The vast lunar-like landscape of Jordan is peppered with ancient cities sandwiching metropolitan settings. This means you can explore this country in a myriad of manners. This includes traveling in style – the VIP way.  Pamper yourself or your family with fancy tours being offered by various tour companies in this majestic kingdom.

To get you started in planning your unforgettable posh visit to Jordan, here are some top-notch luxury travel ideas.

The Middle East will not have any shortage in luxury and of course, Jordan – the booming travel destination – shall not be left behind. Jordan has been listed to be one of the safest travel destinations today. It has a lot of things to offer from the UNESCO sites to culture down to its people. If you are planning to have a taste of luxury in this wonderful country (you should!), this list of luxury accommodations might help you:

In our earlier article, we suggested some can’t miss places in Jordan. This time around, we would like to discuss some of the top experiences to have in the country of Jordan. These are the places and experiences where travelers can find themselves at an almost solitary vibe – away from the throng of tourists. It is another way of enjoying the rich culture, heritage and stunning landscape of Jordan.

To further help you plan your holiday, here are some unique ways to get off the usual path in Jordan.  

Whenever you are traveling, it is always important to exhibit caution by carefully planning your trip. This applies to every country in the world. Jordan is not excused from this. But this kingdom is generally considered  safe for you and other tourists. But there are still things to consider and put in mind before visiting this beautiful nation teeming with a rich history, colorful culture, tasteful cuisine, and friendly people.

The question every traveler loves to ask, especially for countries in the Middle East is always “Is it safe to travel to this country and that country?”. It could be a complex thing answering for other nations, but if the query is directed to the Kingdom of Jordan, the answer is a resounding, “Yes, it is generally safe to travel to Jordan”.

Knowing this fact together with this useful things to remember will greatly put your mind at ease when you visit Jordan.

Jordan is a country that usually doesn’t come up in many travelers’ list of places to go. It isn’t like Thailand, India, Brazil, Japan or France. For many who end up journeying to Jordan, the reviews always come in the territory of: fascination, sweet-surprise and wanderlust satisfying. The reasons? There are many reasons. Hovering under the radar of most wanderers, the country of Jordan hides a wealth of historical and cultural wealth situated in places gifted with some of the best set of landscape scenery in the world.

To further introduce Jordan to you, here are some must-see places in Jordan.

The yoga capital of the world is India and there’s no doubt that the yoga scene there is pretty massive due to the fact that a lot of aspiring yoga teachers go there to study and get the certification. On the other hand, there are a lot of travellers these days that do not want to teach yoga but are engaging themselves in yoga practice to enhance their spirituality and wellness. Despite being on the road, they still make it to the point to do yoga at some point. If you are one of these travellers and you happen to be or planning to set your foot in Jordan, you can still continue to practice yoga because the wellness establishments in this beautiful country have been sprouting to cater both local and foreign market.

Yoga and Horse Soul Retreat

If you are in Amman, Jordan’s capital then you are at the right place to find a place to stay near yoga studios wherein you can join classes. The thing about these yoga centres is that they have already accepted the fact that there are many travelling yogis wanting to deepen their experience in their vibrant country.

The following yoga studios differ from each other completely but they are considered the best in Amman.

Here are the studios you can check:

One With Nature

One With Nature Center is a boutique yoga, Pilates, and fitness center in Abdoun, Amman, Jourdan. They have created a very welcoming and friendly atmosphere for everyone.

Their mission is to motivate and inspire you on your journey towards healthy living through mind-body fitness and wellness programs that promote physical, functional and emotional well-being.

This boutique facility aims to cultivate the mind, body, and soul connection. It’s a must visit for a unifying yoga experience. It’s a highly recommended center because it has everything and you will manage to receive almost one-to-one guidance from all of the inspiring instructors. They don’t just offer yoga but you can definitely check their some of their other programs related to fitness.

Prana Space

You are welcome to join the free chanting sessions in Prana space! Chanting sessions are further healing to the soul. Try this wonderful opportunity that won’t cost you anything but for sure you will do more and immerse yourself in one of their programs.

Prana space is cozy studio which offers healing therapy, yoga therapy, and yoga classes, as well as other workshops. It is a simple facility with a vibrant energy that can be felt when you first step on their door. You will also feel the joy and contentment brought about by the skilled and dedicated yoga instructor. If you are into healing practices then this is the best facility for you to experience a transformative journey in Jordan.

Over The Rainbow

If you want to pursue a yoga teacher training certification in Jordan, that is also possible through the pieces of training are on a specific schedule but who knows it might be the perfect timing for you. Art of Living course is the first yoga shop/studio in Jordan. It is a very inspiring and relaxing facility. If you are into art you can really appreciate the interior and the small details that it has. They take art seriously and it’s evident on the colors and patterns that you see. The wonderful scenery when doing meditation classes is also an added appeal as you would be able to have a glimpse of the other side of Jordan. In addition, many people have shared that the vibe of Over the Rainbow is definitely phenomenal.

