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Standing before the candle-lit Treasury at night in Petra, one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.
Exploring the Roman ruins and temples in the historic city of Jerash.
Learning the ‘other side’ of the history of the Crusades while exploring Ajloun Castle.
Wandering the labyrinthine streets of old Amman while you sample local street foods and window shop.
Admiring the intricate Byzantine mosaics and learning their history in the town of Madaba.
Hike through the Holy Land following in Abraham, Moses, Noah, and Jesus’ steps from the Sea of Galilee and the Golan Heights to the riches of the Jordan Valley
Looking out toward the ‘Promised Land’ from Mount Nebo, where Moses is rumored to be buried.
Hiking in the refreshing clear waters of Wadi Mujeb while canyon walls tower all around you.
Stargazing from the rooftops of the historic town of Dana.
Learning the edible plants and enjoying a tea ceremony while hiking through the Dana Bio Reserve.
Exploring the massive Nabatean city of Petra beyond the famous Treasury and Monastery ruins.
Scale castles from the Crusades and see the most intact Romans cities outside of Rome from Amman to Jerash and Pella in the Jordan Valley
Dipping your toes in the Red Sea after a day shopping in Aqaba.
Enjoying a traditional Bedouin dinner before camping out in Wadi Rum.
Ride a camel on the red sands of the Wadi Rum that inspired Lawrence of Arabia
Floating peacefully in the Dead Sea.
Jordan has an immensely rich culture within the country that is about the same size as Pennsylvania or in European terms Austria or Portugal. The country boasts of being at the apex of civilization from the very beginning centered in the Holy Land where Christianity, Judaism, and Islam intersected in wars, trading, and finally peace agreements after millennia of turmoil and being ruled by Romans, Christians, and Muslims.
Ancient relics and sites document the past that shaped this small but wondrous country.
Jordan is home to no less than five UNESCO sites:
Designated in 1985, the site is most famously known as the site of the Holy Grail in the final installment of the Indian Jones trilogy. The “Rose City,” which is a part of the ancient spice trail, is also designated as one of the “Seven Wonders of the World.”
The red sands of Wadi Rum desert, also known as the Valley of the Moon, captivated Lawrence of Arabia and put Jordan on the tourism map was designated in 2011. The area was the domain of the Bedouin, the Arabian nomadic people who navigated the desert’s dazzling and unforgiving red landscape for centuries.
The red desert, which sits on the edge of the Arabian desert, is popular among hikers and rock climbers who like to trek and climb the ancient rocks, but it’s truly an archaeologists and geologists dream as the valley dates back beyond the Dead Sea Rift chronicling the evolution of earth and humans.
Perhaps the most spectacular and amazing completely unexcavated intact Roman military camp site was designated in 2004. The fortified Roman camp turned into a town in the 5th century contains the remains from the Roman, Byzantine and Early Muslim periods from the end of the 3rd to the 9th centuries.
The site has 16 churches. Some of the churches’ mosaic floors are well-preserved. The most noteworthy mosaic flooring is at the Church of Saint Stephen. The intact mosaic floor depicts a map of the towns in the region at the time of its creation. Scattered around the site are remains of ancient agricultural cultivation.
Believed to be the original site of Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist, “Bethany Beyond the Jordan,” also known as Al-Maghtas, and the gathering places of his first disciples as the birthplace of Christianity was designated in 2015. The site holds biblical and archaeological value with its monastery and remnants of the churches, baptism ponds and dwellings near the river.
A part of a larger castle complex built in the 8th century that has since become ruins, Quseir Amra is the only castle remaining intact. Inside the castle are frescoes depicting life of the early settlers making it a cultural treasure designed in 1985.
The most popular thing to do in Jordan, aside from visiting Petra, is to see the country’s historical sites. Situated in the Holy Land, just across the Dead Sea from Israel archeologists and Biblical experts believe that many of the stories in the bible – Abraham, Noah seeing the promised land and Sodom and Gomorrah – happened in Jordan.
That’s not all that happened in Jordan. The country sits at the nexus of Africa, Asia, and Europe and has played a significant role connecting different cultures in trade to wars including hosting the Romans, the Crusaders, Arabic the spice trade, and more making bestowing a wealth of history in the country.
There is much to explore trekking through Jordan whether it’s on the newly opened Jordan Trail that stretches 400 miles along the former trading route or hiking through Dana Biosphere Reserve to Petra. The country, while mostly desert, offers visitors natural sites and wildlife in the Azraq Wetlands Reserve and Shaumari Wildlife Reserve, which you can explore on foot or by bike.
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