Jordan Holiday Guide
The Dead Sea
The Dead Sea is the centrepiece of all Jordan has to offer, a unique piece of geography and a salty lake that beckons wellness seekers from around the world with its healing waters and muds. On its Jordanian east coast you can stay in Sweimeh, a resort packed with five-star hotels and luxurious spas that make the most of the Dead Sea’s natural resources. Nearby is Mount Nebo, where tradition holds that Moses looked down on the Land of Milk and Honey, and where today’s visitor can get a simply stunning panoramic view of the Jordan Valley region. Visit the town of Madaba to see its many fine Greek Orthodox churches and monasteries, and the wonderful floor mosaic map of the ancient Middle East in St George Church .
The Palestinian West Bank
The West Bank of the Jordan River and Dead Sea has a number of major attractions for visitors. The Jordan River itself is where Jesus is believed to have been baptised by John the Baptist, an ever-popular destination for the faithful and the interested traveller alike. Just to the west lies Jericho, one of the world’s oldest cities and home to Hisham’s Palace and the Mount of Temptation Monastery. Ein Gedi is a green oasis midway down the Dead Sea coast, a kibbutz and park with natural springs and a colourful range of flora and fauna. The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in the Qumran Caves, which today offer a fascinating blend of history and rugged scenery. And south, at the edge of the Negev Desert, stands the proud clifftop fortress of Masada, where Jewish rebels once held out against a powerful Roman force.
Petra and the South
Jordan’s desert and Dead Sea coast highways lead south to Petra, the mysterious red-rock city carved by the Nabataean people two millennia ago. You can book a hotel stay at Petra’s doorstep, the better to beat the crowds as you walk through the dramatic chasm of the Siq to find the Treasury building opening up before you like something out of a dream. Then head out to Wadi Rum with its magnificent vistas of granite and red sandstone, the very essence of desert romance. Jordan dips its toe in the Red Sea at the port and resort of Aqaba, a draw for scuba divers from around the world, and with a fine range of luxury hotels, watersports, boat tours and excursions into the desert interior.