Prime 5 highway journeys in Jordan

Street tripping round Jordan affords you entry to locations unreachable by public transportation and provides you the liberty to decide on your personal journey alongside the way in which, quite than being tied to the timeline of a set tour. 

However driving in Jordan additionally typically means decoding unwritten guidelines of the highway whereas navigating congested streets alongside drivers. For vacationers decided to take a highway journey, driving in Jordan is a part of the journey! And for many who would quite go away the driving to another person, there are many different methods to get round Jordan too, from bus rides to hiring a driver. 

Listed below are 5 of the most effective highway journeys in Jordan, together with one-day, two-day, and 10-day routes and quite a lot of actions to carry you nearer to the land, individuals, and tradition. As a result of most guests to Jordan fly into Amman, we’ve included highway journeys from the capital and close by Madaba.

You can begin your highway journey in Amman, Jordan’s capital and one of many oldest cities on the planet © Anton_Ivanov / Shutterstock

Jordan’s Northern Route

Greatest highway journey for historical past and tradition

Amman–Amman; 250km (155 miles); permit two days

This two-day highway journey begins atop Citadel Hill within the coronary heart of Jordan’s capital. Amman is among the oldest constantly inhabited cities on the planet (excavations on the Citadel have unearthed artifacts from way back to the Bronze Age), and you may nonetheless see proof of the Umayyad, Roman and Byzantine intervals – and sweeping metropolis views – from right here.

Depart Amman behind and head for the rolling hills of northern Jordan, stopping by Ajloun Citadel for panoramic views of the countryside. Sit right down to a home-cooked meal with a local family in Orjan earlier than heading to Umm Qais. Spend the afternoon touring the Greco-Roman ruins of Gadara, and if you’re prepared for a break, seize a seat on the outside patio of Umm Qais Resthouse, situated on a hill throughout the archeological website. When you time it proper, you’ll be able to catch the shifting sundown colours over the Golan Heights and the Sea of Galilee. 

On day two, strive an immersive exercise with Baraka Destinations, akin to beekeeping, foraging, biking, basket weaving or mountaineering in Yarmouk Forest Reserve or one other close by path, after which refuel at Galsoum’s Kitchen, the house of an area chef in Umm Qais. The second a part of the day is devoted to Jerash, house to probably the greatest preserved Roman cities on the planet and the midway level in your drive again to Amman. Signage is restricted on this website, so it’s finest skilled with a information who can present cultural and historic context whereas main you across the ruins. 

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People bathing in the Dead Sea in Jordan
Float within the waters of the Useless Sea and luxuriate in a spa therapy close by © Pavel Savchuk / Shutterstock

Driving to the Useless Sea

Greatest one-day highway journey from Amman 

Amman–Useless Sea; 68km (42 miles); permit 3-5 hours

This highway journey from Amman affords desert views alongside a stretch of the scenic King’s Freeway and a pleasant reward on the finish: a therapeutic Useless Sea expertise. Detour to Madaba to take a look at Byzantine-era mosaics that present the oldest identified map of Palestine on the ground in St George’s Church. Make a cease at Mt Nebo, the place it’s believed Moses noticed the Promised Land earlier than he died, for a view of the Jordan River Valley, Useless Sea and past. On a transparent day, chances are you’ll spot Jericho and Jerusalem within the distance, and you may see remnants of preserved mosaics within the presbytery on the summit. 

Proceed on to the Useless Sea, the place a handful of lodges await, providing a spread of spa remedies in addition to entry (for in a single day and day cross visitors) to mineral-rich mud and salty water.

View of Mose’s promised land from Mt. Nebo Madaba, Jordan
Jordan’s Mt Nebo is the place Moses is alleged to have seen the Promised Land © Julie Mayfeng / Shutterstock

Madaba to Dana Drive

Greatest highway journey for castles, canyons and tradition

Madaba–Dana; 206km (128 miles); permit sooner or later

Though the King’s Freeway (Freeway 35) has lengthy been an vital buying and selling route, first constructed by the Romans greater than 5000 years in the past, it isn’t essentially the quickest. However that’s additionally what makes it particular. Drivers searching for a direct path to southern Jordan are inclined to take the Useless Sea Freeway (Freeway 65) or the Desert Freeway (Freeway 15), however these searching for a scenic drive select King’s Freeway.

