Horseback riding in Jordan

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Equestrian tours in Jordan

Jordan Mini Guide
   Source: World Travel Guide

Overview

Petra, the jewel in the crown of Jordan's antiquities, has been declared by popular ballot one of the 'new' Seven Wonders of the World. The magnificent rock-hewn city of the Nabateans hardly needed further billing (since Jean Louis Burckhardt discovered it in the 19th century, it has been a favourite destination for Europeans) but at sunset on a winter's day, when the rose-pink city catches alight, it's easy to see why it has charmed a new generation of visitors.

Not to be outdone by Petra's success, Wadi Rum, that epic landscape of Lawrence and Lean - 'Arabs' man' and moviemaker - is a contender as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Two such weighty accolades would be entirely disproportionate to the minimal size of Jordan.

But Jordan, once an important trading centre of the Roman Empire and straddling the ancient Holy Land of the world's three great monotheistic religions, is no stranger to punching above its weight. Stand on Mt Nebo, newly consecrated by Pope John II, and survey the land promised to Moses; unwrap a scarf or two at Mukawir, where Salome cast a spell over men in perpetuity; float in the Dead Sea, beside a pillar of salt, reputed to be Lot's disobedient wife - go just about anywhere in Jordan and you'll find every stone bares a tale, and those of Madaba's legendary mosaics tell more tales than most.

With so much history wrapped up in this tiny desert kingdom, it's easy to overlook the modern face of Jordan - something the new king is trying to address in ambitious developments at Aqaba and along the Dead Sea. In the meantime, the Bedouin still herd their sheep across an unchanged landscape in living continuity with the ancient past.

 

Passport/Visa

Passport Required?

British

Yes

Australian

Yes

Canadian

Yes

USA

Yes

Other EU

Yes

Visa Required?

British

Yes/1

Australian

Yes/1

Canadian

Yes/1

USA

Yes/1

Other EU

Yes/1

Return Ticket Required?

British

No

Australian

No

Canadian

No

USA

No

Other EU

No

 

Passports

Passport valid for six months required by all nationals referred to in the chart above.

Visas

A single-entry visa obtained on arrival is required by all nationals referred to in the chart above to enter Jordan.

Note: Nationals not referred to in the chart above are advised to contact the embassy to check visa requirements (see Contact Addresses).

Visa Note

1. You can obtain the single-entry visa on arrival at any point of entry into Jordan, except at the King Hussein (Allenby) Bridge on the border between Jordan and the Israeli-occupied West Bank. No Jordanian visas are issued at this bridge, and if you attempt to cross without one you will be turned back by Israeli immigration officials before departing Israel. To enter Jordan at this bridge you must hold a Jordanian visa obtained in advance, either from a previous visit or by contacting the Jordanian Embassy in Ramat Gan (Tel Aviv).

If visiting Israel and the Palestinian National Authority it is advisable to obtain a multiple-entry visa before departure. Multiple-entry visas are only available from Jordanian embassies/consulates

Types of Visa and Cost

Single-entry visa on arrival: JD40; multiple-entry visa: JD60. 

In advance: single-entry visa: £60; double-entry visa: £90; multiple-entry visa: £180. An additional fee of £7.50 applies to all visa types.
Jordan waives visa fees for those travelling in groups of five or more who stay for over two nights and use a local tour operator or a UK company which works with a Jordanian partner on the ground.

Validity

Single-entry visa on arrival: usually valid for a month.
Single-entry visa in advance: two months from the date of issue; double-entry visa: three months from the date of issue; multiple-entry visa: six months from the date of issue.

Applications to:

Consulate (or consular section at embassy); see Contact Addresses.

Working Days Required

If applying in advance, visa processing usually takes three working days for nationals listed in the chart above, but may take longer for other nationals. Allow up to a week for postal applications.

 

Money

Currency

Dinar (JOD; symbol JD) = 100 piastres or 1,000 fils. Notes are in denominations of JD50, 20, 10, 5 and 1, and 500 fils. Coins are in denominations of JD1, 1/2 and 1/4; 10, 5, 2 and 1/2 piastres; and 1 and 1/2 qirsh.

Currency Exchange

Foreign currencies can be exchanged easily in banks and bureaux de change. Most hotels also provide exchange facilities. The daily exchange rates are published in local newspapers.

Credit/Debit Cards and ATMs

American Express, Visa, Diners Club and MasterCard are accepted in hotels, restaurants and larger shops. ATMs can be found in most of the larger towns and throughout Amman.

Traveller's Cheques

Those issued by UK banks are accepted by licensed banks and bureaux de change. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travellers are advised to take traveller's cheques in US Dollars.

Currency Restrictions

Restrictions apply.

Banking Hours

Sat-Thurs 0830-1500. Hours during Ramadan are 0830-1000, although some banks open in the afternoon.

Exchange Rate Indicators

Date June 3
£1.00=  JD1.03
$1.00= JD0.71
€1.00= JD0.80

Health

Vaccinations

 

Special Precautions

Diphtheria

Yes

Hepatitis A

Yes

Malaria

No

Rabies

Sometimes

Tetanus

Yes

Typhoid

Sometimes

Yellow Fever

No*

Inoculation regulations can change at short notice. Please take medical advice in the case of doubt. Where 'Sometimes' appears in the table above, precautions may be required, depending on the season and region visited.

* A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travellers over one year of age coming from infected areas.

