Desert adventurer T.E. Lawrence's wartime trek across Jordan, from Wadi Rum to Aqaba, was one of the most arduous journeys of modern times. These days, however, you can explore Jordan's challenging terrain with considerably less effort. You'll probably forego camels for, say, an air-conditioned four-wheel drive. But you might well echo Lawrence of Arabia's awestruck description of Jordan's dramatic desertscapes as "vast, echoing, and God-like."

Set on the ancient crossroads between Arabia and the Mediterranean Sea, Jordan is full of historic sites. Crusaders' forts along old trade routes and ancient cities carved from stone will captivate anyone in search of the past. And although the land might be ancient, Jordan's cities offer the modern conveniences that help make your trip to the past a little less demanding. When you tire of desert ardors, you can relax at a Dead Sea spa or go scuba diving in the Red Sea.

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