Jordan

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On this tab you will find a list of the Bench tours and accommodation packages that incorporate Jordan.

Below each package title you will find the specific locations covered by the itinerary so you can select the most suitable package based the particular destination within Jordan you are interested in.

Please remember that we also tailor-make packages if you don’t find an itinerary on our website that fits your requirements. The specialists at Bench understand that everyone’s tastes are different and our job is to match you to your perfect holiday!

Highlights of Jordan

Location: Amman | Jerash | Dead Sea | Petra | Wadi Rum |

Amman, the capital of Jordan, is a fascinating city of contrasts - dating back to the Stone Age, with a unique blend of old and new. Petra is often described as the eighth wonder of the ancient world and is without doubt Jordan’s most valuable treasure and greatest tourist attraction. This vast, unique city was carved into the sheer rock face by the people who settled here more than 2,000 years ago. Jerash, the ancient city dating back more than 6,500 years and hidden for centuries in sand, is a close second to Petra on the list of favourite destinations in Jordan. 

Historical Jordan

Location: Amman | Jerash | Petra | Dead Sea |

Welcome to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, a country dense with history and a well-travelled bridge between sea and desert, East and West. Above the layers of antiquity lies a land of mesmerising beauty and contrast. Here are splendid castles and hunting lodges, the wilderness of Wadi Rum, the Red Sea coral reefs and restful spas. Here too are the monuments from every age of humanity, crowned by the rose coloured city of Petra carved into the rock face, a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.

Welcome to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, a country dense with history and a well-travelled bridge between sea and desert, East and West. Above the layers of antiquity lies a land of mesmerising beauty and contrast. Here are splendid castles and hunting lodges, the wilderness of Wadi Rum, the Red Sea coral reefs and restful spas. Here too are the monuments from every age of humanity, crowned by the rose coloured city of Petra carved into the rock face, a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.

Petra

The giant red mountains and vast mausoleums of a departed race have nothing in common with modern civilization, and ask nothing of it except to be appreciated at their true value - as one of the greatest wonders ever wrought by Nature and Man. Although much has been written about Petra, nothing really prepares you for this amazing place. It has to be seen to be believed.

Often described as the eighth wonder of the ancient world, it is without doubt Jordan’s most valuable treasure and greatest tourist attraction. It is a vast, unique city, carved into the sheer rock face by the Nabataeans, an industrious Arab people who settled here more than 2000 years ago, turning it into an important junction for the silk, spice and other trade routes that linked China, India and Southern Arabia with Egypt, Syria, Greece and Rome.

Entrance to the city is through the Siq, a narrow gorge, over 1 kilometre in length, which is flanked on either side by soaring, 80 metres high cliffs. Just walking through the Siq is an experience in itself. The colours and formations of the rocks are dazzling. As you reach the end of the Siq you will catch your first glimpse of Al-Khazneh (Treasury).

This is an awe-inspiring experience. A massive façade, 30m wide and 43m high, carved out of the sheer, dusky pink, rock-face and dwarfing everything around it. It was carved in the early 1st century as the tomb of an important Nabataean king and represents the engineering genius of these ancient people.

Amman

Amman, the capital of Jordan, is a fascinating city of contrasts – a unique blend of old and new, ideally situated on a hilly area between the desert and the fertile Jordan Valley. The commercial heart of the city, ultra-modern buildings, hotels, smart restaurants, art galleries and boutiques rub shoulders comfortably with traditional coffee shops and tiny artisans' workshops. Everywhere there is evidence of the city’s much older past.

Due to the city’s modern-day prosperity and temperate climate, almost half of Jordan’s population is concentrated in the Amman area. The residential suburbs consist of mainly tree-lined street and avenues flanked by elegant, almost uniformly white houses, in accordance with a municipal law, which states that all buildings must be faced with local stone. The downtown area is much older and more traditional with smaller businesses producing and selling everything from fabulous jewellery to everyday household items. The people of Amman are multi-cultural, multi-denominational, well educated and extremely hospitable. They welcome visitors and take pride in showing them around their fascinating and vibrant city.

Jerash

A close second to Petra on the list of favourite destinations in Jordan, the ancient city of Jerash boasts an unbroken chain of human occupation dating back more than 6,500 years. Jerash lies on a plain surrounded by hilly wooded areas and fertile basins. Conquered by General Pompey in 63 BC, it came under Roman rule and was one of the ten great Roman cities, the Decapolis League.

The city's golden age came under Roman rule, during which time it was known as Gerasa, and the site is now generally acknowledged to be one of the best preserved Roman provincial towns in the world. Hidden for centuries in sand before being excavated and restored over the past 70 years, Jerash reveals a fine example of the grand, formal provincial Roman urbanism that is found throughout the Middle East, comprising paved and colonnaded streets, soaring hilltop temples, handsome theatres, spacious public squares and plazas, baths, fountains and city walls pierced by towers and gates.

