The ancient city of Petra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Edom Mountain Range of the Kingdom of Jordan. Petra is located just a 2 hour drive from Eilat, Israel’s beach resort city on the Red Sea. Tourists in Israel can easily make a day trip to Petra or even extend their stay in the Kingdom of Jordan. Petra is a once in a lifetime experience, a breathtaking and awe inspiring sight not to be missed.
Petra was established in c.312BC as the capital of the Nabataean people and an important point along the ancient trade route between the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt and the Mediterranean. The Nabataeans were skilled engineers and were known for their ingenious construction. They managed to devise a water collection system in the barren desert turning Petra into an oasis in the harsh surroundings. The Nabataeans carved the city of Petra out of rose-colored sandstone rock, creating artistic and architecturally brilliant structures. Petra’s culture and commerce thrived; at its beak Petra was home to 20,000 inhabitants.
Most of the Nabataean city has survived and visitors can see the elaborate buildings, tombs, homes, temples and palaces carved out of the sheer cliffs. In the years that followed the Nabataean civilization faded as sea routes replaced the ancient trade routes across the desert and Petra was inhabited by other cultures including the Romans who left an amphitheater and other structures. Churches and floor mosaics from the Byzantine era have also survived. The city was lost to the Western world, known only to local Bedouin until being rediscovered in 1812 by a Swiss traveler. In 1917 T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) led local Arabs in a revolt at Petra against Ottoman rule.
Today visitors enter the mesmerizing city through a narrow gorge flanked by soaring rock cliffs of red sandstone. Within the city you can walk the ancient street running down the center of Petra and see more that 27 structures each created out of the red cliffs. It is no wonder Petra was included in the list of Seven Wonders of the World.
The easiest way to reach Petra is from Eilat, the most southern resort city in Israel, on the Red Sea.
Private tours to Petra and sites near by, can be arranged for one, two, or more days, Hotel overnight in the village near Petra and returning to Eilat.
There are also guided one or two day tours with a larger group, on a bus.
Optional – adding a Jeep tour of Wadi Rum.
Another option, if you are in Tel Aviv with limited time – its possible to have a full long day trip to Petra, starting and ending in Tel Aviv, using domestic flights to/from Eilat. For most western countries’ citizens , there is no need for a pre arranged visa to enter Jordan (via Arava border cross).
The One day Petra Tour includes:
I can book the tour to Petra for you, either as a private tour, or seats on a guided bus tour, with a large group. Tours are guided in English.
Do not hesitate to give me a call.
I’ll be happy to talk to you.