Not sure what there is to see, do, and experience when you travel to Jordan? To make sure that your upcoming trip to the Middle East is a memorable one, here is a mini Jordan travel guide to start you on the right path. Jordan is one of the most interesting and unexplored tourist destinations in Asia. It is a country of rich historical and cultural heritage that deserves to be visited.
It is famous for its long dynasty of kings, so why not begin your excursion by traversing Kings Highway? Renowned as the world’s oldest communication route, the first mention of Kings Highway appears in Genesis 14 as the path along which the “four kings from the north” marched to battle the five kings from the Cities of the Plain, and is mentioned again as the route Moses wished to follow as he led the People of Israel. As you hike up highlands, down ravines, across plateaus, and along the edge of the desert, there are a multitude of ancient sites to visit along the way, including Petra, the Gulf of Aqaba, Crusader castles, a Roman-Herodian fortress, and more.
To see some stunning 6th-century artwork, the place to head to is Madaba, Jordan, also known as the “City of Mosaics.” The earliest known map of Jerusalem is found in Madaba, as well as other antique mosaics depicting the Holy Land and the geography of the region between the 5th and 7th centuries. Each mosaic is comprised of millions of colored pieces of stone, offering viewers a glimpse into the cultures and beliefs of ancient civilizations, including images of everyday life, wildlife, fish, birds, plants, flowers, and mythological scenes.
For a view like no other, be sure to visit tourist-favorite Mount Nebo. Bearing great Biblical significance as the hill from which Moses gazed upon the Holy Land before he died (but never entered), the panorama includes the Jordan River Valley, the Dead Sea, Jericho, and even the far-off hills of Jerusalem on a clear day. The Serpentine Cross which stands outside a 4th-century church is another Mount Nebo attraction, symbolizing the serpent Moses took into the desert as well as the cross of Jesus’ crucifixion.
Your trip to Jordan is incomplete, however, without a tour of Petra. A natural wonder is known for its majestic rust-colored hills and ancient tombs and temples, the “Red Rose City of Petra” features ancient Nabataean architecture, dating back to the time when Petra was the Nabataean capital and a primary trading city along the famous Silk Road. The entrance to Petra itself is mesmerizing, as you cross a narrow 2-kilometer walkway between rugged rocks with impressive sandstone patterns embedded in the rock walls.
As you exit the Siq, you’ll come face to face with the grandeur of al-Khazneh or the Treasury, which is a massive royal tomb cut out of the sandstone mountain featuring Roman-style architecture. Next, you will reach the Street of Facades and an 8000-seat amphitheater hewn from solid rock. The Urn is the largest of many royal tombs in Petra, while other popular Petra attractions include Qasr al-Bint, the Ad-Deir Monastery, and a rugged mountain climb to the ”High Place of Sacrifice” where you will enjoy a spectacular view of the city below. Finally, don’t miss “Petra by Night,” the spectacle of light showcasing Bedouin music to the backdrop of 1,000 candles.
As you wander along Jordan’s narrow streets, you will be treated to artistry and craft displays featuring Bedouin weaving, embroidery, ceramics, jewelry, and glass blowing. And if you’re still looking for that picture-perfect moment of your trip to Jordan to capture on film, smile for the camera as you take a camel ride in Wadi Rum.