While the country’s often portrayed as a beacon of peace and tranquillity, there is plenty of excitement to be had on Jordan holidays. From canyoning the gushing waterfalls and narrow gorges of Wadi Mujib’s striking sandstone landscape to camping under the glittering desert sky, you might find a bit of relaxation makes a welcome change after all your adventures.
This corner of the Middle East boasts an otherworldly terrain that has captivated film makers and intrepid travellers alike. Its vast swathes of undeveloped desert are prime stargazing territory, while the protected reefs of Aqaba, Jordan’s sun-drenched city on the Red Sea, offer superb snorkelling, boating and bathing opportunities. Jordan is a land of contrasts – its world heritage sites provide an evocative window into prehistoric times, while the cosmopolitan capital, Amman, enjoys a buzzy vibe around the old citadel. Occupying a geographical and cultural crossroads means the soundscape is enriched with Syrian, Egyptian and Iraqi accents, while the cuisine is ripe with Levantine flavours.
Keen hikers can get a taste for these overlapping layers by following the Jordan Trail – a walking route stretching the entire length of the country. On the way you’ll encounter heaps of hospitality, dramatic desert views – and a camel or three. Holidays to Jordan are steeped in history and a trip here wouldn’t be complete without making like Indiana Jones and setting off for the ancient city of Petra. When you’re posing in front of its rose-hued temples, tiptoeing around its tombs and gaping at its hand-hewn facades, you’ll understand why it was named one of the Seven New Wonders of the World. With its unforgettable natural wonders and impressive archaeological sites, Jordan makes for an exciting alternative to the traditional ‘sea, sand and sun’ holiday – though you’ll be glad to hear it has all three in abundance.
Visit in spring to see the seemingly barren desert transformed by a carpet of colourful wild blooms. With milder temperatures, it’s the perfect season for planning outdoor adventures.
For three glorious summer weeks (usually mid-July to early August), the atmospheric ruins of Jerash and Amman are alive with a packed programme of opera, poetry, plays and concerts.
Diving in Aqaba’s protected waters is a must at this time of year, when warmer sea temperatures attract a shimmering kaleidoscope of marine life.
See Jordan by night
Set up camp on the rust-hued sand dunes of Wadi Rum and prepare to be dazzled by an uninterrupted canopy of twinkling stars.
Get your float on
For that winning holiday shot, wade into the turquoise waters of the Dead Sea with a book in hand. Its high salt concentration gives bathers a natural extra buoyancy.
For a spectacularly scenic history lesson, wander through this ancient city, whose caves, temples and tombs were carved out of the rose-tinted sandstone some 2000 years ago.