Discover the ancient city of Petra (video)

Visit This World Wonder- Amazing Petra
Discover the ancient city of Petra
The ancient city of Petra is a natural fort that was carved into the rocks in the middle of the desert over 2,000 years ago.

The area was chosen by the Nabataeans who are credited with creating this stunning rose red city.

See also: Jordan for beginners

According to Lonely Planet, this idyllic oasis of land then lay forgotten for centuries until Swiss explorer, Jean Louis Burckhardt chanced upon it in 1812.

They also developed dams to divert nearby streams and springs into the city to create a natural water system.

Not only did this allow residents to survive but the water also enabled crops such as wheat and fruit to thrive in the area.

A narrow gap in the rock, called the Siq, is the gateway to this magical and ancient city.

The pathway leads to the Treasury which is often bathed in sunlight thanks to its position. As the guide in the footage explains, this area is often met with gasps of awe from first time visitors.

Petra later became an important cross roads for trade and the figures of men and camels carved into the city's walls represent this.

Caravans of camels carried carried spices, Frankincense, silk and other goods to the colourful, well-protected metropolis.

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Discover the ancient city of Petra (video)

With amazing waterfalls and canyons, Jordan is a brilliant place to go canyoning. Wadi Mujib, close to the Dead Sea, is the lowest nature reserve in the world and boasts spectacular scenery, 200-metre high cliffs and rock pools. There are various trails combining swimming, hiking and climbing. Opt for the Siq Trail, which is rated easy with climbs up two to three-metre high waterfalls. Be sure to pack waterproof footwear for the fun-filled trek, which is a must if you're looking for the perfect adventure in Jordan. 13JD (£11).

Ancient Petra is a site you have to see to believe. However many times you've seen pictures of its famous rock structure, the Treasury, nothing prepares you for the moment you catch the first glimpse of this elaborate ruin. The vast archaeological city dates back to as early as 312BC and is today Jordan's most valuable treasure. You can spend hours or even days exploring the 'Red City' by foot and be overwhelmed by its sheer beauty and architectural achievements. Entry fee 50JD (£44) per day, 55JD (£49) for two days and 60JD (£53) for three days' entry.

If you love Middle Eastern cuisine and want to take a few Jordanian recipes home with you, an evening at Petra Kitchen is the tastiest way to do it! Learn the secrets behind the regional dishes of the Levant, meet other foodies and indulge in gourmet Jordan with this unique dining experience. During the evening, you'll prepare soup, hot and cold mezze, salads and a main course in a fun and relaxed environment. 35JD (£31) per person, including the course, dinner, non-alcoholic drinks and recipes for all dishes prepared in the evening.

It's one thing seeing iconic Petra by day, but return after dark and you'll get a magical and romantic perspective of the wonderful site. Illuminated by 1,800 candles, Petra by Night is out of this world and a brilliant evening in the city. Walk through the Siq to the Khazneh following the candlelit path and arrive at the Treasury, where enchanting Bedouin music is played on special instruments and you can sip sweet tea as you soak up the romantic and mystical surroundings. Don't miss the breathtaking view of the stars in this memorable setting. Every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday; 8.30pm-10pm. 12JD (£10).

The vast and splendid landscape of Wadi Rum is best enjoyed from the sky where you can glide at a slow pace over the epic desert in a hot air balloon. Romantic and the ultimate adventure for lovers of heights, a hot air balloon ride is a magical way to see the wavy sand dunes, majestic cliffs and unusual rock formations of Wadi Rum. Sunrise is the best time for a ride, when you can see the hues of the cliffs change during this once-in-a-lifetime experience. 130JD (£115) with

To fully immerse yourself in Bedouin culture, a night sleeping under the stars in the desert is a must. Wadi Rum was the setting for the film Lawrence of Arabia and once you visit this magnificent place, you'll understand why it was chosen for the film. Captain's Desert Camp (from £25 per night) is a great place for camping with its large Bedouin tents, bathroom facilities and wonderful nights by the fire. While staying at the camp, a good way to get out and about to explore Wadi Rum, is on a Jeep safari (half day, 60JD). With monolithic rockscapes rising to heights of 1,750m, canyons and beautiful bridges, there's plenty to see from a 4x4 and you can get active with hiking.

Get up close to the camels in Wadi Rum by going on a guided ride at sunset. If you're staying at Captain's Desert Camp, you can explore the surrounding area by camel for 20JD (£18) and take in the beautiful desert from a height. Just before the sun sets, your guide will stop to make tea the traditional way and you can watch the unforgettable sunset before riding back to camp.

If you're interested in Arab history and love a historic train ride, you won't want to miss the Hejaz Railway, which was built in 1908 to link Damascus with the holy places of Medina and Macca. During the First World War it was a vital supply route for Turkish troops defending the Ottoman Empire and today the railway is running again from Amman to Ma'an and through Wadi Rum and Aqaba on the Red Sea. The carriages and engines are from another era, with the First Class carriage lavishly decorated with red velour seating, containing its own toilet and beautiful lampshades. For a truly memorable journey, the railway can arrange for the line to be 'attacked' by Lawrence of Arabia and his men on horses! 5JD (£4.50) per person if the train is already running.

Jordan is home to a variety of accommodation options, from budget camping to five-star luxury, but if you're looking for somewhere truly unique to spend the night, you'll want to check in to stylish eco hotel Feynan Ecolodge located deep in the heart of the mountainous Dana Biosphere Reserve. The 26-room lodge knows how to preserve its stunning surroundings and uses solar power and reusable materials while working to integrate the local people and respect their traditions. Dining is a treat and don't let the fact that the lodge is vegetarian deter you as the dishes are good enough to convert any meat eater. At night, guests can head for the rooftop for stargazing using Feynan's own telescope and there is a plethora of activities on offer during the day, including sunset cycling, a village tour and hiking to the copper mines. Double rooms from 85JD (£75) per night, plus a 2JD conservation fee per person.

One of the world's strangest places and Jordan's most unique attraction is the Dead Sea, with its other-worldly landscape, salt and mineral-rich water and awe-inspiring sunset views. The salt lake has such a high salinity level that it is virtually impossible to swim in and instead you float on the surface. Flanked by mountains to the east and the hills of Jerusalem to the west, the Dead Sea is a picturesque spot where you can reap the benefits of the super salty and warm water, smother your skin in the therapeutic mud (King Herod the Great and Cleopatra are known to have visited the site for its healing properties) and just relax in the water with a newspaper. Be aware that if you have any cuts or grazes, the water stings like hell, so you may want to visit the Dead Sea before taking up any active adventures in Jordan!


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