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Award-winning travel writer
Annabelle Thorpe

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Petra

Our verdict:

One of the classic 'see before you die' destinations, the rose red city of Petra, carved straight out of the sandstone escarpment, ranks alongside the Pyramids as a triumph of ancient architecture. With its scores of temples, palaces, theatre, tombs and a museum, it's a rewarding destination, even if only for a short stay.

Recommended tour operator: Audley Travel

Camels outside the Treasury at Petra in Jordan - city carved out of the rockOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARelax back at your hotelThe path through Petra

Audley Travel says

Nothing can quite prepare you for the jaw-dropping experience that is a visit to Petra, especially the first glimpse of the Treasury as you emerge from the long narrow gorge. Now a Unesco World Heritage Site and surely the eighth wonder of the world, the entire rose red city was carved in stone to be the capital of the Nabatean Kingdom more than 2,000 years ago.

We offer a wide choice of hotels. The luxurious Petra Movenpick Resort and atmospheric Petra Guest House are both located just outside the main entrance gate to Petra. Only 2 km away, the charming Beit Zaman is a 19th-century village transformed into a modern hotel.

Whichever hotel you chose, their ideal locations mean you can get there early (the ticket office opens at 6am) and see the city glow in the dawn light. After an afternoon relaxing by the pool, return for the sunset – you can even explore Petra by candlelight, when the Siq and Treasury are illuminated by thousands of candles – it’s magical and shouldn’t be missed.

Two or three days will give you the chance to explore the myriad buildings, including tombs, temples, colonnaded streets, an open air theatre, a first-century monastery and museum.

We can also arrange an official guide for you, something highly recommended – at least your first day. To reach Petra, you will fly to Amman (five hours from London) and then take the three-hour journey by air-conditioned car to Petra. We can add on a stay in Amman or the Dead Sea if you wish.

Find out more about our breaks in Petra.

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