10 Nov How to spend 8 days in Jordan (with map & costs)
Jordan is getting more and more popular among travelers of all types. After visiting the country myself, I can completely understand this trend and highly recommend you to visit as well! ?
Following is, in my opinion, a perfect itinerary to get the most out of your week in Jordan. It includes 6 full days and 2 travel days. I’ve also added some extras (colored in orange on the map), which you can add in case you have an extra day or two ? First you will see a travel map with the marked route and in the end, there’s a full cost overview for this trip.
Your guide to Jordan: the perfect 8-day itinerary
On this map you can find a full travel route with added extra stops, in case you have a bit more time:
Day 1: Arrive to Jordan ~ from Aqaba to Wadi Musa
Take a morning flight and arrive at Aqaba’s King Hussein International airport in the early afternoon. Pick up a hire car at one of the renting stations at the airport (Avis, Europcar, Dollar are some that have “offices” at the airport; check your renting options here). Make sure to download offline maps or either bring or hire a GPS device. Alternatively, buy a local SIM card at the airport to have mobile data (my choice). Drive towards Wadi Musa. Since it’s your first day in Jordan and you’re probably not used to Jordanian way of driving, their speed bumps and police checkpoints just yet, add extra 50% of driving time as per Google Maps.
Where to stay in Wadi Musa:
Wadi Mussa is not a large city, but it has plenty of sleeping options available. We were booking hotels only one week before arrival within the high season, that’s why we weren’t left with many options. We booked 2 nights at Mussa Spring Hotel, which ended up being a great choice. Rooms are not luxurious, but you won’t need to break a bank for a 2-night stay. In addition, they got me gluten-free flat bread for dinner and breakfast (ordered in advance), and they prepared breakfast packages, as we left early to visit Petra. If you want to be as close to Petra as possible, Petra Guest House Hotel, Petra Moon Hotel and Movenpick Resort Petra are the closest ones (but also on a more expensive note).
Total drive: Aqaba ~ Wadi Musa
Around 130 km / around 2.5 hours via Desert Hwy
Day 2 & 3: Take time to explore Petra
Reserve days two and three to slowly explore Petra. Get up early in the morning to be at the Siq followed by Treasury before the tours arrive. You need to get your Jordan Pass verified at Petra Visitor Center, which opens at 6 a.m. It’s worth cutting the sleep – the place is magical when it’s almost tourist-free! ✨ At the end of day one, visit Petra Museum to learn about the Nabatean Kingdom and details, which you will pay attention to the next day. If possible, visit Petra on Monday, Wednesday or Thursday – that’s when Petra by Night takes place. Unfortunately, I cannot say if it’s worth the money or not, as we haven’t crossed this off our bucket list. Be sure not to skip Monastery! Before you leave the area, stop by at Little Petra.
At the end of day three drive towards your hotel near the Dead Sea. Relax at the pool in the evening.
Wear comfortable shoes and clothes, as you’ll be walking a lot. We did more than 47.500 steps in 2 days! Also bear in mind that Petra is full of high places (that, by the way, offer magnificent views), which means a little bit of hiking is involved. Routes to those places are not secured and are sometimes slippery – use your hands to help yourself climbing. Also don’t forget about sun protection (SPF + hat).
Please don’t ride donkeys or camels, if you’re capable of walking. It’s better to take it slow then to hurt the animals.
Where to stay at the Dead Sea:
Area of the Dead Sea is lacking budget options. We stayed at Grand East Hotel Resort & Spa and it was the most expensive hotel we stayed at while in Jordan, but it was worth it. All hotels charge between 20-50 JD to access their private beach. There are some ‘public beaches’, however, I recommend you to spend a few extra bucks and stay one night in one of the resorts. It will for sure be pricier then a night in Madaba, but you’ll have the Dead Sea at your doorstep and you’ll have private access to the sea at no extra charge.
Total drive: Wadi Musa ~ the Dead Sea
Around 200 km / around 3.5 hours via Kings Hwy
Day 4: Floating in the Dead Sea
The Dead Sea is actually not a sea but a salt lake. Floating in it is a great experience, so I highly recommend you to plan a bit more than half a day for this. Beach at the hotel we stayed at opened at 8:30 a.m., so we planned an earlier breakfast and packed all our things already before we went to the beach. Normally you’ll get towels, so you don’t need to bring your own. Find a perfect spot under a sunshade to drop your things and enjoy it! ? Don’t leave before covering yourself with Dead Sea Mud – it’s supposed to have several benefits for skin and body. In the late afternoon drive towards Amman.
