10-day Jordan Itinerary: Big Highlights for a Small Country

Jordan measures roughly 90.000 sq km (35,000 sq miles) but packs a whole lot of big highlights! As most people try to see Jordan in 7 days, I decided to slow my travel down ever so slightly and allowed for 10 days in Jordan. What did I see and do? Check my 10-day Jordan itinerary for solo travelers with tips on where to stay and how to get around!

10-Day Jordan Itinerary
for solo travelers

My 10-day Jordan Itinerary

I had 10 days to travel in Jordan and wanted to see all the highlights, enjoy the food and relax a bit. Was it possible? I think I managed to come up with a pretty balanced Jordan itinerary for 10 days in the country. A recap on how to allocate your time in Jordan. Continue reading for more details and tips.

How much did I spent in Jordan? Read all about my Jordan travel budget here.

My travel style: solo female traveler in Jordan

Before we dive into my Jordan itinerary, I want to explain a bit about my travel style. I traveled solo for 10 days in Jordan. I’m a white female traveler from Europe. I arranged all tours, trips and transport myself. I picked the hotels via booking.com and paid for everything myself (unless stated otherwise). Because I have a serious FOMO, so I want to pack in as much as possible. I’m interested in ancient history and have a mid-range budget. I like to save money where possible but don’t go above and beyond to save every last penny. This is mainly because convenience and comfort are more important to me than saving a few bucks.

This post contains affiliate links to the booking site I always use for hotels and tours. If you decide to book something via one of my links, I’ll earn a small commission. This comes at no extra cost to you. All experiences and opinions in this post are my own. I received a compensated hotel stay in Aqaba.

Day 1 to 3: Explore Amman, capital of Jordan

I flew to Jordan on a direct flight with Royal Jordanian Airlines. It seemed all flights landed late in the evening. I arrived at my hotel, the Jordan Tower Hotel, after 10 pm. That is why I don’t count this day but you do need it to arrive in Jordan.

Day 1: Exploring Amman

On my first day in Amman, I devoured a delicious breakfast at my hotel and made some plans for the day. I stayed close to the Roman Amphitheater and it seemed logical to explore this first thing. I roamed around the ruins and took in the sun and vibe of the square.

After I’ve seen most of it, I decided to take a taxi up the hill to the citadel of Amman. Because I had no idea how to get there and the walk was all uphill, taking a taxi was the easiest choice.

I took about an hour to explore the ruins of the citadel. While I was walking around, taking in the views and taking selfies, I met another traveler and we chatted for a bit. We decided to head back to the city to have lunch together.

Check my 10-day Jordan itinerary for solo travelers. Read my tips on where to stay and how to get around and see the big highlights of this little country.
Lovin’ the Instagram signs

Getting lost at the Souq of Amman

On my first day, I did quite a lot. After lunch, I ventured off on my own and dove into the shopping area. I stumbled upon the souq and took in the sounds and smells of the local market. It is inevitable to get lost at the souq, so I totally gave into the experience and got hopelessly lost. After finding the way out to the nearby mosque, I explored more of Amman.

It was slowly getting dark and after a delicious fruit juice and apparently the best falafel in town, I returned to my hotel for an early night’s sleep.

Day 2: Day Trip Tour to Jerash from Amman

The next morning, our tour left at 8 am for our day trip to Jerash. You can easily take the local bus to Jerash and visit the Roman ruins of Jerash on your own. I opted for a tour of my hotel. A driver took me and 2 other tourists to Jerash, waited for us to explore the sights and then drove us around for the rest of the day. He shared amazing insights about the Palestinian conflict and his life as a refugee in Jordan. We learned about the history of Jordan while exploring many interesting places north of Amman.

Roman Ruins of Jerash

I love Roman history and pictures of Jerash had me drooling at my screen back home. It might have been the extra push I needed to book my 10 day trip to Jordan. And Jerash did not disappoint. Why this isn’t a Unesco World Heritage Site really baffles me.

