Nestled in the heart of Jordan, the ancient city of Petra beckons with its timeless beauty and archaeological marvels. While a comprehensive exploration of this UNESCO World Heritage Site might require more time, it’s possible to experience its wonders in just two days from the nearby city of Eilat, Israel. This article outlines a condensed itinerary that allows you to make the most of your brief visit to Petra.
Day 1: The Rose Red City
Morning: Departure from Eilat
- Begin your adventure by departing from Eilat, Israel’s southernmost city, which is conveniently located near the Jordanian border.
Cross the Border:
- Cross the border into Jordan, a straightforward process when organized through a tour operator. Ensure you have your passport, visa, and necessary permits ready.
Arrival in Petra:
- Reach the visitor center in Petra by late morning, where you’ll purchase your entrance tickets.
Explore the Siq:
- Start your Petra journey with a walk through the narrow and mesmerizing Siq, a natural gorge flanked by soaring sandstone cliffs. As you venture deeper, catch your first glimpse of the iconic Treasury (Al-Khazneh) peeking through the canyon.
Lunch in Petra:
- Savor a delicious Jordanian lunch at one of the onsite restaurants to refuel for your afternoon exploration.
Visit the Monastery (Ad Deir):
- Hike up to the Monastery, another architectural masterpiece carved into the rose-red cliffs. The effort is rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views and a sense of awe-inspiring history.
Sunset in Petra:
- Head back to the main area to watch the sun dip below the horizon, casting a warm glow on the ancient city. This is the perfect moment to capture the beauty of Petra in the changing light.
- Spend the night in one of the hotels or guesthouses near Petra, where you can relax and prepare for another day of exploration.
Day 2: Uncovering Petra’s Treasures
Early Morning Start:
- Begin your day early to maximize your time in Petra.
Visit the Treasury (Al-Khazneh):
- Return to the Treasury for a closer look and capture more stunning photos. As one of Petra’s most iconic landmarks, it’s a sight to behold.
Explore the Ancient City:
- Wander through the ancient city, taking in the Royal Tombs, the Great Temple, and the Roman Theater. Marvel at the intricate rock-cut architecture and the fascinating history that surrounds you.
Lunch in Petra:
- Enjoy a local lunch within the Petra site to recharge for your afternoon activities.
Walk Back Through the Siq:
- As you exit Petra, take one last walk through the Siq, perhaps seeing it in a different light than your morning arrival.
Return to Eilat:
- Cross back into Israel and return to Eilat by late afternoon or early evening, concluding your whirlwind adventure to Petra.
While two days may only scratch the surface of Petra’s vast historical riches, this condensed itinerary allows you to experience its most iconic features and soak in the enchanting atmosphere of this ancient city. Petra’s allure is undeniable, and a short trip from Eilat makes it accessible to those seeking a taste of its magic.