Distances are small in Jordan, and the landscapes are hugely varied. A couple of hours’ travel could see you losing or gaining hundreds of metres in altitude and moving in quick succession from village to city and forest to desert.
1 Ajloun Forest
Head north of Amman into the forested highlands for long walks in quiet countryside, homecooked food and community crafts projects.
2 Umm Qais
Jordan’s northernmost point offers panoramic views out over the Sea of Galilee and Golan Heights, set among rolling green hills and plunging valley gorges.
3 Sharhabil bin Hassneh EcoPark
A fine base in the Jordan Valley to explore the lake and mountains around the Ziglab Dam.
4 Dead Sea
Float your cares away at the world’s largest open-air spa, situated 400m below sea level at the lowest point on Earth.
5 Mujib Biosphere Reserve
Epic canyoning and gorge-walking, centred on Wadi Mujib, dubbed Jordan’s Grand Canyon.
6 Feynan Ecolodge
Sensational little eco-friendly desert hotel in the wild Wadi Araba – perfect for those seeking romantic seclusion, fine walks and scintillating sunsets.
Don’t miss this tranquil highland village of stone cottages and yawning vistas out over rocky domes and soaring cliffs. Walk, camp, daydream – you won’t want to leave.
Head south for some of the Red Sea’s best-preserved coral reefs and greatest marine biodiversity.
9 Wadi Rum
Legendary desertscapes – red dunes, granite cliffs, hidden springs and ancient inscriptions. Take it all in with a night or two under the stars at a bedouin camp.
Drive out across empty desert to reach Jordan’s only oasis, offering birdwatching and desert tours.
Start your explorations in the Jordanian capital, replete with biblical history, Roman architecture and fascinating Islamic ruins.
Just north of Amman stands this well-preserved Roman provincial city – roam the colonnaded streets, temples, theatres and stunning Oval Plaza.
Take a detour to visit this remote site in the Jordan Valley, where the early Christians escaped persecution.
4 Umm Qais
Visit the stupendously located Roman city of Gadara, high above the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus performed the Miracle of the Gadarene Swine.
5 Umm Al Jimal
Far out in the black volcanic desert near the Syrian border sit the evocative ruins of this frontier Roman town, with fine architectural detail surviving.
6 “Desert Castles”
Take a day to tour this string of early-Islamic forts, bath-houses and caravanserais east of Amman on a convenient, easy-to-navigate loop of roads.
Start out in this genial Christian town, packed with Byzantine mosaic art, then head to nearby Mount Nebo, where Moses gazed over the Promised Land, and Mukawir, where John the Baptist lost his head.
A majestic crusader castle dominates this country town midway along the scenic King’s Highway.
Further south, this was the Crusader headquarters in Jordan – a virtually impregnable hilltop fortress.
Last but not least, visit the legendary “rose-red city” of the Nabateans, lost for centuries, but still full of the power to amaze.