Our 7-day Jordan and Israel itinerary led us to discover legendary and unforgettable places. The itinerary began in Jordan, a country offering many emotions to those who have the privilege to visit it. From Petra, the ancient city of the Nabateans, to the sky full of stars in Wadi Rum, from the Roman theaters to the camels moving slowly in the red sand of the desert. The natural and architectural beauties in Jordan are endless, however the real heritage of this country lies in the smile of its people. The Jordanians are among the kindest and most welcoming people in the world. Hospitality towards travelers is the backbone of their culture, from the ancient time when camel caravans traveled the legendary King’s Road carrying incense in exchange for spices. The Jordanian people were one of the most beautiful surprises of this journey.
Tracing our itinerary between the Dead Sea, Petra and Wadi Rum we could not resist the proximity to the Israeli border. So we added a stop in Jerusalem – Yerushalayim, the city of peace in Hebrew.
Jordan and Israel in 7 days. Travel itinerary
DAY 1: Milan – Amman – Dead Sea – Petra
DAY 2 Petra
DAY 3: Petra – Wadi Rum
DAY 4: Wadi Rum – Aqaba – Eilat – Jerusalem
DAY 5 – 6: Jerusalem
DAY 7: Tel Aviv – Milan
For our 7-day itinerary Jordan and Israel we rented a car at Amman airport with Thrifty with drop off in Aquaba, from there we crossed the border with Israel on foot (it is not possible to cross the border with rental cars).
At the Amman airport we also bought a SIM card in one of the shops located in the main hall. We chose Umniah and a specific offer for travelers which included 8 GB of internet plus 2 GB extra to use only in the evening, 15 minutes of international calls and 5 local SMSs at JOD 16 (about €20).
DAY 1: Amman – Dead Sea – Petra
The first stop of our 7-day Jordan and Israel itinerary was the Dead Sea, where we spent only a few hours. There are no free beaches, there are some free accessible points, but these are without fresh water to wash the salt off your skin. Therefore to bathe you have to pay the entrance to a beach. The cheapest is the Amman Beach, JOD 25, you can rent a towel for a few extra JOD. Floating at the lowest point on the planet – 400 meters below sea level – certainly has its charm, but the concentration of salt is so high that it sets your skin on fire after a few minutes. It’s better to avoid getting your head and eyes wet and take a shower right after the swim. Not sooo relaxing if you ask me!
The wellness ritual consists of a 10-minute bath followed by the Dead Sea muds, JOD 3, and lastly another 10 minutes in the water. Done! After a quick shower to remove mud and salt from the skin we were back on the road, direction Petra.
Day 2 – 3: Petra
One of the New Seven Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Petra alone is worth the trip to Jordan. Nothing prepared us for the authentic beauty of this ancient Nabataean city carved into the rock. Discovered only in 1812, Petra was home to almost twenty thousand people. Markets, villas, theaters, a sophisticated system of aqueducts, obelisks and more than 500 tombs, today home to the Bedouins who live in the area of Wadi Musa. Petra is an immense archaeological site and includes 800 steps to reach the Monastery (Ad-Dair), don’t miss it!! A single day, from sunrise to sunset, might be enough to see the most iconic facades, but our advice is to dedicate at least two days to this stunning site.
Day 3: Petra – Wadi Rum
After a last look at the Treasury of Petra – its most famous façade – we jumped back in the car and after a couple of hours drive we reached the Wadi Rum desert and the bedouin camp Wadi Rum Dream Camp where a 4×4 vehicle was waiting for us for a private Jeep Safari. We spent the following 4 hours immersed in a lunar landscape, admiring petroglyphs engraved on sandstone, canyons and wind-carved rock formations.
Day 4: Wadi Rum – Aqaba – Eilat – Gerusalemme
After a sunrise camel ride, we headed towards the last stop of our trip to Jordan, Aquaba. Here we dropped off the car and with a taxi (about JOD 12) we reached the Wadi Araba-Aqaba Bridge border. Depending on the chosen border – there are three – the visa rules and the costs can change. Traveling from Aqaba to Eilat (an Israeli city just 3 km from the border) we received a free visa for Israel, called the Electronic Gate Pass. Having stayed at least three nights in Jordan and having the Jordan Pass we didn’t pay any Jordan exit tax and no entry fee to Israel. The exit tax from Jordan is based on the number of nights spent in the territory:
- JOD 40 for those who spent 1 night
- JOD 10 for those who spent 2 nights
- Free for those who spend 3 nights or more
It is also important to know that with a rental car, it is not possible to cross the Jordanian and Israeli borders (and vice versa), but once the border is passed, taxis are always there waiting. There are no ATMs at the border so it is best to get there with some cash in both currencies.
NO STAMPS PLEASE, remember to say this sentence both at the exit of Jordan and at the entrance to Israel. This is because some countries won’t allow you to enter if you have Israeli stamps on your passport. However, it is enough to ask not to stamp the passport in order not to leave the “official” track of the trip.
JORDAN VISA AND JORDAN PASS
It is possible to obtain a Jordan Visa upon arrival, both at Amman and Aqaba airports as well as at the borders of Wadi Araba and Sheikh Hussein Bridge. The Visa costs JOD 40. However, purchasing the Jordan Pass you will get a free visa plus a free entry to 410 sites (including Petra). A stay of at least three nights in the country is required to be entitled to purchase the Jordan Pass. There are three types of Jordan Pass – Jordan Wanderer, Jordan Explorer and Jordan Expert – the pass you choose depends on the number of days you wish to spend exploring Petra. Remember, it must be purchased at least four days before leaving. Here’s the link to the official Jordan Pass website.
DAY 5-7: Jerusalem
Once we crossed the border and reached the city of Eilat, we went straight to the main bus station and jumped on the first bus for Jerusalem. The bus company is called EGGED, it is safe and very comfortable. The journey takes about 4.5 hours and stops once. Tickets can be purchased directly at the station.
Jerusalem takes much longer than other cities to be explored and understood. Every stone has a history and a past, often suffered. In this sacred city many religions coexist, separated by invisible barriers. The spirituality of its walls is so strong that it can be perceived even by those who do not believe. I’ve heard this sentence many times but I couldn’t understand its meaning until I experienced it on my skin. There is a lot to say and that’s why I will talk about this city, so magical and otherworldly, in another post.
Shabbat is the Saturday, the holy day for Judaism. It starts on Friday afternoon and it ends on Saturday, sunset time. This day of rest is very important in all Israel and especially in the religious Jerusalem where everything remains closed for 24 hours. Metros, buses, museums, shops and restaurants. Taxis run at a reduced rate. We scheduled our arrival in Israel on Sunday, after Shabbat. You might want to do the same.
How much did a 7-day journey to Jordan and Israel cost us?
* prices are for two people
Milano – Amman euro 90
Tel Aviv – Milano euro 132
Rental car Thrifty euro 92 for 4 days
Drop off in Aqaba euro 50
Egged bus euro 42
Jordan Pass Wanderer euro 194
(including Jordan Visa and 2 days entrance in Petra)
Esperanza Petra euro 92, 2 nights
Wadi Rum Dream Camp euro 90, 1 night
Yafo 35 Apartment euro 306, 3 nights
Jeep Safari Wadi Rum euro 86, 4h.
Camel ride euro 40, 1h.
Total for 2 people: 1.020 euro
7 Day Itinerary to Jordan and Israel