The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has much to offer in unique travel experiences. From diving in the Gulf of Aqaba to living like a Bedouin in the desert, here are the most unique adventures you can only have in Jordan.
Snorkel in the clearest of waters in the Red Sea
The seaport town of Aqaba sits at the southernmost point of Jordan and is home to one of the best snorkelling and diving coastlines in the world, with many centres and professional instructors catering to these sports. You can revel in captivating sea reef colours and the incredible biodiversity, complete with approximately 130 species of coral and hundreds of species of fish and other animals.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Just be aware that if you are flying out of Aqaba, it is recommended that you wait at least 18 hours post-diving so that your body can adjust before heading up to very high altitudes. If you’re heading to the Dead Sea after Aqaba, then that needn’t be a worry as it’s the lowest point in the whole world.
The desert life experience
Ever wondered where Matt Damon grew those potatoes in The Martian? Welcome to Wadi Rum. Located in the South of Jordan, the Wadi Rum desert offers many a breathtaking desert landscape. It’s no wonder that so many blockbuster films have shot footage in this vast Jordanian desert, including other hits such as Transformers and, of course, Lawrence of Arabia. A newly opened camp in Wadi Rum even enables you to experience ‘life on Mars’ with an overnight stay in a spaceship-like dome built into the sand.
Another unique adventure you can enjoy whilst you are camping in the desert is a cultural immersion with the Bedouins of the south. Your chosen camp hosts will collect you from Rum Village and take you deep into the desert where you can enjoy rock climbing, camel riding and sand dune running. In the evening, you will be cooked a wonderful traditional meal, sit around the campfire and sip on a bottomless cup of sweet tea. Depending on which camp you stay at, some hosts will play traditional Bedouin music as the stars come out and peace transcends on the desert.
Food, glorious food
One of the things Jordanians are most proud of is their traditional Jordanian cuisine. One local dish that is specific to the country and a real must-try is Mansaf – a rice-based dish served with chicken or lamb and accompanied by a yoghurt sauce called Jameed. Expect this dish as a guest at almost every special occasion in Jordan.
Another dish exclusive to the country and different from anything else you’ve tried is Zarb, a chicken and vegetable dish cooked in the ground. It is one of the most delicious meals you will ever taste.
Jordan is blessed with an incredibly rich religious history. Christians, Muslims and Jews all regard the area around the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea as sacred. The Bible even refers to this land as ‘The Garden of the Lord’, making the religious and historical sites located on it a must-see for visitors.
Jordan is a Muslim-majority country, and some important Islamic sites include the tombs of many of the companions of the Prophet Muhammad (PHUH), including Ja’far bin Abi Taleb and Zeid ibn al-Haritha.
The kingdom is also home to one of the oldest living Christian communities, as well as sites such as the Bethany Beyond the Jordan – where Jesus was baptised. There are also many beautiful churches dotted around the country, including the St George Church in Madaba where you can see the oldest mosaic map of the Holy Land.
The smallest hotel in the world
Located in the area of Shobak lies the world’s smallest hotel. This tiny four-wheel hotel is actually an old car decked out with comfortable mattresses and blankets and will sleep two cosily!
Bathe in the mountains under natural hot springs
The word ‘Hammam’ in Arabic refers to a communal bathhouse, but Hammamat Ma’in is really something special. Also known as Ma’in hot springs, these natural hot water springs sit between the mountains in Wadi Zarqa Ma’in.
Mineral rich water pours from the rocks at temperatures ranging from 45–60° Celsius (113–140°F) and collects in natural pools that are perfect for bathing and relaxing.
Unique Levantine views from Umm Qais
The Roman ruins of Umm Qais were once known as the city of Gadara and served as a cultural centre home to many poets and philosophers over 2,000 years ago.
As well as the historical significance, Umm Qais sits high in the mountains, and from atop, you can simultaneously look down on Lebanon, Syria and Palestine all in one glance. The best time to go is a couple of hours before sunset so that you can enjoy the extraordinary sunset views.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.