driving in Jordan

The Kings Highway Jordan: Road trip tips

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(Last updated on: 27/01/2022)

Have you always wanted to do a road trip? It’s something high on many peoples’ travel bucket lists, and for good reason. Getting to explore multiple cities in one tip, at your own pace with time on the open road – what could be better?! And one of the best places to do a road trip is Jordan. Here are some tips for taking a road trip down the Kings Highway, Jordan…

What is the Kings Highway Jordan?

driving in Jordan. Kings Highway Jordan

Kings Highway is an ideal way to see plenty of what Jordan has to offer. It is a 255 km-long stretch of road between Amman and Petra – two cities that are bound to be on your list when planning a trip to beautiful Jordan. The drive takes around 4.5 hours end to end, but there is so much to see and do along the way that you are best covering it over a couple of days. This is especially true in the winter when there aren’t as many daylight hours!

TOP TIP: the Kings Highway is, albeit sporadically, signposted as Route 35.

The Kings Highway, Jordan is definitely the most picturesque route. As it does take slightly longer, you’ll find that many people bypass it in favour of the Desert Highway. This means that quite often you will have the roads to yourself – perfect for jumping out and taking a fun ‘middle of the road’ snap to show your friends back home.

The road has a bit of history in itself. It was an incredibly important trade route which connected Africa with Mesopotamia. You can see a lot of history on your journey through Jordan.

See part of the drive here.

Things to see along the Kings Highway Jordan

There is so much to do when embarking on a roadtrip through Jordan! Whether it’s castles, scenery or ancient ruins, the middle east has it all. And so much of it can be seen on your drive along the Kings Highway, Jordan. Here are some of the highlights…

Karak Castle

Once a crusader stronghold, this castle sits atop a hill in the city of Karak. It is well worth a visit. While it isn’t the most well-preserved castle in the world, it is really interesting and offers great views. There is an archaeological museum on site, and entry to the caste site is 2 JD. It is one of the must-see locations along the Kings Highway, Jordan.

Wadi Mujib

Known as the Grand Canyon of Jordan, Wadi Mujib is incredible. You drive down through the canyon, but don’t forget to jump out and admire the view first. There is a tea stall on the rim so you can support local trade, soak up the views and stretch your legs before getting on with the drive. The canyon is one way to put things into perspective!

Umm ar Rasas

This is an ancient Roman town around 15km off the Kings Highway, Jordan. Well signposted and easy to get to, visitors often have the place to themselves. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a rumbling example of a Roman garrison town. You can see beautiful church mosaics and intact archways here. If you are interested in photography then this is definitely the place for you.

TOP TIP: near to both Wadi Mujib and Umm ar Rasas is a town called Dhiban (or Dibon, depending on who you speak to) where you can get great falafel if you’re peckish.

Mount Nebo

This is where Moses saw the promised land. It is also where you can see stunning views across Jordan and across to Jerusalem, with the Dead Sea shimmering in the distance. There is a church as well as multiple restaurants at Mount Nebo, and it’s definitely worth a visit if you can fit it in.

There are plenty of other things to see as you venture down the Kings Highway, Jordan. You can see dolmens and menhirs – burial chambers and standing stones – as well as another crusader castle known as Shobak and the fascinating Madaba mosaic.

Driving along the Kings Highway Jordan

Driving in Jordan is notoriously easy. Everywhere except Amman, that is – but it has to be done. Just give yourself plenty of time to get out of the city, and stay calm! You can hire a car in Jordan with ease, and it’s a great way of exploring the country on your own terms.

There aren’t many petrol stations along the route so when you do see one, be sure to fill up. Google Maps works perfectly well here, so you won’t get lost, and the scenery on either side of the road is breathtaking throughout. Make sure your camera is well charged!

If you don’t fancy embarking on the drive yourself, you can arrange for a private taxi to take you. This can be shared with other tourists if you are travelling solo, too. Just ask your hotel to help you organise for a driver to take you along the Kings Highway, Jordan.

And there, of course, guided tours. If the DIY style of travel isn’t for you, then you don’t have to miss out on a Jordanian road trip. Just book a tour from Amman to Petra along the Kings Highway!

So that’s all there is to know about taking a road trip down the Kings Highway, Jordan. It is a great way to fit in some sightseeing, especially if you are on a tight schedule. But spreading it out across a few days is never a bad idea. There are plenty of lovely hotels in Jordan which will provide you with somewhere to get your head down while you explore this incredible country and everything it has to offer.

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