An ancient city lost in the deserts of the Middle East, Petra holds thousands of years of human history within its walls. Aside from Petra, other incredible destinations in Jordan include Wadi Rum, Amman, and Jerash. While travelers can certainly navigate traveling to Jordan on their own, going on Jordan tours from Israel takes all of the guesswork out of the process, and makes it so you can focus on enjoying Jordan and all it has to offer, instead of trying to navigate travel in the country.
Jordan is a country with a fascinating history and ancient roots. The Jordan River is mentioned in the Bible, while ancient kingdoms used to be located within the borders of present-day Jordan. Jordan was part of the Ottoman Empire before it became part of the United Kingdom. In 1946, Jordan became an independent kingdom. The full name of Jordan today is the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan,
Jordan is considered one of the politically liberal countries in the Middle East, and Jordan maintains a positive relationship with Israel. Its leaders have expressed commitment to stability and peace in the region.
Jordan is considered an incredible destination for backpackers because it is known to be hospitable for travelers. It is also unique, rich with Middle Eastern culture, has delicious food, gorgeous desert landscapes, and is easy enough to navigate and travel through. And of course, when you’re in Israel, you have the option of finding Jordan tours from Israel which can help you see the country with a knowledgeable guide.
When you hear about Jordan, one of the first things you might then hear about is Petra. Petra is an entire world of its own, and is a traveler’s dream to visit. Petra was once a bustling trading center, as well as the capital of the Nabataean empire between 400 B.C. and A.D. 106. Its buildings were carved directly into the red and pink sandstone of Jordan.
Petra sat mostly empty and nearly in ruin for hundreds of years. Sometime in the 1500s, nomadic tribes began living in the area, including the Bedouin, who began rebuilding the economy in the area (we’ll explain more about the Bedouin a bit later, as they’re a crucial part of Petra today, and traveling in Jordan). In the 1800s, there was renewed interest in Petra, and in 1985, the Petra Archaeological Park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. Finally, in 2007 it was named one of the new seven wonders of the world.
While Petra is fascinating, most of it is actually still lost to the desert. Experts estimate that about 85% of Petra is still underground and untouched. You might also recognize parts of Petra from films. Several scenes of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade were filmed in Petra.
Wadi Rum, Amman, and Jerash
Petra is not the only site to see in Jordan, but it is one of the main attractions. When you go on Jordan tours from Israel, your tour will probably include other incredible destinations such as Wadi Rum, Amman, and Jerash. Here’s what you should know about each of these places:
In Arabic, a wadi is a valley, or a channel that is dried out. Wadi Rum is the largest wadi in Jordan, and has been inhabited by people for centuries. Travelers in Wadi Rum can enjoy exciting 4×4 Jeep desert tours, camel rides, and sleeping under the stars. Wadi Rum is also great for hiking, and is also renowned for its rock climbing. Local Bedouin call Wadi Rum home, and they run tours, provide accommodation to travelers, and also run restaurants and shops. One of the benefits of Jordan tours from Israel is that they can help you reach this remote and beautiful landscape.
Amman is the capital of Jordan, and it’s also the largest city in Jordan. Bustling Amman is home to ancient Roman ruins, incredible museums, and many beautiful mosques. Amman is also known for its coffee shops. There is also the Citadel in downtown Amman, where archeologists have uncovered evidence of human occupation for hundreds of years. From Amman, you can also travel to Madaba, an ancient town southwest of Amman. Madaba is known for its 6th century mosaic map of the Holy Land, known as the oldest map of its time, which is in the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George.
Jerash today is one of the biggest modern cities in Jordan, but there are also ruins of ancient Jerash, making it a very popular destination for travelers. Ancient residents called this city Gerasa, and today the ruins of it are some of the best preserved Greco-Roman cities in the world.
Aqaba is in southern Jordan, just across the border from the Israeli city of Eilat. With beaches on the Red Sea, Aqaba is a perfect destination for those who like scuba diving, snorkeling, and other water sports. It also has a rich history, as people have lived there for thousands of years.
Dana Biosphere Reserve
This is the biggest nature reserve in Jordan, covering about 320 square miles. It includes stunning mountains, wadis, and sand dunes. There are many plant and animal species recorded in the reserve, including many endangered species. It was designated a biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 1993.
The Jordanian Bedouin
You’ve heard us mention the Bedouin a few times, and it’s important for us to explain this group of people, and their significance in Jordan, as well as in other parts of the Middle East, including Israel. The Bedouin are nomadic people who have been present in the Arabian Peninsula for hundreds of years, and they’re traditionally divided into tribes.
