Petra in Jordan is one of the most magnificent monuments in the world. As the national treasure of Jordan it’s one of the country’s most visited tourists attraction, and it’s also the place where seemingly anyone who’s anyone in travel has visited this year. Here are all the top reasons why you should visit Petra this year:
Petra is known as the Rose City and gazing upon the beautiful red rock will show you why. This oasis in the middle of the harsh desert is simply stunning, and while it’s sometimes referred to as the Lost City, nothing this beautiful was ever truly forgotten. Gorgeous buildings cut back into the blush coloured rock, the wide expanse of desert surrounding it and soaring cavern walls all make it a must visit in Jordan.
It’s believed that the site now known as Petra has been used since 9000 BC. In the 4th century BC it became the capital of a nomadic Arab tribe and became an important trading route and hub. So important in fact, that people worked tirelessly to expand the city and turn it into something majestic. The history at Petra is fascinating and at times mind-boggling.
It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site
For UNSECO to declare a landmark or area a World Heritage Site it has to have a historical, scientific or be a significant human-interest point. It’s then legally protected by international treaties and preserved by the group. In other words, Petra is kind of a big deal.
It’s also one of the New 7 Wonders of the World
It’s not always a given that just because you’re a World Heritage Site you’ll become a World Wonder, that honour is hard to come by, but Petra has done it! It’s on the New 7 Wonders of the World list thanks to a global campaign that selected ‘new’ places of antiquity besides the original 7 (except for Egypt’s Pyramids that appear in both lists – greedy). Even Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan joined the petition to get Petra recognised as a true wonder of this world.
It’s waiting to be discovered
There’s much more to see at Petra than you may think. The famous ancient treasury is just the tip of the iceberg at the site, with archaeologists saying 85% of the city is still underground waiting to be excavated. Of the parts you can see there’s mausoleums, the As-Siq (a long gorge that serves as the entrance to the site), the monastery, The Great Temple and an epic climb up a lot of steps to get a stunning view across the entire area.
Thinking about putting Petra on your 2019 must visit list? Check out Contiki’s Israel & Jordan Uncovered trip for all the deets.