Jordan: an underrated gem

Jordan: an underrated gem

Jordan, it seems to me, is one of the most underestimated countries by the Russian tourism industry. Judge for yourself: it has everything that its more popular and promoted neighbors – Israel and Egypt – have. This is the Red Sea, and monuments of the pre-Christian era, and the historical heritage of the Crusaders, and biblical places. And the nature here is simply amazing.

And if you haven’t been to Jordan yet and don’t know very much about it, then this note, I hope, will help you get your first impressions and, perhaps, make plans for your trip.

How to get there

You can only fly to the country with a transfer. The cost of a round-trip air ticket starts from 40,000 rubles. Tourists must take two PCR tests: the first 120 hours before departure, the second right at the airport after arrival. It is important that you must pay for the study before departure. If you are arriving at Amman airport, you can do this here. If your destination is Aqaba, here. You will also need insurance for the entire trip.

Where to stay

The choice of hotels here is quite wide, from budget guest houses to premium chains:

Tell Madaba Hotel – from 2100 rubles per night per person*;
Mövenpick Resort & Spa Dead Sea – from 12,100 rubles per night per person*.

What to see

Jordan is located in the north of the Arabian Peninsula and borders Israel, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. The territory of the state is small, but this is rather a plus: you can see many sights in a short time.

Despite the fact that Jordan is home to one of the Seven New Wonders of the World, Petra, and has access to the Red Sea, this is not what attracts most tourists. About 80% of travelers coming to the country (about a million people annually) choose this destination for medical tourism. It would seem, why on earth? After all, there is Israel, famous for its medicine… It’s all about the unique balneological resort on the shores of the Dead Sea, along which the border between the countries passes.

Jordan: an underrated gem

If you don’t need to come here for medicinal purposes, then it’s worth visiting this natural wonder of the world at least once and taking a dip in the saltiest lake on the planet, which is also located almost half a kilometer below sea level.

Not far from the resort area there is a picturesque canyon of the El Mujib River. Water, so rare in these places, makes its way through the rock mass, and the height difference of the river bed reaches more than a thousand meters, making possible the appearance of numerous cascades of waterfalls. There are interesting hiking routes in the canyon, some right along the riverbed, and some along it. But if you want to visit there, you should take care of purchasing a tour in advance – this is a national park with a low recreational load, and there is a daily limit of tourists.

Jordan: an underrated gem

When we talk about the nature of Jordan, then, not counting the Dead Sea, we mean its amazing deserts with truly unearthly landscapes. They occupy about 90% of the Kingdom’s area. The most famous, perhaps, is the rocky Wadi Rum, located near the seaside city of Aqaba. It was no coincidence that I used the word “unearthly” when describing the landscape, since the landscapes of this area really resemble another planet, and therefore are a favorite platform for location shooting of Mars. Judge for yourself, in this century alone, The Martian, Red Planet, Last Days on Mars and a couple of Star Wars episodes were filmed there. This place is also called the Moon Valley.

Jordan: an underrated gem

As mentioned at the beginning, Jordan is home to Petra. The ancient capital of the Nabataean kingdom, carved into the pink sandstone rocks of the Siq canyon, is the pearl of Jordanian tourism.  You probably saw this place in the films of the Transformers and Indiana Jones series. Local travel agencies offer one- and two-day tours. I would recommend two days to watch the night show at Al Khazneh (Treasury), which is the hallmark of the place, and have time to get to the remote but stunning Ad-Dair monastery.

Jordan: an underrated gem

Talking about Jordan, one cannot fail to mention its capital – Amman, which combines a modern atmosphere and ancient heritage. Over its thousand-year history, the city managed to be the capital of Semitic tribes, the home of the Nabateans, a Greco-Roman polis, a Byzantine and Arab trading center. It fell into disrepair and was revived thanks to the construction of the railway to Medina to facilitate logistics for pilgrims performing the Hajj. Stay here for a couple of days, taking a tour from an experienced guide. There are no problems with accommodation in this large city, and you will find where to stay. Personally, I like Saray Hotel Amman: the cost of a single room per night starts from 4100 rubles*.

Jordan: an underrated gem

Well, if you didn’t have enough antiquities in Amman, then just an hour’s drive away is the magnificent Jarash with a perfectly preserved complex of ancient ruins. Built by order of Alexander the Great, the city was part of the Decapolis, or Decapolis, as we usually call it. Time has preserved the walls of ancient temples, the elegant colonnades of the streets and forum, as well as the ancient hippodrome, where historical reconstructions of horse racing are still held.

Jordan: an underrated gem

When talking about Jordan, one cannot fail to mention another important type of tourism – pilgrimage. And the main object of the country for most Christians is, of course, Bethavara. According to archaeologists and historians, it was there that John the Baptist baptized Jesus Christ. Now it is difficult to accurately indicate the place where this happened, since since then the Jordan has changed the position of its channel several times. On the western (Israeli) side of the river there is also a place that is considered ancient Bethavara. Now the dispute about its location has acquired an economic and political nature, because it is a center of attraction for pilgrims and tourists from all over the world. This place, on the Jordanian side, is surrounded by the ruins of several dozen ancient temples, which means it has been revered for many centuries.

Jordan: an underrated gem

Photo: Harmony Video Production/

And the last thing. Regardless of the purpose of your trip, a couple of days of seaside holiday should be included in your program and relax after the sands and antiquity, basking in the azure waters of the Red Sea and drinking juice on a sun lounger. There is amazing diving, beautiful fringing coral reefs and very clear water, which is not surprising, because not a single river flows into the Red Sea.

Jordan: an underrated gem


*Prices valid at time of publication

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