A land rich in natural wonders and sites so ancient, that by comparison, the Crusader forts guarding the old trade routes are considered recent additions. Moses is said to have led his people through the parched Jordanian deserts. Alexander the Great paved the way for Hellenistic cities and culture, while the Natabeans carved grandiose buildings, temples and tombs out of the red Petra sandstone. Later still, Jordan became an important trading center of the Roman Empire and lavish backdrop for some of history’s most enthralling tales. Remarkably, the landscape has changed little in the last 2,000 years.
The seven hills of Amman are an enchanting mixture of ancient and modern. More cosmopolitan than most other Middle Eastern capitals, Amman’s cafés, restaurants, museums and shops sit cheek-by-jowl with the remains of civilizations long past. The most impressive relic is the restored Roman Theatre; while the ancient Citadel, still towers above the city. Outside the capital awaits the spectacular, well-preserved Greco-Roman remains at Jerash. Chock-a-block with temples, forums and columns; some have even compared it to Pompeii. Further south you’ll find Biblical sights like Mt Nebo, associated with the last days of Moses and famous for its dazzling views across the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea. Along the Kings Highway the striking silhouettes of the fortified towns and castles recall the bloodthirsty days of the Crusades. Yet these national treasures all serve as a precursor to the undisputed jewel in Jordan’s tourism crown – the lost city of Petra. Recognized as a world-wonder, this vast, unique city, carved into the sheer rock is an awe-inspiring experience.
Jordan Tours has been dedicated to providing travelers with the experience of a lifetime….one filled with excitement, comfort, luxury, and great memories.
Lets explore the best places to visit in Jordan:
The undisputed piece de resistance of Jordan is a place totally unlike anywhere else in the country.
Set out between the red-hued desert escarpments in the southern heartlands of the country, it’s thought the site was first inhabited in the 4th century BC. It was the ancestral capital of the thriving Arabian Nabataean civilization, which managed to raise the rock-cut treasuries and temples here to one of the most important trading outposts in the region.
Today, the whole enchanting site is known for its roles in Hollywood blockbusters like Indiana Jones, and comes hidden between a series of winding siq (tunnels created by erosion) passageways that are a real treat to explore.
In short: Petra is not to be missed!
Tagged by UNESCO and slowly becoming a high-profile pilgrimage site for Christians (think papal visits aplenty in the last couple of decades), it’s thought to have been the original site of the baptism of Jesus.
Apart from that, the spot displays an interesting array of Jewish and Christian religious remains, Roman constructions, and Orthodox monasteries from the ages of the Ottomans and Mamluks.
Amman is a great place to feel the beating pulse of Arabia, and get a sense of the deep histories and cultural strands that inform Jordan as a whole.
Head to the warren of streets that weave and wind through the hectic center of the capital to see the mosaic of frenetic souks and echoing mosque minarets that make up the famous area of Balad.
Or, go to Abdali, where leafy boulevards give way to chic cafes and high-street boutiques.
There’s a clutch of must-see sights and landmarks to add to the menu too: that colossal Roman Theatre; the occasional remains of Ammonite fortifications; the medley of mosques and churches and palisades that make up the Jabal al-Qal’a citadel…
It’s a testimony to the sheer wealth of immersive history that still exists at the ruined city of Jerash that this site just north of Amman pulls in almost as many visitors as the legendary rock-cut temples at Petra.
Yep, this medley of towering colonnades and old forums, fascinating temples turned to Byzantine churches, and great plazas is hailed as perhaps the most amazing Roman provincial city still on the planet today.
You can come and stand where merchants from the Med would once have touted their goods, or imagine the hubbub of camel caravans arriving here straight from the dunes of the great Arabian sand sea.
5. Wadi Rum
Sun-scorched and glowing deep orange and red under the Arabian sun, the breathtaking reaches of the Wadi Rum of southern Jordan are surely one of the most awesome natural wonders in the region.
Carved from the rocky limestone escarpments that rise and fall dramatically on the eastern fringes of Aqaba, the famous valley is quintessential Jordanian backcountry.
Huge bluffs of rock-ribbed mountains loom on the horizon; mythic petroglyphs from ancient Nabatean peoples hide in the nooks and crannies; camels groan, and climbers swing tenuously from ropes around the hoodoos.
It’s hardly a surprise that this was chosen as the backdrop to one Lawrence of Arabia back in 1962!
6. Dead Sea
The Dead Sea carves its way through the heartlands of the Middle Eastern Levant.
The lowest and most salty of the world’s ocean water bodies, it’s encircled by rising mountains and ochre-hued sand dunes, all of which reflect majestically upon the surface as the Arabian sun beats down.
Today, the whole area on the Jordanian banks comes dotted with beaches and resort hotels, while the south of the sea is taken over with interesting mineral evaporation pools, built for the harvesting of carnallite and potassium.
The favorite activity though? Well, that’s surely lazing on the surface of the water, where the high saline density keeps travelers afloat like logs!
Aqaba is Jordan’s gateway to the Red Sea.
Today, widespread redevelopment projects, and the raising of uber-luxurious resort hotels at Tala Bay just to the south, are converting Aqaba into the perfect seaside escape in the Middle East.
You can tour the ancient ruins of Tall Hujayrat Al-Ghuzlan, see the date trees of the Shatt Al-Ghandour, or do what most do: go underwater on a SCUBA excursion to see the multi-colored reefs that fringe the submarine beds all around.
8. Mujib Nature Reserve
This vast swathe of north-west Jordan promises some seriously breathtaking backcountry, complete with winding river valleys and dust-caked gorges, steep-sided valleys sculpted over the centuries and oodles of hidden walkways chiseled out of the rocks.
It’s known as the lowest nature reserve on the globe, and slopes down slowly to the saline waters of the Dead Sea.
Today, it’s taken over largely by adventure tourists and outdoors outfitters, who offer everything from intrepid hikes to heart-thumping rock climbing in the canyons to zip-lining through the dry and dusty air.
9. Dana Nature Reserve
Go back in time with a trip to the rugged lands of the Dana Nature Reserve.
This sweeping dash of carved valleys and rock-ribbed hills, scrub-dressed mountains and chiseled peaks topped with crumbling rocks, is not only Jordan’s largest protected area, but also offers a glimpse at the age-old lifestyles of the Middle Eastern folk who’ve made their home here.
You can bed down in drystone huts in the ancient villages, or opt to camp under the stars, all before days of hiking through the dusty canyons and spotting rare Nubian ibexes on the ridges.
It’s wonderful stuff for the outdoorsy traveler.
The old, old city of Madaba can be found clinging to the edge of the famous King’s Highway that weaves through the dusty desert hills and the very historic heart of Jordan.
Dominated by its glorious, gold-gilded mosque and collection of spiked minarets, the town also hides some awesome ancient mosaics that date from the Umayyad era.
There are wondrous Byzantine artworks lurking in the alcoves and chapels of the Orthodox Saint George Cathedral too, not to mention a clutch of old Roman ruins peppering the town.
You’ll also be able to sample spice-packed Jordanian mezze and smoky shisha in the fading Ottoman houses along the main drag.