The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, which once captivated ancient travellers, continues to charm a whole new generation as a modern, vibrant nation. A well-travelled bridge between sea and desert, east and west, the Hashemite Kingdom is a land of mesmerizing beauty and contrasts, from the Jordan Valley, fertile, ever changing, to the remote desert canyons, immense and still. Visitors can explore splendid desert castles, gaze in awe at the haunting wilderness of Wadi Rum, or bathe in the restful waters of the Red Sea.
There is no mistaking the fact that Jordan is a Kingdom steeped in history and culture. From the moment you arrive, you get a sense of its rich heritage, all around are remnants of ancient civilizations long since past, yet they still remain, stamped into the very fabric of this amazing Kingdom and etched into the soul of the people who live there.
Activities & Entertainment
From the haunting, primeval starkness of Wadi Rum, to the teeming centre of urban Amman; from the brilliant blues of the coral-filled Gulf of Aqaba in the South; from the majestic ruins of bygone civilizations to the timeless splendour of the Dead Sea in the West, Jordan is unveiled as a unique destination offering breathtaking and mysterious sights, high standard accommodations, exquisite cuisine and countless activities that can provide visitors with inspiration, motivation, and rejuvenation. Ultimately it’s the sensual delights of daily life in the Middle East that you’ll hanker for longest after you return home; the bittersweet taste of cardamom coffee or the smell of a richly scented nargileh (water pipe); the intoxicating swirl of Arabic pop sliding out of an Amman doorway and the deafening silence of the desert.
City of Petra in the South is one of the major attractions of the Middle East. Walking through it in the early morning you can see the first rays of the sun shine on it, giving it the pink color it is so famous for. The Royal Tombs and The Monastery are further attractions in the imposing city and offer great views of the old city center. Moreover, the ancient Roman city of Jerash in the North is remarkably well reserved and worth seeing. The huge hippodrome for 15,000 visitors, the South Theater with amazing acoustics and the large Oval Plaza make the city a main attraction.
Outstanding family activities include Hashemite Square in Downtown Amman, Luna Park and Haya Cultural Center in Amman and the aquarium in Aqaba. The Jordan Valley is just a short drive away and easily accessible for day excursions for walking, hiking, riding, sports and much more. Amman’s ‘Waves Waterpark’ is a great place to chill out and have some fun – especially for children who are bored of shopping and visiting the sites. The park is large, ecologically-friendly and has plenty of shady areas. The lower level has wave pools, river rides and slides as well as fast food outlets for the kids. The upper level has a quieter pool and restaurant area.
Those interested in getting off the ground, in any of Jordan’s main resorts, should contact the Royal Aero Sports Club of Jordan, a highly professional organization that provides a range of flying activities including skydiving, micro-light flying, hot air ballooning & parachuting, as well as single engine flight training.
There’s plenty to do in Jordan after dark. Nightclubs throb to the beat of modern music, attracting the young fashionable crowds while the more traditional establishments offer Arabic music and dance. Many international restaurants also provide live entertainment.
The King Hussein National Park is located on the western outskirts of the capital city and is a great place to while away a few hours. Within the Park is The Cultural Village, which highlights Jordan’s heritage through its handicrafts and culture. The Centre includes studios for Arabic calligraphy, stone inscriptions, natural dyes and various other traditional crafts. The Park, which overlooks Amman, has outstanding themed gardens and an auditorium where various events and festivals regularly take place. It also has a large sports training facility, as well as a children’s playground, a children’s museum, medical clinic and restaurant.
Amman International Theater Festival (April): This annual festival is the only one in the Middle East and North Africa to be organised by an independent theatre company. Performances are mainly in Arabic and English. It aims to encourage alternatives to the present environment in which artists work in the Arab world, as well as increasing their exposure to a more global spectrum of artistic activity. The eight days of activities are made up with performances (from Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Swiss, Italy, Palestine, Jordan, Sweden, and Turkey), workshops and movie days.
Jordan International Rally (April): With a starting line amid the ruins of the stunning former Roman city of Jerash, the Jordan International Rally is set in and around the Jordan Valley, within the Rumman forests. It provides challenging routes both above and below sea level. The most easily accessible viewpoint to catch drivers testing their skills is at the Turki stage 1 and 4, located next to the main Dead Sea Highway, just 1km after the police checkpoint. There, providing you’re an early riser, you can see the spectacle of a high-speed approach to a U-bend, followed by fast acceleration.
Jerash Music Festival (July – August): Inaugurated in 1981 by Queen Noor Al Hussein and now part of the Noor Al Hussein Foundation cultural programs, the festival has become the premiere showcase for Jordanian performing artists, and an exciting meeting place for artists and the public at large from the four corners of the world. It showcases a wide array of singers, musical and folklore troupes, poetry readings, symphony orchestras, ballet, Shakespearean theatre, handicrafts, and art shows. Special acts and exhibitions cater to children, making the festival an attractive destination for the entire family.
Amman Stand-up Comedy Festival (December): The incredibly popular Amman Stand-Up Comedy Festival brings comedians from all around the Middle East, as well as the US, Australia and Canada to Jordan, for seven nights of Arab and international humour. Tickets sell out immediately. The week of laughs is divided into four sections, the International Show (two nights), the Arabic Speaking Comedy Night (two nights), the Arabian Night (one night) and the Closing Nights (last two nights). Each night features an average of six comedians, some well-known and some looking for their big break.
The first festival, produced by Arab-American stand-up comedian Dean Obeidallah in December 2008, was the first stand-up comedy festival in the history of the Middle East. It featured over 20 comedians and five sold-out shows.
Among the most popular things to buy in Jordan are the decorated sand bottles, sometimes with the most intricate designs done in the sand, with the aid of a knitting needle and a funnel. There are nice earthenware articles to buy (oil lamps, and the ubiquitous camels). The Arab “kefiyas” are popular: big cotton headscarves in black and white or red and white checked material. There is a big price range here, according to the quality of the material and especially of the decorative fringes. Some of these are done by hand.
There are many different kinds of jewellery available, from the beadwork done by the women and children of the bedouin, to marcasite silver. In Wadi Mousa there is a “silver factory” sponsored by the Queen Noor Foundation where a number of the local women work at making jewellery. The designs are simple but very nice.
A good deal of interest is shown in “narghilas” or water pipes. There is a most attractive shop in Aqaba where you can see a large choice of narghilas and which also sells ouds (the Arab lute). An interesting thing to look at are the dresses and skirts; the Palestinian embroidered ones. Thickly embroidered in cross-stitch on every side, these are invariably done by hand, dresses, skirts, waistcoats
Most of Jordan has a desert climate with little or no rainfall and summer temperatures soaring especially high in July and August, the hottest and driest months of the year with temperatures over 36°C. Amman and the Jordan Valley have more pleasant weather during spring and autumn, when days are sunny and temperatures moderate. During winter (December – February) the weather can be extremely cold, especially in Amman, accompanied by snow, rain and wind.
Type of Vacation
Spa & wellness
One Jordanian Dinar is around $ 1.4