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8 Nights in Jordan - 2022

I spent 8 nights in Jordan mid April. I am finding I have way too much to say…. sorry. It was a good trip. :)

Arrival from Dubai, where I had spent 11 nights, at 4pm on Emirates.
Holiday Inn Dead Sea Resort: 2 nights
Wadi Rum, at the Sun City Camp: 1 nights
Wadi Musa for Petra, at the Venus Moon Hotel: 2 nights
Amman, at the Y Hotel: 3 nights

I booked all hotels on booking.com for easy cancellation just in case. I actually did have to re-schedule this trip from Feb. to Apr., so that came in handy. With a morning arrival, I might have done this in a different order.

I planned the trip in the order I wanted, booked my own hotels, then found a driver and asked for a quote for transportation between cities. The route is pretty standard but I did not include Aqaba. I wish I had, but only because it is another face of Jordan I didn’t see and I most likely won’t be back. Otherwise, the timing felt good.

Monday, Arrival: By the time, I landed, retrieved my checked suitcase, got a bit of cash, and got a SIM card for my phone (more on these later), it was 5:00. With an hour’s drive ahead, the potential stop at Mt. Nebo was cut for this day and we just went straight to the hotel.

Tuesday, Dead Sea: Yes, I wanted to float in the Dead Sea - lol! The hotels with beach access all looked like resorts (although there is public access in various places). I opted for one of the less expensive hotels. The room and facilities were very nice, There were several nice swimming pools, as well as reserved beach access for the Dead Sea with loungers and showers to wash all that salt off. And mud! Yes, dip out that Dead Sea mud full of minerals (from the bucket waiting on you) and slather it on, let it dry a bit, then float on in and wash it off. Ha!

Be aware that unless you have a car, it is pretty much impossible to have dinner elsewhere. I thought meals were the weak point at the Holiday Inn. Both breakfast and dinner are a buffet and while there were a large number of selections, it was nothing special. There were quite a few families here and the buffet meals seemed to be geared toward them. Coffee was not hot, which kills breakfast for me. Ha!

I spent a day here just doing nothing - either on the beach or at the pool. There were definitely areas I could have gone to but for me this was a relax day.

Wednesday, Wadi Rum: My driver picked me up at 10 and we headed down the edge of the Dead Sea, which is looong, to the desert of Wadi Rum. This drive was about 4 hours, through flat desert until you turn inland and begin to hit the mountains.

Wadi Rum is a national preserve, with lots of small “camps” of various sizes and amenities. If you have seen “The Martian”, this is where parts of it were filmed, as well as being where Lawrence of Arabia actually lived. I visited Lawrence Canyon.

I conservatively chose Sun City Camp. My “tent” had air conditioning and a nice bathroom, with maybe 25 tents and some “domes”. Some camps are much smaller and more basic. All provide dinner of some size, as well as breakfast. This was a great camp, great traditional food, hospitable, and it was within the boundaries of the reserve (not all camps are). If I were to go back, I might be more adventurous and stay further in and further from other camps.

Wadi Rum reminded me a bit of Arches NP: all sand and outcrops of tall rock in many formations, randomly jutting out of the ground. The camps (and tours/activities) are run by Bedouin families who lived here before it became a national reserve. If you hike, then another night might be in order.

Cont.

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Typically tourists do a 2 hr Jeep tour of various desert locations and a 1 hr camel ride. My Jeep (which is really 2 benches in the back of a small pick up) tour was a sunset (5-7pm) tour but there is also an afternoon and a sunrise option. It took me to (among other stops) a Martian filming location, rocks in the shape of a profile, Lawrence Canyon for a cup of tea, a stop at 2,000 year old rock drawings, and a stop to watch the sun set over the mountain. Back at camp, there was a huge dinner feast - part of which was the meats and vegetables roasted all day underground Bedouin-style. There were lots of groups and as a solo traveler, I had to figure out where to sit. I saw a table with a couple about my age and asked if it was ok to sit there. They turned out to be from just south of SF, so East Bay Group, I felt right at home! It was a really lovely meal!

