Jordan Road Trip Route Hero
Itineraries,  Getting Around

How to Plan the Ultimate 7-Day Jordan Road Trip Route

There are many ways to explore Jordan: on your own or with a guide; by car, by bus, or by camel; on your own or with a group… The possibilities for planning your bucket list Jordan trip are almost endless! One common way to visit Jordan is by planning an independent trip with a rental car – a Jordan road trip, if you will!

While I haven’t personally done an independent trip to Jordan (I prefer to hire a driver and/or guide so as to not have to worry about driving in Jordan), many travelers love the freedom of exploring Jordan on their own and want a car to enable that freedom.

In this post, I’ve put together the many lessons I’ve learned from visiting Jordan into a road trip planning guide to help those of you who like how that freedom sounds. Below you’ll find tips on planning an itinerary, where to go, how long to stay in each place, and other Jordan travel tips. After reading, you’ll be able to plan your own 7-day Jordan road trip – though you can certainly shorten or extend your trip if you have more or less time. (Try checking my many Jordan itineraries if you do have a different number of days, as that will help you adjust your expectations and itinerary.)

Ready to hit the road? Read on and soon you’ll be cruising down the Desert Highway or along the winding coast of the Dead Sea on your own Jordan road trip!

Jordan Road Trip Route Itinerary

Jordan Road Trip Route Map
Click to interact with the map.

Before jumping into all the details of my suggested Jordan road trip route, it might be helpful to cover the basics. Then you’ll know which stops I recommend and can decide whether or not to keep reading. (Of course, I think you’ll love this route and want to know more, but I never want to assume!)

Here’s my suggested road trip route to Jordan’s best sights and stops:

DayStart/Stop
1Amman
2Amman, Wadi Musa/Petra
3Wadi Musa, Wadi Rum
4Wadi Rum, Aqaba
5Aqaba, Feynan
6Feynan, Dead Sea
7Dead Sea, Amman

Looks great, right? If you’re ready to start this Jordan road trip, read on to plan your trip and soon you’ll be ready to go!

Start: Amman

  • Stop Type: Arrival/Overnight
  • Accommodation Suggestions:
    • La Locanda – I stayed here on my most recent trip. This is a music-themed hotel where each room is named for a famous Arabic-speaking artist; it’s up in the trendy Jabal al Webdeh neighborhood. Rooms start from $96 per night; book on Booking.com.
    • Le Royal Hotel – This imposing hotel sits high atop a hill and towers over the city. It offers incredible views and a bit more luxury, but is further from the historic parts of Amman. Rooms start from $123 per night; book on Booking.com.
  • Meal Suggestions:
    • AlQuds Falafel – A walk-up food shop that has incredible falafel sandwiches, popular with locals and visitors alike. (41 Rainbow Street)
    • Jafra Restaurant & Cafe – A popular spot for visitors and local groups, this restaurant is part of a family that serves a variety of Jordanian dishes. (15 Prince Mohammad Street)
    • Habibah Sweets – There are a number of locations for this popular sweet shop, which is widely agreed to offer the best knafeh in town. (King Hussein Street at Sha’aban 9 Street)

Amman is Jordan’s bustling capital, brimming with all sorts of attractions, from historical sites to thriving nightlife. You should start your Jordan road trip in Amman because the capital city has access to one of Jordan’s major highways, Highway 15 – also known as the Desert Highway. Highway 15 runs in Jordan south to north, starting in Amman (north) and finishing in Aqaba (south). 

Two days is a good timeframe to discover Amman’s beauty and history. Of course, you can always spend one day and just visit the highlights.