Namaste Zone

Namaste Zone’s main goal is to really help people from all walks of life to have better lifestyle choices and to commit on themselves for their personal goals in order to become a better version of themselves.

Farah Qudsi is the founder of this centrally located yoga studio in Amman. She personally believes that yoga is the main road for positive changes in our lives. She also knows many things about yoga which definitely she would be sharing to you if you join in one of her classes.

The atmosphere of this studio is very calm and warm which are highly needed for yogis. It’s one of the best options too for beginners and advanced yoga practitioners.

Tribe Yoga Space

Find your tribe and have a space for yourself in a studio which has a friendly and professional atmosphere. If you are looking to join a class with a small group with reasonable pricing then this is the top choice for you. Classes for all levels in Tribe Yoga Space were made for the young and old.

An added feedback is that the music played while practicing yoga is always on point. There are also wet towels available for you if you need them.

Apart from visiting yoga studios, you can also join yoga holidays in this blossoming wellness destination of the Middle East. There are many organizers offering packages for transformative retreats in Jordan. We could really say that this country has a lot to offer for when it comes to yoga. It’s not just about their history but it’s about how the local people who are always ready to share their knowledge about yoga to everyone.

There are also other tours for wellness recreation in Wadi Rum that offers a day and night of yoga retreat.

The cozy city of Aqaba along the Red Sea Shores. Not only a great destination when you want to simply relax at the beach, but also to get a real taste of local Jordanian life. Not sure what to do in Aqaba? Here are 11 things to do while you’re staying in Aqaba:

  1. Stroll along the Public Beach. Head towards the public beach and simply enjoy seeing the locals having fun. Walk along the public beach from the Royal Yacht club until the Jordanian flag. Take a seat at one of the many local cafe’s, order a lemon and mint drink or sisha and watch the show. Not only you’ll find lots of families enjoying the beach and attempting a swim, you’ll also see young Arabs trying to show off in their boats, going incredibly fast with the latest Arabic hits on full blast from their sub-woofers.

What to do in Aqaba

2.  Take a picture at the Arab Revolt Square to proof that you were there. There’s a big #LoveAqaba sign. From this square, below the big Jordanian Flag, you’ll find locals hanging out, children playing football or other games and fisherman along the coastal line. From here you also are next to the Aqaba Castle which is another ‘what to do in Aqaba”.

What to do in Aqaba

3. Eat fish like the locals do. Continue your stroll along the beach (facing the beach just continue to your left) to find a really local piece of Aqaba than not many know. Take a seat at the Aqaba House, a local restaurant serving nice fish-dishes. Sit down in relaxing chairs and beautiful tents, literally on the beach.

What to do in Aqaba
Fish soup at the Aqaba House Restaurant

What to do in Aqaba
Eating fish on the beach

4. Visit Souk By the Sea. On Friday Evenings you can find Souk By the Sea in the touristic area of Aqaba. What to do in Aqaba? Shopping for numerous of hand-made items such as olive oil soaps, jewelry and local produce. Great souvenirs to take home!

What to do in Aqaba
Souk by the Sea

5. Hang out on a private beach. Next to the 5* hotels and resorts that are directly located at the beach, there are 3 private beaches in Aqaba. The closest beach to the city center is Ayla. Here you’ll find the B12 beach-club, with soft sandy beaches, lazy chairs, hammocks, cabana’s and even a track to go water-skiing or wake-boarding. They regularly organize events in the weekends – check out their Facebook page for more information. The second option is Tala Bay. It’s nice but doesn’t offer that much facilities as the other two. Another option is to visit Berenice Beachclub. Here you’ll find pools, beach, a jetty from where different boat-trips depart, a dive center and other water sports. You can arrange shuttles and entry tickets at the reception of your hotel in Aqaba.

Berenice Beachclub

6. Get lost down town. On the opposite side of the public beach area you’ll find many souvenirshops. Buy your sisha for at home, eat knafa’a or baklava at one from one of the bakeries, visit the mosque and buy spices you can only find in the Middle East such as Sumac or the delicious Za’tar.

7. Play golf at Ayla Oasis. A beautiful golf course includes an 18-hole par-72 championship course, a nine-hole par-three practice course. It’s running on waste water from the city of Aqaba. At their Golf Academy you can also take lessons to know the fine art of playing golf. The 18-hole course, designed by the legendary Greg Norman, is the largest in the Levant region and one of the finest in the Middle East!

