From majestic ruins of bygone civilizations to bustling urban centers, Jordan inspires with breathtaking sights and plenty to do. This desert land features dramatic red sands, towering cliffs, vast plains of volcanic basalt and hills rich with olive trees. In addition, Jordan has a well-earned reputation for excellent cuisine, a wide range of places to stay (from five star hotels to Bedouin-style camps) and for making visitors feel welcome.
Jordan is a country with a long and varied history. It is officially an Arab kingdom in western Asia and is bordered by Syria to the north, Iraq to the northeast, Israel and Palestine to the west and Saudi Arabia to the south and the east. Jordan shares control of the Dead Sea with Israel and the Gulf of Aqaba in the Red Sea with Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
The history of Jordan stretches to antiquity. However, in more modern history, the Emirate of Transjordan was first officially recognized following Britain and France’s division of West Asia after World War I. In 1946, the area became a sovereign state known as the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan. Only after capturing the West Bank from Israel in 1948 did the country change its name to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
Today, Jordan enjoys economic and political stability in a region known for conflict. As such, it has become a major tourist destination and a refuge for many of the refugees fleeing other states in the Middle East. The constitutional monarchy is considered the safest country in the Middle East and also the safest Arab country. With its currently stable status, warm desert climate and interesting history, Jordan makes the perfect holiday destination for divers and non-divers alike.
Above the sea, Jordan is also something to behold. Most visitors find their way to Petra, an ancient city carved out of mountains, now considered one of the seven wonders of the world. The valley of Wadi Rum offers tourists the opportunity to get up close and personal with desert life through a night in a Bedouin camp or a camel tour. Finally, Jordan controls half of the Dead Sea. It’s not recommended to dive in the salty sea, but floating is encouraged. Whether you are diving the Red Sea or exploring everything Jordan has to offer, you are sure to fall in love with this peaceful Middle Eastern country.
The main entry point for all international visitors to Jordan is Queen Alia International Airport in Amman. More than 20 international carriers service this airport with flights from Europe, North America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Guests arriving solely to dive in the Red Sea might also consider using King Hussein International Airport in Aqaba as some domestic and international carriers have recently begun to operate flights into this more convenient airport.
Once within the country, buses, shuttles, and taxis are available for transfers.