For about 2,5 hours, we explored ancient Roman temples, squares, streets, and theatres. The sight of Jerash is well preserved and you can find plenty of informative signs near the main attractions. I always recommend to pick up a Lonely Planet guidebook for some extra insightful reading.

Check my 10-day Jordan itinerary for solo travelers. Read my tips on where to stay and how to get around and see the big highlights of this little country.
The main street of the Roman Ruins in Jerash

Castle of Ajloun

When the hordes of tour buses arrived, we left Jerash and continued to Ajloun castle. This Muslim Castle is situated on a hilltop and was built on the remains of an old monastery. We climbed the several towers, roamed the old halls and managed to get up to the highest point for some impressive views of the surrounding area. What a perfect location for a castle!

Check my 10-day Jordan itinerary for solo travelers. Read my tips on where to stay and how to get around and see the big highlights of this little country.
Tower of Ajloun Castle and the view around it.

Umm Qais Roman Ruins of Gadara

After driving through the north of Jordan and learning a lot from our driver about the border with Israel, we arrived at the Roman Ruins of Umm Qais. The ancient city of Gadara is now almost completely in ruins. I had a hard time understanding the site. We couldn’t find any signs and when we finally found the right ruins, the place crumbled down under our feet. After Jerash, it was a bit of a disappointment but the view on the Sea of Galilee and Tiberias was breathtakingly impressive.

I wouldn’t go out of my way to visit Umm Qais, but when you’re close and have an hour to spare, just pop in for a quick wander around.

Check my 10-day Jordan itinerary for solo travelers. Read my tips on where to stay and how to get around and see the big highlights of this little country.
View of the Roman Ruins at Umm Qais and the lake in the distance

Day 3: Day Trip from Amman to Bethany beyond the Jordan, Mt Nebo, Dead Sea, and Madaba

I’m going to be really honest with you. I didn’t really like this day trip. But a visit to the Dead Sea is a must-do when in Jordan, so I signed up for it. I wish I researched better and picked more wisely.  Although all sights were close to Amman, it was a long day trip with quite some different things to do in Jordan.

Bethany beyond the Jordan

I’m not religious and have no strong religious beliefs. I do find the stories from the Bible interesting from a historical point of view so I was curious. In my personal opinion, I didn’t find the site of Bethany beyond the Jordan that interesting. There is not much to see or relate to except when you’re religious and can relate on that basis.

At the sight, a minivan transported us to a different visitor center. From there we set out on foot to see the dried up river Jordan and baptism site of Jesus. Things to see are mosaics of recent years to commemorate the key-experience from the past and some remains of later built churches. You can visit a new Greek Orthodox church before your descent to the current River Jordan.

Across the river, in Israel, a state of the art visitor center and religious meeting complex facilitates pilgrims who wish to get baptized in the River Jordan. On the Jordanian side of the river, there are only some ramble shack clothing booth and a small strip of water to emerge yourself in.

In the end, I didn’t think it was worth the 12JD entrance fee and the time. (You pay 8JD when you purchase in advance via the Jordan Pass).

Dead Sea Jordan

After Bethany beyond the Jordan, we continued to the Dead Sea. I imagined we’d park near the ‘beach’, walk around a bit, dip our toes in if we didn’t want to swim and take some pictures. As I had some stomach issues, I decided to leave my bikini at the hostel and just take some pictures.

Turned out, there was no such thing as a beach front. We went to one of the resorts where we had to pay 15JD to use their facilities for an hour or so. As I found that a bit much for a picture and dipping my toes in, I waited outside. What a waste of time.

Check my 10-day Jordan itinerary for solo travelers. Read my tips on where to stay and how to get around and see the big highlights of this little country.
This is as close as I’ve gotten to the Dead Sea on my 10-day Jordan trip.

