Jordan is located in the Middle East, bordering Israel to the West and Saudi Arabia to the East.
Describing the Kingdom of Jordan as rich with history is an understatement. It has hallmarks of civilisations so ancient, that some can be traced back to the very dawn of man. A holiday in Jordan will unleash a cultural hotbed of biblical proportions and an experience like no other.
Jordan’s naturally stunning landscape encompasses a bit of everything. From lush tropical rainforests densely packed against the foothills of spectacular mountain ranges, to the salted rim of the Dead Sea’s shores. It has red sand deserts and vast valleys cut like a gash through the sandstone bedrock. Obviously no holiday to Jordan would be complete without a trip to Petra. Carved as a canal through the desert rock, this ancient Jordanian city – made famous as the real-life ‘Valley of the Crescent Moon’ from 1989 film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade – is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. It is a magical and truly remarkable place.
The individually carved Islamic castles dotted about the staggering Arab desert are hard to miss. They’re decorated with ancient daubing and mosaics that contrasts and merges beautifully with Jordan’s modern contemporary side to reveal vibrant cities built on a centuries-old industrious ethos.
In a nutshell, Old Testament ruins and excavations meet Graeco-Roman architecture from the west, and ancient Arab Oriental influence from the east. This is what you’ll find in Jordan plus everything in between!
Facts | Important to know:
VISA Australian passport holders receive a visa on arrival.
LANGUAGE The main language is Arabic. English is the second language and is universally used.
CURRENCY Jordanian Dinar (JOD), AUD 1.00 = JOD 0.66
ELECTRICITY 20V, 50AC
TIME DIFFERENCE UTC/GMT +3 Hours. Sydney is 9 hours ahead of Amman.
Facts | Helpful Information:
PUBLIC HOLIDAYS 2014
1 January, New Year’s Day
13 January, Milad Al Nabi
(The Prophet’s Birthday)
February, Aqaba Traditional Arts Festival
February, Azraq Festival
March, Amman International Theatre Festival
18-21 April, Easter Holiday
1 May, Labour Day
25 May, Independence Day
27 May, Lailat Al Miraj
(The Prophet’s Ascension)
28 July, Eid Al Fitr
July, Jerash Festival
4 October, Eid Al Adha
25 October, Al Hijra
(Islamic New Year)
October, Jordan Rally
25 December, Christmas
WEATHER Depending on where you go, Jordan has mostly arid desert weather. The rainy season in the west is from November to April. As in most Arab countries, summer tends to be very hot as temperatures frequently hit the mid to high 30s degrees centigrade. Meanwhile the winter months, generally comprising of only December to February, can be wet, especially in Amman, with temperatures in the low teens. Spring and autumn are regarded as the ideal times to visit Jordan which are March to May and late September to November.
COST A cup of coffee is approx. JOD2.59 = AUD 3.92
PAYMENT OPTIONS Most ATM machines accept cards from all over the world. American Express and other major credit cards are widely accepted.
RELIGION Islam is the main religion in Jordan with Christianity being the second most practiced.
THINGS TO DO Amman is a must see. This bustling capital is known as the ‘white city’ because of an undulating network of low-roofed stone houses draped like an artist’s canvas over the 19 jebels (hills) that comprise the city’s bedrock. It is a city of all ages that features the 6,000-seat Roman amphitheatre, the Roman Temple of Hercules, ancient archaeological museums and Neolithic excavations.
Journey south of Amman along The Kings Highway and follow the footsteps of Moses as he led his people through Jordan. The route encompasses sites from the Stone Age and Ancient Roman through to the Byzantine periods and remnants of the crusades leading to Petra.
The UNESCO Heritage Site of Petra is three hours south of Amman. This network of ancient commercial centres, tombs and gateways was carved through a desert gorge, The Siq, around the 6th century BC by the Nabateans. Meanwhile, Petra’s Treasury building is famously the climatic setting of the film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
In Pella, discover entire walled cities from the Bronze and Iron Ages. Explore the Byzantine-period churches and ruins of a Chalcolithic civilisation from as far back as the 4th century BC. On the Red Sea coast is the old port of Aqaba surrounded by white pristine beaches. Here, one can enjoy a wealth of water sports or discover its staggering coral reefs.
THINGS TO SEE Discover Jordan’s burgeoning fine arts scene with the “City of Mosaics,” Madaba. Visit fascinating excavations of ancient cities and civilisations. Explore one of the new Seven Wonders of the World
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