Jordan. A gem in the Middle East that just keeps on giving. There’s no wonder it’s a top choice for travel in 2020. With desert landscapes, wonders of the world and tons of adventure… A holiday to Jordan is not only fascinating, it’s a trip of a lifetime.
So, you’ve got your eye on a Jordan escape. You’ll surely be eager to explore the very best it has to offer. Well you don’t need to go far, as you’ll find all the action-packed places you can enjoy right here.
This is a place which should be at the very top of your list for its sheer beauty, intrigue and exquisiteness. The Ancient City can be found in southern Jordan and was aptly crowned a UNESCO Heritage Site, as well as one of the new ‘Seven Wonders of the World’.
A visit to Petra places you within a unique city surrounded by towering red rocks, mountains and carefully carved buildings. There’s no doubt that the Rose City will leave you in awe. Whether you’re into historical sites or not, Petra is simply spectacular.
But for those who do appreciate a step back into the past, there’s plenty to learn in Petra. It was in fact the Nabataeans who had settled in this ancient wonder just over 2000 years ago. As a result, Petra not only became a home to these people but also an important trade route between Asia, Africa and Europe. Petra is perfect for a day trip or an even longer three- or four-day visit. There is plenty to be discovered here, so should you wish to stay more than a day, the exploring never ends.
Enter the city through the Siq, a kilometre-long gorge which will have you twisting and winding in between tall cliffs. At the end of the Siq, you’ll be rewarded with a glimpse of the Al-Khazneh, one of the most recognised temples in Petra. Aside from that, there is a Roman-style theatre built by the Nabateans as well as archaeological and cultural museums.
Get around Petra by walking or hire a camel or donkey for a more adventurous tour. Plus, with locals from Wadi Musa and Bedouin settlements nearby, you’ll also have the chance to buy as many souvenirs as you’d like.
The Dead Sea
Jordan isn’t just historical cities and ancient wonders… It has its fair share of beaches too. An experience in the Dead Sea (the lowest point on Earth at 431m below sea level) is unique and well worth the trip. But what makes the Dead Sea so popular? Well, it’s the salt content and abundance of minerals which has drawn people in from near and far. Many flock to Jordan’s shores to treat their skin to the sea’s therapeutic properties.
Plus, don’t expect to have a swimming session during your visit to the Dead Sea. Due to its salt content, you’ll find yourself floating and bobbing around instead. Another great thing is that you can make the most of Jordan’s shores by enjoying a mud bath too. Make your visit to the Dead Sea a full-on spa day and slather yourself in the sea’s signature black mud whilst soaking up the natural minerals and sun rays as you bob along.
Wadi Rum offers visitors the ultimate desert experience during a holiday to Jordan. Located in the south of the country, Wadi Rum is perfect for half day trip or a full day, especially for those travelling from Aqaba or Petra. However, for others travelling from elsewhere, you can spend the night in one of Wadi Rum’s desert camps for an all-around desert adventure.
Traverse the sandy landscape on a camel and enjoy the peace and serenity of the desert’s emptiness. If you love a true challenge and consider yourself a bit of a thrill-seeker, use the opportunity for a hike or mountaineering. There are countless canyons and rockscapes to explore as well as water holes and rock drawings.
It’s important to head out into Wadi Rum along with a Bedouin guide who can lead the way. Plus, it’s always best to be well-prepared and equipped for a trek in the desert too. The visitors’ centre sets you off on your journey, as this is where you can hire a 4×4, a guide/driver or a camel. From there, you can choose from a range of excursions, including the Burdah Rock Bridge which is also the highest point in Wadi Rum and the Seven Pillars of Wisdom.
Jordan’s capital city, Amman, is quite simply unique. This is mainly because of its seamless blend of the old with the new. Much of Amman’s “new” encapsulates modernity through its tall buildings, hotels, contemporary art galleries and charming boutiques.
Whilst downtown, the view of Amman changes from the modern skyline into the older, traditional world. There are various ancient ruins to discover in the capital including the Roman Theatre and Amman Citadel. The latter is clear from its most prominent monuments – the pillars of the Roman Temple of Hercules and the Umayyad Palace complex. The Roman Theatre holds a capacity of 6,000 and it’s also home to two museums. Cultural events take place at the theatre, too, which offers visitors the appealing mix of Amman’s history and culture.
Aqaba is located in the south of Jordan and is a port city overlooking the Gulf of Aqaba which branches off of the Red Sea. As a result, it is becoming increasingly popular among tourists. Aqaba is home to a range of great hotels, fun activities and loads of shopping opportunities.
However, the main attraction is in fact the Red Sea. It’s well-known that this is one of the best places for snorkelling and scuba diving thanks to its beautiful coral reefs and exquisite marine life. Plus, with an abundance of dive centres in Aqaba, you’ll be surrounded by professional divers and equipment to ensure you have a safe and fun time. Swim amongst sea turtles, colourful fish and maybe even dolphins for a one-of-a-kind experience.
The town of Azraq is just 100km east of Jordan’s capital. It may not be the best-known place in Jordan but there’s no doubt it is worth visiting. In fact, Azraq is the perfect town for nature lovers and those looking to take a breath of fresh air away from the ancient cities and ruins of Jordan.
Azraq Wetland Reserve is situated in Jordan’s eastern desert and it consists of wonderful wildlife along with fascinating landscapes. Whether you enjoy bird-watching or prefer photographing natural pools and oases, the wetland reserve has a whole host of beauty on display.
The Shawmari Reserve is also an unmissable spot in Azraq, home to endangered and unique wildlife. It’s common to see ostriches, gazelles and onagers on the reserve, but appreciate the large number of Arabian Oryx, which once was a species on the threshold of extinction. The Shawmari Reserve offers a protective area where all of its animals can repopulate without the fear of being hunted or their habitat destroyed. On top of that, the reserve also has a diverse range of plants, some of which are even a source of food for some of the animals!