6 Reasons to Visit Jordan
Exploring the Middle East is something that every traveller should experience. And in the heart of this fascinating region, Jordan stands out as a truly special destination. Wedged between Israel, Iraq, Syria and Saudi Arabia, it’s the kind of place where ancient history and modern culture collide – with truly spectacular results.
From the tranquillity of Wadi Rum and mesmerising views of Petra to the boundless energy of Amman and aquatic wonders in Aqaba, Jordan is jam-packed with undeniable appeal. But if you’re not quite convinced yet, look no further; here are the top six reasons to visit Jordan.
Why Visit Jordan?
Despite its stark natural beauty, intriguing archaeological sites and endless opportunities for adventure, Jordan is a relatively off-the-radar destination. Here you can experience authentic culture and hospitality, taste delicious cuisine, sink into peaceful surroundings or embark on thrilling expeditions. One thing is guaranteed: a trip to Jordan is something you’ll never forget.
1. Incredible Ancient History
You can’t talk about Jordan without mentioning its storied past – and the modern remnants of it. This country boasts some of the world’s most iconic ancient wonders, including the legendary rock-cut architecture of Petra. Then there are the stunningly well-preserved ruins of Jerash, which will transport you straight back in time to the height of the Roman empire.
But Jordan’s wealth of history doesn’t stop there. The ancient city of Madaba is known for its remarkably intricate mosaics – particularly the 6th-century mosaic map of the Holy Land that adorns the floor of the Church of St George. And nearby Mount Nebo has its own claim to fame; this is where Moses is said to have gazed out over the Promised Land before his death.
2. Warm Hospitality in the Heart of the Desert
Jordan is well known for the warmth and welcoming spirit of its people, and nowhere is this more apparent than amidst the rolling dunes of Wadi Rum. This striking desert landscape is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit in Jordan. In addition to thrilling adventures and breathtaking sights, it also offers the chance to immerse yourself in Bedouin culture.
If you stay overnight at a luxury camp like Discovery Bedu, you’ll get to taste authentic local cuisine and converse with Bedouin guides who know the desert inside and out. There’s nothing like sitting around a crackling fire, listening to the stories and legends that infuse this land with meaning. And when the flame goes out, the sky comes alive with a tapestry of stars.
3. Delicious Local Cuisine
The cuisine of Jordan is an eclectic mix of influences from the many cultures that have called it home over the centuries. Its core elements include meat, rice, yoghurt, vegetables, olive oil and a wide array of spices. Make sure to try the national specialty, mansaf: a rich lamb dish cooked with dried, fermented yoghurt called jameed and accompanied by bulgur or rice.
Jordan has something for every taste, from crispy falafel to decadent kanafeh for dessert. The country’s capital, Amman, is also its culinary epicentre. This is where you’ll find many of the best markets, restaurants and street food stalls. Both here or in Petra there’s the chance to learn the secrets of local dishes passed down through the generations.
4. Extraordinary Aquatic Experiences
You might not think of Jordan as a prime spot for water sports or seaside escapes – and it’s true that most of the country is desert. However, that only makes its waters even more inviting. First there’s the Dead Sea, which is so salty that you can float without moving a muscle. It’s also known for its healing properties, thanks to the water’s high mineral content.
If you want to do more than float, head to the country’s only coastal city: Aqaba. It offers an endless selection of aquatic activities, whether you want to relax on the beach or dive under the surface. From snorkelling and scuba diving among shipwrecks to parasailing and windsurfing across the waves, ocean lovers will find plenty of things to do in Jordan.
5. Exhilarating Outdoor Adventures
There’s no shortage of exciting activities and expeditions on offer in Jordan. No matter where in the country you are, you’ll have the chance to embark on adventures in the desert, cross canyons or ascend mountain peaks. Jeep tours of Wadi Rum allow you to fully enjoy the desert rock formations, dramatic mountains and surrealistic scenes as they race by.
More active explorers can go canyoning in Wadi Mujib, and discover spectacular waterfalls along the way. You can climb to Petra’s High Place of Sacrifice for jaw-dropping views, or set out on the Wadi Dana Trail for a truly scenic hike. Whatever kind of adventure you’re looking for, there’s a strong chance that you’ll find it in Jordan.
6. Peaceful Retreats & Relaxation
Beyond its abundant adventures, Jordan is also the perfect place for a relaxing escape. The whole country feels off the beaten track, full of empty wilderness and silent expanses of land where the rest of the world seems to simply melt away. If you’re seeking solitude, the best time to visit Jordan is just outside of the peak seasons, ideally in March or November.
Although Petra is probably Jordan’s most famous spot, the nearby Little Petra can be even more charming – especially with an exclusive candle-lit dinner overlooking the site. During the day you can wander through the undisturbed nature of the Ajloun Forest Reserve or enjoy a wellness retreat at the Dead Sea. And for total silence and peace, nothing beats Wadi Rum.
Luxury accommodation in Jordan
Discovery BeduA remarkable desert retreat, featuring six luxurious tented suites nestled amidst the enchanting dunes of Wadi Rum. With a harmonious blend of Bedouin hospitality and modern comforts, this exclusive destination offers an unforgettable and immersive experience in the heart of Jordan's breathtaking desert landscape.
Mövenpick PetraThe Mövenpick Petra is a majestic resort style property just steps away from the ancient city of Petra, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. The hotel decor is contemporary with a distinct nod to levant and oriental design - with many of the social areas featuring mosaics, marble and ornate artefacts.