[hfcm id="1"] [hfcm id="3"] Miscellaneous Archives - Best Adventure Travel Agency in Jordan
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10 Best “off the beaten path” activities in Jordan during Covid-19

There are so many fantastic and safe outdoor activities in Jordan during covid that you can take part in whilst still practicing social distancing! Therefore, our team decided to share with you 10 of our favorite “off the beaten path” activities you can enjoy in the face of this pandemic.

We’re all in this together and everyone must make smart, informed decisions about what type of activities are safe. So, please remember, before you engage in new activities, ensure you are following proper hygiene, safety protocols and social distancing, and if you’re not feeling well, please stay at home.

1. Hike to Petra through the back door. 

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When in Jordan, you absolutely have to take the opportunity to discover the Nabataean city of Petra. Carved in beautiful red rock more than 2000 years ago, the impressive buildings and long staircases take present-day visitors back in time and hold many secrets to discover.

Once at the site, there are several trails to explore. But why not start already entering it through the back door? We highly recommend entering Petra following the Jordan Trail via the back route, which takes you on unbeaten paths past the Monastery (ad-Deir).

2. Hike part of The Jordan Trail from Ajloun Castle to Mar Elias Church and have lunch at Summaga Cafe.

 
summage cafe jordan trail

This hike goes through the fertile wadi with its lush vegetation and gardens to Mar Elias (Elijah) Church. At the end of the hike, you can treat yourself to a delicious lunch made by the local community at Summaga Cafe while enjoying the beautiful view of Ajloun Castle.

Local contacts are available on the Jordan Trail website.

3. Hike through Wadi Ghuweir and spend the night at Feynan Ecolodge.

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This hike is probably one of the most spectacular hikes in Jordan, starting from the Shoubak Plateau and descending through a colorful sandstone gorge, passing through hanging gardens. Its water flow changes throughout the year, so expect to get your feet wet or even fully wet when trying to cross one of the rainwater pools along the way. At the end of the wadi you will find yourself walking through the ruins of Feynan, one of the most ancient copper mining centers in the world.

 

After the adventurous hike, relax and enjoy a peaceful candlelit dinner at Feynan Ecolodge followed by stargazing on the roof.  On the next day, you can join one of the local activities offered at the Lodge, such as Arabic coffee making, Kuhol Making, and others.

 
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4. Stay in one of the wooden Cabins at Ajloun Nature Reserve.

 
10 Best “off the beaten path” activities in Jordan during Covid-19 (Ajloun)

The Ajloun Forest Reserve is an inviting and interesting location for visitors as it offers an exciting look into the wildlife and the landscape. Created by the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature, it offers several hiking trails that are easily accessible as well as an informative visitor center and other attractions including a soap house and calligraphy house.

5. Spend the night at one of the Bedouin camps in Wadi Rum and hike/scramble the highest peak in Jordan (Jabal Umm Al-Dami) early in the morning.

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The peak offers striking views to Wadi Rum’s rugged landscape, the Red Sea, and even Saudi Arabia’s vast desert. In fact, the mountain is located only a few hundred meters from the border with this country. Starting this hike early morning has its advantages: Less heat, avoid running into other tourists, and good light for your pictures!

6. Spend the night at Beit Al-Baraka in Umm Qais.

 
Beit Al Baraka Experience 1

Visiting the famous ancient ruins of Umm Qais with an amazing view to the Golan Heights and Sea of Galilee is already an unforgettable experience. That can only be enhanced by a little taste of local culture with Baraka Destinations. There you can try seasonal local experiences like basket weaving, beekeeping, and many others.

Baraka Destinations was created to partner with local communities in secondary tourism sites and together design and build tourism experiences that showcase their hometown to curious travelers.

7. Hike through Zubia Forest and have lunch at a local family house in Orjan or Rasoun.

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Start your hike from Bergesh forest and head east down the forested Wadi Zubia, hike passing by dense and great forests, spotting caves and ruins along the way. It’s a walk through history while you can enjoy the natural and greenish scenery until you reach the Roman Ruins of Qabla.

