#01 Red Sea diving & snorkelling
You don’t have to be a diver to come nose-to-nose with a turtle: coral reefs and multicoloured fish await just beneath the surface of this warmest and clearest of seas.
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#02 Wadi Rum
Experience the atmosphere of the open desert in the stunning company of sheer mountains, red dunes and vast, silent panoramas.
#03 Baptism Site
A pilgrimage spot alongside the River Jordan at the place where Jesus was baptized, commemorated by dozens of ancient churches and hermitages.
#04 Ancient Amman
Roman columns and the ruins of an Islamic-era palace tower over Amman, gazing down on a huge Roman theatre in the heart of the city.
© Leonid Andronov/Shutterstock
#05 The Dead Sea
Enjoy spectacular sunsets at the lowest point on earth, floating effortlessly on this inland lake supported only by the density of the salty water.
#06 Azraq Wetlands
Boardwalks lead through reed-beds amid the Azraq oasis, in the deserts east of Amman – perfect for nature walks and bird-watching excursions.
© Tala Dabain/Shutterstock
Magnificent ancient city hidden away in the craggy mountains of the south – one of the world’s must-see attractions.
#08 Mount Nebo
Follow in the footsteps of Moses to this summit above the Dead Sea (named in Deuteronomy), to gaze out over the Promised Land.
Jordan’s flagship nature reserve, covering a sweep of territory from highland cliffs to the sandy desert floor. Whether you come for the hiking, the natural environment or the silence, you won’t want to leave.
There are plenty of opportunities to get off the beaten track in Jordan’s back country for a day or a week, whether alone or with an adventure tour company.
This easygoing Christian market town near Amman was a centre for mosaic art in the Byzantine period. Roam its souks and take in the splendour of ancient mosaics.
© Lukiyanova Natalia frenta/Shutterstock
Meandering its way north and south along the lonely hilltops, this most picturesque of historic routes links the farming towns of southern Jordan.
#13 Umm Qais
Atmospheric Roman and Ottoman site in the far north of Jordan, offering spectacular views over the Sea of Galilee – and relatively few tourists.
#14 The “Desert Castles”
Venture east of Amman to explore a string of early-Islamic forts, palaces, hunting lodges and caravanserais, dotted across the stony desert plains.
© Claudio Soldi/Shutterstock
#15 Wadi Mujib
Jordan’s “Grand Canyon”, now protected as a nature reserve, with gorge-walking and canyoning amid the rugged valleys.
#16 Modern Amman
Take time out from ruin-hunting to explore the capital’s buzzing cafés, galleries and restaurants – a side of the city few visitors experience.
#17 Feynan Ecolodge
Hole up at this beautifully designed eco-friendly desert hotel, miles from the nearest road, for rugged walking, fascinating cultural encounters and epic star-gazing.
#18 Jordanian cuisine
Sample some of the Middle East’s finest restaurants in Amman – or scoff Jordan’s national dish, mansaf, at a bedouin gathering in the desert.
A spectacularly well-preserved Roman city, complete with colonnaded streets, grand temples, intimate marketplaces and mosaic-floored churches.
Set amidst the northern hills is a magnificent Crusader-period castle, within easy reach of a tranquil nature reserve.
The hospitality of Jordanians is legendary: whether you’re passing through a city or crossing the desert, you’re bound to be invited in for tea.
Top image © Ehab Othman/Shutterstock