Aqaba is the sole coastal city in Jordan and it is situated at the northeastern tip of the Red Sea. Aqaba is a blend of cultures and traditions, and a long history as the trading center in the region!
It is a melting pot of history, culture, nature, and city life surrounded by picturesque mountains and blue sea. It is one of the major tourist attractions in Jordan, and popular especially amongst divers and water sports enthusiasts for its all year-round warm water and rich coral reefs.
Famed for its preserved coral reeds and unique sea life, this Red Sea port city was in ancient times, the main port for shipments from the Red Sea to the Far East. The Mameluk Fort, one of the main historical landmarks of Aqaba, rebuilt by the Mamelukes in the 16th century. Square in shape and flanked by the semicircular towers, the fort is marked with various inscriptions marking the latter period of the Islamic dynasty. The current excavations at the ancient site of the early Islamic town Ayla, with its two main streets intersecting in the middle and dating back to the 7th Century already revealed a gate and city wall along with towers, building and mosque. The museum houses a collection of artefacts collected in the region, including pottery and coins. Aqaba also hosts the house of Sharif Hussein Bin Ali, the great grandfather of King Abdullah II. Other places of interest include the mud brick building thought to be the earliest church in the region.
Wadi Rum: وادي رم (AKA Valley of the moon وادي القمر)
Wadi Rum is one of the most extraordinary sceneries in Jordan. It is a protected area covering 720 square kilometers of dramatic desert wilderness in the south of Jordan. Huge mountains of sandstone and granite emerge, sheer-sided, from wide sandy valleys to reach heights of 1700 meters and more. Narrow canyons and fissures cut deep into the mountains and many conceal ancient rock drawings etched by the peoples of the desert over millennia. Bedouin tribes still live among the mountains of Rum and their large goat-hair tents are a special feature of the landscape.
In Wadi Rum, you will enjoy the serenity of the place as you escape your daily worries and become one with nature! If you are feeling a little adventurous, you could go mountain climbing, skydiving, or even take a sunrise hot-air balloon ride. It definitely is an experience for all ages and a highlight of your trip.
This area, made famous abroad by the exploits of TE Lawrence ('Lawrence of Arabia') in the early 20th century, has lost none of its allure and forbidding majesty. Its myriad moods and dramatic colors, dictated by the changing angle of the sun, best reward an overnight trip so, unless you're really pushed for time, linger here for a day or two, slowing down to the timeless rhythm of desert life, enjoying the galaxy of stars overhead at night and the spectacular sunrises and sunsets. Like most deserts, Wadi Rum is as much to be experienced as it is to be seen.
Madaba is about 30 KM from Amman is best known as the City of Mosaics; thanks to the spectacular Byzantine and Umayyad mosaic art. Madaba is the home of the famous 6th century Mosaic Map of Jerusalem and the Holy Land. With two million pieces of vividly colored local stones depicting hills and valleys, villages and towns as far as the Nile Delta.
The Madaba Mosaic Map covers the floor of the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George, which is located northwest of the city centre. The church was built in 1896 AD, over the remains of a much earlier 6th century Byzantine church. The mosaic panel enclosing the Map was originally around 15.6 X 6m, 94 sqm.
Also in Madaba you can find the Archaeological Park & Museum showcasing the remains of several Byzantine churches – including the mosaics of the Church of the Virgin and the Hyppolytus Hall.
Close to the Church of the Virgin is the Madaba Institute for Mosaic Art and Restoration, which operates under the patronage of the Ministry of Tourism. The only project of its kind in the Middle East, the institute trains artisans in the art of making, repairing and restoring mosaics.
Petra: البتراء (AKA The Red-rose City المدينة الوردية)
Also known as the Red-rose city of Petra, this Nabatean work of art is situated between the Red Sea and the Dead Sea. An entire city half-carved into humongous mountains, Petra became during Hellenistic and Roman times a major caravan center for the incense of Arabia, the silks of China and the spices of India, a crossroads between Arabia, Egypt and Syria-Phoenicia. Petra is surrounded by mountains riddled with passages and gorges with an ingenious water management system that allowed extensive settlement of an essentially arid area during the Nabatean, Roman and Byzantine periods. It is one of the world's richest and largest archaeological sites set in a dominating red-rose sandstone landscape.
