21 Feb Petra – The Rose City
Petra (which means Rock) is half-built and half-carved in stone. The monuments are cut into cobblestone cliffs and mountains, showing a whole spectrum of colours.
Petra would be one of the highlights for most visitors, and there are lots to see and discover. Consider the following tips for a memorable visit.
Start your visit early in the morning.
Petra is huge, so plan the day. Petra usually opens at 6 am, and it’s worth getting up early to avoid the crowd.
The most famous point of attraction is the Treasury (also called Al-Khazneh). It’s approximately 2 kilometres from the entrance of Petra (Petra Visitor Center).and can take up to 30 minutes to walk along the path (or the Siq), but if there’s not much crowd, you can do it in 15 or 20mins.
Feeling more energetic and curious, then make your way to the top of Petra – The Monastery. The views of Petra from above are incredible and worth taking the extra walk.
“Ad Deir” or “The Monastery” is on top of a mountain; to get there, you will have to walk approximately 900 steps up it. The walk is not too bad, as there are multiple opportunities to rest along the way. But some visitors choose a donkey to get to the top. The steps aren’t steep but can be a little rugged. Along the way, there are countless Bedouin tents to browse, have a cup of tea or shop for a scarf or trinkets.
Tip: Don’t promise to buy something later, because if you don’t, you will probably bump into them again, AND they do remember your face and promise!
When you arrive at the Monastery, signs point to the ‘Best view’, and it can be hard to decide which path to take. Generally, every hilltop surrounding the Monastery has the best view. And if you are game, take the extra steps behind the Monastery for the fantastic views.
There will be opportunities to buy tea or drinks from the Bedouin camps along the way.
If you get hungry and need a meal, you can eat at the “Restaurante Crown Plaza Basin” (managed by the Crown Plaza hotel). It’s a huge buffet lunch that costs about 25 Euros. Book this in advance
Visit Petra by Night
Include a visit to “Petra by Night”. The Treasury and the whole path along The Siq will be lit up with candles at night. And you will feel mesmerized amongst the Rose rocks of Petra.
Once everyone is seated on the ground, you can enjoy live music and a light show, where the facade of the Treasury brightens up in different colours. The show is on for 20-30mins. During this time, Bedouins serve tea—a special evening of immersing yourself in the aura of the location. And best of all you can take some fantastic photos!
We highly recommend staying overnight in Petra. There are many hotels in close vicinity of different price brackets.
Be prepared to walk a lot. Spending the whole day in Petra, we covered nearly 20 kilometres in one day, plus going back at night. So that’s a lot of walking. Wear very comfortable shoes, and if you decide to go hiking, wear closed boots or shoes. Please carry lots of water and snacks for the walk.