With its iconic sandstone cliffs and monumental architecture, Jordan’s ancient Nabatean city of Petra has long stoked the fires of adventurous travelers, you will find the world famous archaeological site is everything you would expect of a place with such legendary archaeological status, and more.
Petra, a place where ancient Eastern traditions blend seamlessly with Hellenistic architecture, dates from around 300 B.C, and was the capital of the Nabatean Kingdom. Situated between both the Red Sea and the Dead Sea, nicknamed due to its beautiful pink sandstone cliffs.
The main city is accessed through the twists and turns of the narrow canyon known as Al Siq, and was an important crossroads between Arabia, Egypt and Syria-Phoenicia. It is the fusion of the classical Hellenistic facades with the traditional Nabatean rock-cut temples and spectacular tombs that has created a unique juxtaposition of architectural styles that bear testimony to civilizations now sadly lost.
Al Khazneh – the treasury of Petra ancient city, Jordan
Just half a mile from the ancient city, and near the famous Treasury, archaeologists have recently discovered a new site. Larger than an Olympic sized swimming people, the previously unknown site is thought to have been a dedicated ceremonial area, and is second only to The Monastery as Petra’s largest structure.
Rumors have resonated for decades about the mysterious site, but with the advent of modern technology, such as satellite imagery and aerial drone photography, the as yet unearthed location has only added to the already intense mystique that surrounds Petra.
The Treasury itself is magnificent. Hewn from the natural cliffs with such craftsmanship and grandeur, the Treasury’s façade is an icon of archaeology and architecture and, built directly opposite the main entrance into Petra, it was designed to impress.
Because of the great natural protection by the enclosed cliffs along the canyon, 2000 years after its construction it impresses still. The best time to visit the Treasury is mid-morning, when the sun strikes the façade, or late afternoon when the sandstone is aglow with the reflected pinks and oranges of the desert sun.
Ancient Treasury in Petra, Jordan. Petra has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985
In Jordan’s extreme southwest lies the natural beauty of Wadi Rum, also known as The Valley of the Moon. The desert landscape of the valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is synonymous with the nomadic Bedouin people,, who now operate excellent eco-tourism adventures, such as trekking and climbing, and the ubiquitous desert camel safaris.
Famed for their excellent hospitality, you are sure to be welcomed to enjoy a dinner of delicious native Bedouin cuisine, notably stewed lamb and vegetables and, of course, a cup of tea.
Sand dunes are a spectacular natural feature around Wadi Rum, you’re certain to find your own little oasis of calm in the baked desert from which to watch the sunset or admire the unrivalled and unimaginable bewilderment of stars above.