Local contacts are available on the Jordan Trail website.

8. Go on a boat ride and enjoy snorkeling or diving followed by a BBQ lunch on board.

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Lie by the beach in Aqaba is already worth the trip. But the Red Sea is known for its beauty and diversity of coral reefs and marine life, so why not experience all it can offer us? All onboard for a fascinating boat ride through the Gulf of Aqaba where you will stop at the best snorkeling and diving spots and enjoy a BBQ in the middle of the sea.

9. Join some of Aqabawi’s local experiences

 
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Aqabawi is a newer startup, from a young entrepreneur. The name refers to someone from Aqaba, Jordan and the company links customers with local experiences “off the beaten path” in the southern region of Aqaba. Aqabawi is pretty unique in its region juxtaposed with the surrounding large commercial hotels and 5-star resorts that dominate tourism in Aqaba.

Additionally, the company provides really the first local experience network provider in Aqaba, while previously almost all of Jordan’s tailored “local experiences” for tourists were based in Amman and northern Jordan.

10. Visit Beit Al-Beiruty and experience the traditional life in Madaba

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Once in Madaba, you will see ancient beautiful mosaics. But you can also learn how to make them. At Beit Al Beiruty they accommodate local community businesses with interactive experiences.

One of the special experiences you can try is Mosaic making, which starts with an introduction to the Byzantine mosaic technique and history. Afterward, you will practice the principles of texture, composition, and marble tile cutting to create your own mosaic to take home.

For this experience and other authentic local experiences, check out Sawwah Travel.

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Coronavirus Updates Jordan – Tourism

This post is being updated with new information regarding Jordan’s reopening to tourism after closing due to coronavirus. What you need to know regarding Coronavirus updates Jordan and tourism to the country in this time.

 

Jordan has Reopened to Tourism!

     

Current Tourism Situation in Jordan:

 

January 18, 2020 – Big Update

  • Tourists are no longer required to self-quarantine after arrival.
  • Travelers must still test negative on a COVID-19 72 hours before arrival and complete a second COVID-19 test after arrival at the airport in Jordan.
  • The website https://www.visitjordan.gov.jo / https://www.gateway2jordan.gov.jo (Ministry & Tourism Board’s COVID Website) will no longer need to be used for tourist arrivals.
  • Flights to Jordan are now scheduled to increase
 

November 20, 2020  

  • Now there is a mandatory home qurantine of one week for all travelers. The green, yellow, red country system has now been scrapped.
  • Travelers no longer have to stay at the aiport to await the results of their Covid (PCR) test. Now the result will be texted to you. (As noted in Aiprot section below on Oct. 12, 2020)
 

To clairfy traveling to Jordan now requires the below steps:

  1. All arriving passengers are required to visit https://www.visitjordan.gov.jo to complete the required form and to obtain the QR Code which is mandatory for boarding all flights to Jordan.
  2. COVID (PCR) test with a negative result within 5 days (120 hours) prior to departure. (Not required for children under 5 years old)
  3. Another COVID test at airport upon arrival
  4. Install (AMAN Application) on your cell phone
  5. Submit Passenger Health Declaration and Locator Form
  6. Have a valid Health Insurance that covers COVID19 treatment for the whole period of the intended visit
  7. One week home qurantine
  8. At the end of the mandatory home quarantine, another PCR test is required

*Any passenger who gives falsified or incorrect information is subject to a fine of 10,000 JD

 
 

October 5, 2020  

If coming from a Green Country:

  • COVID test within 5 days prior to departure
  • COVID test at airport upon arrival (stay at airport until test received.)
 

Upon passing the two COVID tests:

Update: You are subject to one week home qurantine.

 

If coming from a Yellow Country:

  • COVID test within 5 days prior to departure
  • COVID test at airport upon arrival (stay at airport until test received.)
 

Upon passing the two COVID tests:

Update: You are subject to one week home qurantine.

 

If coming from a Red Country:

  • COVID test within 5 days prior to departure
  • COVID test at airport upon arrival (stay at airport until test received.)
 

