Jordan is our most popular extension tour before or after visiting Israel. Jordan considers itself part of the Holy Land due to the biblical sites which lie within it’s borders.
Petra, the world wonder, is without a doubt Jordan’s most valuable treasure and greatest tourist attraction. It is one of the most amazing places on earth, and is a must for anyone visiting Jordan. The giant red mountains and vast mausoleums of a departed people have little in common with modern civilization. Yet the world appreciates them as one of the greatest wonders ever wrought by nature and man, and Petra has been designated a World Heritage Site.
Although much has been written about Petra, nothing really prepares you for this amazing place…it has to be seen to be believed. It is a vast, unique city, carved into the sheer rock face by the Nabateans, an industrious Arab people who settled here more than 2000 years ago, turning it into an important junction for the silk, spice and other trade routes that linked China, India and southern Arabia with Egypt, Syria, Greece and Rome.
Entrance to the city is through the Siq, a narrow canyon, over 1km in length, which is flanked on either side by soaring, 250′ high cliffs. Walking through the Siq is an experience in itself…the colors and formations of the rocks are dazzling. As you reach the end of the Siq you will catch your first glimpse of Al-Khazneh, the “Treasury.”
It is an awe-inspiring experience to first view this massive façade, 100 feet wide and 130 feet high, carved out of the sheer dusky pink rock-face and dwarfing everything around it. It was carved in the early 1st century as the tomb of an important Nabatean king and represents the engineering genius of these ancient people.
Other attractions in Jordan well-worth visiting are Mount Nebo (where Moses viewed the Promised Land), Madaba, and Jerash, an amazingly preserved Roman city. Aqaba, on the Red Sea, is a resort town with excellent snorkeling and diving. Sightseeing in Amman, the capital, includes it’s Citadel and a 6000-seat Roman Theatre. Groups to or from Petra often stay in either Eilat in Israel or neighboring Aqaba in Jordan. Petra, Amman, Aqaba and Eilat all have excellent hotels.