Two years ago, a friend and I headed to Jordan for a last minute ‘why-not’ break. I did not have high expectations and was hoping for a bit of sunshine and sightseeing. What I did not think was that I woukd have one of the best weeks of my entire life which was totally unexpected. A lot of people I know were concerned about political issues in countries close to Jordan, however I did not feel concerned at all. The locals are beautiful people, very friendly and slightly more relaxed Muslims than other parts of the Middle East in terms of how to dress and drinking alcohol.
Day 1 – we arrived into Amman airport and met with our driver who we had arranged to be our personal driver for the whole trip, he charged about £300 and considering the miles we covered and his kind nature, it was very reasonable. We checked into the Blue Moon Hotel in Petra which was superb, great value and good standard for 4*. It was just a stone throw away from the Entrance gate to the famous Petra (where Indiana Jones was filmed).
day 2 – we woke early and headed into Petra which is quite expensive, about £50 entry but SO worth every penny. You need to be active as there was 5 hours, 18km and over 800 steps to reach the monastery at the top but the views and sightseeing alon the was are beyond breathtaking. This is a place I feel everybody should see in their lifetime. It is really special.
Inside Petra, there is an abundance of horses and donkeys they will try to offer for ‘free’ but they will ultimately charge you and frankly, watching people on the back of a donkey, unattached whilst it was limping up hundreds of steps on the edge of a cliff path without railings made me nervous to say the least. Walk it if you can! You can also do a sunset visit into Petra at night time which I hear is incredible.
On return to our hotel, our driver met us and took us out to Wadi Rum Desert where we got in a jeep and were taken into an awesome camp site in a small clearing in the rocks. The tents were spacious and fairly clean and there was a much larger tent where all travellers met for dinner and drinks and music and had a BBQ under the stars, it was truly spectacular and felt so liberating to stay somewhere without wifi, houses or even electricity to charge my devices, total relaxation.
Day 3 – One of The guides onsite escorted us On a day trip of the desert which was superb. It started with rock climbing (this was moderate and not overly challenging) which was excellent fun, then I was allowed to drive the jeep through the desert, then the guide used the jeep to do some terrifying but exhilarating tricks in the jeep (which had no seat belts!) then we went sand boarding, I had never done this and it was fantastic and felt very safe! We had tea with some locals who were wonderful to talk with. We had lunch with the guide which was delicious and after visiting a cave (where I fell into a pond, but I will breeze past that) we took a camel ride out of the desert back to civilisation.
Our driver met us outside the desert and we began the long drive to the Dead Sea where we checked into the 5* resort, the Movenpick. It was a superb resort with excellent facilities for a relaxing break to the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is infamous for its salt water which is so high in salt that nothing lives in there and offers many health and healing benefits. What interested me more was the fact that the water was so salty, apparently you can sit on the top of the water and float. How could it do this with someone as heavy as me? Well, it does work! Make sure you don’t shave for 24 hours prior entering the Dead Sea and do not go in if you have any cuts because it will sting! Buy some Jelly Shoes (like when you were a child) as it’s very rocky and slippy when entering the sea, these will become your best friend. It feels very surreal when you are there; it is 420 metres below sea level and it is just an incredible experience. They say the sea level here is decreasing by 1 metre every year and in 90 years the Dead Sea may be gone altogether – get yourself out there now!
We travelled in February which was a great time to travel weather and season wise. It was hot, but not too hot. It is much much cheaper in Jordan that Dubai and a totally different, incredible journey. In terms or value, I was gobsmacked at how reasonable it was. The whole trip staying in 4/5* accommodation, including flights, travel and spending money came to around £800pp. What a bargain!
If you are looking for a fun, safe, sunny adventure that is a bit different from the norm, then Jordan is your one.