Although it is mostly known for being home to Petra, Jordan has much, much more to see and do beside visit the astounding archaeological site. As well as its lively capital Amman and the serene seaside resort city of Aqaba, it has a diverse array of delightful desert castles, landscapes and nature reserves for visitors to explore.
Officially known as the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the arid West Asian country lies surrounded by Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Palestine. Asides from a small slice of Red Sea coastline, it borders the hypersalinated Dead Sea with only isolated oases and seasonal water streams otherwise punctuating its desolate plateaus, gorges and deserts.
As it is set at the crossroads of Asia, Africa and Europe, everyone from the Romans and Persians to the Umayyads and Ottomans have passed through with each civilization leaving behind impressive ruins and historic sites. At Ajlun and Kerak for instance guests can stroll around crumbling crusader castles while the Roman ruins of Jerash and Umm Qais count among the most extensive in the area.
Its most iconic attraction however was built around the 1st century AD by the Nabataean Kingdom with the phenomenal Petra now listed as one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. Exploring the ancient archaeological park and hiking or riding a camel about its striking sandstone canyon setting really is an unforgettable experience.
While Petra is undoubtedly the country’s standout sight, most people enter and exit Jordan through its capital Amman which is home to several interesting Roman ruins, museums and landmarks. The other main place to go is Aqaba on the Red Sea which has some brilliant beaches, watersports and scuba diving for you to enjoy.
Not to be missed are the awe-inspiring red cliffs and rearing rock formations of Wadi Rum with the Dead Sea’s healing waters and Madaba’s amazing mosaic map of Jerusalem and the Holy Land also proving popular among tourists.