It is not difficult to see why the more serious-minded tourists flock to Jordan. Political stability, a manageable climate and a wide use of English allow visitors to get down to business: visiting the stunning pre-biblical and biblical sites.
The most visited tourist attraction is the World Heritage Site of Petra with its pink cut rock architecture. Dating back to the 6th century BC, the city, carved in a mountain, is said to be one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, and was chosen by the BBC as one of 'the 40 places you have to see before you die'.
Further south, lies the breathtaking desert landscape of Wadi Rum, associated with Lawrence of Arabia, and where Bedouin tribes continue to live amongst its rocky mountain formations.
Add to this the spectacular Roman architectural sites at Jerash, the Byzantine mosaics at Madaba in the north and the fact that a visit to the Dead Sea, at 402 metres below sea level, will take you to the lowest point on earth and you have plenty of truly memorable things to see.
A country of few natural resources, tourism forms an important part of Jordan’s economy. Apart from a Roman Amphitheatre and several museums, its capital, Amman, considered one of the cleanest cities in the region, offers international cuisine, modern shopping malls and quite a night life.
BMI (flybmi.com) flies from Heathrow to Amman from £450 return.