7 top reasons why you should explore Jordan this year
Some people might think Jordan is something of an out-of-bounds travel destination. The jewel of Middle-East does not get the coverage it deserves in mainstream travel publications.
Sheltered from the troubles of surrounding countries, Jordan is a safe travel destination and home to some of the most hospitable peoples in the world. The country has a rich and diverse landscape, exceptional historical attractions and lively cities.
If you’re looking for something a little different from your next holiday, a trip to Jordan will deliver more than you expect.
The historical city of Petra at Night
Named as one of the new seven wonders of the world, Petra is Jordan’s most prized asset. Carved into the colourful sandstone facade, the ancient home of the Nabatean people is a marvel of ancient engineering.
These days Petra can be overcrowded with groups of tourists arriving on buses and a hefty entrance fee of $70 can feel overpriced. However, the site is also open at night on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays when the Siq and Treasury are lit by candles. Why not book a Petra by night tour to avoid the daytime crowds.
Float in the Dead Sea
The infamous Dead Sea is actually an extremely salty lake, boasting a saline level of around 34% – enough to float on without any effort whatsoever. Its restorative properties are even sold in bottles as souvenir scrubs.
The bright-blue waters around the Jordan Rift Valley are a stunning attraction in its own right and flanked by sandy mountains creates another-worldly landscape that was once the home of the famous biblical cities Sodom and Gomorrah.
Discover the Dana Biosphere Reserve
Covering a massive 320 square kilometers of mountains and valleys, the Dana Biosphere Reserve is home to a diverse range of plants and animals from Africa, Asia and Europe.
At night the open skies, unpolluted by city lights, are among the best places in the world to gaze at the stars. If you enjoy hiking, the Wadi Dana trail through soaring canyons is an unreal experience.
Escape in the Wadi Rum
For travelers that want to escape the city limits, venture into the vast desert of the Wadi Rum. Despite the wilderness, there are around 6,500 Bedouin living in the deserts of Jordan and visitors can learn how to survive in extreme conditions.
You can either explore the Wadi Rum by foot, camelback or a 4WD. Although the safest option is to be accompanied by an experienced guide, it is possible to follow the well-trodden tourist trails by yourself and enjoy the solitude of the desert.
Greco-Roman History in Amman
Jordan’s capital Amman is home to some of the best-preserved Greco-Roman ruins outside Europe. The region has a rich history dating back to the 13th Century BCE, and the ancient ruins are among the most impressive tourist attractions in the country.
If you do visit Amman, you may also be interested in the ancient city of Jerash around a one-hour drive away. The city was built by the armies of Alexander the Great about 6500 years ago.
Mount Nebo and the Promised Land
If magic and legends pique your interest, a trip to Mount Nebo should be on your bucket list during your time in Jordan. It is said that Mount Nebo is the spot from which Moses saw the Promised Land.
The lost prophet is also thought to be buried here. Although the exact location of his grave is unknown, a stone memorial and quaint church dedicated to Moses has been a pilgrimage site for Christians and presents stunning views of the legendary Promised Land.
Dive in the Red Sea at Aqaba
The Red Sea is regarded as one of the best diving destinations in the world. The calm and sultry waters around the Gulf of Aqaba gives you access to a rich marine underworld where you will discover stunning coral reefs and an abundance of colorful aquatic life.
Together with tropical fish, divers can expect to sea turtles, dolphins, moray eels, seahorses, shrimps, whale sharks and a sunken army tank.
If all that doesn’t give the urge to pack your bags and book an escorted holiday in Jordan, you’re not a real traveler.
Image credit at the very top of the article: navintar/Bigstock.com