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Jordan is a compact little country that punches way above its size. If it is ruins you’re after, Jordan serves them up in bucket loads. This may be a young country (less than 70 years old) but the land itself is ancient and is simply brimming over with history. Petra is undisputedly Jordan’s crown jewel: a vast site of pink-tinged façades hewn into rock and cleverly hidden from the world by its wily Nabataean crafters.
The massive monuments here are matched by its setting amid majestic craggy sandstone outcrops. However, Jordan’s historical treasures are just the tip of the iceberg. It’s the stunning and diverse landscapes that’ll really take your breath away. Explore the grand desert vistas of Wadi Rum by four-wheel drive or camel; experience the surreal sensation of floating without effort in the Dead Sea, surrounded by vast Rift Valley cliffs, or chill out in laid-back Aqaba before heading underwater for a kaleidoscope of colour among the beautiful coral reefs of the Red Sea.Read more
What’s more, Jordan, so long thought of purely as a historical destination, has finally recognised the potential of its great outdoors and has begun energetically to rebrand itself as an adventure sports destination. In the case of Wadi Rum, this awesome landscape of sheer rock amidst the desert has been adopted as a vast playground for rock climbers, gaining international recognition and inspiring many enthusiasts of the sport to visit Jordan for this reason alone.
Likewise, the coral reefs of the Red Sea are enough in themselves to attract scuba divers and snorkellers to the country. Constant improvement and careful management of Jordan’s nature reserves over the past few years means that these are also becoming destinations in their own right and, despite their increasing popularity, are still places where you can get away from the crowds.
For most people, the real beauty of Jordan is that you can combine all these experiences in one visit. The nation’s small size means that all the major highlights of the country can be covered in a short trip, and visitors with more time up their sleeves can fully explore the variety that Jordan offers. Situated slap in the middle of a region characterised by conflict, Jordan is easily the Middle East’s most relaxed country to visit and shines a hopeful light on what the region as a whole can achieve.
Places of interest in Jordan
Massive façades are cut into the cliff face, soaring upwards to dizzying heights. Around every corner are...
Wadi Rum is a hauntingly beautiful desert landscape that is one of Jordan’s star attractions. TE Lawrence (aka...