The turning point for my travel in Jordan has definitely been the choice of our amazing tour guide, Ismail, who is an official tour guide recognized by the Jordanian government with an official ID and license. He really was the added value for our trip and we would have not experienced all we did if not thanks to him.
Since the first moment I contacted him for gathering general information, Ismail replied promptly and precisely to all my questions: travel itinerary and recommended attractions; hotel accommodation; travel budget; general questions.
We exchanged several messages and his replies were always accurate and exhaustive. I let Ismail know about our travel preferences and must-see attractions and he prepared for us an exhaustive travel itinerary, according to the days we had available and our preferences, together with valuable recommendations thanks to his deep experience. Since my knowledge on Jordan was limited, I followed almost all his suggestions and now that the trip is over, I cannot regret any of his choices.
After agreeing on dates and itinerary (which we slightly modified when we were there to visit more attractions thanks to Ismail’s great flexibility), Ismail supported us in booking nice and cosy hotels, far from being touristic traps. All hotels recommended by him were wonderful.
He was unfortunately already booked for the last 3 days of our travel, but he managed to contact for us another official tour guide he relies on (Mejdi) and we had a wonderful time with him as well. Mejdi is a great person as well and you will not regret having him as your tour guide.
When the day for our departure came, as planned, Ismail was waiting for us with his comfortable and clean car at the airport in Amman perfectly on time. From that moment, we started our incredible 10-day trip to the major cities and attractions. Just to name a few: Amman, Umm Qais, Jerash, Madaba, Dead Sea, Petra, Wadi Rum, Aqaba.
During the trip, Ismail truly represented the added value.
He drove us to all attractions in every city, staying with us the whole day. He goes at your pace, so just let him know if you are tired or want to see more and he will immediately react accordingly thanks to his flexibility.
He recommended restaurants in all cities and we were never disappointed, since we could try Jordanian cuisine and regional specialties in each village we visited.
He took care of all small needs you might have during a 10-day trip, being always supportive: currency exchange, hotels check-in, shopping at bazar etc.
He perfectly speaks English and this was great to have a smooth communication.
In all attractions we visited, he was well prepared and shared with us his deep knowledge on his country and its historical heritage. Being an engineer, he could teach us also many interesting facts about how water supply was managed in the past and nowadays.
He drives carefully and safely and, since he is an open-minded person, it has always been a great pleasure to discuss with him during the hours spent travelling by car. He has a strong sense of humour and the time together with him flies quickly. We appreciated his willingness to discuss about all possible topics, spanning from history, geography, religion, habits and more.
He prepared for us very peculiar activities: we hired a private driver (Bedouin) for a tour in Wadi Rum, we hiked all the possible paths in Petra, we got invited for dinner from a local family managing one of the hotels we stayed in, we had a luxurious half-day in the Dead Sea, we participated to the Friday prayer in a mosque despite not being Muslims (BTW, the best experience to me).
When the time together was over and Ismail had to leave us for his next group, we saluted him as a friend and not as a guide. It was sad to see him leave and we would have spent happily more days with him. Anyway, his great partner Mejdi took up the baton and guided us for the last 3 days of our trip. He was as well a great guide and an awesome person to be with.
Jordan is a beautiful country where I never felt unsafe or in danger: on the contrary, I could experience the kindness of Jordanian people and their generosity. News we hear in Europe are often biased and the normal reality there is different. Do not be skeptical or afraid and dive into the Jordanian culture, visiting this marvelous and incredible country.
I strongly recommend you to contact Ismail if you are thinking on travelling to Jordan, whether you are planning a short trip or a long one. Ismail will surely give you the right recommendations and customize your trip perfectly according to the number of days you have available.
To wrap up, I really want to thank Ismail and I fully recommend him as your tour guide. He really went the extra mile to fulfil all our requests and I highlight once again that he really was the added value during our trip. Thanks to him, time flew even too fast visiting wonderful places and breathing Jordanian culture.