Located 240km from Amman, Petra is the highlight of a trip to Jordan, one of the New 7 Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This ancient city was built between the 1st and 6th centuries BCE. It’s carved right into the rock and is accessible only through a 2km-long narrow rock crevasse called Al Siq.
Once the capital of the Nabatean Arabs, Petra was lost to the world for centuries, only rediscovered in the early 19th Century by a Swiss traveller and adventurer. Petra tour packages include so many exciting sights, including the first one you see after entering through the Siq, which is the famous 45m-high Treasury (Al Khazna), a giant tomb carved out of the rock. There’s also the location’s Archaeological Museum, home to numerous items found in Petra over the past two centuries.
Why visit Petra
- According to the Smithsonian Museum, it is one of the 28 places in the world you should see before you die.
- To see incredible ancient Nabataean sites.
- Discover the vast monastery located on top of a mountain.
- Experience the magic of the rocks’ gold pink glow.
- To hike on hills covered in Nabataean burial sites, many intricately designed tombs.
- To explore caves that are home to ancient statues.
Known as the ‘Rose Red City’ because of the beautiful colour of the rocks out of which it was carved, ancient Petra is full of incredible natural, cultural, archaeological and geological attractions. Discover them all on a Petra holiday package from Thompsons Holidays.
Things to do in Petra
Ancient Petra, famous for the rose coloured rocks out of which the city was carved, is fascinating to explore. One of the most famous sights in the Middle East, it’s a centuries-old natural wonder and a UNESCO-listed site that was only rediscovered in 1812. With a history dating back more than 10,000 years, Petra’s attractions are a mix of archaeological and historical wonders that offer an insight into a long-lost civilisation, its people and lifestyle.
Famous attractions in Petra
- Discover the magnificent Byzantine Church, built in the 5th or 6th Century.
- Explore the magnificent Palace Tomb, with its exquisite, ornate columns and pillars.
- Take some refreshment in a Bedouin tent.
- Marvel at Al-Khazneh, a temple carved as a tomb for a Nabataean king in the 1st Century.
- Climb the steps to the top of the High Palace of Sacrifice for a breathtaking view of Petra below.
- Climb 800 steps to explore the Monastery, Ad Deir, Petra’s second most famous sight.
- Visit the Obelisk Tomb.
- Learn how the Nabataeans created a sophisticated water control system and artificial oasis to fuel this impressive desert metropolis.
Explore this extraordinary ancient city and discover its many secrets on a Petra tour as part of your Jordan holiday package, arranged by Thompsons Holidays.
Know before you go...
When is the best time to visit?
- The best time to visit Wadi Rum is in the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November).
- In summer, June to September, temperatures hover around the late thirties, early forties. It can be unbearably hot in the desert at this time.
- Flight duration from Johannesburg to Amman: 10 hours & 55 minutes with one stopover in Cairo.
- You then take a bus from Amman to Petra – duration: 3 hours.
- Make sure you have a hat or headscarf to protect you from the harsh sun, wind and sand.
- Pack lightweight clothing that can cover as much skin as possible, for protection from the elements – and respect the local customs.
- Comfortable walking shoes.
- Sunscreen, lip balm, hat and sunglasses.
- Mini first aid kit and regular prescription medication.
- Hand sanitiser and insect repellent.
- Travel adaptor.
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