Upon passing the two COVID tests:

Update: You are subject to two weeks home qurantine.

 

September 14, 2020  

Jordan announced their system for allowing in travelers from aborad. Countries are classified into three distinctions: Green, Yellow, Red.

 

If coming from a Green Country:

  • COVID test within 5 days prior to departure
  • COVID test at airport upon arrival (stay at airport until test received.)
 

Upon passing the two COVID tests, you are free to go.

 

If coming from a Yellow Country:

  • COVID test within 5 days prior to departure
  • COVID test at airport upon arrival (stay at airport until test received.)
 

Upon passing the two COVID tests, you must do one week of institutional qurantine (at a hotel), and then one week home qurantine.

 

If coming from a Red Country:

  • COVID test within 5 days prior to departure
  • COVID test at airport upon arrival (stay at airport until test received.)
 

Upon passing the two COVID tests, you must do one week of institutional qurantine (at a hotel), and then one week home qurantine with a tracking bracelet.

June 15, 2020

Jordan is currently in a stable situation with a very low Coronavirus count. From a health perspective, Jordan has performed as one of the best countries in the world in dealing with Coronavirus. Now we are looking forward to taking advantage of the hard work early on to enjoy opening up the country again gradually, safely, and responsibly.

All sectors of the economy except for the highest risk are now open with some health-related restrictions/regulations. People must wear masks when entering public buildings, businesses, taxi’s/Ubers/other car-sharing, or other places where services are available to the public.

For the latest numbers, you can check a website created by the Jordan’s Ministry of Health here: https://corona.moh.gov.jo/en

Airport

 

Status: Open (moderate capacity).

 

October 12, 2020
You no longer have to stay at the airport until you receive the results of your Covid test upon arrival. Now, you can leave the airport and they will send you the results by text message. (Roya News)

 

October 5, 2020
Update on airport procedures: Upon arriving at the airport and taking the test you will need to wait between 2-5 hours to receive your test result.

From what we have heard, there is only a small kiosk where you can purchase water, so we suggest packing water, snacks, and things to occupy the time accordingly.

 

September 1, 2020
Speculation: Jordan is starting with a limited number of flights from just a few locations, while they iron out the details of how to best implement proper safety plans. Then they will likely increase the number of locations and flights that are able to fly to Jordan accordingly.

 

Aiport to open up to some international tourist by the end of July – July 5th, 2020

 

At the moment are expecting international tourism to reopen likely sometime in July or August 2020. (Health Minister: QAIA won’t reopen before July 1) – May 28, 2020

Land Border between Jordan and Israel / Palestine Reopening to Tourism

 

Opening Date: TBD

Many tourist like to combine their trip to Jordan with a visit to Jerusalem and other sites in the “holyland” and vice versa. Currently, the coronavirus situation in Israel / Palestine is not very good, so we do not expect the land borders to open up in the short term. At this point it is too early for us to speculate on when they may be open.

However, we would advise people thinking of traveling to Jordan not to worry too much, Jordan has plenty of amazing sites and things to do. For travel ideas in Jordan check out 10 Best “Off The Beaten Track” Activities In Jordan During COVID-19

Experience Jordan’s Current Situation

 

Weekly Walks are back!

After a couple-year break, we have brought back our day trips for locals and expats on the weekend! Our first trip was on July 10th to Wadi Ghuweir and was sold out! Upcoming adventures can be found on our Day Trips page where you can browse through all of the hikes along the Jordan Trail, through wadis, and more!

If you are looking to socialize, meet new people, get out of Amman, and experience new adventures in Jordan, try out one of these trips! Stay up to date on new trip openings and other related announcements by following our Facebook page.We’ll be posting every couple of days as we add more trips. We hope to keep this going post coronavirus and into the future!

We have downsized our team and our staff are currently working at a reduced capacity. However, we have positioned to ramp back again quickly once tourism picks up.

Jordan’s Plan to Reopen Domestically

 

Jordan announced a 5-phase plan to reopening the economy titled “Working Together to Reopen.” The five phases are bases on the number of new coronavirus cases or the percentage of positive test results each day for a given week.

