Petra has long been on my list of musts, here are a few tips some of which we knew before going and some that we wish we had known to make your trip more enjoyable.
- Get there early. There are always swarms of people visiting Petra, beat some of the crowd by getting there early. We timed it so that we arrived at the Treasury just as the sun was hitting it at 7am and it was astounding. The colours were so lovely it would be a shame to miss out on this for a sleep in.
- Take lots of water. There are plenty of places to get water once you are inside the complex and just past the Treasury, but it is a fair walk to get to that point so make sure you have plenty of water with you to get you to that point.
- It is hot. Seems a silly thing to point out. But it really is. Keep your shoulders covered, take a hat and drinks fluids. You will be doing a lot of walking and there is not much shade so look out for yourself and your travel buddies.
- Instead of following the main road follow the track leading up the hillside and parallel to the main “road”. There are beautiful views from up here and a lovely byzantine church with beautiful tiles.
- Make sure that you take the time to walk the steps up to the Monastery if you are physically able to. It is lovely, less people make it up here so it is a lot quieter. But also the Monastery is huge! The effort is worth it.
- We stopped at a little shop and bought fruit and snacks which we ate up at the Monastery site. We sat in the shade of the little café up there and bought cold drinks and they seemed happy with this arrangement. A lot of the hotels will do you a packed lunch if you ask the night before (we did not realise this) but it would be worth it. There are restaurants and cafes inside the complex but I would recommend picnicking if at all possible as the restaurants seemed like any other buffet type place in Jordan.
- Plan for the whole day we set of at 5.30am and did not stop until after 7pm. Wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to do a lot of walking. You can hire donkeys, horses and carts at various points, we chose not to, and I would recommend not doing this up to the Monastery as it seemed…precarious at best.
Petra remains one of the best places I have visited and it is so worth the rather expensive fees to get in. if you fancy cooling off after the long day head to the Cave Bar, they do cocktails, cold beer and soft drinks served in the cave tombs.
Oh, and don’t forget to sing the Indian Jones theme tune as you approach the Treasury…because you might not get another chance, so go for it, I certainly did!
Thank you to Steve for your wonderful photos! (Elf broke her camera)