Biblical sites, cool diving and desert heat
An incredible nine-tenths of Jordan’s land mass is covered in desert. The remaining tenth is a striking combination of rolling hills, dense forest, jagged mountains, olive and fruit orchards, and areas of coastline. For many people the lost Nabataean city of Petra is the main reason for visiting Jordan, and it is undoubtedly a fascinating sight. Wadi Rum is another place not to be missed. This strip of desert was where British soldier and diplomat TE Lawrence, otherwise known as Lawrence of Arabia, lived for some time and earned his reputation. Jordan’s capital, Amman, is an interesting city with boxy desert houses, a hilltop citadel and fabulous Roman amphitheatre. Aqaba is Jordan’s coastal playground. This is where the Jordanians come for a spot of diving and snorkelling, and to get away from the cold winters in the north of the country.
From biblical sites such as the stream where Jesus was baptised, to Roman ruins and desert citadels – Jordan has some incredibly interesting sights. A night spent in the desert landscape of Wadi Rum or a visit to the mesmerizing Nabataean capital, Petra, are experiences that will stay with you forever.
When to Go?
Generally the best months to visit Jordan are April and May, and from September to November. During these times the weather is sunny and warm. Winters in parts of Jordan can be extremely cold with occasional snowfall around Amman and even in Petra. Summers can be blisteringly hot. Despite Jordan’s small size, the range of weather across the country is significant. Early spring and autumn can be cold in the north but hot in Aqaba.
How to get there?
There are direct flights from London Heathrow to Amman Queen Alia International Airport (AMM), and flights take around five hours. This is the main airport in Jordan and the likely entry point if flying into the country from the UK. As well as Queen Alia, Jordan has two other international airports: King Hussein International Airport in Aqaba, and Marka International Airport in east Amman which mainly serves middle eastern destinations and domestic flights.
Go to the Dead Sea and float in the dense salty water. Spend a night in Wadi Rum, taking a copy of TE Lawrence’s 1922 autobiography, Seven Pillars of Wisdom, with you. Visit the Wadi Mujib Nature Reserve to see the stunning waterfalls and canyons or go scuba diving in Aqaba. Don’t miss Petra, chosen as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007. See Amman’s stunning Roman amphitheatre and hear the muezzin call from the viewing point near the citadel.