Jordan is a gem in the middle east and home to World Heritage sites. It is spectacular, safe with friendly people, and a country I had always wanted to visit. Before I travelled to Jordan, I did a ton of research. I spent hours and hours on the web trying to find out information about almost every place on my itinerary.
The ancient city of Petra is one of Jordan's national treasures, voted as one of the New Seven Wonders of World and by far the biggest tourist attraction in Jordan. It was the filming set for a number of famous movies including Indiana Jones, The Mummy Returns and Transformers. The Treasury is stunning but Petra is so much more than just the treasury. For photographers, Petra by night is a must-see spectacle when thousands of candle lights are placed in front of treasury and along the walking path leading through the canyon to the treasury.
The Dead Sea is without a doubt the World's most amazing place, with its lowest point 400 meters below the sea level. A number of rivers flow into the Dead Sea including Jordan river, which is its biggest water source. It is landlocked and water has nowhere to go, so the water evaporates and leaves behind salts & minerals. The main attraction here is the warm and super salty water itself, ten times saltier than seawater. The minerals at the Dead Sea are considered very healthy for the skin and used in a number of skin products.
The salt formations along the shores of the sea and the glossy surface of the sea is perfect for photography.
Wadi Rum is also known as Valley of the moon, made of sandstone and granite rock in the south of Jordan around 60km from Aqaba is the largest Wadi in Jordan. The tourism industry here has grown after the filming of Lawrence of Arabia and is now one of the main tourist attractions in Jordan. Eco-Adventure tourism is growing and is the main source of income for the locals. It is an adventurer's paradise with countless accommodation options. Most tourists prefer to stay in the camps and it feels like camping on Mars.
Explore the desert by hiking, climbing, riding a camel or just from the back of a jeep.
Without a doubt two best hikes in Jordan. Wadi Mujib's Siq trail is considered the best hike in Jordan and is regulated, only seasonally opened. Around 100km further, on the Dead sea road is Wadi Numeira which is as incredible as Wadi Mujib and less touristy. The water level in Wadi Numeria is low and is more suited for families with kids. The temperatures drop significantly inside the canyon which is a big relief in the heat and makes it suitable to do the hike during the day when its almost impossible to do any activity outside.
Amman, the capital of Jordan, a modern city with numerous ancient sites. The Historic Citadel at Jabal al-Qala'a hill is a must-see for all the travellers. It is also the best place to eat Arabic food. Hashem Restaurant at Al-Amir Mohammed Street in the downtown is a casual and authentic restaurant serving best falafel in town. It is so popular often visitors have to wait in a queue to be served.
The King's Highway was an important trade route in ancient times connecting Africa with Mesopotamia and has been an important pilgrimage route for Christians, as it passed next to Mount Nebo, Moses death and burial site according to the Bible. Under the Ottomans, the Highway was developed to make a direct and faster Pilgrimage route from Syria to Mecca.
It is in excellent condition and most dramatic scenery is between Madaba and Petra. A section of the road connecting King's highway and dead sea passes near to Ma'in Hot Springs is very scenic and not to be missed.
Why stay in a hotel when you can stay in a Bedouin camp, something you can only experience in this part of the world. It is an excellent way to experience life in the Desert, and most of the camps are as comfortable as hotels.
During our visit to Petra, we decided to stay in a Bedouin camp in Wadi Musa instead of Petra village. It was a wonderful experience. The locals were very friendly and helpful and the common area camp is a great way to meet the travellers from all around the world.