Amman, Wadi Mujib and the Dead Sea

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Lisa & Pol
by Lisa & Pol
This post is linked to the following video :
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The perfect Jordan itinerary | Best places to visit on a roadtrip [2024]

Filmed on : September 2023

Filmed in : Jordan

ammanmadabadead seawadi mujibdead sea spa resortkerak castledana reservehobbit villagepetrawadi musaaqabaaylaberenice beach clubsilica restaurantwadi rum

Amman

We start our journey in the capital, Amman where we arrived late at night, so we opted for the economic Rafi hotel conveniently located and with a parking on the side.

We decided to spend half a day in Amman, which seemed like enough time, given that we have only 10 days in this amazing country and there is lots to see!

And so, we start the day early, trying to avoid the biggest heat. Firstly, we are going to visit Amman’s citadel, that is 20 minutes (uphill !) away from our hotel.

The view from the citadel in Amman, Jordan
The view from the citadel in Amman, Jordan

With a Jordan pass, you have access to this site for free and it is worth the climb as it offers panoramic views of Amman's evolving skyline. It would be hard to not notice 127 meters tall Jordanian flagpole that is one of the tallest free-standing flagpoles in the world! As you wander through the Citadel's archaeological wonders, including the iconic Temple of Hercules and the Umayyad Palace, you'll find yourself transported through centuries of civilization.

Ups and Down in Amman, Jordan
Ups and Down in Amman, Jordan

From the timeless allure of the Citadel, our journey through Amman unfolds to the contemporary charm of Darat al Funun. A cultural oasis nestled in the heart of the city, Darat al Funun seamlessly bridges the gap between tradition and modernity. As you leave the ancient stones of the Citadel behind, you'll find yourself immersed in the vibrant arts scene and intellectual ambiance that defines Darat al Funun. Even though we spent only half a day in Amman, we believe this place offers one of the most beautiful cafes in the city!

It's about the lunch time and we can’t leave Amman without visiting it’s famous Rainbow Street! The street's lively atmosphere, coupled with the tantalizing aromas wafting through the air, made it the perfect setting to indulge in the city's culinary delights after a morning of cultural immersion. We couldn’t wait to try local hummus, falafel and other delicious middle eastern meals.

Spices of Amman, Jordan
Spices of Amman, Jordan

After lunch, we are passing through a hustle and bustle of a busy market around the area of Grand Husseini Mosque. We are by now finished with our quick visit of the capital and we are heading to Madaba, where we are staying for next 2 nights.

Madaba

Selecting Madaba for our two-nights stay was a strategic decision rooted in practicality and cost-effectiveness. Proximity played a pivotal role, with Madaba positioned not too far from Amman, allowing us to maximize our exploration of the capital during the first day but also being just 1h drive from the Dead Sea that we wanted to visit more than just once!

Madaba, Jordan
Madaba, Jordan

Beyond its practical advantages, Madaba's mosaic-laden streets and ancient landmarks promise a journey through time, providing a culturally enriching backdrop to our stay. Thus, Madaba ended up to be not only as a logistical hub but a destination in its own right, offering a harmonious blend of convenience, affordability, and historical charm, perfect for our two-night stay!

Alenka in front of the Madaba Map mosaic
Alenka in front of the Madaba Map mosaic

On the day 2 of our 10 days Jordanian trip, we are waking up early and after a sweet breakfast consisting of fruits and baklavas we are ready to hit the road towards the Dead Sea. The plan for this day is to hike through the canyon of Wadi Mujib and then dip in the Dead Sea.

Wadi Mujib - The Siq Trail

Spectacular canyon of Wadi Mujib, Jordan
Spectacular canyon of Wadi Mujib, Jordan

Also known as the "Grand Canyon of Jordan," Wadi Mujib is a breathtaking gorge that beckons thrill-seekers and nature enthusiasts alike. We strongly believe that it is doable for wide range of age categories, but it is important to be equipped with an appropriate pair of shoes.

