The time to go is now in Jordan

It’s one of the world’s top adventure destinations yet, in recent years, tourists have been eschewing Jordan due to widespread unease about travelling in the region.

But while the country has struggled to maintain its reputation as a safe oasis in more dangerous surrounds, it is still ranked by the World Economic Forum as one of the safer countries in the Middle East. And its mesmerizing sights – now with fewer crowds – are more spectacular than ever. Here’s what you need to know before your trip.

 

Why should you go?

From clapping eyes on the sandstone-hewn temples of Petra for the first time, to hunting for ancient petroglyphs in the desert wilderness of Wadi Rum, Jordan is an adventure-lover’s paradise. But it’s not just for adrenalin seekers.

From cooking with local families to getting a taste of nomadic Bedouin life, there are plenty of cultural experiences on offer in Jordan. The country’s top sights are well maintained, and can be visited in less than a week – though you could easily spend a fortnight exploring further afield.

 

Why is now a great time to visit?

Jordan’s tourism industry has taken a battering in recent years. Visitor numbers to Petra alone halved between 2010 and 2015 and are only creeping back slowly. Go now, and you can enjoy Jordan’s sights without the crowds – sometimes even all to yourself.

If you’re a keen hiker, you can also be one of the first to tackle the Jordan Trail – a spectacular 650km hiking trail that spans the entire country from tip-to-tail – which opened earlier this year. Choose a manageable section, or set aside a month to hike its entire length.

Making for a smoother visit, the Jordan Pass (from 70JD) launched in 2015. It offers hassle-free prepaid entry to more than 40 sites across the country and waives the standard 40JD tourist visa fee. Don’t forget to purchase the pass in advance of your trip.