Jordan is a country with a rich and diverse cultural heritage that spans centuries. From ancient ruins to modern-day cities, Jordan is home to a plethora of hidden cultural gems that are waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re interested in history, art, music, or cuisine, there’s something for everyone in this fascinating country.
To learn more about Jordan’s hidden cultural gems, we spoke with Samer Muasher, the CEO of Discovery Global Holdings, the first eco-tourism company.
If you’re ready to go off the beaten path and discover the hidden cultural treasures of Jordan, read on!
Petra is one of the most iconic and breathtaking archaeological sites in the world. Nestled in the heart of Jordan, this ancient city was once a thriving center of trade and commerce. Today, it stands as a testament to the ingenuity and creativity of the people who built it.
As you enter the city through the narrow Siq canyon, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time. The towering sandstone cliffs that line the path create a natural tunnel, and as you make your way deeper into the canyon, the anticipation and excitement will build.
As you emerge from the Siq, the iconic Treasury building comes into view. Carved into the rock face over 2,000 years ago, this magnificent structure is truly awe-inspiring. The intricate carvings and towering columns make it clear that this was a place of great importance in its time.
As you explore further, you’ll discover countless other wonders, from the massive amphitheater to the towering Monastery building. And if you’re feeling adventurous, be sure to take a hike up to the High Place of Sacrifice for stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
“Perhaps the most magical experience in Petra is simply wandering through the ancient city, taking in the sights and sounds of a place that has stood the test of time,” Samer Muasher concludes.
Ajloun Castle is located in the Ajloun Governorate in northern Jordan. It was built in the 12th century by the nephew of the famous Muslim military leader Saladin, to protect the region against the Crusaders. The castle is situated on a hilltop overlooking the surrounding landscape and was strategically positioned to control the major transportation routes between Jordan and Syria.
“Today, the Ajloun Castle is a popular tourist attraction and is open to visitors. Visitors can explore the castle’s various levels and towers, learn about its history, and enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding countryside,” Samer Muasher explains.
Ajloun castle is made of iconic local limestone and has a rectangular shape with four corner towers and a central courtyard. It is surrounded by a moat and was designed to withstand attacks from both infantry and cavalry. The castle was a significant defensive stronghold during the Crusader period and was captured and recaptured by both Muslim and Crusader forces.
Located high atop a rocky outcrop in the rugged terrain of central Jordan lies the ancient fortress of Mukawir. Steeped in history and shrouded in myth, this fascinating site is a must-visit for anyone interested in the rich cultural heritage of the region.
Once the site of a formidable hilltop fortress, Mukawir is perhaps best known as the place where John the Baptist was imprisoned and eventually beheaded. According to tradition, it was here that the infamous dance of Salome took place, resulting in the prophet’s untimely demise.
Despite its grim associations, Mukawir is a truly breathtaking location, offering stunning views of the surrounding countryside and a glimpse into the distant past. The fortress itself is an impressive sight, with towering walls and sturdy watchtowers that speak to its former strategic importance.
As you explore the site, you’ll be struck by the sense of history that permeates the air. From the remnants of ancient buildings to the intricate carvings that adorn the walls, Mukawir is a veritable treasure trove of archaeological wonders. According to Samer Muasher, with the help of experienced guides, you’ll be able to fully immerse yourself in the fascinating story of this remarkable place.
Located in the rolling hills of northern Jordan lies the picturesque town of Umm Qais, a hidden gem that is often overlooked by visitors to the region. Perched high atop a hill overlooking the sweeping expanse of the Jordan Valley and the Sea of Galilee beyond, this is a place of truly breathtaking beauty
“With its breathtaking views, rich history, and warm hospitality, Umm Qais is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking an authentic taste of Jordanian culture,” Samer Muasher emphasizes.
At the heart of the town lies the ancient city of Gadara, a well-preserved archaeological site that offers a glimpse into the lives of the people who once called this place home. From the impressive amphitheater to the intricate mosaics and the towering columns of the Temple of Zeus, there is no shortage of fascinating sights to explore here.
The town itself is a charming blend of old and new, with traditional stone houses and winding alleyways rubbing shoulders with modern cafes and artisan shops. And with friendly locals always eager to share their stories and traditions with visitors, there’s never a shortage of things to see and do.
Shaumari Wildlife Reserve
In the heart of Jordan’s eastern desert lies the Shaumari Wildlife Reserve, a haven for some of the region’s most unique and endangered species. With its vast open spaces, rugged terrain, and stunning natural beauty, this reserve is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in wildlife and conservation.
According to Samer Muasher, a breeding center for the Arabian oryx, a majestic species that was once on the brink of extinction, is definitely worth visiting. Thanks to the dedicated efforts of the reserve’s staff, the oryx population has rebounded in recent years, and visitors can now witness these beautiful animals in their natural habitat.
The reserve is also home to a wide range of other species, including gazelles, hares, and even the elusive sand cat. And with its diverse array of flora and fauna, the reserve offers a fascinating window into the delicate balance of life in the desert.
Visitors to the reserve can take guided tours or explore on their own. There are plenty of opportunities for hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities. And for those interested in learning more about the reserve’s conservation efforts, there are informative exhibits and educational programs that offer a deeper understanding of the challenges facing this unique ecosystem.
Jordan is a land of hidden gems, filled with natural beauty, ancient wonders, and warm hospitality. From the iconic Ajloun Castle to the famous ruins of Petra, this country has so much to offer for travelers who seek adventure and exploration. Whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in history, soak up the sun, or experience the thrill of adventure, Jordan has something for everyone. It’s no wonder that Jordan is also a popular filming location.
So if you’re planning your next trip, don’t overlook the hidden gems of Jordan – you won’t be disappointed.