Visitors of Petra, dedicate a minimum of 2-3 days to fully explore the outstanding site. The value of Petra resides in the vast extent of sophisticated tomb and temple architecture; religious high places; the remnant channels, tunnels and diversion dams that combined with a vast network of cisterns and reservoirs. The fusion of Hellenistic architectural facades with traditional Nabatean rock-cut temple/tombs including the Khaznah, the Urn Tomb, the Palace Tomb, the Corinthian Tomb and the Deir "the Monastery" represents a unique artistic achievement and an outstanding architectural ensemble of the first centuries BC to AD. The varied archaeological remains and architectural monuments from prehistoric times to the medieval periods bear exceptional testimony to the now lost civilizations which succeeded each other at the site.
Mt. Nebo: جبل نيبو
Mount Nebo is one of the most important Christian holy sites in Jordan. This is where – according to the final chapter of Deuteronomy – the Hebrew Prophet Moses viewed the Promised Land for the first time. If you stand on the viewing platform erected for Pope John Paul II you can enjoy the panoramic scene that Moses saw more than 3000 years ago.
Mount Nebo's first church was constructed in the 2nd half of the 4th century to commemorate the place of Moses' death. It had three apses and was preceded by a vestibule paved with plain white mosaic; two funeral chapels stood to the north and south of the lateral apses.
The Serpentine Cross sculpture (the Brazen Serpent Monument) atop Mount Nebo was created by the Italian artist, Giovanni Fantoni. It is symbolic of the bronze serpent created by Moses in the wilderness (Numbers 21:4-9) and the cross upon which Jesus was crucified (John 3:14).
Six tombs have been found hollowed from the natural rock beneath the mosaic-covered floor of the church. In the present presbytery you can see remnants of mosaic floors from different periods. The earliest of these is a panel with a braided cross presently placed on the east end of the south wall.
On March 19, 2000, Pope John Paul II visited the site during his pilgrimage to the Holy Land (Mount Nebo being one of the most important Christian sites in Jordan). During his visit he planted an olive tree beside the Byzantine chapel as a symbol of peace.
Amman: عمان (AKA Rabat Ammon)
Amman was built on seven hills (in Arabic Tilal تلال) defining Amman’s uniquely versatile neighborhoods. Amman is a unique city of fascinating contrasts with multicultural, well-educated very hospitable people. A mixture of old and new, Amman holds almost half of Jordan’s population.
Ammanies - as well as visitors of Amman - enjoy the warmth and welcoming spirit of this grand city. You could pay a visit to many interesting sites in the capital such as the Citadel, Jabal Al Qal’a, Hercules Temple (AKA Great Temple of Amman), the Roman Theatre, the Jordan Folklore Museum, the Jordan Archeological Museum, the Museum of Popular Traditions, the King Abdullah Mosque and the famous old souks (traditional markets أسواق) in the downtown area (Al Balad البلد) in Amman.
Dead Sea: البحر الميت
Over 400m (1,312 ft.) below sea level where you could float effortlessly and read a book while you are at it! The Dead Sea is located in the Jordan Valley; a one of a kind place as it is the lowest point on the face of the earth.
Best known as a natural spa, the Dead Sea is a retreat even during wintertime due the warm, soothing, super salty water itself – some ten times saltier than sea water, and rich in chloride salts of magnesium, sodium, potassium, bromine and several others. The Dead Sea’s rich, black, stimulating mud is a therapeutical natural treasure. The Dead Sea has evolved into a major hub of both religious and health & wellness tourism in the region.
Bethany is the site of the baptism site of Jesus Christ by John over 2000 years ago. Known in Arabic as Al-Maghtas, the 'Baptism Site' has been identified by archaeologists as the place where John the Baptist preached that this is the site where the first five apostles met and thus where the foundations of the early Christian faith were laid. Jesus is said to have come here to meet en route from Galilee and Um Qais and is believed to have spent three days here before heading off to spend 40 days in the nearby wilderness. John was later arrested and beheaded by Herod at Machaerus, also in Jordan.
The site is about a 45-minute drive from Amman and it is believed that this is the site where Jesus Christ was baptized by John the Baptist. Bethany, as mentioned in the book of John, is also known by other names. It is called Beth-Abara or Bethabara (Beit el-'Obour in Arabic) meaning 'house of the crossing', referring to the Joshua and Elijah crossings of the river, and Arabic Bible translations call it Beit 'Anya.
Beyond its religious significance the site has a fine location, with views of the Dead Sea, Mt. Nebo, Jericho (12 KM away), Jerusalem (27 KM) and the Jordan River.
Jerash: جرش (AKA Gerasa)
Jerash is one the best preserved ancient Roman provincial cities in the world. Just about a 30-minute drive from the capital city of Jordan; Amman (approximately 48 KM), is a mixture of Greco-Roman and ancient Arab traditions and therefore careful preservation and planning has developed this city from the ruins so there is no encroachment on the sites.
