Who is not attracted to the historical past? Jordan represents a region of unsurpassed memory of the past. Petra, Qasr or Qusayr Al-Amra, Umm ar-Rasas, are the incredible places to see in Jordan and are within the UNESCO World Heritage sites.
The adventure of knowing these and other interesting places to see in Jordan is priceless.
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This region has the magic of making you experience a mixture of feelings. At some point you will feel like an Israelite in a caravan after the Promised Land, a Roman crossing the trade routes of the time, a Nabatean originating from the amazing city of Petra, a faithful on pilgrimage going to the legendary Mount Nebo or the place where Jesus Christ was baptized, a devout Muslim on his way to Mecca, a crusader taking refuge in the castle fortifications, or simply a Hollywood star recreating the most interesting feats.
Antiquity has a fascinating attraction. A visit to Jordan will give you a great reward from a cultural and human point of view. Not to be missed!
7 DAYS IN JORDAN, A TOUR WORTH REMEMBERING
Even the most experienced traveller will be impressed by everything there is to know in Jordan. Here we give you a guide to the places that you can not deprive yourself of visiting in minimum planning of 7 days. Prepare your itinerary without neglecting any of them.
PETRA- ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS PLACES TO SEE IN JORDAN
Considered one of the seven wonders of the modern world, it impresses first with the engineering miracle that a city literally carved from the cliffs represents. Mount Jebel al-Madhbah has been left as a witness to this marvelous feat.
The sheer red tones envelop the visitor in an atmosphere of sacred presence. The care in the design of the pediment of Al Khazneh (The Treasure Gate) stands out a lot. It is the most amazing monument in the city.
Art lovers will discover in The Tomb of the Obelisk, a symbiosis between the Egyptian and Greco-Roman styles. The three-level chamber carved into the cliff known as The Urn’s Tomb or the Bab as-Siq Triclinium served as a venue for the dead.
Petra reflects the prosperity that it must have enjoyed as the capital city of the Nabatean Arabs. Water and relative security created the most favourable climate for intense trade. From Arabia came incense, from the Red Sea pearls, and from India silks and the most varied spices. Petra can be said to represent Jordan’s historical pride.
LITTLE PETRA THE UNKNOWN FROM JORDAN
As its name implies, we are talking about a small city similar to Petra, also located in a mountainous area. This is a desert region known as the Rift Valley. Being less travelled, the traveller can more calmly enjoy the unique feeling of being in the presence of archaeological remains.
Possibly this picturesque town in Jordan was used by caravans going to Petra, as a kind of inn, where they could stay and eat.
Upon arrival you will see a kind of frontispiece carved in the rock, very striking, and therefore very photographed by visitors.
It is a city surrounded by high walls. This prevents sunlight from penetrating and temperatures from staying very cool. Precisely the name in Arabic alludes to this characteristic: Siq Al Barid (Cold Canyon).
THE SIQ GORGE
If you decided to travel to Jordan, it is convenient to know that to get to Petra you must take a walk of approximately a kilometre and a half from the town of Wadi Musa. This is not just any walk. It is about crossing a narrow gorge limited by high rocky crags.
If we march very carefully we will discover niches perforated in the walls, containing idols carved in stone. The Nabataeans possibly considered this place, a space of worship to their divinities. The Siq gorge invites you to discover these and other curiosities, such as the ruins of an arch carved in stone, which once welcomed travellers and merchants.
You could not miss a city known in colloquial language as the “Land of Hospitality”. A land that knew all kinds of civilizations must have very interesting things to tell us. At the beginning of your visit, the joyful meandering of the streets welcomes you. And then the stalls in the squares and the towers of the mosques will do it.
The most exciting thing about visiting this city is to observe how the old and the modern can coexist creating an innovative lifestyle. For example, lush boulevards, sophisticated cafes, boutiques, commercial buildings, transport stations, and more, go hand in hand with a history that dates back to 8,500 years BC, and which has naturally left behind a very important archaeological testimony. Add the Roman Theater and the ruins of the Ammonite fortifications to your menu right now.
The capital of Jordan invites you to visit the Roman Theater and the Jabal al-Qal’a citadel, where you will appreciate the Temple of Hercules, the Archaeological Museum, the Palace of the Umayyads, and a Byzantine church.
