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Jordan in October?

Holiday Ideas & Foreign Travel
stevensfo
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Jordan in October?

#228366

Postby stevensfo » June 10th, 2019, 2:15 pm

We're planning to visit Jordan and so far our plan is to explore Amman for a day or so, hire a car, drive to Petra and stay maybe two days (I love Archaeology), then have about a week of serious relaxing at a hotel on the Dead Sea.

Any recommendations, dos/don't etc? Is it possible to cross into Israel for a short visit? Is driving okay there? I've survived driving in Paris and Palermo so reckon I can cope with most roads now. :-)

Any ideas of what and what not to see?

We also plan to fly on to either Istanbul or Crete for a week afterwards, but that hasn't been decided yet.

Steve

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Re: Jordan in October?

#228388

Postby YeeWo » June 10th, 2019, 3:12 pm

stevensfo wrote:We're planning to visit Jordan and so far our plan is to explore Amman for a day or so, hire a car, drive to Petra and stay maybe two days (I love Archaeology), then have about a week of serious relaxing at a hotel on the Dead Sea. Any recommendations, dos/don't etc? Is it possible to cross into Israel for a short visit? Is driving okay there? I've survived driving in Paris and Palermo so reckon I can cope with most roads now. :-) Any ideas of what and what not to see? We also plan to fly on to either Istanbul or Crete for a week afterwards, but that hasn't been decided yet.
We went in 2011 and really loved the place. Recollections:-
- Royal Jordanian were excellent, wide-body aircraft and F&B included. A lot better than Easyjet or BA........
- Car with Driver was Very Cheap. Amman is/was full of eager-to-work Iraqi refugees........
- Bathing in the Dead Sea was great!
- Not easy to get a Beer, very few bars beyond the soul-less ones in Int. Hotels.
- Petra is a real Tourst-Trap, we did a day trip from Amman with our Driver.
- Security is an issue, AIUI things have got worse since 2011. Be very very wary, all Int. Hotels have Bomb Ramparts etc........
- The Roman Amphitheatre in Amman amazed me.
- A seriously interesting place to go, double check your Travel Insurance and be bloody-careful though.

Nimrod103
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Re: Jordan in October?

#228446

Postby Nimrod103 » June 10th, 2019, 6:01 pm

I went to Jordan in May 2018 with Cox & Kings. We found it very interesting. Depends what interests you, but I found Petra enthralling, we had 3 days there which was about right. Obviously there are hoards of tourists, but if you are there early or late, or get away from the main drag down the wadi, you can have the place pretty well to yourself. I didn't feel anywhere was dangerous or edgy, but there have been occasional incidents. I think a Brit was randomly stabbed to death in the Amman amphitheatre a few years back.
Also went to the Roman city of Jerash which was good, and the desert at Wadi Rum, which was also very interesting. Ended up with 2 days on the Dead Sea, which was enough unless you want to go to more Biblical sites like the River Jordan - people who went said it was expensive and an anticlimax. The climate down at the Dead Sea is much hotter and very soporific.

I have to say, that I felt it was a place where an organized tour was better than trying to find transport and guides at every location, but each to their own.

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Re: Jordan in October?

#228554

Postby vandefrosty » June 11th, 2019, 2:44 am

I visited Jordan in 1997. The world was a different place then so some of this may have dated a little, though a little online research might verify or improve it...

I rented a car and drove myself from Amman to Wadi Musa along the King's Highway - much more visually appealing on this route compared to the highspeed highway through the desert - which I took on my return. In 1997, the King's highway was a two-lane road. It was no problem to drive, so long as you're patient. I didn't have time to stop along the way, though I'm sure there are interesting sights at numerous spots. And the internet hadn't really been invented then so it was harder to find this kind of stuff than it is today.

