Once upon a time, people used to stop by Jordan because it was on the legendary King’s Highway. Now, people from across the world come to visit the culturally, archaeologically and historically rich country. Surrounded by Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Israel, Jordan has a reputation for being a more liberal, progressive and safe country than its neighbors. Home to many UNESCO World Heritage Sites, places of biblical importance and natural wonders like the Dead Sea, Jordan is a must-visit if you want to explore the Middle Eastern countries. Jordan is also known for its delicious cuisine, so, if you want to explore Jordan, here is the list of 10 Best Places To Visit In Jordan-
10 Best Places To Visit In Jordan
1. Petra – Little Petra – Wadi Musa:
Dating to around 300 B.C, Petra is one of the best places to visit in Jordan. The historical capital of the Nabatean Kingdom, Petra is also known as the “Rose City” because of its temples carved into pink sandstone cliffs. The UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the 7 wonders of the world, Petra has a lot of offer. The Petra Museum, the Great Temple, the Byzantine Church, the Petra Kitchen, the High Place of Sacrifice, the Royal tombs & the Obelisk Tomb, the Street of Facades & Siq, Al-Khazneh & Ad Deir are few of the best attractions in Petra.
A bit far from Petra, Little Petra is another Nabataean site, with buildings carved into the walls of canyons. It is home to a lot of attractions like Petra. Wadi Musa is the closest town from Petra and a must-visit place in Jordan. The town set within a valley surrounds Petra.
2. Amman & Desert Castles :
Amman, the capital of Jordan, is a great place to explore as it presents a mix of ancient cultures and ruins with a modern lifestyle. There is a list of must-visit sites in Amman, from Balad to Abdali. The historic Citadel, Umayyad Palace complex, The Roman Theatre, The Jordan Museum, and if you like to see something different then the Royal Automobile Museum are some of the best places to explore in Amman.
The Desert Castles can be found just east of Amman. It’s a collection of fortified palaces or castles. These structures were built by the Umayyads, who lived and thrived in the cruel desert landscape. Qasr Azraq, Qasr Amra, the black rock, Hammam as-Sarah and mosaics of Qasr Al-Hallabat are few of the must-visit structures here.
3. Mount Nebo:
Situated approximately 710 metres above sea level, Mount Nebo offers spectacular views of the Jordan Valley, Dead Sea & the hills of Jerusalem. It’s also known for being the place where Moses was granted a view of the Promised Land, as mentioned in the Bible. The sacred places where Moses was laid to rest has become quite popular among tourists. Near Mount Nebo, there is another dramatic hilltop fortress, known as Machaerus or Mukawir.
4. Dead Sea & Bethany Beyond the Jordan:
Lying in the Jordan Rift Valley, Dead Sea is Earth’s lowest elevation on land. Surrounded by desert beaches, mineral spas & oases, Dead Sea is known for its salt-rich water. The saltiest of the world’s ocean water bodies can be seen reflecting the rising mountains and ochre-hued sand dunes on its rich aquamarine colour water. South of the sea is dotted with mineral evaporation pools. The Dead Sea is a must-visit in Jordan, especially if you would like to float.
Bethany Beyond the Jordan or Bethabara is the place where John the Baptist baptised Jesus. The UNESCO World Heritage Site lies on the eastern bank of Jordan River. It consists of two sections, Tell Al-Kharar or Elijah’s Hill and the area of Saint John the Baptist’s churches. It is one of the most sacred places in Jordan.
5. Umm Qais/Qays – Ajloun – Irbid:
Located in northern Jordan, Umm Qais or Qays, Ajloun and Irbid are three of the best cities to visit in the country. While Umm Qais is famous for the ruins of the ancient Gadara, Ajloun is famous for the hilltop ruins of Ajloun Castle and Irbid is famous for the Ottoman castle and its museums. Qays is the only green town in this barren country. You can catch sweeping views of Yarmouk River, Lake Tiberias, Yarmouk River, and Golan Heights from this city along with exploring the Umm Qais Museum and other historical sites.
Built in 1184, Ajloun is another historical town to visit in Jordan. The Ajloun Castle, the Ajloun Archaeological Museum, the hilltop church of Mar Elias and the Ajloun Forest Reserve are the popular attractions here.
Irbid also has a lot to offer including the Dar Al-Saraya Museum, Yarmouk University’s Museum of Jordanian Heritage and the 19th-century Ottoman castle.
Inhabited since the Bronze Age, Jerash is home to one of the best-preserved Roman ruins. The towering colonnades and old forums, fascinating temples to Byzantine churches, and great plazas, from the walled Greco-Roman settlement to the Hadrian’s Arch, the Temple of Artemis, the Jerash Archaeological Museum, Jerash has a lot of offer.
7. Dana Biosphere Reserve:
With a range of scenic landscapes is a popular destination for hiking, Dana Biosphere Reserve is a perfect place for nature lovers. It is Jordan’s largest nature reserve comprising the Dana village and Wadi Dana. Cycling, hiking, stargazing and bird watching are few of the popular activities here. The diverse biosphere features everything from sandstone to limestone granite, from oak and juniper woodlands and from sandy desert to endangered species. The rugged lands of the Dana Nature Reserve is a must-visit place in Jordan.
8. Aqaba & Wadi Rum:
One of the most interesting places to visit in Jordan, the Gulf of Aqaba is features picturesque mountains and deep blue waters. The port city of Aqaba is known for its beach resorts popular for all kinds of water sports. This ancients city has been inhabited from 4000 B.C. The Aqaba Fort and the Aqaba Marine Park featuring the Yamanieh coral reef are the most popular attractions in the city.
Wadi Rum and the Wadi Araba Desert are the two of the most magnificent places to visit in Jordan. Also known as the Valley of the Moon, Wadi Rum, consisting of narrow canyons, sandstone arches, high cliffs, and natural caverns, is a valley cut into the sandstone and granite rock. Staying overnight at Wadi Rum, climbing & camping in Bedouin tents are few of the most popular activities there.
9. Mujib Nature Reserve:
Mujib Nature Reserve is filled with rugged gorges, sculpted steep valleys, and tons of hidden pathways to hike. The breathtaking historical place is considered as one of the lowest nature reserves on earth. The Mujib Nature Reserve slowly merging into the waters of the famous Dead Sea is a perfect destination for adventure lovers. The Wadi Mujib, known as the biblical Arnon Stream is one of the top destinations in Jordan.
10. Madaba & Ma’an:
Madaba, located on the edge of the King’s Highway is known for its majestic historical site. Famous for the 6th-century mosaic map of the Holy Land in the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George, Madaba features gold-gilded mosque and collection of spikey tall minarets. Madaba Archaeological Park and the Church of St John the Baptist are must-explore places in the city.
With a blend of old and new, Madaba is another city on the bends of the King’s Highway. The remains of the older settlement can still be found in the city. Some other places we recommend to visit are Shobak, Zarqa and Kerak.