Visitors enter the site through Hadrian’s Arch, built in honor of its namesake. Close by is the Hippodrome where chariot races and sporting events were held. Walk up a colonnade of 1st century columns in the Oval Plaza and then take the staircase that leads you to the Temple of Zeus; surrounded by15 meters high Corinthian columns.
To the right of the Oval Plaza is the onsite Archaeological Museum with fascinating artifacts found on the site including gold jewelry, coins, glass and even pottery theatre tickets. To the north of the Oval Plaza is the Cardo Maximus (the main road in Jerash), paved with its original stones and bears the ruts of chariot wheels.
These are some of the many interesting explorations in Jerash: the Marketplace, the Umayyad Mosque, South Tetrapylon, South Decumanus, Temple of Dionyus which was rebuilt as a Byzantine Church, the Shrine of the Virgin Mary, the Church of St. Theodore, the Church of St. Cosmos and St. Damian, the Church of St john the Baptist, the Church of St George, the Nymphaeum, the Propylaeum, the Temple of Artemis, the Odeon (a small theatre), the Church of the Bishop Isaiah, and the North Tetrapylon.
Jerash hosts the lively annual Jerash Festival, held for 2 weeks in July with local, regional performing artists in addition to international artists
Umm Qais (Ancient Gadara) "Mother of Qais") lies in Irbid Governorate in the extreme northwest of the country, has a magnificent view over Sea of Tiberias, the Golan Heights, and the Yarmouk River gorge. It was one of the most brilliant ancient Greco-Roman cities of the Decapolis. Um Qais is famous for its legacy of ancient civilizations. Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman architecture and artifacts produced in this ancient city can be found throughout the site, according to the Bible, the place where Jesus cast out the devil from two men into a herd of pigs
Sheikh Hussein crossing /North Border
is 90km away from Amman. It is located in the north, close to Lake Tiberias (Sea of Galilee), these are open Sunday - Thursday: 08:00hrs - 18:00hrs and Friday: 8:00 - 18:00hrs, Saturday: 08:30hrs - 18:00hrs.
At this crossing, visas for most nationalities can be obtained at the border; prior permits are not needed except for restricted nationalities
Ajloun , just a short journey from Jerash, Its highest mountain peaks reach around 1268 meters above sea level
The marvels of nature and the genius of medieval Arab military architecture have given northern Jordan two of the most important ecological and historical attractions in the Middle East: the sprawling pine forests of the Ajlun-Dibbine area, and the towering Ayyubid castle at Ajlun, which helped to defeat the Crusaders eight centuries ago.Ajlun Castle (Qal'at Ar-Rabad) was built by one of Saladin's generals in 1184 AD to control the iron mines of Ajlun, and to deter the Franks from invading Ajlun. Ajlun Castle dominated the three main routes leading to the Jordan Valley and protected the trade and commercial routes between Jordan and Syria; it became an important link in the defensive chain against the Crusaders, who, unsuccessfully spent decades trying to capture the castle and the nearby village.
King Hussein Bridge / Crossing Point
The King Hussein Bridge (In Arabic: جسر الملك حسين , also known as The Allenby Bridge, 57km away from Amman, is located in the southern Jordan Valley and is open Sun–Thurs 07:30hrs – 22:00hrs, and Fri-Sat 07:30hrs – 13:00hrs.
King Hussein Bridge is a bridge that crosses the Jordan River near the city of Jericho, and connects the West Bank with Jordan. The bridge is currently the sole designated exit/entry point for West Bank Palestinians traveling abroad.
Jordan’s strategic location in the Middle East, with direct flights to many of the world’s premier business and travel destinations, makes Queen Alia International Airport (QAIA) the perfect hub to build your next itinerary.
A gateway to the world, our hub at (QAIA) gives you direct access to the major destinations of Europe, Asia, North America and the Middle East. This level of access gives travelers coming to, from or through QAIA a wide range of options when choosing flights and routes.
The airport, which extends across 19 million square meters, includes two parallel runways of 3,660 meters in length and 61 meters in width, with a separation of 1,446 square meters. The new Foster + Partners-designed terminal, which was inaugurated in March 2013 under the patronage of His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan and Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah, is expected to increase annual passenger capacity from the initial 3.5 million to 9 million in phase 1, and to 12 million in phase 2.
