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Jordan, officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, is a Kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan in Western Asia. It borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the east, Syria to the north and West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing control of the Dead Sea. Jordan's only port is at its southern tip, at the Gulf of Aqaba, which is shared with Israel, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. Much of Jordan is covered by the Arabian Desert. However, the north-western part of Jordan is part of the Fertile Crescent. The capital city is Amman.

The JordanUltra will be passing through the most significant historic and famous regions of Jordan. We look forward to being able to introduce you to this countries rich history and culture.

Wadi Rum

 

This is a stupendous, timeless place, virtually untouched by humanity. Here, it is the weather and winds that have carved the imposing, towering skyscrapers, so elegantly described by T.E. Lawrence as “vast, echoing and god-like”.

A maze of monolithic rockscapes rise up from the desert floor to heights of 1,750 metres creating a natural challenge for serious mountaineers. Hikers can enjoy the tranquillity of the boundless empty spaces, explore the canyons and water holes to discover 4000 year old rock drawings and the many other spectacular treasures this vast wilderness holds in store.

Also known as ‘The Valley of the Moon’, this is the place where Prince Faisal Bin Hussein and T.E. Lawrence based their headquarters during the Arab Revolt against the Ottomans in World War 1, and their exploits are intrinsically woven into the history of this amazing area.

 

Petra

The region of the Jordan Valley was most famously inhabited by the Nabataean civilization which left rich archaeological remains at Petra, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

It is a vast, unique city, carved into the sheer rock face by the Nabataeans, an industrious Arab people who settled here more than 2000 years ago, turning it into an important junction for the silk, spice and other trade routes that linked China, India and southern Arabia with Egypt, Syria, Greece and Rome.

 

Entrance to the city is through the Siq, a narrow gorge, over 1 kilometre in length, which is flanked on either side by soaring, 80 metres high cliffs. Just walking through the Siq is an experience in itself. The colours and formations of the rocks are dazzling. As you reach the end of the Siq you will catch your first glimpse of Al-Khazneh (the Treasury).

This is an awe-inspiring experience. A massive façade, 30m wide and 43m high, carved out of the sheer, dusky pink, rock-face and dwarfing everything around it. It was carved in the early 1st century as the tomb of an important Nabataean king and represents the engineering genius of these ancient people.

The Treasury is just the first of the many wonders that make up Petra. You will need ample time to really explore everything here. As you enter the Petra valley you will be overwhelmed by the natural beauty of this place and its outstanding architectural achievements. There are hundreds of elaborate rock-cut tombs with intricate carvings - unlike the houses, which were destroyed mostly by earthquakes, the tombs were carved to last throughout the afterlife and 500 have survived, empty but bewitching as you file past their dark openings. Here also is a massive Nabataean-built, Roman-style theatre, which could seat 3,000 people. There are obelisks, temples, sacrificial altars and colonnaded streets, and high above, overlooking the valley, is the impressive Ad-Deir Monastery – a flight of 800 rock cut steps takes you there.

Within the site there are also two excellent museums; the Petra Archaeological Museum and the Petra Nabataean Museum both of which represent finds from excavations in the Petra region and an insight into Petra's colourful past.

A 13th century shrine, built by the Mameluk Sultan Al Nasir Mohammad to commemorate the death of Aaron, the brother of Moses, can be seen on top of Mount Aaron in the Sharah range.

 

The Hashemites

It is with great thanks that to the Hashemites for all of their help in organising this event in particular HRH King Abdullah and HRH Prince Hamzah.

Jordan Tourist Board Website