Thursday: I took my camel ride the next morning after breakfast (wonderful coffee….). Same principal as riding a horse, except you need more balance when it stands and sits - no stirrups. Then it was off for the 1.5 hr drive to Petra!

The Venus Moon is a small simple hotel just uphill from the entrance to the Visitor Center, a 3-5 min. walk. I would not hesitate to stay here again. :) After I settled in and rested a bit, I went to see Little Petra. It is a site about a 20 min drive behind the main Petra site. It is free and similar to Petra on a much smaller scale. It took me about an hour to wander through. By the time we got back to town, it was 5:00 and I was hungry. My driver dropped me off in the main street closest to the hotel and I got dinner and walked back.

At 8:00 I headed over to the Visitor Center for “Petra By Night” - a walk in the dark with 250 others (or more - no limits) to the Treasury, where the area is lit by candlelight, you sit in the sand, are served tea, and then listen to about 30 min. of traditional music. The sight of the Treasury lit by rows and rows of candles was pretty magical. The problem is that you then have to walk back in the dark. Ha! I guess it was nearly a mile each way. This only takes place 3 nights a week, costs 17JD, and isn’t included in the day ticket or Jordan Pass (but you must have one or the other in order to get the Petra by Night ticket).

Friday, Petra: I don’t even know how to describe a day in Petra. It was magnificent, ancient, almost overwhelming, somewhat chaotic and wonderful. This was a top tier bucket list site for me and it did not disappoint.

Details, though. Visitors to Petra are still down by at least 75%, my driver said. No Russians and not many Americans. And Covid was hard on everyone. Part of what that means now is that there are fewer tourists to go around to the normal Bedouins who want to show you something, take you to a special place, sell you a bracelet, necklace, scarf, CD, or postcards, tell you about their cousin in Chicago, or take you on a donkey or camel or horse ride. They are charming, personable, interesting, conversational, and consummate salespeople. I relaxed with it and enjoyed it. :) They did not mind at all asking for a tip nor looking at you with sad eyes if they thought you should tip more. So it pays to do your research. If one wants to help you up to a higher viewpoint and says 10JD, afterwards it will be 10JD plus a tip. 🤣 If the horse ride is included, it is “included plus a tip of 5 JD” with sad eyes if it isn’t more. But always the utmost politeness, thoughtfulness, charm, and graciousness. I couldn’t help but love it even when they had relieved me of a sizable amount of (negotiated way down) cash by the end of the day.

I did not see everything - I simply couldn’t. But it was a marvelous day.

After a rest and a shower (just think sand everywhere), I walked over and had dinner at the Cave Bar. It is near the Visitor’s Center and is in a real Nabatean tomb turned into a tiny bar/restaurant. Maybe a touch macabre, but so cool!

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Saturday, Madaba & Mt Nebo: Goodby Petra and on to Amman. On the way, my driver took a detour and drove me on tiny mountain roads to go by Shobak Castle, a Crusader Castle built in the 1100’s. You can’t go in (at least not right now) but the drive through the mountain backroads, past herds of goats and through villages no longer lived in, was breathtaking. We drove past the “smallest hotel in the world”. It’s officially on Google Maps as such - lol!
It is a Volkswagon Beetle with a bed inside, facing the castle. The owner really does rent it out - he was standing outside his house and welcomed me to Jordan. ❤️

From there, it was on to Madaba for many many mosaics and churches. Chani told me about some, but my driver knew them all and I saw them all: Madaba Archeological Museum, The Apostles Church, the Archeological Park of Madaba (Virgin Mary Church), Church of the Martyrs, and St George’s Church. At The Apostles Church, I was looking from one end and the man in charge walked over, with no words took my phone, and walked all over the small site taking pictures that were in areas too far away for me to see and that visitors can’t get to. Then he explained some of them. How do you even say thank you well enough for such kindness?

From Madaba, I went to Mt. Nebo and stood looking out from where Moses looked. The church on site also has beautiful mosaics and was a serene and cool place to just sit for a bit.

