The Hashemite kingdom of Jordan evokes a simpler time, a sense of place and a cherished way of life. Immediately upon arrival, the visitor is aware of the inherent hospitality of the Jordanian people as exemplified by the Arabic "Ahlan wa sahlan" heard at every turn.
JORDAN the ancient Holy Land
    Jordan is a unique and blessed land of the Old and New Testaments and the early years of Islam. The litany of ancient place names reads like a biblical gazetteer-Edom, Moab, Ammon, Gilead, Gad and Peraea. The Medeba of the Bible is today the small town of Madaba, only 30 Kilometers south of Amman, Remains of the Roman road and civic architecture can still be seen in the midst of the modern town, but it is the Byzantine and Ummayyad mosaics for which Madaba is best known.
At the Greek Orthodox Church of
St. George visitors may view the earliest surviving original map of the Holy Land, which was made around A.D 560. In addition, there are other mosaic floors preserved throughout the town, as well as a fine local museum.

Church of Mount Nebo

Mount Nebo church altar

Aerial view of Machaerus
    Less than 40 kilometers south of Madaba lies Mukawir, ancient Machaerus
This was the fortress built by Herod the Great, which after his death passed to HEROD Antipas. Here is where Herod imprisoned John the Baptist, and where the beautiful Salome danced for Herod, who presented her with the head of John the Baptist to honor her wishes.
The remains of the fortress' thick walls, which were largely destroyed by the Romans, dominate Mukawir which has a splendid view across the Dead Sea to the hills around Jerusalem. Ten Kilometers west of Madaba is the hilly district of Mount Nebo, on the 

Madaba Mosaic

Church of St. Stephen
mosaic at Umm er Rasas

western edge of the plateau with a spectacular view across the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea. On a clear day, the spires of the churches of Jerusalem are visible, and at night the lights of the city. Mount Nebo is believed to be the tomb of Moses. It is a lonely wind swept hill.
Protecting the ruins of a 4th and 6th Century church whose floor is still covered with marvelous mosaics, is a building constructed by the Franciscans who started excavating the site in 1933. Umm er Rasas is a walled settlement about 30 kilometers southeast of Madaba.
Its main feature is a Byzantine tower 15 meters high used by early Christian monks seeking solitude. Archaeologists have also unearthed the Church of St.Stephen whose remarkable mosaic floor of the Umayyad epoch is decorated with Jordanian, Palestinian and Egyptian city plans.

Mount Nebo Mosaic


    Since time immemorial this country has been the crossroad for migrating peoples and invading armies - and, today, it is the repository for their relics.

Jordan teems with mementoes of other races and other times - walled Canaanite cities, Greek and Roman palaces, theaters and temples; Byzantine churches and monasteries; Crusader castles; Muslim shrines and magnificent mosques; the lost city of Petra, hewn from solid rock, which lay hidden from the rest of the world for hundreds of years behind its narrow gorge; and the extraordinary lunar landscape of Wadi Rum with its strange rock formations and breathtaking colors.

    And that's just on land! The crystal water of the Red Sea provide some of the world's best diving and snorkeling. And the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth, is so buoyant that you can simply lie back with your book and float away!

    For shoppers, Jordan offers a whole range of bargains including Bedouin rugs and tapestries, brass and copper goods, ceramics and embroidery.
Hebron hand-made glass - made at Na'ur, near Amman - is obtainable at various shops in the city, but a visit to the glassworks is worthwhile, both for the fascinating display of skill and low prices.
    Other good buys include gold, silver and amber jewelry, rugs, wooden boxes, furniture inlaid with mother-of-pearl, leather items, olive wood items and copperware.

    Jordan has several world-class hotels. Four and five stars hotels providing dry cleaning, currency exchange, secretarial services, fax and postal services, gift shops, beauty salons and baby sitting.

Forte Grand Amman

Amman Marriott Hotel

P R A C T I C A L  I N F O
Shopping and Business Hours:
Shopping in Jordan can be a lot of fun, and may turn into something of a social occasion - in small shops, particularly, it is not unusual to be offered a cup of coffee or tea before getting down to business. Shopping hours are flexible. Some shops are open from 9:30-13:30 and 15:30-18:30. Others may be open long hours, from 8:00 20:00.
Many shops close on Fridays, but the Suq does not.
Earlier closings are in effect during the most of the month of Ramadan.
Banks are open Sa-Th 8:30-12:30, and some reopen in the afternoon from 15:30-17:30.
Friday is a weekly holiday, and banks, government offices and most businesses
are closed.
A c C O M M O D A T I O N
  The Climate
Jordan is blessed with a Mediterranean for a pleasurable year-round travel. Amman is sunny and cloudless from May to October, with average temperatures around 23C (73F). Springtime brings optimal weather, lush with greenery, and autumn is equally mild and pleasant. July and August are hot and dry. Because of the capital's city elevation, evenings are cool. Aqaba and the Jordan Valley are ideal winter resorts, with temperatures averaging 16-22C (61-72F) between November and April.

Eating Out
Arabic cuisine is one of the most elaborated and sophisticated in the world. Food is an important part of the culture and is

national flower
the Black Iris
  used to express hospitality and generosity. Do not be surprised if you are invited to share a meal in someone's home. The local cuisine includes a dizzying array of savory appetizers called mezzeh, aromatic breads, wonderful sweets soaked in honey, pistachios and other delicacies.

Car rental service
Jordan has an excellent and expanding road network, and renting a car can be a good way to see the country. A driving license valid in your country of origin is acceptable, provided you have held it for at least one year.
Driving is on the right. Road signs on the highway are in Arabic and English.
There are many places to rent a car; the following is a selection only.
Most hotels have rental office on the premises.
Avis - Budget - A'Rayyan - Dallah - Euro Dollar - Europcar - Firas - Hertz

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