With Ryanair announcing just days ago that they will be scheduling their first flights to Jordan with 14 routes as of 2018, the country’s popularity is on the up so what better reason to visit now?
This Middle Eastern country has suffered a decline in tourism it in recent years but is re-emerging as a modern, vibrant nation, according to the Visit Jordan tourist board.
The cosmopolitan capital of Amman is built on the hills surrounding the Jordan Valley so visitors are rewarded with fantastic views almost everywhere they turn.
Combine this taste of the ‘old’ Jordan, with its traditional coffee shops and tiny artisans’ workshops, with the ultra-modern way of life that is emerging and you can see how the capital offers a unique contrast that has something for everyone.
Outside of this prosperous metropolis are wonders galore. The Arabian Desert is calling and Wadi Rum does not disappoint. Just like a moonscape, it is made up of ancient valleys and towering weathered sandstone mountains once described by T. E. Lawrence and “vast, echoing and God-like.”
The white and pink coloured terrain turns a burnt, golden orange come sunset which is definitely not to be missed. And for the history buffs out there, Wadi Rum is also known as ‘The Valley of the Moon’ and was the headquarters during the Arab Revolt against the Ottomans in World War I.
And of course, no trip to Jordan would be complete without visiting Petra, the legendary ancient city carved into the sand and immortalised in film by Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
The canyons, Treasury, Monastery, tombs and facades have been done no justice in pictures or guidebooks and only walking (some part!) of the 12 mile site will do. At its peak, Petra saw over 3,000 visitors a day but numbers have dwindled making this experience even more mesmerising with not a selfie stick in sight.
The Red Sea
If you’re all a bit dry from kicking up puffs of sand as you trail the desert, then Jordan can offer the welcome sight of the Red Sea.
The coastal town of Aqaba is the ideal location to partake in water-based activities such as snorkelling, diving and jet skiing. The temperate climate and gentle currents make for a perfect environment to visit underwater coral ‘cities’ and the teeming marine life that live there.
If your idea of the beach has a more relaxed vibe then enjoy soak up the rays on the beach or watch the underwater life from a glass-bottom boat whilst the sun goes down.
On the Up
And with no warnings against travel from the Foreign Office, at the time of posting, the reasons for tourism downturn in the past are being overcome. In 2016 tourism rose by 6% and the Jordanian Tourism Board is expectant of even more visitors in the coming years.
So what are you waiting for?