Mount Nebo

What I did enjoy was the ride up to Mount Nebo and the views from the top. We meandered to the top of Mount Nebo and during the ride up, the views were already spectacular! But at the top, we entered Mount Nebo park and had 360 degrees views of the promised land. We could even see Amman to our right and the sparkle in the distance supposed to be the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. In front of us the dry lands of Jordan and Israel with the River Jordan and the Dead Sea within an arm’s length.

After admiring the view and the mosaics in the modern church at the top of Mount Nebo, we returned to the car park to continue to Madaba.

Check my 10-day Jordan itinerary for solo travelers. Read my tips on where to stay and how to get around and see the big highlights of this little country.
View from Mount Nebo

Map Mosaic of Madaba

In Madaba, we stopped for a delicious lunch at one of the cafes across the street from the St. Stephen’s church in Madaba. We spent around an hour enjoying our lunch and we spent 5 minutes inside the church to look at the map mosaic. It was almost completely destroyed and it was hard to make out what is the oldest map of the Middle East in history.

All in all, I found it a disappointing day trip from Amman. Maybe if I’d have brought my swimwear it would have been nicer. But you can easily visit the Dead Sea as a short half-day trip from Amman. This will leave more time to explore other things in Jordan.

Day 4: King’s Highway from Amman to Petra

This day trip that brought me from Amman to Petra, with numerous interesting stops along the King’s Highway was definitely worth it. It was such a great road trip, packed with historic sights, whirling roads, jaw-dropping views, and an amazing sunset before we reached Petra.

It took all day to drive from Amman to Petra along the King’s Highway, but we stopped at the following places:

  • Unesco World Heritage Site Umm ar-Rasas with ancient Roman ruins, crumbling churches, and colorful mosaic floors
  • Crusader Castle of Kerak with amazing defense works and breathtaking views from the top
  • Driving through the Mujib Valley with meandering roads, jaw-dropping altitude difference and a striking view of the Mujib Dam.
  • Driving through remote villages and mountains, seeing local life as we passed by
  • The viewpoint of Dana National Park
  • Crusader Castle of Shobak. Unique positioned in the landscape with stunning views of the land and a ruby red sunset.
  • Arriving in Petra with full anticipation
Check my 10-day Jordan itinerary for solo travelers. Read my tips on where to stay and how to get around and see the big highlights of this little country.
The King’s Highway is a great road trip for your Jordan itinerary

For a more detailed account of my experiences on the King’s Highway, read my story here.

Day 5 and 6: Exploring Petra

The red rock city of Petra is definitely the highlight of any trip to Jordan. I allowed for 3 nights in Wadi Musa and 2 full days of exploring Petra in my 10-day Jordan itinerary.

The Anbat Midtown Hotel (II) where I stayed in Wadi Musa had free shuttle service to Petra in the morning. After a good breakfast, I set out to explore the ancient city of the Nabataeans. At the entrance, I hired a guide who would walk with me through the ruins. I guess I caught the wrong guide as he only stayed with me for an hour in which we walked through Petra. Other people told me their guide toured them around Petra for over 3 hours, filling their heads with interesting facts and funny remarks.

Hike to the monastery

As my guide and I clearly didn’t click, we parted as I was glad to get rid of him. Because it was still early morning and I was near the start of the hike to the monastery, I begin to climb. One-third of the way up, I realized I would be in serious trouble. Walking up is just exhausting, but for some reasons, descending is a nightmare for me. I slip, I get scared and with shaking legs, I put myself in danger. I decided to return and leave the monastery for what it is as I refuse to ride any donkeys. Read here why.

If you’re reasonably fit and want to hike up to the monastery, allow for 2 to 3 hours in full. Including stops and selfie moments.

Exploring Petra

From the far end of Petra, I slowly walked back to the main entrance and the Siq. I explored the Roman Ruins of Petra and the ancient church. I climbed up to the Tombs of the Kings and admired the views. It was starting to rain so I took another tea break.

At the end of the day, around 3 or 4 pm, I returned to the Treasury and sat there for a while. After almost a week in Jordan, getting up early for day trips, exploring ruins, climbing rocks and a lot of walking, I was exhausted. I needed to regain my energy before I could return to Wadi Musa.

