Jordan has been sandwiched between the contested nations of Israel, Iraq and Syria and has been considered stable out of them all – with mind-blowing UNESCO World Heritage sites and cultural hotspots and the very site where Jesus is said to have been baptized.
Jordan holidays are not about touring the past, it’s also about world class diving or the downtown urban areas of the capital city of Amman that also has intriguing nightlife and up-coming modern art.
Let’s have some fun while we explore the top 10 places to visit in Jordan that have been handpicked by our fellow travelers:
PICK 1 – PETRA
Surrounded by the rugged mountains of Jordan, Petra was left to be deserted and hidden from the world for a couple of years, almost hundred if to be precise. It was re-discovered in the 1800’s and now Petra is not only Jordan’s top leading attraction but also the world’s most incredible archaeological site and was recently voted as one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
To reach Petra, you have to walk through a narrow gorge that is known as Siq. Through the rocks there is a way that reveals to the incredible disguise of Al Kazneh (the treasury) which used to serve as a royal tomb because the legendary pirates hid their treasure there. This treasury is said to feature as the Holy Grail’s last resting place.
Today, the whole enchanting site is known for its roles in various Hollywood and Bollywood movies, which are a great treat to be explored.
PICK 2 – WADI RUM
Ancient riverbeds and pastel colored stretches of sandy deserts and rock formations known as Jebels that form the amazing landscape of the Wadi Rum. With millions of geographical formations as well as erosions. The region is also home to the Bedouins who are said to live in their goat hair tents. They have preserved their culture and lifestyle and have been practicing it in this Arabian desert for centuries.
While visiting to Wadi Rum, you have to hop on to a 4×4 desert jeep and ride through the heart of this stunning desert and you can spend a night desert camping where you could catch a beautiful sunset or enjoy a Jordanian meal and the Jordanian sky and beneath the glittering stars.
PICK 3 – THE DEAD SEA
The lowest point on the earth’s surface is the Dead Sea that is a fascinating natural phenomenon that straddles between Israel and Jordan. It is a 33% saltwater lake, which means it is six times as salty as the normal ocean water. The high salt content makes it impossible for any person to sink or swim in it so the only option left is to dip around like a cork! This is why it is known as The Dead Sea, which means no one can live here. Around the shores you will see white salt crystals. These salts are known as the mineral salts and are said to have curative powers and therapeutic qualities and so the Dead Sea is a spot that is meant for pampering.
PICK 4 – JERASH
Ranking right behind the famous Petra as a touristic appeal, this 2,000-year-old Graeco-Roman ruins of the Jerash and is recognized as one of the best preserved cities of Jordan. When Emperor Hadrian paid a visit in 129 AD, the place was lively. The citizens threw up a Triumphal Arch for him which is still standing today.
This site is easily visited as a part of a full or half-day places to visit in Jordan trip and offers an excellent opportunity for visitors to picturize the entire ancient life that used to once flourish here. The fact that so many structures still exist, provides an opportunity for historians and tourists an excellent taste of the Jordanian rule in the Middle East.
PICK 5 – AQABA
Located at the tip of the Red Sea and on the Gulf of Aqaba. The laid back-resort of Al Aqaba is Jordan’s only getaway to the sea. Aqaba has been well-known for its beaches, clear water and colorful reefs that stud the marine life. It is fun when its Aqaba – with the sun, diving, snorkeling or swimming.Watersports activities like jet skiing, fishing are the ideal things to do here.
Apart from the water sports, Aqaba also has history that dates back to 4,000 BC that also has the recent discovery of the world’s oldest church dating back to the 3rd Century AD.
PICK 6 – WADI MUJIB
Spanning across 4 kilometers, the impressive Wadi Mujib is one of the Jordan’s most remarkable natural features. It is closest to the Dead Sea, and is known to be a dramatic canyon worldwide. It features rocky walls and sparkling waterways that are perfect for swimming trails. This canyon is actually a feature of the Mujib Biosphere Reserve which is the world’s lowest natural reserve and is home to a diversity of wildlife and plant species.
It is also an ideal hiking spot especially during the Spring season in the months of April and May and the autumn season of September and October.
PICK 7 – MADABA
An ancient city that is led over a magnificent mosque and is famous around the world for being the home to the most impressive mosaics. The masterpieces that represent Byzantine era are to be found on the floors of the buildings all across the city. The most famous building across the city that is said to have the floors of the St. George Church covered with The Byzantine art. The cover takes a shape of a map and is believed to be the oldest and the most exact map of the Holy Land.
Madaba is diverse and depicts a peaceful harmony between the Muslims and the Christian communities. It is a walkable city, so travelers get a chance of exploring the narrow streets, holy sites and wonderful markets.
PICK 8 – MOUNT NEBO
Rising from the rugged landscapes of the region, Mount Nebo is one of the great religious sites of Jordan due to its Biblical associations. The story is being narrated which says that it was here that Moses got a glimpse of the Promised Land before he died and because of this Mount Nebo has been a site of pilgrimage for Christians from around the world.
The ones that take up this challenging hike are rewarded with the beauty of the Jordan River, The Dead Sea and various other sites just as Moses would have got thousands of years ago. Whether it’s for a religious reason or not, climbing the Mount Nebo offers a fantastic and unique way to see the beauty of Jordan.
PICK 9 – AJLOUN CASTLE
Built nearly around 1,000 years ago, this Castle sits on the top of a hill in the Jabal Aljun district in Jordan. This Muslim Castle leads over the surrounding area and is protected by three different wadis. Just outside the museum is a museum that contains a few artefacts. The walk to the top of the castle is sweat dropping, but the views that you will get will be enjoyable.
This region of Jordan experiences a lot of rain which means that the landscape is lush and is cloaked in thick strips of vegetation.
PICK 10 – AMMAN
The cultural, political capital of Jordan, should come as no surprise to its visitors because there is no end to the fun in Jordan. This city is thriving and is one of the liberal Arab capitals making it quite appealing for Europeans. It delicately strikes between the old and the new, which makes it even more beautiful. Skyscrapers and busy streets with ancient citadels is how the city can be well described.
The ones looking for an authentic experience cannot miss the Jordan markets which reflects Middle Eastern traditions and culture. You can also retire yourself into one of the Turkish baths to feel more pampered and special.