Things to see and experience
Top 5 Jordan
Nature, history, adventure, experiences, culture, gastronomy… Is there anything Jordan doesn’t have? Its beauty and diversity are on display in every corner of the country. But where to start? Here, we recommend five places that are sure to hit the spot on your next trip to Jordan, the pearl of the Near East.
In the heart of the Near East, Jordan is a must-see destination for all restless travelers. Looking for stunning scenery? The Wadi Rum desert is considered one of the most beautiful on the planet. Feel the history? Strolling through the Citadel of Amman or the ruins of the Roman city of Jerash will make you experience it at every turn. Not to mention Petra, one of the seven Wonders of the Modern World. Or the many castles that dot the country’s geography, witnesses to a rich history of ancient peoples and civilizations.
But that’s not all. We can also talk about Amman, the capital of the country that stands as a melting pot of history, culture, and modernity. Or the Dead Sea, located 435 meters below sea level and in whose waters you can float effortlessly. Do you prefer diving? Then we recommend you discover the beauties of the Red Sea seabed on the beaches and reefs of the Gulf of Aqaba. Finally, do you know the Jordan Trail? It is a long-distance trail that allows you to walk the length of the country for forty days. It may be the most authentic way to explore and get to know the treasures of Jordan.
Although only some places we would like to include are here, these are our 5 must-see recommendations for Jordan. But remember… there are many more!
& Roman Theater
Isn’t Philadelphia in the United States? That’s right, we haven’t gone crazy. But long before the American city was formed, an ancient Roman city by that name existed in Jordan.
With a history dating back to antiquity, Amman, the capital of Jordan, is an archaeological treasure home to several civilizations. One example is its famous Citadel, whose ruins reveal chapters of history from the Bronze Age to the Islamic era.
But back to Philadelphia. It was King Ptolemy Philadelphus who, two hundred years before Christ, rebuilt the city and named it Philadelphia in his honor. In the 7th century AD, the town regained its Semitic name: Ammon or, as it is known today, Amman. Today, visiting the Citadel on the city’s highest hill is a journey back in time: an impressive open-air museum to walk through and explore.
But that’s not all. Right in the center of the city is the majestic Roman theater. Built-in the 2nd century, it is a tangible testimony to the Roman heritage and still hosts plays and concerts today. From its stands, with a capacity for six thousand people, one can contemplate a breathtaking view of the city, merging the feeling of a glorious past with the modern metropolis that stretches beyond.
By the way, we can only lose ourselves in the labyrinths of the Old City, where the aroma of spices from the souks and the murmur of daily life create a unique atmosphere, and wandering through its streets provides an opportunity to immerse ourselves in the authenticity of the city.
Jerash Roman City
The Roman City of Jerash
Jerash is more than a tourist destination; it is a window to the past. Suppose you are a fan of history and ancient civilizations. In that case, you must take advantage of the opportunity to visit the majestic Jerash, also known as Gerasa. This historical treasure will transport you to the very essence of ancient Rome.
As an open invitation to explorers and history lovers, Jerash emerges as a living testimony of past civilizations, where the stones tell stories that stir the imagination.
Jerash, the “Pompeii of the East,” stands proudly in Jordan, defying time with its towering columns and cobblestone streets echoing with the echoes of the past. This archaeological enclave invites you to immerse yourself in a world where ruins come alive, revealing the grandeur of a city that flourished at the crossroads of Jordan’s ancient trade routes.
Stroll through the imposing Triumphal Arch of Jerash as if you were a traveler entering an age of splendor. The Corinthian columns of the Temple of Artemis stand as silent guardians of history, inviting you to explore their secrets carved in stone. The ruins of the Oval Forum will transport you to a place where daily life bustled in ancient Jerash.
Jerash’s Roman theaters, with their tiered tiers, offer a panoramic view of the city, reminding you of the magnificence of Roman engineering. Wander through the Cardo and Decuman streets, marveling at the geometric layout that reveals the urban planning of the time.
