From ancient Nabataean and Roman cities to camel rides through the desert to floating on water, Jordan packs quite a lot into a small land mass. And while listing off top five experiences might help you get started in exploring Jordan, we encourage you to keep going past five. This list should only be the beginning.
High expectations are a dangerous thing in travel, especially when it comes to big UNESCO sites like Petra. Fortunately, Petra delivered. The ancient Nabataeans certainly founded an incredible city two thousand years ago and left us with a mystery of what happened to them.
Most people associate the Treasury with Petra, and while this is a beautiful site, you’re missing out if you only focus on it. Petra has so much more, from the siqs – narrow canyons that form the road to the Treasury – to the Royal Tombs carved into the rocks to the walk out to the Monastery, our favorite area. The sun plays games with the colors of the rocks as the day progresses so it’s never the same view twice.
2. Wadi Rum
Wadi Rum is a place of vastness, deep colors and big sky. It was the setting for the film Lawrence of Arabia; the mystery of the desert is certainly there. Bedouins, a nomadic group of people, still call Wadi Rum home, and you’ll find shepherds minding their sheep and goats throughout the desert.
Take a truck to into the desert to view the Seven Pillars, the rock bridge, and the vastness that is Wadi Rum. Take tea in a Bedouin tent (ask if it’s possible to see how abud, Bedouin bread, is made). And if riding a camel is on your bucket list, this is definitely the place to strike that item off the list.
3. The Dead Sea
Ever want to feel like superman (or superwoman)? Then spend some time at the Dead Sea breathing in all the extra oxygen that comes with being at almost 500 meters (1640 ft) below sea level. It really does feel fabulous.
Take a float – literally – on top of the heavily salted water. Then go back on shore and rub yourself down with Dead Sea mud packed with all sorts of minerals that are good for you. Not only will your skin thank you, but you’ll also feel giddy from all this goodness.
Don’t believe us? Just look at the photo below.
Jerash, just a few hours from Amman, plays host to a rather impressive collection of Roman ruins. As you dig deeper into the history you realize that there is actually layer upon layer of civilizations that called this place their home, from Greek to Roman to Umayyad. This keeps you wondering about the cycles of cultures and religions — and all the people who walked the same streets over the last 3000 years.
Amman is usually the jumping off point for exploring the rest of Jordan, and unfortunately many travelers don’t spend much time there. This is a shame, as the city has a lot to offer, from the ancient ruins of Philadelphia at the Citadel and Roman Theatre to busy old town streets packed with spice shops that send senses into overload with color and aroma.
G Adventures runs a number of departures to Jordan encompassing a wide range of departure dates and activities to cater for different tastes. We’re thrilled at the prospect of showing you this enchanting country as you’ve never seen it — check out our small group trips to Jordan here.