Jordan – a monarchy with huge rocky deserts

Jordan – go on holiday to Jordan, where is it on the map

Let’s go on holiday to Jordan! What is this country that has both beach ️ tourism (Red and Dead Sea) and ancient history . Getting to know Jordan in an easy to read article, all the essentials you need to know: where to go, beautiful attractions ️, best beaches, weather, when best to go and even show it all on a map! Here we go.

Since ancient times, the countries of the Middle East cause burning interest among the inhabitants of the planet, who love to explore unknown worlds unlike other corners of the Earth either by history, way of life, culture or behavior of the natives. Among the exotic by the standards of travelers states has found its rightful place eastern kingdom of Jordan about the features, secrets and mysteries of which our website has prepared for you a detailed story.

Despite the fact that 90% of the territory of this Arabian state is occupied by deserts and similar to them desert areas by the nature of relief and climate, Jordan successfully develops and thrives, wisely using the remaining 10% of its possessions. The luxurious resorts of the Gulf of Aqaba, framed by the marvelous coral reefs, are adjacent to the ancient monuments of architecture. Therapeutic resorts on the shores of the Dead Sea are ready to compete in level of service with the famous resorts of the world. The legacy of Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Turkish history is organically woven into the streets of Jordan’s cities in a tart cocktail of historical monuments and cultural traditions. Modern ingredients of the Western standard of living, which harmoniously added to the overall colorful picture, added zest to the overall flavor.

We don’t like loud words, but we are always on the side of fair assessments. Jordan is full of amazing places, which you can and should get acquainted with, the more so the state is recognized as one of the safest areas among the precious necklace of Arab countries in the Middle East region.

General Information

Population

Given Jordan’s proximity to such troubled states as Israel, Palestine, Iraq and Egypt, the country’s population is constantly fluctuating in one direction or another at the expense of refugees. At the moment, the official figure is 6.2 million . At the same time, about 1/3 of the population are native Jordanians Arabs, 50-60% of the population gives the statistics an influx of natives of Palestine. Adyghes, Chechens, Armenians, Kurds, and Turkmens are not uncommon in Jordan, with their total number approaching 10%.

Form of Government

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is a dual monarchy. The power of the monarch is able to contain and set the limits of her influence by the constitution of the state, which, however, does little to prevent the king from keeping his subjects in check. To assist the monarch, the Council of Ministers, headed by a Prime Minister with special privileges, is empowered to manage the affairs of the country. Jordan is legally divided into 12 districts (governorates), each of which is governed by a governor appointed by the king himself.

The official language of communication and office work in Jordan is Arabic. Considering the mutual interest of the Eastern Kingdom and the Western powers, English is also a compulsory language in Jordan’s educational institutions, while French has become an optional language at schools and colleges in recent years.

Religion

More than 95% of residents of Jordan follow the Islamic religion with a Sunni Shafi’i bias. About 6% of Christians attend services in Orthodox churches regularly, all religious services are held in Greek, although it is common to hear Arabic, French, Italian and Spanish in an Orthodox cathedral. The Jordanians and Jordanian women are tolerant of other religions, preferring to pray in peace and not to have violent conflicts with non-Jordanians.

Currency

Until the mid-20th century the unit of currency in Jordan was the Palestinian pound, now the Jordanian dinar, equal in value to a smaller currency – 100 piastres, reigns supreme in the country. Information about the face value of each dinar is presented on coins and bills in 2 languages: Arabic and English, the coins are decorated with the personages of the royal dynasty. Russians will have to pay approximately 93 rubles for 1 JOD. 1 JOD is cheaper than Jordanian banknote and American currency, 1 JOD can be exchanged for 1,4 USD. Well TAM strongly advises users, who decided to visit Jordan, to check constantly the floating exchange rates of dollar and ruble with the help of electronic converter services.

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Telephone Code of Jordan

The cherished digits of the long-distance telephone code: +962

Among the important phone numbers for foreign visitors are:

  • Russian Embassy connection in the kingdom – +(962 6) 464-11-58 or 464-25-32;
  • Russian Consulate – +(962 6) 568-25-09;
  • unified information switchboard – 1212;
  • police department – 191, 192;
  • Metropolitan Tourist Police – +(962 6) 530-14-65;
  • Ambulance – 193;
  • Amman Fire Department – +(962 6) 462-20-90;
  • handling traffic accidents – 190.

