Jordan’s Five Best Tourist Attractions


Wadi Mujib


Fresh water is in short supply in Jordan and it has already become an issue of intense political importance in dialogue with neighbouring states. Various projects, such as the ‘Red to Dead’ Sea Canal and a pipeline from Wadi Rum’s aquifers to Amman, are being explored with ever-greater urgency. That’s one reason why the springs of the Mujib Biosphere Reserve are a highlight. The other reason is that the water flows through a spectacular wadi into a series of deep pools – paradise for the adventure-seeking traveller.


Blooming Beautiful


Carpets of scarlet poppies strewn across the desert, ribbons of oleander in the wadis, the flutter of velvet petals on a black iris along the King’s Highway, Jordan is home to beautiful wild flower displays. For the best show, visit the Roman ruins of Umm Qais in the far north of the country on a sunny afternoon in April: armfuls of knee-high daisies and thistles, yellow hollyhocks and pink mallow compete for a sliver of warmth between the fallen masonry.


The King’s Highway


It may not be a literal path of kings, but the King’s Highway follows some pretty big footsteps. These include those of the Nabataeans (their fabled city of Petra lies at the south end of the King’s Highway), the Romans (whose military outpost at Umm ar-Rasas is a Unesco World Heritage site) and the Crusaders (their Karak and Shobak castles are highlights in their own right). Smaller footsteps include those taken by Salome in her Dance of the Seven Veils at the desolate hilltop of Mukawir.


Jordanian Hospitality


Despite its modest size, Jordan is home to diverse peoples who share a traditional sense of responsibility towards the visitor. It may sound unfashionably romantic to claim that Jordanians are more friendly than most, but it doesn’t take long to realise that hospitality is an integral part of the local culture. Whether you’re invited for mint tea by Palestinians, bread and salt by Bedouins or pomegranate salads by the Chechens in Amman, your interaction with Jordanian people is sure to be a highlight of your visit.


Wadi Jadid


There’s nothing new about Wadi Jadid (‘New Valley’ in Arabic; Click here). Lying undisturbed, it typifies all that is constant in rural Jordanian life: grazing sheep, shepherds trotting through thistles astride pot-bellied donkeys, the smell of sage under hot summer sun. In fact the valley would be entirely unremarkable were it not for the clusters of ancient Bronze Age dolmen that dot the terraced hillsides. Heaved into place between 5000 and 3000 BC, these impressive stone monuments are worth the effort it takes to locate them.

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