Where to stay in Amman:
We were discussing quite a while whether we want to drive in Amman or not and have in the end decided not to. For this reason we booked a hotel outside the city. We booked a twin room in Larsa Hotel but we got a nice free upgrade to junior suite! ? After seeing the traffic in Amman in reality (it was Sunday), we were a bit sceptic about our decision about driving, but hey… we got to test Uber in Amman as well ? In case you would like to stay in the city center, Amman Pasha Hotel and The House Boutique Suites have good ranking score on Trip Advisor.
Total drive: the Dead Sea ~ Amman
Around 50 km / around 1 hour
Day 5: Amman, capital of Jordan
Amman is not only a capital of Jordan, it’s also the most populous city in Jordan.
Amman is not only the capital of Jordan but also the most populous city in the country. Look around before digging into history and starting a city tour in Amman Citadel – you will see a concrete jungle without an end. Do an Amman walking tour and explore the ancient sites (around 3 km, 4-5 hours). Finish your tour in time for early supper at Hashem Restaurant Downtown, where you’ll try their famous falafel with hummus. Delicious! ?
Day 6: Long drive from Amman to Aqaba
Get up early in the morning and start your 4-hour drive toward Aqaba after breakfast. Desert Highway is not that scenic, but it’s quite easy to drive. There are many road works, which means soon this will be one of the finest roads to drive ? Head to lunch when you arrive to Aqaba. Bring your beach things already with you, so you can go directly to Al-Ghandour Beach (public beach, no entrance fee) for a quick dip in the Red Sea. After drying up, pay a short visit to Aqaba castle, which is just a few steps away. If you have extra time, you can visit the Aqaba museum. Shortly before sunset take a short stroll to Gaadet Jeeran – enjoy colorful skies, shisha (try watermelon & mint!) and a cold drink.
Where to stay in Aqaba:
Aqaba is small but I recommend you to stay near bus station – in this way you’ll have the imporant things within walking distance. We stayed at Al Qidra Hotel which has a nice location, however, I can’t really praise the breakfast and AC sound (noisy during the night) ? In the same street there are Double Tree by Hilton Hotel and Captain’s Hotel (which has a wonderful coffee place in the ground floor! ?). One of the best valued hotels with private sea access is Movenpick Resort & Residences.
Total drive: Amman ~ Aqaba
Around 330 km / around 4 hours via Desert Hwy (without stops)
Day 7: Follow steps of Bedouins in Mars-like desert of Wadi Rum
Wadi Rum is one of the most amazing places in Jordan, so book a one day-one night tour to get the best out of the desert and your time in Jordan. In the morning have breakfast, then leave Aqaba and drive to the meeting point of your camping site. Some will meet you at Wadi Rum Visitor Center, others in Wadi Rum Village. Once your tour starts, enjoy the Bedouin tea, admire the views over red sand and most importantly, keep it simple and easy. For one day try to live like Bedouins.
Where to stay in Wadi Rum:
We have done a whole research on camps in Wadi Rum and decided to book a tour with Rum Stars Camp in the end. We booked directly through their website and received instant confirmation. Communication from their side was excellent. Tour followed the same route as others, so probably there’s not much difference in the program between different camps. Tent and facilities were amazingly clean and comfortable. Dinner was delicious – we had traditional zerb (meat and vegetables slowely cooked in an underground oven). Yummy! ? In the evening we had the opportunity to talk to one of the owners about the Bedouin life. The only bad side was they confirmed gluten-free menu for me, but I got a contaminated lunch ? Everything else was ok.
Total drive: Aqaba ~ Wadi Rum
Around 70 km / around 1 hour
Day 8: Time to say “إلى اللقاء” (until we meet again)
Wake up early to catch the sunrise – colors are gorgeous! Normally you’ll be finished with your Wadi Rum tour at 8 a.m. If you have an afternoon flight, head to Aqaba for an early lunch and stroll around the city to catch a relaxed vibe before heading to the airport ? Don’t forget to refuel your car and spend most of your JDs before you leave the city. Airport of Aqaba is small and has no ‘real’ shopping options, so if you’re not willing to pay 7 JDs for a bag of chocolate candy, spend your money already before. Keep some change, as it’s a nice souvenier ?
Total drive: Wadi Rum ~ Aqaba (Airport)
Around 70 km / around 1 hour
Jordan Itinerary: Costs (2 travelers)
Food & Drinks
Entrance Fees (Jordan Pass)
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Note: we have a yearly travel health insurance which is not included in above cost list.
Have a great trip and hope you’ll enjoy Jordan at least as much as I did!
Thank you so much for reading!
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