Jordan is an Arab country located in the Northern Arabian Peninsula in Southwest Asia. This ancient land is home to relics of several civilizations. Most of Jordan is covered by the Arabian desert.
Jordan is known for countless archaeological sites that attract visitors from places across the world. If you are one of the tourists traveling from the UAE, you can find several daily flights from Abu Dhabi to Amman. Some leading airlines operating on this route are Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian Airlines, and Gulf Air. Book your flight tickets early to get the best airfare deals.
In Jordan, you can travel to archaeological sites by road. Road trips are popular here, for it helps you explore the scenic beauty of the vast sea, expansive desert, and rocky hills. Here are some wonderful road trips that you can never miss in Jordan.
1. Amman to Petra (King’s Highway)
A road trip to Petra from Amman is exciting. Though there are two routes, King’s Highway 35 is preferable to Desert Highway 15, for there are amazing things to explore all along the way. You will come across Kerak Castle and Shobak Castle at Crusader sites and Umm ar-Rasas, which are UNESCO World Heritage sites.
The King’s Highway starts near Irbid, which is a small town in Northern Jordan, and extends north-south to Wadi Musa, which is a town in Petra. It runs further to get connected to Aqaba at Highway 47. Other than the castles, you can find Mujib Dam, Dana National Reserve, valleys, and hills. You need to travel about 60 km from Amman to Petra.
2. Amman to the Dead Sea
The 60-kilometer-long road trip from Amman to the Dead Sea offers great sightseeing and outdoor activities. From Amman, you have to travel southwest to the Dead Sea Highway. Some of the attractions on the way are Citadel Hill (Jabal Al Qala’a), Madaba (City of Mosaics), Church of St. George, and Wadi Mujib or Mujib Biosphere Reserve. You can engage yourself in several outdoor activities like hiking, floating in the water, etc., at the reserve.
3. The Dead Sea to Dana
You can go on a scenic road trip to Dana Biosphere Reserve from the Dead Sea, taking the Dead Sea Highway and a detour to Al-Karak Highway to reach Karak Castle, which is the 12th-century Crusader Castle. From there, you can reach Dana by taking the King’s Highway. Visit Dana Biosphere Reserve and Dana Museum.
4. Amman to Dana
Dana is a hidden gem of Jordan, which hangs over a precipice underneath the King’s Highway. The 15th-century stone village is a beautiful and thrilling place to be in nature enjoying the stunning views of the valley below. The valley and the surrounding areas are the largest nature reserve in Jordan and they are called Dana Biosphere Reserve. Rich in wildlife, Dana is known for sandstone cliffs, terrains, and innumerable species of mammals, birds, and plants. You can spend time hiking on a range of terrains making the trip wonderful. Dana is 197 km from Amman.
5. Wadi Rum to Petra to Amman
Traveling from Wadi Rum to Petra on road takes about two hours, covering a distance of 113 km. The ancient city of Petra is carved out of the surrounding mountains. You cannot miss visiting the Treasury and other incredible historical sites before proceeding to Amman, which is about 237 km. You can visit the Roman theater, Amman Citadel, King Abdullah Mosque, and Rainbow Street.
6. Off-roading at Wadi Rum
A dramatic red landscape, Wadi Rum is expansive covering over 285 square miles. Off-roading in Wadi Rum asks for a vehicle like a jeep to travel deep into the desert. Called the Valley of the Moon, it has the most fascinating petroglyphs, rock paintings, and inscriptions of ancient times. You can visit the beautiful rock bridges, Nabatean temple, and Lawrence Spring, hike via Abu Khashaba Canyon, and watch the sunset or sunrise.
7. Aqaba to Petra
Traveling from Jordan’s only coastal city, Aqaba to Petra by road takes almost two hours. Petra, which is called the Rose-Red City of Jordan, is 125 km away from Aqaba. You can find a lot of rental cars in Aqaba running a daily trip to Petra. There are must-visit sites in Petra and they are the City of Petra, Al Siq Canon, The Treasury, Royal Tombs, and Urn Tomb.
8. Dana to Petra
It takes over one hour to reach Petra from Dana via King’s Highway, covering 47 km. Petra has several attractions; you can choose to stay in a hotel or Bedouin Camp and explore the place.
9. Amman – Jerash – Umm Qais
Traveling to Jerash from Amman offers different modes of transportation like buses, cars, and bikes. For buses, you can get them from the North Terminal Raghadan Station Downtown. Jerash, which is an ancient city, is 45 km north of Amman. You can find historical structures like the Temple of Artemis, Hadrian’s Arch, the Oval Forum, and several columns.
From Jerash, you can travel to Umm Qais, which is about 35 km. You can visit the ruins of the Decapolis city of Gadara. The other attractions include the Arab-Islamic military architecture, Lake Tiberias, theaters, and mausoleums.
10. Petra to Madaba
If you are looking forward to an exciting road trip with sandscapes and robust paths, choose a trip from Petra to Madaba. It is about 138 miles, which will take 3 hours. Starting from Petra, you can have stops at Arava Antelope Ranch, Dana Biosphere Reserve, Al Karak Castle, Mujib Nature Reserve, Wadi Al Mujib, Dead Sea Museum, and Madaba Archaeological Park.
11. Wadi Rum to Madaba
Wadi Rum is Jordan’s largest valley (wadi). After exploring the huge rock formations, ancient inscriptions, rock bridges, and temples, you can go to Madaba taking a road trip by bus or bike. There are buses to Aqaba from Wadi Rum and from Aqaba to Madaba. You have to travel a distance of 50 km and can hire a taxi too.
Madaba is known for its Umayyad and Byzantine mosaics, Church of The Apostles, St George’s Church and Mosaic Map, Mount Nebo, and Carpet City.
12. Wadi Rum to The Dead Sea
A road trip from Wadi Rum to the Dead Sea is about 260 km. You can hire a taxi from Wadi Rum, stop at the Wadi Rum village, and take a direct route to Amman Beach at the Dead Sea. You can stay and engage in outdoor activities like swimming, hiking, and sightseeing. Some of the attractions here are the caves of Qumran, Kalia Beach, Wadi Arugot, Wadi David, and Ein Bokek.