Petra Ancient City
The ancient city of Petra is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. It was the capital of the Nabatean Kingdom and flourished as a major trading hub during ancient times. It continues to inspire awe and fascination today.
The most iconic feature of Petra is the Al-Khazneh, also known as the Treasury. This impressive rock-cut facade serves as the entrance to the city and is carved into the towering cliffs. As you walk through the narrow canyon known as the Siq, your are greeted with the grandeur of the Treasury, a magnificent sight that has captivated travelers for centuries.
Beyond the Treasury, Petra is home to numerous other archaeological wonders. The city features intricate rock-cut tombs, temples, and structures carved into the sandstone cliffs. Notable sites include the Monastery (Ad-Deir), the Royal Tombs, the Great Temple, and the Street of Facades.
Hiking trails is the best and only way to fully experience this ancient city. Your journey starts at the Visitor Center and can stretch up to 5 miles to the farthest site – the Monastery. Here is how we recommend to spend your time in Petra:
🥾 Start your day with the easiest and most popular Main Trail that takes you through the Dam, the Siq canyon, the famous Treasury, and ends at the City Complex with stunning sights like Street of Facades, Nabatean theater, Royal Tombs, and the Great Temple. This is a 5-mile round-trip trail that will take you 3 to 4 hours.
🥾 Go further up to the Monastery, one of the largest and most impressive structures in Petra. This trail is short and adds about an hour round-trip, but requires climbing about 800 steps. But as always, the views at the end are totally worth it.
The Main Trail and then to the Monastery is your minimum in Petra. Check out the links section for this trail details on AllTrails. If you are ready for a more strenuous adventure once you're back to the City Complex from the Monastery, here are some great options:
🥾 Hike up to the Treasury From Above viewpoint (Al Khubtha Trail). This trail is quite strenuous, but takes you to the best views in whole Petra, adding just 1-2 extra hours to your day. We love this detour because it's not crowded.
🥾 High Place of Sacrifice Trail is another strenuous option from the City Complex, taking you to the panoramic viewpoint of the city down in the valley. It adds another hour to your total exploration time.
☀️ We strongly recommend starting before 7am to avoid heat. There are restaurants and restrooms with drinking water where you can hide from mid-day heat. They are located in the central area, right at the start of the Monastery trail.
Exploring Petra allows to immerse yourself in the rich history and architectural marvels of this ancient civilization. The craftsmanship and engineering feats of the Nabateans are evident throughout the site, showcasing their mastery in creating a thriving city in the midst of a desert landscape.
In addition to its historical significance, Petra offers stunning natural beauty. The surrounding landscapes are characterized by rugged canyons, colorful rock formations, and breathtaking views. The interplay of light and shadow on the sandstone cliffs creates a visually striking experience, particularly during sunrise and sunset.
Petra is not only a remarkable archaeological site but also a testament to human ingenuity and the enduring legacy of the Nabatean civilization. It is a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts, adventure seekers, and those seeking a truly unique travel experience.