Itineraries

7 Days in Jordan: A Perfect Week in Petra & Beyond

When it comes time to plan your trip to Jordan, you might know exactly how much time you have to visit – or you might be wondering what the perfect amount of time to visit Jordan is. In my opinion, the best amount of time to spend in Jordan is however many days you have, but if I have to make a suggestion, I’d say 7 days in Jordan is a great amount of time – and here’s why.

A week in Jordan allows you to see all of the country’s best sights in a reasonable amount of time; it works for international travelers who may only have five days of PTO plus travel time to consider. During 7 days in Jordan, you’ll gaze in awe at Petra, admire the natural beauty of Wadi Rum, float in the Dead Sea – and much more.

My first trip to Jordan in 2016 was actually nine days, and honestly, it was a bit longer than I would have liked. In particular, I spent time in Dana Biosphere Reserve and Aqaba; both of these areas are great if you have more time, but worth saving for a someday second trip if you don’t.

If the idea of planning a seven-day Jordan itinerary sounds a bit daunting, don’t worry. I’ve got you covered: below you’ll discover an easy itinerary for seven days in Jordan that you can follow along to plan your own self-drive trip or hire a driver-guide to make things easier. No matter how you make it happen, you’re sure to come home with unforgettable memories of this unique place and all of the beauty Jordan has to offer.

7 Days in Jordan Itinerary: A Quick Glance

Before diving into the specifics of each day and different parts of Jordan you’ll be visiting during this 7-day itinerary, I find it helps to give you a quick overview. Below you’ll find a table with quick details of each day and the destinations you’ll visit; if it looks good, then you know it’ll be worth your time to read the rest of the post.

DayDestinations
1Jerash, Ajloun & Amman
2Madaba, Mount Nebo & Petra
3Petra
4Wadi Rum
5Wadi Rum & Dead Sea
6Dead Sea & Wadi Mujib
7Dead Sea & Amman

Looks good, right? Okay, let’s dive into how you’re going to spend your week in Jordan in more detail.

Day 1: Jerash, Ajloun & Amman

We’ll start your first of 7 Days in Jordan by discovering its stunning capital, and historic attractions that surround it.

On day one, rise and shine early, and grab breakfast at your hotel. Then, head out to Jerash, a Greco-Roman city famous for housing impressive Roman ruins. The drive to Jersh takes 45 minutes and you can spend 2-3 hours exploring the whole site. 

Hadrian’s Arch and the Temple of Artemis are Jerash’s highlights. These two architectural gems are excellent examples of the influence the Roman Empire exerted on the Middle East. While you have to pay an admission fee, you can choose to explore the site on your own or book a Jordanian as a tour guide. 

After touring Jerash, it’s time to have lunch and move on to our next destination, Ajloun Castle. Hop in the car and drive for another 35 minutes. Upon arrival, you’ll have to pay a 3JD ($4.25) admission fee. Ajloun Castle is a stunning 12th Century Muslim fortress dating back to 1184 AD. It features numerous rooms you can explore, plus a lovely museum that exhibits artifacts from diverse periods of Jordan’s history. By the way, the view of Jordan from Ajloun Castle is heart-stopping. So, have your camera ready!

Say goodbye to Ajloun Castle, for we’re off to our last historic stop, Amman Citadel. It is a 90-minute drive back to the capital, giving you enough time to recharge your battery. 

2 Weeks in Amman - Citadel

The Amman Citadel is another example of Roman architecture. The archeological site houses remnants of Jordan’s Bronze, Iron, Roman, and Byzantine ages. Take your time to soak up the beauty and maybe check out their museum. 

Luckily, Amman Citadel is right in the center of downtown Amman, saving you land distances and driving time. Exit the historic site and head to Jabal Amman for a bite. This neighborhood sits near the historic district, and is quite happening, with locals running errands, buzzy restaurants, and shops. Perfect to get an authentic taste of Jordan’s everyday life. Find a restaurant that you like, snag a table, and enjoy! Then, make your way back to the hotel, for tomorrow new adventures await you. 

Now that you’ve had a delicious Jordanian dinner, it’s time to finish the first day of this Jordan itinerary for six days. 

Day 2: Madaba, Mount Nebo & Petra

Day two of your 7 days in Jordan is a long one. You’ll be visiting three stunning sites, and get to experience one of the most amazing things in Jordan, Petra by night. 