In Amman, the Y Hotel is another small, very simple place in a good area. Just 2 blocks from it is Fakhreldin Restaurant, a great restaurant that I was immediately informed is one of the best (and apparently the king has eaten there) - and after eating there on Monday night, I have to concur. It looked like just another old concrete building from the outside but once you walk in, it is gorgeous. I had an Iftar dinner there so can’t speak to the regular menu but it was probably the best one I had on this trip.

Sunday, Day trip to Umm Qais, Ajloun Castle, & Jerash: I didn’t have Umm Qais (up almost on the border of Jordan and Syria - saw Syria around the corner) on my radar till both drivers told me I should go and that it would fit. And I am so glad I went. While the site itself is plenty interesting, what I saw on the drive was a whole different Jordan - trees, green mountains, wildflowers. This scenery really made it a memorable day for me.

Ajloun Castle is worthy of a stop if you like old castles - I guess I spent a little less than an hour here. And walked it all. And Jerash for sure. By this point my legs were really tired so I walked most of it but not quite all - there is a lot. If I try to come up with a comparison, I would say similar to a split between the Roman Forum and Delphi. There is a Hadrian’s Arch on either end, a theater, the Temple of Artemis, Temple of Zeus, and a long street of former merchant shops with plenty of columns.

We drove back roads between the three stops (on purpose because I like them) so I saw small towns, villages, sheep, goats, shepherds, forests, orchards, fields, markets, flowers…. Got back to Amman about 4:00 - left at 8am.

Monday, Amman: went to a drive through testing site for my test to return home. I got a PCR - and was asked for a PCR test result twice at the airport Tuesday. I am sure an antigen would have worked but glad I didn’t have to talk through distinctions. The clinic emailed the result in several hours.

Then I stopped at the Jordan Museum. It is fairly small, well done with good signage, and I spent about an hour there. They do have Dead Sea Scroll fragments - that was a bonus sight! Then it was up to the Citadel. The absolute best thing about it are the views of Amman, spread over the hills surrounding the Citadel. I saw the Roman Temple of Hercules, the remains of a giant hand (and elbow) thought to be from a statue of Hercules, and walked as far as Umayyad Palace (an old, domed palace).

Cont.

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Amman itself is large and very hilly. And crowded. Although I didn’t visit a lot of places, every time I got in the car, we took a detour so I could see somewhere different (none of which I planned): the old city, the U.S. embassy, the expensive houses nearby, the new shopping mall built by a Lebanese businessman, the hotel Gaddafi used to own, etc. So I feel like I saw a lot of Amman - just from the car. I am sure I could have moved around Amman more cheaply than I did - but I took the easy way out. Lol. If you are fit and good with ups and downs, you could do a lot of walking here.

Geography: I should have done better research…. I had no idea how mountainous Jordan is. While they aren’t massively tall, they are significant - and they run all up and down the length of the country.

Cash: Jordan is very much a cash culture still. Two of my 3 hotels took my credit card. 3 restaurants and one gift shop. Otherwise it was cash. My driver also preferred to be paid in cash. ATMs only let me take out 200 or 250JD per transaction (I did not try two transactions in a row). So I went to the ATM frequently to stock up.

Phone: I was not able to buy an eSim ahead of time - I am fairly certain this couldn’t be done. Orange has eSims available and I could have gotten one at the airport when I arrived, but basically we were hurrying and Orange had a long line that was moving slowly. I ended up with an Umniah physical sim that worked for my entire week and it was cheaper and faster.

Tourism: Is coming back but is far from back yet. So all of you headed that way will be very welcomed! I saw few tour busses and only felt crowded one time (at a rest stop).

Ramadan: Ramadan was an interesting time to visit. The biggest impact for me (other than just being conscious of eating or drinking in front of people was that restaurants sometimes didn’t open till 7 or 7:30. And some of the sites closed at 3:00. It was just something to be aware of - but didn’t make any difference to my plan.

Tips: Tipping is a happening thing. Expect to tip.

Toilets: Another spray and don’t flush the toilet paper system, but Western style.

Guides: There were licensed guides available everywhere I went. No need to find one ahead of time. Either there was a place to find one right near the ticket window - or a guide himself would be waiting there. I did not use any but I did listen to some as I walked through the sites and they all seemed interesting, knowledgeable, and understandable.

