8 Reasons To Visit Jordan

Amman Jordan

It’s the end of the year and with it everyone is thinking about where to visit in 2015 – I’m right there with you. A few months ago though I visited one of my favorite countries for the second time and began to realize just how perfect a travel destination it really is. Jordan offers a little bit of everything for every type of traveler. When it comes down to it though, these are the main reasons why I think everyone should start planning their own Jordan adventure for 2015 and for years beyond.

1. Amman

I don’t think that Amman gets as much attention as it deserves. So many people who visit Jordan just transit in and out of the city without taking the time to learn more about it. Amman is one of the oldest capitals in the world, and a walk up to the Citadel high above the city reveals relics left by each successive culture, from the Greeks to the modern era. But it’s more than just about a dusty past, Amman is a vibrant and thriving modern city with restaurants popping up all the time, great stores and a counter-culture being fueled by Millennials. In other words, it’s a lot like many other big cities, but I don’t think visitors expect it from Amman. So when you visit spend some time walking around the old markets, go to the Citadel for some amazing views but also try out some new restaurants and talk with the younger folks who are reshaping the city in their own image.

Dead Sea Jordan

2. Luxury escapes

Yes, you can visit Jordan inexpensively and if you want a rough and tumble camping experience, you can easily find it. I’m a luxury guy though and each time I’ve visited Jordan I have been thrilled by the high-end travel products available to visitors. My favorite was the Kempinski Ishtar resort along the Dead Sea. Although it’s a massive resort, the hotel still manages to maintain extremely high levels of service at every turn. It’s also just a visually stunning resort and a place I could easily spend a few more days. Another personal favorite luxury escape in Jordan is the Evason Six Senses Spa and Hotel at Ma’In. This small, quiet luxury hotel is built high in the hills next to naturally occurring hot spring waterfalls. Stays there are meant to be calm, holistic experiences combining spa treatments with long soaks in the thermal baths. The property is an amazing place to go and just do nothing except relax and decompress. These are just a couple of the many luxury travel opportunities found around Jordan, an entire luxury trip touring the country couldn’t be easier to plan.

3. The people

I usually meet nice people wherever I go, but both times I’ve visited Jordan I have been impressed with the extreme kindness and generosity of the Jordanians. There are few places around the world where the citizens are as warm and hospitable as they are here. Without exaggeration, everyone you meet will first try to feed you and then try to help make sure you are enjoying yourself as much as possible. I’ve been invited into modest homes, fed, helped with directions, offered more coffee than I can count and all of it in a simple effort to extend some basic human kindness. That says a lot and believe me, is increasingly hard to find around the world.

4. Wadi Rum

One of the highlights of any trip to Jordan in my opinion is spending time in the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage recognized desert of Wadi Rum. This area has been used for thousands of years, from ancient traders to Lawrence of Arabia. Today tourists are the ones following the ancient paths through the bright orange sand, to marvel at the bizarrely beautiful landscapes found around the region. Wadi Rum is often used in movies as a stand in for the moon or Mars and with good reason, the landscape is decidedly alien. The best way to experience Wadi Rum is by staying at one of the luxury tented Bedouin camps and then joining them for daily activities in the desert. The camp is a big part of the experience and there’s nothing like sitting by the fire, enjoying a delicious meal and listening to beautiful Bedouin ballads being played by expert musicians. With a canopy of stars overhead, there’s nothing better.

Feynan Ecolodge Jordan

5. Dana Biosphere Reserve and the Feynan Ecolodge

You might be surprised to learn that Jordan is home to one of the top ecolodges in the world, the Feynan Ecolodge. Built in the massive and gorgeous Dana Biosphere Reserve, the resort is completely off the grid and generates its own power for everything from hot water to nightlights. Getting there is half the fun though and many guests elect to hike a strenuous 16-kilometer trail through the reserve to Feynan. It’s not for everyone and guides are strongly recommended, but speaking from experience I can tell you it’s one of those things everyone should try once and is the perfect introduction to the philosophy behind Feynan itself.

Jordanian Food Jordan

6. The food

I’m often asked where in the world is my favorite food and I always give the same answer – Jordan. There’s just something about the country’s blend of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern staples that makes it unique and very special. Many meals are served family style with a huge array of starters and entrees with everything from hummus and bread to meats, cheeses and salads. Jordan’s traditional meals are also delicious, with the national dish mansaf taking center stage. Lamb cooked with yogurt and rice and served communally, to eat this in someone’s home is as high an honor as anyone can hope to receive. No matter what you eat though I know you’ll leave the country a few pounds heavier, but much happier for it.