Where is Jordan

Going on a trip to the border areas with Jordan, travelers have a truly unique opportunity, to see 4 states at once . The magical vision is mostly available in the hours of darkness. At the hour when the evening lights are lit in the homes of Jordan, Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, in the area of the border of Egypt and Israel magical light sends a reflection in the waters of the Red Sea. The picture is almost unbelievable, in the dark surface of the water appear the reflections of illumination of all these 4 Arab representatives of the Middle East.

The Hashemite Kingdom in the Middle East neighbors Syria in the north, shares northeastern borders with Iraq, and lies to the west on the border lines separating Jordan from Israel and Palestine. The east and south of Jordan are covered by the territory of Saudi Arabia. On the Red Sea side opposite the Gulf of Aqaba is Egypt, here the coastline with Jordan is decorated with the lights of both Israel, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, this is the fabulous place that Good TAM told you about earlier.

Jordan does not have a lot of water, especially fresh water bodies. But the country boasts two seas: the Red Sea and the Dead Sea. Both reservoirs invariably attract an army of tourists to this region – fans of diving on the shores of the Red Sea and minerals at the Dead Sea, which looks like kisel, so high is the concentration of dissolved salts in its waters. A key fresh waterway in Jordan is the Jordan River, whose name is linked to the story of Jesus’ baptism.

Climate

The climate of the exotic eastern kingdom is very hot, especially in the summer months. The air temperature stands firm at +45C in the shade, beaches of Jordan tourists visiting more in spring and autumn, when the heat gives up a little and the thermometer column goes down to +30 … +35C. Water in the Red Sea almost never falls below the temperature of +20C, some travelers continue to indulge in beach pleasures all year round. It never rains in the summer, only from November to March the weather may turn more favorable and spill the long-awaited drops of life-giving moisture over the Jordanian land.

In a country shrouded in the mysteries of ancient history, there are many interesting sights, and it is better to get acquainted with the charms of these during the colder seasons. The temperature is the most, what’s more suitable for this – +10 … +15C, for the evening promenade is better to take a warm outfit, sometimes in regions close to the desert suddenly the thermometer column goes down to zero.

Cities and resorts in Jordan

In the capital of the Hashemite Kingdom, called Amman, two very different identities blended into a single whole. Oriental scenery from the fairy tales of Scheherazade and a dynamic modern metropolis with bright touches of European civilization peacefully live side by side, not impeding each other hit by contrasts dazed with surprise tourists. The eastern neighborhoods of Amman love to scramble the heads of the travelers who have lost their way among the alike streets with their houses, which look a bit like cardboard boxes from the cake, painted in even pastel colors. The hot climate dictates the conditions for its inhabitants: building materials and their hues must reflect the scorching rays of the sun as much as possible and be able to keep cool inside.

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The western parts of the Jordanian capital are like twin cousins similar to any European city, with an abundance of modern buildings, catering establishments, entertainment venues and stores. Highlights of Amman include the citadel on Jebel al-Kalaa hill, the remains of the once-precious Umayyad Palace and Park and the Temple of Hercules. Jordan is full of other curiosities, so our website is of the opinion that you should not spend more than 1-2 days to see Amman, it is enough time to get acquainted with the main city of the kingdom.

In Jordan you should pay close attention to several other settlements, which can not be called a major object. These cities and villages have filled an important niche, especially for the tourism industry, which is a generous breadwinner of the Arab country:

Jordan

Jordan

Jordan. Photo by Birute54.

Jordan is part of the Holy Land, where most of the events described in the Bible and the Holy Scriptures took place. Despite this, the ancient fairy-tale kingdom, with its plains and low mountains, stony and sandy deserts, among which miniature oases of lush greenery can be found now and then, blends surprisingly harmoniously into the modern world. Per square kilometer here are more historical monuments than anywhere else in the world. And each of them is unique and very old, keeping the secrets and mysteries of the great prophets who came to our world.