Each Phase has a “Health Risk Trigger” explained above, and then a description of what that phase level entails. The highest level, Phase 5, is called “Critical Risk, while the lowest level, Phase 1, is titled “Low Risk – New Normal.” Jordan is currently in Phase 2: Moderate Risk. In order for Jordan to get to Phase 1: “Low Risk” the protocol calls for no new local cases for 14 consecutive days. Phase 1 seems to indicate a full reopening of all sectors with ongoing social distancing measures and testing.

The reason you are seeing “local cases” is because Jordan is repatriating its citizens from abroad and testing truck drivers at the border. Cases from each of those situations add to Jordan’s official total coronavirus count but are in reality external cases that do not indicate the coronavirus spread level within the country. Further, these cases account for a large portion of Jordan’s new coronavirus cases.

For more details on the plan, you can check it out here: https://corona.moh.gov.jo/en/Together-to-Reopen

New Protocols & Regulations

 

Other Helpful Links
(regarding Coronavirus updates Jordan)

   
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Exploring Wadi Himara

Amber Stowell’s 4 Week Journal (Week 2)

 

If you have been following Amber’s journal, check out her second week in Jordan below:

 

Settling in…

 

The second week in Jordan was a bit less hectic than the first. I was settling into my new place, getting to know my roommates better, and navigating the grocery store in search of familiar meal items.

 

I’ve also been getting more comfortable at the Experience Jordan office and have loved walking to different local places for lunch. I never know what to expect but it’s always delicious and inexpensive (not necessarily healthy, though. I’ve indulged in more than my fair share of fried bread, cheese and meat). I’ve also discovered that I am terrible at remembering and pronouncing Arabic phrases, and have given up on ever learning more than a few basic words. I am amazed and have so much respect for the expats who have become fluent because it takes so much studying and dedication in my opinion.

 

Weekend Trip to Wadi Himara

 

The highlight of this week would have to be hiking in Wadi Himara with an Experience Jordan group. After being in the city all week it was refreshing to take a bus out into the less populated desert. We got off the bus and I was immediately greeted with a beautiful panoramic view of the dead sea right from the road. We followed a stream peppered with small waterfalls on the hike up. Apparently, during the spring the hike turns into a lot of stream wading, but summer is a lot dryer. I was thankful for the occasional shade on the way up. Hiking at home in Seattle, I’m used to constant cover from the sun whether it be from trees or clouds.

 

To get to the final waterfall, there was a ladder and ropes you had to climb up about 15 vertical feet. Only 3 people decided to take on the challenge, including the guide and myself. The rest of the group waited below while the three of us got to enjoy the massive waterfall hidden at the end of the trail. After enjoying the cooling mist, we climbed our way back down and had a campfire cooked lunch.




You can join a group to hike Wadi Himara and more on our Weekly Walks: https://www.experiencejordan.com/daytrips/.

Amber Week 4
Amber Stowell’s 4 Week Journal (Week 4)

Cycling in Wadi Rum

We, at Experience Jordan, have thoroughly enjoyed having Amber working for us over the past month. We are equally happy to see that in her final journal she embraces the enthusiasm we all have for wanting to get out and experience Jordan. For those who have been following Amber’s journal, check out her final entry below: 

At this point, living in Jordan feels more like the norm for me. I’ve gotten used to walking in front of traffic when crossing the street and I don’t notice people staring as much. While I may be terrible at directions and speaking the language, I feel slightly more comfortable in this foreign country than I thought I would. It’s strange how in just over a week I’ll return to the same old schedule and flow of life. While I am excited to see my friends and family, I have enjoyed the break from my regular responsibilities.

Eid al-Adha

This week is also an observed holiday in Jordan called Eid al-Adha, which is a Muslim festival that honors the culmination of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca and commemorating Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son. On the first day of Eid  I was unaware that the holiday had started, so I got up and went to work only to find a cleaning lady there. Since I had a surprise day off of work I headed to the mall to kill some time and do a little shopping instead.