In short, here are a few Amman attractions you shouldn’t miss during your road trip in Jordan: 

  • The Citadel: an archaeological site dating back to the Neolithic Age. It sits right in the center of downtown Amman. 
  • Roman Theater: One of the most famous landmarks with over 2,000 years of history, created in honor of the Roman emperor Antonius Pius.
  • The Nymphaeum: A gorgeous Roman public fountain dating back to the 2nd Century AD
  • Qasr al-Abd: An unfinished Hellenistic palace dating back to the first quarter of the second century BCE. There’s not much historical reference to the palace, and its purpose is still a mystery. 
  • Rainbow Street: The epicenter of Amman’s tourism and nightlife. It brims with bars and restaurants. 

1. Wadi Musa/Petra

  • Stop Type: Overnight (1-2 nights)
  • Accommodation Suggestions:
    • Petra Moon Hotel –  This standard hotel is nice; it’s where I stayed on my first trip to Petra. Rooms start from $122 per night; book on Booking.com or Hotels.com.
    • Petra Guest House – For convenience, this property is literally right next to the entrance to Petra. It has everything you need on-site and nice rooms too. This is where my Jordan tour stays when we visit Petra. Rooms start from $149 per night; book on Booking.com or Hotels.com
  • Meal Suggestions: At your hotel, as most hotels offer full board (breakfast and dinner included)

Beautiful Petra is your first stop in this Jordan road trip itinerary. While most people use Petra to name Wadi Musa (a nearby town) and the landmark, they’re not the same. Wadi Musa is the little village that houses Petra and is where you’ll arrive from Amman. 

Wadi Musa sits three hours away from Amman, so prepare accordingly. You need at least three days to explore Petra as the ancient capital of the Nabataean Kingdom is a huge place (it stretches over 102 square miles) and has tons of attractions.

Plus, when exploring Petra, I recommend hiking, and it can be quite demanding to go from one site to another. By the way, I have a complete hiking guide on the trails in Petra you can check out to organize your itinerary. 

It’s hard to narrow down the best things to see in Petra, but here’s my best shot. Of course, you’ll visit the Treasury, the most elaborate and famous temple that comes right after the Siq. The Monastery is another cool sight; although it’s not for the faint of heart – you need to climb 850 steps to reach it. A little further from the must-sees are the Royal Tombs and High Place of Sacrifice. 

2. Wadi Rum

  • Stop Type: Overnight (1-2 nights)
  • Accommodation Suggestions:
  • Meal Suggestions: At your Wadi Rum camp, as all are full board (breakfast and dinner included)

Along with Petra, Wadi Rum is one of the many reasons to visit Jordan. Who can blame them? With its dramatic Martian landscape and vast onenesses, the desert is something we all should witness once in our lifetime. 

Wadi Rum offers lots of outdoor fun. The best way to get a glimpse of the desert is to book a sunset jeep tour. A knowledgeable bedouin takes you to the most famous rock formations and chooses a charming nook to watch the sun hide behind the horizon. The most popular activities include camel rides, sandboarding, and hot air ballooning. 

3. Aqaba

  • Stop Type: Overnight (1+ nights)
  • Accommodation Suggestions:
  • Meal Suggestions:
    • خبزة وصينية (khubza & Seneya) – A traditional Jordanian restaurant with a huge menu, delicious food, and good prices, this is a great spot where you can avoid the chain restaurants and crowds of a beach town like Aqaba.
    • Mirwas Cafe and Restaurant – Located right on the marina, the location is this restaurant’s primary selling point – but the food is good enough to justify the premium you pay for that view!

Aqaba is a short drive, only one hour, from Wadi Rum. However, the short distance is not representative of/ doesn’t quite reflect the vast difference between the landscapes. Amman is Jordan’s only port city and will be a nice change from the dryness of the desert. 

The city has all you need to unwind and take a break from driving: sweeping beaches, cool museums, a luxurious marina, and a lively night scene. You can spend the day lying on the beach or exploring Aqaba’s downtown. Adventurous travelers can explore the fabulous coral reef with a scuba diving class, while history buffs visit the Aqaba Archaeological Museum. 

