Region: Middle East & North Africa
Over 90% Sunni Muslim, with Christian and Shia Muslim minorities.
Arabia is the official language. English is fairly widely spoke in the main cities. Knowing a few words of Arabic will enhance your experience.
Area (sq. km):
92,300 square meters
GMT + 2 (GMT + 3 from April to September).
The major characteristic of the climate is the contrast between a relatively rainy season from November to April and very dry weather for the rest of the year. With hot, dry, uniform summers and cool, variable winters during which practically all of the precipitation occurs, the country has a Mediterranean-style climate. The country's long summer reaches a peak during August. January is usually the coolest month. The fairly wide ranges of temperature during a twenty-four-hour period are greatest during the summer months and have a tendency to increase with higher elevation and distance from the Mediterranean seacoast. Daytime temperatures during the summer months frequently exceed 36°C and average about 32°C. In contrast, the winter months (Nov-Apr) bring moderately cool and sometimes cold weather, averaging about 13°C. It occasionally snows in Amman.
Jordan has three distinct climatic zones and can be visited pretty much all year round. In the highlands (Madaba, Amman, Jerash) the climate is generally cool to warm. In Amman, for example, temperatures range from an average of 8°C in January to 25°C in July. In Rift Valley region (Dead Sea, Petra, Aqaba) the weather is noticeably warmer, with temperatures peaking at an average of 32°C in July. In desert areas (Wadi Rum) there is an extreme variation between daytime and nighttime temperatures and between summer and winter. Here you can find summer temperatures exceeding 40°C, while winter nights (Nov-Mar) can be very cold, dry and windy.
The international airport is Amman's Queen Alia International Airport. The airport is located approximately 25 km from the city centre and the journey takes about 40 minutes by car.
Country code: 962. A full IDD service is available. The outgoing international code is 00. Mobile phones work throughout the country, except in the middle of Wadi Rum. Telephone calls, especially international ones, can be expensive when made from a hotel. We suggest you check the price first. If you have a mobile phone it should be a relatively simple procedure to arrange 'global roaming' with your service provider, however charges are generally high so be sure to check this option thoroughly.
220 volts AC, 50Hz. Plugs are the two-pin type. Some lamp fittings are screw rather than bayonet.
Jordanian food is generally very good, and includes a wide variety of mezze. Lamb and chicken dishes are popular, often accompanied by yogurt, bulgur, eggplant, tomatoes, rice or bread. Garlic and mint are the most common seasonings. Drinking tea or coffee is an important event in the Middle East, particularly in Jordan, where it has been elevated to the level of a handshake and is almost mandatory whenever you meet someone.
There are numerous taxis, local buses and minibuses operating in Jordan, but most of the signage is in Arabic and many do not begin their journey until all the seats are full. Private buses are also popular over longer distances and it is worth paying the additional cost for the comfort and scheduled departures.
Jordan is particularly good for gold and jewellery. Other speciality items include pottery, embroidered tablecloths and cloths, brass and copper items and Hebron glass.
Australians, New Zealanders, Americans, British and Canadians require a visa for Jordan. All other nationalities should check with the Jordanian Embassy or Consulate in their country for up-to-date visa information.
Visas are available on arrival at the airport in Amman for approximately US$30 however this must be paid for in Jordanian dinar. As the process can sometimes be time consuming, you may wish to consider obtaining your visa prior to arrival.
If you are arriving in Jordan by ferry at the port of Aqaba it is possible to obtain a Jordanian visa on board, either as an individual or as a group. There is normally no charge for this visa.
Important For those continuing on to Israel after Jordan please ensure that you obtain an individual visa only. Do not enter Jordan on a group visa, as you will find entry to Israel at the Allenby Bridge border difficult. If you obtain your Jordanian visa on the ferry boat from Nuweiba keep your passport separate from your group and obtain the visa individually.
Seven Pillars of Wisdom-TE Lawrence Desert Queen-Janet Wallach A Winter in Arabia-Freya Stark Leap of Faith-Queen Noor