Jordan and Sinai
The Royal Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan traces its history back 9000 years. In the fertile Jordan Valley, nomadic hunter-gatherers settled and built the world’s first cities. The valley became the great trade highway of the ancient world and centuries before Christ, the Nabataeans built a nation on the profits of the caravan trade, and at Petra, they carved streets, palaces, temples and dwellings from the rock of the craggy mountains south of the Dead Sea.
Petra is the highpoint of any visit to Jordan, but the country offers much more. Contrast the Decapolis city of Jerash with the desert castles of the Crusaders and Omayyad Caliphs; the mosaics of Madaba and Mount Nebo with the red sands of Wadi Rhum; the wonder of the Dead Sea with the snow-capped summit of Mount Hermon.
We recommend combining a visit to Jordan with a visit to the Sinai peninsula of Egypt. A one-hour sail across the Red Sea from Aqaba takes us to Nuweiba, gateway to the Sinai desert. Here we have the opportunity to climb Mount Sinai (at a leisurely pace!) and visit the ancient Monastery of St Catherine.
In both countries we will meet the Bedouin, traditional dwellers in these ancient lands living nomadically in tents with herds of camels, sheep and goats and hugely enriching our visit.
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