Golf in Ayla

8. Help out in the morning at the Local animal shelter. Their small team is completely depending on donations and volunteers. With over 100 dogs to feed and take care for, they have not enough time on their hands.  They don’t have enough people to get the jobs done and are in desperate need of people who want help out and give some love to the dogs in the Animal shelter. Another great “What to do in Aqaba”!

9. Visit the Aqaba Aquarium if you’re not keen on going into the water yourself, or if you just want to see what’s swimming in the Red Sea. The renovated Aquarium is located in the direction of Tala Bay and just behind the harbor. It’s not huge but has beautiful aquariums full of fish. They also have numerous projects in regrowing corals. It’s a very nice excursion with small children.

10. Go on a boat trip. Go local on a glass bottom boat from the public beach area and use it as a water taxi to get yourself dropped of at the south beach area. Take a ride in the Neptune glass bottom boat. Experience an all out and loud Arab disco party and delicious food on the Sun and fun boat or go on the Aladin Yacht during a sunset dinner cruise.

 

11. Go diving or snorkeling. One of the most relaxing, meditative and yet exciting things you can do in Aqaba. Most of the dive and snorkel sites of Aqaba are in relative shallow waters and accessible by beach. The dive sites are concentrated around the South beach area, which is on about a 20-30 minute drive from the town. Local dive centers will take you on either a boat trip or by car to directly access the dive sites. Jordan is unknown as a dive destination yet has so many to offer when it comes to underwater life and dive possibilities. Find out more on what to look out for when going diving in this separate blogpost here.

 

What to do in Aqaba?

Here you have it.  Do you have any tips and recommendations? Leave them down in the comments below! 

Whether you experience a little discomfort or end up with serious trouble… A gluten allergy is always difficult when it comes to traveling abroad. How do you explain your condition to locals? And what can you eat? Learn all about going gluten free in Jordan! 

Maglooba - the upside down one-pot gluten free Jordanian dish!
Maglooba – the upside down one-pot gluten free Jordanian dish!

Gluten free in Jordan

Gluten allergies are not really known in Jordan. It’s better known in the bigger cities such as Amman, where there more and more gluten free menu’s and food are on offer. If you go to the high end restaurants and 5* hotels you will find professionals who know everything about gluten, cross contamination and how to avoid that last one.

But most of the locals don’t know what it is, let stand ever heard about it. Therefore we provide everyone with a gluten allergy, with a document that explains a gluten allergy  in Arabic what you can and can’t eat. You can also show it to the locals when going to any restaurant. We also always communicate your food preferences and allergies to the hotels and restaurants when you pre-book your meals.

Maglooba - Jordanian gluten free dish
Maglooba – Jordanian gluten free dish

Gluten free dishes

It might surprise you but there are many dishes in Jordan that are gluten free! Think about the delicious local mezzes with dips such as hummus*, baba ganouch*, Dawali (Rice stuffed grape leaves) or Makdoosh (garlic and hazelnut stuffed baby aubergines). Another great gluten free starter is Lentil soup, a nice full soup with loads of protein but especially taste.

There is no such thing as gluten free bread in Jordan. You can buy it at select amount of selling points and in Amman only. For example at Crumz or at the “Beat tha wheat shop’ in Cozmo 7th circle. If you’re don’t have the opportunity to go here, it’s better to bring your own gluten free crackers or bread and dip away; going gluten free in Jordan!

Be careful though, some of these dishes contain *tahini (sesame paste), which may be processed in a factory that also processes wheat.

Makdoush : stuffed baby aubergines - Gluten free in Jordan
Makdoush : stuffed baby aubergines – Gluten free in Jordan

Gluten free main courses

You can eat a variety of main courses. Jordan is rich in one-pot rice dishes such as Maglooba. It’s a one-pot upside down rice dish, with veggies, potatoes, chicken, sprinkled with roasted peanuts and parsley. Or go for the traditional Zarb Dinner, the famous Bedouin dish that’s prepared under the ground. It consists of roasted chicken and a variety of roasted vegetables. But also dishes such as Bamia and Mlokhia are incredibly delicious and gluten free. Bamia is made out of okra’s in tomato sauce. Mlokhia is a kind of spinach soup full of garlic. Both are traditionally eaten together with rice.

Dishes to watch out for, they contain gluten:

  • Fattoush salad. Part of this salad is deep-fried bread.
  • Foul: Although this dish is made of beans, they often come from cans before being processed into this dish.
  • Tabouleh: Parsley salad that contains couscous.
  • Any pastry or other types of bread.

Please note that you always should be very careful with what you eat. The above list is just a small one; the Arabic cuisine contains many many dishes and varieties of them, making it impossible to list all of the Arabic dishes that contain gluten.