Black iris, the national symbol of Jordan. Jordan

Black Iris, the national symbol of Jordan. Jordan. Photo by momentcollection.

Why should you choose Jordan?

White pelicans, Azraq wildlife park, Jordan

White pelicans, Azraq Nature Reserve, Jordan. Photo by Mike McGovern.

The answer to this question is obvious: you will find practically no disadvantages in this country and at the same time will lose count of its obvious advantages. Love the beach vacation, but can’t stand the exhausting heat? That’s how you can swim and sunbathe on Aqaba’s beaches all year round! Do you like to see the monuments of ancient culture, but do not like to spend a lot of time traveling from one to another? In Jordan you don’t have to travel long distances! Do you want to restore your beauty or health at the resorts, but the large influx of vacationers gets in your way? Jordan’s Dead Sea resorts are always sparsely populated!

In addition to the excellent mild climate in Jordan you will always enjoy the highest level of service, lower prices than in neighboring Israel, friendly people (all without exception, not just service staff). Are you afraid that not knowing Arabic will spoil your vacation? Not at all! Almost all Jordanians speak English well, and more and more of them are beginning to quite reasonably articulate in Russian.

ATTRACTIONS. Sweets produced in Jordan are considered the most delicious in the Arab world. This is enough to make you want to visit this wonderful country!

However Jordan has a lot to offer even to the most experienced and beauty-lovers. The kingdom successfully combines hospitality (a real, oriental, traditional!), safety and diversity of holiday options in all the charm of the most luxurious options. By the way, Jordan’s hotels are considered the best in the entire Middle East.

Geography and Climate

Seven Pillars, Wadi Rum Desert, Jordan

Seven Pillars, the Wadi Rum Desert, Jordan. Photo by mariomath.

Located in the Middle East, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (which is what its official name looks like). It borders with Saudi Arabia to the south, Israel to the west (part of the border crosses the Jordan River and the Dead Sea), Iraq to the east and Syria to the north. The Arabs call it Al-Urdun. Because it was Arabic that was once the common language of communication in the Middle East (like English is now).

The main motif of the landscape in the country are deserts of sand or stone, the most famous being Wadi Rum. But they are not flat, like a table. They are made up of hills, plateaus, and plateaus, which add up to very picturesque landscapes. Almost the entire territory of the country is a place wild and far from the civilization we are used to.

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Cultivation of crops is only possible near the Dead Sea and beyond it, in the northwestern lands. But the main monuments of ancient civilization are in the deserts. Jordan has two resort areas: on the coast of the Dead Sea and on the shores of the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aqaba washes the southeastern part of the country. It is Jordan’s sea gateway, the main one being the port of Aqaba. From it ships sail not only to Egypt, but also around the world.

Aqaba, Jordan

Aqaba, Jordan. Photo by jglsongs.

The Dead Sea is 486 meters below sea level. And Jabal Ram is 1,734 meters above sea level and is considered the highest point in Jordan.

As for the climate – it is subtropical Mediterranean, that is the best option for residents of our country. Autumn and spring are the best seasons to visit the beaches and resorts. Water in the Dead and Red Sea heats up to 25-28 degrees and the air to 25-29 degrees (above 30 at this time of year never happens). It is during these seasons, prefer to come here with children. In spring everything blooms lushly, and in the autumn there is a huge abundance of fruits, both familiar to us, and exotic. Although the autumn flowers in Jordan are something special!

Given the proximity of large expanses of water, the heat here is only in summer (it can shoot above 35 degrees), but it is also relatively easy to endure. And the evening and night always bring a mild chill. From our point of view in winter in Jordan is also warm: the temperature of water and air on the Red Sea coast about 20-23 degrees. It is quite possible to sunbathe and swim. But the best pastime in winter is sightseeing, excursions to the picturesque surroundings, and for pilgrims and believers – visiting memorial sites in the Holy Land. Rains are rare in this desolate area, so the beach vacation is not spoiled.

FACT. Jordan is rightfully considered a country of long-livers. To a large extent – thanks to its unique climate. The average life expectancy of women here is about 80 years, and of men – about 70 years.