After packing up your bags, check out from your hotel, and make for Madaba. Unlike other places, Madaba is more of a swift stop. This ancient town is famous for its finest collection of Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics, with the 6th-century mosaic map of the Holy Land in the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George as the most famous one. 

Next up in your itinerary is Mount Nebo, where Jordan’s religious history is the richest. The Hebrew Bible states Mount Nebo is where Moses saw the Promised Land (Israel), while the Christian tradition argues that Mount Nebo is also where God buried Moses. Mount Nebo is also a vantage point within Jordan. It allows you to see all the way to Israel and Jericho across the valley and even Jerusalem on very clear days. 

Instead of setting off to Petra, you’ll go back to Madaba for lunch. It’s a short 15-minute drive from Mount Nebo. After finishing lunch, we are ready to start the journey to Wadi Musa. On average, it takes two hours to reach Wadi Musa, so you’re likely to be arriving in the town in the mid-afternoon. Take your time. Check-in at your hotel, maybe sip a cup of coffee or tea and relax for a few hours. What’s coming is the highlight of your 7 Days in Jordan.

10 Days in Jordan - Valerie in Petra at Night

Around 8:15 pm, make your way to the Petra visitor center to purchase your Petra-by-Night tickets. The nightly experience lasts two hours. Jordanian guides take you through the Siq until you reach the magnificent Treasury, where the light of over 1,500 candles illuminates the rocky wonder. Find a cozy spot to sit and hear wonderful stories about the mysterious  Nabateans. 

It sounds like a wonderful experience, doesn’t it? Well worth staying up so late! Go back to your hotel room and get a good night’s sleep– tomorrow is all about hiking.  

Day 3: Petra

Petra Hiking - Treasury View

One day isn’t nearly enough to explore all Petra has to offer. Still, you can cover at least the most important sights. The best way to explore Petra is by hiking. There are several hiking trails in Petra, for all difficulty levels and interests. Without exception, you’ll do the Main Trail. It takes you from the visitor’s center and up to The Treasury. Many other trails branch out from the Main Trail’s ending point. 

Check out the signs for your map to know which way to go. The Monastery, the Renaissance Tomb, or the Temple of Dushares are popular choices. Always remember to check out the trail’s difficulty level. Some are pretty strenuous and put up a challenge for inexperienced hikers. 

After so much hiking, you need a succulent meal to revitalize your body. My advice is that you book dinner with a local family via A Piece of Jordan. You’ll get the chance to immerse yourself in the life of Jordanians and learn more about their culture from the inside.

Day 4: Wadi Rum

We’re halfway through your 7-day Jordan itinerary. On day four, we head to Wadi Rum, the desert whose stunning Martian landscape has drawn explorers from far and wide and even film crews. 

Start off your day early, to catch breakfast and hit the road as soon as possible. You’ll drive two hours to Wadi Rum. Once you arrive, find your Wadi Rum camp and check-in. You can explore the surroundings or relax at your camp’s common area until lunch. 

One of the best ways to explore Wadi Rum’s landscape is by taking a 4×4 or jeep tour. A knowledgeable Bedouin acting as your guide takes you to discover some of the most famous rock formations and hidden nooks of Wadi Rum. Coming sunset, he’ll find a perfect spot where you’ll get fabulous views of the sun setting. 

Back at your camp from the Wadi Rum tour, prepare to take a trip to flavor town. Your camp’s chef will prepare a Bedouin Zarb dinner, a traditional barbecue cooked underground. After dinner, your camp will likely invite you to partake in different activities. Some choose to dance to the beat of Jordanian music, while others prefer to find a cozy spot outside and do some sky surfing. To get in the mood for sleeping, grab a cup of tea from the common room, and then go to your tent.  

Day 5: Wadi Rum & Dead Sea

10 Days in Jordan - Wadi Rum Sunrise

On day five, set up your alarm to wake you up before sunrise. You’ll book a camel ride out into the Wadi Rum desert to watch the sun go up. The tour takes around 60-90 minutes, giving you enough time to enjoy breakfast before leaving for your next destination. 

Part of staying a week in Jordan is that you get extra time to enjoy this country’s wonders. Some people choose to spread that extra time in different locations. Me, I prefer to give you extra time in one of Jordan’s top attractions, the Dead Sea. 

Travelers love going to the Dead Sea, yet they never have enough time here. However, with this 7-day Jordan itinerary, you get (almost) three days here.

