A Biblical land and the setting for the legendary stories of Lawrence of Arabia, the tiny country of Jordan is a fascinating place to visit, with a wealth of history, ancient sights and plenty of natural beauty. Jordan is home to the 2,000-year-old city of Petra, as well as several pilgrimage routes mentioned in the Old Testament.
Jordan’s tourist attractions include the Dead Sea and the Red Sea which is fringed by beautiful beaches and offers numerous water sports. The country also boasts plenty of modern attractions in the city of Amman. And then there’s the desert with its rolling dunes. Wadi Rum is home to hospitable Bedouin tribes who provide a taste of Arab life with a traditional meal.
Why travel to Jordan
- Visit the ancient city of Petra, one of the Seven New Wonders of the World.
- Experience the country’s diversity, from ancient archaeological sites to the modern capital, Amman.
- Float on the therapeutic Dead Sea, the lowest point in the world.
- Follow in the footsteps of Indiana Jones at spectacular Wadi Rum.
- Discover Biblical sites from the Old Testament, including Mount Nebo, where Moses saw the Promised Land.
- See staggeringly beautiful landscapes such as Wadi Mujib, a 500m canyon in the desert.
Petra’s treasures, ancient Roman ruins, Crusader castles and desert heritage are just some of the things you will discover on a Jordan holiday package. This hidden gem has re-emerged as a popular travel destination. When you visit Jordan, it will be easy to see why. The country is spectacular, the people are welcoming, the sights are numerous and the landscapes diverse. Let Thompsons Holidays take you there on an unforgettable Arabian travel adventure.
Things to do in Jordan
Jordan is a small country that is home to only 10 million people, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for with attractions and activities. The home of ancient Petra, built in 200BC, a rose-coloured stone city in the desert, Jordan also boasts many religious pilgrimage sites where tales from the Old Testament originated. One of these is Mount Nebo, where Moses saw the Promised Land for the first time.
Roman ruins are also prevalent in this ancient land, as is the lowest point on earth, the therapeutic Dead Sea. The Aqaba, a spectacular Red Sea Resort with an incredible underwater world, invites snorkelling and scuba diving. With so many exciting places to visit and so many fun things to do, it’s no wonder that Jordan holiday packages are so popular.
Things to do in Jordan
- Go canyoning in the sandstone wadi in the Mujib Biosphere Reserve.
- Take a steam train into the desert to re-enact the train ambush scene from the movie Lawrence of Arabia.
- Explore well-preserved Roman ruins in Jerash.
- Go diving in the incredible coral reefs under the Red Sea.
- Soak in the mineral-rich waters of the Ma’in Hot Springs.
- Enjoy stargazing in the desert.
- Follow in the footsteps of Lawrence of Arabia on the Jordan Trail at Aqaba.
- Climb Mount Nebo for spectacular views of Jerusalem, Bethlehem and the Dead Sea.
- Discover the desert castle of Qasr Tuba.
- Camp in the desert with a Bedouin tribe as your hosts.
- Drive along historic King’s Highway, mentioned in the Old Testament.
- Visit Lawrence of Arabia’s desert headquarters, Qasr Al-Azraq Castle.
So much to see, so little time… You may have to visit Jordan more than once to see all of its many treasures. Thompsons Holidays will take you there, time and again, on an unforgettable Jordan holiday.
Know before you go...
- The best time to visit Jordan is in spring (April & May).
- In summer, June to September, temperatures average around 32°C.
- Autumn, (October & November) brings relief from the heat.
- Flight duration from Johannesburg to Amman: 10 hours, 15 minutes with one stopover.
- There are infrequent flights from South Africa to Jordan.
- South African passport holders do not require a visa to enter Jordan.
- A tourist visa is granted on arrival in Jordan at no cost.
- Passports must be valid for 6 months from arrival in Jordan.
- Jordan is on the same time as South Africa.
- The official currency is Jordanian Dinar (JOD)
- Credit cards are widely accepted and ATMs are prevalent.
- US Dollars are widely accepted, but the exchange rate is not good.
- Tipping is customary in Jordan.
- The official language is Arabic.
- Most Jordanians speak English.
- Islam is the main religion in Jordan.
- When visiting sacred sites and temples, dress conservatively. (See ‘What to pack’).
- It is safe to drink tap water in Jordan, especially at Wadi Rum. Bottled water is readily available.
- Smoking is not permitted in public areas such as restaurants, bars and indoor work places as well as on public transport. Airports offer designated smoking rooms.
- Vaccinations are not currently required but check with your travel clinic before you go.
What must I pack?
- Lightweight clothing in summer, warm layerable clothing for winter or beach wear, depending on where you are going.
- Comfortable walking shoes.
- Sunscreen, lip balm, hat and sunglasses.
- Mini first aid kit and regular prescription medication.
- Hand sanitiser and insect repellent.
- Travel adaptor.
- Jordan transport is dependent buses. Many visitors choose to rent a car.
- Towns in outlying areas may have less sophisticated transport infrastructure – it depends where you are going.
What can I do to be a responsible traveller?
- Wherever possible, buy local food and souvenirs and support local artisans.
- Instead of using plastic bags, take fabric shopping bags with you.
- Respect each other's cultures and customs and avoid imposing your beliefs.
- Be safety conscious: don’t display cash or valuables. Leave jewellery and expensive watches at home.
- Keep your belongings safe – use the hotel safe for passports and valuables and watch out for pickpockets and bag snatchers when out and about.
What do I do in an emergency?
- If passports or valuables are stolen, report the theft to the hotel/police immediately.
- Contact the Thompsons Holidays 24-hour care line to assist.
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