Did you know that an epic adventure awaits you in Jordan? Yes, it’s true! This Arab country destination is rich with ancient monuments, sacred temples, and exotic cuisine. Although it gets a bad rap due to its location in the Middle East, but it has been proven to be one of the safest, peaceful, and most welcoming countries across the globe. If you need any more reasons why you should embark on a journey to this hospitable and visually stunning region, here are 14 reasons why Jordan needs to be on your travel list.
1. It’s Foodie Heaven
Calling all food lovers! You’ll be in for a delicious treat as soon as you go on the hunt for your first meal. And thankfully, you won’t have to look too far.
The capital city of Amman is flourishing with elegant restaurants that cook up an array of traditional dishes infused with Middle Eastern and Mediterranean influences. Cooked with olive oil and seasoned with herbs and spices, you can start your taste test by devouring one of the country’s most popular dishes, stuffed lamb.
Street vendors also serve fresh-baked pita, falafel, and a classic dish of mansaf lamb. You’ll definitely want to try at least each dish once, and why shouldn’t you? One of the joys of traveling to a different country is immersing yourself in all parts of its culture, including the culinary scene.
2. Explore Wadi Rum
In the middle of the arid desert, you’ll find Wadi Rum. This UNESCO World Heritage protected site features some of the most stunning sights you’ll ever witness. Cascading sandstone mountains are still inscribed with carvings from prehistoric times, and you can’t venture out to this area without seeing the watering hole of Lawrence’s Spring, named after the British soldier T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia). You can ride a camel through the sand or travel via open-air jeep to explore the beauty of the vast desert.
3. Beautiful Mosaics
The ancient town of Madaba is known for its stone mosaic map that dates back to the 6th century. The detailed map is the oldest known representation of the Holy Land, and it can be viewed at the city’s Greek Orthodox of St. George church. When you’re done gazing at the marvels of the ancient world, don’t forget to stop by the craft shops in this tourist-friendly city to splurge on handmade souvenirs.
4. You Can See the Entire Country in No Time
The country is roughly 89,342 square kilometers in size, meaning it’s about 110 times smaller than the United States. Because it’s not a sprawling area, it’s quite possible for you to explore the entire country in a little over a week.
Touring through one of the safest Arab countries means you can see the Roman cities one day, travel down King’s Highway the next, and make a stop at the Gulf of Aqaba the following day. Although you’ll be smack dab in the middle of the desert, the lack of humidity ensures you’ll be greeted by pleasurable temperatures and a refreshing daytime breeze as you make your way across the country.
5. The Best Place to Snorkel
Snorkeling in the desert? You betcha. The port city of Aqaba is situated by the water, and it’s full of luxury beach resorts, including the five-star Kempinski Hotel. This accommodation offers its visitors a variety of leisure activities, including the chance to take a dive into the Red Sea.
With its clear waters, you’ll be able to get a perfect view of the marine life, including 200 species of coral reef, clownfish, and lionfish. When your underwater adventure is over, you can soak up the sun by relaxing on the hotel’s private beach.
6. Step Foot on a Movie Set
Movie buffs will recognize the city of Petra almost immediately. This famous archaeological site in the southwestern region of the country is the same place where actor Harrison Ford found the Holy Grail in the 1989 film, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
7. The Ancient Wonders
Speaking of Petra, there’s far more to see in this ancient town. The city dates back to 300 B.C., and many of the artifacts from centuries ago can still be found here. Tombs and the Al Khazneh temple are just a few of the sites that should be on your to-do list. And if you want to work up a sweat, climb up the massive steps at the Ad Deir Monastery or make the trek up to the High Place of Sacrifice built atop Jebel al-Madhbah to explore this country’s ancient culture.
8. Swim in the Dead Sea
Since the Dead Sea is the saltiest body of water, plants and marine life aren’t able to thrive. But its water is known to have healing properties that have been bottled up and sold for years. Traveling to Jordan means you’ll get to experience the wonders of the sea firsthand, including its density that allows you to float and read a book or a magazine without a care in the world!
9. It’s a Sacred Place
Many events in the Bible are said to have taken place in the country of Jordan. You can visit some of these Biblical sites during your stay, including Mount Nebo at the top of Pisgah where the prophet Moses saw the Promised Land. The location has since been turned into a memorial in dedication of Moses, complete with a Byzantine church built by monks in the 4th century.
10. Canyoning in Wadi Mujib
Get your blood pumping and experience an adrenaline rush by heading out for a thrill-seeking adventure in Wadi Mujib. The water level dropped throughout the years, leaving the river to be flanked by towering canals. Many tour companies will guide you to the best spots in this region where you can go canyoning. You’ll witness the beauty of the country up close as you rappel down the canals and breathtaking waterfalls.
11. The Architecture of the Roman Empire
Many of the ruins of the Roman Empire can still be found in present-day Jordan. Throughout the centuries, cities such as Umm Qais still proudly display the beautiful remnants from the past. A Roman amphitheater with its exquisite architect can be explored, as well as tomb caves that hold the ancient deceased in the city of Abila.
12. Get Close to Nature
If you have some time to kill, why not head out on a 9-mile hike through Dana Biosphere Reserve? This natural reserve was founded in 1989 in the southcentral region of the country. You’ll fall in love with the beautiful scenery, including its long valleys and small bodies of water weaved in between the desert landscape.
13. Rest & Decompress
If hiking and snorkeling aren’t your scene, you’ll be glad to know that Jordan is also the perfect place to get some R&R. If you just want to decompress at your luxury resort, have at it. This country has some of the best hotels in the world, including Movenpick Resort in Petra. Here, you’ll be pampered and given ample opportunity to de-stress while soaking up the country’s natural beauty.
14. Camp With the Bedouins
The Bedouin are known as a group of nomadic Arabs who are very welcoming and friendly to visitors. They’ve lived in remote communities since 900 B.C., and by booking a tour, you can immerse yourself into their culture and way of life. Spend a few nights in a campsite and marvel at how the Bedouin take you under their wing and perform traditional songs and dances, tend to their camels, and prepare feasts fit for a king.