Cycling in Wadi Rum

For the actual weekend (Thursday and Friday here in Jordan), I was fortunate enough to go on a tour to Wadi Rum with Nader Bikes. It was a long bus ride there and we had a little trouble getting stuck in the sand, but we made it to the bedouin camp in the late afternoon. After unpacking and eating, we headed out into the desert salt flats on our bikes.

The refreshing cool of the evening was finally upon us, making the ride much more enjoyable. The vast empty space with the sun setting over the rock formations was a magnificent sight. Once we got back to camp, we ate some traditional food prepared by the bedouins. We spent the rest of night enjoying everyone’s company and hiking up a small sand dune to get a better view of the stars. The moon was so bright that it drowned out some stars, but it was still a pleasant view of the night sky. The next morning after breakfast we set out into the sandy desert with two pickup trucks and seats built into the bed. We drove through the sandscape, stopping along the way to learn about ancient carvings and way of life hundreds of years ago.

Good bye Jordan…

Overall, my trip to Jordan has been an enjoyable one that pushed me outside of my comfort zone. I’m fortunate to have been able to experience life on the other side of the globe and appreciate the differences that make this world so wonderfully diverse.

(Edits by Juliane)

Amber (Week 3)
From Um Qais to Wadi Hidan

Amber Stowell’s 4 Week Journal (Week 3)

Amber’s third journal is chalk full with adventures throughout Jordan. Check out Amber’s third week below:

On Friday afternoon, with a group of about 10 people, I learned how to make some traditional cookies in a local woman’s home in Um Qais. We all helped in shaping what looked like mini donuts with date filling. After making at least a hundred cookies, we left to go on a short hike while they baked and dinner was being prepared. We ended up walking through a Hellenistic-Roman ruin, much like Jaresh but smaller and less well-known. We continued on a trail on the side of a large hill through almond trees, farmland and goat herds. Then we arrived at the top which offered a breathtaking view of the Sea of Galilee and The Jordan Valley. Our group enjoyed the view, drinking tea and eating dates while the sky grew more colorful as the sun set over the hills.

Just as the sun disappeared over the horizon, we got on our bus that conveniently met us at the top. We returned to the local woman’s house and were greeted with several platters of delicious food. We all quickly sat down on the floor cushions to enjoy our fill of rice, chicken, plenty other dishes I’m not familiar with, and of course the cookies we made earlier. This trip was relaxing compared to the others I’ve been on, and while I do love a rigorous adventure, it was nice to wind down and focus on just enjoying the view and the new people I had met.

We got back from Um Qais pretty late and I was debating on whether or not I would have the energy to go on a  early morning hike to Wadi Hidan the following day. Knowing I wouldn’t get much sleep, I decided to go anyway because I knew I would regret it if I didn’t. I’m so thankful that I pushed through the early morning tiredness because this might have been my favorite trip so far this month.

Wadi Hidan was so much more than I imagined; it seemed like an oasis in the desert to me. We began a short descent into the Wadi and were soon greeted with the first of many freshwater pools. The water felt perfectly cool, not too cold, and I was so excited to swim after so many hot days spent in Jordan! We continued our hike and stopped frequently to enjoy the pools, have a splash war, or try to catch a frog.


We also got to go down a terrifying natural rock waterslide, but it was much more fun than I had initially expected. We savored the last pool as much as we could. I spent most of the time jumping from a small cliff, about a 15 foot fall into the water. Sadly we had to leave the Wadi and hike back up the valley, but by that time we were eager to eat the lunch prepared for us at the top.

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Experience Culture: Arrival Information to Queen Alia International Airport

The question of “Now, is this going to go smoothly or take a hundred years?” is on most minds as passengers exit the plane.

 

Even the most enthusiastic, cheerful traveller can relate to the feeling of apprehension that can all too often overcome you on arriving at the airport after a flight. It’s your first taste of culture in a new country.

 

For that reason, it is important to us at Experience Jordan that the entirety of your trip to Jordan is  enjoyable, starting with your airport pick-up.

