A Middle Eastern Jewel, Jordan is a beautiful contrast between an ancient historical site and a flourishing modern nation. Modern cities such as Amman are complimented by the mystical ancient wonders of The Dead Sea and Petra. The endlessly shifting landscape of luscious valleys, mountains and deserts means a trip to Jordan is like no other.
The Jordanian Capital, a busy urban centre flanked by desert and the Jordan Valley. With half of Jordan’s entire population, Amman is Jordan’s principle metropolitan area. The centre of Amman displays Jordan’s emergence as a modern nation, from hotels to art galleries Amman feels distinctly western whilst maintaining its Arabic charm. Restaurants such as Beti Sitti are a perfect introduction to Arabic food whilst Mongolian, Chinese and Indian diners are all readily available.For a more traditional view of the city stroll downtown, here businesses and workshops are packed into the small streets giving an authentic flavour of the economic engine behind the city. I won’t lie to you however, Jordan is a strictly Islamic nation, drinking is not widely accepted; as such Amman is not the place for late night sessions. That in no way detracts from the combination of new and old that makes Amman truly fascinating. Slip through Amman’s tight corners with a Kia Picanto.
The Dead Sea and the Jordan Valley
Immortalised by its biblical importance the Dead Sea and surrounding Jordan valley is an area of unparalleled worldly beauty. The lowest place on earth at over 400m below sea level, the valley is the ending point for multiple rivers; these rivers pool and subsequently evaporate resulting a mineral rich landscape. The valley eventually gives way to the legendary Dead Sea, biblically home to cities such as Sodom and Gomorrah, the area is now populated by multiple spar, hotels and resorts. The sea itself has over ten times the salt level of traditional oceans and subsequently the water is incredibly buoyant. Combine effortless floating, with the warmness of the water, the Jordanian sun and the breath-taking surroundings, and an afternoon spent the Dead Sea won’t easily be forgotten.
The eighth wonder of the ancient world, the Nabataean city of Petra is an almost indescribable wonder. Amongst red mountains, at the end of kilometre long gorge you are greeted by the Treasury or “Al-Khazneh”. A 2000 year old 43 meter high hand carve Façade, complete with statues and pillars, this ancientengineering marvel is not a sight that can be justified through words alone. The city itself is made up of over 500 tombs, each with their own unique carvings, not to mention a 3000 person theatre. Throw in a 13th century shire to the brother of Mosses and further relics from the medieval crusades and Petra is worthy of days of exploration. Supported by several museums and numerous tour guides Petra should be at the top of any travel bucket lists. Effortlessly navigate the desert roads with a Hyundai I10.
Sights around Jordan
Petra and the Dead Sea are undoubtedly Jordan’s largest attractions but the deserts and valleys have plenty more secrets to reveal.The Hammamat Ma’in / Ma’in Hot Springs dwell within a 264m below sea level oasis. Surrounded by luxury spas, the naturally heated water itself provides a beauty and relaxation rarely seen in the west. For a more adventurous twist the cliffs of Wadi Rum provide ample opportunity for rock climbing, camel riding or 4x4 explorations (we recommend a green motion Ford Escape) The 4th century BC Chalcolithic settlement of Pella houses a range of antiques, as if Jordan needed anymore ancient relics?
Jordan is a nation steeped in history, perfectly preserved in desert sands. The modern comforts and delights of Amman provide a perfect base to venture out and experience sights that have wondered people for millennia. The best way to see Jordan is on 4 wheels, rent them with Green Motion.