Explore Middle East Travel Guide: Jordan
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Jordan Travel Guide


Overview

Welcome to the Kingdom of Jordon, an ancient land of mesmerising beauty. From its ever-changing deserts to its treasure trove of age-old secrets, this is an historic destination like no other.

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is a truly wonderful place, a land of mesmerising beauty and contrasts, peace and stability. Founded after the First World War by King Abdullah I, the country was ruled over by his grandson, the late King Hussein, for 46 years, until his death in 1999 when his son, King Abdullah II, assumed the throne.

Jordan is steeped in biblical history and blessed with an impressive archaeological heritage. The words of  the prophets from the Old Testament attest to the biblical legends that abound throughout the country. Bethany, the Dead Sea, Mt Nebo and the Plains of  Moab are all found here, to the east of the Jordan River. This is the only area in the Holy Land that links the lives of Moses, Joshua, Elijah, Elisha, John the Baptist and Jesus Christ.

Remnants of civilisations long since consigned to thehistory books are everywhere. The Rose City of Petrais one of the most stunning attractions in the MiddleEast and the first association by many with the countryitself. Roman heritage is in abundance here too. Amman,Jerash and Umm Qais are rich in antiquity from thisperiod. There are also relics from the early Islamic andcrusader period spread throughout the land. Jordan isa hidden jewel and small enough for you to enjoy many,if not all, of its countless splendours in a relatively shortperiod of time.

Most visitors to Jordan arrive in the country via Amman, the capital city. Amman is a modern city by Middle Eastern standards but still has much to offer, notably the Roman Theatre, the Odeon and the splendid Citadel.

North-west of Amman is the amazingly well preserved Roman city of Jerash. Known in ancient times as Gerasa the city was one of the ten great Roman cities in the Middle Eastern region known as the Decapolis. Further north lies the towering Ayyubid castle at Ajlun (Qal’at Ar-Rabad), which was built by one of Saladin’s generals in 1184AD and helped in repelling the Crusaders. Almost on the Syrian border are the remains of the ancient Decapolis city of Gadara, now known as Umm Quais. It is also the site of Jesus’ miracle of the Gadarene Swine. To the south-west of Amman, towards and within the Jordan Valley are a feast of attractions. Madaba is one of the finest. Its Greek Orthodox church is home to a 6th century Byzantine mosaic map of the Holy Land. Mt. Nebo is the place where Moses was laid to rest and the reputed vantage point from where he looked out over the ‘Promised Land’. Bethany is an important religious site in the Jordan Valley identified as the area where Jesus Christ was baptised by John the Baptist. The Dead Sea has an historical and spiritual legacy all of its own with a landscape virtually unchanged since ancient times. Further south the castle of Karak is noteworthy as are the Umayyad Desert Castles clustered to the east and south of Amman. Jordans ‘Jewel in the Crown’ and by far its most popular visitor attraction is the rose-red city of Petra. No words can describe Petra but the sight of it will surely leave you in awe. The same might be said of Wadi Rum, a maze of monolithic rockscapes which rise up from the desert floor and described by T.E. Lawrence as ‘Vast, echoing and God-like’

Cities in Jordan

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Hotels
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