Beneath its external Graeco - Roman veneer, Jerash also preserves a subtle blend of east and west. Its architecture, religion and languages reflect a process by which two powerful cultures meshed and coexisted, The Graeco - Roman world of the Mediterranean basin and the traditions of the Arab Orient. The modern city of Jerash can be found to the east of the ruins. While the old and new share a city wall, careful preservation and planning has seen the city itself develop well away from the ruins so there is no encroachment on the sites of old.

Wadi Rum

This is a stupendous, timeless place, virtually untouched by humanity and its destructive forces. Here, it is the weather and winds that have carved the imposing, towering skyscrapers, so elegantly described by T.E. Lawrence as “vast, echoing and god-like”. A maze of monolithic rocks capes rise up from the desert floor to heights of 1,750 metres creating a natural challenge for serious mountaineers. Hikers can enjoy the tranquillity of the boundless empty spaces; explore the canyons and water holes to discover 4000 year old rock drawings and the many other spectacular treasures this vast wilderness holds in store.  Also known as ‘The Valley of the Moon’, this is the place where Prince Faisal Bin Hussein and T.E. Lawrence based their headquarters during the Arab Revolt against the Ottomans in World War 1, and their exploits are intrinsically woven into the history of this amazing area.

There are several options for exploring Wadi Rum. Hire a 4x4 vehicle, together with driver/guide and then drive for 2 -3 hours into the Wadi system to explore some of the best known sites or they can hire a camel and guide. The duration of the trip can be arranged beforehand, as can a stay under the stars in a Bedouin tent, where they can enjoy a traditional campfire meal accompanied by Arabic music.

Dead Sea

Without doubt, the world’s most amazing place, the Jordan Rift Valley is a dramatic, beautiful landscape, which at the Dead Sea, is over 400 metres (1,312 ft.) below sea level. The lowest point on the face of the earth, this vast stretch of water receives a number of incoming rivers, including the River Jordan. Once the waters reach the Dead Sea they are land-locked and have nowhere to go, so they evaporate, leaving behind a dense, rich, cocktail of salts and minerals that supply industry, agriculture and medicine with some of its finest products. The Dead Sea is flanked by mountains to the east and the rolling hills of Jerusalem to the west, giving it an almost other-worldly beauty.

Although sparsely populated and serenely quiet now, the area is believed to have been home to five Biblical cities: Sodom, Gomorrah, Adman, Zebouin and Zoar. One of the most spectacular natural and spiritual landscapes in the world, the Jordanian east coast of the Dead Sea has evolved into a major hub of both religious and health & wellness tourism in the region. A series of good roads, excellent hotels with spa and fitness facilities, as well as archaeological and spiritual discoveries make this region as enticing to today’s international visitors as it was to kings, emperors, traders, prophets and pilgrims in antiquity.

The leading attraction at the Dead Sea is the warm, soothing, super salty water itself – some ten times saltier than sea water, and rich in chloride salts of magnesium, sodium, potassium, bromine and several others. The unusually warm, incredibly buoyant and mineral-rich waters have attracted visitors since ancient times, including King Herod the Great and the beautiful Egyptian Queen, Cleopatra. All of whom have luxuriated in the Dead Sea’s rich, black, stimulating mud and floated effortlessly on their backs while soaking up the water's healthy minerals along with the gently diffused rays of the Jordanian sun.

Aqaba

With its wealth of other attractions, Jordan’s splendid Red Sea resort is often overlooked by modern-day visitors. But apart from being a delightful place for discerning holidaymakers, this is actually a great base from which to explore various places of interest in southern Jordan. Aqaba is a fun place. It is a microcosm of all the good things Jordan has to offer, including a fascinating history with some outstanding sites, excellent hotels and activities, superb visitor facilities, good shopping, and welcoming, friendly people, who enjoy nothing more than making sure their visitors have a good time.

But perhaps Aqaba’s greatest asset is the Red Sea itself. Here you can experience some of the best snorkelling and diving in the world. The temperate climate and gentle water currents have created a perfect environment for the growth of corals and a teeming plethora of marine life. Here you can swim with friendly sea turtles and dolphins as they dart amongst the schools of multicoloured fish. Night dives reveal the nocturnal sea creatures, crabs, lobsters and shrimp, as they search for a midnight snack. There are several dive centres in Aqaba. All offer well-maintained diving equipment, professional instructors, and transport by boat to a variety of dive sites.

Here is a selection of popular areas to visit in Jordan.

Amman

Amman, the capital of Jordan, is a fascinating city of contrasts – a unique blend of old and new, ideally situated on a hilly area between the desert and the fertile Jordan Valley. The commercial heart of the city, ultra-modern buildings, hotels, smart restaurants, art galleries and boutiques rub shoulders comfortably with traditional coffee shops and tiny artisans' workshops. Everywhere there is evidence of the city’s much older past.

