Places of interest

The most important attractions to see when visit Jordan:

AMMAN

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Amman the capital is a modern, safe, and friendly city. No more than a five hours drive from anywhere in the country. It was known as Rabbath-Ammon during prehistoric periods and later as Philadelphia, the ancient city that was once part of the Decapolis league, now boasts a population of around 2.3 millions. Often referred to as the white city due to its canvas of white stone houses, Amman offers a variety of historical sites including the Citadel and the magnificent Roman Theater. Amman also contains an impressive array of restaurants, bars and shopping areas.


AQABA

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With its balmy winter climate and idyllic setting, Aqaba is Jordan’s year-round aquatic playground. The thriving underwater marine life and the crystal clear waters of the Gulf of Aqaba make diving conditions there among the acknowledged best in the world. As the Gulf of Aqaba is an inland sea with few strong currents, its waters remain warm and clear throughout most of the year. Conditions are ideal for underwater photography and a lavish array of exotic fish and plant life makes for excellent snorkelling and diving. Over 140 species of coral have been identified in Aqaba’s waters. Sun bathing, water skiing, windsurfing, fishing, paddleboats, and other water sports are also popular.


PETRA

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Petra is astounding and miraculous with over 800 beautiful monuments. In the past it was the fortress to the Nabataeans, an industrious Arab tribe who settled in Jordan over 2,000 years ago. The city is prominent for its unique architecture, cut in the harsh pink-reddish rocks and for its impressive conduit system. . A spectacular compilation of temples, tombs, baths, streets and interesting buildings with colonnades, the ruins reveal a deserted image of a once flourishing urban centre Petra is currently a UNESCO world heritage area that enchants visitors from all over of the world. . Petra remained hidden to the western world for hundreds of years, enveloped in the high mountains, only to become one of the most exciting tourist attractions on the globe.
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Petra is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.


DEAD SEA

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Dead Sea is a closed lake in Jordan. The lake is situated 420 meters below sea level.The leading attraction at the Dead Sea is the hot, soothing super-salty seawater, which is almost four times saltier than normal seawater. Because of the high salt content we can easily float on water. Marine mud has its own benefits for us, especially for the skin In addition to the fact that the salt content is extremely high, the Dead Sea water also contains magnesium, sodium, potassium, bromine and several other minerals. This unusually salty and mineral-rich water has attracted visitors since ancient times, all of whom have floated effortlessly on their backs while soaking up the waters healthy minerals along with the gently defused rays of the Jordanian sun. The Dead Sea’s total attraction is due to its unique combination of several factors: the chemical composition of its water, the filtered sunrays and oxygen-rich air, the mineral-rich black mud along the shoreline, and the adjacent fresh water and thermal mineral springs.


WADI RUM

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Often referred to as the Moon Valley, Wadi Rum is a place of amazing desert landscapes and romantic spirit. the elements of nature have modelled and carved out this panorama and have left us strips of scorched earth, sides of carved mountains and stretches of sand which have the ability to change into shades of yellow, red and orange.
A maze of monolithic rock mountains rise up from the desert floor to heights of 1,750 metres creating a natural challenge for serious mountaineers. Hikers can enjoy the tranquillity of the boundless empty spaces, explore the canyons and water holes to discover 4000 year old rock drawings and the many other spectacular treasures this vast wilderness holds in store.
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Wadi Rum Protected Area is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.


JERASH

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The city of Jerash is one of the most intriguing destinations in Jordan. The town is located 48 km north of the Jordanian capital Amman, and is renowned as one of the best preserved Roman cities on the planet. It is believed that Jerash was inhabited 6500 years ago and served as one of the ten great cities in the Roman Empire – the Dekapolis. Visitors today can see the traces of what was then a glorious metropolis – the Temple of Artemis, the Roman Forum, the stadium and a significant number of houses and churches, streets and markets, baths and fountains – a glimpse into a past life of urban commotion and prosperity.


THE BAPTISM SITE

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Situated a few hundred meters from the River Jordan, “Bethany beyond the Jordan” is supposedly where John the Baptist performed the Baptism, as inferred by excavations done. A first-century AD settlement was found, having plastered pools with water systems, which had almost certainly been used for baptism. Furthermore, they found a 5th-6th-century AD Byzantine settlement showing churches, structures indicating association to religious pilgrims, and a monastery. Excavations are still underway, and new discoveries are being made in that area almost daily.


MADABA

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Driving 20 km southeast is the Roman Byzantine town of Madaba. Known as the City of Mosaics, Madaba is part of the 5,000-year-old King’s Highway and dates back to the Middle Bronze Age. Its most famous site is the Greek Orthodox Church of St George, on the floor of which lies a 6th-century Byzantine mosaic map that details Jerusalem, the Mediterranean coast and the Nile. Only part of the map remains, but the original measured 16m by 6m, took six years to complete and was made from two million pieces of stone.


