Reasons To Visit Jordan

Jordan, nestled between Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Egypt, is a haven for adventurers who love history, culture, and nature. It also sparks kids’ imaginations.

The Khazneh, or Treasure of Petra, is a Jordanian superstar. Seeing it in person, glowing in sunlight, is breathtaking. This 40-meter-high wonder is carved into the rock, unfinished like Schubert’s symphony. Hidden in the beautiful Petra gorge, it surprises you with its grandeur and ancient cave art.

The Musa River carved this gorge, and the Nabataeans dammed it for water in the 6th century BC. Khazneh’s story, labeled “human creative genius” by UNESCO, is best experienced in person. Petra is more than just the Khazneh, and Petra is just one reason to visit Jordan.

Jordan is perfect for dreamers and adventurers who love to move, exploring archaeological gems and natural wonders. From Amman at 900 meters high to Aqaba on the Red Sea, a 400-kilometer adventure awaits.

Here are five reasons to visit Jordan, with special highlights for kids:

1. Petra: A World Archaeological Gem (2 days)

Petra Jordan

“Donkey Taxi! Ferrari! Lamborghini!” shouts the Bedouin as tourists emerge from the Siq, the stunning gorge leading to the ancient city. For a few dinars, travelers can hop on a donkey, trotting through the vast valley, and climbing the 800 steps to the monastery. This remarkable structure is nestled in a breathtaking landscape of rocks shaped by centuries of wind and time. On the descent, after hours of walking, the “donkey taxi” becomes especially popular.

Petra is immense, with around 850 buildings carved into the mountains, covering nearly 100 km². Visitors only see a small part, focusing their two-day trip on the highlights, including Little Petra (free) and the main site (paid).

Petra has been a ghost town since 1985, when UNESCO declared it a World Heritage site and the Jordanian government relocated the troglodyte inhabitants to protect it. Ironically, these inhabitants had preserved it for centuries. Their stories bring the ancient city to life, letting visitors imagine life among the colonnades, theaters, and temples.

The Best for Kids:

2. Wadi Rum: The taste of the desert (2 days)

Wadi Rum Jordan

Two hours south of Petra lies an expanse of scorched sands, bristling with stratified mountains in purpurine, brown, and cream colors. These majestic formations, shaped by centuries of wind and thermal variations, change shades depending on the time of day. Sleep here to witness the setting sun lighting up the sky on the endless horizon. Share a Bedouin meal cooked in the sand, feel the warmth of the fire in the cold night, and gaze at the starry sky to see the Milky Way. Experience the immensity and the silence.

Isolation is possible, even as the journey speeds by in a noisy pick-up truck. Clusters of tourists at designated stops, guided by Bedouins, might dampen the mood. Yet, these stops showcase remarkable geological beauty and Nabataean rock paintings.

Wadi Rum has its modern-day star, Lawrence of Arabia, who called it “vast, echoing and God-like” in his book, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom. All Bedouins proudly mention the British officer who praised their courage, his face immortalized by Peter O’Toole alongside Omar Sharif in the film. Some stops even match those used by the film crew.

The Best for Kids:

3. Aqaba: Diving in an aquarium (2 days).

Aqaba Jordan

The sight of the modern city just 20 minutes after leaving the sands of Wadi Rum can be a bit of a shock. But the thought of diving into the Red Sea near the seaside city of Aqaba is comforting. To reach the best spots, drive another ten kilometers along the coast towards the Saudi border to Tala Bay, home to luxury hotels and diving clubs. The waters here are filled with healthy corals and multicolored fish, as noted in the Routard guide.

You don’t need to be an experienced diver to see the Napoleon wrasse, rainbow wrasse, butterfly fish, clownfish, parrotfish, and boxfish playing in the turquoise water among corals and gorgonians, gently swaying in the light current. King Abdullah II, a diver himself, ensures the protection of this underwater paradise.

The Best for Kids:

4. The Dead Sea: A unique phenomenon (1 day)

Dead Sea Jordan

Don’t take the Desert Road to return to Amman. Instead, choose the road along the Dead Sea, which borders Israel and the Palestinian territories and is the lowest point on Earth. Bathing here is an almost spiritual experience, reminiscent of Moses. His biblical story is highlighted further northeast at Mount Nebo, where he is said to have died after glimpsing the Promised Land.

We’ll visit Mount Nebo, but for now, enter the thick, oily waters of the Dead Sea carefully. Wear shoes to avoid cutting your feet on sharp salt crystals. Be cautious not to splash, as the water can burn your eyes. Once in, float effortlessly on your back, without needing to swim, like a cork. Breaststroke is nearly impossible as your feet float above the water.

No species can survive in the Dead Sea. This becomes clear when you observe the ancient mosaics at Mount Nebo’s monastery: fish approaching from the Red Sea turn away. Despite the lifeless water, its mineral-rich salts can treat skin diseases. Covering yourself in mud at one of the beach resorts leaves your skin feeling incredibly soft. This unique geological-chemical phenomenon is unparalleled in the world. However, the Dead Sea is receding, with some scientists predicting it could disappear by 2050.

The Best for Kids:

5. Amman and Jerash: Ancient jewels (2 days)

Amman Jordan

Amman, a bustling city sprawled across seven hills, is not just a starting and ending point. Ancient Philadelphia hides an archaeological gem. The citadel, perched above the lower town, hosts the Temple of Hercules, offering a stunning view of the dizzying Roman theater. However, old stone enthusiasts often prefer Jerash, 50 km to the north. Here, you can wander among magnificently preserved columns in a vast ancient city that was Greek, Roman, and Byzantine.

Best for Kids:


The Jordan pass

The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has implemented the Jordan Pass . Bought on the internet for 70 Jordanian dinars (the equivalent of 85 euros), this document printed before departure allows you to make a huge saving: it is worth a visa (failing that, it is €60 at Amman airport), and allows you to halve the entrance fee to the main sites to visit.


The Boutique Hotel Amman . A small, friendly address in downtown (meaning the city center) of Amman, very close to the archaeological sites. Around 30 JOD (€45) per night. On Prince Muhammad St, opposite Jafra, typical and warm restaurant upstairs.

Cleopetra Hotel . A small, humble hotel in Petra, but impeccable and cozy on Main Street, Wadi Musa. Count 35 JOD with breakfast.

Darna Divers Village. In Aqaba- a serious diving center run by a friendly family, reasonable diving prices, and a charming small hotel with a swimming pool by the sea. From 35 JOD diving and 45 JOD at night.