220 Volts. Sockets are of the European, 2 pronged variety. If taking a hairdryer or camcorder, be sure to pack a power adaptor.
It is recommended that you be vaccinated for Tetanus and Polio, if you haven't had a booster in the last ten years. Food and waterborne diseases are more common, so we recommend vaccinations for typhoid (valid 3 years) and Hepatitis A (validity varies). Additionally, we recommend you be vaccinated for Meningitis due to recent reports that have indicated its presence. However this information can change regularly and is intended only as a guide. For the most up to date and accurate information please consult your local healthcare provider.
Average daily maximum temperatures in Amman range from 12°C in January to 32°C in August. The weather in the Jordan Valley (Petra) and south of the country is very hot during the summer months of April through to September. Daytime temperatures can exceed 38°C and increase to as high as 49°C. In winter (Dec to Feb) temperatures can range from 0°C to just 12°C. If visiting during winter, you will need to pack warm clothes for sightseeing and also for your stay in the desert at Wadi Rum.
Jordan is 2 hours ahead of GMT. From March to October, Jordan is 3 hours ahead of GMT.
Pound Sterling, US Dollars, Euro and other major currencies can be exchanged into Jordanian Dinars before or on arrival. Exchange facilities are available at various bureau de changes and banks in major towns have ATMs.
Jordanian food is very good, combining many of the best traditions of Middle Eastern cooking. Try the ubiquitous kebabs, musakhan (a chicken dish that is baked on Arabic bread), farooj (spit-roasted chicken served with salad and bread), mensaf (the national dish - consisting of lamb served on a bed of rice and pine nuts, in a tangy yogurt sauce), fattayer and sambusek (small pastries filled with minced meat, sharp white cheese and spinach or herbs), fabulous unleavened breads, maglouba (a fish/meat stew) and very fine desserts. There’s a lot of open-pit cooking. Fresh figs and apricots are a real treat. Arabic coffee, mint tea and fruit drinks are available everywhere.
Jordan offers a range of quality souvenirs. Look out for high-quality artefacts including rugs, pottery, paintings, jewellery, embroidery and woven items produced by local Jordanian women under the auspices of the Noor-Al Hussein Foundation and the Queen Alia Fund. A popular form of ceramic ware is ‘Jerusalem Pottery’. Platters are highly decorated with biblically-inspired designs including fish, peacocks, grapes and goblets of wine. Known as Hebron glass, colourful handmade glassware in brilliant colours is a nice buy, as is silver jewellery crafted by the Bedouin people. Dead Sea products of all guises, olive oil and soaps, sweetmeats and olive wood objects are also uniquely Jordanian souvenirs.
At the start of your tour, we take a nominal tipping kitty dependent upon tour from all tour participants to cover tips en route. This saves you the hassle of when and how much to tip bellhops, luggage luggers and other support staff through the tour. This amount doesn’t include tips to your tour leader or driver. We will advise you of the recommended tipping amount on the go guide but of course the amount is entirely up to you. Tipping is an entirely personal gesture.
If travelling on a tailor-made journey, in place of ‘tipping made easy’ we recommend a certain amounts per couple/two people per day, be allocated to cover tips paid directly by you to - bellhops, luggage handlers, your driver & local guides. A detailed breakdown of amounts will be outlined in your tailor-made documentation issued prior to departure.
One of the pillars of Islam requires Muslims to fast during the Holy Month of Ramadan, the month which commemorates the divine gift of the Koran to the Prophet Mohammed. From sunrise to sunset, those who fast must refrain from eating, drinking and smoking. There are good and bad aspects of visiting the country during Ramadan. On the bright side, people hit the streets after the sunset "breakfast" ready to sing, play cards, enjoy some of the special musical and theatrical entertainments and just generally have fun. Shops re-open until the wee hours, and many hotels create special Ramadan Tents where they offer traditional holiday snacks and drinks, live entertainment, water pipes, backgammon boards, card games and the like. It's fun, and a great festival atmosphere.
The other side of the coin is that many aspects of "business as usual" don't apply during the month. Banks and offices all have shorter working hours, some restaurants close for the entire month, and about an hour before sunset the roads and streets will be full of crazed demons racing to buy last-minute supplies and get home in time for Al Iftar. If you plan to visit during Ramadan, you should understand that the touring day will be shortened. There will still be plenty of restaurants open and serving lunch, especially in the tourist areas, but it would be very bad manners to eat, drink or smoke in the sight of passers-by.
Do remember, if you visit during Ramadan, that your dress should be a bit more circumspect than usual. Some women who do not normally cover their heads do so during Ramadan, and often feel that make-up, perfume and other "vanities of the flesh" should be given up during this month.
The precise dates of Ramadan varies from year to year. Ramadan lasts for about a month and is dependent on the lunar cycle and the Islamic lunar calendar. Forthcoming Ramadan dates are: 09 July - 07 Aug 2013 and 28 June - 27 July 2014.