And here goes Part 2….
6. Umm Qais
The best views. The best instagrams. The most surreal border threshold. Umm Qais, at the northernmost tip of Jordan, is an archaeological village that cannot be missed. Walk through the village to the edge of the ruins to a beautiful arched restaurants, and enjoy a Greek salad with the border of Israel and Golan as your view.
You haven’t tasted bread, until you’ve had some of this Levantine dough, topped with thyme (or Za’atar). Go to A Kanafeh in downtown Amman, you won’t regret it.
8. Madaba’s Mosaics
A little village, less than an hour’s rickety bus ride away from Amman, is often an afterthought, but makes for a lovely afternoon exploring mosaic masterpieces that have survived since 1 BC. The church on the main street (there is just the one) is a must-visit, with a beautiful floor mosaic of the old Arabian map.
9. Hike Jordan’s Wadis
A personal favourite, and particularly when traveling solo, the best way to meet new people and make some lifelong friends. Jordan’s many valleys (or ‘Wadis’) of rock, occasionally scattered with pools of cool water, make for the perfect afternoon of some activity to work off all the hummus and pita you have likely been gorging on. The days spent hiking Wadi Mujib and Wadi Hidan were some of the best, with long slippery hikes (if you fall into the water, embrace it!), rappelling down waterfalls, and jumping off low cliffs into the water when there’s not alternative route to the other side.
10. Dead Sea
Saving the best for last. Float on the Dead Sea – don’t go hiking right before like I did or you’ll be too bruised to enter the saline water – and have a spa day that can be as luxurious or as budget-friendly as you want. We rented a cabana with a personal pool to relax in for the day, giving us the perfect balance of a cool oasis with occasional dips in the sea.