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.
When we were thinking about where to go this summer, the overwhelming urge to go to the Middle East was spurred on by our desire to visit Petra. We had seen it on shows such as An Idiot Abroad and Departures, and that only fueled our interest. Despite some less-than-glowing reactions from friends and family who were nervous for our personal safety, we had made up our mind – we were going to Jordan and the Middle East. (I’ll explain just how safe the Middle East can be – depending on your destination – in another post.)