Trekking in Jordan: A Beginners Guide

Expedition: Jordan Desert Trek to Petra

360 Expeditions

Jordan’s remarkable history and alluring natural beauty attract visitors from all over the world. From the ancient rock city of Petra to the salt waters of the Dead Sea, plenty appeals to the modern tourist. But Jordan is quickly becoming a popular trekking destination, too. A land of incredible natural diversity, trekking in Jordan will see you travel through deserts and palm-lined canyons, ancient Roman ruins and crusader castles, rugged mountains and religious sites of global import.

In this beginner’s guide, we introduce you to the wonderful Jordan trekking opportunities on offer and provide an insight into what trekking in Jordan is really like. 

Trekking Jordan

Trekking in Jordan – a quick overview

Trekking in Jordan is a chance to embrace a way of life that relatively few people in Western societies ever experience. The Bedouins have roamed the country’s mountains, deserts and wadis for centuries and have a deep connection with the land, understanding how to move through it and live within the sometimes harsh conditions it imposes. This nomadic existence was once the dominant mode of living for vast swathes of the planet’s population and the opportunity to experience it is an absolute joy.

Many trekkers are seduced by the country’s striking arid landscapes, fascinating culture and utterly unique historical sites. And this is completely understandable. Petra is one of the wonders of the world. And you will never forget watching the sunset over the desert plain. But time and time again, trekkers pick their Bedouin guides and the experience of living on the move, sleeping beneath the stars and seeing the world from a different perspective as the trip highlights.

trekking in the desert

Ways to trek Jordan

Jordan is a fantastic trekking destination with plenty of routes and trails to explore. The Jordan Trail is arguably the most famous, as it runs the length of the country and encompasses more than 650 km of walking. This translates to around 40 days of trekking (including a few rest days), making it a tricky proposition for many people.

A more realistic (but equally spectacular) option is the 100 km Mansura to Petra trek. Unfolding over five days of walking, the trek encompasses the Shara mountains, cool canyons, rocky hamadas, Bedouin settlements, fertile valleys and high plateaus. The route is breathtakingly beautiful and the perfect way to experience Jordan’s natural diversity.

For more information on this route, take a look at the 360 Expedition Trek to Petra itinerary. It provides a detailed day-by-day account of what you can expect. 

desert trekking jordan

Guided or solo trekking?

While solo trekking in Jordan is possible, it is more challenging than in other parts of the world. This is particularly true of multi-day adventures that require intimate knowledge of the local area and terrain. Setting up camp, replenishing food and water stocks and navigating the landscape safely is not easy on your own and can be limiting.

In almost all cases, we recommend guided trekking in Jordan. As well as ensuring you have everything you need to complete the trek, experienced guides enhance the trekking experience significantly. They boast an unparalleled knowledge of the local environment and often impart that to trek participants. At 360, we work with local tribespeople and have established strong relationships with trusted guides who take our expeditions to the next level.

jordan desert trek

The best time of year to go

Jordan contains areas where a Mediterranean climate dominates and others where an arid desert climate is evident. Typically, the further inland and away from the Mediterranean you move, the drier and more extreme the climate. 

The winter season (November to March) can see temperatures drop significantly, making nights uncomfortably cold. On the other hand, temperatures during the summer months (June to August) can push the mercury over 40°C. As such, it is best to plan treks for the shoulder months. In our experience, the spring (April and May) window and the autumn (October) window are the best times to trek in Jordan.

Jordan trekking accommodation 

Accommodation varies depending on where in the country you are trekking. Sometimes, there are semi-permanent camps with covered areas for sleeping. However, the vast majority of the time, you will probably sleep beneath the stars. For many people, it is one of the best things about trekking in Jordan. The star-studded skies are simply unforgettable.

chilling at camp in desert

What does a typical trekking day look like?

When trekking in Jordan, you need to follow the day’s natural flow. This means waking relatively early, packing down camp and getting started with sunrise. After three to four hours of trekking, it is time for a long, early lunch. This ensures you do not trek through the hottest part of the day. Once slightly cooler, you resume your trek, stopping in the late afternoon to make camp, eat dinner and rest for the next day. You can expect to cover anywhere from 15-20 km a day.

cooling off in springs

What food can you expect?

Due to the nature of trekking, most meals will be relatively simple food cooked over an open fire in the traditional way. That does not mean it isn’t delicious, though. A typical trekking lunch will involve Bedouin bread with lentil soup, baba ganoush or madeuse (a rice and lentil dish) with salad. Occasionally, when supplies or circumstances allow, it may be possible to acquire chicken or dried fish. It is a healthy, nutritious and energy-rich approach, making it perfect for trekking.

Travel and transport

Situated approximately 30 km south of the capital, Amman, Queen Alia International Airport (AMM) is the main airport in Jordan. Amman is the main entry point for those trekking in Jordan and the transfer from the airport is quick and easy. 

You will require a tourist visa to enter Jordan. However, the government waives this requirement if you are travelling with a recognised tourist group, making planning and organising much easier.

jordan trekkers

Trekking Jordan with 360 Expeditions

At 360 Expeditions, we leverage our extensive experience organising and delivering memorable outdoor experiences to provide you with the ultimate Jordan trek. The 360 Expedition Trek to Petra sees you travel from the capital, Amman, to Mansura via Mount Nebo. From Mansura, the trek begins proper and, accompanied by our fantastic Bedouin guides, you will make your way to Petra. A trekking experience that will live long in the memory culminates in two days of exploring the ancient city and a restorative stay in a relaxing Dead Sea resort.

Head to our Jordan Trek to Petra page to learn more. Alternatively, contact the 360 team if you have any questions.

Jordan Trek with 360 Expeditions

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