The ‘back door’ to Petra

Once a secret, now a well trodden path, the ‘back door’ to Petra was one of my favourite experience at this popular place, relatively quiet with stunning views. It takes you into Petra by the Monastery, one of the most spectacular sights, and saves walking back on yourself to return to the visitor centre.

A free shuttle bus leaves the visitor centre once full and takes 15 mins along scenic roads to reach Little Petra (Siq Al-Barid).

Like Petra, this is a Nabataen site, much smaller in scale but similar and free to enter. There are a number of tombs, and a comparable, if much smaller Siq.

It is gaining in popularity but compared with Petra it is pleasantly quiet.

A narrow Siq at the end takes you up to some impressive views of the landscape.

To the right of the entrance is a ticket office where for JOD 5 a ticket can be bought for a 20 minute jeep / track ride which will save hours of fairly dull walking.

The jeep / truck drops you off close to the ticket inspection point for entry into Petra.

The landscape here is quite epic.

And only gets better as you walk along a well constructed, and easy to follow, path along the mountainside.

There are huge views the whole way along, and relatively few people. It was my favourite track at Petra.

After about one and half hours I reached the famous Monastery (Ad Dier), an impressive 48m high monument used for religious meetings.

The afternoon is the better time for light, but late morning was manageable to get some reasonable photos.

From here back to the main track it is a steep descent, tough on the knees, with donkeys and stall holders to dodge.

The views are pretty good though…

The free Petra Museum was worth a quick explore at the end of the day, as much for the air conditioning as the museum contents.

The day finished with a rather nice sunset over Petra.

Author: jontycrane

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