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JORDAN

The jewel of Jordan, temples and ruins among canyons and red mountains
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Petra: photos and travel info

Petra is a world-renowned site, and its beauty is exalted by the surrounding environment, full of canyons and mountains. It is located on a plateau in the center of Jordan (you can find all travel info about Jordan here), perhaps the safest country in the Middle East. Petra can be visited with a short tour or with two days of spectacular treks on trails and stairs that are thousands of years old. This second option is of course much preferable.
Petra, Sacrifice Trail
View over Petra from the Sacrifice trail
Petra
Fascinating landscape and antique buildings
In fact, although the most famous monument is the "Treasure" in the "Siq" (that means "gorge") that appears in the "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" movie, the wonderfully preserved ruins occupy a very large area.

The only uninviting part of Petra is the modern entrance to the site, also because here you get stripped of about 60 (worthy) euros for the ticket. From the entrance, a ten-minute walk leads to the red rocky natural walls of Petra. By walking through the narrow and impressive Siq gorge, you get to the Treasure, the mythical temple set in the rock.
The Siq, the imposing gorge at the entrance of Petra
The Siq, the imposing red gorge at the entrance of Petra
Treasure, Petra
The Treasure, the first antique temple that you meet in Petra
Continuing along the gorge, you reach a plain surrounded by red mountains and full of nabatean (and even Roman) ruins. The Nabateans, Arab nomads, around 300 BC founded Petra as the trade center in the area. The importance of the city continued in Roman times, and then fell until Petra became a forgotten Bedouin village. Over the last two centuries, Petra was rediscovered by and is today a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the Seven Wonders of the World. At the end of the Siq, there are roads and paths, including the walk to the Monastery, the Sacrifice trail and the path leading to the panoramic view of the Temple. All very stunning options: the photos speak for themselves.
Petra Petra
Petra's colors are of all the shades of red
Petra Petra
Several paths lead to spectacular viewpoints
The summer heat and the potentially cold winter, as well as the length of the day, make spring the favourable time to visit Petra. Anyway, Petra is at 800 meters of altitude and the climate is dry, so even in August it is possible to walk around, sweating a bit. The advantage is that very few people will be there, especially in the afternoon. Admiring certain views in solitude, or with the company of the only Bedouins who live in the area, is thrilling.
Petra
When there are no tourists, only beduins and mules are in Petra
Roman ruins in Petra
The Roman ruins add more fascinating architecture in the site
The ticket for two days costs just a little bit more than the one for one day: it's worth it! The show called "Petra by night" (not always available) is less interesting: viewing the Treasure under the lights of the lamps is more touristy than fascinating. A better idea (thought not exactly legal) is to stay inside the historic site while the sun goes down, and then join the tourists that paid to enter Petra by night. This way, you save some money and, most importantly, you can admire the landscapes with some nice beduins, few good friends and some goats.
Petra
The monastery of Petra and the goats of the beduins
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Jordan photos
All photos of the travel itinerary in Jordan

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