NOT GLUTEN FREE - Tabouleh salad - parsley salad with couscous. Watch out!
NOT GLUTEN FREE – Tabouleh salad – parsley salad with couscous. Watch out!

Other allergies

Also when you have other allergies, you can come to Jordan. Our travel consultants live in the country and can help you with an advise on what (not) to eat and give you a proper advise on food in Jordan. We also create wonderful itineraries that meet all of your wishes! Contact us any time and we’re more than happy to help.

 

Generous meals in Beit al Baraka
Generous meals in Beit al Baraka
A typical Arabic breakfast – do you know what’s gluten free?

 

A special thanks goes to Mariangela, our favorite Chef in Jordan and Italian Chef the Cuisine of Hilton Dead Sea for the extra tips and tricks about going gluten free in Jordan! 

 

 

Inside In2Jordan: Meet KhaledMeet Khaled Sabbah Atieg, In2Jordan’s colleague in Wadi Rum! Let him tell you about his job, his favourite places and what it’s like growing up in the desert.

Name: Khaled Sabbah Atieg
Age: 34 years old
Occupation: Tour guide and camp owner of Khaled’s Camp in Wadi Rum
Languages spoken: Fluent in Arabic and English

 

Q: How long have you been working with In2Jordan?
A: I have been working with In2Jordan for 6 years now.

Q: What is the best part of your job?
A: The best part of my job is meeting new people every day! It is very nice is to help them explore and discover the desert of Wadi Rum, especially if they are visiting for the first time.

Q: What parts of Jordan do your guests get most excited about?
A: I think usually people who come to Jordan and Wadi Rum are most excited about Petra, the Dead Sea and of course Wadi Rum.

Q: What is the hardest part of your job?
A: There is not really a hard part in my job but what I don’t like when guest leave Wadi Rum and they are sad because they don’t have enough time to stay longer in the desert.

Q: Where is your favourite place in Jordan?
A:. My favourite place in Jordan is Wadi Rum, of course! But I also like Petra as well as Um Qais and Jerash in the north of Jordan.

Q: What was it like growing up in Wadi Rum?

A: Growing up in Wadi Rum means being close contact to nature. 

There is  a big connection between me and the desert because I was born and grew up here. I’m in love with the desert and I cant imagine any life different.

Being a Bedouin means knowing how to live in the desert and how to survive with limited resources in food, water and technology. It also means to know how to appreciate everything that nature has to offer. Our rhythm of life is the rhythm of nature.

For us, it is important to keep our traditions with generosity and hospitality and welcoming people. I am really proud to be a Bedouin .

 

 

To find out more about Khaled and his camp, check out his website: http://www.wadi-rum.com/index.php

or follow him on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WADIRUMCAMPING/

 

 

Inside In2Jordan: Meet Khaled

Looking for a new destination for your New year’ resolution on taking care of yourself? If you’re looking for some great adventures to a special destination, we got you covered! Recently we were featured in this fantastic article on the Telegraph UK. It covers 10 destinations to find peace and quiet around the world. Our unique Horse Wisdom Retreat we offer in Little Petra is one of them. 

Jordan: a place for your next horse wisdom retreat

Jordan is a fantastic country, where we daily learn from the local customs. For example from the Bedouins, who love to live in the moment. Something we tend to forget in our daily lives. Being your authentic self, or just enjoying the moment without the continue updates from social networks or work. Just with a cup of tea, slowly brewed on the camp fire.

During the horse wisdom retreat in Little Petra

The authenticity of the Bedouins, living in the moment and getting back to who you really are. All of this is combined in our horse wisdom retreat. Host Sandra Jelly is a great coach and certified yoga teacher. Together with her horses she guides you to on a quest to find your true self.

You can experience the horse wisdom retreat during this round-trip to Jordan. Or as an extension to your own itinerary with this 3 day workshop. During this mini retreat you increase wellness & get inspiration while on a breathtaking in Jordan; Little Petra.  You enjoy yoga, but also meditation & horse coaching, which will all invite you to connect from the heart and embrace the moment.

Sandra, coach during horse wisdom retreat in Little Petra Jordan
Sandra, coach during horse wisdom retreat in Little Petra Jordan

Our horse wisdom retreat is mentioned in the Telegraph UK by Travel Journalist Emma Thompson:  “Take your Namaste to the next level and try horse meditation. In this version of equine-assisted therapy, the horses intuitively mirror your state of being to offer powerful insights into your hidden behaviour. This three-day retreat at Little Petra combines yoga sessions with excursions to Wadi Rum and private Bedouin camps inside Petra. Massages, horse rides and stargazing are also on offer. It’s hard to say neigh…”

You can find the full article here.

 

Namaste!