Jordan Pass: This is the way to go if you plan to visit Petra. It covers the cost of your visa upon arrival and most historical sites in Jordan. You can buy it with either 1 day or 2 day entrance to Petra. Buy it online ahead of time and then go through the correct line upon arrival - it’s well-signed.

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Transportation: No trains and few busses. The bus company that does longer routes is private. I was told it was a problem because they might make schedules but not necessarily stick to them. In Amman, Uber, Careem (like Uber and what I used in Dubai), and regular taxis are available with taxis everywhere. If you are in a busy area, just hailing a taxi on the street is good. Make sure they turn their meter on. Sometimes they might charge a few JD more but will say so before you start.

However, for the first time ever (except to and from an airport) I hired a driver. This is common in Jordan. I did not want someone setting up a tour schedule for me - I needed flexibility. However I knew when I needed to change towns, found a couple of names (with recommendations), emailed for quotes, and set up the trip as far as arriving in Amman. Hotels will also set this up for you apparently, but they charge a commission for this which results in a higher cost. I got a quote from my first hotel, the Holiday Inn Dead Sea Resort and it was WAY higher than the individual quotes. This was also by far the most expensive part of the trip, which makes sense. However, it played a huge part in the excellent trip I had.

I hired a driver based in the south, whose colleague is based on Amman. Between the 2 of them, they cover the country. (Before Covid, the guy in the south actually had 10 drivers working with/for him.) They were both knowledgeable and reliable. As I mentioned, by the time I got to Amman, I decided this was the way to go as far as finishing my trip. Happy to pm name and contact info.

Several people advised me not to drive myself and they were correct. I could probably have done the highways but not in or near any town, village or city….. Lanes are a mere suggestion. There are almost no fences by any road or highway, with plenty of sheep, goats, and dogs roaming nearby. And camels. We only had a near miss with a sheep - not a camel - but I asked and it’s a danger. Like deer in Texas at dusk.

Male society? At the very end of my trip, I realized I had interacted with very few females from Jordan (as opposed to female tourists I met and talked to). A few girls worked in one shop I went to and a couple of Bedouin girls were at Petra. But otherwise, men dominated the work scene.

People: They were unfailingly helpful, kind, and polite. So many times I was asked where I was from - and always told “Welcome to Jordan!” In spite of so much being different, this made it an easy place to “be”.

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Great report. Since I am going next March I am interested. How much is a driver for a day? How many days more could you have filled up easily? How was the RJ flight to O’Hare?

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9706 posts

Wow!!! Terrific report! What a terrific time you had.

What were the temps like?

Thanks so much for writing this all up!

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1286 posts

Great report, enjoyed reading it, but I might be a tiny bit jealous:) What an adventure!!

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Thanks, @Valerie! As you know, it’s pretty interesting!

@ Carol, thank you! And I bet you two would really enjoy it!

@travellingwithtroy, there were 3 companies in a row right outside arrivals. Orange, Umniah, and the third I can’t remember. I paid 10JD ($14), using my cc. Validity was 10 days for 30 GB, 100 local minutes, and 20 international minutes. I am pretty sure you could add more time at the end of your 10 days by setting up an account online, but I didn’t need to do that. It was the cheapest company and I had service everywhere. And since you are going soon, be aware that masks are really not a thing anymore. You do see restaurant employees with them but many are a half-hearted use. Even at the airport, it was hit or miss as far as what we consider effective use. I think vaccination was required in order to begin working again after their shut down, so I got the sense those numbers are good. I have had my shots and first booster, so I just gave up Covid thinking for the week. If I had needed to stay, my hotel would have been a great option for me and I have insurance.

@Pam, evenings and mornings were gloriously cool. Afternoons got warm but not Texas summer heat warm. Lol! It will definitely be hotter in May. But with altitudes, even in the desert it wasn’t too bad in the afternoons. I wouldn’t want to go in summer, though.

