RECOMMENDED ITINERARIES IN PETRA
Petra is a vast site and combines both archaeological and natural treasures. The area demarcated as the Park measures 264 square km. To try and see all of this in one day is beyond what is humanly possible, so we have put together some suggestions of routes you could take in Petra to cover the most important monuments dependent on how much time you have.
Alternatively click here and pick some (or all, if you’re feeling fit) of the monuments that interest you and plan your visit that way.
Before you go
Just before you enter the site you will see the Visitors Centre where you can purchase your entrance tickets. Click here for costs.
You enter the Petra Archaeological Park (PAP) from the main gate in Wadi Musa. The walk from this gate to the entrance of the Siq, Bab al- Siq (map), takes 15 minutes at a gentle pace (downhill) and perhaps an extra 10 minutes returning (because it is uphill) i.e. 25 minutes. So remember to add 40 minutes to your total time to get there and back.
Walking through the Siq itself at a leisurely pace will take ½ an hour. Don’t forget to look out for the Nabataean water channel on your left and the Nabataean ceramic water pipes on your right. Keep your eyes open for the Cameleer carving on the left side of the Siq as you walk towards the Khazne. If you look more carefully just beyond, you will see another set of camels heading upwards. Notice the many niches all along the Siq representing the different deities. Give yourself another ½ hour to explore the Khazne itself, take lots of photos, and prepare yourself to discover a lot more.
If you have 1 day in Petra, PNT recommends the following route:
One day does not give you much time and is really the minimum time needed to explore the site. After having walked through the Siq and explored the Khazne, carry on towards the Theatre, then walk down the Colonnaded Street towards Qasr al Bint, passing by the Paradesios (sp), the Great Temple the Roman shops, & Temenos Gate on your way. Have lunch and a break, perhaps visit the museums, before starting to walk up the steps to the Monastery. On the way you can take a short detour to the Lion Triclinium. This is a tiring climb but the views overlooking Wadi Araba are well worth it. After you descend to the Petra Basin, and if you still have the energy, walk back via the Temple of the Winged Lion, the Ridge Church and the Blue Church and the Royal Tombs (Urn Tomb; Silk Tomb; Corinthian Tomb; Palace Tomb and the Tomb of Sextius Florentinus) before you exit the site taking the same route you came through.
If you only have half a day to spend in Petra, do all of the above but do not go to the Monastery.
If you have 2 days in Petra PNT recommends the following route:
Two days allows you time to explore more of the site and take in a couple of hikes to the high places.
Follow the itinerary as mentioned above for a 1 day visit.
On the second day you can visit the High Place of Sacrifice and descend the back route into Wadi Farasa walking via the Garden Tomb, the Lion Fountain and the Roman Soldier’s Tomb. This route will bring you to the back of the Great Temple. On your way out of Petra walk up to the Royal Tombs and take the steps behind them that lead you up onto Jebal al Khubtha and to a nice viewing point over the Khazne.
If you have 3-4 days in Petra PNT recommends the following route:
Follow the suggestions as above for day 1 and 2.
There are several possibilities for your 3rd and 4th days as follows:
- Visit Siq al Barid (sometimes referred to as “Little Petra” and the Neolithic site of Beidha. Entrance fees are included in your ticket to Petra and it is well worth the taxi ride to get there.
You may want to do some long walks and hikes - on your extra days. PNT strongly recommends that you take a guide (you can hire guides from the Visitors Centre or through your hotel or call the Jordan Tourism Board (http://www.see-jordan.com/) and ask to be taken on one or more of the following trips:
- Jebal Haroun via the Snake Monument
- Hike from Beidha to the Petra Basin
- Um al Biyara for bird’s eye views of Petra and to see the Iron Age settlement
- Wadi Sabra where you will see a second theatre in Petra.
- A 7 day hike, recently acknowledged by the National Geographic as one of “The World’s best hikes, which starts at the Dana Reserve, and culminates with the decent into Petra. (Click here for more details)
It is to be noted that, although PNT supports the action of hikes as a means of introducing the diversity of Petra to local and international visitors it is of high importance/necessity that these routes and areas are subject to planning, GIS imaging, zoning, clear signposting along the complete route, training of rangers on these routes and that search and rescue services are in place. None of these are in place yet and visitors need to note that such visits are at their own risk and could be damaging the resources.
Some of these routes can be punishing if you’re not fit and we ask that you don’t ride donkeys to the monuments unless you are unable to walk (click here to see our issues of concern. PNT also stresses the dangers of flash flooding. If you happen to be visiting Petra during the winter please be sure to inform your hotel which route you are taking and when you intend to return.
Click here for items PNT recommends you take with you into Petra.