Stretching about 400 miles, the Jordan Trail weaves through such storied sites as the ancient city of Petra and vast spaces of desert dune and rocky valley. Where Nabataeans and Romans once walked along trade routes, adventure travelers now roam.
Opened in 2017 and conceived as a north-to-south route, the trail begins in the village of Umm Qais and ends at the Red Sea city of Al Aqabah. Despite Jordan’s arid climate, the landscape varies from olive tree–studded slopes in the north to water-lapped shores in the south. In between lie the otherworldly sandstone formations of Wadi Rum—often a movie stand-in for Mars—where inscriptions from the Nabataean culture date back more than two millennia.
On the trail: Earth’s lowest land point, the Dead Sea has a salt content so high that it inhibits macroscopic life—and allows swimmers to float effortlessly on the surface. Divers are drawn to colorful coral reefs in the waters off Al Aqabah.