 

So here we offer you this; information! Hopefully in knowing what to expect at the airport, you will have a smooth arrival process. So here we go!

 

Visa/Passport Control:

After you have made sure you have all of your carry-on items in hand, exit the plane and follow the signs and people to the visa and passport control area. There is only one in the airport. The fee for the visa is 40JD and must be paid in local currency.

 

If you have not brought JOD (Dinars) with you on your trip you have two options. In the visa/passport control area there is a currency exchange booth and an ATM. Head directly there and then make your way to the visa/passport control lines. Bringing JOD with you may give you an extra fast exit from the visa area if you can get in line faster.

 

Baggage Claim:

After the visa/passport control area, you head down the escalator and into the baggage claim area. At the bottom of the baggage claim, you will see a board that will tell you which carousal will have your luggage.  This area is also your last chance for duty free items. From here, you just have a final baggage scan before you exit into the arrivals area of the airport.

 

Arrivals:

At arrivals there is a Starbucks if you need a pick-me-up and a convenience store in case you need to pick-up any forgotten items. Also, there is a Zain counter if you would like to purchase a SIM card for your phone with minutes and data. The cost is relatively low and can give you some greater options to research the places you will be visiting or uploading your amazing vacation photos to your favorite social media platform. Don’t forget to tag #experiencejordan or #ExJOtours.

 

We are honored that you have chosen Experience Jordan for your Jordan holiday. We can’t wait for you to see and experience Jordan!

 

A Little Cultural Insight:

One of the many wonderful things about Middle Eastern society that contrasts so sharply to the way of the West is the ease with which they do life. This combined with the value of family and friendship being top priority always (no exceptions, ever!) means that the atmosphere as you move through arrivals (be it in obtaining your visa or passing through security) is very different to how you may be used to it happening.

 

It may take a little longer than you may hope, not because of difficulties but because whoever is assessing you may wish to start up conversation with another member of staff passing by. They’re delighted to see one another, so naturally they chat for a while.

 

Our advice to you is to remain calm, to know it’s normal, and to accept that the employees aren’t slacking, they are  just being friendly. Take it as your first Jordanian experience. Visible proof of the precedence of friendship, and an indicator of a life less rushed.

 

Don’t worry- it’ll only be a couple of minutes’ worth of delay, and that gives your baggage time to arrive anyway.

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Experience Luxury: Feynan Ecolodge

At Experience Jordan we want our honored guests to have unique experiences that highlight the best of what Jordan has to offer. For this reason we highly recommend staying at Feynan Ecolodge if simple luxury is what you are looking for on your holiday to Jordan.

 

This lovely gem is in the top 25 ecolodges in the world according to National Geographic Travel. Sorry, we had to boast a little bit. The lodge is tucked away from the typical tourist areas offering guests a true luxurious cultural experience.

 

Everything about this site is visual. From the time you hop into the transportation that takes you from the visitor center to the lodge itself, your eyes will have a feast. The landscape around the lodge is magnificent. This video gives an excellent overview of the facilities and a little preview to the landscape.

 

In addition to being a green lodging (solar powered is just the beginning), this facility is providing employment for the people of the community as well as preserving and honoring the culture  of the surrounding community.

 

During your stay there are many opportunities for you to interact with and learn from the community. Have you ever wanted to be a shepherd? Interested in the ancient art of Middle Eastern bread making? Wondered about growing up off the grid? The people of the community are happy to answer your questions and welcome you into their home.

 

If you would rather hike than bake, there are beautiful exotic hikes from Feynan Ecolodge. Some require a guide, others you can do on your own. When you go, don’t miss the sunset hike. It is complimentary and boasts spectacular views of the sunset over the rolling hills.

 

When you return to the lodge you will notice that the lighting is by candlelight. These are all handmade candles purchased from the community. The atmosphere is at once dreamy and romantic. The food is also quite amazing. It is all vegetarian and the ingredients come from the local community. As you finish your meal, we suggest heading to the roof for some star gazing, a truly spectacular site in this remote area.

