Jordan has many ancient wonders for you to marvel at when you visit. Two of the most famous places to visit or Jerash and Petra. So here are our top tips for visiting these fantastic destinations.
When you first lay your eyes on the map of Jordan to plan your trip you will notice that Jerash looks rather small. Don’t let the size fool you because this was one of the busiest places during ancient times. Jerash is absolutely stunning and is packed with fantastic historical sites to visit. It is famous for how well it has preserved the ruins from way back in the first century when the city was in full flow under Roman rule. When I was there I loved strolling through well kept columns and temples – it might just be my number one thing to add to your Jordan Tours.
Jerash is perfectly located just an hour from Amman by car – this is one of the reasons is a must do for most of the Jordan tours. If you need to organise your own transport then I recommend hiring a driver for the whole day, that gives you the day to visit the sites without having to worry about finding your way. It’s fairly easy once you’re there to get around because it is a small city – split in to two main parts by the river.
What To See
One of the most impressive things to see is the Hippodrome. This is where the sporting events of the time took place, you can even see fake gladiator battles and chariot racing a few times a week in this 15,000 capacity arena. Hadrian’s Arch, as the name suggests, this arch was constructed in honour of the emperor Hadrian and to be the southern gate of Jerash. Others that are an absolute must see are; Temple of Artemis, Nymphaeum and the Jerash Archeology Museum.
Extra Insider Tips
Souvenirs – the city has an outdoor bazaar (souq), you can find it near the way into the archeological park. It’s good to pick up your souvenirs here because you’ll find they are a lot cheaper than at Petra. Don’t buy anything that sellers are claiming is from the park itself because that’s illegal.
Weather – the weather in Jordan can vary quite a lot especially in the north where Jerash is, sometimes it even snows during the winter months. So check the weather before you go and make sure you’ve got a variety of options in your bag.
Adding Petra to your Jordan tour is very simple indeed. You will more than likely arrive by plane in to Amman before you venture off to Petra. Make sure you spend a day or two exploring the fantastic capital city.
After Petra, everyone should reserve at least one day for a visit to Wadi Rum. This is a protected desert area made famous by the rock formations and endless sweeping dunes.
If you find yourself short on time then you can easily fly directly to Petra from most major cities – check the schedules first before confirming and hotels or guides.
What To See
When you’re visiting such a special place like Petra it is important to make a list of the most important sites to see. This will make it easier for to create a good structure for your itinerary. The Siq, I think, should be at the top of the list! It is a mind blowing passage that goes between two huge rock wall – it’s the most used way in to Petra and an easy walk for all levels. Once you get to the end of the Siq you will be in Petra and the first thing you see is the Treasury. This rock cut building is marvellously preserved and very imposing. Other things to add to your list are; The Theater, Colonnaded Street, Qasr al-Bint, Royal Tombs, Street of Facades and High Place of Sacrifice.
Petra at night
I highly recommend going on a tour here during the night time, the atmosphere is truly remarkable. You will have the special privilege of seeing the famous walls of the Siq lit up by the light from candles placed on the ground. You’ll then relax, sipping on tea, listen to traditional Bedouin music, all whilst staring up at the stars.
Extra Insider Tips
Weather – The best time to visit is either during the spring (March to May) or winter (September to November). It can be extremely hot during the summer months so make sure that you bring enough water to keep hydrated.
Cash – You need to carry plenty of cash on you. You will need it for tickets, souvenirs, tips for guides and animal handlers, plus anything else you wish to purchase.
Clothing – You need to prepare yourself for a full day of walking. Even if you’re not taking the step hiking route, comfortable shoes with good grip are essentials. Breathable clothes, sunglasses and a good hat should also be in your bag.
Have you been to Jerash or Petra? I would love to hear all about your experiences, tips and tales. I think it’s great when we, as a travel community, can share our stories to help others have a memorable time. Just pop your comments in the box below – thanks for sharing guys!