Sadly, many of the countries surrounding it are completely off limits for travellers these days, but anyone interested in the ancient world or a more modern Middle East can still explore Jordan.
No doubt, most visitors head straight for Petra, the incredible pink city built by the Nabataeans in about 300BC and undiscovered by explorers from the western world until 1812. For ancient history buffs, however, there are plenty of other impressive architectural sites, including the Umm Al-Jimal Ruins near the Syrian border, with about 150 buildings still visible, and the 2000-year-old Greco-Roman city of Jerash. Even the capital Amman boasts Roman ruins among its mosques, malls and cafes.
Go 4WDing to Wadi Rum, an amazing red landscape of rock formations and riverbeds, before sleeping under the stars at one of the camps. There’s hiking to be done at the Wadi Mujiz canyon, and reefs to be explored at Aqaba on the Red Sea, Jordan’s only resort town.