Hiking to the Monastery

After the Treasury, the second most famous structure in Petra is the Monastery.  The Monastery, or al-Deir in Arabic, is inaccurately named – it was likely a temple.  The Monastery is about an hour and a half’s hike from the Treasury, and consists of roughly 800 steps.  The best time to go is in the afternoon, as the steps are largely shaded at that point, while the facade of the Monastery is fully lit up by the sun.  You will have many offers for donkey rides, so if the 800-step ascent seems too daunting, hop on a four-legged taxi.

The walk from the Treasury to the Monastery started off passing the Street of Facades, the Royal Tombs, and the Colonnaded Street.  The Colonnaded Street was originally built by the Nabateans, and later refurbished by the Romans during their occupation.

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Now, we begin the ascent…

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The uphill hike is certainly not for everyone – it’s a challenge, especially considering the heat (over 90 degrees) and number of large steps.  We hiked the whole way, but we made sure to bring four 1.5-liter water bottles with us.  We went through all of them.  I would not recommend this for you if you struggle with steps or heat exhaustion (or just take a donkey).

All the hiking in the heat paid off when we reached the Monastery!  Although not as ornate as the Treasury, it is larger, and brings its own style of grandeur.

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The facade of the Monastery

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Jolyn channeling her inner Karl Pilkington – looking at the “mansion” from the “shack”

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Hike up a ways from the Monastery to get a great view of the facade, as well as a canyon behind you

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A storehouse up the hill in front of the Monastery

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The canyon in front of the Monastery

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The walk back was much easier – not only was it downhill, but the sun was on its way down.  We were looking for a camel ride on the way back (horses and mules weren’t going to cut it), but all the camels had been taken home by their owners!

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After our hike, we rewarded ourselves with a fantastic dinner at the Tetra Tree restaurant, on top of the hotel of the same name.  The food was a well-prepared upscale buffet of Jordanian cuisine, and the view over Wadi Musa couldn’t be beat.

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With this bucket-list item checked off our list, it was time to keep moving south in Jordan.  We’ll catch up with you next from Aqaba.

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7 thoughts on “Hiking to the Monastery

  1. John, in the pic of the storehouse in front of the monastery…was the “ceiling of the storehouse” plastered in a different color or a design of some sort? it looks kind of “swirly-looking.”

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  2. Did you make reservations for Tetra Tree? Also, do you remember roughly what the cost was? We’re looking for a nice place for our second dinner in Wadi Musa and the views look amazing!

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    • No reservation needed when we were there – it was 15 JD per person – pricier than some places, but it was a really tasty and well-prepared buffet with a great view. Food was fresh and it was totally worth it.

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