@Tom, the RJ flight in business was exactly like you have researched. It was very nice, comfortable. On my flight, there were several seats of the 24 that were empty, with one being next to me! So I didn’t face the challenge of either having to crawl over a sleeping or relaxed person or having them crawl over me. That wouldn’t have been very fun. As it was, it was very nice - but not Q-Suite nice. An slight added advantage of flying business was the expedited separate entrance to security and immigration as you are departing. The lounge was no huge deal, although the freshly squeezed oj and good coffee was a plus. There was a second security check at the gate - exactly like the first one only more people! I got there an hour early like the info said to and started to get nervous! However they had expedited entrance for business there as well - just no sign, so I stood in line for 20 min. (not getting far) first.

I was happy with my 2 full days in Amman. But by this point in my 3 weeks, I was beginning to feel like moving more slowly. Ha! The trip up north was a total winner for me. I feel like you could spend a additional day just exploring the old city area, but I didn’t. If you are considering Petra also, and I can’t imagine going to Jordan and not, you need to stay there for a night or two.

For driver cost, I will PM you more specifics, but I didn’t pay by day, I paid by segment (or trip).

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What a great report! Loved all the detail, it took me back to my own trip a number of years ago.

At the very end of my trip, I realized I had interacted with very few females from Jordan (as opposed to female tourists I met and talked to).

Yes, so true unless you have some Arabic. In many Mideast and traditional cultures I’ve found that Western women travelers are treated more like “honorary men”.

But your report reminded me of my day at Jerash. I arrived just as two school buses of middle school aged girls arrived with their teachers. All of the girls were learning English and the teachers politely asked if the girls could speak to me. So I toured Jerash with the girls!

By the way, did you find the Syrian diaspora still noticeable in the Amman area? Several of my favorite restaurants, ice cream shops, and bakeries were transplants from Damascus.

Thank you for posting!

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14908 posts

Thank you for the extensive report. I loved reading the details, which brought back many great memories. I am very glad you got to see so many of the wonderful mosaics.

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1728 posts

Wow! I have never been to Jordon and I can’t say it is on my radar screen. I was so impressed by how you navigated the country and enjoyed all the details you provided about what you saw.

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This has made me so excited for our trip next Spring! I would love to know your driver details if you're willing to share--my husband and I are currently in the process of getting a couple of quotes. :)

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@Chani, and I am so happy you mentioned them! And Jerash. I admit the first focus of my trip was Petra, but I could have enjoyed another day in Madaba just to wander the streets and am so happy to have seen what I did. And you are right about Jerash - also amazing.

@BethFL, same here! Except I have wanted to see Petra for years and never thought I would. So when I was able to go see my daughter in Dubai, it was a no brainer to add a stop in Jordan. When you are already that far….. :)

@Barbara, I love your story about touring Jerash with the schoolgirls! What a memory forever! One of my favorite moments was when I sat down on a rock near the Treasury to rest before the walk to leave - and of,course, it took about 3 minutes till one of the little boys selling postcards stopped. He was hot and tired, though, and basically just came to sit by me in the shade - and soon two more younger ones wandered up. We all sat in the shade for about 10 minutes with few words between us, but they loved touching the phone screen for selfies (I ended up with about 30 - ha!). I have a precious one with the youngest wearing my Croatia sunglasses. :)

Other than meeting a young man at Jerash from Syria (I have a lovely necklace to remind me of him. He said he had been in Jordan about 6 years), I did not come across refugees but I would have needed someone to point that out. My driver did show me a couple of areas that he said began as Palestinian refugee camps - and that have over the years changed from tents to regular housing complexes and shops. I had not known much about the Jordanian-Palestinian connections.

@Rachel, PM coming!
Maybe…. Right now I can’t get it to send.

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7696 posts

What a difference COVID has made. We left Jordan for US on Jan.20,2020. Nothing was crowded but there were groups of Chinese tourists from time to time. Very cold, wore down coat and gloves. This was one of our favorite trips which was combined with Egypt. Thanks for your report which I enjoyed tremendously!

