When it comes to planning a trip to Jordan, one of the biggest questions is: how long should I travel in Jordan? Because Jordan is a bucket list destination, it’s hard to know exactly how much time you need to really enjoy it!
While I think 5 days is the shortest you can reasonably visit Jordan and see the main sights, you can spend as long as you want if you have the time! For this reason, I’ve decided to write an itinerary for 2 weeks in Jordan. As you’ll see, this is a leisurely schedule, giving you plenty of opportunities to experience the highlights of Jordan – and a few less-commonly visited spots too.
As you plan your two-week itinerary in Jordan, this article will provide you all you need: daytime activities, meals, and even hotel suggestions. It’s fortunate to have so much time to spend in Jordan, so enjoy it!
2 Week Jordan Itinerary (Quick Glance)
Before diving into the details, I find it’s helpful to start with an overview of how I recommend spending 2 weeks in Jordan. (That way, if you don’t like what you see, you can go find a different resource to help you plan!)
Here’s a table showing the basics of the two-week Jordan itinerary I recommend, based on my own 10-day trip and where I wish I’d had more time.
|Jerash & Ajloun
|Madaba & Mount Nebo
|Dana Biosphere Reserve
|Dead Sea, Depart
Unlike some of my other Jordan itineraries that are shorter than this one, you’re in absolutely no rush when you have two weeks in Jordan. You can plan a few activities each day, without needing to wake up early, stay up late, and be busy or in transit every minute in between. So let’s dive in!
Day 1-2: Amman
In this itinerary, I am assuming that Day 1 is your arrival date, as it was for me. I arrived in mid-afternoon, met my guide, and was escorted through immigration. (If you are booking with a guide or tour company, I highly recommend paying for this – or snag the Jordan Pass, one of my money-saving suggestions.)
You’ll have the rest of the day to relax, which you’ll probably need since there’s a whole lot of jet lag no matter where you flew to Jordan from. Enjoy dinner at your hotel, then catch up on sleep.
For your second day of 2 weeks in Jordan, you can rise at your leisure. After breakfast at your hotel, head out to the Amman Citadel; you can walk or take a taxi if you don’t have a driver. While the primary ruins here are Roman, there’s evidence of humans living in this area dating back to the neolithic era and Bronze Age.
Some famous sites within the Citadel include:
- The Temple of Hercules – Built by the Romans around 160 CE, you can see columns from the old temple as well as remnants of a statue that once stood here.
- The Umayyad Palace – Dating back to the 7th and 8th centuries CE, these are some of the best-preserved buildings in the Citadel.
- The Byzantine Church – There are also remnants of a 6th century church, including parts of the original mosaics (which you’ll see more of on Day 4!).
- Jordan Archaeological Museum – The Jordan Archaeological Museum has a collection of artifacts dating back to the Bronze Age.
Admission to the Citadel is 2JOD, and it’s open daily. It takes most people 2-3 hours to explore the site, so you’ll finish in time for lunch.
After lunch (I recommend somewhere in Jabal Amman, the historic neighborhood), you have two options:
- You can escape the heat of the day by heading back to your hotel to relax. Many hotels have pools, bars, and spas where you can relax and get ready for the remainder of the trip.
- You can head to the King Abdullah I Mosque for a small tour. You’ll need a taxi to get here (unless you’ve hired a driver for the whole trip). Be sure to call ahead to see if a tour will be available.
Day 3: Jerash & Ajloun
Day 3 is the first day you’ll begin to explore beyond Amman. To begin, start with breakfast at your hotel, then make the drive to the Roman ruins of Jerash. It’s a 45-minute drive north from Amman to Jerash (if you look on the map, don’t worry: this won’t take you close to the Syrian border). Today is the first day you need a rental car or driver-guide; don’t forget to review my tips on driving in Jordan!
