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7 places in Jordan you can’t afford to miss

Petra, Amman, Jerash, castles, Roman ruins, the Dead Sea, souks, narrow streets, deserts... Jordan has so much to offer and you can discover it all on a short trip, as everything is close by and transport links are good.

Visiting Jordan is always a great plan, whether you want to spend a few days exploring some of the tourist hotspots, or come on a longer trip to discover the country at your leisure. As soon as you step off the plane in the bustling city of Amman, you’ll feel like you’ve entered another world. Vueling has just opened a route to the capital of Jordan, so there’s no excuse not to discover this country!

1. Amman

Amman is a stunning city, where modern and ancient features coexist in perfect harmony. Some of the modern features we’re talking about are the shopping centres, restaurants, the contemporary art at the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts (JNGFA), the huge buildings, five-star hotels and bustling streets. And also, Rainbow Street, which is the city’s leisure hub, as well as a wide array of designer cafés, street art and cultural activities.

But all this modernity doesn’t outshine the ancient side of Amman, as you can travel back thousands of years and find spectacular monuments such as the Citadel, the Roman Theatre, the King Abdullah I Mosque, the Nymphaeum and the Odeon Theatre, amongst other things. All these sites will help you to learn more about history and the world. And your suitcase will be full when you come back, because after visiting the souk you’ll be an expert at haggling and you’ll probably have bought a thing or two!

2. Petra

You don’t have to be a history buff to be petrified (pun intended) when you come to Petra. The old capital of the Nabataean Kingdom is one of the most spectacular places in the world: a city that was erected in the middle of the desert, surrounded by impressive rocky mountains. Petra is wonderfully preserved and holds many wonders like the Triclinium, the Obelisk Tomb and the Siq, a narrow gorge which is a natural geological fault split apart by tectonic forces. The Treasury, the theatre and the so-called Street of Façades will take your breath away.

3. Wadi Rum Desert

If you haven’t seen Lawrence de Arabia yet, what are you waiting for? It was filmed almost in its entirety in this desert, 1,600 metres above sea level, where the Bedouins live. Bring some sun cream, plenty of water and get ready to feel very small in this vast place, one of the most stunning parts of Jordan. The best plan is to book a jeep tour, but if you’re feeling adventurous, you can ride a camel across dunes, canyons, and red landscapes under an endless sky. You can discover interesting places such as the so-called Lawrence’s Spring and the Mushroom Rock.

To round off your experience, we suggest spending the night at a Bedouin camp, where you can enjoy lamb for supper, drink tea and smoke shisha under the stars. Does it sound like a plan?

4. Dead Sea

Jordan has so many things to see that you’ll struggle to fit them all in. Good job that everything is relatively close by. In fact, the Dead Sea is about an hour away from Amman. This wonder of nature gives you the chance to succumb to the dolce vita after hours of traipsing around monuments. A mud bath that will leave your skin silky smooth, a swim and a float in the sea, a nice hotel with a spa (there are loads to choose from in the area)... and you’ll feel like new! If you can, go and take a look at the Wadi Mujib ravine. Oh, and don’t forget to take a few snaps with your phone to post on Instagram!

5. Jerash

Less than an hour away from Amman you’ll find Jerash, another amazing place that you can also get to by bus. It’s an ancient, well-preserved Roman city, known as the Asian Pompeii as it was buried in the sand for centuries, until it was excavated recently, in 1907.

In Jerash you’ll find ancient history at your fingertips, with two amphitheatres, a hippodrome, several churches and a colonnaded street called Cardo Maximus. Save about 2-3 hours to explore it properly.

6. Mount Nebo and Madaba

Regardless of your religious beliefs, you’re sure to be impressed by Mount Nebo. It’s an 800-metre-high vantage point from which Moses was granted a view of the Promised Land. You can learn a lot about ancient history here! And we advise you to round off your trip by going to Madaba, which is known as the “City of Mosaics”. It has several amazing churches, an archaeological park and an interesting museum, all of them with well-preserved Byzantine mosaics. There are day trips from Amman that will take you to both places.

7. Desert Castles

If you have enough time to spare, you shouldn’t miss the desert castles. Quseir Amra, Qasr Kharana and Qasr Al-Azraq are fortresses in the desert where wealthy people would build mansions to live far away from the hustle and bustle of the old Amman. Things actually haven’t changed that much since then.

What do you reckon? Do you fancy a trip into ancient history? Let’s go to Jordan!

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