaching Wadi Musa, a town that has developed around the ancient ruins of Petra.

Petra by Night tour

We’ll stay in Wadi Musa for two nights while exploring one of the new Wonders of the World – Petra. Plan your trip in such a way that you are there either on Monday, Wednesday or Thursday. These are the days when the iconic Petra by Night tour takes place.

For this tour, the Treasury and the Siq at Petra are lit up with more than 1800 candles. This is a magical experience with Bedouin music playing outside the Treasury. The tour begins at 8.30 pm and lasts for about two hours.

It may get a bit busy, but the entire experience is truly mesmerizing. If you wish to stop somewhere after, visit the Cave Bar at Petra Guest House to have a drink inside a Nabataean tomb dating back to 2000-year ago.

Explore Petra

The ancient sandstone ruins in the city of Petra, Jordan
The ancient sandstone ruins in the city of Petra, Jordan
The rocks in Siq Canyon in Petra, Jordan
The rocks in Siq Canyon in Petra, Jordan
Ruins of temple Qasr Bint Firaun (Qasr al-Bint) in Petra, Jordan
Ruins of temple Qasr Bint Firaun (Qasr al-Bint) in Petra, Jordan
Ad Deir, The Monaastery Temple, Petra, Jordan
Ad Deir, The Monaastery Temple, Petra, Jordan

One of the main reasons for which tourists flock to Jordan is to see the magnificent ancient sandstone city of Petra. Built in 3rd century BC, the Nabataeans carved temples, palaces, storerooms, stables and tombs from soft stone cliffs.

Petra is a World Heritage Site and one of the new Wonders of the World. No trip to Jordan can be complete without exploring this spectacular ancient city.

Exploring Petra involves a lot of walking, and there is not much shade around, so try to start early in the day. Also, there is a lot of ground to cover if you want to explore the entire city. So try to choose the bits you wish to focus more on. If you have time to spare, you can easily spend 2 full days in Petra.

The Siq and the Treasury

The entrance to the ruins being at Siq, a narrow one mile-long gorge that is carved from orange and pink rocks. The siq opens up to the Treasury, which is the most renowned temple in Petra.

The first glimpse of the Treasury from the Siq is a jaw-dropping sight that you will remember for life. Carved from iron-laden sandstones, the treasury served as a tomb in the ancient times. It got its name from the belief that Egyptian pharaohs hid their treasure inside the top urn.

Its Greek-style architecture, alcoves, plinths and pillars are a true example of the mastery of masonry work during the time.

The Colonnaded Street

Walking along the main path, you will then reach the centre of the city known as the Street of Facades. You can find more than 40 merchant tombs here stacked on top of one another.

You will also see an ancient amphitheatre along with the Royal Tombs. These are considered to be the most impressive and biggest tombs in Petra.

Moving ahead, you will see a paved road running through this street. You can find old Nabatean baths as well as the Qasr al-Bint temple. You can also find a restaurant and museum in the vicinity where you can stop to take a break.

The Monastery

One of the most fascinating walks in the entire city is hiking up to the Monastery. A larger and grander version of the Treasury, the Monastery is harder to reach. Starting from the museum, you have to climb about 800 steps to reach the top.

Other fascinating hikes that you can take include Al Khubtha trail starting from the Royal Tombs and High Place of Sacrifice. These hikes give you amazing views of Treasury from high altitudes.

The journey to the top of the Monastery takes about 45 minutes. It is best viewed during the late afternoon as the setting sun draws out the sandstone’s colour. Built in 86 BC as a tomb, it was used as a church during the Byzantine times due to which it gets its name.

On your way down, take 10 minutes to visit two viewpoints on nearby cliffs. From there you can get magnificent views of the Petra rock formations, Wadi Araba and Jebel Haroun.

Live the Desert Life in Wadi Rum

Wadi Rum desert in Jordan
Wadi Rum desert in Jordan
Camels in Wadi Rum
Camels in Wadi Rum
Burdah Bridge in Wadi Rum, Jordan
Burdah Bridge in Wadi Rum, Jordan
Bedouin camp in the Wadi Rum desert, Jordan
Bedouin camp in the Wadi Rum desert, Jordan

On the fifth day, we will head south towards the deserts of Wadi Rum. This is another UNESCO World Heritage site in Jordan with its golden rock formations and miles of stunning sandy landscape.

The journey from Wadi Musa to Wadi Rum takes about 2 hours and can be reached by bus or car. Once there, go for a jeep safari to explore the gorgeous desert landscape.

At the end of the day, spend the night one of the desert camps in Wadi Rum. This is an indescribable experience that gives you a glimpse into the lives of Bedouins in the desert.

Explore Wadi Rum Desert

Visiting the vast desert in Wadi Rum will make you feel like you are in a scene from the movie ‘The Martian’. Perfect for adventure lovers, the arid red rock has been featured in numerous movies over the years including Lawrence of Arabia and The Martian.

