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Places to Visit in Jordan – Home to Ancient World Wonders

If you’re considering adding Jordan to your post-pandemic travel list, you are off to a good start. It’s home to one of the most sacred and iconic ancient cities in the world and it has some incredibly unique natural geographical features. We are talking stunning desert landscapes with rose and yellow shaded mountain valleys and canyons to striking architectural marvels built on rocks. Since it’s nestled between the Mediterranean Sea & the Red Sea – with Iraq and Israel as its neighbours, Jordan also homes some beautiful beaches and historic sites. So here’s a list of the most beautiful places you need to visit to make your holiday in Jordan more magical.

Explore the ancient City of Petra

Tourists riding camels at Petra (Video footage)

Petra is listed as one of the most beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Sites. A world wonder. It’s famously known as the Rose City, and it’s worth adding to your list of places to visit in Jordan. Located in the open space amid a valley of rugged cliffs. Rose City gets its name from its red and rose shaded rock-cut walls. It will take about 2 hours to drive to Petra from Jordan – if you use the Al-Badiyah highway. While the city was created nearly 2000 years ago, it was only found again just 200 years ago. The best way to explore is to go with an experienced guide who can take you through an off-beaten path, which is always more scenic. As you enter, you can visit the Djinn Blocks, the Obelisk Tomb, and the narrow- snake-like path more famously known as the Siq. There’s just so much to explore. One day alone will not be sufficient to get the total experience of Petra, Jordan.

Be enchanted by Al-Khazneh

Video footage of the iconic Al – Khazneh

When you look at google images of Petra, the iconic building structure carved on the rock is the one that always pops up. Famously known as the Al- Khazneh – this is usually the first thing that comes into view after you travel through the narrow path in the canyon – also known as the Siq. If you think the images of the Al-Khazneh is striking, seeing it in real life will take your breath away. The door leads to more of a cave space inside. It has never failed to enchant a visitor with its alluring external beauty. The rose shaded walls are cut on the rock with such precision. The legend talks of this being the resting place of Nabatean King Aretas IV and a hiding place for a priceless treasure of a pharaoh. If you’re visiting Petra, a visit to the Al – Khazneh is inevitable. But if you think the place looks enchanting in daylight, take some time to not miss the Petra Night Show, where the front area of the Siq and the Khazneh is lit with so many candles till the whole building begins to glow in the light. 

Stargaze at the Wadi Rum

Places to visit in Jordan Number 3 - Wadi Rum
Photo by Rita on Unsplash

Just 3 hours from Amman, and from Jordan, the Wadi Rum is located more along the Southern Jordan area. This desert landscape is a heavily protected region. The Wadi Rum is also called the Valley of the Moon, and it’s one of the most stunning places on earth. If you watched the movie classic Lawrence of Arabia, then what you were seeing in the background are the scenic features of the majestic Wadi Rum region itself.  This allure of Wadi Rum is something every traveller yearns to re-visit. You can book a Jeep Tour and even camp in permitted areas. The Wadi Rum Bedouin Camp’s one such experience in Wadi Rum that promises a one-of-a-kind experience. The sand dune valleys lay asleep as the clear starry sky sparkles above – ideal for stargazing – it’ll take your breath away. The traditional Bedouin tents will be as comfortable as having a superior room amid the desert. On a full moon, the scenic surroundings of Wadi Rum will be nothing short of magical & otherworldly. A MUST-add to your list of places to visit in Jordan.

Explore the Wadi Mujib

Places to visit in Jordan Number 4 - Wadi Mujib
Photo by Reiseuhu on Unsplash

This river canyon is another landscape beauty in Jordan. It flows through panoramic valleys and sand dunes and falls into the Dead Sea. The Wadi Mujib is a beautiful reserve that is home to many native as well as migratory birds that annually fly through the Great Rift Valley. The Egyptian Vultures, the Striped Hyenas and Syrian Wolves also call these exotic valleys their home.  One of the most ideal ways to explore and experience Wadi Mujib (which’s just minutes away from Wadi Rum) is to book a hike along the river canyon.  Canyon hikes are a massive favourite amongst travellers. You have the option of taking part from either Amman or Madaba. Is it worth including in your list of places to visit in Jordan? Yes, absolutely.

Explore the Amman Citadel & Roman Ruins

Places to visit in Jordan Number 5 - Amman Citadel
Photo by Daniel Qura on Unsplash

Head to the beautiful capital, Amman, to see more ancient ruins that must be added to your list of places to visit in Jordan. The Amman Citadel is a popular tourist attraction located downtown of Amman. Here you’ll spot what looks like a giant structure of ruined columns and nothing more – but it’s actually the remaining ruins of the Temple of Hercules. Archaeologists have also found artefacts that suggest it has existed since the Bronze Age. Other stunning must-visit Roman ruins include the Roman Theatre, which is few steps away from the Amman Citadel. The restored amphitheatre can seat up to 6,000 people. Nymphaeum – the roman fountain – records suggest it too was built around the same time. There is another 500 seater theatre named the Odeon too. Exploring and learning about the Roman occupation and the many stunning ancient ruins left in the city of Amman – can be quite memorable. If you’re touring these historic sites in the summertime, make sure to take plenty of water and sunscreen with you.    

