Jordan is situated in the Middle East and borders with Israel, the Syrian Arab Republic, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. The capital, Amman dominates the Dead Sea Depression at a height of 800m on a plateau that extends 324km from the Syrian Arab Republic to Ras en Naqab in the south. It is surrounded to the north by undulating hills with cultivated fields and forests as well as desert escarpments to the south that are grazed by the sheep and goat herds of nomadic tribes. Jordan’s official language is Arabic and English is also widely spoken.
Jordan looks out on to the Red Sea at Aqaba, a narrow strip of land teeming with underwater treasures, while in the northeast the flat desert spreads out, scattered occasionally by oases. The desert in the southeast is a spectacular wind-eroded region with brightly colored sandstone cliffs.
Jordan’s rich history and religious culture offers some magnificent sites, notably Petra, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, with the breathtaking rock-hewn city of the Nabateans, which turns rose pink in the light of the setting sun. Wadi Rum is also a striking example of Jordan’s heritage and shares the beauty of Petra.
The climate varies with warm winters and hot summers in Aqaba and the Jordan Valley and cold winters and intensely hot summers in the Eastern Desert. There can be snow in the hills and rainfall is between November and March.