Roadtrip in Jordan - Our route and tips
Last week we explored breathtaking Jordan. This underrated Middle Eastern country is perfectly safe to travel to and taking a road trip with a rental car is the best way to explore the country. We’d like to tell you about our route, which we found quite spectacular, and some of the things you consider when roadtripping in Jordan.
Start of Roadtrip in Jordan in Amman
We landed at Amman airport to end up spending a week in Jordan. The airport is still a short distance from the busy center of capital Amman so you don’t have to worry about having to drive through the busy center. A road trip through Jordan is the best way to explore the country, so it is best to rent a car at the airport. Better to book this in advance so you can be sure of a car even in high season. We rented our car with Dollar and it really turned out incredibly well. The service is honest and friendly. You also get more value for your money and the cars are in great condition.
Roadtrip in Jordan
We didn’t stay in Amman since it is so crowded and we aren’t city people at all. We also don’t think Amman adds value to your stay in Jordan. Of course, if you have a lot of time, there are a number of things to see here. You have to make that choice for yourself. So from Amman we drove on to Sowayma at the coast on the first day. However, our beautiful hotel was not located at the coast but in Ma’In in the mountains next to the beautiful waterfalls and hot springs of Ma’In.
And that, without a doubt, is much better than staying at the coast itself. Why? Because the Ma’In Hot Springs Resort located at the hot springs, has received an international award and having breakfast overlooking a huge waterfall is simply impressive. We were blown away by 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 shore of the Dead Sea. This is only a half-hour drive. However, we found one of the most beautiful spots on the Dead Sea only after an hour’s drive. A little further from Wadi Al Mujib, also beautiful to visit but closed in the winter months, you will find a piece of paradise. You park the car on the side of the road and walk downhill to the stretch of “beach” on the Dead Sea. The white salt flats stand out beautifully against the bright blue water. The ideal place to float around in the Dead Sea for a while. A very special experience!
Roadtrip in Jordan
We stayed two nights in Ma’In and then continued our road trip through Jordan towards the desert. Wadi Rum is a piece of UNESCO World Heritage and it’s totally deserved! This piece of desert is one of the highlights you should not miss during a trip to Jordan. The most extraordinary 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 time seems to stand still. Amazement, disbelief, romance, peace, relaxation and bliss are a few of the many emotions we felt there. All those emotions combined make this hotel the absolute highlight of our trip in Jordan, and perhaps of all our previous trips.
During high season, the prices of this hotel are quite high (around 250 euros per night), but this unique experience is more than worth every euro in our opinion. You should also not forget that the full breakfast and dinner are included in this price. This makes the price for a unique room – rather, a private house with a large terrace – quite reasonable. It’s quite an experience. But if you are still eager to save on your stay here, you can choose to come during the winter months. The view there is equally breathtaking and you then pay only a third (around 100 euros per night) of the price for your own luxurious bubble overlooking 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 spend a week. Although there aren’t many activities to do besides desert safaris and stargazing, it’s so beautiful that you just don’t want to leave. However, if you want to be mindful of your budget, two nights is perfect. And you totally relax there 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.
Roadtrip in Jordan
World Wonder Petra
The hotel parking lot in Wadi Rum was about a four-hour drive from Petra. A long way to go but perfectly doable in one day if you leave around noon. With the Jordan Pass, you choose to have two days of access to the historic site of Petra. It’s so big there that you don’t want to or be able to explore everything in one day.
Staying close to Petra doesn’t have to be expensive at all. We stayed at the Nomad Hostel, with private room, for about 20 euros a night. This also includes a modest but decent breakfast. The Nomad Hostel is a five-minute drive from the entrance to the world wonder of Petra. So it’s ideal to stay out of the hustle and bustle of the tourist center but close to where you need to be. In total, we stayed three nights in Petra and that’s enough.
Visit it now
Petra is again a breathtaking place. Jordan does have several but Petra is one of those places you need to visit now and not in ten years. Mass tourism hasn’t entered the place yet and people are still very welcoming. 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 famous Treasury (Al Khazneh, the most well known structure).
All the sandstone rocks are beautiful and you notice throughout the landscape several structures that have remained almost completely intact. The different routes will take you to the most amazing places. Our favorite route? The green route. That one takes you past the big rocks all the way to the highest point overlooking the Treasury. A tough climb of 3.6 kilometers but the view is well worth it. And the best part? Here you hardly meet any other tourists. Petra pleasantly surprised us. It is a wonderful wonder of the world.
After our days in Petra, we stayed for one night in the city of Madaba because it 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 reach and there is also parking. It is the ideal location to spend your last day. If you’re staying here, you have to eat a pastry at the best bakery in the country: Anabtawi Oriental Sweets. You can buy the most delicious pastries for barely 1 JOD and the owners are so friendly and offer you some other goodies for free. Highly recommended for all sweet tooth. You can also visit Karak Castle 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 traveled to Jordan outside the high season. This made our road trip a bit shorter because 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 in the Wadis.
And although Jordan is only a small country, there is 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 temperatures sometimes even below zero degrees. Therefore, always bring enough warm clothing and decent shoes. It can also snow in Jordan. We went in February and drove through snow on the highest mountains and on some roads. However, in the lowest places, such as in Petra and on the coast, there was no snow to be seen. There is also a greater chance of rain 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 bright weather and no rain, but then again the hottest months from June to September, are to be avoided because of the hot temperatures.
How much time do you need?
One week was definitely not enough to see everything in Jordan. If, like us, you go in the winter months then unfortunately many sights including, for example, Wadi Al Mujib are closed so a week is enough to see the other highlights. If you travel during summer, you will need a little more time to see everything. Especially if you have purchased the Jordan Pass, it pays to stay longer on site and visit more. It is a small country but there is an awful lot to see and do! Take your time there too because everything is more than worth it. About seven to ten days seems perfect for us to have a good impression of the country. Longer is also not really necessary unless you like to relax for a few days in an all-inclusive hotel at the coastline.