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290 posts

Yo TM, glad that your trip to Jordan went so well. And it was great to see how you organized the text sections in your TR. It was a nice mix of personal reportage with logistical advice. Sometimes TRs don't get that mix right. Your comparison with Arches Park was very astute.
Where to next?
I am done. the sands

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1804 posts

@Suki, isn’t that the truth! January 2020…. You were in Jordan and I was in Milan. A lifetime ago. And I was going to have to be prepared for cold when I thought I would be taking this trip in Feb. I met a lady at baggage claim in Chicago on my way home who was returning from a combined Egypt/Jordan tour.

@gregglamarsh, thank you! I always think I have too much to say after a trip and my reports get too long. Lol. Off to Scotland in July for 5 weeks - it’s my cancelled 2020 and cancelled 2021 trip. :)

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Thanks for your report Travelmom. Much appreciated.

You've done what I didn't think was possible. I'm pretty new to Traveling, only two RS tours in Europe, so I hadn't thought of Middle East locations (for various reasons). You've changed that for me with your wonderful report.

Jordan is now on the "possible" list. Thanks again.

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3658 posts

I hadn't thought of Middle East locations (for various reasons)

Jordan has an excellent reputation and I think is a stand out in the Middle East. At least I hope so. After visiting Morocco I swore I would never visit an Arab country again, I even bristled at hearing the language afterwards (PTSD), but I decided Jordan had a good enough reputation to take the plunge with another one next year.

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Well, I guess I should include a disclaimer at the beginning of my reports that I have never had a trip I didn’t enjoy….. I do tend to like everywhere. LOL!

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Travelmom, I'm enjoying your trip report. I'm heading there in September and am staying in the same tent camp. I booked a Q suite home as well. Really looking forward to this trip.

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@travelmom your report is so incredibly helpful. I'm going to Amman from Paphos (one way ticket) in a couple of weeks and I still have no idea how to plan my time in the country and when to get the return ticket. Cyprus is just an hour away with plenty of flights on low cost airlines, but still need to make a decision soon!

If you had to cut anything for a shorter stay, what would it be? And did you get any info on crossing over to Israel?

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Oooh, thank and and hard questions, Beatrice! First, I did no research whatsoever on crossing in to Israel, because I knew there was no possibility that I would try.

Second, what to cut. That is really hard. Time I absolutely would NOT cut was any of my time in Petra and my day trip to UmmQais, Jerash, & Ajloun Castle. Next in line of enjoyment for me was probably my night in Wadi Rum. And I really liked seeing the many faces on Amman but I did that slowly over 3 nights, so you could conceivably pack it in to 2 nights, depending on how your times played out. But I would have had to cut my full day of stops in Madaba and Mt. Nebo to get to Amman in time to cut a night - and I wouldn’t want to but I can see this day might not be of interest to everyone. The Dead Sea was a really fun experience and I am so glad I stayed there - and had a reason for 2 nights there, but if I had to pick a place to trim down, it might be there. But I would not want to trim anywhere…. Lol!

The only other consideration is that is will most likely be pretty hot by the time you arrive. And depending on your arrival time, you might do things in a different order than I did. I based mine on my late afternoon arrival.

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2173 posts

Oh just reading this now, missed it before. I would love to do a similar trip, perhaps someday when we do Israel. Thanks for the great report and see you via zoom on Saturday!

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1804 posts

Tammy, location-wise, Jordan goes well with Israel. Hopefully when you go, you will have plenty of time to do both countries justice. :) I suspect I might want more than 8 nights in Israel.

Looking forward to all the familiar faces Saturday!

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14908 posts

It's pretty easy to use the land borders between Jordan and Israel. There are 3 border crossings. Aqaba/Eilat is the most frequently used by tourists, especially because it's closer to Petra and almost next to the Gulf of Aqaba/Eilat, 2 big tourist draws. There are also flights between Amman and Tel Aviv.

A week is a short time to visit Israel.

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3658 posts

Since I have researched this and the result is unexpected, here is info about the land crossings to Jordan and visas:

https://jordantrail.org/arriving-in-jordan/#:~:text=If%20arriving%20in%20Aqaba%2C%20your,leave%20through%20a%20different%20border

The Jordan visa must be obtained in advance at the middle crossing, can be bought on arrival at the northern crossing, and is free at the southern crossing (if one stays overnight and returns back to Israel at this crossing). If one buys the Jordan Pass in advance the visa fee is included and generally works out to be free.

