Hidden in a valley in Southern Jordan, surrounded by desert and mountains, lies an entire city carved out of stone. Rediscovered only 200 years ago, this lost city is one of the seven wonders of the world. Petra, originally known to its inhabitants as Raqmu, is just as rich in beauty as it is historically and archaeologically.
Petra lies on the slope of Jabal Al-Madbah in a basin among the mountains which forms the eastern flank of the Arabah valley. Possibly established as early as the 4th century BC as the capital city of the Nabataean Kingdom, Petra flourished in the 1st century AD when its famous Khazneh structure – believed to be the mausoleum of Nabataean King Aretas IV – was constructed, and its population peaked at an estimated 20,000 inhabitants.
Exploring Petra is straight forward; there is one clear walking route that leads from the entrance of the lost city, all the way to The Monastery at the other side of the valley. Many detailed, beautifully preserved structures carved out of rose-colored stone can be seen, visited and even explored inside. Consider hiring a guide to avoid missing any interesting details and facts!
The Siq; Entrance to Petra
The Siq, a 1.2-kilometer long meandering amber gorge, is the main entrance to the city. The walls are a stunning 80-meters high at some points, and the natural patterns of the stone are sure to amaze! Small channels carved out of the side of the rock showcase an innovative and avant garde water management system built by the Nabataean people.
At the end of The Siq, The Treasury, a mind-blowing 40-meter high structure emerges from behind the rocks. The Treasury is arguably the most beautiful and intricate monument in Petra. For a more unique view and perspective, hike up to “Jack Sparrow’s” viewpoint.
One of the largest structures in Petra is the Monastery. The trail from The Treasury to the Monastery takes 1.5-hours and includes 40 minutes of solid hiking up stairs – but the exertion is worth it for the beautiful panorama of the desert.
When Is The Best Time To Visit Petra?
It is best to visit Petra during the morning and late afternoon. The entrance opens at 6am and there won’t be any big tour groups until 8am – the best time to get your holiday snaps. Petra closes at 6pm in summer and 4pm in the winter.
What Should I Bring/Wear?
Exploring a place like Petra requires some necessary essentials — camera, guide book, portable charger, to name but a few! But when you have to carry all those items around all day, hiking, exploring, searching, not just any bag will do. You need something comfortable, practical, and of course, to ensure you look the part, stylish. And that’s where our Walton backpack comes in. A little retro and a little modern, it’s a bag for hands-free adventures. Evoking the dusty romance of a safari holiday with its sandy canvas and distressed Aztec leather, this capacious and comfortable backpack will hold you in good stead as you wander around this wonder! Friend of Tusting, Greg Zimmerman explored Petra with a bespoke, all leather version of our Walton backpack.