> Hightlights and site
Petra : Jordan’s prized possession, the magnificent Nabataean city of Petra, one of the world’s new seven wonders, and popularized by the movie “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” This rose-red city half as old as time, is known for its dramatic tombs and temple facades, including one that served as a church during Byzantine times. The city’s inhabitants, Nabataean Arabs, carved structures into the soft sandstone more than two millennia ago.
Wadi Rum:Is a stupendous, timeless place, virtually untouched by humanity. Here, weather and winds have carved the imposing, towering skyscrapers, so elegantly described by T.E. Lawrence as “vast, echoing and god-like”.
Dana:Dana Nature Reserve is a world of natural treasures. It is composed of a chain of valleys and mountains which extend from the top of the Jordan Rift Valley down to the desert lowlands of Wadi Araba. It contains a remarkable diversity of landscapes that range from wooded highlands to rocky slopes and from gravel plains to dunes of sand.
Shouback:This is yet another castle in the great chain of Crusader fortresses which stretches across Jordan. The stronghold, known as Mont Realis (Montreal), was constructed in 1115 CE by Baldwin I. At its height Shobak was home to about 6000 Christians. It suffered numerous assaults by Salah Eddin (Saladin) before it finally fell to him in 1189. Shobak Castle was then restored by the Mamluks in the 14th century.
Dead Sea:Without doubt, is one of the world’s most exquisite places. Home of the largest open-air spa at the lowest point on the face of the earth at over 1,312 ft. below sea level. Fed by the Jordan River, this land-locked sea boasts a dense, rich cocktail of salts and minerals that supply industry, agriculture, medicine and spa treatments with some of its finest products.
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.
Aqaba:Jordan’s splendid Red Sea resort is a fun place to visit. 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, good shopping, and welcoming, friendly people, who enjoy nothing more than making sure their visitors, have a good time.
Jarash:One of the most well preserved Greco-Roman Cities in the world, is a close second to Petra on the list of favourite destinations in Jordan. The ancient city of Jerash boasts an unbroken chain of human occupation dating back more than 6,500 years.
Madaba:“The City of Mosaics” – is where visitors can see some of the finest art of the early Christian centuries. The most famous are the remains of a Sixth Century mosaic map of the Holy Land, considered the oldest and most accurate surviving map of the region. Housed in the Orthodox Church of St. George, the “Madaba Map” has been a valuable source of historical information and place-names, which in many cases have combined with the results of archaeological excavations to determine the ancient names and locations of Biblical sites.
Mount Nebo:Where Moses viewed the Promised Land and is said to be buried, is the location of a basilica church that has one of the most magnificent mosaic floors in the world. From the platform in front of the church, visitors have an inspiring, breathtaking view across the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea to the rooftops of Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Azraq & Shawmari:Azraq is a unique wetland oasis located in the heart of the semi-arid Jordanian eastern desert, one of several beautiful nature reserves managed by the RSCN. Its attractions include several natural and ancient-built pools, a seasonally flooded marshland, and a large mudflat known as Qa'a Al-Azraq. A wide variety of birds stop at the reserve each year to rest during their arduous migration routes between Asia and Africa. Some stay for the winter or breed within the protected areas of the wetland.
Ajloun:Ajloun, is the city where the Ajloun Castle (Qal'at Ar-Rabad) is located. It was built by one of Salaheddin's generals in 1184 AD to control the iron mines of Ajloun and to deter the Franks from invading the city.
Kerak:Kerak, is the location of the most impressive remains of Crusader forts and outposts. Kerak Castle, high atop a promontory, is a maze of stone-vaulted halls and endless passageways.
Desert Castle:Umayyad Desert Castles are scattered throughout the black basalt desert, east of Amman. They stand as a testament to the flourishing beginnings of Islamic-Arab civilizations. These seemingly isolated pavilions, caravan stations, secluded baths, and hunting lodges, were at one time integrated agricultural or trading complexes, built mostly under the Umayyads (AD 661-750), when Muslim Arabs had succeeded in transforming the fringes of the desert into well-watered settlements. Aside from being widely considered as the most spectacular and original monuments of early Islamic art, these complexes also served practical purposes: namely, as residences, caravanserais, and baths.
Mujib Nature Reserve:Wadi Mujib Nature Reserve is the lowest-altitude nature reserve in the world, with its spectacular array of scenery near the East coast of the Dead Sea. Over 420 species of plants, 102 species of permanent and migratory birds and 10 species of carnivore including the Red Fox, Blandford Fox, Hyena, Jackal, Wild Cat, Caracal, Badger, Mongoose, Wolf and Arabian Leopard have been recorded to date.
In summary, every half an hour drive into Jordan is a different attraction and experience, from the north all through to the south, its land encompasses all, sea and mountain, waterfall and desert. So you see, Jordan’s diversity is not the best kept secret anymore. There are so many places to visit and great experiences to have in this magical Kingdom, which once captivated ancient travellers, and now continues to enthral a whole new generation as a modern, vibrant nation that guarantees every traveller a trip of a lifetime!