The view of the Useless Sea from Mukawir Citadel makes it definitely worth the detour from the King’s Freeway, and since you’ll be off the crushed path, you possibly can have the location to your self. Cease by the close by Bani Hamida Weaving Project to buy some handmade souvenirs (or e book a workshop upfront and study to make your personal). Add a splash of adrenaline on a guided canyoning tour at Wadi Mujib after which make your approach again towards the King’s Freeway with a go to to Karak, the place you’ll be able to discover one of many Levant’s largest crusader castles. Plan to achieve the village of Dana earlier than sundown. Sipping shai (tea) whereas searching over the Dana Biosphere Reserve is the right option to finish the day. 

Camel rider in Wadi Rum desert in Jordan
Drive previous rust-colored dunes in Wadi Rum on an off-road journey © Herre van der Wal / Lonely Planet

Into the Sands of Wadi Rum

Greatest for an off-road journey

Wadi Rum Village–desert camp; 70–100km (44–62 miles); permit two days

Vacationers with expertise off-roading can provide true desert driving a strive with this Desert Eyes self-drive excursion. Comply with the Bedouin information’s lead as you journey from Wadi Rum Village alongside rust-colored desert tracks and dunes to a distant campsite, stopping alongside the way in which to understand the pure rock bridges, jagged cliffs and lunar-like panorama. Spend the night time sharing tales and a Bedouin barbecue across the campfire earlier than falling asleep below the celebs.

This journey is customizable, from a half-day fast jaunt to a multiday journey, so distance, stops and period may be decided when reserving, relying in your pursuits. 

You’ll want a 4×4 automobile and applicable off-roading insurance coverage for this expertise. When you want the passenger’s seat as a substitute, you’ll be able to book a guided Wadi Rum 4×4 tour.

Jordan North to South

Greatest final 10-day highway journey

Umm Qais–Aqaba; 595km (370 miles); permit 10 days

When you have 10 days in Jordan, this route is the final word highway journey itinerary to expertise the nation’s highlights from north to south. It’s additionally an effective way to get probably the most out of the Jordan Move. 

Spend the primary two days mountaineering forested trails, wandering the Roman ruins and interesting with locals by means of immersive actions in Umm Qais and Jerash. Afterward, give your self not less than 24 hours in Amman to take a look at the traditional websites and array of artisan retailers and artwork galleries when you style your approach across the metropolis. Marvel on the preserved mosaics in Madaba (or e book a workshop and make your personal) en path to the Useless Sea. Keep in a single day with the intention to soak within the mineral-dense water, take pleasure in a spa therapy and relaxation up earlier than heading to southern Jordan. 

Take the King’s Freeway to Karak Citadel and benefit from the dusty desert scene in your option to Dana. Spend the night time to permit extra time to expertise the slower tempo, distinctive ecosystem, rugged terrain and Bedouin hospitality. E book a guided hike within the Dana Biosphere Reserve, the biggest nature reserve within the nation and probably the greatest locations to hike in Jordan. When you’re planning to remain at Feynan Ecolodge, you’ll be able to nonetheless make a facet journey to Karak Citadel when touring from the Useless Sea, however you’ll proceed on Route 65 to Feynan quite than King’s Freeway due to the lodge’s location.

Give your self a full day for trekking the paths and visiting the stone-carved tombs of Unesco-listed Petra earlier than persevering with on to Wadi Rum, the place you’ll be able to hike the dunes and in a single day in Bedouin camps. Cap your 10-day Jordan journey off with some underwater adventures within the seaside metropolis of Aqaba.

Earlier than you hit the highway…

Right here are some things to bear in mind if you’re taking a highway journey in Jordan:

  • Drive through the day. Some roads don’t have road lights, so it’s finest to drive within the daylight.
  • Use GPS. Some components of Jordan have restricted signage, and roads typically have a number of names or none in any respect. You may not all the time have a cell sign, so make sure the map app you utilize will work in case your cellphone is offline. 
  • Gasoline up. Though Jordan is a small nation, there are stretches of highway exterior the main cities the place chances are you’ll not discover many gasoline stations. Don’t neglect to journey with meals and water. Desert circumstances may be excessive, and if you happen to do have any automotive troubles, you don’t wish to be stranded with out provides.