April 11, 2023
Exploring the Wonders of Jordan
Jordan might not be the country that most holidaymakers in the UK think of when they’re planning a trip. But among seasoned travellers, it’s quickly developing a reputation. Jordan holidays are quickly rising to the top of everyone’s bucket list, and the nation is finally fulfilling its considerable potential.
In 2023, it was voted best in travel by Lonely Planet – so it must have something going for it. So, what is it about this part of the world that’s so compelling?
What is Jordan?
Jordan is a country in the Levant, nestled just between Israel and Saudi Arabia. It shares a border with the famous Dead Sea, and has played a pivotal role in the history of the world. It’s a nation rich in culture and history, and it has a relatively competitive economy, too. In recent years, it’s focussed particular attention on developing its appeal to tourists – and the results have been very encouraging.
A place to find adventure
A few landmarks and locations stand out as worth investigating.
Petra is an ancient city, rediscovered in the 19th century by Jean Louis Burckhardt. You might recognise the exterior of the treasury from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade but there’s a great deal more to discover in this incredible place!
If you’re staying in the Jordanian capital, Amman, then you’ll want to make a point of visiting the famous citadel, which sits on a hill overlooking the old city. The Dead Sea is also worth a visit; you can float on the surface, famously, thanks to the incredibly high salt content of the water.
Near the Saudi border, we find the Wadi Rum, or Valley of the Moon, where you’ll be able to camp right out in the desert. If you want a real insight into the desert lifestyle, this is probably the best place to find one.
Finally, we should consider the Dana Biosphere Reserve, which is a Unesco-endorsed nature reserve, and Jordan’s largest. It’s home to hundreds of species of plant and animal – and the land itself is stunning, thanks to exposed bedrock of sandstone. It’s almost uniquely beautiful!
Experiencing the food
Jordanian food is typically Levantine, with several staple dishes dominating. During your stay, you’ll want to sample some falafel – which, for the uninitiated, is a fried snack made from chickpeas and spices. They’re as popular here as they are in neighbouring Israel. Then there’s shawarma, which is the genuine version of the vertical rotisserie you might recognise from your local takeaway.
Perhaps the most quintessentially Jordanian dish, however, is Mansaf – which is a rice-based dish which features lamb marinated in yogurt. Expect to eat it using your hands, as is the local custom.