An enchanting kingdom steeped in historical significance, Jordan offers a diverse and intriguing introduction to Arabia with its fascinating heritage and numerous sites of interest.
Best associated for its ‘lost’ city of Petra and for providing the iconic setting for the classic film Lawrence of Arabia, you’d be forgiven for envisaging Jordan as a desert land wrapping over the horizon, camels slowly treading the dunes and small communities of sugar-cube houses sprouting into view....
In fact, you’d be partly correct, particularly as more than half of Jordan is covered in desert, but the Jordan of the 21st century adds modern sophistication into its blend of historical sites and epic natural beauty.
It’s a combination that makes Jordan a tempting choice for a dream tour, with visits to Petra, the Dead Sea, Aqaba and Wadi Rum included among the many outstanding tour packages available through Travelbag.
Without a doubt, Jordan’s most fascinating attraction is the ‘lost’ city of Petra. Hidden to the wider world until 1812, nothing prepares you for the sheer magnificence of Petra, a city that has been intricately carved out of the red hued mountains by the ancient Nabataean civilisation.
Simply making your way to Petra builds the anticipation as you traverse the narrow Siq Gorge, flanked either side by towering 80m walls. Eventually, you are met at the other side by the striking façade of Al-Khazneh (Treasury), the first of many remarkably well preserved treasures shrouded by the surrounding mountains.
Immortalised in Dean Burgen’s poem ‘Petra’, where the line ‘a rose-red city half as old as time’ cannot better describe your surroundings, Petra’s plethora of intricate tombs, theatres and shrines have earned it the status as one of the ‘New Seven Wonders of the World’. If further proof that this remarkable area was always destined to be discovered 2,000 years later, these stunning monuments have survived countless earthquakes over the centuries – a true measure of their timeless strength.
For a greater understanding of Jordan’s history, a trip to the city of Jerash takes you into one of the best preserved Roman cities in the world. Essentially a vast archaeological park where time appears to have stood still, you can wander beneath Hadrian’s Arch, peer up at the Corinthium Column and perhaps even take in a mock gladiator fight or chariot race re-enactment at the Hippodrome.
For those keen to see Jordan’s points of interest concisely, many take to the King’s Highway, a centuries old trade route that wends between the hills, taking in stops at some notable villages. This includes Madaba, where a stunning 6th century Byzantine-era mosaic map of the Holy Land has made it an imperative visit on many a pilgrimage, while a short distance away is Mount Nebo, the vantage point from where God revealed the Holy Land to Moses.
Familiar to many as the setting of Lawrence of Arabia, Wadi Rum’s rolling desert and rocky sandstone formations have appropriately given it the mantle as ‘The Valley of the Moon’ over time. Popular with trekkers, who can seek tour guidance from the local Zalabia Bedouin, many take the opportunity to hop across the dunes on a 4x4 safari or evoke its most iconic association by riding camel-back.
Positioned to the south of Jordan, treading the vast expanse of Wadi Rum is the ideal precursor to visiting the country’s up-and-coming resort destination of Aqaba in the south-west.
Fringing just a small corner at the very northern tip of the Red Sea, Aqaba is home to a number of premier resorts that make the most of the excellent weather, pretty beaches and burgeoning facilities. The Red Sea is also a tempting draw with its pleasant warm waters and thriving underwater life, which has established it as one of the world’s top diving destinations.
However, if you only have one chance to get your feet wet on a Jordan holiday, one must make time to visit the unique Dead Sea, otherwise known as the ‘world’s biggest spa’. The lowest point on earth at 423m below sea level – and dropping by a metre every year! -, the Dead Sea sits between the borders of Jordan and Israel and is renowned for its exceptionally high salinity.
Such a high salt content duly contributes to the Dead Sea’s unique characteristics, such as the fact very little flora and fauna can flourish in such a harsh environment, while the properties are known for their invigorating health benefits and are thus used in many a spa and cosmetic production.
However, many will visit the Dead Sea for the opportunity to float seamlessly on its surface, the salinity’s most famous association being the water’s natural buoyancy, which ensures it is nearly impossible to sink.
With such iconic attractions it is little surprise that Jordan is gathering a fine reputation as a dream holiday destination.
Significant historical sites, an absorbing culture and radiant natural beauty combine to make Jordan a tempting proposition, whether your preference is to explore lost cities, relax on sumptuous beaches or simply get blissfully lost like Lawrence himself…
Whether it is an ancient rose-tinged city hidden from the world, wonderfully preserved relics dating back to the Roman era or swathes of golden desert sand disappearing over the horizon, a Jordan tour has the unending ability to stimulate and surprise at every turn.
A holiday to Jordan gives you the opportunity to explore sites of historical significance, including the UNESCO World Heritage site of Petra, experience the natural phenomenon of the Dead Sea and follow in the footsteps of Peter O’Toole’s Lawrence of Arabia across the sands of Wadi Rum.
Book a Jordan tour with Travelbag and embark on the holiday of a lifetime with one of our flexible independent tours, escorted tours helmed by our team of friendly and helpful guides, or a small group tours of no more than 16 members – ideal for a romantic break with a difference!
Key Highlights of Jordan
- Discovering the wondrous rose-red city of Petra
- Floating on the surface of the Dead Sea
- Diving in the shimmering waters of Aqaba
- Traversing the sands of Wadi Rum
- Exploring the historic Jordanian city of Amman
- Admiring the ancient mosaics of Madaba
For more information about Travelbag’s excellent range of Jordan tours, call 0871 703 4698 Costs 13p/min + network extras to chat with one of our knowledgeable travel experts about creating the perfect Jordan holiday for you.
TOP TEN THINGS TO DO IN JORDAN
- Discover the ‘lost’ rose-hued city of Petra - Regarded as one of the ‘Seven Wonders of the World’, no visit to Jordan is complete without exploring the majestic ‘lost’ city of Petra.
- Float on the waters of the Dead Sea - Straddling the borders of Jordan and Israel, the remarkable Dead Sea allows you to almost ‘sit’ on the surface of the water – an amusingly strange sensation like no other to be experienced in the world.
- Cross the iconic sands of Wadi Rum - Traverse the sands of Wadi Rum, immortalised in the iconic film Lawrence of Arabia, on an exhilarating 4WD safari tour.
- Stand on the edge of the Red Sea - Explore the depths of Jordan’s beautiful Red Sea and stretch out on palm-tree fringed beaches with a stay in the attractive coastal city of Aqaba
- Explore Jordan’s historic capital - Discover more about Jordan’s historic by touring the capital city of Amman, including the Al-Husseini Mosque, the Jabal al-Qal’a Citadel and the centuries-old 6,000 seat Roman amphitheatre.
- Step back in time in Roman Jerash - Discover one of the world’s best preserved Roman cities at Jerash, where you can wander beneath Hadrian’s Arch, peer up at the Corinthium Column and perhaps even take in a mock gladiator fight
- Admire the mosaics of Madaba - Visit the small town of Madaba to view the stunning Byzantine-era mosaic map of the Holy Land believed to date all the way back to the 6th century.
- Climb the sacred Mount Nebo - Scale the 817m to the summit of Mount Nebo to visit the sacred site where God revealed the Holy Land to Moses.
- Travel the King’s Highway - Take to the iconic King’s Highway, a centuries old trade route that winds between the hills, taking in stops at many of Jordan’s rural villages.
- Indulge in a Dead Sea spa treatment - Take advantage of your visit to the Dead Sea to indulge in a fabulous spa treatment using ingredients borne from the saline-rich waters.
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