Jordan‏ shares the wonder of Petra

9th May 2013

Jordan is rich of money and heritage, but perhaps its most valuable treasure and greatest tourist attraction of all is Petra, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

It is among the Middle-East's great cultural sites; a huge, distinctive city carved into the sheer rock face by the Nabataeans, who settled here over 2,000 years ago.

The entrance to Petra is through the Siq, a narrow gorge flanked on either side by towering, 80m (262.5ft) high cliffs made up of spectacular rock hues and formations.

As you reach the end of the Siq you'll get your first sight of Al-Khazneh (Treasury), the first of the many wonders that make up Petra.

The Petra valley boasts outstanding architecture, such as an impressive 3,000-capacity Roman-style theatre, obelisks, temples, sacrificial altars, colonnaded streets, and Ad-Deir Monastery.

The Petra Archaeological Museum and the Petra Nabataean Museum house excavations offer great insights into Petra's colourful history. The best time to see all this, particularly if you're armed with a camera, is either early to mid-morning or late afternoon, when the angled sun spotlights and emphasises the jaw-dropping natural colours of the rocks.

Finally, if you need any further recommendations on a city that is so popular with group tours, look no further than the following quote: "This is pretty spectacular." It came from an American as he looked up at the soaring red cliffs earlier this spring. The quote was mouthed by none other than President Barack Obama.

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