No matter where your interests lie, or what your reasons are for travelling, Jordan has a habit of ticking all the boxes. Home to an expanse of desert that’s ideal for adventure seekers, cosmopolitan cities whose foodie haunts are temptation enough for any culinary aficionado and a history that culture hunters can happily immerse themselves in for days; this is a country that keeps everybody happy. Here are four of our favourite activities in Jordan, just to prove it.
Hot air balloon rides over the desert
Sometimes the greatest views of Mother Nature’s landscapes are from above, and overlooking the Wadi Rum desert from the basket of a hot air balloon is no exception. Marvel at the towering granite and sandstone peaks that sparkle in the sunset as you float across the 720 km stretch of Wadi Rum desert and absorb these weathered landscapes. From such a vantage point you’ll begin to comprehend the true scale of this Jordanian beauty, from the majestic mountain formations to the canyons cutting deep into the rocks, creating deep golden valleys.
Jordanian cooking classes
In amongst the hustle and bustle of Amman, you’ll find some of the country’s most authentic cooking classes that will introduce you to traditional flavours. A favourite of ours is the family owned Beit Sitti restaurant, where individuals can learn to cook their own three-course Arabic meal. Listen to a lifetime of cooking stories whilst handling the freshest ingredients and build each dish from scratch. The best bit? Feasting on your delicious creations on the restaurant’s terrace as you gaze out over the rooftops of down town Amman, of course.
Camp beneath the stars
Camping out in the Wadi Rum under a blanket of stars has to be one of the most iconic adventures Jordan has to offer. It’s an adventure that will begin as soon as you settle down on a hand woven carpet and watch as your expert guide prepares a traditional dish that is baked under the sand. Sat around the camp fire, you’ll be tucking into a flavoursome meal whilst listening to ancient stories about the exploration of the desert. With no artificial light at hand, you’ll see the stars at their brightest as you bask in the impregnable silence of the desert.
Hike to Petra
Voted by National Geographic as one of the best hikes in the world, the five to six day trek to Petra is ideal for the cultural explorers amongst you. Wander through some of Jordan’s most remote and untouched landscapes and you’ll find yourself dwarfed by its vast and dramatic desert beauty. By day you’ll wind though dipping canyons discovering an abundance of flora and fauna and by night you’ll be learning how to cook authentic Jordanian cuisine before resting your head under a stunning star-strewn sky.
The highlight of the trek is, of course, arriving at Petra. The architectural detail of this monument is breath-taking and the magical atmosphere enchanting. Often referred to as one of the ‘New 7 Wonders of the World’, this breath-taking discovery is the perfect way to end such a magnificent hike.
Tom Marchant is Co-founder of Black Tomato.