Visiting Jordan with Traveltalktours
Where to begin, Jordan was such a beautiful and interesting country to visit and more recommend it highly! I decided to do my first ever group tour with Travel Talk Tours to get the best out of the trip, as the Essential Jordan tour covered everything I wanted to do, like visiting Petra, to tick that off my bucket-list, but also camping in Wadi Rum Desert, a visit to Jerash and a trip to the Dead Sea, I must say if these things aren't on your bucket-list already they really should be. Below is a day by day of the tour.
Day 1 I arrived in Amman for 7am and there it was a Travel Talk sign with my name on it waiting to transfer me to the hotel, the flights had been long to get to Jordan with so many delays, so I was so happy to see my transfer waiting for me. Arrived at the hotel and was checked in straight away at 8am, so shower and some sleep was required. The first day is a free day just to meet in the hotel at 6pm for an informal meeting with the tour guide and the chance to meet the rest of the tour group. I went to the local shopping centre across from the hotel and got a Jordanian SIM card for the week which cost about €20 and stocked up on water and snacks from the supermarket for the week.
Day 2 Early rise to leave Amman and embark on the first part of the tour which was a visit to Jerash. We arrived here first thing because the heat in Jordan in August is quite intense and there isn't much shelter around the ruins, so best to visit early in the day. Jerash is one of the largest and best-preserved sites of Roman architecture outside of Italy. The ruins had been hidden for centuries under the desert sand and was only rediscovered by the west in the early 1800s and excavations began in 1925, and are still being carried out today. It is located to the west of modern day Jerash, and is approx 45 kilometres north of Amman city. The city is packed with ruins of ancient monument still in a remarkable condition due to the hot climate. It was incredible to walk around these ruins getting lost in the history about ancient times through our tour guide Osama who had amazing knowledge and facts on the entire area.
On the same day we visited Ajloun Castle. Ajloun Castle was one of only a few fortresses that were built specifically for the purpose of defending the area against crusader attacks, which also explains its strategic location. The fort was also significant since it allowed whoever controlled it to essentially dominate the Jordan Valley, along with the three major routes leading to the valley. Ajloun castle is also known for its amazing view of the surrounding countryside, on a good day you would even able to see to Jerusalem, it was quite hazy when we arrived but the views were still spectacular.
Day 3 and it was on to desert of Wadi Rum to camp. On the way we has to collect members from another tour to join our group so we got the chance to go to Aquba and wonder around for a few hours, then it was on to Wadi Rum to jump on a jeep safari to see the gorgeous rock formations of the desert skyline. We arrived back in time to make our way out to a rock for the most beautiful desert sunset and then on return to the camp site authentic Jordanian food was served, which might I say was the most amazing roast lamb I have ever had. The camp site had a bar and a camp fire was set up to make the most of our nights surroundings. Personally it was more glamping than camping, each tent had a bed, toilet and fan which totally suited.
Day 4 and wishing I hadn't taken as much advantage of the bar as I did, 3 hours sleep on board and my alarm was dinging at 5.15am, I got up and walked out into the desert to see the sunrise, not a part of the tour but there was no way I was missing it. Arrived back for breakfast and then it was departure to head for Petra. Arrived in Petra at 12pm and entered with our tour guide Osama who provided the history of the ancient city on the way in and walked as far as The Treasury with the group. The rest of the day was to discover Petra yourself. There is a lot of walking required in Petra and the sun is quite strong, so plenty water, good walking shoes, a hat and sunscreen are must-haves. It is quite a trek to the Monastery from the Treasury so be mindful of what you can really get done, as Petra closes at 6pm in summer and 4pm in winter. We remained in Petra overnight. There are extra activities available on the tour in Petra, such as a visit to the Turkish baths, the chance to go to a Jordanian family for a traditional dinner or visit Petra by night. I did the Jordanian home visit and it was really nice and even got the recipe of dinner to try at home. It cost 15 dinar extra to do the home visit in Petra.
Day 5. The morning was free time till 11am so for anyone who wanted to go back to Petra, it gave the opportunity as Petra opens at 6am daily. After leaving Petra the next stop today was to the lowest point of dry land on earth, The Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is hundreds of metres below sea level, giving you the chance to floats in the famous incredibly salty water. The heat was 42 degrees when we arrived, which in turn made the Dead Sea feel more like a hot bath than anything else, luckily there was a cool swimming pool to cool down in after the sea. As it was so hot no one had any mud baths as we were pretty sure we'd bake covered in mud but the opportunity is there to do so. Also be advised that the Dead Sea has a tendency to burn your bits and bobs (delicate areas). The cure cover all bits and bobs in Vaseline, trust me, you'll thank me later and another big no-no is shaving within 48hours. DON'T DO IT. Afterwards the tour continued back to Amman where we stay overnight.
Day 6 today was the day to discover the vibrant capital of Jordan, Amman. Even though we started in Amman, we left without discovering the city. So first up was a city tour of the beautiful sites including the Citadel and the Amphitheatre, and discover the impressive history of Jordan. In the afternoon, it was free time, so settled on a walk about with some local food and a few drinks with the tour group. That evening our tour guide Osama had set up a farewell dinner in a local restaurant for anyone who wanted on the tour to go and say goodbye to everyone.
Day 7 was a farewell breakfast, but unfortunately I missed it as my flight home was at 4am.
This tour was amazing from start to finish. Peoples ages varied on the tour from 20's - 40's which gave the tour great variety, everyone got on really well. The accommodation was very good each place we stayed and if your budget conscious, the tour guide Osama was brilliant for pointing us in the right direction to get tasty cheap local food for 1-3 Dinars. Also I'd recommend getting the Jordan Pass before going as the cost of your Jordan visa, Petra for both days and the majority of other sites are covered with it. There is lots of saving to be made by purchasing it, as 2 on the tour didn't and it cost them so much more.
In summary as beautiful and amazing as Petra was and it being everything I thought it would be, it was really Wadi Rum that stole my heart. The sunset in the desert is definitely a pinch me I'm dreaming moment and sunrise was just as incredible. Wadi Rum should also be on everyones bucket list. This tour really covers the highlights of Jordan and even though there is lots of travelling and go on the tour, there is also free time to do what you like.
The link to the tour and Jordan pass are:
Any questions feel free to message me