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Best of Jordan: gems that Prince Charles and Camilla shouldn't miss

March 12, 2013
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The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall were welcomed by King Abdullah of Jordan and Queen Rania in Jordan's capital Amman when they arrived on Monday for an eight-day tour of the Middle East.As the royal couple, who are travelling as part of a mission to promote British interests in the region, begin their explorations, we look at the gems that Jordan has to offer – from the red desert sands of Wadi Rum and the coral-filled Gulf of Aqaba to the lifeless Dead Sea.Let's hope that Prince Charles, 64, and Camilla, who is on her first official visit to Jordan, can fit them into their busy agenda between engagements…

prince charles in jordan

Visit PetraThe magical ancient Nabataean city of Petra is without doubt one of the Middle East's most spectacular, unmissable sights and one of the seven wonders of the world. A symbol of Jordan, the "rose red city, half as old as time" as famously described in a poem, lies on the slope of Mount Hor in a basin among the mountains which form the eastern flank of Arabah (Wadi Araba), the large valley running from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba. 

Head to the red deserts of Wadi RumOne of the world's outstanding desert landscapes spanning 720 square kilometres in southern Jordan, Wadi Rum is an obligatory stop for those who want to walk the desert where the adventures of Lawrence of Arabia took place and be dazzled its vast, timeless spaces and imposing monolithic rockscapes. Experience a glimpse of desert life, see how the local Bedouin people live and take in the breathtaking scenery that these desert landscapes have to offer. 

Float in the Dead Sea The lowest point on the face of the earth at 423 metres below sea level, water from incoming rivers evaporates in the Dead Sea, leaving behind a warm, soothing, rich cocktail of salts and minerals which allow you to float on the surface. One of the world's saltiest bodies of water – ten times saltier than sea water – the Dead Sea salt is known for its therapeutic and healing qualities.Dive in the coral-filled Gulf of AqabaWarm temperatures and gentle water currents have created the perfect environment for growth of corals and a plethora of marine life, making Aqaba waters for some of the best snorkelling and diving in the world. Swim with schools of beautiful multi-coloured fish, sea turtles and dolphins, take a night dive to see the nocturnal sea creatures, or keep your feet dry in a glass-bottomed boat tour. 

See maps of the Holy Land Madaba, known as the "city of mosaics", is an ancient town of the Jordanian Plateau. Its real masterpiece is the 6th century AD mosaic map, with fine detailed mosaic art of the church depicting Jerusalem and the Holy Land, can be found in the Orthodox church of Saint George. With two million pieces of vividly coloured local stone, the mosaics depict hills and valleys, villages and towns as far as the Nile Delta.

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