The Rose City looks different, depending on the brightness of the sun’s burning flames which reflect the façade of this historical city. The following morning we embarked on the journey of discovering Petra at around 8:00 am. It was still early and people were just beginning to arrive to the site. If you do wish to experience less crowds then start as early as possible. To learn more about the fascinating history of Petra, please refer to my first post Discovering Petra: Day One.
There is only one way into Petra and that is following the route of the Siq which leads to the famous Treasury. At this early hour when we reached the Khazneh which is the Arabic name for the Treasury, the permanent residents — the camels, had already taken their place to greet the excited visitors who were already making their way to this extraordinary place.
After taking a few more photos at the Treasury, I guess you can never have too many shots — we headed further on passing the Street of Facades and the Royal Tombs.
Today, Salah promised to take us on a different hiking route, the one with the best view of the Treasury and it was indeed.
The Best View of the Treasury — the Al Kubtha Trail
The hike up is a challenge especially if you are scared of heights. A few times along the way I was ready to turn back as I found myself standing in the middle of the mountains with no people in sight.
It was just past 9:00 am and the temperature was rising, mind you it was end of February and dressed like an onion I had removed all the layers until I was left wearing a t-shirt. Wearing a few layers does help when you are in a desert as the temperature can suddenly change.
To get on this route you must pass the Urn Tomb, Silk Tomb, Corinthian Tomb and Palace Tomb after which you will see a sign that says the Al Kubtha Trail. From here be prepared to climb some stairs, many stairs!
You will also get to see the Roman Theatre from above, but continue to climb further until you reach a cave which is found in the middle of nowhere.
From the cave take the route on your left hand side, pay attention to piles of rocks which mark the way. You will eventually reach the sign that says “Best View” — you have reached your destination, a tent which is run by a Bedouin named Salem.
The view is breathtaking! The hike is definitely worth it as nothing beats this experience of sitting on the edge of the cliff with the view of the Treasury right in front of your eyes.
One of my top experiences so far! I am in love with Jordan. 🇯🇴The hike up to this spot wasn’t an easy one but it was 100% worth it! The feeling of sitting on the edge and soaking in the view of the Treasury is wow! As you can see a furry little friend shared this wonderful experience with me. Not many people reach this place or know how to get here, but those who do… get to see this! @visitjordan #ShareYourJordan #gojordan
Salem then promised to take us on a different route which leads outside from Petra without having to pass by the Siq and the Treasury.
We followed him and his donkey Michael Jackson and dog Monica as he led the way. As Salem explained it is quite easy to get lost in the mountains of Petra, and to be honest I don’t doubt that as every stone may look the same to someone who has never experienced the place. The Bedouins live here, they know their way around the place.
We headed further out passing the Tomb of Sextius Florentious built in 129 AD, its facade is a mixture of both Nabatean and Roman elements representing the influence of time on the city.
We walked further until we reached a narrow passage way which is a canyon known as the Siq Al Muthlem that was created by the Nabateans to direct the water around the city of Petra.
Siq Al Muthlem – the dark tunnel around Petra
This dark passage is a magical canyon that only local Bedouins know of. During the rainy season there is no way that anyone can walk through here as the water runs through at an unbelievable speed and can sometimes reach 3 meters in height.
Unlike outside it was cool inside this narrow siq until we reached the final part which was uncovered and under the beaming sun. The Siq Al Muthlem also known as the Dark Siq is 88 meters long and is a remarkable experience indeed.
Lunch at Alqantarah Restaurant
After having spent an exhilarating morning hiking in Petra, we had lunch at the Alqantarah Restaurant located 500 meters from the main gate of Petra.
The restaurant is set in a traditional architectural style building and the walls are decorated with local artwork displaying Petra’s culture and heritage.
Alqantarah Restaurant serves authentic Jordanian cuisine, lunch is served in a buffet style, there is a selection of Arabic meze and salads, a selection on hot dishes and desserts.
There is also live cooking where you can watch the preparation of meats being grilled on a Taboun which is an old clay oven. The falafel was exceptional as well as the rest of the dishes.
After having spent two remarkable days discovering Petra, we returned to Amman. Have you been to Petra? Do share your impressions by commenting below. If not I will be happy to answer any questions which you may have.
The Admission Fee to Petra
Fees for the accommodated visitor: Visitor who stays at least one night in Jordan is: 50 J.D (approximately 65 Euro) for one day, 55 J.D (approximately 72 Euro) for two days and 60 J.D (approximately 79 Euro) for three days
Fees for non-accommodated visitor: 90 J.D. (approximately 118 Euro)
Petra By Night
The entrance fee for Petra by Night is 17 J.D(approximately 22 Euro); children less than 12 years are admitted free of charge. Tickets can be bought at the Visitor Centre shops, local tour agencies in Petra or at your hotel reception.
*The trip to Petra was arranged by Jordan Tourism Board, all opinions expressed are my own.