Our 8 day Jordan road trip itinerary

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1 – Amman

Day 2 – Jerash day trip from Amman

Day 3 – Amman – Madaba – Kerak – Petra

Day 4 – Petra

Day 5 – Petra

Day 6 – Petra – Wadi Rum

Day 7 – Wadi Rum – Aqaba – Dead Sea

Day 8 – Dead Sea – Amman


Day 1 – Amman

We flew in late at night to Amman on the earlier day and proceeded straight to our hotel after getting the rental car from the airport. After a lazy morning, we went to:

Amman Citadel – One of the main attractions in Amman. Located on the highest hill in the city, it is mainly known for ‘The Temple of Hercules’. It also boasts a view of the city and the ancient amphitheater too. The site is big so you can easily spend around half a day here.

Entrance fee – 3JD, free with the Jordan Pass

Royal Automobile Museum – With over 70 classic cars and motorbikes owned by the former royalty. If you love cars, we cannot recommend you enough to visit this museum. You can also spot the cool Martian Rover from the film, ‘The Martian’, on display along with many others from the movie.

Entrance fee – 10JD, not included in Jordan Pass

Roman Theatre – Located in the center of Amman, this is an amphitheater on the foothills of another hill opposite the Aman Citadel. You may also visit the Museum of Popular Traditions, where traditional Bedouin clothing, jewellery, etc. are on display.

Entrance fee – 2JD, free with Jordan Pass

Local Market – We believe the best place to know about the culture of the country is to go where the locals go, like the markets. The site around the Citadel is a bustling local market, where we strolled around and bought some souvenirs. It was very much safe even in the evening, but as always, we recommend respecting the local traditions and using your common sense.

Day 2 – Day trip to Jerash

Located on the northern side of Amman, Jerash is one of the most well-preserved the Greco-Roman City of Jerash. Only a 45-minute ride from the capital, it is the second most visited site in the country after Petra. Visiting this site will require almost a full day of yours. We visited only up to the main Temple of Artemis. The site is huge so if you don’t wander too much around, a day trip will suffice. The ticket office is accessible after passing through a small hall that hosts numerous souvenir shops.

Entrance fee – 10 JD, free with Jordan Pass

Day 3 – Enroute Petra

To reach Petra, we took the historical King’s Highway. It is one of the most scenic routes which passes through the length of the country and connects many historic sites of Jordan like Madaba, Kerak Castle. The other option, the Desert Highway, is faster but also more prone to traffic (and boring of course 😛 ). It is majorly used by freight movers and locals alike.

Madaba – Known for the famous mosaic map of the Palestine region on the floor of St. George Church. A quick stop is sufficient if you don’t book a guided tour (20 JD).

Entrance fee – 2 JD, not included with Jordan pass.

Mujib Panoramic Viewpoint – This spot gives the best view of the U-pin turns of the King’s Highway and the golden hill range around.

Entrance fee – Free

Kerak Castle – Built on top of a ridge, this castle gives some great views of the town.

Entrance fee – 5 JD, free with Jordan pass.

We will suggest to check out your hotel early and get on the road in time if you plan to visit even a minimum of the sites of Madaba and Kerak, and if you plan to take the King’s Highway, we are very sure you are going to stop multiple times to take pictures or to admire the views. If you time it well, you can also experience the sunset at Dana Bio Reserve viewpoint.

Day 4 – Petra

Plan to stay at least two nights in Petra, or be ready to miss some real astonishing experiences this historical town has to show.

This place doesn’t need much of an introduction (or we hope so). One of the ‘7 Wonders of The World’, but thanks to Instagram, that made this site more so ever popular amongst travelers. We will suggest starting early to skip the peak crowd of the day tours (generally around 12 pm) and wait till the sun gets a little low to see the true beauty of Petra. 

The site is huge and starts with a 15 min walk from the visitor’s office to Siq, a gorge passage that leads to the treasury which is another attraction in itself. At the end of the Siq is the Treasury. After this, you may visit the sites beyond the Treasury like the Royal Tombs, the Theatre, the High Place of Sacrifice, etc. And if you are good at hiking, you may also visit Al Deir, the Monastery, which is a challenge in itself and is only allowed with a guide. We explored till the Royal Tombs as we got dead tired and wanted to save our energy for Petra by the Night.

Entrance fee – 50 JD, free with Jordan Pass.

💡 Quick tips:

  1. Carry water, snacks, sunscreens, hats and wear hiking boots and comfortable clothes. The terrain can get rough at most places. 
  2. Do not encourage child labour – you will see many children at the site talking in fluent English and trying to help with pictures, viewpoints, etc. in exchange for money and food. If you end up taking their idea, suggest you to repay with food, mementos, etc. rather than money.
  3. You may notice many bedouins around the site. Many of them still live in the caves of the sites, kindly refrain from any unnecessary exchange of information. They may offer to take you to viewpoints in exchange for 5 JD per person or more. If you go, stay along the trail they show you.
  4. Guided tours are also available, but expensive.
  5. If you wish to take the horse ride to the entrance of the Siq, the price of the ride is included in your ticket. The caretakers will take you for a ‘tip’ which is better to be agreed before getting on the horse.

