Amman to Petra

Amman to Petra

Amman is the capital city of Jordan in the Middle East.  Amman offers the following points of interest for tourists and photographers;

  • Roman Amphitheatre
  • King Abdullah I Mosque
  • Amman Citadel and Temple of Hercules
  • Day trip to the desert castles of Jordan
  • Quseir Amra UNESCO world heritage site

After arriving in Amman I organized a taxi with the Rumman hotel to pick me up and take me to their hotel in the nearby city of Madaba.  The real advantage of staying at the Rumman hotel is that they offer great value, reliable tours to;

  • Aqaba via wadi Araba
  • Petra
  • Mount Nebo, Bethany and the Dead Sea
  • Desert Castles
  • Jerrash and Ajlun
  • Hammamat Ma’in and the Dead Sea

Madaba is also a peaceful city in which to stay with a variety of great restaurants and shops all within walking distance.

Northern Theater, Gerasa, Jordan

Northern Theater, Gerasa, Jordan

On the outskirts of Amman in Jerash you’ll find the Roman city of Gerasa, which for me was more impressive than the Colosseum in Rome.  Gerasa is a huge site and it will take a few hours to appreciate the whole city.  Gerasa dates back over 5000 years to long before the era of the Roman Empire.  You are free to explore all over the northern theater and if it’s not too hot you can take a few moments to sit down and appreciate the history of the structure.  At the top of the northern theater you’ll get a great landscape shot of Gerasa and Jerash (below).

Oval Forum, Gerasa, Jordan

Oval Forum, Gerasa, Jordan

The oval forum and cardo maximus of Gerasa is a view to behold, it is considered to be the best preserved Roman city in the region.  Whilst walking the cardo maximus you are exposed to the hot sun, don’t forget you’ll need sunscreen, water and a hat.  You’ll pass plenty of street vendors at the entrance selling these necessary items.

Qasr Kharana Desert Castle, Jordan

Qasr Kharana Desert Castle, Jordan

In Eastern Jordan, close to the Saudi Arabia border is the Qasr Kharana desert castle.  Such a simple, yet beautiful castle and the fact that it’s located in the middle of the desert makes it extra special.  I found Qasr Kharana to be the most interesting and beautiful of the desert castles, however it does not have a UNESCO status.

Quseir Amra Desert Castle, Jordan

Quseir Amra Desert Castle, Jordan

The Quseir Amra desert castle is a UNESCO world heritage site which dates back to the 8th century.  This is the most famous of the desert castles but what you’ll visit is not actually the castle (pictured above).  This is a royal retreat, the castle is now only foundations and a little disappointing.

Qasr Azraq Desert Castle, Jordan

Qasr Azraq Desert Castle, Jordan

The Qasr Azraq desert castle is a fortress located outside the city of Azraq.  The fortress was built here because there is a nearby oasis, the only water source for 10,000 square kilometers.  What impresses mot people about this fortress is that Lawrence of Arabia used this as his desert headquarters in the winter of 1917.  You can visit the office of Lawrence of Arabia near the entrance to the fortress.

Dead Sea, Jordan

Dead Sea, Jordan

On the drive from Amman to Petra there are a choice of routes, the Kings highway or the Dead Sea highway.  I recommend persuading your driver to take the Dead Sea highway and you’ll be rewarded with amazing views of the Dead Sea.  I’m sure you can persuade the driver to stop at some points along the Dead Sea route too, these guys are very keen for tips.  It takes about 3 hours to reach Petra, add another hour if you take the Dead Sea route.

Petra

2017-02-13T20:07:20+00:00 February 13th, 2017|Jordan, Middle East|27 Comments

27 Comments

  1. neha February 14, 2017 at 12:56 pm - Reply

    I love the ancient architectures that you take us through here. Particularly Northern Theater. Have to totally agree, I find them more interesting than the colosseum . Even before I read the paragraph below, looking at the picture itself reminded me of colosseum. Qasr Kharana Desert Castle and the dead sea are both remarkable as well.

  2. Kelly February 14, 2017 at 2:55 pm - Reply

    This is so great. I really don’t know too much about Jordan but the Northern theater and Desert Castle show me that there is so much to do in this country, even before you reach Petra. The Dead Sea looks amazing too. Thanks!

  3. Jillian Michelle February 15, 2017 at 1:40 am - Reply

    I’ve always wanted to travel to Jordan to see Petra! This is the first I’ve seen of all the different castles though! I’d never heard of the Quseir Amra nor the Qasr Kharana desert castles before, but now I am in complete awe! And the fact that there is an oasis nearby the Qasr Azraq Desert Castle makes it feel like something out of a fairy tale. Thanks so much for teaching me something new today! I’m adding all of these to my bucketlist! <3

  4. Maja Mexatia February 15, 2017 at 6:20 am - Reply

    The Quseir Amra desert castle is a proof that less is sometimes really more! So simple, yet so beautiful. I believe the Dead Sea route is definitely worth taking, just look at this sunset! Thank you for sharing it with us 🙂

  5. Jackie Taylor February 15, 2017 at 7:36 am - Reply

    I don’t know very much about Jordan, so I really enjoyed this post! That is incredible how far back the Quseir Amra desert castle dates to! I would love to visit that (along with the Dead Sea) when I eventually visit Jordan…. one day 🙂

  6. Allison February 15, 2017 at 11:42 am - Reply

    Jordan has always fascinated me. My bestie went 20 years ago and still talk very fondly about her trip. It’s good to hear Rumman Hotel doesn’t charge overs on the tours as so many hotels do. I’ve would have to persuade those drivers to let me spend a little longer by the Dead Sea.