The exact location of the entrance is next to the Mujib bridge.

Here (31.467018, 35.572985)

Entrance of Wadi Mujib, Jordan
Entrance of Wadi Mujib, Jordan

The hike through Wadi Mujib is a unique experience, offering a blend of adventure and natural beauty. The Siq Trail, one of the popular routes that takes approximately 2-3 hours to complete, depending on how much you want to enjoy the canyon, there is otherwise really no time limit.

The trail winds through the narrow canyon, at times requiring wading through water and navigating cascading waterfalls and you will need some body strength to pull yourself up all the roped sections in fast flowing water. That being said, the trail is very picturesque and easy at the beginning, so it is definitely worth it even for people who are doubting their ability to finish the route.

Entrance fee for the Siq Trail was 21 Jordanian Dinars (JD) and we highly recommend arriving early due to the limit of people allowed to be in the canyon. On this trail a guide is not compulsory, but the lifejacket is. You might also consider paying extra for hiring a waterproof dry bag as there is a high chance that you are going to be fully wet after completing this trail! If you don’t want to bring your camera or phone with you, you apparently can leave them at the lockers.

It is safe to say that this experience made it to our Top 5 in Jordan and was a such a welcomed refreshment in the hot area of the Dead Sea, that we can’t recommend it enough!

Wadi Mujib with the family, Jordan
Wadi Mujib with the family, Jordan

The Dead Sea (for free)

Not far from the Wadi Mujib Canyon, we found a cute road café. Now don’t expect much from this place, it is in the middle of the desert on the side of the road, but Mohammed, the owner will do his best to satisfy your thirst! Price of everything is 1JD and we really enjoyed his cardamon coffee (with sugar!) and the spectacular view on the Dead Sea in the shade!

If you want to find him on the Google maps search for: MS coffee & dead sea products

We chose this spot also for accessing the Dead Sea – for free and without other people. Our car was safely parked, we were refreshed with the coffee and the views looked so good that we couldn’t resist!

The walk was easy 10-15 minutes downhill but on the way back it took some effort, especially on the burning sun, that’s why we would recommend you to not underestimate the heat and cover your head as well as bring some water with you.

Once we reached the shore, we were amazed with all the creations of the salt! We dipped our feet into a warm and extremely salty water, magically floated on its surface and suddenly realized the complete stillness and natural beauty of this remarkable place.

Floating in the Red Sea, Jordan
Floating in the Red Sea, Jordan

Personally, we were fully satisfied and ready to go after 20 minutes in the water. Considering you just dipped in one of the saltiest water in the world, you might want to use the showers with Mohamed once again, for 2JD per person.

The Dead Sea (at a resort)

Having had a great experience the day before, we had a doubt before paying the expensive 20JD day pass at Dead Sea Spa Resort. But pretty quickly we came to terms with our choice and enjoyed the facilities to the fullest.

Mud bath on the Red Sea, Jordan
Mud bath on the Red Sea, Jordan

It features a well-maintained access to the Dead Sea, with a lifeguard, easily available mud and suntanning beds. And once you're tired of the salty sea, you can join the large pools for a more relaxed experience.

Don't forget to bring your own towel as they charge extra for rental. Also, we remember the food as not being particularly interesting and quite pricey.

Next stop on the roadtrip

From the resort, we drove to Dana Reserve, stopping in Kerak Castle ...

You can check our instagram @lisaandpol which features a dedicated Jordan highlight, with many pictures, tips, prices and videos :)

Lisa & Pol
Lisa & Pol
We're a Slovak-French couple in our twenties currently backpacking across Africa for a year. One of our goals is to inspire travellers to go explore this often forgotten continent. On this blog we're focusing on providing up to date info about prices and itineraries, especially geared towards backpackers on a budget. We also create content on Youtube and Insta if you prefer a more visual approach 😉
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