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Tips on travelling to Jordan from Amelia Stewart

Amelia Stewart has travelled extensively in the Middle East since 1994, and was among the first UK tour operators in Libya. More recently she has been exploring and developing tour itineraries in Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Oman, Sudan, Tunisia, Uzbekistan, Mali, and Ethiopia.
What was your first impression of Jordan?  

A warm, welcoming people with a great sense of humour.

What's the first thing you do when you arrive?  

Find a local restaurant to try the food and people watch.

When is the best time of year to visit Jordan?  

Spring and Autumn (trying to avoid half term crowds).  Summer is extremely hot with lots of Euro crowds.

Anything special one should pack?  

A head scarf or kafiyah (easily bought in Jordan) - great to keep the sun off/visit mosques etc.

What's the highlight of a trip to Jordan? 

The Roman chariot show at Jerash in Spring when the site is full of flowers.  Petra at the end of the day when the crowds have dispersed. And Petra by candlelight.  Reading a book floating in the Dead Sea, riding a camel through Wadi Rum a la Lawrence and spending at least one night under the stars in the desert.

Where would you send a first-time visitor?  

Everywhere!  Jordan has so much to offer whether your interested in history, culture, food, landscapes, diving, spas, adventure.. Nobody should go without visiting Petra.

And anywhere they should avoid?  Western style restaurants in Amman, opening time in Petra (always full of crowds) - best to wait until it has died down or go later in the day when the site has emptied.  

Boutique hotels or bedouin tent?  

Jordan is not renowned for its boutique hotels, but there are definitely one or two worth reccommending which are unique for their location and involvement with the local community.  A bedouin tent is always fun in the desert as is wild camping straight under the stars.

Is Jordan for adventurous travellers only and can you take children?  

Jordan is for everyone - you can luxe it or rough it and children LOVE it.

Amelia runs Simoon Travel, a division of Original Travel and a specialist on travel to the Middle East and North Africa. Contact Amelia to find about more about tours to Jordan.