Food and Drink

Jordan’s tap water is generally safe to drink in the towns and cities – it is heavily chlorinated, so may taste bad, but it will not do you harm. Nonetheless, if you can, it is advisable to stick to bottled water and pasteurised milk. Avoid dairy products made from unboiled milk. Be careful with food and water in rural areas: ensure meat and fish are well cooked and avoid raw vegetables and ready-peeled fruit.

Other Risks

Vaccination against tuberculosis and hepatitis B is sometimes recommended. There are fears Syrian refugees have brought polio to Jordan and the WHO advises vaccinations against it. Otherwise, the main health risks come from over-exposure to the sun: sunburn, sunstroke and dehydration are all real concerns. Take care to cover your skin – both to prevent skin damage and to limit dehydration.

Health Care

Jordan has excellent hospitals in large towns and cities, with clinics in many villages. The standard of healthcare is generally very high, with facilities in Jordanian private hospitals as good as (or, in some cases, better than) equivalent facilities in Europe or North America. Treatment is relatively cheap compared to medical care in the US. Most medical professionals will have been trained in English-speaking countries, so the language barrier is negligible. Health insurance is essential. You should not consider any sort of travel in Jordan without suitable insurance cover.

Travellers planning to stay as a resident or long-term visitor for over 3 months should check with their nearest Jordanian embassy to find out if they need to take an HIV test as a condition of entry.

 

Getting There

Getting There by Air

The national airline is Royal Jordanian Airlines (RJ) (website: www.rj.com).

Approximate Flight Times

From London to Amman is 5 hours.

Main Airports

Queen Alia International (AMM) is 35km (22 miles) southeast of the capital. To/from the airport: The airport is connected by a good highway (journey time - 40 minutes). There is a regular bus service to Amman (journey time - 50 minutes), and taxis are also available. Facilities: Duty-free shops, ATMs, bank/bureau de change, eating and shopping facilities and car hire.

Departure Tax

JD10 if leaving Jordan overland, otherwise included in the air fare.

Getting There by Water

The only port is Aqaba (tel: (03) 201 4031; website: www.aqabaports.com.jo), which is on some cruise itineraries. There is a daily car and passenger ferry between Aqaba and Nuweiba in Egypt, run by AB Maritime (tel: (03) 209 2000; website: www.abmaritime.com.jo); the company also operates a high-speed service to Nuweiba that takes less than one hour.

Departure tax: JD5 for foreigners and JD6 for Jordanian nationals.

Getting There by Rail

The Hejaz Railway (tel: (06) 489 5414; website: www.jhr.gov.jo) operates twice a week on the old Ottoman track between Amman and Damascus (Syrian Arab Republic). It uses ancient rolling stock and takes about nine hours. It is really only worth making the journey for the experience. The journey by car takes about half the time.

Getting There by Road

There are roads into the Syrian Arab Republic via Ramtha or Jaber. The route to/from the Syrian Arab Republic to Western Europe is through Turkey. Driving time from Amman to Damascus is four hours. From Egypt, there is a ferry connection from Nuweiba to Aqaba, with bus connections from Cairo (visa should be obtained in advance). Multiple-entry visas may be needed.

A coach service runs from Damascus to Irbid or Amman. JETT (tel: (06) 585 4679; website: www.jett.com.jo) is one of the main operators.

There is a share-taxi service from Amman to Damascus.

Public buses and coaches run from Amman to a number of international destinations, including Cairo, Jeddah, Riyadh, Damascus, Beirut, Baghdad and Istanbul. With a visa, obtained in advance, it's also possible to enter the Palestinian National Authority Region at Allenby Bridge. Border crossings with Israel are at Sheikh Hussein Bridge (Jordan River Crossing) near Lake Tiberias in the north and Wadi Arabah (Arava Crossing) in the south, the latter linking Jordan to the Israeli Red Sea resort of Eilat. Most nationalities can obtain a visa at the border (for information see Passport/Visa).

Road departure tax: JD4.

 

Climate

The Jordan Valley and the area around Aqaba is warm during winter (January-February) with chilly evenings, and extremely hot in summer (June-August). In the Eastern Desert, the winter can be bitterly cold and dry and the summer intensely hot. The central spine of hills can receive snowfall in winter and is cool in the evenings in summer. Rain falls between November and March.

Required Clothing

Lightweight clothes are advised between May and September. Thick winter clothes are essential for winter and a warm layer is necessary for cool summer evenings. Rainwear is needed from November to April.

 

Contacts

Jordan Tourism Board in the UK

c/o Brighter Group, The Pod London’s Vertical Gateway, Bridges Wharf, Battersea, London, SW11 3BE, United Kingdom
Tel: (020) 7223 1878.
Opening Hours: Not open to the public.
www.visitjordan.com

Embassy of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in the USA

3504 International Drive, NW, Washington, DC 20008, USA 
Telephone: (202) 966 2664.
Website: http://www.jordanembassyus.org 
Opening times: Mon-Fri 0900-1700.

Jordan Tourism Board in the USA

1307 Dolley Madison Blvd., Suite 2A, McLean, VA, 22101, United States
Tel: (703) 243 7404/5 or 1 877 733 5673.
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 0900-1700
na.visitjordan.com

Embassy of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in the UK

6 Upper Phillimore Gardens, London W8 7HA, UK
Tel: (020) 7937 3685.
Website: www.jordanembassy.org.uk
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 0900-1600.

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