Once you arrive, pay the admission fee and can explore the huge ruins at your leisure; there are also Jordanians who are willing to guide you for a fee. It takes 2-3 hours to see all of Jerash, so plan accordingly by bringing water and shade from the sun (like a hat or umbrella).
Next, enjoy lunch in Jerash; there’s a small cafe right near the entrance if you don’t want to find another option.
Then drive another 45 minutes to Ajloun Castle. This is a 12th-century Muslim castle high atop a hill surrounded by olive orchards. You can explore the castle and look out over the surrounding countryside while imagining what it was like for the warriors who lived here, defending their land from Christians.
After visiting these two sites, it’s time to return to Amman. Make the 90-minute drive back in time for dinner. Speaking of dinner, I recommend eating in or near Jabal Amman, the old town district.
Day 4: Madaba & Mount Nebo
Rise and shine! It’s time to pack up, check out of your Amman hotel, and begin exploring the rest of Jordan! Set out by car or with your guide south from Amman toward the town of Madaba.
Madaba is 45 minutes drive south of the city. This town is famous for its well-preserved Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics, especially the Byzantine-era mosaic map of the Holy Land. Here, you’ll see mosaics that date to the same time as some of the artifacts you saw at the Amman Citadel on Day 2. I recommend budgeting about an hour to enjoy the experience.
Next, travel to Mount Nebo. This is a short 15-minute drive from Madaba, but yet another worthy stop for those with an interest in religious history. Mount Nebo is renowned as the holy site where Moses looked out across the Jordan Valley to see the Promised Land, Israel. On clear days, you can see Israel and the city of Jericho across the valley, though it was hazy and dusty on the day I visited; on very clear days, you can even see Jerusalem. There are also mosaics here, and you can easily spend another hour at this site.
After these two morning stops, head back to Madaba for lunch. Then continue driving south to Wadi Musa, this is the town nearest to Petra. It’s a three-hour drive, so you’ll arrive in the mid-afternoon and have time to check into your Petra hotel to relax for a couple of hours.
Pro-tip: if you want to try Jordanian Wine, Madaba is a great town to find a liquor store and buy a bottle to savor under the stars in Wadi Rum (Day 8). Christians represent less than 4% of Jordanian religious people, but they make some great wine!
Once you finish dinner at your hotel, the night is not over yet! At 8:15 pm you need to head to the Petra visitor center to purchase tickets for the Petra-by-Night experience (17JOD). This was definitely one of the highlights I remember from my first Petra visit; the two-hour tour takes you one mile through the siq (slot canyon) to the famous Treasury ruins. There you sit and learn about the history of the Nabataean people who carved Petra and then abandoned it.
There’s some discussion about whether to do Petra by day or by night first, but I think the nighttime experience is truly magical and will get you excited for the next few days exploring this area.
Day 5-7: Petra
On this two-week Jordan itinerary, I’ve dedicated the most time at Petra (part of Day 4, Days 5-6, and part of Day 7). That’s because I think it’s the crown jewel of experiences, and want you to have plenty of time here. I’ve also heard lots of fellow travelers say they wish they had three days here, and I feel the same – any shorter time is not enough!
Pro-tip: As you want to access the Petra heritage site for four days during this itinerary, I recommend purchasing Petra-by-Night separately (17JOD), followed by a three-day pass for hiking on Days 5-7 (60JOD).
After sleeping in on Day 5 (since you were up late the night before for Petra by Night), you can spend morning and midday hiking in Petra. There are a number of great hikes to try, including:
- The Main Trail (an extension of the Treasury trail you hiked last night)
- The Monastary (Ad Dein) Trail
- The Treasury Viewpoint Trail
There are also a number of other Petra hiking trails, so take a look at all of them to choose one or two for Day 5 and another for Day 6. (I recommend the Main/Monastery Trail and High Place of Sacrifice Trail on Day 5 and Treasury Viewpoint Trail on Day 6). Some hikes require a guide, so do the research and know which ones you want to try – and stop at the Visitor Center to arrange a guide if needed.