National features

Bedouin after sunset, Wadi Rum Desert, Jordan

A Bedouin after sunset in the Wadi Rum Desert, Jordan. The author of the photo is Mathew Tozeau.

The kingdom has long ranked first among the countries of the Middle East for security and stability. Crime has been completely eradicated here, and thanks to the continued strong influence of local tribal traditions: clans and families (and they are just huge!) call their own members to order, maintaining order where they live. But the police are still actively patrolling the streets and can always be called upon to help in any situation.

Given that Jordan is a country, albeit a modern-looking, but Arab world, the beautiful half of travelers should not forget about the dress code. It is better not to offend the local population with outfits with necklines and miniskirts. Keep this in mind when going to town. You can wear anything you want on the property.

SPA Vacation – Living and Dead Sea

Sunset, Dead Sea, Jordan

Sunset, Dead Sea, Jordan. Photo by Scott.

Of the two seas of Jordan, one is alive, that is, full of life, colorful and exuberant. It is the Red Sea. But it is the Dead Sea that gives a full-fledged spa vacation. Staying on its shores and swimming in waters devoid of any life, gives an incredibly powerful charge for beauty and health in general – improves the condition of internal organs, tightens and tones the skin, neutralizes and removes toxins. The power of the Dead Sea is such that it energizes people for many months in just a few days! Many tours in Jordan include a stay at the Dead Sea resorts, at least for a short time.

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It was here, near the Dead Sea, where Herod, King of Judea, was treated by the thermal springs over two thousand years ago. Now there is a famous Maine resort with a modern spa complex, which restores and improves metabolism with the help of healing waters containing calcium and sulfur.

The cradle of civilization: resorts plus ancient monuments

Madaba, Jordan

Madaba, Jordan. Photo by Anna Mazzochi.

Resorts in Jordan are even better than in Egypt, are distinguished by respectability and high level of service built on modern technology. All hotels are at least 4 stars, a lot of 5-star, and they fully comply with this status. Holidays in Jordan are always comfortable! One of Jordan’s best resorts is Aqaba, on the shores of the Red Sea. It is of interest not only to fans of beach idleness, but also to inquisitive travelers and religious people. Nearby is one of the most important sites in the Christian world – the place where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. And there is another biblical place nearby – Mount Nebo, where Moses received the tablets. His memorial is now located there.

Petra, Jordan

Petra, Jordan. Photo by Miguel Martin.

The ancient city of Petra is another one of the popular attractions of the Kingdom. Many people come to see the capital of the Nabataean Kingdom, which fell into oblivion long ago. The object of ancient architecture is under the special protectorate of UNESCO. A cold and narrow canyon leads to the rocky city (it is carved into the rock mass). In the center of the metropolis there is a well-preserved temple of El Khazne (almost 2000 years old) – a monumental construction, carved out of a huge rock. The stone of the temple is able to change its color from sunny orange to deep dark red, depending on the light and time of day. In addition to El Khazneh, in the ancient city you can see the ruins of residential and administrative buildings and the ancient theater that make up the main street of Petra.

Petra, Jordan DX News

Petra, Jordan. Photo by Mark Evans.

The picturesque capital city of Amman harmoniously combines skyscrapers, office and shopping centers, expressways with bustling oriental markets, cozy coffee houses and ancient streets of the ancient Arab city. Among them lurk numerous sights – the Umayyad Palace, the Byzantine Church, the Temple of Hercules, and others, no less interesting.

Recreation is possible in many ways

Nuts, market, Amman, Jordan

Peanuts, Market, Amman, Jordan. Photo by Mike McGovern.

How can you visit Jordan, a colorful country of the Middle East, and not visit its markets, all kinds of shops and stalls selling a variety of products. The culture of trade here has developed over the centuries: every potential customer that walks in is not only greeted with a friendly hello, but also offered a cup of tea or coffee. As for haggling, the enterprising Jordanians are happy to haggle, but are unlikely to concede more than 15% of the asked price for the things you like. From this country come beautiful textiles, ceramic dishes, jewelry, products of frosted Nabatean glass, as well as unusual souvenirs – hand-painted ostrich eggs, inlaid with mother of pearl backgammon (or chess). Many opt for spices, cosmetics care with salts from the Dead Sea. Prices are low everywhere, but the lowest is in Aqaba, as it is a duty-free zone.

