A road trip through Jordan is a great introduction to the Middle East with varied sites and friendly locals. Don’t forget Petra, one of the world’s top sights.


We did a 12 day driving trip through Jordan in May of 2016. Highlights included the Roman city of Jerash, the Siq Trail in the Mujib Biosphere Reserve, floating in the Dead Sea, scuba diving in the Red Sea, a night in the Wadi Rum desert and of course hiking the trails of Petra.

While we did this trip north to south, in hindsight, with rising temperatures in May it may have been smarter to start the trip in Aqaba (about a 4 hour drive from Amman) and head north. Also, if you want to avoid the bustle of the capital city on arrival, departure or both, consider staying in Madaba instead. This smaller and more manageable city is only about a half an hour from Queen Alia International Airport.


Traveling Independently in Jordan

Tips and advice for the independent traveler.

Capital city of Amman

Amman, Jordan: Sleeping, Dining and other Logistics
Amman, Jordan: Lonely Planet Walking Tour
Tour includes the ancient sites of Amman and ends at a fabulous falafel place.


Roman City of Jerash
Large well preserved Roman city with hardly a tourist in sight.
Sleeping and Dining in Jerash
Ajloun Castle
A charming Islamic fortress about 45 minutes from Jerash.


Driving to Madaba via Mount Nebo
The famed pilgrimage site for views into the Promised Land.
Sleeping and Dining in Madaba
Madaba, Jordan: Lonely Planet Walking Tour
Madaba is known for its ancient mosaics and churches. It is also a great small city for experiencing the intermix of Christian and Muslim faiths.

Dead Sea

Chalet: Mujib Biosphere Reserve
Great location just above the sea and across from the reserve.
Floating on the Dead Sea
A true must if you haven’t experienced weightlessness floating on viscous water.
Siq Trail, Mujib Biosphere Reserve
The 2 hour wet hike up a canyon is an absolute blast.

Dead Sea to Karak Castle

A rambling crusader vintage ruin  of stone structures linked by stairways and tunnels.

Dana Biosphere Reserve

Sleeping in Dana Ancient Village
Cute stone village with great views overlooking the Wadi Dana.
Dana Biosphere Reserve: Hike to Feynan Ecolodge
A quiet 10k walk through a desert canyon landscape.
Feynan Ecolodge
A friendly ecolodge in the heart of the reserve.


We broke our visit to this huge complex into three parts, two mornings and one afternoon, to avoid the midday heat.

Planning a visit to Petra Part I
This first visit includes the classic entrance through the siq to the Treasury and the hike up to the Sacred High Place.
Planning a Visit to Petra Part II
This afternoon visit starts at the north entrance at Um Sayhoun and goes to the Monastery and the Royal Tombs, both better seen in the late afternoon light.
Planning a Visit to Petra Part III
This second morning visit climbs a self-guided trail to viewpoint overlooking the Treasury.
Sleeping and Dining in Petra


Diving in the Red Sea
The Gulf of Aqaba is a popular place for diving and snorkeling with wall, wreck and coral reef dive sites.
Sleeping and Dining in Aqaba

A Night in the Wadi Rum

Probably the prettiest desert landscape in Jordan, this region deserves an overnight if you have the time.