About Jordan (JO)
Jordan (JO) is located north of Syria, east of Israel, and northwest of Saudi Arabia, on a mostly landlocked area of the Middle East. Its seafaring access is limited to a 28-km stretch along the coast of the Red Sea in the Gulf of Aqaba. Despite Muslim and Christians living side-by-side, Jordan has a reputation for being the most liberal, open-minded, and cosmopolitan nations among Arab states. And although the kingdom has embraced Western values of tolerance and progress, it hasn’t lost any of its authentic Arabian vibe. It’s this attitude, along with the Dead Sea, the ancient city of Petra, and other historic and natural attractions, that keeps the flow of tourism flowing steadily into Jordan.
The most optimal way to get around is to rent a car in Jordan. It’s network of roads and highways are by far the best in the Middle East, providing easy access to all the top destinations. Local driving habits leave a lot to be desired, but if you’ve got your head in the game, you shouldn’t have too many problems. Nearly all of Jordan’s most popular sites are spread out over considerable distances, relatively speaking; it’s not that big to begin with nearly all points in the country inside an easy half-day drive. The capital of Amman is the heart of the road system and the primary entry point for international visitors.
Choosing your car
Cheap car rentals in Jordan are provided by National, Enterprise, Dollar, Hertz, Avis, and Sixt. Choose from economy 3-door hatchbacks, compact and fullsize sedans, SUVs, 7-12 seater minivans, estate wagons, and luxury, premium, and specialty vehicles.
Tips and advice
Fuel in Jordan is subsidized by the state and prices are fixed, so don’t waste time shopping around. On the other hand, there’s only one service station on the Al-Badiyah Highway that crosses the southern desert.
Be advised of some harrowing road conditions and hairpin turns en route from Amman to the Gulf of Aqaba on the King’s Highway. Any sort of long-haul driving in Jordan is probably best if you’re an experienced driver.
Inform your Jordan car hire provider if you want to take your car hire out of Jordan. Not only will they get you up to speed on restrictions and exclusions, but somebody will know where you’re headed, which is key to desert driving. Help can’t find you if they don’t know where to look.
Travel to Syria is not recommended and travel to Saudi Arabia will come with its own particular set of contingencies.
All road signs are in Arabic and English, but English is not widely spoken outside of Amman.
Like any other Middle Eastern country, respect is the key to having a smooth experience. Jordanians are exceedingly tolerant people, but in order to get respect, you need to show respect. Get familiar with some basic Jordanian and Muslim cultural norms to avoid any misunderstandings.