With crusader castles, camel rides, and plenty of water-based activities, there are plenty of things to do for the whole family in Jordan. Jordan is accessible to families, and baby changing facilities and high chairs can be found in most restaurants and shopping centers. There are also lots of traditional sweet shops and juice stalls which are a useful way to introduce younger children to Jordanian food.
Explore a Crusader Castle
Almost every town, city and village in Jordan is home to a significant historical site. From the Roman amphitheaters to the crusader castles of the Ottoman Empire, Jordan is full of fascinating things to see. For children who are studying the Roman Empire, World War I, or, Lawrence of Arabia, a vacation to Jordan will be a history lesson like no other. Karak Castle is one of the best crusader castles for children to explore. This castle was built in the 12th Century and it is comprised of passageways, dungeons, kitchens and a chapel. There is also a museum which contains artifacts, gifts, and historical information about the castle. If they have the energy, let the children climb to the top of the castle to enjoy views as far as the Dead Sea.
Float in the Dead Sea
One fun family activity that you will not find on most vacations is a dip in the Dead Sea. Due to its high salt content, as soon as visitors enter the water, they will naturally float without having to do anything. This world famous salt lake is a unique water-based experience for both adults and children.
For a family adventure across the desert, look no further than Jordan. Wadi Rum spans across 278 square miles of mountains, rock bridges, sand dunes, and notable sites including the alleged house of Lawrence of Arabia. The best way to experience Wadi Rum with the whole family is to take a camel ride across the desert and camp overnight in a traditional Bedouin tent. An overnight stay in Wadi Rum usually involves traditional food, campfire tales, and the starry night’s sky. It’s recommended to take a tour to Wadi Rum.
See Below the Ocean
Whether you are competent swimmers or beginners, there are plenty of water-based activities to choose from in Jordan. Located directly on the Red Sea, Aqaba is the only coastal city in Jordan and the best way to make the most of this seaside destination is to take to the water. Visitors can choose from an array of activities including windsurfing and scuba diving. The Red Sea is particularly famous for its dazzling array of marine life and coral reefs.
Families with older children may wish to learn how to scuba dive, or, try out snorkeling to see what’s below. If, however, you have younger children, then the best option is to take a glass bottom boat ride. These boats collect passengers from the dock near the Movenpick Hotel and Aqaba Castle. It is a great opportunity for families to look into the Dead Sea without having to get wet.
Discover Ancient History on Horseback
For families who wish to learn more about Jordan’s impressive history, a trip to Petra should be on your itinerary. This UNESCO World Heritage site is a Nabatean city located in the desert. It consists of monasteries and temples that are carved from sandstone into the cliff faces. Some children may recognize Petra from the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. If you and the family want to be explorers for the day, then put on your Indiana Jones’ hats and head to this world-renowned archaeological site.
As Petra is very large be prepared to do a lot of walking and climbing. An alternative option is to explore the sites in style on horseback. There are horseback tours available at the site entrance, or, you can book them in advance with a tour operator.
All in all – Jordan for the whole Family
With so much to see and do, Jordan is a great destination for the whole family. The Jordanian people value the concept of family, and children will always be made to feel welcome by the locals. Most hotels in Jordan cater for young children but it is always best to check before booking. Be prepared for hot weather particularly in summer and be sure to buy plenty of bottled water. With camel rides across the desert, wild camping experiences, and snorkeling in the Red Sea, it will be impossible for anyone to get bored.