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Top 10 places to visit in Jordan | Best attractions | Oasis | historical wonders | Mountains

 It may not come as surprise to you that Jordan has earned the nickname of hidden gem in recent years, due to its vast historical treasures and stunning natural landscapes. From the Dead Sea to Petra, there are many places to visit in Jordan that are rich with both history and culture. Here are the top 10 places to visit in Jordan, whether you're planning on visiting on your own or on an organized tour!

Top 10 things to do in Jordan

1) Petra (Wadi Musa)

a historical, natural and archaeological wonder. One of Jordan’s most popular tourist attractions, Petra is a 2,000-year-old city carved into red sandstone cliffs. It has been voted as one of The New Seven Wonders of The World by over 200 million Internet users. Although it might take several hours before you are able to enter its majestic structures, standing at their entrances alone will provide you with enough photo opportunities that you may not need to go inside. Just outside Petra City there are various hiking trails leading up to amazing views across Wadi Musa Valley and towards Edom mountains. Hiking through the Mountains provides excellent opportunities for Bird Watching especially during Spring Migration Season.

2) Wadi Rum (Al-Kharga Oasis)

Most tours of Jordan start with a trip into Wadi Rum, a striking desert valley dotted with rock formations. The area has long been popular among visitors because of its wild scenery, though today it’s also Jordan’s largest protected area. It is best explored by car or truck on one of Wadi Rum’s many  roads. Be prepared for open spaces and strange shapes: Some rocks resemble camels and others look like birds. If you want to take photos at sunrise or sunset, wake up early: Either set your alarm to 5:30 AM (which is pretty much standard) or stay up late—the light becomes less harsh as dawn approaches; if you go too early (6:00 AM), you might be met with an eerie purple sky as Jordan’s hard sunlight shines directly onto low-hanging clouds.

3) Al Karak Castle (Karak Governorate)

Al Karak Castle (Karak Castle) is a Crusader castle located in Al-Karak, Jordan. It was built around 1183 by Pagan, Lord of Montreal and Sidon, on top of a former Muslim fortification. King Baldwin I of Jerusalem gave it to his sister Princess Sibylla (Sibylla of Armenia), who passed it on to her son by her first marriage, Izz al-Din Usama. On behalf of his father Saladin, he made peace with the Crusaders in 1185 when he married Berengaria of León, thereby sealing an alliance between Muslims and Christians against their common enemy Nur ad-Din Zangi. The couple settled at Kerak Castle which became their joint residence until he divorced her in 1190.

4) Umm Qais (Qais Governorate)

The remains of a well-preserved Byzantine settlement include a 3rd-century church and a triumphal arch, both built by Queen Helena of Adiabene. To reach Qais, you must travel north from Amman towards Irbid or Azraq. The first stage of your journey will take you through Wadi Shueib and Wadi Arabeh into Jordan’s rustic desert landscape. You can then approach Petra via Wadi Musa, where restaurants serving traditional Arabic food await, or turn left on H-7 Highway toward Mafraq and Amman if your sights are set further south.

5) Madaba (Madaba Governorate)

Kerak Castle is one of Jordan’s top tourist attractions, having been built by King Fakhreddine II between 1183 and 1186 CE. It has withstood countless conflicts, fires, earthquakes and even two sieges. The castle can be reached via a 30-minute hike up Jebel Aqaba from Kerak city center. Of course, those who prefer not to hike can drive up instead, as there are parking lots at either end of the trail. Once you reach it though you’ll know that all that effort was worth it; visiting Kerak Castle is like taking a step back into history. If you plan on making it your base for day trips you might want to consider staying nearby; most lodging options within 20 minutes of Kerak are family-run affairs offering surprisingly reasonable rates for exceptional value.

6) Kerak Castle (Kerak Governorate)

Kerak Castle was constructed in 1183 by Izz al-Din Usama, a general of Saladin’s. The castle sits atop a 20-meter high hill, and its strategic location made it one of Jordan’s most important fortresses for several centuries. It also served as a prison from 1925 to 1946. Now, visitors can take a guided tour that includes a walk through some of the 23 halls where prisoners were held captive during those years. Perhaps these very halls inspired T.E Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) while he was imprisoned there from 1916 to 1917.

7) Mount Nebo (Moab Governorate))

Mount Nebo is a mountain and pilgrimage site in Jordan. It is also known as Mount Moses, for its association with Moses. It rises about 2,286 feet (700 m) above sea level and is located approximately 11 miles (18 km) west of Jordan's highest point at Jabal Umm al Dami. As such, it offers commanding views over Lake Tiberias and much of Jordan. The peak was one of several sites visited by Jesus during his 40 days in the wilderness, according to Christian tradition. According to rabbinical literature, it was here that Moses first saw Israel after his exile; thus rising above Nebo means rising into sight.

8) Ma'in Hot Springs (Ma'in Governorate))

If you’re looking for some peace and quiet, then Ma’in is a great place to start. Located about one hour south of Amman, these springs are surrounded by nothing but desert. The waters are believed to have healing properties because they contain high levels of hydrogen sulfide gas. Best time to go: late afternoon.

9) Shobak Castle (Al Mafraq Governorate))

Wadi Mujib is one of Jordan’s most famous attractions. It has even been labeled by UNESCO as a Man and Biosphere Reserve because of its diversity. As you continue down to Aqaba, however, it’s worth stopping off at Shobak Castle (Al Mafraq Governorate), which sits on top of a hill between Madaba and Aqaba. At 1,500 years old, it was built during Roman times but renovated by Saladin; look out for his coat of arms above an archway.

10 )Wadi Mujib Nature Reserve & Canyon (Jordan Valley Governorate))

A nature reserve located in southern Jordan, Wadi Mujib is one of the most spectacular sights in Jordan. Wadi means valley or dry riverbed. Between May and October it fills with water flowing from springs high up on Mount Hermon. The canyon, formed by water erosion over thousands of years, plunges more than 800 meters (2,600 feet) deep, making it one of deepest gorges in country. In ancient times, Jericho was founded here, but sadly today it’s a popular camping spot for Jordanians escaping from summer heat. The easiest way to reach Mujib Nature Reserve and Canyon is via taxi or rented car (about $50). You can also take a tour organized by any tourist agency in Jordan that includes entrance fees and transport; these tours usually cost around $150 for two people.

Jordan Attractions 

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