Known as the Switzerland of the Middle East, Jordan is a peaceful and progressive nation in a region often subject to bad press. Officially called The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, it’s a sovereign Arab state bordered by Israel, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iraq. And while an estimated 30% of the 2018 population of 10 million is made up of refugees from various regional conflicts, it is a positive indictment of Jordan’s culture of hospitality that the country remains so peaceful.
About the same size as Portugal or the US state of Maine, Jordan is largely a desert country with a warm, dry climate. The north is verdant with crops and many species of trees, and thick with Roman ruins. Amman, the capital city, is a fast growing modern metropolis. The Dead Sea, at 440 metres below sea level, is the lowest place on earth (and shrinking at around a metre per year). Aqaba offers world-class diving in gin-clear waters, and less than an hour north of here is the fantastic Wadi Rum, where great sandstone bluffs poke from the yellow and red sands. Numerous films have been shot here, including Lawrence of Arabia and The Last Jedi.
And of course here lies Petra, the jewel in the crown of Jordan’s tourism industry.
But, more than anything, this country is about the people and their stories. You’ll be swaddled with kindness, delighted with food and drowned with tea. There’s no doubt about it – Jordan is as welcoming a place as you’ll find anywhere on earth.
Things we love about Jordan
- Jordanian hospitality. I think we’ve raved about this enough above!
- Scuba diving and snorkelling in the Red Sea. Thanks to Jordan’s Marine protected Areas the country’s 17 miles of Red Sea coastline have some of the most spectacular coral reefs in the world.
- Nosing around Little Petra. Most tourists are disgorged from their tour buses at the entrance to Petra and just visit the Treasury, but what they don’t realise is there’s another 200 square kilometres of Petra to explore. And then there is Little Petra, possibly built as a caravanserai for Petra or maybe as a decoy to make travellers think they had reached the fabled city. Either way it is a horde-free delight.
- Geographical diversity. Deserts, ruins, glitzy cities, beaches and more.
A massive dose of adventure, just a short hop from home. Fantastic motorcycling, desert treks, world-class mountain-biking, Bedouin camps, canyoning and more – just a short five-hour hop from London. This is your new favourite place.