As it obviously gets quite hot during the day, plan to spend the afternoon at your hotel, either relaxing in the air conditioning or at the pool (which some hotels have). Since you have plenty of time here in Petra, there’s no need to risk too much sun, overexertion, or dehydration.
One of your two nights in Petra, I also recommend arranging dinner with a local family through A Piece of Jordan. This is a great way to add a cultural experience and ensure you spend more than a few minutes with local Jordanians; I had a lovely meal with a Jordanian family that included incredible conversations about politics and culture, as well as a chance to play with the kids.
Day 7-9: Wadi Rum
On Day 7 – already halfway through your 2 weeks in Jordan! – it’s time to move on from Petra.
You can head back in to do one last hike – Al Madras Trail is a great morning hike – before checking out of your hotel. Stay for lunch in Wadi Musa, then make the two-hour drive to Wadi Rum.
Once you do get to Wadi Rum, head to your chosen camp (I’ve provided my top recommendation in the accommodations section below) and check-in. Depending on your arrival time, you can then hang out in the common tents enjoying tea and watching the staff prepare dinner to enjoy later.
As sunset approaches, I recommend heading out on a 4×4 tour of the Wadi Rum desert; your driver will take you to some of the famous rock formations and sites within the desert, then find a perfect spot to enjoy the sunset.
After returning from your tour of the desert, it’s time to refuel! Many camps offer a traditional Bedouin Zarb dinner; it’s an underground barbeque featuring lamb, vegetables, and rice. Once you’ve eaten, head out to your tent and perhaps enjoy a little stargazing before turning in.
On your full day in Wadi Rum (Day 8), start with a sunrise camel tour. This can be arranged through your camp, and takes 60-90 minutes. You’ll even arrive back in time for breakfast! For the remainder of the day, you can arrange another tour to head out into the desert for some hiking, some tea, and seeing the sights where so many movies have been filmed in Jordan. End the night with more Zarb and more stargazing!
Pro-tip: If you snagged a bottle of wine, tonight’s the night to enjoy it. Don’t forget to bring a corkscrew, in addition to the other essentials I recommend on my Jordan packing list.
Day 9-11: Aqaba
When you wake up on Day 9, it’s time to pack up again. This time, your destination is Aqaba, a short one-hour drive from Wadi Rum.
Once you arrive in Aqaba, find a spot for lunch and then check in to your hotel. Many have amenities like a pool which you may want to enjoy during the hot afternoon. For another option, you could head to the beach! Aqaba is located on the Red Sea and there are a number of both public and private beach options. On Day 9, I recommend sticking to the Middle Beach, or whichever beach is attached to your hotel (if you’re staying beach-front – fancy pants!).
Pro-tip: Bring water shoes to protect your feet from the rocky sand! This is in addition to everything else I recommend on my Jordan packing list.
On Day 10, head to South Beach for some snorkeling or scuba diving. You can arrange a scuba tour by boat and/or rent gear if you didn’t bring your own. This is typically a full-day excursion, so you’ll return to your hotel in the afternoon. You can then enjoy dinner and relaxing after a day of adventure.
Day 11-12: Dana Biosphere Reserve
As this two-week Jordan itinerary reaches its conclusion, there are two more stops; the first is Dana Biosphere Reserve. Think of “Biosphere Reserve” as a national park, and you’ll have the concept of what this space is. Dana Biosphere Reserve is a big, protected area of land in south-central Jordan. It’s also north of Aqaba, so this part of the trip means you’re moving northward to Amman where the itinerary ends.
For your overnight stay in Dana Biosphere Reserve, start by making the 2.5-hour drive. You can stay either in the small town of Dana – where there are a number of small guest houses operate – or Feynan Ecolodge, a 3-star hotel with different access to the Biosphere Reserve.
