Petra


A stunningly beautiful ancient site, Petra allows you to travel back in time and discover a city of rose-red against a backdrop of dramatic mountains and desert.

A glimpse into the past

Believed to have been inhabited as far back as 9,000 BC, Petra was probably established as the capital of the Nabataean Kingdom around the 6th century and, due to its location between the Red Sea and the Dead Sea, was an important location on the famous Silk Road trade route. Everyone knows the facade of the Treasury – its image is used for pretty much all touri...

A stunningly beautiful ancient site, Petra allows you to travel back in time and discover a city of rose-red against a backdrop of dramatic mountains and desert.

A glimpse into the past

Believed to have been inhabited as far back as 9,000 BC, Petra was probably established as the capital of the Nabataean Kingdom around the 6th century and, due to its location between the Red Sea and the Dead Sea, was an important location on the famous Silk Road trade route. Everyone knows the facade of the Treasury – its image is used for pretty much all tourism advertising for Jordan, as well as having been used as a set for numerous Hollywood movies, including Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade – but there are plenty of other wonderful historic sights to see in Petra; you should also check out the royal tombs, the monastery, and the Roman theatre. Make sure to also visit the Exhibition of Petra visitor center, which houses a number of artifacts from different ages detailing life in Petra.

Natural splendor

Petra was carved into huge sandstone rock formations by the Nabataean people, giving the city its nickname ‘the Rose City’ from the coloration of the rock. The entrance to Petra is through the Siq; this awe-inspiring long, narrow gorge is impressive in itself, but also keep an eye out for minor carvings and remains of terracotta pipes dating back to the Roman era. If you manage to keep your energy in the Jordanian heat, there are some popular hikes around the city, such as those to the High Place of Sacrifice and the Mountain of Aaron. For the particularly adventurous, head out into the neighboring desert of Wadi Rum with its stunningly beautiful landscape.

The nomadic way of life

Wadi Rum and the area around Petra are inhabited by a nomadic people called the Bedouins. Over the generations, they have learned how to survive in this harsh environment, and in recent years they have adapted their lifestyle by integrating themselves into Jordanian society while still retaining their own sense of unique culture. The Bedouins are known for their warm and hospitable nature, and there is much to be learned from these incredible people about the surroundings and Petra itself. One way of doing this is by spending the night – or even a few nights – out in a Bedouin camp, giving you the chance to spend time and share experiences with them.

Petra by night

Petra is, of course, stunning at any time of day, but viewing the Treasury at night is nothing short of magical. The Petra Night Show begins at 8:30 pm; as you enter the city through the Siq, you will find hundreds of candles lighting your way to the treasury. You should then spend the night in Wadi Rum and sleep under the stars, as the nomads have done for generations.

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Petra: The stunning Rock City of Jordan