Horseback riding in Jordan

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Equestrian tours in Jordan

Jordan Mini Guide
   Source: World Travel Guide

Overview

Its' easy to see why Lawrence of Arabia was so taken with Jordan. Probably the most appealing destination in the Middle East, this ancient Arab kingdom is a hospitable land packed with epic scenery and momentous relics.

Many travelers visit Jordan with its history in mind, and understandably so. The country is steeped in stories from the distant past, with the ruins to prove it. There's the 2,000-year-old "lost city" of Petra, carved from rose-red sandstone cliffs by the Nabateans, and the legendary Lawrence of Arabia trail, which takes visitors from his crumbling fort at Azraq to magnificent deserts of Wadi Rum.

Important biblical sites abound; visitors can trek along pilgrimage routes mentioned in the Old Testament, take in views of the Promised Land revealed to Moses and visit Bethany-by-the-Jordan where John baptized Jesus.

If Jordan's overwhelming historical sites begin to wear you out, take a restorative dip in the therapeutic waters of the Dead Sea, go scuba diving over coral reefs in the Red Sea or stay in the desert with Bedouins, who offer travelers a glimpse into their traditional way of life.

For all its history and natural beauty, though, Jordan looks forward. Its relatively stable economic and political position in the Middle East has fuelled modernization, particularly in the capital, Amman. With new upmarket hotels, restaurants and bars, the city is no longer just a base from which to explore the ancient sites, but a destination in its own right.

In Jordan, hospitality is king. Everywhere you visit you will hear heartfelt words of welcome, and will often be invited into shops or people's homes for a glass of sweet tea and a conversation. In other places this might prelude a hard-sell campaign of carpet-flogging, but in Jordan, it's almost always borne simply of an interest to engage with a visitor. As the Jordanians say; "Ahlan wa sahlan" - come in make yourself at home.

Passport/Visa

Passport Required?

British

Yes

Australian

Yes

Canadian

Yes

USA

Yes

Other EU

Yes

Visa Required?

British

Yes

Australian

Yes

Canadian

Yes

USA

Yes

Other EU

Yes

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 the Queen Alia International Airport and at Aqaba Airport.

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. 

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 four to five working days for nationals listed in the chart above, but may take longer for other nationals. Allow up to two weeks 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. Jordan is a cash society. In most places (other than top-end hotels and restaurants) the only acceptable method of payment is cash dinars. Dollard and other foreign currencies are generally not accepted. Jordan is also very safe; crime is exceptionally low, and you do not need to worry about carrying cash with you. Scams are few. You may find yourself paying slightly over the odds for taxis or guide services, but real rip-offs are surprisingly rare.

One exception is in and around the tourist town of Petra- here, there is a higher-than-usual prevalence of touts and cheats trying to overcharge and under-deliver. Be more on your guard here than elsewhere.

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 April 2018 
£1.00=  JD1.00
$1.00= JD0.71
€1.00= JD0.87

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), but you can find wide availability of flights on multiple carriers into the Jordinian capital Amman from major cities across Europe, Asia, and North America. British Airways (www.ba.com) also flies direct to Jordan from the UK, and Amman is also served by Gulf low-cost carriers such as Air Arabia (www.airarabia.com), FlyDubai (www.flydubai.com), and Jazeera Airways (www.jazeeraairways.com).

Direct flights come non-stop into Amman from North American hubs such as New York and Chicago. Most flights come into Amman's Queen Alia International Airport (AMM). Some international flights serve Aqaba's King Hussein airport (AQJ).

Approximate Flight Times

From London to Amman is 5 hours. New York to Amman is 10 hours 30 minutes.

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

Scheduled car ferries and high-speed catamarans run by AB Maritime (tel: (03) 209 2000; website: www.abmaritime.com.jo) cross between Nuweiba in Egypt and Jordan's only port city, Aqaba.
Timetables are notoriously fickle, and delays of many hours are common on this route.

Getting There by Rail

There are no longer passenger trains running in Jordan- the old Hejaz line from Damascus has been permanently suspended.

Getting There by Road

Jordan has road borders with Isreal, the Palestinian Authority, Syria, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia, and is also linked by car ferry to Egypt. The JETT bus company in Amman (www.jett.com.jo) runs scheduled buses to and from Cairo, Damascus, Baghdad, Riyadh, Jeddah, Madina, Makkah, and other cities, along with local partners in each destination. 

To reach Amman from Jerusalem by public transport requires a complicated sequence of taxis and buses; you could pay extra for VIP service door-to-door through firms such as Amman2Jerusalem (tel: +962 7 9952 0066; www.amman2jerusalem.com).

 

Climate

Jordan is a year-round destination. Even in high summer (June-August), Amman and most areas around the country are not excessively hot, chiefly due to the moderating influence of altitude- Amman stands around 850m (2800ft) above sea level. Similarly, Petra enjoys an elevated position- around 1,100m (3600ft) above sea level, so here, too, although days in summer can be hot, nights are often rather chilly. For Petra, as well as decent walking shoes- the only way in and out of the ruins is by a moderately testing walk over stony ground- also bring something warm for the evenings, even in the summer. In winter, Petra can be very cold, with rain and even snow.

The Jordan Valley and the area around Aqaba is warm during winter (December-February)- a pleasant relief from the chill elsewhere- but 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 October 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 March.

 

Contacts

 

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.

 

Embassy of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in the UK

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


British Embassy in Jordan


Abdoun (PO Box 87) Amman, 11118
Tel: + 962 06 590 9200 
Website: www.gov.uk/government/world/Jordan
Opening hours: Sun-Wed: 0800-1530, Thu 0800-1500.

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