AMMAN: THE CAPITAL OF JORDAN
Amman, the capital of Jordan, is a fascinating city of contrasts ideally situated on a hilly area between the desert and the fertile Jordan Valley, a perfect base to delve deep into Jordan as it is no more than a four drive from anywhere in the country.
As a modern and prosperous city, almost half of Jordan’s population is concentrated in the Amman area. There is evidence of the city’s much older past everywhere you turn, you can find modern buildings rubbing shoulders with traditional coffee shops and old Souqs.
The downtown area is much older and more traditional, with smaller businesses producing and selling everything from intricate gold and silver jewellery, to everyday household items. It offers plenty of nightlife, with everything from cultural and theatrical events to traditional Arabic entertainment, modern restaurants and clubs for kids.
The Citadel is the site of ancient Rabbath-Ammon, and excavations there have revealed numerous Roman, Byzantine, and early Islamic remains. Located on a mountain, it not only gives visitors a perspective of the city’s incredible history.
Amman is a large cosmopolitan city and offers an extensive range of restaurants. Also get the latest news and events happening in Jordan by visiting www.calender.jo. At the foot of the Citadel lies the 6,000 seat Roman Theatre. Amman now boosts a population of around 2.3 million people.
Go for a scrub and massage at a Turkish bath, after a long day of exploring the sites of Amman, enjoy the full service of the hammam. This experience includes a steam bath, Sauna, Jacuzzi, scrubbing and a 40 minute massage. Cost 20 JD.
AHLUL KAHF; Visit the cave of Seven sleepers,
Mentioned in the Holy Quran in Surat Al-Kahf, this is the cave believed to be where the “Seven sleepers” escaped persecution and slept by the will of God for 309 years.
Try Mansaf, Jordan’s national dish, this delicious concoction consists of saffron-dyed rice and lamb chops in a yogurt-like sauce, called Jameed.
SHRINES OF MANY PROPHETS IN JORDAN
Prophet Shoaib: in Albalqaa province, 40 km from Amman in the valley of Shoaib.
Prophet Yoshau bin Noon in Balqa province: 25 km from Amman towards west.
Maqam Prophet Khizr: In Mahis area –Balqa province, 25 km from Amman.
Maqam Prophet Isa: Almaghtas.
Maqam Prophet Lu’t: He is mentioned in Quran 27 times.
Prophet Haroon: is buried on mountain top on jabal Haroon in Petra. 500 meters high accessible with the help of donkey or horse.
JORDAN VALLEY & THE DEAD SEA
Did you know that the Dead sea is spread from The North to the South 80 kms / 50 miles & from East to West 14 km/ 9 miles? North side is very deep 430 meters, 1320 steps. South side is only 4 meter deep ( 13 steps).
Without a doubt one of the world’s most amazing places, the Jordan Rift Valley is a dramatic, beautiful landscape with the Dead Sea dropping more than 400 m (1,312 ft.) below sea level. The lowest point on the face of the earth, this vast, stretch of water receives a number of incoming rivers, including the River Jordan. Once the waters reach the Dead Sea they are land-locked and have nowhere to go, so they evaporate, leaving behind a dense, rich cocktail of salts and minerals that supply industry, agriculture and medicine with some of its finest products.
One of the most spectacular natural and spiritual landscapes in the world, the Jordanian east coast of the Dead Sea has evolved into both the religious, as well as the health & wellness tourism hub of the region. A series of good roads, excellent hotels with Spa and fitness facilities, as well as archaeological and spiritual discoveries make this region as enticing to Today’s international visitors as it was to King’s, emperors, traders, Prophets and pilgrims in antiquity.
The main attraction of the Dead Sea is of course the soothing, abnormally salty water itself. The salt content of the water is 31.5% making the water so buoyant that it is impossible for the visitor to sink. The water also contains 21 minerals including high levels of MAGNESIUM, SODUIM, POTASSIUM, and BROMINE and 12 of the minerals are found in no other body of water in the world.
Studies have shown the combination of the Dead Sea water and the rich black mud found along the shore line to have significant health benefits including increasing circulation, easing discomfort from arthritis, healing allergies and revitalizing skin.
A trip to the Dead Sea would not be complete without a visit to one of the first class health Spa facilities of the luxury hotels. Here the visitor can enjoy year-round a massage, Dead Sea mud bath, use the excellent fitness facilities or just spend the day relaxing on their beautiful private beaches.
MA’IN HOT SPRINGS: JORDAN VALLEY
Since the old days of Rome, people here come to the Thermal mineral Springs of Hammamat Ma’in for thermal treatments, or simply to enjoy a hot soak.
Popular with both locals and tourists alike, the Springs are located 264m below Sea level in one of the most breath-taking desert oases in the world. These falls originate from winter rainfalls in the highland plains of Jordan and eventually feed the 109 hot and cold springs in the valley. This water is heated to temperatures of up to 63 degrees Celsius by underground lava fissures as it makes its way through the valley before emptying into the Zarqa River.
Located southwest of Madaba, the Ma’in Hot springs oasis has been healing people since the days of Rome. Ma’in is a must see (and a must-soak!) for visitors after long treks across Jordan.
The classically designed Cascade Spa is located directly under one of the natural hot spring waterfalls that elegantly Cascades into the main pool and relaxation area. The Cascade Spa is a stand-alone building featuring 10 treatment rooms and a steam cave offering an experience of intimate privacy and relaxation treatments focus on the therapeutic properties of the mineral-rich waters, offering healing mineral and deep sea therapies combined with hammam to ensure pure rejuvenation in the hands of expertly trained therapists.
