If you are staying in Madaba it´s possible to make a very nice round tour to different sites of Dead Sea area. This can be done by taxi or rental car. Drive south out of Madaba following the ancient King Highway to Libb.
In Libb turn right to Mukhawir and continue for about 15 km until you come up on a high ridge with a splendid view over the Dead Sea and Herod’s the Great Palace of Machaerus ruin. This is the place there Salome danced her famous seductive dance for King Herod.
My flight from Vienna in Austria arrived at 01:35 in the middle of the night at Queen Alia International Airport in Jordan. My choice for the night was Mariam hotel in Madaba. Madaba is only 18 km from the airport and located south west of Amman. This is a centrally located base for travelling around Jordan and even for a visit to Jerusalem. Read more
I used Madaba and Mariam hotel as a base for my travelling in Jordan. The best strategy for travelling long distances in Jordan is renting a car. A rental car work out far cheaper than Mariam hotels very cheap taxi deals on long distance travelling. You might think it´s difficult to drive in Jordan? I can say it´s surprisingly easy! It´s also very safe, Jordan has few accidents and many speed bumps. This brings the speed down in road crossings. As a matter of fact there are two speed bumps in every road crossing on the main roads. Jordan has millions of speed bumps.
I tried to book a hotel room for the night in Umm Qais, in the far north of Jordan. Not possible, said Charl al-Twai manger of Miriam hotel in Madaba. They say Umm Qais hotel is closed, but do stay overnight in Irbid instead. I was not interested in staying in Irbid since the Rough Guide said “If time is short, give it a miss”. I strolled away to an internet café and search for hotel rooms in Umm Qais. On a hotel booking site I found Umm Qais hotel. The hotel had nice reviews and it was very cheap only 15 JD for a room. The message was book now only two rooms left.
Most people visiting the Dead Sea stay at expensive hotel resorts at the northern shore. In fact, there is an interesting budget alternative 30 km south in Wadi Mujib national park. Wadi Mujib is the Grand Canyon of Jordan, a fantastic area for walking, canyoning.