Practicalities - tips for your holiday to Jordan
Of course, when considering travelling to any destination for the first time, practicalities are often at the forefront of your mind. Fortunately, Jordan is an easy place to travel around. Here are a few useful insights to answer those common pressing first questions.
There are no mandatory inoculations for visiting Jordan, although you should always speak to your doctor just to ensure you are up to date on all of the standard shots, as well as check whether there are any vaccinations, medications or other precautionary measures that you might personally need. As of 1 March 2022, travellers do not need proof of COVID-19 vaccination, or to take a test upon arrival or prior to departure.
The currency is the Jordanian dinar. While you can exchange your currency in the UK, the best option is to change it after you land in Jordan. You will get a better rate of exchange in the local banks rather than hotels. We also advise that you have cash in small denominations as this is easier for tipping and purchases in smaller shops.
If you are staying more than three consecutive nights in Jordan, you can apply for a Jordan Pass online, which includes a fee-free visa on top of reduced entry price for a number of tourist sites. When you book with Cox & Kings, we can advise on visa options and assist in arranging the requisite paperwork.
Most flights from the UK to Jordan take five hours.
The official national language is Arabic, though you will find many people speak English.
How long should your break be?
First-time visitors to Jordan should aim to allow 7 to 10 days for their break. The country has a lot to offer in terms of both culture and leisure, and trips of this length give you the chance to take a comprehensive tour that includes everything from a visit to breathtaking Petra to snorkelling in the Red Sea. If you have less time to spare, then you can always take a shorter break of 4 to 5 days, but will need to focus on one or two areas, instead of seeing it all.
Jordan caters to a wide tourist market in terms of the kinds of hotels it offers – five-star luxury can easily be found here, as well as more modest three-star options.
As you might expect, Jordan has a year-round warm climate. Generally speaking, the best time of year to travel is March, April, May, October and November, when the weather is warm but you avoid the often scorching temperatures of the summer months, which frequently hit the high 30s. Of course, if you are comfortable in these sorts of temperatures, then there is no reason not to travel during the summer months – though bear in mind the high temperatures don't always suit a lot of the best activities. A visit to Petra, for instance, will see you on your feet all day – and in the height of summer, the heat can make this tiring, which is why most people opt to visit during the cooler periods.
As a quick note, it is worth remembering that while Jordan's weather typically ranges from warm to hot, the desert destinations such as Wadi Rum and Petra can get much cooler during the winter and evenings.
Jordan has excellent roads, which makes it simple to travel around, especially if you are holidaying as part of one of our group tours as you will be chauffeured in either an air-conditioned coach or car. As Jordan is a long, narrow country, you typically either travel from the north to the south or vice versa. Excellent highways connect the key destinations and attractions, and these are punctuated with cities and services that have excellent shopping and great places to eat.
Jordan is a relaxed and welcoming place but there are a few cultural customs that are worth being mindful of during your travels. When visiting Jordan, remember it is an Islamic country and therefore modesty is always appreciated. Wearing shorts or skirts that fall below the knee is essential when visiting religious sites, and you'll find that it is appreciated on the streets too – so make sure you pack accordingly.
If you visit during Ramadan, always follow the local rules – don't eat, drink or smoke in public.
Unmissable destinations and attractions
Petra is the ultimate destination for first-time travellers to Jordan. Famous for its spectacular architecture hewn directly from the rock, it is truly breathtaking. Travel with a guide and you will find they can really bring the place to life with tales of the past and fascinating facts. As well as visiting during the day, be sure to come back in the evening for Petra by Candlelight. After the sun sets, the site is lit with candles and the atmosphere is wonderfully romantic.