MOUNT NEBO

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Mount Nebo is one of the highest points of the ancient kingdom of Moab. On a clear day there is a magnificent panoramic view over the Dead Sea and the Jordan Valley to the hills on the other side of the rift, with the towers of Jerusalem visible on the skyline.
The hilltop is identified as the place from which Moses looked out over the promised land of Canaan which God had forbidden him to enter; and here, it is said, he died and was buried.

In the fourth century, early Christians turned the old building on the highest part of the Mount Nebo into a church to commemorate Prophet Moses’ resting place and made pilgrimages to it from Jerusalem.

The first church was later expanded into the present basilica where a collection of Byzantine mosaics is exhibited as well. The site became custody of the Franciscan order in 1932 who excavated the church and put Mount Nebo on the religious tourist maps.


UM QAIS

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Gadara One of the places in Jordan that were visited by Jesus Christ after he crossed the River Jordan. This city, famous for the biblical story of the Gadarene Swine, was regarded in its time as a cultural centre.

Perched on a splendid hilltop overlooking the Jordan Valley and the Sea of Galilee, Umm Qais boasts impressive ancient remains. Such as the stunning black basalt theatre, the basilica and adjacent courtyard strewn with nicely carved black sarcophagi, the colonnaded main street and a side street lined with shops, an underground mausoleum, two baths, a nymphaeum, a city gate and the outlines of what was a massive hippodrome. It lies two hours away from Amman to the northwest.


UM Al-Rasas

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Umm Al-Rasas site is located south-east of Madaba on the edge of the semi-arid steppe in Jordan. The site contains ruins from the Roman, Byzantine, and early Muslim civilizations. The excavations has discovered that the site started as a Roman military camp then was grown into a bigger village with several churches.

The most important discovery on the site was the mosaic floor of the Church of St Stephen. It was made in 785 (discovered after 1986). The perfectly preserved mosaic floor is the largest one in Jordan. On the central panel, hunting and fishing scenes are depicted, while another panel illustrates the most important cities of the region including Philadelphia (Amman), Madaba, Esbounta (Heshbon), Belemounta (Ma’an), Areopolis (Ar-Rabba), Charac Moaba (Karak), Jerusalem, Nablus, Caesarea, and Gaza.
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Um Al-Rasas is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.


DESERT CASTLES

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Jordan’s desert castles, reflect both early Islamic art and architecture, stand testament to a fascinating era in the country’s rich history. Their fine mosaics, frescoes, stone and stucco carvings and illustrations, inspired by the best in Persian and Greco – Roman traditions, tell countless stories of the life as it was during the fifth to the eighth centuries. Called castles because of their imposing stature, the desert complexes actually served various purposes as caravan stations, agriculture and trade centres, resort pavilions and outposts that helped distant rulers forge ties with local Bedouins. Several of these preserved compounds, all of which are clustered to the east and south of Amman, can be visited on one – or two – day loops from the city.
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Quseir Amra is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.


AJLOUN FORTRESS

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Surrounded by a beautiful pine forest and olive groves Ajloun Fortress stands as the reminiscence of old ages. This maginificent castle was constructed on the orders of the local governor, as a direct retort to the new Latin castle of Belvoir on the opposite side of the valley to protect the trade routes and iron mines of Jordan. The fortress is a martial masterpiece in terms of defense and was used to protect the region against the Crusaders’ military attacks. Nowadays, the Ajloun Castle is one of the favorite destinations to the hundreds of tourists who come to get in touch with its exuberance and enjoy the breathtaking view from the massive walls situated on the high hill.


DANA NATURAL RESERVE

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Dana natural Reserve is Jordan’s largest nature reserve, noted for its diverse flora and fauna, including some nearly extinct species, found only in Dana. Rugged mountain missives and luscious valleys merge in a captivating terrain that includes all four bio-geographical zones of the country – Sudanian penetration, Saharo Arabian, Irano-Turanian and Mediterranean. The reserve is a valued spot for environmental enthusiasts and nature lovers, who come to indulge on the green profusion of Dana.


WADI MOUJIB

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The Mujib Reserve is the lowest nature reserve in the world, with its spectacular array of scenery near the east cost of the Dead Sea. The reserve is located within the deep Wadi Mujib gorge, which enters the Dead Sea at 410 meters below sea level. The Reserve extends to the Kerak and Madaba mountains to the north and south, reaching 900 meters above sea level in some places. This 1,300-meter variation in elevation, combined with the valley’s year- round water flow from seven tributaries, means that Wadi Al Mujib enjoys a magnificent bio-diversity that is still being explored and documented today. Over 300 species of plants, 10 species of carnivores and numerous species of permanent and migratory birds have been recorded until this date. Some of the remote mountain and valley areas are difficult to reach, and thus offer safe havens for rare species of cats, goats and other mountain animals.