 

Below are a couple of blog posts from people who have visited the site, but don’t forget to check out what trip advisor has to say about Feynan Ecolodge as well.

 

Travel Bloggers Experiences at Feynan Ecolodge:

theplanetD: Feynan Eco Lodge, A Quiet Retreat in Jordan

a little adrift: A Little Immersion…Humanizing the Travel Experience

Never Ending Voyage: Bedouin Life and a Candlelit Night at Feynan Ecolodge, Jordan

 

If you are visiting Jordan, this site is not one to miss. When you book your tour with Experience Jordan, let us know that you are interested in this location and we will be sure to include it for you. People who choose our Dana to Petra Tour love their stay at Feynan Ecolodge.

Life at the Dead Sea exjo June 30 2014
Life at the Dead Sea

Life at the Dead Sea

June 30, 2014

 

​There are some things in life that live up to your expectations of them. New York City, I found, was one of those things; big, bustling and just as exciting as everyone made it out to be. Petra, too. That walk through the Siq and the catch-in-your-throat breath that comes with the first glimpse of the Treasury. But more on Petra and my adventures there later.


The Dead Sea, though, exceeded all the expectations. Colleagues told me it was amazing, friends who’d visited before said it’s unlike anything I’d ever experience, locals all pointed out how it’s always a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of busy Amman. They were all correct.


Last week I went to one of the hotels stretched along the coast with friends for one night. We arrived in the afternoon, entered the immaculate lobby, rushed our bags to our rooms, and went straight down to the beach.


The sky was splashed with orange and pink as the sun was setting over Israel as we all walked over the little wooden jetty into the water, still warm from a day of sunshine beaming onto it. I can’t quite describe the sensation of wading out into the sea and then suddenly floating, sitting, not sinking. Nothing would do it justice, I think. There were shrieks of laughter and disbelief, and the three other tourists looked on with amusement, probably remembering their identical reactions the day before.


It was hard to take in as I was floating there, watching the sun sink over the hills on the shore across the sea, that this was the only place on the planet I could be having this experience. It’s not the only time I’ve had a feeling like that in Jordan, but it felt particularly amazing at the Dead Sea as we were laughing and trying unsuccessfully to swim and flopping around like toddlers in life jackets, and ultimately giving in and lying back, being gently lifted and rocked by the waves.


And then there was calm. It was quiet, and I had time to reflect a bit. It’s hard to think in the city sometimes. Cars everywhere, people everywhere, the heat, the buildings, the concrete. Floating in the Dead Sea afforded the much-needed opportunity to just stop. You don’t even need to swim – there’s no sense of struggling to stay afloat. No work or worries or schedules or lists or language barriers to weigh you down. It’s the weightlessness, both literal and figurative that makes the Dead Sea so amazing, so unlike anywhere else.


I mean, yes, there are amazing hotels, five-star luxury, spas, breakfast buffets to die for and all the rest. In fact, it’s quite tough to go to the Dead Sea without staying in a hotel – I would definitely recommend paying a bit extra, if possible, and staying somewhere with a private beach and good facilities. When you’re ready to get out of the intensely salty water it’s definitely nice to be able to shower and take a dip into a pool, sit back on a sun lounger, or recline in the shade at a bar.


But once you’re out there on the waves with the sunset over the Holy Land and no distractions whatsoever most other things fade into insignificance. There’s a freedom on the water that comes like a cool breeze on a hot Amman afternoon. That sense of forgetting yourself, the space to ponder, the clear your head and just let things go. Yes, it’s definitely the weightlessness that makes it wonderful. You’ll see.

Wadi Rum 2 day trip

Wadi Rum 2 day trip

November 26, 2014

 

 

The guides were really nice and new a lot about the area. The weather was perfect for Wadi Rum and we spent to days and one night in a breathtaking campsite. We slept in tents EJ had brought and we had delicious dinner and breakfast cooked on the fire. I will recommend EJ to anyone interested in experiencing the wonderful nature and culture Jordan has to offer. The price of 100 JD was also very fair!