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Field Guide to Jordan

Places to visit in Jordan


Jordan is a very small country, and has a lot to see, archaeological sites are all over, and they offer the chance to see the whole story of human civilization, from Ein Ghazal in East Amman, and Beida in Petra, two of the earliest settlements in human civilization, to ancient copper mines in Wadi Dana, a lot of bronze age villages and some of the most beautiful iron age kingdoms, to Petra and the amazing Nabataeans, to the Roman, Byzantean and Islamic sites, all in a modern country welcoming tourism, and making it possible to enjoy the whole experience.

Being that small it is very easy to go around Jordan and enjoy the fascinating landscapes, in Jordan you can be in the middle of a forest and in less than one hour you can be in the middle of a desert, or from a thousand meters above sea level to 390 m. below sea level, you can even enjoy swimming in the warm Dead Sea in a cold winter day with heavy rains in Amman half an hour away.

  Wadi Rum: A very beautiful desert with mountains popping out of the ground, Jordan's most beautiful landscapes, it has a Nabataean temple that dates to the first century b.c., and a lot of ancient inscriptions and drawings on the rocks, also some traces where left by Lawrence of Arabia. Camping in Wadi Rum under a blanket of stars is a must for any visitor to the country. If you are a rock climber, you will find there that dreams do come true! It is three and a half hour drive from Amman, if you don't have a 4x4, you can use the cars there that are driven by the local bedouins, you can camp inside or chose to camp in the rest house, at the visitors center you can find all the help you need. Click for more information and pictures of Wadi Rum.Wadi Rum Wadi Rum
  Aqaba: The only port in Jordan, and the only access to the Red Sea with it's beautiful corals and fish. Its four hours drive from Amman, has lots of hotels and diving centers, it was used as a port at the time of the Nabataeans, and ships even from China used to bring goods to its port, Aqaba now is an economical free zone, being a tax free zone makes it unexpensive for shoping. Click for a brief about the history of the city.Aqaba fish
  Dead Sea: The lowest point on earth, 410 m. below sea level, loosing the average of one meter a year, it is half an hour drive from Amman, has some resorts and a public beach, it is warm in winter and hot in the summer, some wadis bring water into the extra salty sea from the mountains, one of which is Wadi Mujib, a nice walk against the current in a canyon full of water, Wadi Mujeb is a nature reserve run by RSCN, and has a new camp site, www.rscn.org.jo. Around the Dead Sea are many biblical site, one of which is the baptism site on the river Jordan. salty rocks at the Dead Sea

Um Qais: A Roman city overlooking the lake of Tiberias, built with black stones and is well preserved.

Um Qeis

  Ajlun: Twenty minutes drive from Jerash, an old city between the green mountains of north Jordan, has a very nice castle on the top of it's highest mountain, there is also a nature reserve with a beautiful camp and interesting hikes, the camp is run by the R.S.C.N. Ajlun castle

Jerash: Ancient Roman very well preserved city, with theaters that still are hosting cultural events, Jerash festival is the biggest annual event. Jerash has an interesting museum, and it is an hour drive from Amman to the north.

  Madaba: Half an hour drive to the south of Amman, on the kings highway, you can see there alot of churches dating to the Byzantean era, beautiful mosaics in the churches and the archaeological park, an interesting museum and the historical mount Nebo from which you can enjoy a spectacular view, and visit one of the oldest churches where it is believed that the prophet Moses has died. at Mount Nebo
  Azraq: It's oasis is a stop for immigrating birds between Africa and Asia, has a nature reserve that works on protecting these birds and the local wild life, it has an ancient castle made from black stones, on the way to Azraq from Amman you can also see other desert castles, Amra and Kharrana castles are right on the side of the street. Qasr al Kharrana
  Dana: A nature reserve with a hotel in the old village just outside the reserve, a guest house where you can stay or you can camp inside and enjoy being a part of nature again. A variety of hikes can be enjoyed there, you can choose the easy pleasures or go for a real adventure, the reserve is run by the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature, for more info about Dana and other nature reserves, please visit www.rscn.org.jo Dana village
  Karak: A small city with a nice castle in the center, located one hour drive to the south of Amman. can be accessed from the west coming up from the dead sea, and is located on the kings highway between Madaba and Tafila. from Karak Castle
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