Visit the past in the Umayyad Palace

Places to visit in Jordan Number 6 - Umayyad Palace
Photo by Dimitrisvetsikas1969 on Pixabay

Another historical tour site and ancient landmark in Amman. By travelling with a tour guide you can learn a lot about the incredible history of this palace complex. It was built over the remains of ancient Roman construction in the 8th Century – in fact, it is inside the Amman Citadel itself. The Umayyad Palace can take visitors back to the Umayyad period through its architecture. Tour guides will talk about the significant archaeological findings of the civilization at the time. You don’t have to be a history lover to find this Palace alluring and fascinating in many ways. Worth including in your list of places to visit in Jordan.

Tour the ancient Kerak Castle

Places to visit in Jordan Number 7 - Kerak Castle
Photo by Discopalace on Flickr

This Crusader Castle is located in al-Karak. It’s one of the largest crusader castles in Jordan. From a distance, this ancient edifice looks intimidating and majestic. With the desert landscape in the background, it brings out an exoticism as well.  This military structure was built around the 12th century A.D. The space inside is well-preserved. Explore the many corridors as your tour guide gives you a one-oh-one on the deep history embedded in the walls, the uniqueness of the architecture and the many rulers who ruled the Kerak Castle. The journey from Amman to Kerak Castle will take about 3 hours. This scenic ride is an experience on its own.  A must add to your list of places to visit in Jordan.

Float away in the Dead Sea

Dead Sea Beach
Photo by Ricardo Frantz on Unsplash

The Dead Sea (a.k.a. Salt Sea) is a super popular tourist destination in Jordan. If you love wellness holidays the Dead Sea should be on the top of your list of places to visit in Jordan. This waterbody is unlike most around the world. It’s known throughout the globe for its healing waters. As a result, it has visitors flying from all over the world looking to experience the health properties in these waters. All though it’s famously called a ‘sea’ – it’s more of a salt lake and it is the lowest point on the planet. You can enjoy healing mud baths here. The saltiness in the water is so dense that with zero effort, you could relaxingly float. While the healing properties of the lake alone is a good enough reason to visit the Dead Sea, another thing that will enchant you is the beauty. With valleys of mountains in the far setting and the clear blue skies – it truly has an otherworldly effect.

Climb the sacred Mount Nebo

Mount Nebo Monument
Photo by Elias Rovielo on Flickr

Mount Nebo is a very sacred mountain in Jordan. A holy location that draws the attention of many spiritual and religious travellers as well as curious travellers. The biblical legend explains that this is the place where Moses was granted a glimpse of the Holy Land. Come dressed to climb. It’s usually peaceful, and the views on top can be quite stunning on a clear day. The desert landscapes stretch as far as the eye can see, meeting where there’s a border of the mountain valleys and the blue skies all around. There is also a renovated Byzantine Church on top, which is where you will get to witness large mosaics, which are centuries old. We would say that it is worth including in your list of places to visit in Jordan.

Explore the Aqaba Castle

Photo of Aqaba Castle
Photo by Freedom’s Falcon on Wikimedia Commons

Also known as the Mamluk Castle and the Aqaba Fortress, this famous castle is in a well-known Jordanian port city on the Red Sea’s Gulf. While it was first built in the 12th Century by the crusaders, it was destroyed. Later on, it was once again reconstructed in the 16th Century. While the fortress has profound historic relevance to Jordan, it’s quite an experience to explore what’s left of the strong-built edifice. The structure looks just as fascinating from the distance as it does close-hand. If you are driving from Amman, it will take a little more than 3 hours to make it to the Post City of Aqaba. But making a trip to Aqaba and visiting the fortress is definitely worth including your list of places to visit in Jordan.

Go snorkelling at the South Beach

South Beach
Photo by Gerda Arendt on Wikimedia Commons

Just 20 minutes away from Aqaba is the famed South Beach. It is on the Red Sea’s Gulf coastline. It’s the ideal place to come to enjoy some good beach vibes and take a break from exploring so many historic sites and ancient ruins. You can snorkel here and explore the marine life and the coral life beneath the blue waters of the Red Sea. Though the beach itself looks rather lovely – especially on a sunny day, many travellers who visit the South Beach have complained about the lack of maintenance on most parts of the coastal stretches. It might not be the best place for sunbaths either. However, there are many beach cafes and clubs for tourists to come and have a good time.

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