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Guide to Petra, the Nabatean Treasure

Updated: Jun 12, 2020

History, art, nature, beauty, colours, welcome to the ''Rose City''.

When we hear the word Petra, we immediately have one image that jump into our mind. Let me guess, is it this one?

The archeological site is actually huge: it covers an area of 264 square meters and this is why you can literally spend 3 days exploring the entire city.

But let's start from the beginning!

After our flight to Amman and the visit of Madaba and Mount Nebo, we headed South through the King's Road, a famous trade road that crosses the Country and was the scene of battles since prehistoric times.

Entrance fees to Petra depends on how many days you decide to visit the site. We opted for two days and we bought the Jordan Pass, an online ticket that includes visa fees, entrance to Petra, to Wadi Rum desert and other local attractions. (Click here for the official site and prices). We started our visit in Little Petra, just a few km from the main gate : the smallest version of the famous city which gave us an introduction of the landscape (entrance is free!).

We explored the site in a very special atmosphere: rain had just stopped and we were almost alone, two curious travellers fascinated by this beauty. Along the main corridor the Painted House, Triclinium, Siq Al Barid Temple and right at the end of the walking path a rock staircase that lead to a magic point of view with a local handcraft market.

After this taste of Petra, head to our camp for the night: Seven Wonders Bedouin Camp. A black tented camp right behind a rock, absolutely impressive. After a hot tea (in Jordan is always tea time!) warm and cosy next to the fire, dinner was served in the main common tent, surrounded by colours and local tastes. It was the day of my birthday and the owners of the camp prepared a special entrance with a delicious cake and everyone started singing ''Happy birthday'' which made that moment such an unforgettable memory in my mind.

The following day was entirely dedicated to the visit of Petra, the ''Rose City''. After the main, gate a path walk of about 1h30 through The Siq, a natural canyon that creates special shapes and colours, guides you to the heart of the city. And all of a sudden, you find it right in front of you and you feel overwhelmed by is majesty: welcome to Al-Khazneh, the most well-preserved temple of Petra. The Nabatean treasure have been carved and sculpted directly from the cliff around the I century A.C. Its beauty makes it one of the New7Wonders of the World and it's not so hard to understand why. Petra is also part of the UNESCO heritage since 1985.

The exploration of the site continues with the Royal Tombs, the Street of Facades, the Roman Theatre and Temple, everywhere beauty surrounding you. The Nabateans, a civilisation of traders, managed to create a place which is the perfect fusion between human and nature, a site that cuts your breath all along the visit. What's even more incredible is that this special place has been kept secret for centuries, until the discovery of an Austrian explorer in 1821, J.L. Burckhardt who pretended to be a Bedouin to gain the access to the precious city.

The advantage of having an entire day to visit is that you'll have enough time to walk up to El Deir, the Monastery, another incredible hidden treasure of Petra and the one with the highest altitude. It's very important to wear confortable shoes and cloths, sometimes the walking path are quite dangerous and slippery in case of rain, so you must pay attention!

Without even realising the time was passing, we spent an entire day walking in the archeological site and for the night, we booked a very special accommodation: a Bedouin cave in Little Petra, but this is another story that I will let you discover in different article :)

For more information about Jordan click here! There are articles about the Wadi Rum trip, sleeping in a cave in Petra and a lot more!


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