7. Snorkeling in the Red Sea

For a small country, Jordan is surprisingly diverse. While a lot of the country features desert landscapes, the country also has Aqaba – a port city along the gorgeous Red Sea. Always listed as one of the top diving and snorkeling destinations in the world, this is a fun place to take a boat and just enjoy being on the water. I’ve been twice and each time I’ve enjoyed leisurely afternoons sailing, snorkeling, grilling out and basking in the sun. Away from the water Aqaba is a fun seaside community with plenty to do, including tax-free shopping and some truly excellent restaurants.

petra jordan

8. OK, Petra

It’s impossible to talk about traveling to Jordan without mentioning Petra. This ancient city is the top tourist site in the country and the reason why many people visit in the first place. And it’s all deserved. Spending a few days exploring this massive red stone city is an experience you will always remember. It starts with a walk through the kilometer long Siq, a slot canyon that shielded the city from prying eyes for centuries. It was also how ancient traders first entered Petra, a way to impress visitors with the wealth and power of the city. The first glimpse every visitor has of the city is the famous Treasury building, highlighted in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. But Petra is a lot more than just one building, numerous hiking paths allow guests to discover the full width and breadth of this beautiful complex, from the hilltop Monastery built into raw stone to the perfectly straight Roman road still guiding travelers along the way. Just be sure to plan enough time here, you don’t want to miss out on truly enjoying this once in a lifetime opportunity.

These are just a few reasons why I think everyone should plan a trip to Jordan in 2015 and beyond. It’s a very special country and one of my favorite places to visit, from the warm hospitality of the people to the delicious food and of course the many famous sites, it really does have it all.

 

This campaign was created and sponsored by Jordan Tourism Board in partnership with iambassador. LandLopers retains all editorial control of what is published and as you know, I never shy away from honest commentary.

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By: Matt Long

Matt has a true passion for travel. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer. Also follow Matt on Twitter, Facebook and

34 Responses

  1. Jenny

    I agree. It’s impossible to mention a trip to Jordan without talking about Petra…and that makes it sound cliche, BUT I still think it’s actually a highly underrated tourist destination. Many of the other destinations of interest are fun simply because they are not Petra. You arrive with few expectations and then realize that you are overlooking essential pieces of history and strangely, no one else is around. At least that was my experience at Jerash, Shobak, and Madaba. Thanks for noting what a gem Jordan really is.

    Reply
  2. Jenna

    Jordan is definitely on my travel wish list, so I love hearing that you have enjoyed the country so much. I may have already mentioned this in a comment on your site, but I have several students from Jordan, and they are such lovely people–always smiling and making jokes. As soon as I tell them that I’d like to travel to Jordan, they get so excited!

    Reply
  3. Michael Nizami

    I would have to agree with all that was said.. But I would’ve added 3 more to the list!
    – Jerash; one of the only remaining well preserved Greco-Roman cities in the world, a place where a huge festival also takes place every year.. Green mountains rich with olives and spring water.. Jerash is definitely a worth making that list!
    -The rich coral reefs of Aqaba! One of the best scuba diving experiences in the world, being on the tip of the Red Sea it is also a wonder and definitely a destination worth mentioning!
    – Safety! It is the most important thing to mention by far, Jordan is a very safe and well ran country by its Goverment, agency’s work very hard to keep it safe not only for Jordanians but travelers too. If you want to go to a country in the Middle East, that’s very rich in culture and history, without worrying about your safety and security, Jordan is definitely the top of that list!
    Thank you!!

    Reply
    • Alma Lou

      I totally agree! Jerash is a not to be missed! But include in the tour Ajloun and the castle! Talking about historic casltes, on the way to Petra, must sees include Karak and Shobak! In the East, the desert castles of the Omayyads beckon–a day trip from Amman.
      When you live in the country, we see it every day! But we are always ready to share it with everyone!

      Reply
  4. Sus

    Amazing country to visit. I agree with all and would also add Wadi el Mujib hiking experience and Wadi Hidan.

