How to get there and how to move around Jordan

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Lluis Enric Mayans
@lluisenricmayans
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Jordan is a relatively young state when you consider its gain of independence, but thegeographical area in which it stands is the cradle of civilization and millenary history.

From the salty waters of the Dead Sea to the archaeological site of Petra, one of the seven wonders of the modern world, Jordan is home to unrepeatable and evocative scenarios, which have become part of the collective imagination through iconic films such as Lawrence of Arabia and Indiana Jones.

Here is all the useful information for you to know about how to get there and how to move in Jordan.



Index

  1. Where it is
  2. Security, visa and necessary documents
  3. Main geographic areas or tourist areas in Jordan
  4. Useful Tips
  5. User questions and comments

Where it is

Jordan is one state of the Near East, bordering Syria to the north, Iraq to the east, Saudi Arabia to the south-east and Israel and Palestine to the west. It has a small outlet on the Red Sea to the south, in the Gulf of Aqaba.

Security, visa and necessary documents

  • Entry requirements: passport with a minimum validity of 6 months; single access visa valid for two months or with multiple entries valid for three months, to be requested from the Jordanian Embassy or Consulates in Italy or directly at the airport
  • vaccinations: no vaccinations required, but those for typhus, tetanus and hepatitis A are recommended
  • Restrictions: It is not possible to visit the country if you have an Israeli visa in your passport
  • Safety: relatively quiet nation, however the risk of terrorist attacks is present in the areas of Za'atari, Azraq and Ma'an due to the presence of refugee camps and Salafist mosques; in autumn and winter and when heavy rains occur, there is a risk of flash flooding, especially near rivers and canyons; before leaving and during the whole trip, consult the official website of the Farnesina in the Jordan section
  • Useful Tips: make sure in advance that the destination airport can issue the access visa, if you want to obtain it in Italy, consider a deadline of at least 15 days for the issue by the Consulates or the Embassy; maintain a sober and respectful attitude and wear appropriate clothing for the places of worship you visit; avoid individual movements in desert areas, better rely on tour operators and organized excursions

Main geographic areas or tourist areas in Jordan

Jordan is divided into three geographical areas. Starting from west to east, the first is the Jordan River valley, to the east of which lies the plateau, and finally the desert area, the largest of all, which is part of the largest Syrian desert.



1 - Amman and the Jordan Valley

And the region with the lowest altitude on the planet, located 400 meters below sea level.
There are many places to visit of a religious nature, on the east coast of the Dead Sea, where the biblical cities of Sodom, Gomorrah, Adman, Zoar and Zehohim stood. A little further north of the Dead Sea, in the city of Al-Maghtas, according to tradition, Jesus received baptism from John the Baptist.
The valley holds a strong appeal also to the Muslim faithful, as it houses the tombs of the first prophets who converted to Islam.

The territory of the Jordan Valley falls mostly within the State of Israel, but important destinations can be included on the Jordanian side within easy reach such as Amman, Madaba, Jerash (Gerasia) and the northern part of the Dead Sea.

To visit this area, the best period corresponds to the mid-seasons, especially the months of April, May and October, as summer is really hot, with temperatures that rise above 40 °, while winter, even if mild, can bring cold days.

How to get there and how to get around

The nearest airport is Amman, about three and a half hours from Italy by direct flight of the national airline Royal Jordanians, or with a stopover in Istanbul flying with Turkish Airlines. From Rome and Milan there are two direct flights a day with costs within everyone's reach (from about € 59,00).

The airport it is located about 32 kilometers south of Amman. To reach the center you can take the Sariyah Airport Express shuttle bus service, which runs every day from 6:30 am to midnight, with departures every 30 minutes and runs lasting about an hour. The alternative is by taxi (around 30,00 JOD / € 38,00 per ride) or private transfer (around € 18,00). Furthermore, it is also possible reach Madaba directly from Amman airport, by private transfer (online from € 40,00) or by public bus or the private shuttles of the JETT company (about € 8,00), Madaba is the city of mosaics, which can be taken as a reference base, but you can also choose to visit the Valley in a single day departing from the capital Amman ..

Car rental is an option. The costs are roughly the same as in Italy (about € 30,00 per day), gasoline costs very little, traffic is all in all regular, and intensifies near the major centers (Amman, Aqaba, ...). Pay attention to the artificial bumps, higher than we are used to and not always immediately visible, and to some indications often in Arabic without translation. In general, however, it is preferable to take part in some organized tours, which also include transport so that you can rest assured.



  • Reference airport: Amman Queen Alia Airport. Low cost flights from € 59,00 -
  • Recommended means of getting around: bus, taxi, organized tours
  • Where to sleep nearby: a stay in Amman is suggested as a starting point. Hotel and b & b starting from € 31,00 per room -
  • Dead Sea: Private Day Tour from Amman Tour of Jericho, Qumran Caves, Dead Sea and Bethlehem

2 - Plateau (Amman, Jerash, Petra)

The main places of interest in this area are the capital Amman, Jerash (Gerasia) and the archaeological area of ​​Petra. The plateau area extends from north to south of the country, and includes ancient fortifications and castles, which exploited the strategic position for greater control of the territory.