10 Days in Jordan - Open Road to Dana

The drive to the Dead Sea takes approximately four hours. It’s a long road trip, so try not to delay your departure. 

You can take two routes to get to the Dead Sea:

  • Desert Highway/Route 15 – an inland route that’s a little bit shorter but offers scenic views
  • Jordan Valley Highway/Route 36 – a scenic route that works northbound through the Jordan Valley and along the shores of the Dead Sea

At the Dead Sea, find your resort and check-in. Feel free to enjoy the rest of the day as you see fit. Most Dead Sea resorts feature luxury amenities, like bars and spas, which you can enjoy. They also have private access to the shores of the Dead Sea, so you can go and take a dip in the salty waters.

Day 6: Dead Sea & Wadi Mujib

Things to Do in Jordan - Wadi Mujib

The Dead Sea is close to Wadi Mujib, a biosphere reserve popular for its canyoning opportunities. It takes only about 20-25 mins to get there, and it’s worth it.

As hiking experiences go, Wadi Mujib is one of the most memorable for me. It offers a perfect combination of water and rock adventure– the cool waters will be your best allies when climbing those canyons. There are plenty of hikes, from the easy ones to challenging ones.

My advice is that you rise early and try to arrive at Wadi Mujib in the morning, as there are no reservations to access the biosphere for canyoning. How long you spend at Wadi Mujib is up to you. It can take anywhere from two to three hours to a whole day, depending on the trails you choose to explore. 

Less adventurous travelers can engage in one of the shortest trails to get a glimpse of the canyon’s beauty. Then, grab lunch and make your way back to the Dead Sea. 

Once again, you can choose to use your resort’s amenities or you can head to the Dead Sea salty waters again and rub mud for a natural exfoliant experience.  

Day 7: Dead Sea & Amman

Today is your final day in Jordan. Make the most out of it by getting up early.  If you can make one last effort, try to wake up before sunrise so you can catch it while floating in the salty waters. It’s another memorable experience you’ll treasure forever. 

Get back to your hotel, and grab breakfast. You should have packed your bags the day before. However, take your time to ensure you have all the documents you’ll need to show at the airport. 

What time you leave the Dead Sea depends on the time your flight leaves. However, most U.S. flights depart in the early afternoon, and, considering it will take one hour from the Dead Sea back to Amman’s Queen Alia International Airport, it’s better to allocate enough time for your road trip. Once you arrive at the airport, you’ll begin the process of traveling home or onward to another destination – full of memories from this special place.

Have questions about planning your Jordan seven-day itinerary or any of my recommendations? Let me know in the comments, or join my Jordan Travel Tips Facebook community.

12 Comments

  • Elle

    Our family is planning a trip end of this month (June). I will be travelling with my 70-year old mom who has mobility issues. Would you still recommend Wadi Rum and Petra for her? Thanks for all your tips in this site!

    • JT Headshot New

      Valerie

      With mobility issues, your mom will have a very hard time at both Petra and Wadi Rum, unfortunately; Jordan is not a particularly accessible country. You could potentially do Petra if you booked her a transfer into the Treasury (can be done once you get there, I’m not sure it can be done in advance!), but I would skip Wadi Rum entirely.

  • Kerin

    Hi Valerie,

    I’m looking at your 7 and 8 day suggested itineraries, which look fabulous. I’m waffling about renting a car since I’ll be traveling solo. Are the highways clearly marked and is it easy to maneuver in general and to also find parking at the different sites? Thanks in advance for your advice!

  • Lotte

    Hi!

    Your itinerary looks really nice! I was just wondering what the approximate price is of this trip? Plane tickets excluded of course. Thanks in advance!

  • Bhooma

    Hi Valerie,

    This itinerary says that “The Dead Sea is close to Wadi Mujib, a biosphere reserve popular for its canyoning opportunities. It takes only about 20-25 mins to get there, and it’s worth it.”. However, the 8 and 9 day itineraries say that Wadi Mujib is one hour and thirty minutes away from the Dead Sea. Just wanted to check how far Wadi Mujib is from the Dead Sea?

    Thanks!

    • JT Headshot New

      Valerie

      Ah, thanks for catching that, Bhooma. It’s definitely close to the Dead Sea – 20-30 minutes depending on which resort you stay at. There’s a larger Wadi Mujib area and I confused the two when estimating the travel times in Google maps 😅

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