A weekend in fascinating Petra, Jordan.
Having lived in Egypt for two years, we decided that it was time to pop over to Jordan and visit the infamous ancient city of Petra. No matter how many photographs you see or how many blogs you read, nothing will prepare you for how amazing this place truly is! Not to mention, the fact that you can stop for a mud bath and float in the Dead Sea on the way home!
Flying from Cairo
Already being located in Cairo, we were able to find direct flights using EgyptAir for a fairly good price - about £200 return. The journey only took ninety minutes or so and before we knew it, we had touched down in Amman.
Having booked ahead, our hotel was able to provide an airport transfer to take us from Amman down to Petra. This cost about £80 between the four of us. We saw some spectacular scenery and our driver allowed us to stop off and take pictures at interesting spots.
It won't take you long to realise that the area surrounding Petra is pretty expensive. I was there in 2012 and likened the prices to those of the UK - 1 dinar was about 1 UK pound. We went to the Mövenpick Hotel for drinks and after one round, found it was cheaper to eat excessive amounts of ice-cream instead!
The hotel had a great setup with a lounge area where you could play board games - Scrabble and the like. Then there was the rooftop bar which was chilled and gave good views of the town.
Arriving into Wadi Musa, we were surprised at how quiet it was. We stayed at Sunset Hotel which was basic but sufficient for our needs as we didn't intend on spending a lot of time in the hotel.
We set out straight away, there are plenty of restaurants to choose from offering a range of traditional Jordanian food and modern western cuisine.
Then it was time to come up with a plan for the day. It was already mid-afternoon and we didn't want to go to Petra because we wouldn't get the most out of our ticket. So we headed to Little Petra.
The Real Petra
When we were in Petra, the offer was 55 Dinar for two days within Petra. This allowed you to come and go as much as you pleased. We were in early as we wanted to make the most of our time.
When you've passed the sellers and the market stalls, there are toilets, which I advise you use. Following that, you walk down a very long and windy path through the rock. This in itself is impressive to look at as you meander through the corridor. You can take a horse and cart for this part but there are so many interesting rock formations to see that you may wish to walk if you are able. Do be wary of passing carts as they don't like to slow down!
We took a driver from our hotel for about £20 to Little Petra. Not knowing what was in store, we were very pleasantly surprised as there were hardly any tourists, no entry fee and the stone carvings were just as stunning as 'real Petra'.
The sun was also setting whilst we were there so that added a cool glow to the rocks.
If you have a few days to spare, head over to Little Petra as it seems not many folks know about it so it's like a private area just for you and your party.
Finally, after walking through the corridor of rock, you capture a glimpse of Petra's beauty. Once you're through this part, the whole city is at your disposal. There's no recommended route or path to follow. There are cliffsides to climb and viewpoints to look down from. There are caves to enter and corners to turn. We were so fortunate when we were there as there were hardly any tourists about. At times, we didn't see other people for a couple of hours! Food and water is available within for a small fortune so I recommend taking snacks. Stay for sunset as the rocks glow and it looks even prettier!
Here are so of my favourite pictures below.
Amazing rock colours
View from one of the lookouts
So much to see
Donkeys passing by
Another lookout spot
Up high once again
A quiet cave
So many caves
An ancient coffin?
Inside a cave