To travel with open hearts and minds provides the opportunity to connect with local lifestyles and Luxury Bound loves to introduce you to different cultures, often thousands of years old. The city of Petra is on many bucket lists as a privileged place to glance back through history, but it also offers the chance to interact with welcoming Bedouins and make new friends.
Petra: The Rose City
Popular, but almost never crowded, Petra is as breathtaking as it is humbling. The former capital of the Nabatean Kingdom, this labyrinth of temples and tombs, meticulously sculpted out of the red sandstone cliffs of southern Jordan, gives an insight into the awe-inspiring endeavours of humankind. Lost to the world for centuries, it’s one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and an astonishing remnant of ancient civilizations.
Enter the rock-carved city via the Siq, a natural gorge that twists through the steep walls of the canyon, sometimes opening on to areas dazzled by sun, often closing to corridors no more than two metres wide that envelop you in silence. Your first sight of the Treasury, carved into the echo-chamber heart of the mountain, is one that will stay with you forever.
Built as a tomb for King Aretas III, the monument is the undisputed highlight of Petra, but there’s plenty more to capture the imagination here. You can walk up to the sacrificial platform on top of Jebel Madbah to get a better appreciation of the sheer scale of the excavations, look down on the Royal Tombs bathed in golden light, and listen to bleating goats as they scramble over the rugged rocks.
Wadi Rum: Valley of the Moon
While Petra is a testament to the toil of humans, Wadi Rum is a timeless work of art by Mother Nature. A two-hour drive south of the ancient city, the lunar landscape is one of the world’s most captivating deserts. The sea of rolling dunes in a protected wilderness is home to Bedouins whose ancestors fought off the Ottoman Empire with the help of Lawrence of Arabia.
Named the Valley of the Moon for good reason, the area’s allure is endless, from the majesty of Jebel Umm Ad Dami, Jordan’s tallest mountain, to fascinating rock art, and an expansive night sky that’s perfect for stargazing.
Acknowledged as one of the world’s best areas for long desert hikes, Wadi Rum also offers less strenuous activities, from Jeep safaris, to riding a camel, or joining the Bedouins for a delicious feast and a chat about their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Whatever you choose to do here, you are sure to leave feeling transformed.
To learn more about the ancient history and local cultures of Jordan, contact Caroline today and she’ll create a unique adventure just for you. Call 1300 767 237 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.