Check my 10-day Jordan itinerary for solo travelers. Read my tips on where to stay and how to get around and see the big highlights of this little country.
Strolling through the Siq in Petra

Petra by Night

After a full day of exploring Petra, I returned to my hotel for a hot shower, some dinner and a rest. I returned to Petra around 8 pm for Petra by Night, but when I arrived there, it was canceled. I heard conflicting opinions about Petra by Night as it was called a mass event, not worth the money and too crowded. Where other people said it was magical and makes them see Petra from a different perspective. I wanted to try it so I could form my own opinion (and blog about it) but it got canceled, so I didn’t experience it. Part of me was relieved as I didn’t have to walk up and down the Siq again.

2nd day in Petra

I reserved that for the 2nd day in Petra. On the 2nd day, I contemplated to approach Petra from a different side but decided to walk the main route again. It allowed me to stop for different pictures and take my time. Today, I would hike up to one of the high viewpoints.

Petra has 3 famous high viewpoints. One of them is the hike up to the monastery which I evaluated and was too uneven to descend for me. The other is a steep climb up to the places of sacrifice which was advised to hike with a guide. I had enough of guides, so I opted for the ‘easier’ hike up to the viewpoint on the treasury. This would be a hike up on carved steps and with a good view of the Treasury. I decided to try it.

Hiking up to the viewpoint of the treasury

Behind the Tombs of the Kings is a path that leads to the steps that will bring you to one of the high places with views of the treasury. I promised myself to take it really easy and to take as many breaks as needed because I had all day and was by myself. I slowly set out. On the way, I met some girls coming down and they confirmed it was stairs almost all the way to the top.

I started to climb, step by step, taking a breather when needed and moving up the cliffs by those carved steps. Much to my own surprise, I made it to the highest point! From there, the route dips down a little bit, which had a few tricky parts without steps and slippery rocks. But, all of a sudden I could see the treasury!

I was soooo proud of myself. I was nearly dying, sweating with a red face, but I made it.

Nevertheless, I took a few moments for pictures and to catch my breath before I took the same route down. There is another route so you don’t have to trace your steps back, but it was supposed to be steeper and I found the journey down already daunting enough.

After a few tricky parts, that I managed sliding down on my bum, I reached the staircase down! When I returned to the Tombs of the Kings, I was shaking a little so I took a snack and tea.

Check my 10-day Jordan itinerary for solo travelers. Read my tips on where to stay and how to get around and see the big highlights of this little country.
Sweaty but very proud to have reached the high place with the view of the Treasury in Petra.

Taking in Petra

It was early afternoon and I contemplated what I would do for the rest of the day. I walked a little further to explore some other tombs, but I noticed I had used up all my energy. Therefore, I decided to return and spent a good hour taking in the hustle and bustle of the Treasury. I had a great time looking at the tour groups and individual travelers taking selfies at this famous monument.

Petra in 2 days

If you have very little time, you can see Petra in half a day. You’ll take the horse ride and then a carriage, drive around on a camel or donkey. Get in, walk around and go back.

If you’re interested to see places up close and personal, a full day is better. It will be exhausting but it is worth it.

If you want to hike to one or more of the high places, definitely reserve 2 days (or more!) in your Jordan itinerary for Petra.

Day 7-8: Wadi Rum Desert

The next morning, I took a local bus to Wadi Rum. I spend all day in the desert of Wadi Rum, where I joined 2 tours. We visited several amazing viewpoints, eery rock formations, and endless sand dunes. I loved it. I can spend all day in a 4×4 and just look at the landscape as we pass by.

We only explored a small portion of the Wadi Rum Desert but I saw the yellow desert, the red desert, the white desert, and the black desert. It is really amazing as to how varied the color of sand can be. In between the two tours, I had lunch at a local family where we communicated via the translation app.