The best way to explore this massive landscape is through a 4x4 jeep tour. Begin the desert safari in the morning, and you will be done by early evening. It is a good idea to go for a guided tour to get the best experience.

While exploring the desert, you will visit a number of famous attractions such as Lawrence Springs, Red Sand Dunes, Um Frouth Arch, Burdan Arch, Khazali Canyon and much more.

Burdah and Um Fruth Rock Bridges

The Wadi Rum Desert has 3 major rock bridges that you can climb and marvel in the beauty of the gorgeous landscape. The highest bridge is Burdah Rock, which can be reached by hiking up the Bedouin path for about 1-2 hours. Though it can be difficult to climb, the view from the top is extremely rewarding.

Um Fruth is the second-largest bridge and the most photographed place in the entire Wadi Rum Desert. It requires you to climb up 15 meters but offers amazing photograph opportunities from the top as well as from the front.

The last bridge is least known but is located as a short distance from the Discovery Camp. Though it doesn’t have a name, it offers some fantastic photo opportunities, especially during sunrise and sunset.

Camping in Wadi Rum Desert

End the day by staying in one of the luxurious Bedouin tents in the middle of the desert. There are a number of camps in the Wadi Rum area which offer a traditional Bedouin living experience along with an authentic Jordanian dinner.

Arabian Nights Camp is one of the best camps in the area. It is run by a local Bedouin family in a remote area of the desert surrounded by mountains. There are various tent options available depending on your budget – from private luxury rooms to dorm beds.

There is a central tent where all campers come together to have a traditional Jordanian dinner, giving the entire experience an extremely sociable feel. Don’t forget to try the authentic Jordanian ‘Zarb’ here, which a barbeque cooked in a makeshift sand oven under the ground.

Spend some time stargazing at the end of the night. You will see the most star-filled night sky here that you will not find anywhere else in the world.

Explore the Coastal Town of Aqaba

Aqaba in Jordan
Aqaba in Jordan
The shores of the Aqaba Marine Park in Jordan
The shores of the Aqaba Marine Park in Jordan
Boats on the Aqaba Gulf with Israel Town in the background
Boats on the Aqaba Gulf with Israel Town in the background

After spending 7 days in Jordan visiting various historical landmarks and ancient cities, it is now time to relax and laze around on the beach.

Aqaba is the only coastal town in Jordan, and also the primary harbour for the country. It shows you a different face of the country’s breathtaking diversity.

The town has a lot to offer from world-class diving locations to gorgeous beaches, laid-back mood, and a number of festivals throughout the year.

It is a premier destination for snorkelling and diving as well as to witness the marine life that the country has to offer.

Snorkeling & Diving at South Beach

Aqaba is well-known as a top snorkelling and diving destination. Due to its proximity to the Red Sea, it attracts divers from around the globe.

Aqaba offers a look at the thriving and diverse aquatic life in the region. Due to its unique ecosystem, the Gulf of Aqaba is home to over 1000 species of fish and over 250 species of coral. Not only this, but you can also find snapper and turtles as well.

Due to its calm and clear waters, it is a premier destination for water sports such as Scuba diving, snorkelling and deep-sea diving.

A large number of dive schools are available in Aqaba, offering diving courses for all levels ranging from beginners to intermediate and advanced divers. With over 25 diving sites enhanced with shipwrecks, plane wrecks and tanks, the diving experience in Aqaba is something you must not miss.

Relax at the Berenice Beach Club

Have a lovely time by the beach at the Berenice Beach Club located 15 minutes away from Downtown Aqaba. It is the perfect location to relax by the beach and spend some quality time amongst nature.

Though there are many public beaches in the city, most of them are crowded and dirty. At this beach club, you can relax at its pristine private beach with all amenities required to make the experience pleasant.

For an entry fee of 10 JOD, you get access to the private beach, swimming pool, a sun lounger as well as a towel. They also have a diving centre where you can rent scuba gear and snorkelling equipment or sign up for lessons.

Boat tour around Gulf of Aqaba

If you are not into snorkeling or diving, another great way to explore the amazing marine life of the Gulf of Aqaba is to take a glass-bottom boat tour. Companies such as Sindbad offer cruise and boat tours in themed vessels such as pirate ships.

They are a great way to spend some leisurely time with great drinks and food, and dancing to Arabian tunes on board. Make sure to watch the shoreline as well, as you can see Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia from here.

Conclusion

With so much to see and do, these 7 days in Jordan will go by in a jiffy. After this trip, there will be no doubt in your mind why Jordan is one of the top countries to spend a week or more.

With its perfect combo of history, relaxation, beauty, fantastic food and great weather, it is a must-visit destination for all.

This article was edited by Loredana Elena and was first published on May 17, 2020 14:22 UTC.


Written by Preeti Mehta

preetimehta WRITER A freelancer with a passion for writing, traveling the world and cherishing every moment of life. I have lived in 3 countries and traveled to 6 others, and wish to see that number grow rapidly in the future!


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