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The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan | Combined land tours and scuba diving holidays

DESTINATION OVERVIEW

A small nation but a peaceful one, Jordan is sandwiched between a raft of neighbours – Israel, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia all sit on her borders, while Egypt is directly opposite across the Red Sea. The country has seen and hosted many civilizations over the centuries from the Judean, Babylonian, and Persian empires through Pharaonic Egypt to the Romans and Ottomans until it spawned the native Nabatean civilization, which left the incredible archaeological remains at Petra, a World Heritage site.

Since the seventh century the region has been led by Muslim and Arab cultures, with the exception of a brief period when the western areas formed part of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem then a short time under British rule in the early 20th century.

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is now a constitutional monarchy – King Abdullah is a much respected leader – yet Jordan has become a very modern Arab nation with rapid expansion in both Amman and Aqaba.

Jordan photo gallery Information

Seasons: Jordan can be toured all year round but July and August can be extremely hot while in January and February there is snow in the mountains. The Spring and Autumn months are comfortable.

Flights: to Amman on Royal Jordanian

Highlights: The Citadel in Amman, Roman Jerash, Madaba mosaics, Showbak Crusader Castle... and Petra

Politics and religion: Like Switzerland, Jordan is regarded as a neutral country and certainly takes a firm stance of being regional peace-makers. The population is mostly Sunni Muslim with a small Christian minority. Despite being the birthplace of so much religious history, the country advocates religious freedom. All the same, modest dress is recommended.

Operators: Contact the Jordan Tourism Board in your home country; in the UK, Dive Worldwide; in Aqaba, Above and Below

INFORMATION EXPLORE
TOURING

The attraction for many modern day tourists is that Jordan shares control of the Dead Sea with Israel and the Palestinian Authorities, so not only can you explore the remnants of the civilizations mentioned above but there is good access to many Biblical sites. These include Mount Nebo, where Moses is said to be buried and the site on the River Jordan where Jesus is said to have been baptised by John.

PLANNING When planning combined diving and touring holiday, bear in mind that you are likely to need an overnight stop in Amman either going into or out of the capital, as connecting flights only work with some international routes. Check your flight times, then plan a few days land-based touring at whichever end is most appropriate. Regard this minor glitch as a major benefit as the history and culture to be explored in Jordan is well worth every step.
OPINION We divided our 10 days in Jordan with 4 days on land and the rest diving. Although we would never give up any underwater time, we do wish we had seen so much more of the historical sites of this small, fascinating country. We were particularly lucky to have been escorted by local tour guide, Majdi M. Salem. His extensive knowledge made the days even more interesting and entertaining.
DIVING | Aqaba diving review and photo gallery
VIDEO | Aqaba diving video
RESORT REPORT | Aqaba dive centre and hotel
Temple of Hercules
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