Azraq is a unique wetland oasis located in the heart of the semi-arid Jordanian eastern desert, one of several beautiful nature reserves managed by the RSCN. Its attractions include several natural and ancient-built pools, a seasonally flooded marshland, and a large mudflat known as Qa'a Al-Azraq. A wide variety of birds stop at the reserve each year to rest during their arduous migration routes between Asia and Africa. Some stay for the winter or breed within the protected areas of the wetland.
Jordan's desert castles, beautiful examples of 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 Graeco-Roman traditions, tell countless stories of the life as it was during the 8th century. 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.
Quseir Amra, is the best-known of the desert castles located in present-day eastern Jordan. as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its location relatively close to Amman, have made it a frequent tourist destination.
It was built early in the 8th century, sometime between 723 and 743, by Walid Ibn Yazid, the future Umayyad caliph . It is considered one of the most important examples of early Islamic art and architecture.
Qasr Al-Mushatta, Qasr al-Mushatta offers an excellent example of characteristic Umayyad architecture. The castle is an incomplete square palace with elaborate decoration and vaulted ceilings. Historians believe that Qasr al-Mushatta, the largest and most lavish of all the Umayyad castles
Qasr A-Kharrana, The castle was built in the early Umayyad period. it is an important example of early Islamic art and architecture.
It remains an enigma to archaeologists and historians. Some experts believe that it was a defensive fort, while others maintain it was a caravanserais for passing camel trains. Yet another theory is that it served as a retreat for Umayyad leaders to discuss affairs of state.
Qasr al-Hallabat, was originally a Roman fort built during the reign of Caracalla (198-217 CE) to defend against raiding desert tribes. There is evidence that, before Caracalla, Trajan had established a post there on the remains of a Nabatean settlement. During the seventh century CE, the site became a monastery, and the Umayyads then fortified it and decorated it with ornate frescoes and decorative carvings.
The black basalt fort at Azraq, The present form of the castle dates back to the beginning of the 13th century CE. Crafted from local black basalt rocks, the castle exploited Azraq’s important strategic position and water sources.
It is in continuous use since Late Roman times, and was the headquarters of Lawrence of Arabia during the Arab Revolt.
Mujib Biosphere Reserve
The Mujib Biosphere Reserve is the lowest-altitude nature reserve in the world, with its spectacular array of scenery near the East coast of the Dead Sea. The reserve is located within the deep Wadi Mujib gorge which enters the Dead Sea at 410m below sea level. The Reserve extends to the Karak and Madaba mountains to the North and South, reaching 900m above sea level in some places. This 1,300m variation in elevation, combined with the valley’s year-round water flow from seven tributaries, means that the Wadi Mujib enjoys a magnificent biodiversity that is still being explored and documented today.
The reserve consists of mountainous, rocky, and sparsely vegetated desert (up to 800 meters (2,600 ft)), with cliffs and gorges cutting through plateaus. Perennial, spring-fed streams flow to the shores of the Dead Sea.
Variously known throughout history as Qir Heres, Qir Moab, and Hareseth, Karak has been a prized possession of a number of civilizations. It lies on the ancient caravan routes that used to connect Egypt to Syria, and its commanding position almost 1000 meters above the Dead Sea Valley made it a strategic asset of great importance. The city was the ancient capital of Moab, and was also used by the Greeks and Romans. During Roman times it was known as Characmoba
An impressive castle in the great chain of Crusader fortresses which stretches across Jordan,
built in 1115 by King Baldwin I of Jerusalem to guard the road from Damascus to Egypt
One of the most fascinating remains is the ancient well-shaft cut deep into the rock, with 375 steps leading down to the water supply at the bottom.
The castle perched on rocky, conical mountain, looking out over fruit trees below.
Little Petra or Al Beidha is the next most important site for the casual visitor in Wadi Musa.
It is believed Little Petra was an important suburb of Petra, the entry and exit point for the trade routes to the north and north-west. Here the caravans from the Negev, Gaza, Jerusalem, Egypt and the Mediterranean coast arrived, had a rest and engaged in trade. Like in Petra buildings had been carved into the sandstone, used as residences, storages and tombs, with water channels and cisterns.
The pale colour of the rocks in this area give the name Al Beidha, meaning the "white one". Few hundred meters from the Siq Barid a Neolithic village is located, dating back 7000 BC. Around sixty houses have been excavated. The area is popular for hiking, camping and horse riding.
Wadi Araba Crossing/South Border
located in the south, 324km away from Amman, connecting the two Red Sea resorts of Eilat and Aqaba. These are open Sun–Thurs 06:30hrs – 20:00hrs and Fri – Sat 0800hrs – 20:00hrs.