While the history of the Bedouin is fascinating, their place in modern society might be even more interesting. Bedouin today can be found in Egypt, Israel, Iraq, Syria, and Jordan, and many of them have adopted a semi-modern lifestyle, while keeping many Bedouin traditions. They may live in Bedouin villages, herd animals, have cellphones and cars, and wear traditional Bedouin clothing, for example. Many Bedouin are also no longer fully nomadic, but do still live in the deserts of the Middle East. The Bedouin are also known for their hospitality, as it is a distinct part of their culture, as well as drinking Bedouin tea, and serving it to guests.
In Jordan, the Bedouin can be found in Petra, and many of them actually inhabited the ancient ruins until it started to become a popular tourist destination. After it was declared a World Heritage Site, there were efforts to relocate the Bedouin of Petra to a neighboring village. Many now live in the village and work in Petra, but others still live in the caves of Petra itself.
How to Travel To Jordan From Israel
There are three land crossings between Jordan and Israel. There’s the Allenby/King Hussein Bridge, the Sheikh Hussein/Jordan River Border Crossing, and the Wadi Araba Crossing/South Border by Eilat. Depending on what your nationality is, Jordan offers visas on arrival at certain border crossings. When you participate in Jordan tours from Israel, your tour provider will be able to help you assess whether you need to pre-arrange a visa.
If you are traveling back into Israel during your tour, you also need to ensure that you’re able to re-enter Israel. For example, some student or work visas are sometimes single-entry only. If you received a visa upon arrival when you got to Israel the first time, this will likely be the case again when you re-enter Israel after your tour. Be sure to have a thorough understanding of your visa situation before heading to the border.
If you’re considering traveling from Israel to Jordan, are two common routes travelers often take:
- Jerusalem to Petra: If you’re traveling on your own, the best way to travel from Jerusalem to Petra is to take a bus from the Central Bus Station in Jerusalem. The 444 bus is one of the routes that will take you directly to the bus station in Eilat, which is the southernmost Israeli city. That journey is about 4-5 hours. There you can walk across the Wadi Araba Crossing/South Border. At that point, it’s best to have previously organized transportation on the Jordanian side in advance to take you to your destination (whether that’s directly to Petra or to your accommodation), but there might be taxis waiting at the border.
If you want to get from Jerusalem to Petra with ease, we have 2 and 3 day tours that include transportation and accommodation. You can read more about those options in the next section.
- Tel Aviv to Petra: If you want to travel from Tel Aviv to Petra on your own, you can travel to the Central Bus Station in Tel Aviv. The 390 and 790 are two options, they will take you directly to the central bus station in Eilat. That journey is about 4-5 hours. There you can walk across the Wadi Araba Crossing/South Border. At that point, it’s best to have previously organized transportation on the Jordanian side in advance to take you to your destination (whether that’s directly to Petra or to your accommodation), but there might be taxis waiting at the border.
If you want to get from Tel Aviv to Petra with ease, we have 2 and 3 day tours that include transportation and accommodation. You can read more about those options in the next section.
Egypt, Jordan and Israel Tours
Most travelers experience Jordan as a hospitable, fascinating, beautiful, and safe country. Many travelers choose to arrange their own trips into Jordan, but when you’re in Israel, there are also plenty of Jordan tours from Israel that will take you to all of the best sites. Here at Abraham, we offer some of the finest Jordan tours from Israel in the country, including:
- Petra Tour (2 days): This tour departs from Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, or Nazareth, and will take travelers into Jordan through the Jordan River Border Crossing. You’ll drive through Amman before heading to Petra, where you’ll stay overnight at a nearby Bedouin campsite. On the second day, you’ll have hours to explore Petra and all of its wonders.
- Petra & Wadi Rum Tour (3 days): This tour departs from Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, and will take travelers into Jordan through the Jordan River Border Crossing. You’ll drive through Amman heading to the exquisite desert landscape of Wadi Rum, where you will soar through the desert on a 4×4 Jeep tour, and will spend the day enjoying this moon-like landscape. You’ll stay overnight at a beautiful Bedouin campsite near Petra. On the second day, you’ll have hours to explore Petra and all of its wonders, and will stay in the Bedouin camp once again. On the third day, you’ll visit historic Madaba and see the view point from Mount Nebo.
Whether you’re traveling from Jerusalem to Petra, from Tel Aviv to Petra, or you’re starting from somewhere else, there are plenty of options for you. Keep in mind that while you’re in the region, Egypt is right next door, and an incredible place to visit. Egypt, Jordan and Israel tours are the best way to experience many of the wonders of the Middle East in an efficient, safe, and ridiculously enjoyable way. One of the best parts about Egypt, Jordan and Israel tours is that they help take care of the logistics and the transportation, all while providing a thorough itinerary.
On your next trip to Israel, we would be more than happy to host you on one of our incredible Jordan tours from Israel. If you’re interested in joining our tours or if you have more questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. And don’t forget to check out the rest of our tours, which run throughout all of Israel, and include cultural tours, hiking tours, history tours, and dual narrative tours.