Jerash is an archaeological testimony and a scenario where past and present dialogue is in every corner.
From Ummayad to Crusaders
In Jordan, castles bear witness to the country’s military and architectural history and offer visitors a window into the past, revealing the intersection of cultures and civilizations over the centuries. Each has its own genuine history that contributes to Jordan’s rich narrative.
All these castles can be a means or an end to a trip to Jordan. On the one hand, they are an excellent option to include as stops in a travel itinerary, or on the other hand, a powerful reason to visit them all in the same tour.
The tour can begin at the famous Ajloun Castle. Situated on a hill overlooking the Jordan Valley, this castle was built in the 12th century by the Ayyubids to defend against the Crusaders and control trade routes.
We continue to Karak Castle, a historic fortress in Al-Karak in southern Jordan. This is a fascinating testimony to Jordan’s rich history and role in the Crusades and subsequent events. Its imposing presence and strategic importance make it a must-see destination for those interested in the region’s medieval history. Or enjoy a gorgeous sunset.
On the other hand, the so-called “desert castles” are a series of historic buildings located east of the country, mainly in the desert between Amman and the border with Saudi Arabia. These castles date mainly from the Umayyad and Abbasid periods from the 7th to the 11th century, although some were built or modified later.
Among them is Qasr Amra, one of the most famous desert castles inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It was built in the 8th century during the Umayyad caliphate and is believed to have been used as a hunting lodge and resting place. The most notable is its well-preserved frescoes depicting hunting scenes, baths, and human figures. The other is Qasr al-Azraq, which dates back to the Roman Empire but is famous for having been used by Lawrence of Arabia during the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire in World War I.
in the rocks
The Hidden City
Petra is, without a doubt, the flagship of Jordan: one of the main reasons many travelers visit Jordan.
Petra is an archaeological treasure that offers a unique blend of history, architecture, and natural beauty. The destination captivates visitors with its awe-inspiring grandeur and leaves a lasting impression. It has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for a reason and is also one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.
Your visit begins by crossing the Siq, a winding gorge that reveals Petra’s grandeur at every turn. Suddenly, the Treasury (Al-Khazneh) will emerge before you: a towering, imposing façade adorned with intricate sculptures carved directly into the rock that will take your breath away. This iconic monument is the most recognizable image of Petra and is only a prelude to the wonders that still await you around every corner.
It’s time to explore the cobblestone alleys, surrounded by high pink rock cliffs that change hue in the sunlight. The skillfully sculpted architecture includes the Monastery, a monumental hilltop structure, and the Theater, which tells stories of ages past. But also, the royal tombs, such as the Palace of the Tombs, are remarkable testimonies to the architectural prowess of the Nabataeans, Petra’s ancient inhabitants.
Take advantage of the opportunity to walk to the Al-Deir lookout point for a panoramic view of Petra’s vast landscape. Or just let yourself be carried away until you find that particular corner to enjoy a place as magical as it is unique.
The Red Planet on Earth
The landscape of Wadi Rum, known as the Valley of the Moon, is a constant invitation to explore its vast dunes and unique rock formations. With its immense red sandstone landscapes and towering cliffs, this corner of the world transports the traveler to a universe of natural beauty and adventure.
Climb aboard an off-road vehicle or venture on foot to discover its best-kept secrets, such as the Burdah Bridge and the Um Fruth Arch. Remember to explore another iconic site, Lawrence Spring, named after the famous adventurer Lawrence of Arabia, whose connection to this desert has left its mark on history.
Looking for more adrenaline? Then you should know that climbers from all over the world constantly come to claim its vertical walls. But without the need for harnesses and ropes, you can also climb to the top of Jabal Umm al Dami, the highest peak in Jordan at 1854 meters.
And finally, take advantage of the opportunity to spend a night in such magical scenery. The nights in Wadi Rum are magical. Under a seemingly endless starry sky, you will experience the tranquility of the desert. If you want an authentic experience, consider spending the night in a Bedouin camp, where you can enjoy traditional local hospitality and savor desert cuisine around a campfire.