The Jordanian town of Aqaba sits at the top of the Gulf of Aqaba just off the Red Sea. Boasting sandy beaches and one of the worlds best-preserved coral reefs, this is a popular resort with divers.
But the main attraction of this area is the magnificent fortress city of Petra, buried by sand for more than 2,000 years until it was discovered in the desert near Aqaba in the 19th century and excavated in the 1950s. Originally built by Bedouin, the 'rose red' city of Petra is a genuine wonder of the world. Make a dramatic entrance by walking through the Siq (gorge) up to the imposing Treasury with its exquisite facade. Further on are temples, tombs and a huge theatre. Elsewhere, visit Wadi Rum, a vast silent landscape of sandstone mountains, desert and ancient bedrocks.