Jordan offers guaranteed sunshine for 8 to 10 months of the year; a base of powerful, unique cultural attractions such as Petra, Jerash, and many others together with a wide range of very different, often stunning natural environments that are easily accessible and virtually undiscovered by tourists. Exciting new horizons in tourism allow Jordan visitors to push themselves to new levels of adventure and endurance while soaking up natural marvels and dramatic cultural attractions from the ancient world.
For example, a small group of people in 4-wheel-drive vehicles can retrace the journey of the Emperor Hadrian from north to south Jordan, taking in biblical cities and legionary fortresses. Or, more ambitiously, a caravan of 25 people on camels or donkeys can set off to retrace the journeys of Lawrence of Arabia in the central highlands and eastern deserts of Jordan, spending a week en route and camping in a different place every night.
Parts of these itineraries can be done along the edge of the desert in steam-powered World War One vintage trains, the same as those that were attacked by the forces of the Great Arab Revolt and Lawrence nearly a century ago.
Nature enthusiasts have many options in Jordan: the vast, silent drama of Wadi Rum, the forested hills of central Jordan, or the plunging Jordan Rift Valley that includes the Dead Sea - the lowest spot on earth. The Red Sea resort of Aqaba is always warm, balmy, and enticing for divers and other watersports enthusiasts. Aqaba offers a full range of facilities for speed boating, scuba diving, snorkeling, sailing, fishing, swimming, water skiing, wind surfing, or simply loafing and sun bathing in the warm crystal-clear waters of the Red Sea. The sparkling purple mountains surrounding Aqaba beckon hikers who seek new adventures and unconquered terrain.
The more daring adventure visitor to Jordan is likely to climb mountains in Wadi Rum, conquering sheer granite cliffs that retain the inscriptions of local climbers who were here 5000 years ago and more.
Thrill-seekers who want to go beyond the ordinary will climb into a helicopter or hot air balloon and rise above the mountain-tops of Wadi Rum or over Petra. Gliding and private plane rentals are also available in Jordan, from Amman Airport in Marka.
Horseback riders can take a few days to retrace the segments of the ancient spice, silk, and frankincense routes that pass through the green hills of Petra, Amman, and north Jordan. More daring riders will want to mount their Arabian steeds for a four-day trek through the eastern desert, stopping for rest and water at early Islamic desert castles and caravan stations. This trip re-enacts the original Arabian pony express mail service that operated here in the 7th century.