Jordan is one of the most underrated countries in the Russian tourism industry. Judge for yourself: there is everything that is more famous and promoted neighbors – Israel and Egypt. These are the Red Sea, monuments of the pre-Christian era, the historical heritage of the Crusaders, and biblical places. And nature here is fantastic.
And if you haven’t been to Jordan yet and don’t know much about it, this article will hopefully help get first impressions and maybe make plans for the trip.
How to get there?
Tourists need to pass two PCR tests: the first 120 hours before departure, the second right at the airport after arrival. It is essential that you have to pay for the research before departure. If you arrive at Amman airport, you can do so here if the destination is Aqaba. You will also need insurance for the entire duration of the trip.
Where to stay?
The choice of hotels here is quite broad, starting with budget guesthouses and ending with premium chains:
Tell Madaba Hotel – from $30 per night per person;
What to see?
Jordan is located in the north of the Arabian Peninsula and borders Israel, Syria, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. The state’s territory is small, but it is instead a plus: you can see many sights in a short time.
Even though Jordan is one of the seven New Wonders of the World, Petra, and there is an outlet to the Red Sea, most tourists are not attracted to this. About 80% of travelers who come to the country (about a million people annually) choose this destination for medical tourism. It would seem, why should I? After all, there is Israel, famous for its medicinal. It’s all about the unique balneological resort on the shores of the Dead Sea, which is the border between the countries.
Suppose you do not need to come here for medicinal purposes. In that case, it is worth visiting this natural wonder of the world at least once and plunge into the saltiest lake on the planet, which is also located almost half a kilometer below sea level.
Not far from the resort area is the picturesque canyon of the El Mujib River. Such rare water in these places makes way through the rocky massif, and the height difference of the river bed reaches more than a thousand meters, making possible the appearance of numerous cascades of waterfalls. The canyon has exciting walking trails, some straight along the riverbed and some along with it. But if you want to visit there, it is worth taking care of buying a tour in advance – it is a national park with a small recreational load, and there is a daily limit of tourists.
When we talk about the nature of Jordan, we mean, apart from the Dead Sea, its amazing deserts with truly unearthly landscapes. They occupy about 90% of the kingdom’s area. Perhaps, the most famous is the rocky Wadi Ram, located near the seaside town of Aqaba. It is no coincidence that I used the word “unearthly” when describing the landscape because the topography of the area resembles another planet, and therefore is a favorite platform for natural filming of Mars. Judge for yourself, only in this century there were filmed “The Martian,” “Red Planet,” “Last Days on Mars” and a couple of episodes of “Star Wars.” And this place is called the Moon Valley.
As mentioned in the beginning, in Jordan is Petra. The ancient capital of the Nabatean kingdom, carved in pink sandstone of the cliffs of Sik Canyon – a gem of Jordanian tourism. This is the place you’ve probably seen in the Transformers and Indiana Jones series. Local travel agencies offer one- and two-day tours. I would recommend just two days to watch the night show at El Khazneh (Treasures), which is the hallmark of the place, and to have time to get to the remote but stunning monastery of Al-Dare.
Telling about Jordan, it is impossible not to mention its capital – Amman, combining the modern atmosphere and ancient heritage. During its thousand-year history, the city has been visited by the capital of the Semitic tribes, the home of the Nabatean, the Greco-Roman policy, the Byzantine and Arab trade center. It fell into disrepair and was revived by constructing a railway to Medina to facilitate logistics for pilgrims performing the Hajj. Stay here for a couple of days, taking a tour from an experienced guide. There are no problems with accommodation in this big city, and you will find a place to stay. I like Saray Hotel Amman: the cost of a single room per night starts from $50.
Well, if you did not have enough antiquities in Amman, then just an hour away from it is a magnificent Bras with a perfectly preserved complex of ancient ruins. The city built on the orders of Alexander the Great was part of the Decapolis, or Tengradia, as it is called in our country. Time has preserved the walls of ancient temples, elegant colonnades of streets and forums, and the ancient racetrack, which is still carrying out historical reconstructions of the races.
Speaking of Jordan, it is impossible not to mention another critical type of tourism – pilgrimage. And the main object of the country for most Christians is, of course, Bethabara. According to archaeologists and historians, it was there that John the Forerunner baptized Jesus Christ. Now it isn’t easy to specify exactly where this happened, as since then, Jordan has changed the channel’s position several times. On the western (Israeli) side of the river, there is a place that is considered ancient Bethabara. Now the dispute about its finding has acquired an economic and political character because it is the center of attraction of pilgrims and tourists worldwide. This place on the Jordanian side is surrounded by the ruins of several dozen ancient temples – which means that it has been revered for centuries.
What’s the last one. Regardless of the purpose of your trip, a couple of days of sea rest should be included in your program and relax after the sands and antiquity, not huddled in the azure waters of the Red Sea and sipping juice on a sun lounger. There is stunning diving, beautiful bordering coral reefs, and pristine water, which is not surprising because the Red Sea does not flow any river.