    Reply
  5. moe

    I highly disagree. Nothing to visit except some old stones and crap. Also its very expensive.

    Reply
    • Matt Long

      Then you missed all the great nature! And I didn’t find it at all expensive.

      Reply
      • hubrich

        To moe,
        If you got no.positive.to.sag,.then better to be quiet.It is a lovely country we enjoyed being there and would add wadi rum for.overnight in the.middle of the dessert.

    • Alma Lou

      Hey Moe, even the Grand Canyon is nothing but rocks! You’ve got to see it to enjoy it. To each his own.

      Reply
  6. Youssef HILO

    And I know so many other reasons and byways that will take one’s breath away

    Reply
  7. to moe

    I have no idea how was ur last visit here. But am more than happy to invite you anytimeu wish ,, maybe just maybe this time u will have the same amazing experience others had :)…

    Reply
  8. Aref M.Y.

    I’m a Jordanian expatriate, and I approve of this message 😉

    But seriously… this blog got me nostalgic. Some other ideas for Amman that I typically share with friends:

    1- Go to Wild Jordan Café (around sunset is the best time). Close to first circle. Sit in the terrace and watch the vista of the old city.
    2- Walk in “rainbow” street, extension of the first circle, and then walk to Books@Cafe (young people’s hangout; bookstore, coffee shop and pool tables).
    3- Go to Blue Fig coffee shop and bar close to Abdoun circle, close to the fourth circle. Every month, there’s a different country theme, with music from that country.
    4- Go to the Citadel, in an old part of the city called Weibdeh. Experience Amman from that viewpoint.
    5- Experience the “Al Basha Turkish Bath” close to the first circle. A pretty intense two-hour session of steam room, sauna, jacuzzi and full body scrub that will leave you “shining” in the end.

    Reply
  9. Sabreen

    Three more things I definitely recommend you check out in Jordan if you haven’t already done so are:
    1) Wadi Mujab. River Jordan meets Dead Sea, adventure trip where you trek upstream climbing over rocks, sliding down soft rocks and even includes climbing down the side of a small waterfall. SO much fun… and physically exhausting.
    2) Ajloun castle
    3) Ajloun cabins and bungalows.

    Reply
    • A.

      Hi Sabreen – I’m planning a trip next month, what company did you do the adventure trip through? It sounds amazing.

      Reply
  10. Hasan K

    As a Jordanian I agree with you. but everything needs to be luxury to enjoy your holiday.
    also I have to mention that the transportation (Taxi) are not expensive to go outside Amman.
    but there is no alternative options than the non very expensive taxi

    Reply
    • Alma Lou

      If you have a driver’s license, or international one, you can rent a car and go anywhere!

      Reply
  11. Rachel R

    Yes amazing post. I wish to go again. Lovely country, food and people! Will see you soon Jordan..

    Reply
  12. Patty Molina

    I visited Jordan for the first time in January of 2014 and it was amazing. Amman is a city that offers so much to see. Visited Petra, Dead Sea and Jordan River and witnesses an event that I’d never imagined in my life is be part of. The marking of then Epiphany.
    Baptisms on both sides of the river.
    Sun up as well as sun down in Amman is something everyone should witness.
    I plan on going back.

    Reply
  13. Serina

    Amazing blog post! Very accurate. I’m so thrilled to see foreigners such as yourself (and the commentators) enjoy our country so much! I would advise you to stay at a luxorious hotel such as the ones suggested by the blogger so you can get the best of both worlds-a relaxing stay,packed with activities such as hiking,scuba diving and even sky diving at wadi rum! (The view is breathtaking btw). And i definitely believe that tourists should take a walk down rainbow street,it’s great,with a wide variety of shops and resturants/cafes (if you walk long enough you’ll get to see lovely graffitied walls and amazing street art) also,there are a range of modern art museums and galleries,it’s amazing if you’re into that kind of stuff! All in all,Aqaba,the Dead Sea,Jerash and Amman are four main destinations that you can NOT neglect if you ever visit.

    Reply
  14. u1a

    I’m a Jordanian and just last summer, I found an almost hiking area called Waddi Al-wala, it’s much better than wadi mojeb, as I really recommend it for your next trip !

