Petra may have only been rediscovered in 1812 but its two thousand-odd years of existence prior to that makes its heritage all the richer and more mystifying than any other ancient city. Both one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and a UNESCO Heritage Site, Petra's exquisite pink sandstone formations, carvings and monumental tombs are every culture vulture's dream.

Amelia is here to help give you the inside track.

Blooming oleander and tufts of shrubbery make April and May an appealing time to visit Petra; April is a pleasantly quiet period and March is perfectly warm with safe conditions for hiking. The summer months can be unbearably hot but once September rolls around the temperature is once again perfect for visitors, right through to November.

Built by the Nabataeans, Petra was the centre point from which this civilisation managed trading routes between Damascus and Arabia; caravans and camels laden with silk and spices would ride in and out the capital. It was a hub of industry and engineering until earthquakes were said to have wrecked their water management facilities and architecture.

Today, the Nabataean masonry work has paid off. Even mega movies such as Indiana Jones and Lawrence of Arabia couldn't resist Petra's alluring rose red hues and over eight hundred carved tombs and monuments. The piece de resistance, and the first thing you'll encounter after walking through the long narrow Siq, is The Treasury. Its classical architecture together with mythological sculptures make this the most elaborate feature in the city.

And that's not the only amazing architecture on show; there's the Street of Facades, lined with forty tombs that merge into the mountain behind, the crumbling theatre that at one time could seat up to seven thousand spectators, and the intricately carved Royal Tombs dug into the side of the cliffs. It's a steep climb to both the High Place of Sacrifice and the enormous monastery of Al-Deir but fit bodies will be rewarded by spectacular vistas. Just don't forget your camera.

Carry on exploring and there is a whole world to uncover and we will devise the best route according to some of our favourite sites, whilst our guides help you unravel history with every carving.


Original Highlight

Tourists at Petra

Want to avoid the crowds? The expert guides we work with know all the best routes through the ancient city of Petra so you can experience the magic without hundreds of others.

Amelia Stewart

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