4. Feynan

  • Stop Type: Overnight (1-2 nights)
  • Accommodation Suggestions: Feynan EcoLodge, one of Jordan’s best eco-resorts, is an off-grid property that will redefine luxury and challenge your expectations of accommodation in Jordan’s harsh, arid climate.
  • Meal Suggestions: At Feynan, where three meals are provided each day of your stay.

Located at the lower end of the Dana Biosphere Reserve, Feynan Valley used to be one of the biggest copper mines in southern Levant. Today, it is Jordan’s pioneering area in ecotourism. 

Feynan is rich in history. However, it rose to fame after the arrival of Feynan Ecolodge, a joint project that balances sustainability and environmental conservation with the socio-economic development of Jordan’s rural communities. 

The valley is a gateway to Jordan’s history and diverse landscapes. It has a harsh but beautiful desert landscape and archeological sites dating back to the 7th century. It’s a wonderful opportunity to immerse yourself in Bedouin culture. Feynan is home to a large community of Bedouins, whom businesses and Feynan Ecolodge hire as drivers and guides. 

5. Dead Sea

  • Stop Type: Overnight (1+ nights)
  • Accommodation Suggestions:
    • Ramada Resort Dead Sea – While Ramada doesn’t have a top reputation in the U.S., their property at the Dead Sea is a good spot. Where I stayed on my first trip to the Dead Sea, this property is high on the hills above the sea and has all the amenities you need. From $80 per night; book on Booking.com or Hotels.com.
    • Holiday Inn Resort Dead Sea – This is not your standard Holiday Inn, either. A huge complex of buildings with good access to a private beach on the Dead Sea, this is where my tour groups stay during our Jordan tours. From $133 per night; book on Booking.com or Hotels.com.
  • Meal Suggestions: At your hotel, as all Dead Sea resorts offer full board (breakfast and dinner included).

The next stop is the Dead Sea, which means we’re approaching the end of this Jordan road trip. The drive from Feynan to the Dead Sea takes 2 1/2 hours. Luckily, the Dead Sea is all about relaxation, with salty waters and mineral-rich mud. There are many public beaches along the shores of the sea where everyone can go for a dip. 

Visitors will find countless resorts (mostly high-end and luxurious) that have access to the Dead Sea. Also, most hotels offer all kinds of spa treatments – pretty convenient to recover after so many days on the road! 

End: Amman

  • Stop Type: Departure (or Add-On Days as you desire)
  • Accommodation Suggestions: See Stop #1
  • Meal Suggestions: See Stop #1

Now we’re back where we started. Depending on how long you stay in Amman, you could continue exploring a few attractions that the city offers. 

Perhaps, you’d like to go to the Souks and practice the art of market haggling. Others would like to visit one of Amman’s stunning museums to learn more about the country’s history. 

Ambitious travelers can visit other attractions located in towns nearby Amman, just as I’ve detailed below. 

Bonus: Jerash & Ajloun

  • Stop Type: Day Trip(s)
  • Accommodation Suggestions: n/a
  • Meal Suggestions: n/a

If you still have the energy and time, you could add extra stops to your Jordan road trip: Jerash & Ajloun. These two destinations are great day trips from Amman and can even be combined into a single day trip basing yourself in Amman.

Jerash is a tiny city only 45 minutes north of Amman. Its nickname is the “Pompeii of the East” as it houses one of the best-preserved Greco-Roman cities in the Middle East. Here, you can see Hadrian’s Arch, a triumphal 13m-tall structure, and The Sanctuary of Zeus, temple ruins dating back to AD 162-166. 

Ajloun is 28 minutes away from Jerash. The town’s highlight is Ajloun Castle, a stunning 12th-century Muslim castle that’s one of the finest examples of Islamic military architecture.

Now you’re all set to plan a Jordan road trip itinerary that visits all of the cities and sights. Have any questions about planning your own road trip in Jordan? Let me know in the comments, or join the conversation in my Jordan Travel Tips Facebook community.

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