We love Jordan’s ancient, bustling cities, but when adventure calls, it’s the glorious outdoor expanses that keep us coming time and time again. Here you can hike lush mountain valleys, take a camel ride across rose-hued plains, cycle past fortresses and float beneath the sea. And that’s just scratching the surface. Here’s a few of our favorite ways to get outdoors in Jordan.
BALLON-RIDE OVER WADI RUM
You haven’t seen Jordan’s Wadi Rum desert until you’ve seen it from the air. Gliding above in a hot air balloon in the care of our expert guides gives you a perfect panorama of its ruby moonscapes and rock formations. An unforgettable experience to share with friends, family and that special someone.
HIKE THE DANA BIOSPHERE RESERVE
Welcome to Jordan’s Yosemite. The beautiful Dana Biosphere is the country’s largest reserve and a hiker’s nirvana. The terrain varies hugely, from sandstone cliffs high above sea level to protected valleys with surprisingly diverse ecozystems. 600 species of plants, from citrus trees to date palms, provide homes to 180 bird species as well as mountain gazelles, sand cats, red foxes and wolves. Pit-stop at the 15th-century village of Dana to absorb the spectacular valley views.
CYCLING IN MUKAWIR
Cycling is another way to get a different perspective of Jordan’s scenery. The route from the lively and picturesque town of Madaba to the ancient fortress of Mukawir is a non-stop Kodak moment. But be sure to save your camera battery for when you reach Mukawir where your efforts will be richly rewarded by views stretching across to the Dead Sea and, on a clear night, to Jerusalem and Jericho too.Read more
SADDLE-UP TO THE ROSE-RED CITY
For a more traditional mode of transport, hop onto a camel or a beautiful Arabian horse and let your four-legged friend guide you along a timeless trail through Jordan’s red wilderness. The moment when Petra’s Rose Red City emerges majestically from the rocks, you’ll find out why it’s one of the Seven Wonders of the World, and from the saddle you’ll have all the time you need to drink it in.
SLEEP BENEATH A VELVET SKY
Throw away all previous ideas about camping: this is something very, very different. The location? The Jordanian desert. The view? The Milky Way, right above your head. The invitation to pause, look up and truly appreciate nature’s night time backdrops in a luxurious Bedouin camp is surely one of those moments-of-a-lifetime experiences.
DIVE INTO AQABA
Plunging from the shore of the Gulf of Aqaba into its crystalline waters, you’ll wonder why you ever spent time anywhere else. Its reef is basically one big diver’s fantasyland, favored also by multicolored fish and corals and an abundance of marine life. The waters are calm and warm—19 degrees even in winter—making it a first-class destination for undersea exploration.
CRUISE IN THE DEAD SEA
After all that adventure it’s time for something a little more soothing. Enter the Dead Sea, Jordan’s natural outdoor spa. At 1,300 feet below sea level it’s the lowest place on earth and for millennia its shores have been frequented by those seeking some rest and rejuvenation within its healing waters. Slather yourself in the mineral-rich mud, lie back and let nature do the rest.