Once you arrive, you can enjoy the afternoon at leisure, perhaps lounging in one of the guesthouse tents with some mint tea, or taking a short hike. After dinner at your accommodation, you can enjoy some incredible stargazing since there’s virtually no light pollution above Dana Biosphere Reserve.
The following morning, start the day with a guided hike. Most accommodations either have or know a local guide who can show you the Biosphere Reserve and teach you about Bedouin life in the desert. My three-hour hike with Mahmood in the desert was a highlight of my Jordan trip, not the least because he took me to a small cliff alcove where we enjoyed tea and pastries made by his wife; it was true Jordanian hospitality!
Day 12-14: Dead Sea
On Day 12, after hiking in Dana Biosphere Reserve in the morning, it’s time to make your way to your final destination: the Dead Sea. It’s a 2-2.5 hour drive from Dana to the Dead Sea.
This was the final stop on my first Jordan trip and the thing I was most anxious to experience: yes, you really do float!
You have the next few days to enjoy relaxing at the Dead Sea before departure, and it’s the place where you can really unwind and recover from your two weeks in Jordan. (Even though it’s been a leisurely pace, everyone needs a vacation from their vacation!)
In addition to floating in the Dead Sea, there are a few other activities you can plan:
- If you visit during the right time of year, the Wadi Mujib is close to the Dead Sea. This is a great chance to try canyoneering!
- Some resorts offer extra excursions, like a helicopter tour over the Dead Sea.
- Almost all resorts also have a pool and spa, so be sure to enjoy those amenities too.
On your final morning, rise to enjoy one last sunrise over the Dead Sea, then catch a transfer back to Amman and the airport. Most flights leave in the mid to late afternoon, so give yourself 2-3 hours to get to the airport – plus the two hours at the airport.
Suggested Hotels for Two Weeks in Jordan
In addition to all the daily activities we’ve already covered, I can’t skip recommending hotels to help you finish planning your trip! Here are my suggestions, plus how many nights you need in each.
- In Amman (3 nights needed):
- La Locanda Hotel is a boutique option within walking distance of Jabal Amman; this is where we’re staying for the 2022 tour. Rooms start from $111/night; book on Booking.com or Hotels.com.
- Le Royal Hotel is an iconic round hotel with sweeping views but a little further from the city center. Even if you don’t stay here, try to find time to grab at drink at the bar (maybe on the night you arrive!). Rooms start from $108/night; book on Booking.com or Hotels.com.
- At Petra (Wadi Musa) (3 nights needed):
- Petra Moon Hotel has a rooftop pool and nicely sized rooms; this is where I stayed on my first trip. Rooms start from $54/night; book on Booking.com or Hotels.com.
- Petra Guest House is another great option, even closer to the entrance of the Petra site; we’re staying here on our 2022 tour. Rooms start from $93/night; book on Booking.com or Hotels.com.
- In Wadi Rum (2 nights needed):
- In Aqaba (2 nights needed):
- Kempinski Hotel is the splurge-iest place I recommend in Jordan, in part because you get access to the private beach on-property. Rooms start from $212/night; book on Booking.com or Hotels.com.
- Lacosta Hotel is where I stayde on my first trip to Aqaba; it’s more budget-friendly and is walking distance from all the main attractions and the beach. Rooms start from $64/night; book on Booking.com or Hotels.com.
- At Dana Biosphere Reserve (1 night needed):
- At the Dead Sea (2 nights needed):
- Holiday Inn Resort Dead Sea has a private beach and tons of ammenities; this is where we’re staying for my 2022 tour! Rooms start from $90/night; book on Booking.com or Hotels.com.
- Ramada Resort by Wyndham Dead Sea is where I stayed on my first trip to Jordan. It has beach access (that’s a bit of a walk) and a nice on-site pool. Rooms start from $62/night; book on Booking.com or Hotels.com.
With activities and hotels, you’re all set to start planning your 2 weeks in Jordan now! Do you have questions about this two-week Jordan itinerary? Let me know in the comments!