There is no better way to get to know a country than by immersing yourself in the local culture, delving into what makes the locals tick and trying unique experiences you wouldn’t find at home. Fortunately, visitors to Jordan find this an easy task, thanks to the warmth and hospitality of the Jordanian people. It’s all too easy to forge connections, particularly when sampling the local cuisine or taking part in traditional pastimes. From camels and coffee to markets and mosques, here are the top 5 cultural activities in Jordan you won’t want to miss…
1. Ride a camel at Wadi Rum
Embrace traditional Bedouin culture in Jordan with a camel safari through the stark desert landscape at Wadi Rum. Often referred to as the ‘ships of the desert’, camels have always been deeply cherished by the Bedouin people - without them, long journeys across the desert would once have been impossible. Relax into a different pace of life as you and your camel train explore the famous Valley of the Moon and admire the sandstone mountains. Why not plan your camel trek at night, marvelling at the endless starlit skies as you make your way to your cosy Bedouin camp?
2. Experience a traditional Zarb dinner at Ayla
Enjoy an atmospheric night of authentic Jordanian dining when you book your stay at luxury resort Ayla. Based near the conveniently-located coastal town of Aqaba, Ayla’s premium chefs offer guests the chance to experience Zarb, a traditional Bedouin barbecue. Expect tender meats, smothered in heady spice infusions and slow-cooked to perfection in an underground wooden oven. Dine in a dreamy setting, waited on hand and foot, before scouring the menu for dessert.
3. Wake up to a sip of Jordanian coffee
If your day doesn’t start before your first sip of coffee, you’ll find yourself in good hands when you drop by one of Jordan’s bustling coffee shops. Cafe culture is truly alive in the Middle East with numerous spaces dedicated to hot, sweet tea or cardamom-spiced Arabic coffee. Don’t forget to order a selection of delectable, spiced baklava, to complete your coffeehouse experience.
4. Discover the beauty of Sharif Hussein Bin Ali mosque
A cultural jewel of Jordan, this flawless white mosque, named after Sharif Hussein Bin Ali, is one of the iconic things to see in Aqaba. Stroll the elegant interior to admire the polished glass windows, imposing minarets, and the largest dome of all Jordan’s mosques. With no entrance fee, the price is certainly right - just remember this is an active place of worship and remember to dress accordingly.
5. Shop your socks off at Souk by the Sea
One of the best things to do in Jordan is to shop the colourful souks, but Souk by the Sea in the charming town of Aqaba takes the market experience to the next level. Every Friday evening visitors are treated to an authentic showcase of fantastic artisanal goods along with sumptuous food and traditional live music. Featuring everything from hand-made sand bottles to delicate, beaded jewellery, you’ll find plenty of inspiration for souvenirs as you support the local community and enjoy a lively cultural night.
Soak up the culture in Jordan with a high-class stay at Ayla, and get to know this eye-opening destination while perched in the lap of luxury.