Five scenic hotspots for five days in historic Jordan
- 03 July 2018
- Add to Bookmarks
Last Sunday, Prince William arrived in Jordan for the first two of a five-day Middle East tour. If you ask us, even five days is not enough to take in all the wonders of the kingdom. But if that’s all the time you have, here are five amazing places to visit during a stay in historic Jordan.
Petra, in Jordan’s southwestern desert, is one of the world’s most incredible archaeological sites and has been voted as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. To reach Petra, situated amidst rugged desert canyons and mountains, one has to walk through a narrow 1.2-km valley known as the Siq. Its most famous structure is a 45-meter-tall temple with an ornate façade called Al Khazneh, or the Treasury.
This magnificent tourist destination has been featured in many movies. The Treasury famously featured as the Holy Grail’s last resting place in the film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
Want to experience desert wilderness, sandstone mountains, natural arches and pre-historic inscriptions and carvings lining rocky caverns? Wadi Rum, a valley cut into the sandstone and granite rock in southern Jordan, is where you need to be. Also known as the Valley of the Moon, Wadi Rum offers tourists a great view of the desert in the region.
While you’re there, don’t miss the opportunity to visit Jebel Um Ishrin, or the Mother of Twenty, a 20-domed mountain on the eastern flank of Wadi Rum. There are several high peaks in Wadi Rum, the highest being Jabal Umm ad Dami, which is more than 6,000 feet tall. The Khazali Canyon is famous for Nabataean etchings featuring humans and animals.
Jerash, a city in Jordan located 48 km north of Amman, is considered one of the best-preserved sites of Roman architecture outside Italy. Prince William, escorted by crown prince Hussein of Jordan, visited the spectacular site last week.
Jerash is the most popular of the ruins of the walled Greco-Roman settlement of Gerasa. Notable attractions in Jerash are Hadrian’s Arch, dating back to the 2nd century; the Corinthian columns of the Temple of Artemis; and the huge forum’s oval colonnade.
The coastal city of Aqaba, about 330 km south of Amman, is famous for its beach resorts, wind surfing and water sports. Aqaba Fort and the Aqaba archaeological Museum are also major tourism destinations.
It’s also a favourite destination for scuba divers worldwide. Home to numerous types of corals and sponges, the Yamanieh coral reef at the Aqaba Marine Park is especially notable among the many spots for its snorkelling and diving attractions.
In the Dead Sea, you can use all your weight to push your body deeper, but whatever you do, you will still stay afloat in the hypersaline water. And when you stand on its shores, you are at the lowest elevation on earth, 430 m below sea level.
People call the Dead Sea nature’s health spa, and its mineral-rich black mud is popular for cosmetic treatments. Unfortunately, the Dead Sea is shrinking under the Middle Eastern sun at an alarming rate, and finding extra water to sustain the sea remains a huge challenge. All the more reason to visit this natural wonder as soon as you can.
(Writing by Seban Scaria)
© MySalaam.com 2018 All rights reserved