Day 5 – Petra

Little Petra – Visit Little Petra on your second day in the town. It is a smaller and quieter version of the main Petra. A 15 min drive from Petra town, this site is a must-visit if your time allows. It won’t take much of your time, we promise, until you decide to hike further to the viewpoints. Also, the drive to Little Petra is amazing, with the views of the mountains. We took the road to Little Petra again to watch the sunset, which was an amazing experience.

Entrance – Free

Petra by the Night – as it says, you get to see the Treasury lit up by the candlelights during night time. It only runs on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, so you might have to plan your visit to Petra accordingly if you wish to enjoy Petra by the Night, which we highly recommend you do. The Siq is also lit up with candlelights and the night sky with stars as many as you can see. Leave early towards the opening time as it gets crowded very easily and you might not want to enjoy the small shows and the view standing behind the seated crowd on the ground.

Entrance fee– 17 JD, not included in Jordan pass

💡 Quick tips: 

  1. You cannot visit Petra during the night only. You need a day ticket to purchase the ticket for Petra by the Night.
  2. Leave with the crowd and do not stay behind. The site is rarely lit up electronically at one or two stops, and you wouldn’t want to get lost.
  3. Wear hiking boots.
  4. Keep your phones charged considering you may need to use the torch or carry a handy torch if you want.

Day 6 – Wadi Rum

Take the King’s Highway to reach the next most famous destination in Jordan, the Mars on Earth – Wadi Rum, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The route has many photo points like the Petra viewpoint, Petra panoramic viewpoint, windmills, etc. You can plan your departure from your last stay on the basis of your Wadi Rum 4×4 Jeep Tour. There are options ranging from 2 hours, 4 hours, and 6 hours, all ending with the sunset viewpoint. We went for the 4-hour drive and saw the majority of the points of the area like the Mushroom Rock, The Bridge, including spots from the movies Lawrence of Arabia and The Martian. But we must confess, we were in total awe of this natural wonder beyond its famous stops.

Spend one night in the Martian Tent (or the bubble tent) to truly enjoy this place. Most of the stays offer half-board deals (breakfast and dinner). Depending on the weather, you may also get the chance to experience the star-gazing or local show around the campfire during your stay.

You may also depart Wadi Rum after your drive and stay at Aqaba, instead of spending the night in Wadi Rum. However, we highly recommend staying in Wadi Rum. 

Entrance fee – 5 JD, free with Jordan Pass.

Jeep safari – 70 JD for a 4-hour ride

💡 Quick tips

  1. Depending on the weather you visit, carry suitable clothing, as this part of the country gets varied temperatures than the rest of the country.
  2. Book your tour ahead of your arrival with your hotel/ agent and get in touch with them before you reach Wadi Rum.

Day 7 – Enroute Dead Sea

While leaving the Wadi Rum reserve, you may stop at a photo spot- the train from the movie, ‘Lawrence of Arabia’. It is an old steam train that was used in the movie to depict the raid of Hejaz Railway by Lawrence and his Arab followers against the Ottomans (Turkey) during the Great Arab Revolt.

On your way to the Dead Sea, you may visit the beautiful town of Aqaba (also the last point on King’s Highway) and see both the Red Sea and the Dead Sea in one day. We stopped at a public beach to admire the Red Sea (South beach) and thereafter left for the main city of Aqaba for a quick lunch stopover. Aqaba is the only coastal town in Jordan. If you’re into scuba or snorkeling, you can actually consider a full-day stop or spending a night here.

From Aqaba, the drive to the Dead Sea is around 3.5 hours and we took Route no. 65 or the Valley Highway to reach the destination. We reached just in time for sunset on the Dead Sea shores (search for ‘coral reefs’ on google maps, near Wadi Almujib). You will have to park the car and hike down a bit to reach the salt banks. Enjoy the sunset, get back up to the car, and then proceed to your hotel.

Day 8 – Dead Sea and return

The lowest point of the land part of the Earth is the Dead Sea, so excuse your ears if they adjust while you are on your way to one of the most uninhabitable ecosystems on Earth. On your final day in Jordan, try and float in the Dead Sea, soak your skin in the healing sea mud, and scrub. It is an experience and we strongly recommend not to stay in the water for more than a few mins. The salty water stings and burns your eyes and skin (if you have recently shaved/waxed). Wear beach shoes/flip-flops to save your feet from the sting and fancy shoes from the residual salt. 

Check out and reach Amman to catch your flight from the Queen Alia International Airport.

💡 Quick tips:

  1. Do not enter the Dead Sea if you have shaved/waxed recently or if you have any wound on your skin.
  2. Wear flip-flops, or hotel slippers to save your footwear from the wrath of the salt.
  3. Plan your departure from the last point keeping the rental car handover also in mind.
  4. Consider the drive time more conservatively and always leave a few minutes margin when on road.