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@Tom, Yes, the different visa rules for Jordan are interesting. If you arrive where you don’t have to pay for the visa, it makes the Jordan Pass less of a bargain.

@Chani, yes, with no real research or plan yet, I am afraid I would need a good 2 weeks in Israel just as a start. Maybe more. I think only having a week would give me heartburn. 😂 . Hopefully I will get there some day.

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5 posts

Thanks for the great trip report! It was very thorough and helpful. We have an Egypt river cruise planned for the next Feb and our travel agent has really been pushing for us to extend the trip to include Jordan. I really want to go but my husband is really hesitant. Did you ever feel unsafe during your trip?

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2258 posts

Great report, Travelmom. Thanks for taking the time to write it. I was scheduled to take a tour in Israel in April 2020. Still hope to get there some day. It sounds like Jordan would be a great add-on, but I think it’s going to be tough to talk my husband into it. At least you’ve given me some ammunition!

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1804 posts

Thanks, kcbeachgal and Carroll!

First, I never felt unsafe. I am sure - just like anywhere - there are places that are potentially unsafe, but they would not be anywhere a tourist would be wandering. I walked back at night from a couple of restaurants near my hotel in Amman and the worst I worried about was catching my toe on uneven pavement and stumbling. :) No whiff of pickpockets - I mean, you don’t even come across warnings of such. I did read a caution to be sure, as a solo female (even an older one) to keep my interactions on an purely friendly level. But I personally had no problems whatsoever. And with a partner in tow, even that would not be a thought.

With a driver, Jordan was such an easy country to visit. I like to be in charge of my own schedule - if I walked too much the day before, I don’t want someone scheduling me to be up early the next day or I “can’t go”. I want that to be my decision. I also like to choose the mix of hotels that I like. A tour is not bad at all - it just isn’t my preferred way to travel.

I haven’t been to Egypt but some here have. You might consider how long you will be gone, time of year, etc. I get the sense Egypt can be intense. Feb. in Jordan can still be chilly, I read. So you would have to pack accordingly. I think a lot of people pair Jordan and Israel. I couldn’t because I needed to pair it with Dubai and didn’t have the time following that I would want for Israel. But it’s such a flight time commitment that it makes total sense to pair it with another destination. It deserves a week. :)

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58 posts

What an incredible trip and report. Jordan has long been near the top of a travel bucket list for me. It was great to read your report and I have learned much from it.

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1804 posts

Thank you, daisycan210! Petra was kind of a bucket list place for me, too, and the rest of the country was a wonderful surprise. I hope you get there!

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32 posts

So we just got back from the Jordan/Cyprus/Bulgaria trip and the Jordan part was everything we heard from you it was going to be. Amazing food, welcoming people and incredible sites. The only place where temperature was an issue was Aqaba - 40C - all the others were a little toasty but doable. We drove ourselves everywhere and had no problems finding the places we wanted to see. Road signs were a bit confusing and we ended up with a speeding ticket but that was the only hiccup. Highly recommend it!

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3658 posts

We drove ourselves everywhere

Was an International Driving Permit required in addition to your license?

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1804 posts

Beatrice, thank you and I am so glad you had a great trip!

And I want to know all about Bulgaria (and driving there) since that may be fall 2023 for me!

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@Tom_MN for some weird reason we always get stopped everywhere we go, I lost count of how many highway patrol officers felt the need to pull us over even when we were complying with all the rules. This was the first time we actually got a ticket, but the officer was very nice about it. He had an app that translated everything, he wanted to make sure we understood what the problem was (speeding). As for the DL the only time we bothered with an international permit was in Greece because so many ppl insisted on it but frankly today we just take our EU license everywhere and hope for the best.

@TexasTravelmom we only had time for Sofia, Rila and Plovdiv, next time will make sure to hit more of the countryside and Serbia. Car rental was super cheap btw.