Stay locally for Petra, so that you're up and in the complex before day tourists arrive by bus from Amman. Go early. Avoid the drays and horsemen touting to take you into Petra - you'll save a bundle, and it's a pleasant walk - I don't recall how far, though its only a couple of km according to the internet. The site is amazing, so take plenty of time. I particularly enjoyed walking where the crowds weren't. A highlight was encountering some missionary archaeologists - Mormons maybe? - in an otherwise empty corner who were only too happy to share info on the excavation they were working on but also divulged the existence of a newly-discovered buried complex, which I could subsequently sneak up to and take a peek. In the 20+ years since then, it may now be excavated and on display. It's a climb up to the Monastery, but very peaceful there because it's far from the crowds.

I visited without a guide, so cannot comment on their value or usefulness.

The other highlight of the trip was the tomb of Moses at Mt Nebo which I valued as a peaceful and spiritual experience. This is high above the dead sea so it offers a view down into the Holy Land, even to Jerusalem on the clear days evidently. That wasn't on offer when I went in March... It is nearby to Madaba - the ancient mosaic map of the world was pretty cool.

I also made a day trip to Jerash and was glad at the time that I did. But it's a ruined Roman city and in my subsequent experience not that different from other ruined Roman cities. If i was planning my trip again, I'd have spent more time in Petra.

Enjoy the trip.

Greg

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Re: Jordan in October?

#228555

Postby JoyofBrex8889 » June 11th, 2019, 3:10 am

Was in Jordan 18 months ago. Be prepared for it to be somewhat rough and ready. Also be prepared for some immense scenery. And speed bumps on the motorway!

Hired a 4*4 vehicle at the airport. Drove the Desert highway down south towards Petra and stopped off at the ancient village at Dana with its spectacular view of the amazing Dana Wadi. Spent a day trekking in the gorge with its biosphere reserve- absolutely mind blowing. If I could return I would spend way more time there, do some camping and complete a few of the overnight treks.

I then headed down to Petra. Stayed for 4 nights in a Bedouin camp near Little Petra. Did the whole Petra thing- the approach via the Siq to the first glimpse of the Treasury is a memory that will remain with me forever. Make sure you climb to the high points- the Monastery in particular was just jaw-dropping, both in location and scale. Be prepared for lots of people, but the site is sizeable and it is easy to find a quieter corner. We took picnic lunches from the Bedouin camp which saved a lot of money and effort, and meant we could eat with the views!

My kids actually preferred Little Petra, a couple of miles down the road- almost deserted! So we spent a day poking around the ruins and a further day trekking to a spot that we wanted to climb- lots of fun bouldering if you are into that sort of thing-my family love to climb!

Dead Sea I had done before on the Israeli side, so didn’t do that this trip. My friend had a great adventure canyoning and girgewalking which looked like fun. And there is good diving around the Red Sea, but I have dived Egypt to death so didn’t feel the need.

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Re: Jordan in October?

#228556

Postby JoyofBrex8889 » June 11th, 2019, 4:09 am

Got cut off:

Return trip to Aman we made via the Kings Highway- spectacular desert and clifftop views. There are hot springs and wild geology on the route- really wanted more time to poke around. Bring a history nerd we stopped off at the Crusader castles en route- the historic ruined Crusader fortress at Karak being a highlight with nice views- it was market day and we attempted to drive through the town following the Sat-Nav and headed mistakenly through the packed street stalls: very bad idea! Locals seemed more amused than angry though. I had enough Arabic to apologise profusely to those who seemed upset and we eventually backed the truck up out of the crowd. Top tip, park at the bottom of the hill and walk up to the castle, don’t drive through the town itself. To cap it off my kids needed a pee on the outskirts of town...

Then it was back into Amman for the flight home: Jordan was one of the few countries I gave felt an immediate strong desire to revisit- the mountain scenery in places is just epic.

If I had more time: A trek to the Tomb of Aaron would be an adventure. And I skipped Wadi Rum! The Dead Sea is a must if you haven’t been before, but you probably won’t want longer than a day there.


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