Rich in historic sites and scenic landscapes, the small Arab Kingdom of Jordan is almost a landlocked country in the Middle East. The small coast of Jordan by the Red Sea with its beaches and coral reefs and the inland Dead Sea are ideal for water sports. Jordan is also home to scenic deserts and highlands, impressive ancient ruins and several nature reserves to visit.
Lively, historic cities, desert nature and fascinating ancient sites in Jordan
The Jordanian landscape is diverse and rich in nature and ideal for trekking: the landscape consists mostly of deserts in the east, highland area in the west, and the Great Rift Valley which separates East and West Banks of the Jordan River. The beautiful nature of Jordan is at its best in places like the scenic Wadi Rum, Dana Nature Reserve and Shawmari Wildlife Reserve. The ultra-saline lake of Dead Sea between Jordan and Israel is also a sight to remember, and offers some beach life as well. Amman is the capital and largest city of Jordan located in a hilly area in the northwest of the country. The Jordanian capital is a major commercial centre with good shopping opportunities, new highways and avenues, modern hotels and resorts. The city is also rich in history and visitors in Amman should explore the beautiful Old Town built of white stone with its wonderful museums, monuments and cultural sites. In addition, Amman is an ideal starting point for trips to other destinations in Jordan.
The famous ancient city of Petra in Wadi Musa in the south of Jordan is a UNESCO World Heritage Site containing impressive palaces, tombs and other ancient structures carved in the hillside. The Roman ruins of Jerash and Gadara are less visited but also impressive. See also the old castles of Al-Karak and Al-Rabad. The beautiful port city in the southernmost part of Jordan, Aqaba offers plenty of sunshine. The warm, crystal clear waters of the Red Sea around Aqaba are rich in marine life and great for diving and other water sports. Jordan has a long and a fascinating history, as the country has been inhabited since the Paleolithic period. Nabataeans, Greeks, Romans, and Arab and Ottoman Empires have all left their mark to the history of Jordan. After the World War I, the United Kingdom ruled much of the Middle East and the area of Jordan as well. The British separated the region of Transjordan out from Palestine. The area gained independence in 1946 and adopted the name Jordan in 1950. King Hussein (1953-1999) led the country for a long time and navigated successfully from pressures from many neighboring and powerful countries. His son King Abdullah II has ruled Jordan ever since and has made some great economic and social reforms in the country.
It is a liberal Arab country where visitors are treated with great hospitality. However, when visiting Jordan the main religion Islam should be respected by dressing conservatively and avoiding drinking alcohol in public places.
If you wish to visit all these sites mentioned in the post, have a look at our Treasures of Jordan