Opposites become one in Jordan: Ancient ruins can be found in modern cities like Amman or Jerash. Thanks to water springs, rocky valleys like Wadi Rum become green oases, and the Dead Sea – contrary to what its name suggests – has healing and invigorating powers. Make sure that you take the time to see these fascinating contrasts and take a road trip to explore the most impressive places in the country.
Enjoyment for the Masses
Once part of a mountain, the remains of Jordan’s largest amphitheatre are barely recognisable in the current landscape. In this place, it seems like the past and the present merge. In its prime, Amman’s Roman Theater, just a few minutes from Jabal Al Qala’a, could seat thousands to enjoy blood sport and theatrical performances. Stop in the square in front of the arty venue for a moment and look at the rows. If you look long enough, you’ll see our exhilarated ancestors groaning and cheering in your mind’s eye.
Azure and Holy
3,000 worshipers have enough space here, and it is a unique architectural feat: The King I Abdullah Mosque is considered one of the newer landmarks of Amman and is only a few minutes away from the amphitheatre on foot. What makes it special: a magnificent bright blue dome, which is not only easily visible from a distance, it is also enchanting when you admire the colourful mosaics and golden decorations from the inside. Although the mosque was only built in the 1980s, unlike the Hand of Hercules, the temple, and the theatre, it can keep pace with the ancient architecture in terms of aesthetics.
For those of you who want to take a trip through the country, head southwest from Amman. You’ll arrive at your next destination after an approx. 45-minute car ride: Mount Nebo. The mountain measures a bit over 800 metres in height, is located in the Abǎrim Mountains, and plays a major role in the Bible, to be more exact in the books of the prophet Moses. This is where Moses was thought to have seen the “promised land” of Israel, and it is here that he is said to have finally died. Whether it really happened that way, will remain a mystery until the end of time. Either way: At the summit, the views of the Jordan Valley, the Dead Sea, and Israel will make Mount Nebo a magical place forever.
Gentle Tourism at the Dana Biosphere Reserve
If you drive a little over three hours by car, you will slowly leave civilization behind. Ahead of you stretches the Dana Biosphere Reserve, the country’s largest and oldest biosphere reserve. You’ll find plenty of trails meandering through steppes and bushes at the foot of the rock lines. It’s hard to believe that this barren, seemingly inhospitable landscape is home to over 800 plant species and is a protected area for endangered animals. So, keep an eye out! Maybe you’ll see a Nubian ibex strolling along the steep slope.
A Night in the Desert
Where better to spend a night in the desert than in Wadi Rum, in the Valley of the Moon? Being the largest wadi in Jordan, it attracts visitors like a magnet and offers impressive views thanks to the deep canyons, the vast amount of sand and the ancient sandstone rock formations. It's no wonder that this landscape was the backdrop for alien planets in numerous films, including movies like Red Planet, The Martian, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and most recently Dune. There are many camps set up very close to the Bedouin camp in the Wadi Rum Village where you can stay in tents or small stone houses for the night.
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