SWEDISH MASSAGE, HOLISTIC massage, ORIENTAL massage, Energiser massage, Bukhoor massage, Zeytoun (Olive) massage, Hot stone therapy, Sports massage, Pregnancy massage, Indian head massage, Foot acupressure, Thai massage.
_ The Olive Grove scrub. 90 Mins
_ Dead Sea Body Polish. 30 Mins
_ Dead Sea Mud Body Wrap. 60 Mins
_ Ma’in Body Mask. 60 Mins
_ Aromatic Basil and Mint Scrub.
_ Luxury Facial.
The trip south from Amman along the 5,000-year-old King’s Highway is one of the most memorable journeys in the Holy land, passing through a string of ancient sites. The first city to encounter is Madaba, the city of Mosaics.
Karak sits 900 m above sea level and lies inside the walls of old city, where consequently, several strategic 7th Century battles took place: the battles of Mu’ta 8th year after Hijra, Yarmouk and Tabaqet Fahl. Many of Prophet Mohammad’s (pbuh) companions and military leaders were martyred and buried in Jordan, and their tombs and shrines today are important destinations for pious Muslims. Most famous among them was Jaffer al Tayyar
Brother of Imam Ali a.s. (son of Abu Talib), Zaid bin Haritha, Abdullah bin Rawaha. All are buried in same site.
PETRA (THE LOST CITY)
Although much has been written about Petra, nothing really prepares you. It really does need to be seen to be believed.
Petra, chosen as one of the WORLD WONDERS, is without doubt Jordan’s most valuable treasure and the greatest tourist attraction. It is a vast unique city, covered here more than 2,000 years ago, turning it into an important junction for the silk, spice and other trade routes that linked China, India and southern Arabia with Egypt, Syria, Greece and Rome.
By the 16th Century, Petra was completely lost to the West, and so it remained for almost 300 years. Then in 1812, a Swiss traveller named John Ludwig persuaded his Guide to take him to the site of the rumoured lost city.
Now a UNESCO world Heritage Site, in order to preserve the area, all tourists’ facilities have been located in the town of Wadi Musa, next to the entrance of Petra.
Petra’s most famous monument, the Treasury or Al-Khazneh, appears dramatically at the end of the Siq. Used in the final sequence of the film ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’, this Towering façade is only the first of Petra’s Secrets.
To visit Petra during day light is owe-inspiring, to experience walk through the Siq to the Khazneh following a candle-lit path and enjoy the haunting music of the Bedouins at the Treasury. Tours start at 8.30 pm and finish at 10 pm every Monday-wed and Thursday. This is Petra by night. Cost 17 JD but you must also buy the day time pass which cost $50 JD FOR 1 DAY OR 55 JD for 2-day pass.
A modest Shrine commemorating the death of Prophet Aaron (PBUH), brother of Prophet Moses (PBUH), was built in the 13th Century by the Mameluk Sultan, 500 meters high atop Mount Aaron (Jabel Haroun) in the Sharah Mountain range. Do not miss the Petra Archaeological Museum and Petra Nabataen Museum.
A quick trip from Aqaba, Wadi Rum offers a truly unique and adventurous experience. The visitor’s will be amazed by their surroundings amid the stupendous cliffs, canyons, and seemingly endless orange sands as they enter the desert on a camel, horse or 4×4 jeeps driven by a local Bedouin. While it is an easy day trip from Aqaba or Petra, Wadi Rum is a best experienced during a night or two of camping under the stars enjoying the silence of the desert far away.
THE KINGS HIGHWAY
The King’s Highway is the world’s oldest continuously used communication route. It linked ancient Bashan, Giliad and Ammon in the north with Moab, Edom, Paran and Midian in the south.
Abraham, a common Patriard of Jews, Christians and Muslims who passed through northern, central and southern Jordan, would certainly have used this route on his journey from Mesopotamia to Canaan.
Moses asked the King of Edom if he and his people could go along the Kings ‘Highway ‘during his journey to Canaan, but his request was refused.
Greatly prized as Jordan’s windows to the sea, Aqaba brings a refreshing release from the rose-coloured desert to the north. Its sandy beaches and coral reefs are the most pristine on the Red Sea. Indigo-coloured deep water lies just off shore in Aqaba, bringing Kaleidoscopic marine life within easy reach.
Aqaba’s reef is thriving, adored with untold variety in its coral and fish. Aqaba boasts some of the world’s best scuba diving by day or night. There is snorkelling, fishing and sailing to pass time or glass-bottomed boats for those who prefer their marine life at arm’s length.
ENTRY INTO JORDAN
SYRIA: coming to Jordan by road from Syria, you can cross into Jaber or Ramtha. Jaber is 80 km away from Amman and is most commonly used by visitors, while Ramtha is 90 km away and is mainly used for cargo transport.
ISRAEL: There are three border crossings between Jordan and Israel.
_ The Allenby/ King Hussein Bridge, 57 km away from Amman.
_ Sheikh Hussein crossing/ North Border, 90 km away from Amman.
_ Wadi Araba Crossing/ South Border, 324 km away from Amman.
IRAQ: Coming to Jordan by road from Iraq through the al-karamah Border Crossing is 331 km away from Amman.
You can claim VAT refund from tax office at the Airport in return on clothing etc.
Prepared by M RAZA JAFFER OF KARWAN JAFFER TAYYAR. TEL; 00447713622402.