Al Beidha is an ancient archaeological site located a few kilometers north of the World UNESCO site of Petra. Al Beidha is also known as Little Petra due to its similarities in architecture. Unlike Petra, Al Beidha (Little Petra) sees far fewer tourists making it a more peaceful atmosphere compared to other popular landmarks in Jordan. It is well connected to the nearby town of Wadi Musa and visitors should allow around half a day to explore Little Petra.
Location of Al Beidha
Al Beidha is located 9 kilometers from the town of Wadi Musa. Visitors who are staying in Wudi Masa can take the road that leads from the Movenpick Hotel. To enter Little Petra visitors will need to walk through Siq al-Barid, also known as Cold Siq. Cold Siq is a small canyon that is 350 meters long and is named the Cold Siq due to the lack of light that can get into this narrow passageway.
Al Beidha is a Neolithic village that is believed to have been occupied from 7200 BC until 6500 BC when it was burnt down. It is one of the first inhabited villages in the world and one of the oldest sites in the Middle East. Since the fire, the site underwent a rebuild but it was only inhabited in for a short time. Al Beidha was excavated in the 1950s.
Things to Do at Al Beidha
Al Beidha is a fascinating site due it the similarities with Petra. Like the ancient city of Petra, Al Beidha is constructed behind a narrow canyon which acts as a passageway. The Cold Siq of Al Beidha is slightly smaller than The Siq at Petra and visitors will need to hike through it to reach the ruins of Little Petra. The cliffs that surround the ruins of Little Petra are eroded by wind and are very interesting to see. There are a large number of broken tablets located around the site which dates back to the Neolithic period.
After exploring Al Beidha visitors can journey onwards to other important sites including the larger ancient city of Petra. It is located 20 minutes away from Al Beidha and some organized tours will include a combined visit to Little Petra and Petra.
How to Visit Al Beidha
There is no entrance fee to Al Beidha and visitors can use the nearby town of Wadi Musa as a base. The best time to visit is between March and May, and September and November when temperatures are cooler. Accommodation prices in Wadi Musa are cheaper during January and February.
Al Beidha is a unique site that is one of the oldest landmarks in the Middle East. As it is one of the earliest occupied villages, it is a highly significant archaeological site. It is easy to reach from the town of Wadi Musa and the larger site of Petra. As the site is free of charge, it is a good option for those on a tight budget.