Lifehack. If you want to buy souvenirs, go to the market. Markets in Jordan, unlike shops and stores are open every day. And in small shops opening hours are at the discretion of the owner. And another important point: the local supermarkets are closed on Friday.

Jordanian cuisine

Mansaf, a national dish considered a national symbol of Jordan

Mansaf, a national dish considered a national symbol of Jordan. The author of the photo is Omar Kunsul.

It has many dishes that are definitely worth trying. First of all, it is Mansaf – tender lamb with rice cooked in yoghurt sauce, Kubez – meat balls, falafel made of chickpeas, hummus, Motabal – mashed eggplant and, of course, the traditional Shaorma – pita bread stuffed with chopped meat, herbs and seasoned with spicy sauce (its taste is strikingly different from what they cook in the expanses of Russia). Coffee in Jordan is also very special; lightly roasted beans are flavored with cardamom. The result is a soft drink with magical flavor!

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Food is treated with reverence in the Kingdom because it is an integral part of the general culture. The locals know how to express their attitude to a certain person through a dish – benevolence, reverence or something else.

The best way to taste the local dishes is to visit one of the local restaurants with authentic and invariably delicious cuisine. In cooking it is customary to use beans, various greens, many aromatic spices. Salads are finely chopped and generously dressed with lemon juice and olive oil.

Children and those with a sweet tooth must try the guava desserts, baklava, sesame cookies, fruit desserts, and local ice cream. Everything is just unbelievably delicious!

Tip

Tipping is not required anywhere in Jordan but is always appreciated. And here it is customary to give them to the people who serve you (driver, maid, waiter, guide, etc.), and not just add them to the bill when paying for the hotel. After all, it is the tips that make up a significant portion of their earnings. You should not deprive these people of their livelihood.

Medical Treatment

Medical services in Jordan are not free of charge. Tourists are advised to use a health insurance policy that is included in the price of each tour. But even if you paid for the doctor’s services in cash or by card, you will almost certainly be reimbursed. All you need to do to get compensation is to contact your insurance company and communicate the details of your visit to a medical facility.

Transportation

Royal Jordanian Airlines, Jordan

Royal Jordanian Airlines, Jordan. Photo by Saud Al Olayan.

Roads in Jordan are of the highest quality and are a matter of national pride. In addition, there are no significant distances that people in Russia are accustomed to. Therefore road transport is the best way to travel around the country. You can use buses, which are comfortable and well timed. But renting a car will be incomparably more convenient.

Traffic in Jordan is right-handed, so there are no problems. Gas stations and motels are plentiful and road signs are written in English – everything is perfectly understandable. There are also diagrams of access to the most popular attractions for tourists all over the country.

To rent a car you need an international driver’s license and a bank card.

Lifehack. Book a rental car through your tour operator, or directly at the hotel where you are staying. Do not try to do it “directly” – it will be more expensive.

Visa and Customs

Jordanian visa may be applied for not only at the embassy, but also directly at the local airport, immediately upon arrival, paying 15 dollars. But be prepared that you will have to pay not only when entering Jordan, but also when leaving it. The exit tax is $8. Calculate your budget if it is not included in your airfare.

You may bring into Jordan both local and foreign currency without any restrictions, but any amount must be declared. But to take out without restrictions may only foreign currency and local – only 300 dinars. There are also restrictions on the export of gifts and souvenirs – their total value must not exceed 150 dollars.

You can travel around Jordan and rest comfortably all year round. This is why tours to the Kingdom are so popular among residents of many countries. Going on a tour of Jordan, you do not need to worry about the language barrier. Although Arabic is considered the official language, you will be understood everywhere if you speak English. In recent years, many locals (especially hotel attendants and tour guides) are beginning to learn the Russian language.

The most comfortable time to visit Jordan – off-season, when it is warm, but no heat. And the best season is spring – March and April.

Pale lentil, songbird - national symbol of Jordan, Jordan

Pale lentil songbird is a national symbol of Jordan, Jordan. Photo by Mike McGovern.

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