How to Go Off Road in Jordan
From Petra to Wadi Rum, Jordan is paradise on earth
Sarah Ben Romdane
With its historically rich culture, striking landscapes and mouth-watering cuisine, Jordan should definitely be your next travel destination. Perfectly combining traditionalism with modern luxury, Jordan is nothing short of a paradise and is perfect for keen eco-tourists looking for a change of scenery.
From the surreal beauty of its nature to the incredible history of its ancient cities and the genuine and generous warmth of its people there’s an inimitable magic that stems from Jordan, a country that sits at the crossroads of its ancient civilizations.
If you’re looking for a long weekend getaway, forget the bustle of Amman and head to the South.
Al Manara, Saraya Aqaba
As the only port and coastal city in the country, Aqaba is a strategic spot that’s fundamental to the country’s economy. But what’s really striking about Aqaba is how the crystalline sea and the pink mountains of the desert perfectly merge together, creating a breathtaking panorama.
Al Manara is exactly where you want to start your Jordanian experience if you’re looking for an elevated hideaway. Located in the heart of the city’s newest beachside destination, between stupefying mountains and overlooking the Gulf of Aqaba, Al Manara is the perfect luxury retreat. Be sure to unwind at the hotel’s infinity pool overlooking Saraya Aqaba’s lagoon.
From the spa, where experts offer bespoke holistic treatments, to the property’s three restaurants (which serve up the tastiest Levantine and Mediterranean cuisine around), Al Manara is the perfect choice. Not to mention, there’s year-round sunshine.
A classic double bedroom at Al Manara, A Luxury Collection Hotel start from 803 AED /219 USD per night.
Located just a couple of hours by car from Aqaba, there’s no excuse to miss visiting the rose-red city. As one of the most sumptuous cities of the ancient world, it’s no wonder people refer to its wonderful temple as “the treasury”.
Inhabited since prehistoric times, the caravan city has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1985. During the Nabataean Kingdom, Petra was a huge commercial hotspot, where traders from all over the world passed by. Until today, it hasn’t lost any of its indescribable power and beauty. When walking around the labyrinthine site before making it to the dramatically beautiful façade of the temple – which wasn’t built but meticulously sculpted in the rock – you’ll realise how spectacular it is in real life in comparison to photos.
Be sure to come back when the sun goes down if you want to witness the historical site lit by moonlight.
If you’re a foodie and love nature, head to Jarba farm – just a few miles away from Petra – for an authentic experience, where botanist Mahmoud Twaissi shares his knowledge and passion for Jordan’s rich land and agriculture. Indulge yourself in this tranquil environment by tasting fresh and organic nuts, figs, dates and the best mint tea you’ll ever try in your life.
Where To End
Memories Aicha Luxury Camp, Wadi Rum Desert
With its large valleys of ochre soil, the red and eerie desert of Wadi Rum is Jordan’s most beautiful gem. Traders during Antiquity, legionaries from the Roman Empire, Muslim armies, the Crusaders, Lawrence of Arabia and even Indiana Jones have passed by this endless, otherworldly landscape.
Memories Aicha Luxury Camp is exactly where you want to stay if you’re into wilderness and glamping. Be sure to book a pod tent – equipped with a bathroom – to enjoy the surreal panoramic views through the glass walls. At night, cosy up and stargaze from your bed for an unforgettable cosmic experience. A constellation expert is available at Memories Aïcha Luxury Camp in the evening, and Jeep Safaris are available for the daytime.
Experience true hospitality by having a traditional lunch in a Bedouin camp. If Middle Eastern cuisine is your thing, you’ll love Bedouin cuisine. While casually lounging on the floor, you will be served delicious mezzes and manssaf (a flavourful meal composed of rice and delicious barbecue meat cooked underground in earth ovens) while casually sipping bitter coffee, carefully served in miniscule cups.
A panoramic tent at Memories Aïcha Luxury Camp start from 1028 AED /280 USD per night.