From Israel to Petra

The Nabataea ruins of Petra are situated in the Arabah desert, and are an amazing archaeological achievement, famous for the water conduits system and rock cut architecture. This ancient capital city lies on the Mount Horslope and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you’re visiting Jordan, then Petra should definitely be a stop in your itinerary. If you are touring Israel and have the time (as little as one day) and want to see a wondrous sight, you should consider adding on Petra. Traveling to Petra from Israel is fairly easy ever since the 1994 peace treaty that was signed between Israel and Jordan.

Map of Jordan, Petra and Israel

Eilat is a port city that lies in the southernmost part of Israel, at the northern tip of the beautiful Red Sea. If you’re traveling within Israel, there are plenty of 5 star resorts and hotels in Eilat (and many less expensive ones as well), in case you want to stop over for a day. Alternatively, you can choose to travel to Eilat by an Egged public bus and run to Eilat from many locations in Israel, including Afula, Ashdod, Jerusalem and Haifa. Depending upon your origination point, you’ll get a great look at the Negev desert, the Dead Sea, Be’er Sheva and Dimona. For those who can sleep anywhere (or who can manage without sleep), the timetable includes some overnight bus rides.

You can also fly to Eilat from Ben-Gurion International Airport, Haifa or Tel Aviv. Though considerably more expensive than the bus, for those with limited time it has the advantage of saving hours of your time. Some people opt to fly one direction and bus the other.

The distance between the Eilat and the Yitzhak Rabin (Arava) border crossing can be covered by a 10 minute drive. You’ll have to pay an exit fee and get your passports stamped, after which you cross a 100 meter walkway to reach the Jordanian side. After your luggage is checked, wait to get your visas so you can enter Jordan. It’s a three hour ride to Wadi Musa, a town located at the base of Petra which has several good hotels. Alternatively, you can head straight for Petra so you can take in the breathtaking sunset from the Monastery.

There are excellent short tours to Petra available from Eilat (and other highlights of Jordan) for 1, 1½ or 2 days, in addition to longer tours of 3 or 4 days from Jerusalem or Tel Aviv.

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Petra in Photos

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Petra in Video

Facade of the Monastery in Petra, Jordan.