Amman , the capital, is a sprawling city that has expanded over recent decades, due to the arrival of tens of thousands of Palestinian refugees. Today, it's home to a lively, colourful city centre and a market filled with the scent of spices and oriental oils. The upper part of town is fun and modern: packed with bars and restaurants frequented by a younger, wealthier crowd.
But tourists tend not to hang around. Most head straight to Jerash , one of the best preserved and most impressive economic centres dating from the Greco-Roman era. If you then travel south along the King's Highway, you'll come across the fabulous mosaics at Madaba .
You can follow this by visiting the legendary Petra , a city carved into the desert rocks. Abandoned and forgotten for many centuries, it was rediscovered intact in 1812! Visit the tombs of the Nabathean kings, each one as impressive as the other, and hike up the mountain to the famous Khazneh 'treasure of the pharaoh' Temple and the Deir Monastery beyond.
And don't miss out a tour of the desert mountains at Wadi Rum , which can be done by camel, four-wheel drive or on horseback. Take a once in a lifetime trip to the heart of the desert and plunge yourself into Bedouin life.
To the south there's Aqaba a Red Sea resort, famous for its stunning marine life. And once you reach the Dead Sea, enjoy floating on its salty waters and benefit from its well-equipped beaches. Finally, go east and tour the castles constructed by the Umayyad Dynasty - magnificent relics that tower above a desolate desert landscape.