The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall are in the Middle East for their first major royal tour since the pandemic began, starting in Jordan.

Charles and Camilla will celebrate Jordan’s centenary as well as “100 years of the UK-Jordan bilateral relationship,” according to Chris Fitzgerald, the prince’s deputy private secretary.

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The visit will also focus on, among other issues, preserving cultural heritage, and Jordan – a poplar tourist destination – is rich in history with incredible architecture, epic landscapes and delicious cuisine to boot.

Here’s everything you need to know about Jordan..

What to see in Jordan

What to do in Jordan - Siq, Petra, Jordan
View of the Treasury at the end of the Siq entrance to Petra (Alamy/PA)

Petra is, of course, top of the must-see list in Jordan. The ancient city (a UNESCO World Heritage site) is reached via the town of Wadi Musa.

After buying your entry ticket you can walk or hire a horse to ride 1.2km through the steep-walled rocky passage called the Siq before arriving at the iconic view of the Treasury carved into the pink-hued rock.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Jordan’s capital city Amman is also home to many architectural wonders, from the Temple of Hercules in the historic Citadel perched high up on a hilltop to the downtown Roman Theatre.

 

In the mood for a mooch? Have a stroll down cobbled Rainbow Street, lined with shops and eateries, or explore the arty Jabal al-Weibdeh district.

What to do in Jordan

 
 
 
 
 
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The craggy red rock formations of the Wadi Rum Protected Area have been used as Martian landscape in several films, and the desert region, also known as the Valley of the Moon, is popular with adventurous travellers.

 

Hike through breathtaking canyons or hop on a camel and let your long-legged friend ferry you across the windswept dunes on a half-day or full-day trek. There’s also the option to spend a night in a traditional Bedouin camp or a luxury bubble tent.

Girl floating at the Dead Sea, Jordan while reading a book- What to do in Jordan
The Dead Sea (Alamy/PA)

Just as intriguingly, Jordan borders the Dead Sea – located at the lowest point of land on earth, around 430m below sea level.

The famously salty waters mean you can bob about with ease and slather your body in the mineral-rich mud for a natural skin-soothing treatment – and hilarious photo ops, of course.

What to eat in Jordan

What to do in Jordan - Mansaf, Jordan's national dish
Mansaf, Jordan’s national dish (Alamy/PA)

You’ll find plenty of Middle Eastern favourites like falafel, shawarma and hummus in Jordan, but the country’s national dish is mansaf.

Usually served on a large sharing platter, it consists of a layer of thin flatbread topped with aromatic rice and a mound of lamb scattered with toasted nuts and served with tangy yoghurt sauce.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Another Jordanian classic, kunafa is a baked dessert that combines flaky noodle-like pastry soaked in syrup, layered with creamy cheese and chopped pistachios.

Anything else you need to know?

 
 
 
 
 
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In order to travel to Jordan, under current rules you will  need proof of a negative PCR test within 72 hours of departure. You’ll also need to complete health declaration and passenger locator forms and register on the Discover Jordan platform to book a second PCR test on arrival or claim exemption by proving you are fully vaccinated against Covid.

Due to security concerns, the UK government advises against all but essential travel within 3km of the Syrian border.

While Jordan, unlike some other Middle Eastern countries, doesn’t have a strict dress code, to be respectful to local traditions you are advised to dress modestly, and may wish to keep your shoulders and knees covered. For further and updated information on visiting Jordan, check the UK government’s foreign travel advice online.

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