From Amman to Aqaba There are several roads, but the most interesting in terms of sightseeing in the country is the Royal Highway. This is part of one of the most ancient trade routes – from Egypt to Babylon. The highway passes through Madaba, near which stands Mount Nebo, Mukavir, Wadi Mujib reserve, Kerak, Shaubek fortress and Petra. Madaba is located
33 km south of Amman.. Previously, it was called Medaba and was mentioned in the Bible. The city was founded 4.5 thousand years ago and is now one of the centers of Christianity in the Middle East. Most of Madaba is now occupied by an archaeological park. The main attraction of the city is the Church of St. George in the city center, where there is a mosaic in the form of a map of Palestine, depicting the territory of the Holy Land with its surroundings. It was made in the 6th century AD and is the oldest such mosaic in the world. In the original, it consisted of 2.3 million pieces and had a size of 25×5 m. A large collection of mosaics can be seen in the Madaba Museum. There is also a collection of national costumes, jewelry and ceramics. At the entrance to the city are the ruins of the Church of the Apostles. This Byzantine church was built in the 6th century AD. Here is a very interesting floor mosaic, Madaba is famous for its woven carpets, which are sold in many shops in the city.
According to TOP-MEDICAL-SCHOOLS, 10 km west of Madaba lies the famous Mount Nebo (833 m). It is mentioned in the Bible as the place where God showed Moses the Promised Land. The mountain has two peaks – Siyakha and Mukhayat. There are now the ruins of a Byzantine monastery on Mount Siyakha, where you can see a 3×9 m mosaic with images of hunters and animals. Another attraction of this place is a large ornate cross with a snake, a copy of the cross that belonged to Moses. It resembles the current crosses, which depict the crucifixion.
Not far from Madaba, 2 km from the Jordan River, there is a place called Wadi Harar where Jesus Christ was baptized and where John the Baptist preached. It is referred to in the Bible as “Bethany beyond the Jordan”. This is a world-famous place of pilgrimage, the largest number of Christians gather here during Easter. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Archaeological Park was opened in Wadi Harar, where archaeologists discovered the remains of Byzantine monasteries and monastic cells, the source of John the Baptist, whose waters fill several baths intended for baptism. The entire park is criss-crossed by hiking trails that connect the attractions of the park. The main attraction is the complex of monasteries of John the Baptist, which was built in the 6th-7th centuries AD. on the site of the baptism of Jesus Christ and initially consisted of four monasteries. The remains of walls with paintings, columns, arches and floor mosaics have been preserved here. The very place of the baptism of Jesus Christ is already in the dried up former bed of the Jordan River. Every year, many pilgrims come to Wadi Harar in order to bow to these shrines and be baptized in the sacred waters of the source of John the Baptist.
20 km from Madaba is the city of Mukavir, where the palace of Machaerus, which belonged to Herod the Great, once stood. From the ruins of the palace on the hill, an amazing view of the surroundings opens up, from here you can see Jerusalem and the western shore of the Dead Sea.
South of Mukavir is the city of Kerak. It stands on the ancient trade route from Syria to Egypt. Here, in the 12th century, the Crusaders built a castle, which was surrounded by powerful walls. Now it houses the Archaeological Museum. 45 km south of Kerak is the Wadi Hasa Canyon, known in the Bible as the Zered Valley, where Moses and his people ended their march through the desert. Here are the ruins of the Nabatean temple, built in the 1st century AD.
From Madaba you can go to the Dead Sea – the lowest place on the planet. Its waters and mud have healing properties, while clean air and the special climate of the territory make the treatment even more effective. In the northern part of the Dead Sea coast there is a resort and recreation area with hotels, clinics and beaches where you can relax.
Another attraction of the Royal Highway is the Schaubek fortress (the first fortress built by the crusaders). It was erected in 1115.
The main attraction on the way from Amman to Aqaba is the walled city of Petra . This is the capital of the ancient Nabatean state, which was built in the 6th-5th centuries BC. It is located in a deep canyon, the width of which varies from 5 to 200 m, and is only accessible through a narrow crevice in the rock. Petra was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Entrance to the city is paid. All the buildings of Petra are carved from the rocks. The most impressive of them is Al-Khazna (Treasury). Once there was a royal tomb here, and it got its name because of the legend that pirates hid their treasures here. The Amphitheater is interesting, capable of accommodating 8 thousand spectators. After the Amphitheater, the main part of the city begins, which covers an area of about 3 square meters. km. Here you can see the royal tombs, a long street surrounded by columns, a triumphal arch, the Temple of the Winged Lions, a Byzantine church that is full of mosaics, covering a total of 70 square meters. m. Some of the sights of Petra are located at high altitudes, which are difficult to reach. Among them – the Monastery and a place for sacrifices. In Petra there are two archaeological museums, which contain collections of items that are identified with biblical chronicles.
Before reaching Aqaba, you can go on a trip to the Wadi Rum desert. It is located 50 km northeast of Aqaba. Here you will see dry riverbeds, sand dunes, mountains and the highest point of the country – Jebel Ram (1734 m). At sunset, the mountains turn red, creating a unique landscape. The best time to visit Wadi Rum is in the spring, when the desert turns green for a short period after the rains. Wadi Rum is a real sand museum. The events described in the Bible took place here, and ancient drawings remained on some rocks. In the desert, you can take a safari by jeep or camel, and tours in a hot air balloon are also arranged. In addition to the local landscape, tourists will be able to see the Bedouin settlements and get acquainted with their culture.
In the very south of Jordan, on the coast of the Gulf of Aqaba, there is the country’s only port – Aqaba . In ancient times Aqaba located at the crossroads of the main routes between Europe, Asia and Africa, so there are many historical sights. During excavations, the ruins of an ancient church were discovered in the city. They date back to the 3rd century AD and are believed to be the oldest church in the world. In the 12th century, the Crusaders built a fort in Aqaba, which was rebuilt in the 14th century and has survived to this day. But above all, Aqaba is a seaside resort. The underwater world of the coastal waters of the Gulf of Aqaba is very colorful – among the corals you can see a variety of inhabitants of the seabed. Along the coast there are constantly sightseeing submarines or boats with a transparent bottom, which invite tourists on excursions.