At the end of a long day of driving in the Wadi Rum desert, I was dropped off at one of the campsites in the desert. I had a tent for myself and after a delicious meal, I listened to the silence surrounding us. The pitch dark night produced all kinds of new sounds and in the morning, I found several animal tracks around our tent.

Check my 10-day Jordan itinerary for solo travelers. Read my tips on where to stay and how to get around and see the big highlights of this little country.
Amazing rock formations in Wadi Rum Desert

Day 8, 9 and 10 in Aqaba Jordan

The next morning, we had a copious breakfast as we watched the sunset the desert into a golden ocean of sand. I wanted to stay but unfortunately, the driver wanted to leave and I had to go. On top of that, I was unlucky as the balloon rides in Wadi Rum desert were canceled due to the filming of the Aladdin movie.

So I left Wadi Rum and took a taxi to Aqaba. There are also local buses but they leave freakishly early so I just splurged for a taxi that took me within an hour to my hotel in Aqaba.

Vacation time in Aqaba Jordan

I choose to spend the end of my 10 days in Jordan in Aqaba to relax and have a little vacation. On my first day, I explored rinsed the sand from the desert of me and explored the resort. I walked around, tried out the pool and the spa at the hotel and some amazing food.

The next day, I planned to take a boat trip to explore Aqaba. I also wanted to go diving in the Red Sea, but I slept in, read a book, lazed by the pool and before I knew it, the day was already gone!

On the 10th day of my stay in Jordan, I took a short flight from Aqaba to Amman where I boarded my international plane back to Europe again.

Check my 10-day Jordan itinerary for solo travelers. Read my tips on where to stay and how to get around and see the big highlights of this little country.
Amazing poolside view in Aqaba!

10-day Jordan Itinerary

In the end, the 3 days in Aqaba was just what I needed to recharge my batteries and process all the things I’ve seen and done in Jordan. You can shorten your time in Jordan and see the highlights, but I enjoyed those extra days in Aqaba.

If you have more time, I’d add an extra day in Amman and Petra and maybe extend your time in Wadi Rum to explore more of the desert and Bedouin life.

In the end, my 10-day trip to Jordan was pretty full with some amazing big highlights for such a small country. Although I haven’t seen everything, I think I covered all my interest and had a great time. Although visiting Petra was a dream come true, I found Jerash and Wadi Rum much more interesting and beautiful!

Helpful tips and tools for your Jordan trip

  • It’s a good idea to have travel insurance in case something goes wrong during your trip to Jordan. You can purchase travel insurance from World Nomads here.
  • The Lonely Planet Jordan Guidebook is a good guide for information and practical travel tips. Purchase your copy here.
  • Travel in style with your Travel Themed Passport cover! I absolutely love these!

Do you like the Middle-East as I do? Read my 10-day Lebanon itinerary too.

Places to stay in Jordan

Below is a list with links to the places I stayed in Jordan. I especially recommend the Jordan Tower Hostel in Amman for its location, value for money and great tours. Don’t expect a hot shower though.

Check my 10-day Jordan itinerary for solo travelers. Read my tips on where to stay and how to get around and see the big highlights of this little country.
Loving the view from Kerak Castle

Are you planning a trip to Jordan? How many days do you have? Please feel free to copy my 10-day Jordan itinerary and let me know how things went!

Check my 10-day Jordan itinerary for solo travelers. Read my tips on where to stay and how to get around and see the big highlights of this little country.
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Check my 10-day Jordan itinerary for solo travelers. Read my tips on where to stay and how to get around and see the big highlights of this little country.
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2 Comments

  1. Ferrari World

    Beautiful! I simply fall in love with the attractions you have beautifully captured through your camera. I just found out that you have explored 3 middle eastern destinations and I would highly recommend you to visit Dubai and Abu Dhabi as well because they are the most stunning places offering a lot of attractions and free things to do. Also, there are numerous theme parks and waterparks for people traveling with kids. Add these two in your bucket list.

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