Jordan is one of the great cultural centres of the Middle East with a rich historical heritage and breathtaking geographical features. With its desert castles, Islamic architecture and biblical connotations, Jordan offers a magical experience.
The easy going town of Madaba is best known for its historically significant Byzantine era mosaics. As well as being the most important Christian centre in Jordan, it also offers top hotels and restaurants and can act as an alternative base to Amman. Close by is Mount Nebo where you can drive the route that the prophet Moses was forbidden to travel on by the King of Edom. The sanctuary at Nebo is Moses’ memorial and the presumed site of his death. It has been the centre for pilgrimages since early Christian times and from its apex you are afforded spectacular views of the Jordan valley, the Dead Sea and the rooftops of Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
The ancient stronghold of Karak lies within the walls of the old city and is one of the highlights of Jordan. The castle dominates the town and is where the crusaders and Islamic Armies had their legendary battles.
The King’s Highway is one of Jordan’s most scenic roads and gives the visitor a rural glimpse of Jordan. Highlights of this route include the stunning Wadi Mujib dubbed “Jordan’s Grand Canyon” which provides a nice sojourn on the way to Petra.
One of Petra’s claims to fame is it featured in the final scene of “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” but the real joy of this place is wallowing in its beauty of vast rock formations and carved canyon walls.
The village of Wadi Musa meaning the “Valley of Moses” is where you can enjoy the adventure of Jordan. The Rum Visitor Centre permits you to go into the desert in a 4WD where you are transported to the deep desert for walks, sunset views and overnight camping. Wadi Rum is still the preserve of the Bedouin and their low black goat-hair tents can be seen dotting the landscape. During the First World War T. E. Lawrence made his home in the valley and famously described Rum as “Vast, echoing and God-like”. David Lean’s epic film about the exploits of Lawrence features many dramatic sequences that were shot in Wadi Rum. Rum valley is best experienced in the early morning or late afternoon when the lighting is at its best.
The Dead Sea region provides the visitor with a plethora of choices not least floating in the sea itself. This beautiful, dramatic area flanked by mountains to the east and Jerusalem to the west was once the home to five biblical cities including Sodom and Gomorrah. The Jordanian east coast of the Dead Sea has evolved into a major hub of both religious and health and wellness tourism. Excellent hotels with unrivalled spa facilities are available, although the sea itself with its healing and spiritual properties is the place to be. A diving trip to Aqaba is perfect for scuba enthusiasts.