Jordan back on Tourist Map | Among westerners, any country connected to the Arab culture is carrying a warning sign. The way islamic societies treat women and the way they talk about so-called ‘non-believers’ creates mixed emotions. Therefore countries such as Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, Yemen, Lebanon or Palestine are not even listed as possible destinations for leisure tourists. But moderate muslimic states allow and even promote leisure tourism. Positive examples: Turkey, Tunisia, Malaysia. And there is a new star on the rise: Jordan …
With today’s blog post Chili & Churp want to make a strong case for tourism in Jordan. In our opinion, Jordan is the Middle East’s most remarkable tourist destination. One image comes in mind first: the red pillars of famous Petra, an ancient city carved into the desert mountains and a UNESCO World Heritage site. But you might have already guessed it: Jordan got more to offer than Petra …
The Dead Sea
Jordan is back on the tourist map among others because of its access to the Dead Sea – lowest place on earth accessible by foot, extremely salty water. Result: you can’t sink. The Dead Sea is flanked by mountains to the east and the rolling hills of Jerusalem to the west. 45 billion tons of salts has been dissolved here. The Dead Sea area is believed to have been home to five Biblical cities: Sodom, Gomorrah, Adman, Zebouin and Zoar. Very popular habit of tourists: covering the body in mud. Not only does Dead Sea mud contain beneficial minerals, it also kills acne-causing bacteria. Body wraps made from Dead Sea mud are a popular treatment at high-end spas in the region.
The Red Sea
In the very south of Jordan lies Aqaba – a city that touches the Red Sea. Its beaches and coral reefs make a world-class snorkeling site. But be aware. There will be no powder-sugar sand, no lounge chairs, and no service of any kind. In return for accepting this you will be rewarded with untouched coral of every hue imaginable and schools of fish in all their brilliance.
A landscape that looks like Mars! Wadi Rum in Jordan was a practical backdrop for the planet Mars in filming The Martian – Bring him Home, starring Matt Damon. One part of Wadi Rum is known as ‘The Valley of the Moon’, where Prince Faisal Bin Hussein and T.E. Lawrence based their headquarters during the Arab Revolt against the Ottomans in World War I.
Jordan part of the Holy Land
Jordan has several biblical attractions that create pilgrimage activities. The list of biblical sites seems to be endless: Al-Maghtas where Jesus was baptized / Mount Nebo where Moses looked on to the Promised Land / Umm ar-Rasas, a fortified Roman garrison that contains 16 Byzantine churches / Madaba that holds the Madaba Map which is the oldest mosaic map of the Holy Land* / Machaerus which is a fortified hilltop overlooking the Dead Sea where John the Baptist was imprisoned and executed etc etc.
* The Holy Land was located in today’s Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. It is considered holy by Jews, Christians and Muslims.
Jordan back on Tourist Map. By Chili & Chirp | Visit our Travel Alphabet.