Sit back, strap yourself in and get ready to step on the proverbial accelerator as we drive through Jordan on a roadtrip organized by Byond Travel and Autocar India, India’s leading authority for car and motorbikes and the No. 1 auto magazine in the country!
If you’ve been following us, you know that at Byond Travel, we love Jordan. Earlier this month, inspired by Shweta’s self drive through Jordan, we decided to do our own and we had 15 brave souls join us!
Follow along this exciting journey as we join the crew and Vir Nakai, travel writer for Autocar, who has racked up as many memories as he has miles, having driven from Bologna to Moscow, as part of Ducati’s historic around-the-world journey , as well as across India, from the Himalayas to Bangalore. For more on his journeys, click here to explore his site, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.
Don’t miss a moment as this crew of brave and crazy drivers, steer their way across Jordan, making their way over desert highways, and going off-roading in the red sand dunes of Wadi Rum, on a 8 day self-drive adventure through Jordan that is just pure fun. They will drive from Amman to Wadi Mujib, Petra to Wadi Rum and Aqaba to the Dead Sea, with lots of stops en route to visit mosaic towns and have tea with Bedouins.
We love long-lasting journeys with like-minded people. To JOIN US on future journeys, build your own or follow other similar inspiring journeys like the one Vir is on, join our community of like-minded travelers, Click HERE.
The action continues as we’re heading straight for Wadi Rum today. Given that the desert is one of the most dramatic terrains on the planet, with granite, basalt and sandstone mountains and glittering red sands, that looks like an otherworldy planet, you could even say, we’re heading to Mars!
We’re making our way over the desert high way, driving at 100km per hour. Outside, it’s beautiful. Here’s what the view looks like:
Inside, there’s a lot of good vibes and great music. We’re dancing around inside, listening to Arabic songs like this one:
We stopped for lunch at a local restaurant and filled up on Jordanian shawarma with hammas and falafel for lunch with raw pomegranate juice. Yes, it’s as delicious as its sounds.
Up ahead, we can spy the red sands of Wadi Rum. We’ll be taking a jeep safari through the desert soon.
Today, we set off to Petra, following in Indiana Jones’ footsteps. We made our way though the Siq in the morning (no less impressive than it was last night). Truly, walking through this ancient aqueduct, the immense rock walls reaching up on either side, makes you feel like you’re in your own little adventure flick, with every step bringing you closer to an ancient treasure.
And what a treasure we found. As we drew near the end of the Siq, the anticipation increasing, we glimpsed the Treasury between the lightning bolt shaped gap in the sandstone walls – it was electrifying. Clearly, the Nabateans who created Petra, had a flair for the dramatic.
You walk out of the Siq and the first thing you see of the city of Petra is the Treasury. Notice the architecture it's influenced from over 7 different empires and parts of the word. So it's believed the inhabitants and founders of Petra were a collection of people from all over. #visitjordan #gojordan #byondtravel #autocarindia #petra
A sense of adventure pervades the entire place; it’s no wonder that the climax of ‘Indiana Jones and the Holy Grail’ was filmed here. We spent the day learning more about the city and seeing elaborate rock-hewn Nabatean tombs and the Roman streets dotted with temples, staircases, buildings and other monuments cut with a refinement that’s hard to believe.
There were also plenty of camels around. Don’t let their docile appearance fool you, they’re actually masters at photobombing.
It’s been an absolutely incredible day in Petra.
As we walked out exhausted after 12 hours of exploring Petra a brilliant sun over the city marked the end of the day. #visitjordan #gojordan #byondtravel #autocarindia #petra
After tanking up on breakfast, we made our way to Mount Nebo, stopping en route to take a break and say hello to loitering camels . At Mt. Nebo, we made our way to the top. This is where, according to the Bible, Moses stood and looked out at the Holy Land.
If Moses had a Pajero he would have had a happier time lost in the desert. #visitjordan #gojordan #byondtravel #autocarindia
At the peak, you can stand and see, as he did, the sweeping vista of the Jordan River valley, the Dead Sea, Jericho and a glimpse of Jerusalem’s spires and rooftops in the far distance. It’s one of the most spectacular sights in Jordan.
Moses stood here and looked out at the Promise land. #visitjordan #gojordan #byondtravel #autocarindia
Next, time to stretch the Pajero’s power a bit. We made our way further south using the beautiful desert highway, with its broad tarmac to the Dana Natural Reserve. Dana Natural Reserve is Jordan’s largest nature park and like the rest of the country, is stunning.
After Dana, we drove to Petra, ending the day on a spectacular note: visiting this ancient rose-red city by night. We walked through the Siq, following a candle lit path, with the moon and stars shimmering above us…
I am still not sure what was the most spectacular bit of the Petra by night walk. #visitjordan #gojordan #byondtravel #autocarindia
….until we reached the colossal facade of the Treasury. Under the half moon, but bathed in the light of thousands of little candles – what a sight!
As Satleen Bhatnagar, who travelled to Jordan on our women-only trip says, “Petra by night is a beautiful experience. No amount of words will truly do it justice.” And indeed it was.
This was an experience that the group will remember decades from now.
It was an action-packed day today.
First up, we drove around Amman in our cars, getting used to the local traffic. We also stopped by some iconic sights such as the Royal Automobile Museum and King Abdullah Mosque.
So I am in Jordan travelling through the country in a cage but I am not complaining it's turning out to be an awesome trip. #visitjordan #gojordan #byondtravel
Later on in the day, we drove to Wadi Mujib using the Kings Way, stopping to take in the stunning sight of the Dead Sea.
Wadi Mujib is Jordan’s most spectacular river canyon and is a true undiscovered gem. As Priyale Prasad, who journeyed to Jordan on Byond’s women-only group trip said, “It was an out-of-the-world place with every possible adventure one could ask for. This was my favourite memory from the trip, walking against the gushing water of the river, rock-hopping along the way, and all that rock climbing! We tripped and got drenched but I would go back happily again and again!
We couldn’t agree more with Priyale. Here’s a picture of us giving the tyres a rest and putting our feet to work instead (well, not exactly).
Walking through the narrow stream between the 100 feet walls of the towering, red sandstone cliffs, clambering over small, fast-flowing waterfalls and fighting the feisty current with each step – sounds like a lot of work, but was actually a lot of fun.
We ended our day driving to Madaba, the city of Mosaics, where we saw the oldest known mosaic map of the holy land.
The group landed and we gathered around for a quick briefing:
After we were done, we got out of the airport and made a beeline for the ancient city of Jerash, which dates all the way back to the Bronze Age. The roads are wide and clean, with plenty of fast corners as we drive our way through olive groves and low hills.
Jerash is the biggest and most completely well-preserved city of the ancient Roman Empire. We’ve only been in the country for 5 hours, and already, the adventure is off to an epic start.
We also stopped by the Citadel, an archaeological wonder which is situated on a hill, giving us a perspective of Jordan’s incredible history as well as a stunning view of the entire area.
Then, it was back to the city for some dinner and rest. See you tomorrow!