There are several things to see in Amman, here is a compilation:
Throughout the city center, you will see a large collection of urban art. It is one of the most surprising things about a visit to Jordan because it is unusual to associate Jordan with graffiti.
In addition, near the city there are historical ruins such as those of the Citadel, with remains of the Bronze and Iron Ages, Romans, Umayyads … and its location on a hill makes it the best viewpoint in the city.
If you are shopping, the souks of Amman are very good, and there are many varieties of products to buy in them. They do not have the spectacular nature of the souks of better-known cities such as Istanbul or Damascus, but they are a very good experience. It is very interesting to buy spices in one of these souks in Amman.
Another important recipe to add to the menu of knowing Jordan is represented by this fortress built in the 12th century under the leadership of the legendary Sultan Saladin. From Amman, you can get here in about an hour by car.
The top of Mount ‘Auf, its site, constitutes a privileged place, since from the battlements of the castle there is a spectacular view over the Jordan valley and the mountains of Galilee.
Despite the restoration work that has been done on the building, it is still interesting to visit it, explore inside its chambers, towers, and interior courtyards. In your travel plan to Jordan, you can not miss this visit.
If any city within Jordan can compete with Petra in the interest of the visiting public, it is this: Jerash. It is considered a true jewel within the Greco-Roman civilization.
The infinite historical wealth of this great city is appreciated, as its remains are quite well preserved. For this reason, visiting Jordan and not getting to know the also called Pompeii of the East, is to miss a very relevant cultural testimony.
Its forums surrounded by grand colonnades, temples turned into Byzantine churches, monumental squares, architectural creations as formidable as the Arch of Hadrian, make one guess a glorious past. Its strategic location in a fertile valley surrounded by mountains earned it great prosperity in the area of agriculture and mining. It is easy to understand that this is another of the surprising destinations in the great adventure of visiting Jordan.
Located in the eastern desert of Jordan, is this curious castle. Its uniqueness derives from the fact of being in the presence of a fortress that apparently did not fulfil military functions. Its massive towers do not meet the attack and defence requirements seen in conventional castles. Some historians justify this fact, proposing the thesis that this building was used to hold political meetings between the Umayyad authorities (Arab lineage that would undertake the Muslim conquests) and the tribal groups of the town.
The traveller may find it very interesting not only that it is a building erected in the middle of kilometres of an ocean of desert sand, but that when exploring its interior you can still find in some rooms of the place, stucco ornaments, porticos, and carved columns on plaster.
QASR OR QUSAYR AL-AMRA
Jordan proudly displays Qusayr Al-Amra Castle, after it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. This speaks for itself of the magnificent conditions that this famous Umayyad desert preserve.
The term Qusayr Amra means The Red Castle, and it is the first thing that catches the visitor’s attention. It gives the sensation of seeing a garnet stone preserved in the yellowish case of the eastern desert of Jordan.
Qusayr Amra was actually a group of buildings, formed by the castle itself as a fortress and residence for recreation, the hammam (bathing area, changing rooms), an inn on the road and a hunting lodge. In addition to the architectural importance of this complex, the figurative painting murals surprise the western public. The figures depicted consist mostly of hunting scenes, dog racing, half-naked women, and fighting contests.
Visitors to this fortress are mostly attracted by the great historical significance of the place. Qasr El-Azraq was established headquarters by Sharif Hussein Bin Ali and TE Lawrence (better known as Lawrence of Arabia) to plan the Arab rebellion against the Ottoman empire in the years 1917-18. The room used by these characters is one of the most sought after in the entire venue.
The Blue Castle, as it is also known because the basalt used in its construction, sometimes seems to take on that hue, was strategically located in the middle of the Azraq Oasis. It is surprising to recognize that this was the only source of water in an area of approximately 12,000 square kilometers.
Qasr El-Azraq, together with Qasr El-Kharana and Qasr or Qusayr Al-Amra, form the set of the so-called Desert Castles.
If there is a historical and religious site in Jordan, with great strength to attract believers of the three monotheistic religions, that is Mount Nebo. Moses is among the most admired characters in the world. Biblical history tells us that God showed him the Promised Land, on this mountain that rises about 820 meters above the Jordan Valley. Then the great leader would die right there.
