Jordan (الأردنّ al-Urdunn) is a country in the Middle East. Almost completely land-locked (save for a small outlet on the Red Sea in the Gulf of Aqaba and a frontage on the Dead Sea), Jordan is bordered by Israel and the West Bank (Palestinian Territories) to the west, by Syria to the north, by Iraq to the east and by Saudi Arabia to the south.

 

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Major cities and tourist attractions

  • Amman — capital of the kingdom
  • Ajlun — a hill town in the north of Jordan, noted for its impressive ruins of the 12th century castle which known nowadays as Ajlun Castle.
  • Aqaba — located on the Gulf of Aqaba / Eilat, with links to the Sinai and the Red Sea
  • Irbid — second largest metropolitan area in the north of the kingdom
  • Jerash — one of the largest Roman ruins in the Middle East
  • Kerak — site of a once-mighty Crusader castle
  • Madaba — known for its mosaic map of Jerusalem
  • Salt — ancient town which was once the capital of Jordan
  • Zarqa — third largest metropolitan area of the kingdom
  • Azraq — Oasis in the desert, an illustration of how water brings life even at places like a desert
  • Dana Nature Reserve — Stay in a village little changed since the 15th century, enjoy unforgettable hiking in an offshoot of the Great Rift.
  • Dead Sea — The lowest point on earth and the most saline sea
  • Desert Castles — 5 castles spanned in the Eastern Desert. These castles once were getaway for Kaliffs from the Omayyad Period
  • Petra — Jordan's top attraction, an ancient city carved out of sandstone and one of the new 7 Wonders.
  • Wadi Rum — barren, isolated and beautiful, granite cliffs contrasting with desert sand

 

Major Airports

Jordan's national airline is Royal Jordanian Airlines [3]. In addition, Jordan is served by a number of foreign carriers including BMI, Air France, Lufthansa, Turkish Airlines, Egypt Air, Emirates and Delta Airlines. Low-cost airlines Sama [4] and Air Arabia [5] fly between Jordan and destinations all over the Middle East. UK based airline easyJet [6] has announced plans to fly three times a week from London Gatwick to Amman from March 2011, cutting the cost of getting to the Middle East from the UK substantially.

  • Queen Alia International Airport is the country's main airport. It is 35km south of Amman (on the main route to Aqaba). You should allow 45 minutes to reach the airport from the downtown Amman, approximately 30 minutes from West Amman. Transport into Amman is provided by the Royal Jordanian bus service to the city terminal near the 7th circle, or by taxi (30 JD).

In addition to Queen Alia, Jordan has two other international airports:

  • Marka International Airport in East Amman (serving routes to nearby Middle Eastern countries, as well as internal flights to Aqaba).
  • King Hussein International Airport in Aqaba.

 

Visa Requirements

Visitors to Jordan from non-Arab countries will need a visa, easily obtainable on arrival at most border points. One key exception is the crossing from the West Bank at the King Hussein ("Allenby") Bridge. Visas are available at all other land crossings into Jordan, including the two crossings from Israel at Eilat/Aqaba and the Sheik Hussein Bridge near Irbid. Previously notoriously complex (and expensive), visa prices have finally been standardized for non-Arabs at JD 10 for single entry, JD 20 for multiple entry, though you can receive a free, one month, ASEZA visa if you arrive in Aqaba with no visa. If you receive an ASEZA visa, you will still theoretically have to pay the visa fee if you leave the Aqaba economic zone, paid either with your departure tax, or on reentry to the Aqaba zone. If you stay longer than one month (previously two weeks) you will have to register your passport at a police station. Most 4/5 star hotels will take care of this formality on behalf of their guests, but the process is generally quick and painless. If you fail to register, you will have to pay a 1 1/2 JD/day penalty for each day over 30 on your departure. Not expensive, but allow an extra half hour at the airport to complete the process, which will involve standing in a number of different queues.

A departure tax of 8 JD is being charged to most foreigners exiting Jordan by land.

Check with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the latest situation.