Jordan shares borders with Israel, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. The Dead Sea is to the northwest and the Red Sea to the southwest. A high plateau extends 324km (201 miles) from Syria to Ras en Naqab in the south.
The east of the country is mainly desert. Amman, the capital since 1921, is very well equipped with tourist facilities. The central souk is lively and provides a taste of a more traditional city.
The main attraction is the Roman amphitheatre in the centre which dates from the second century AD. Jerash is less than one hour's drive from Amman through the picturesque hills of ancient Gilead. A magnificent Graeco-Roman city on an ancient site, Jerash is justly famous for the Triumphal Arch and the Hippodrome.
Petra, a gigantic amphitheatre hidden in the rocks out of which a city with immense façades that have been carved, is one of the wonders of the Middle-Eastern world.
The Dead Sea, 392m (1286ft) below sea level, and the lowest point on earth, glistens by day and night in an eerie, dry landscape. Local dishes include mensaf (stewed lamb in a yogurt sauce served on a bed of rice). There are nightclubs, theatres and cinemas in Amman, while some other major towns have cinemas and bars.