Attendees can currently visit the Franciscan monastery, the Old Baptistery, and the famous mosaics. And if the weather conditions allow it, you can have a view of the city of Jerusalem and the Dead Sea.
This ancient and small city is located in the historic core of Jordan. It is a must to go through the church of San Jorge, and admire the Byzantine art exhibited in the niches, in addition to the many mosaics (for some reason it is also known as the City of Mosaics). The famous map of Jerusalem and the Holy Land made with millions of pieces is impressive.
This city is located just 30 kilometers from Amman, the capital city of Jordan. It is essential to visit the catacombs of the Church of the Decapitation of Saint John the Baptist, climb up to the bell tower and be amazed from there, with the foreground view of the Great Mosque.
Umm Ar-Rasas is another of the ancient cities referred to in the Bible. Few remains of the city remain, but enough to declare it a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Only with its main attraction: the largest mosaic in Jordan, covering the entire floor of the Church of St. Stephen, would be enough to give it the importance it deserves from the historical and archaeological point of view.
In addition to the Church of San Esteban, other Byzantine churches were excavated, among which the Church of the Palm and the Church of the Rivers stand out. Both famous also for their magnificent mosaic murals.
Traveling to Jordan is definitely stepping on Biblical land. Another place of great religious character is offered by Bethany. This is located 9 kilometres north of the Dead Sea, and on the eastern bank of the Jordan River.
Byzantine texts from the Middle Ages have attested, pointing to Bethany as the place where the Lord Jesus Christ received the baptism from John the Baptist. Bethany offers an unbeatable opportunity not only to discover an archaeological site but also to affirm religious faith. More than a tourist visit, it is a pilgrimage, and veneration for an act that unites faith and commitment.
WAY OF THE KINGS
We can imagine the Camino de Los Reyes as the backbone of a Jordan rich in history. It is a north-south journey from Amman to Petra. This 5,000-year-old road winds through many small towns and cities
Your visit to Jordan must include the most fantastic of road trips. You can not miss the wonderful natural landscapes, historical sites such as the ancient Roman remains, the fortresses of the Crusaders. Some attractive points of the route, we have already mentioned them as the Madaba people, Mount Nebo. Below we will talk about Kerak Castle.
This famous fortification of the Crusaders has remained as an exponent of advanced military architecture. As we already indicated we can get to the place through the old Camino de Los Reyes.
To speak of Kerak (or Karak) Castle is to speak of the most famous castle in Jordan. Among the crusader castles, Kerak is likely to hold the title of the most visited.
At the time this fortress was built on top of the hill, the times demanded vigilant control and a heavy hand against travelers and merchants from the lands of the Dead Sea, Mecca and Damascus.
The visitor is surprised by the confluence of construction styles. Christians used basalt; while Muslims, Ottomans and Mamluks, the white limestone.
WADI RUM DESERT
Jordan has its site for ecological tourism: the Wadi Rum Desert.
Time seems to have stopped in this desert valley. Perhaps for that reason, it served as a set for the filming of Lawrence of Arabia. The Valley of the Moon as it is also known has become essential for any trip to Jordan.
As it is a protected area, the traveler can go hiking, trekking in the desert by camel, or climb limestone walls.
The view of the sunsets, provokes an authentic mystical experience for those who come together with this wonderful natural landscape.
Between the majestic desert mountains and the Red Sea, lies the only coastal city in Jordan, the city of Aqaba. Spectacular underwater views of coral reefs and abundant marine fauna attract the attention of deep diving and snorkelling practitioners worldwide.
Its beaches and hotels will provide you with the most relaxing days you can find in the Middle East.
We could define that the Dead Sea offers health and wellness tourism in Jordan. The great salt density of the waters allows you to float on your back without any effort. This provides unusual relaxation.
The Dead Sea also supplies a highly stimulating and beneficial black mud for the skin.
As we titled at the beginning, we could say that visiting Jordan we are not only cordially greeting history; We are allowing voices and deeds from the past to come to our aid, making us better understand the foundations of our civilization. In this way we will be more aware citizens of the role we must play in the world.
If you need more information about Jordan you can see our post it is safe to travel to Jordan.