why you should visit petra and the site of the king's highway
- Explore the site of Petra both during the day and at night when lit by candles
- Hike the 850 steps up to the monastery
- Join in an interactive cookery session before dining on your creation
- Visit the Crusader castles of Kerak and Shobak on the King's Highway
- The ancient Christian sites of Mt Nebo and Madaba, home to a beautiful 6th-century mosaic
our specialists 'must do'
Petra is a magical site but it does get busy. We would either recommend an early rise to enter as soon as the site opens or enter the site through the back door, via an ancient Nabatean route, on a hike from Little Petra to Petra.
a little more about Petra and the king's highway
The King's Highway is a most ancient route of great historical and religious significance. It winds its way through forested highlands, open farmland plateaus, deep ravines, the edge of the eastern desert, and the warm tropical Gulf of Aqaba.
Lining both sides of this thoroughfare is a rich chain of archaeological and religious sites - prehistoric villages from the Stone Age, biblical towns, Crusader castles, some of the finest early Christian Byzantine mosaics in the Middle East, early Islamic towns, and the rock-cut Nabataean capital of Petra.
Undoubtedly the highlight of any trip to Jordan and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Petra is the legacy of the Nabataeans, an industrious Arab people who settled in Jordan more than 2,000 years ago. From here they dominated the trade routes of ancient Arabia, levying tolls and sheltering caravans laden with Indian spices and silks, African ivory and animal hides.
The kingdom endured for centuries and became widely admired for its refined culture, beautiful architecture and ingenious complex of dams and water channels. By the 16th century, however, Petra was completely lost to the western world and remained so for 300 years until it was rediscovered by a Swiss traveller in 1812. Today you can see literally hundreds of buildings, facades, tombs, baths, funerary halls and temples.