  7. Global Girl Travels February 15, 2017 at 12:25 pm - Reply

    If there is one place in this side of the world that I would love to visit, it would be Petra. I’ve really enjoyed all of your journey so far. It has been nice to follow up with them like we’ve been through the journey with you! That shot of the Dead Sea is perfectly timed!

  8. Susanna February 15, 2017 at 1:42 pm - Reply

    I feel like I only ever see one photo of Jordan and it’s the typical one from Petra, so I really enjoyed this post. It’s so amazing to walk and experience history so old it outdates the Romans! I’ve been to the dead sea of the Israeli side and hope I can make it back to Jordan to see these beautiful sites!

  9. Ally Emm February 19, 2017 at 6:29 pm - Reply

    Wow, beautiful pictures! I would really love to visit Jordan one day!

  10. Una-Minh February 19, 2017 at 7:00 pm - Reply

    Photos are fantastic! I love the old-world feeling they give. It actually reminds me a lot of video game worlds like in Uncharted. I’ve never been to Amman but it looks like it has a rich history and plenty to see.

  11. Cat | For Two, Please February 20, 2017 at 2:47 am - Reply

    I don’t know much about Jordan, but it sure looks like a wonderful country for those interested in history! I would love to see this in person someday!

  12. Christopher James February 20, 2017 at 6:02 am - Reply

    And just like that, Jordan creeps to the top of my bucket-list! Thanks for sharing!

  13. Brian February 20, 2017 at 2:11 pm - Reply

    I’ll have about 4 free days in Jerusalem after TBEX next month. I’m considering going to Jordan and have bookmarked your page!

  14. Paula - Gone with the Wine February 20, 2017 at 3:39 pm - Reply

    This must of been an very interesting drive. I have visited Petra once but we took a bus from Israel, Eilat to Jordan. I loved it. Despite of that I was questioned heavily at the border while others got thru with no problems. It was very cool trip.

    Ever since I went to Petra, I have wanted to go back to Jordan and visit Amman and other places there! Thanks for telling about what all I should check out!

  15. John February 20, 2017 at 6:07 pm - Reply

    Beautiful! I would love to visit Jordan. Seeing Petra has been a goal of mine since I was pretty young.

  16. The Travel Ninjas February 21, 2017 at 2:22 am - Reply

    Jordon has has been on our bucket list for so long. Petra is one of the most amazing places on earth. Tanks for these great tips on getting there.

  17. Lena from fouronaworldtrip February 21, 2017 at 4:27 pm - Reply

    I love the picture from the sunsset over the dead sea! I am not sure if Jordan is really for me but everyone seems to be so amazed and impressed by Petra, that I am sure I will get there one day, too! : )

  18. Karla at GlobalETA February 21, 2017 at 11:40 pm - Reply

    The history of this area would be absolutely incredible to witness and learn about. Thank for sharing your experiences, photos, and tips. I wonder if I will ever see it in person but what a dream it would be!

  19. Chiera February 22, 2017 at 3:35 pm - Reply

    Petra is HIGH on my bucket list! This is so cool! Thank you for sharing your journey (I love your blog btw – very cool idea :D)

  20. Melissa February 22, 2017 at 3:50 pm - Reply

    The architecture is great. I really like how you have broken it down and explained the locations in Jordan and the capital city. It is an area that I am not too familiar with so this is brilliant. I want to start traveling more off the beaten track

  21. Anja / Womanhattan February 23, 2017 at 12:33 pm - Reply

    Such a magnificent place. That architecture is unreal!

  22. Aisha February 24, 2017 at 5:02 pm - Reply

    Your photos are stunning and the stories behind the various destinations are so intriguing. I don’t know very much about Jordan and I knew even less about Amman but I feel like that’s changed after reading your post. Thanks for sharing!

  23. Rhiannon February 24, 2017 at 6:39 pm - Reply

    I wish your post had been around before I went to Jordan – missed out on the desert castles due to not realising their existence, but they look wonderful! Amman is often overlooked by people eager to move on to the likes of Petra, but I loved it! Jerash was also one of the highlights of my trip.

  24. michelle d February 26, 2017 at 12:50 am - Reply

    ever since I came across petra it has been on my bucketlist. It is such a fascinating and beautiful place. The architecture alone! I would love to visit one day.

  25. Doro February 26, 2017 at 1:39 pm - Reply

    I’ve always wanted to visit Jordan to go to Petra. I haven’t really done a lot of research on other places to visit in Jordan, so thanks for sharing! The Qasr Azraq desert castle looks really cool!

  26. Hendrik February 27, 2017 at 1:25 pm - Reply

    Like always I am s fascinated from all your impressions, James. Theses places you visit there at the moment are obviously so unique and different from any other places, which is really cool and interesting.
    The Qasr Kharana Desert Castle looks so magnificent, I never saw something similar like this before. Would have bee great to see, how it looks from inside, that would really interest me.

  27. Julz June 27, 2017 at 12:48 pm - Reply

    I miss Jordan. I loved living there 🙂 Such a beautiful place, with beautiful people!

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