While Jordan's Petra and the Dead Sea may be famous the world over, there are actually a lot of other great places travelers can enjoy when visiting the kingdom. Whether you enjoy hiking, beaches or vibrant cities, Jordan has a mix of everything. We though it was time that some of these lesser-known places got some love.
Here are 14 places in Jordan that you may not have heard of before but you definitely should still make them a priority when you visit.
1. Dana Biosphere Reserve
Comprising some 308 square kilometers, Dana is the country's largest nature reserve. It is located in south-central Jordan.
2. Umm Qais
This northern Jordan town is best known for its close proximity to the ancient Gadara ruins. Nestled on a hilltop, Umm Qais overlooks the Sea of Tiberias, the Golan Heights, and the Yarmouk River gorge.
Located 76 kilometers northwest of Amman, Ajloun features the impressive ruins of a 12th-century castle. The surrounding mountains feature lush vegetation and forests, serving as an ideal hiking location.
Known for its Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics, Madaba is located 30 kilometers southwest of Amman. Enjoy wandering the city streets, eating local street food and visiting surrounding historic sites.
Situated north of Amman, Jerash features some of Jordan's most impressive ancient ruins. The remains of the Roman city of Gerasa are a must see for any visitor.
6. Al Karak
Best known for its prominent crusader castle, the city lies along King's Highway to the south of Amman. Karak Castle is one of the three largest in the Levant and the largest in Jordan.
7. Wadi Rum
Jordan's largest wadi is also known as the Valley of the Moon. Featuring a truly incredible topography – recently starring as the backdrop for the Hollywood film "The Martian" – the area has become a popular destination for tourists seeking a more adventurous travel experience.
8. Azraq Wetland Reserve
These wetlands were long a pitstop for several species of migratory birds. However, as recent droughts have caused wetlands to suffer, fewer species come than previously. Regardless, the picturesque location offers a relaxing setting to enjoy a bit of Jordan's natural beauty.
Often ignored by quick hop-in-hop-out tourists, Jordan's Red Sea coastal city provides an idyllic setting to enjoy the waves and tan on the beach. Try scuba diving to experience some of Jordan's vibrant underwater nature.
Well-known for its green gardens containing fig and olive trees, Tafilah is a town located southwest of Jordan and close to the Dana Biosphere Reserve. The town was first established by the ancient Edomites and the modern day city is built atop these ancient ruins.
11. Wadi Mujib
Although it's end point – the Dead Sea – is well-known to visitors from the world over, Wadi Mujib's interesting geography is less familiar to most. The river flows through picturesque canyons, providing an ideal setting for adventurous tourists.
Close to Amman, Zarqa is a smaller yet still-vibrant city to visit. As Jordan's industrial center, there may be less tourist options but travelers can enjoy getting to know the city's local culture.
Jordan's second largest city by metropolitan population after Amman is a vibrant place that most visitors miss. Featuring notable museums and home to several prominent universities, Irbid also has a decent youthful nightlife scene.
14. Al Salt
Located on a green plateau, Al Salt is know for its agriculture. Believed to have been first established by Alexander the Great's armies, the area's fertile soil yields a plentiful harvest of fruits and vegetables.