Traveling in Jordan with kids


Jordan allows children to think big, but feel small. The ancient history of Petra or Jarash, for example, expands the mind in ways that history lessons will never be able to do. The Desert Castles of Qasr Amra or Qasr Kharrana are like looking at life in cinemascope. Literally, in fact, with Qasr al-Azraq having been the military headquarters of Lawrence of Arabia. But itís only when they get to ride across the desert on a camel themselves, young and old start to feel that incredible sensation of being a mere speck on the planet, as this vast desert envelops them in its great wilderness.
The strength of the Bedouin people in Jordan, so openly shared with tourists, is inspiring to young people. To all people in fact, with opportunities to camp out in Wadi Rum with Bedouin guides, listen to their stories and songs, share coffee and camaraderie as the sun sets and the stars shoot here there and everywhere.
Families can also totally immerse themselves in a completely different aspect of Jordanís natural wonders, this time underwater at the Red Sea. Because although it only has 27km of coastline, the coral reefs and diving depths of the Red Sea feel as if they go on forever. Aqaba is the aqua hub of Jordan, with plenty of scope for scuba or snorkelling, swimming and sailing and family fun in the sun. It is also gateway to Aqaba Marine Park which protects 7km of the coastline, and although it may sound petite, it is packed with a plethora of fish, turtles, dolphins and dugongs.
Indeed, these coral reefs are some of the most northerly in the world with over 120 species of hard coral having been identified and more than 161 species of fish. So again, thinking big, feeling small, you really feel part of the bigger picture in Jordan. The Marine Park also has a visitor's center with a restaurant and clear, informative exhibitions on the local ecology and a well laid out museum of seashells from all over the world, which is great for families.
At the end of a family trip to Jordan, it sometimes takes time to process its prodigiousness. A visit to the Childrenís Museum of Jordan will seal the deal on that front. With a vibrant programme of events aimed at young people, constantly updated exhibitions about the environment and culture, science or the arts, performances and even a sensory garden, this is one of Jordanís own childrenís favourite days out.

Photo credits: [Top box: Visit Jordan] [Aqaba box: xiquinhosilva] [Clownfish and family in Jerash: Visit Jordan]
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