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Jordan’s one of the most accessible and friendliest countries in the Middle East.
Jordan’s one of the most accessible and friendliest countries in the Middle East. Only five hours direct flight from the UK, it’s where to see the ancient city of Petra and the Wadi Rum desert within easy travelling distance of Red Sea beach resorts. Family holidays with older kids and teenagers can be packed with experiences and younger children love the sunny weather and easy going Jordanians.
Direct flights from the UK to Amman all year round take just five hours.
Aqaba on the Red Sea has temperatures of 30˚ and rising from May to September. Winter temperatures are seldom less than 20˚.
Jordan’s compact size and specialisation in adventure tourism makes it ideal for longer, multi-centre family holidays.
Many areas of Jordan’s legendary rose-red desert are accessible on day trips from the Red Sea coast and Amman.
Jordan has five UNESCO World Heritage sites including the ancient desert city of Petra which was also designated one of the World’s Seven Wonders in 2007.
Jordan’s Dead Sea coast, along with several of the Middle East’s loveliest spa resorts, is slightly over an hour’s drive from Amman.
One of the most progressive Middle East countries, Jordan is warmly welcoming to families and an astounding holiday for older kids and teens.
Petra can be your only reason for visiting Jordan, but travelling to Jordan and not seeing Petra is unthinkable. This is the ancient capital of the Nabataean Arabs, calmly abandoned in the 7th century and known only to desert Bedouin until Swiss explorer Johannes Burckhardt rediscovered it in 1812. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and, in 2007, was designated one of the Seven Wonders of the World alongside icons like Machu Picchu and the Great Wall of China.
The spectacularly preserved Treasury, revealed after walking through an immense natural corridor of soaring cliffs at the entrance to Petra, is the image everyone has of the city. But there dozens of incredible archaeological sites in the complex so, although you can ‘do’ it in a day from Amman or Aqaba, plan to stay longer.
Aqaba on the Red Sea coast is a good choice for beach holidays within easy travelling distance of Jordan’s most monumental sites. It’s a colourful, low-rise resort with dozens of public and private beaches scattered along one of the Middle East’s best protected marine reserves.
Once visited, never forgotten, is the usual reaction to Wadi Rum. It’s one of earth’s loveliest and most accessible desert landscape, famous for red sands, dramatic rock formations and the Bedouin who have made their lives here for millennia. This was the desert T. E. Lawrence, AKA Lawrence of Arabia, wrote of in the Seven Pillars of Wisdom (one of Rum’s many imperious mountains is named after the book). You can 4×4 self-drive here, but it’s not advisable with kids.
Jordan shares the Dead Sea with Israel and staring across still waters towards Jerusalem’s lights in the evening is just one incredible moment here. At 400m below sea level this is the lowest lake on earth, dense with salts and minerals and encrusted with glittering crystalline deposits. It’s not a beach holiday as you know it but, like Petra, it’s a phenomena not to be missed.
Most UK flights arrive in the Jordanian capital, Amman. It’s one of the friendliest and most relaxed cities in the Middle East, easy to get around and even an overnight stay with older kids and teenagers is worth considering.
There isn’t anywhere in Jordan you can’t see as part of a guided tour, they’re great value and all include transport from hotels or resorts. If you want to self-drive, hire a 4×4: most of the country’s roads are good, but there are areas which will be more challenging than you’re used to. Don’t lose sight of how close you are to the desert and keep water in the car and paper maps as back up – phone signals aren’t reliable.