To visit this area, the best period corresponds to the mid-seasons, especially the months of April, May and October, as the summer is really hot.

How to get there and how to get around

To visit the north area you can refer to the Amman airport, about three and a half hours from Italy by direct flight of the national airline Royal Jordanians, or with a stopover in Istanbul flying with Turkish Airlines. From Rome and Milan there are two direct flights a day with costs within everyone's reach (from about € 59,00). To visit the southern area and the excavations of Petra you can choose the Aqaba airport. The latter is also served by Royal Jordanians and Turkish Airlines, as well as by low cost airlines with direct flights from Italy (Milan Malpensa, Bergamo and Venice) starting from around € 39,00.

Amman Queen Alia Airport it is located about 32 kilometers south of Amman. To reach the center you can take the Sariyah Airport Express shuttle bus service, which runs every day from 6:30 am to midnight, with departures every 30 minutes and runs lasting about an hour. The alternative is by taxi, with an average cost of about JOD 30,00 per ride (about € 38,00) or by private transfer (about € 18,00).

Aqaba airport it is located about 10 kilometers from the city and to reach it you can take the Jordan Shuttle, a shuttle service that must be booked directly on the official website and that will leave you in front of your hotel at a cost of only $ 5,00 (about € 4,50), or the private transfer (about € 18,00 , 53). To get to Petra, on the other hand, we always recommend taking a taxi and a one-way ride costs 65,00 JOD (about € ).

Car rental is an option. The costs are roughly the same as in Italy (about € 30,00 per day), gasoline costs very little, traffic is all in all regular, and intensifies near the major centers (Amman, Aqaba, ...). Pay attention to the artificial bumps, higher than we are used to and not always immediately visible, and to some indications often in Arabic without translation. In general, however, it is preferable to take part in some organized tours, which also include transport so that you can rest assured.



  • Reference airport: Aqaba. Low cost flights from € 34,00 -
  • Recommended means of getting around: taxi or organized tours
  • Where to sleep nearby: a stay in Amman, Aqaba or Petra is suggested. Hotel and b & b starting from € 32,00 per room -
  • From Amman: Wadi Mujib Trail Hike Jordan: Petra Full-Day Tour from Amman

3 - Desert (Wadi Rum)

The Wadi Rum desert is there largest area of ​​Jordan, and occupies about 80% of the national territory. In the desert area you can experience unrepeatable experiences on the traces of Bedouin nomads, traveling on camels, Jeep excursions, to reach the natural wonders of the desert, such as red sand dunes and stone columns.

How to get there and how to get around

Depending on whether you want to combine excursions in the desert with a few days at the sea or the Jordan Valley you can choose to land in both Amman and Aqaba, with the companies previously indicated.

For all activities in the desert we suggest you to rely on organized tours, so as not to run into dangerous areas and not to risk getting lost with the use of your own vehicles. The price varies according to the type of tour, the duration and the activities included, but it starts from an average base of € 80,00 per person for a day, up to a maximum of € 300,00 for a tour of three days.

  • Reference airport: Aqaba. Low cost flights from € 34,00 -
  • Recommended means of getting around: private buses and organized tours
  • Where to sleep nearby: it is suggested to stay overnight in the tented camps in the Wadi Rum desert. Hotels and b & b starting from € 11,00 per room -
  • Petra and Wadi Rum: 2-Day Tour from Eilat Petra, Rum, Aqaba and Dead Sea: 3-Day Tour from Amman

Useful Tips

Jordan has been removed from the Farnesina's list of countries at risk, however it is important not to venture alone in unknown areas so as not to run into unnecessary dangers. However, do not let these tips discourage you from traveling to Jordan: the tourist areas are safe and monitored by local law enforcement agencies constantly.

  1. If you want to apply for a visa at the consulate or embassy to avoid queues at the airport, start the visa procedures in advance, as the procedure can take more than fifteen days.
  2. Travel between the different nations of the Middle East is not entirely free: make sure you do not have an Israeli visa in your passport, as this would make it invalid. You can ask the border authorities to put the stamp on a separate card, which is common practice.
  3. Prefer guided excursions rather than going on an adventure: the desert area is vast and it is not wise to explore it alone.
  4. Different religious confessions coexist in Jordan: remember to always be respectful in clothing and behavior when visiting the cities of the Jordan Valley.

Travel informed: useful information

  • Inhabitants: 9.900.000
  • Capital: Amman
  • Languages: Arabic
  • Local currency: Jordanian dinar (JOD) / € 1,00 = JOD 0,79
  • Weather: temperate arid, with temperatures ranging between 20 ° and 32 ° in summer and 4 ° and 15 ° in winter
  • Time zone: + 1h compared to Italy
  • Travel / health insurance: recommended.


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