Jerash

A close second to Petra on the list of favourite destinations in Jordan, the ancient city of Jerash boasts an unbroken chain of human occupation dating back more than 6,500 years. Jerash lies on a plain surrounded by hilly wooded areas and fertile basins. Conquered by General Pompey in 63 BC, it came under Roman rule and was one of the ten great Roman cities, the Decapolis League.

Dead Sea

Without doubt, the world’s most amazing place, the Jordan Rift Valley is a dramatic, beautiful landscape, which at the Dead Sea, is over 400 metres (1,312 ft.) below sea level. The lowest point on the face of the earth, this vast stretch of water receives a number of incoming rivers, including the River Jordan. Once the waters reach the Dead Sea they are land-locked and have nowhere to go, so they evaporate, leaving behind a dense, rich, cocktail of salts and minerals that supply industry, agriculture and medicine with some of its finest products. The Dead Sea is flanked by mountains to the east and the rolling hills of Jerusalem to the west, giving it an almost other-worldly beauty.

Petra

Often described as the eighth wonder of the ancient world, it is without doubt Jordan’s most valuable treasure and greatest tourist attraction. It is a vast, unique city, carved into the sheer rock face by the Nabataeans, an industrious Arab people who settled here more than 2000 years ago, turning it into an important junction for the silk, spice and other trade routes that linked China, India and Southern Arabia with Egypt, Syria, Greece and Rome.

Wadi Rum

This is a stupendous, timeless place, virtually untouched by humanity and its destructive forces. Here, it is the weather and winds that have carved the imposing, towering skyscrapers, so elegantly described by T.E. Lawrence as “vast, echoing and god-like”. A maze of monolithic rocks capes rise up from the desert floor to heights of 1,750 metres creating a natural challenge for serious mountaineers. Hikers can enjoy the tranquillity of the boundless empty spaces; explore the canyons and water holes to discover 4000 year old rock drawings and the many other spectacular treasures this vast wilderness holds in store.

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, which once captivated ancient travellers, continues to enthral a whole new generation as a modern, vibrant nation.  From the haunting, primeval starkness of Wadi Rum, to the teeming centre of urban Amman; from the majestic ruins of bygone civilizations to the timeless splendour of the Dead Sea, Jordan is unveiled as a unique destination offering breathtaking and mysterious sights, high standard accommodation, exquisite cuisine and countless activities that can provide visitors with inspiration, motivation, and rejuvenation.

Marvelling at herds of gazelles and Oryx and migrating birds, camping amidst the grandeur of Wadi Rum or Dana Reserve, trekking the ancient caravan trails from the highlands of Moab and Edom, hiking the wooded hills of biblical Gilead, or experiencing the unique, cleansing mud baths of the Dead Sea are just a few examples of the treasures awaiting visitors to this unique kingdom. 

Full Country Name: Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Area: 92,300 sq km
Population: 6.33 million (UN 2011)
Capital: Amman
Borders: Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Israel and Egypt
Religion: Over 94% Sunni Muslim, with Christian and Shi'i Muslim minorities.
Time Zone: GMT + 2 (GMT + 3 between March and October - dates vary)
Languages: Arabic is the official language. English is widely spoken in the cities. French, German, Italian and Spanish are also spoken
Country Dialling Code: +962

 

CLIMATE

The climate of Amman is pleasantly temperate.  Summers are hot and dry, with cool evenings, temperatures remaining at comfortable levels.  Most rain falls between October and March, and snow can occur.

 

CURRENCY & BANKS

The unit of currency in Jordan is the Dinar (JD), which is made up of 1000 Piastres.  Full banking services are available in all the main towns although a commission is normally charged. 

 

CUSTOMS & BELIEFS

Jordan is a predominantly Muslim country and visitors should respect religious sensitivity, particularly in the matter of dress and public conduct.  Women, in particular, should wear appropriate clothing.  Eating, drinking and smoking in public during the holy month of Ramadan should be avoided, as it is forbidden by the Muslim culture.  Alcohol is available only at licensed hotels and restaurants.

 

ELECTRICITY

In Jordan the general voltage is 230 and the frequency is 50 Hz.

As the sockets can vary a ‘Travellers Adaptor Set’ is recommended. Voltage sometimes fluctuates and whilst power cuts are rare, they are not unknown.  It is useful to carry a torch.

 

HEALTH

Health requirements vary from country to country. We recommend you speak to your local Travel Doctor for up-to-date information and advice. 

 

VISA INFORMATION

At the time of writing, a visa for Jordan, is required for Australian Passport Holders.  The visa can be obtained on arrival at the airport.

Single Entry Visa: Jordanian Tourist Visa charge on arrival is 20 JD, approximately USD $30 per person on an Australian Passport (subject to change).

We hope that you will find this country Information on Jordan useful for reference when preparing for your holiday.  All the information above was correct at the time of writing and is to be used as a guide only.  Health, visa and other specific details should be double checked by your travel agent at the time of booking.