Wadi Musa – translated to the Valley of Moses – is a town that is set within a valley that surrounds the ancient city of Petra. With a large number of hotels and plenty of local restaurants to match, in recent years Wadi Musa has seen a tourism boom with visitors choosing to use the town as a base to explore Petra. Do not let the idea of tourists put you off of staying in Wadi Musa because the town now depends on this tourism to survive. It is a fairly compact town with a unique Jordanian charm. It has everything required for a holiday with many authentic places to eat and stay. After a long day of hiking through Petra, visitors will be pleased to know that there are plenty of places to relax in Wadi Musa including a revitalizing Turkish bath.
Location of Wadi Musa
Wadi Musa is located in southern Jordan and meets with the King’s Highway. It is 4 kilometers in length and leads to the entrance of Petra which is a ten-minute walk from many hotels. The journey between Wadi Musa and the capital city of Amman takes just under three hours by car. From the city of Madaba visitors can also reach Wadi Musa in around 2 hours and 50 minutes via the Desert Highway.
In Arabic, Wadi Musa translates to the Valley of Moses. It is named this because it is believed that Moses walked through the valley with his followers. When entering Petra via The Siq, visitors will also notice the channels that were built by the Nabateans to connect the city to the water from Wadi Musa.
Things to Do at Wadi Musa
There are many local shops in Wadi Musa where visitors will find authentic gifts and souvenirs. Visitors can also find Nabataean pottery and charming clothing shops with an array of locally crafted scarves and accessories.
With so many international hotels, visitors can expect a good selection of places to eat. There are Lebanese, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean cuisine as well as western dining and bars. For unique dining opt for the Cave Bar which is set within a cave beside a 2000-year-old tomb.
Cooking ClassES at Wadi Musa
To try your hand at local Jordanian cooking, the Petra Kitchen offers cooking classes in a relaxed atmosphere.
A Turkish Bath is the Islamic equivalent of a day spa complete with a sauna and steam bath. There are a number of Turkish Baths in Wadi Musa where visitors can unwind and relax after a long day exploring the nearby sites.
The Moses Spring in Wadi Musa is believed to be where Moses struck a rock in the valley to draw out water for his followers. The spring is now located within a chapel in Wadi Musa, close to the King’s Way Hotel.
How to Visit Wadi Musa
Visitors who are staying in Wadi Musa should book accommodation in advance to avoid disappointment. There is a range of accommodation options from luxury international hotel chains to local guesthouses. The best time to visit Wadi Musa is between March and May, and September and November when temperatures are cooler. Prices are lower in January and February.
Though there are not many things to do in Wadi Musa itself, the town is an excellent base for those wishing to explore Petra for a couple of days. The town is well equipped with plenty of hotels and restaurants and it is the closest town to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Petra.