Nestled in a secluded valley surrounded by Jordan’s rugged mountains, Petra was left deserted and hidden from the world for hundreds of years. After being rediscovered in the 1800s, the lost city of Petra is now not only Jordan’s leading tourist attraction, it’s also one of the world’s most incredible archaeological sites, and was recently voted as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. To reach Petra you walk through a narrow 1.2km gorge, known as the Siq. The rocks give way to reveal the incredible facade of Al Kazneh (the Treasury), which served as a royal tomb, but got its name from the legend that pirates hid their treasure there. The Treasury famously featured as the Holy Grail’s last resting place in the film ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’.
Past the Treasury the hidden valley widens to reveal the remains of the city proper including dozens of ancient Nabataean tombs and a Roman rock-carved street lined with temples, royal tombs, public buildings and a vast amphitheatre. Petra’s most imposing and impressive monument is Ad Deir (the Monastery), which is scenically perched above the city in the beautiful Petra Hills. The steep walk up to the Monastery takes about an hour