The small Kingdom of Jordan occupies a strategic location in the Middle East. This arid and ancient land (of biblical fame) has witnessed centuries of conquests and invading armies.
After World War I ended, the Ottoman Turks were finally driven out, and the British influence began.
Jordan gained its independence in 1946, and following the death of King Hussein in 1999, his eldest son, King Abdallah II assumed the throne.
The King subsequently began a very aggressive and progressive economic reform program, and Jordan now participates in the World Trade Organization, the European Free Trade Association and other economic associations.
The modern (and historic) city of Amman, the capital city, is only five hours driving time from anywhere in the country, and it serves as the administrative and commercial center.
The country's major tourist attraction is the rose-red city of Petra, founded around 1000 BC.
Facts and Figures
(long form) Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Capital City Amman (1.3 mil ) metro (2.8 mil)
Currency Jordanian Dinar (JOD)
Languages Arabic (official), English
National Day May 25
Religions Sunni Muslim (90%), Christian (6%)
Latitude/Longitude (Capital City)
31º 57' N, 35º 56' E
Relative Location Jordan is in both the northern and eastern hemispheres. Positioned in the Middle East, a recognized geographical region of southwestern Asia, the country is bordered by Israel, Syria (Golan Heights), Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
Coastline 16 miles (26 km)
(land) 35,510 sq miles (91,971 sq km)
(water) 127 sq miles (329 sq km)
(TOTAL) 35,637 sq miles (92,300sq km)
Landforms Jordan is generally a flat desert plateau, east and west, as the western edges of the Syrian and Ard As Sawwan deserts stretch across the land.
In the west, the Great Rift Valley (high hills and mountains) separates the East and West Banks of the Jordan River.
Significant bordering bodies of water include the Dead Sea, the Gulf of Aqaba and the Sea of Galilee.
Highest Point Jabal Ram - 5,689 ft. (1,734 m)
Lowest Point Dead Sea - (-1,349 ft.) (-411 m) below sea level
Land Divisions 12 governorates, including: Ajlun, Al 'Aqabah, Al Balqa', Al Karak, Al Mafraq, 'Amman, At Tafilah, Az Zarqa', Irbid, Jarash, Ma'an and Madaba.
Attractions The capital city of Amman, and its 19 hills of stone houses and historical sites, the legendary city of Petra, Agaba and its clean sandy beaches, dozens of crusader and desert castles, and the wide variety of biblical holy sites - to name but a few.
Country Dialing Code 962
Electricity Jordan uses 230/220 volts AC (50 Hz)
Climate: Jordan is hot and arid in the summer months, especially in the desert areas and along the Dead Sea. Milder fall and winter conditions in the hills and mountains of the west are common.
Daily highs in the summer reach into the mid 90s, while winter lows below 40º F are rare.
Jordan's famous Dead Sea resorts provide a more relaxed, therapeutic, experience. Here are the exclusive spa resorts, where self-indulgence and pampering are the order of the day and work-worn delegates and other visitors emerge feeling at least 10 years younger and ready to face the challenges of life with newly discovered vitality.
In this land of mountain, valley and desert, Jordan has mineral springs, areas of forest, and surprises. It is a land of history, possibly, even, it is the land where history began.
Please, read on and create your own holiday in a land half as old as time...