Jordan is a land steeped in history. It has been home to some of mankind's earliest settlements and villages, and relics of many of the worlds great civilizations can still be seen today.
The ancient city of Petra is one of Jordan's national treasures and by far its best known tourist attraction. Located approximately three hours south of Amman, Petra is the legacy of the Nabataeans, an industrious Arab people who settled in southern Jordan more than 2,000 years ago.
The Nabataean priests used this place, to perform religious rituals to make sacrifices to their gods. They used it to lead the commoners in the dark using burning incense and playing weird music to commune with the gods.
The Urn Tomb was one of the Royal Tombs of Petra. It had two layers of vaults and is thought to be the tomb of the Nabatean king, Malchus II. It was converted into a church by the Byzantines. They flattened the floor of the tomb and put in an altar.
Amman, the capital of Jordan, is a fascinating city of contrasts – a unique blend of old and new, ideally situated on a hilly area between the desert and the fertile Jordan Valley.
Amman Archaeological museum is situated on Amman's Citadel Hill, It was built in 1951 on the Citadel Hill in Amman. It houses artifacts from all the archaeological sites in the country.
The Jordan Folklore Museum is located within the western section of the Roman Theatre in Amman. This museum was founded by the Department of Antiquities and officially opened in 1975. The museum houses items representing the Jordanian cultures.
Wadi Rum is a stupendous, timeless place, virtually untouched by humanity and its destructive forces. Here, it is the weather and winds that have carved the imposing, towering skyscrapers, so elegantly described by T.E. Lawrence as “vast, echoing and God-like..."
Lawrence's Spring is entranced by Wadi Rum, the first stop is to see Lawrence's House, now in ruins. There are amazing views from this point across the red sands to Jebel Rum, then you can drive through the sand dunes on the slopes of Jebel Umm Ulaydiyya and to the Umm Fruth Rock Bridge where you see some bedouin tents.
The Dead Sea, world's most amazing place; is over 400m (1,312 ft.) below sea level. The lowest point on the face of the earth, this vast stretch of water receives a number of incoming rivers, including the River Jordan.
Jerash lies on a plain surrounded by hilly wooded areas and fertile basins. Conquered by General Pompey in 63 BC, it came under Roman rule and was one of the ten great Roman cities of the Decapolis League.
73 km north of Amman, and a short journey northwest from Jerash, through a beautiful pine-forest and olive groves, brings you to the town of Ajloun, where Hadrian stayed over the winter of 129-30 AD, and built himself an arch well outside the town, leaving unbonded its sides for future city walls to come out.
The town is built on a triangular plateau, with the castle at its narrow southern tip. The castle is some 220m long, 125m wide at the north end, and 40m wide at the southern end where a narrow valley deepened by a ditch separates it from the adjoining and much higher hill – once Saladin's favourite artillery position.
Aqaba is a fun place. It is a microcosm of all the good things Jordan has to offer, including a fascinating history with some outstanding sites, excellent hotels and activities, superb visitor facilities and welcoming friendly people, who enjoy nothing more than making sure their visitors have a good time.
This fortress was built during the time of the Crusaders by Baldwin I, the King of Jerusalem in 1116 A.D. King Baldwin mainly built this fortress because it was in the centre of a huge trade route between the Far East and Europe, easily defendable being on high ground, is the narrowest point on the Gulf of Aqaba.
Jordan's desert castles, beautiful examples of both early Islamic art and architecture, stand testament to a fascinating era in the country's rich history. Their fine mosaics, frescoes, stone and stucco carvings and illustrations, inspired by the best in Persian and Graeco-Roman traditions.
Mount Nebo became a place of pilgrimage for early Christians from Jerusalem and a small church was built there in the 4th century to commemorate the end of Moses' life. Some of the stones from that church remain in their original place in the wall around the apse area.
Madaba is one of the most memorable places in the Holy Land. After passing through a string of ancient sites, the first city you reach is Madaba, known as the “City of Mosaics."
Gadara is known today as Umm Qais, and boasts an impressive colonnaded street, a vaulted terrace, and the ruins of two theatres. You can take in the sights and then dine on the terrace of a fine restaurant with a breathtaking view.
The site of John the Baptist's settlement at Bethany Beyond the Jordan, where Jesus was baptized, has long been known from the Bible (John 1:28 and 10:40) and from the Byzantine and medieval texts. The Bethany area sites formed part of the early Christian pilgrimage route between Jerusalem, the Jordan River, and Mount Nebo.
The Mujib Reserve is the lowest nature reserve in the world, with a spectacular array of scenery near the east coast of the Dead Sea. The Reserve is located within the deep Wadi Mujib gorge, which enters the Dead Sea at 410m below sea level. The Reserve extends to the Karak and Madaba mountains.
Hammamat Ma’in (Ma’in Hot Springs), popular with both locals and tourists alike, the springs are located 264m below sea level in one of the most breathtaking desert oases in the world. Thousands of visiting bathers come each year to enjoy the mineral-rich waters of these hyper-thermal waterfalls.
Dana Biosphere Reserve is an area of staggering beauty, history, and biodiversity. The only reserve in Jordan that encompasses the four different bio-geographical zones of the country (Mediterranean, Irano-Turanian, Saharo-Arabian and Sudanian).
As-Salt was once the most important settlement in the area between the Jordan Valley and the Eastern Desert. Because of its history as an important trading link between the Eastern Desert and the west, it was a significant place for the region’s many rulers.
Within an hour’s drive from Madaba along the picturesque Kings’ Highway, is Mukawir (Machaerus), the hilltop stronghold of Herod the Great. Upon Herod’s death, his son Herod Antipas inherited the fortress and it is from here that he ordered John the Baptist to be beheaded after Salome’s fateful dance.
Shobak Castle, less than an hour north of Petra. Once called "Mont Real," Shobak dates from the same turbulent period as Karak. It is perched on the side of a mountain, with a grand sweep of fruit trees below.