    Reply
  15. FADi Das

    i agree I love royal sprite that’s in the country everyone there doesn’t matter which class rich or poor they are very Generious nashama we Jordanians call it and I would like to add an experience I enjoyed. One huge part of all Jordan is the six sense spa that is about 10 mins up the Mountains of the dead see also known as- shalalat ma3in Natural hot springs just pouring and gushing out to message ur back and body after a huge dip in the muddy salty waters of the Dead Sea you would bath and shower in the six sense spa Legend says MoSes pbuh and his people bathed from the six sense springs Because the city of wadi mosa also know as aka valley of Moses pbuh is about 1 hour away from six sense spa. valley of Moses is known for its 12 springs that Moses pbuh was granted from God to his people after crossing the sea Moses pbuh struck his cane or staf and 12 springs of water apeared according to the holy Quran it clearly says Oh Moses strike ur cane towards the mountains and apear 12 springs -12 a3youn
    In the end the food the woman and kids and men all ties up back to the oldest country in the world older then Rome and Greece it’s self gladiators started in the city of jersash by the way if u are in the city of jerash please stop at this restaurant called sultan omg Iam just drolling thinking of that hummus shawarma plate

    Reply
  16. Sam

    As a Jordanian, I encourage all to come to Jordan at any time of the year.You can always find the right place
    to stay and enjoy it,the Dead Sea tourist area with its luxurious yet reasonable prices hotels and resorts in winter,Aqaba on the warm Red Sea coast also all year round..and other locations mentioned in previous
    comments.I just want to add Umm Qais( Biblical Jadara) where Jesus performed one of His earliest miracles,
    Come to Jordan and you’ll never regret it….Ahlan wa Sahlan.

    Reply
    • kat

      Hi Sam, I do not agree to visit Jordan any time of the year. We live in Amman and during the last snow we had to stay home for 5 whole days, as the streets were not free from the snow and very slippery. And two days before the friday-saturday weekend were officially declared as “otla”, holidays, as they are not able to face the situation caused by snow. Nothing changed, since my last stay in Amman in the 80´s. We love Jordan, we travel a lot and visit many sites in the desert, scarcely known to tourists.

      Reply
      • Matt Long

        Ok, well except for freak 20 year snow storms anytime is great 🙂

  17. Randa Jujubee

    While in Amman, head down to Rainbow Street, 1st circle are. It’s a great area to hang out and people watch on a Friday night, or to walk up and down the cobble stone street and to peek into the old, once prominent houses of Amman. It’s also a great place to have a reasonably priced meal, coffee or drinks at any of the numerous cafes, bars and restaurants there. The outlets range from basic typical Hooka lounges to elegant roof top bars that offer stunning views of the city. Also, jabal webdeh is following a similar path to Rainbow street, especially in the vicinity of the Paris roundabout.
    In my experience, tourists really enjoy these areas because they offer a bit of both worlds.

    Reply
  18. SM

    Hi, Great post. Is it safe to travel for leisure to Jordan in 3rd week of February 2015, especially after Jordan declaring war on ISIS ?

    Reply
  19. Bhandare Eknath

    I m visiting Jordan as a tourist on 20th Feb.2015.Is it safe to travel ?

    Reply
    • Matt Long

      Jordan has always been a safe country, but anywhere you go you should monitor current events.

      Reply
  20. Lyn Hotchin

    BEAUTIFUL and very interesting Jordan! It is a place to not be missed…….. and will never, ever be forgotten by those of us who have visited and soaked up it’s specialness. Jordan you are much loved by me!

    Reply
  21. Gerard ~ GQ trippin

    Hey Matt,
    Q & I are thinking about somewhere to take off for a week or so. As much as I hate rushing any country, would 7-8 days be doable to get a taste of Jordan and see the main sights?

    Reply
    • Matt Long

      Yes definitely! Just be sure to hire a guide and driver, very very affordable

      Reply
  22. sadhumati das

    Yes, Jordan is a wonderful place to visit, recommended! Great hospitality there fir sure and speaking of hospitality par excellence you should visit Iran — you haven’t experienced anything like the hospitality you will find there — Persians are incredible hosts!

    Reply
  23. Ayman Aljarrah

    what about the most peacful and welcoming place in the world. May Allah bless Jordan and its people.

    Reply
  24. Kirsty

    I can definitely agree with all of these! I went to Jordan last month and I can truly say that I have never met people so hospitable and kind! An amazing country that everyone should experience.

    Reply

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