The best Valentines Day I ever spent was in Petra with my sister, Ruth. I was studying Arabic abroad and my sister Ruth jumped on a plane to come and visit me in Jordan. I can still remember how excited I was to see her and how I practically jumped onto her as she entered the Arrivals hall in Queen Alia airport.
So on the 14th February, 2017 Ruth and I left my apartment in Amman at about 3am to catch a bus to Petra: we were both so very excited! Trust me, Petra did not dissapoint.
Petra is a world famous aincient archeological site which is situated in Southern Jordan. The site has been inhabited since prehistoric times and is most famous for the Nabatean city carved into rock. The Nabatean city dates to roughly 300 BCE and was strategically situated at a major trading crossroads of that time. Petra is now formally recognised as one of the Seven Wonders of the World and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
If you travel to Petra, make sure that you visit the following places.
Once you have entered the Petra site and you have purchased your tickets, you will need to walk along a gravel path for roughly 20 minutes. At the end of this path you will find the Siq: beautiful orange canyon walls the lead to Petra.
My advice: Don’t rush through the Siq, no matter how tempting it might be. Stop and take it all in, you will thank yourself later when you look back.
You will need to walk through the Siq for about twenty five minutes to reach the Treasury (unless you’re like me and you want to take photographs of everything!)
At the end of the Siq you will discover the magnificent Treasury façade; honestly it was even more beautiful that I had imagined! The plaza infront of the Treasury is usually busy and you will be offered many a camel or donkey ride. There are also stores selling gifts as well as a small cafe.
I can’t stress this enough -the Treasury is probably one of the most intricate and beautiful sites that I have seen in my life.
The Street Of Facades & The Amphitheatre
When you continue past the Treasury you will find yourself walking along the street of Facades. Along this street you can see even more buildings and facades carved into the rock face. There are also dozens of caves (some of these caves are occupied by beduoins!)
The High Place Of Sacrifice
The high place of Sacrifice is quite a climb and I found it quite challenging but if you are able to take the hike it will be worthwhile. The view from the hike is spectactular!
The entrance to the path isn’t as clear as it could be, you will need to walk through the street of Facades and past the ampitheatre. On your left you will see some stairs that are located just past the ampitheatre. You will need to follow the stairs all the way up to the top.
When we were at Petra, we were told that the path to the Monastery is 800 steps. I have to say that the climb itself felt a lot more than 800 steps and it took us about 40 minutes to complete. I was certainly not anticipating the workout, but it was worth it.
Once we reached the top we sat in the shade with a cup of tea and took in the beautiful view. I wish I could transport myself back to that glorious spot, basking in the sunshine and taking in the glorious views once more!
- Make sure that you bring sunglasses and a hat, Petra can be very hot and you will need to protect your body from the sun.
- If you are fair skinned like me then you must bring sun cream!
- We took about three litres of water each – I did not regret that choice!
- You will need to wear cool, light modest clothes and some comfortable shoes that are suitable for walking.
- There is no need for a credit card, instead you will need to bring lots of cash with you.
Many people want different things from their trip to Petra. Before you go I would recommend that you decide on your priorities: what would you like to achieve from your trip? I decided to go to Petra to experience the atmosphere and the history, I was not so worried about hiking and walking to far of parts of the attraction.
I wish you a safe and happy trip to one of the most beautiful places on Earth.