Jordan, a country dense with history, full of natural wonders and historical sites, a well-travelled bridge between sea and desert, east and west. Situated just east of the River Jordan, it continues to be a bridge between ancient and new civilizations and an open-air museum in almost all its entirety.
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Jordan is a country for all seasons. In winter it offers therapy at the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth where 'floating' rather than 'swimming' is a unique adventure in the extremely saline and mineral rich waters. Shopping, excellent oriental and international cuisine, aromas, flavours, colours and most of all smiling people, mix and blend to make Jordan an unforgetable place.
The greater part of Jordan consists of a plateau some 700-1,000 metres above sea level. There are no natural topographical frontiers between Jordan and its neighbours Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, and the plateau continues unbroken into three countries. The River Jordan rises just inside Syria and flows through Israel and Jordan until entering the Dead Sea 251km from its source. It is a tiny trickle of a river, especially in summer and, though a de facto frontier, is not a great natural obstacle.
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Summers are hot, especially on the plateau and in the Jordan valley, where temperatures over 49ºc have been recorded. Winters are fairly cold, and on the plateau frost and some snow are usual. The key element is rainfall. Only about 25% of the total area of Jordan is suitable for cultivation. Jordan is therefore far from self-sufficient in foodstuffs, notably wheat. Some winter crops (grains) are grown in highland areas. High value vegetable and fruit crops are grown under irrigation in the Jordan Valley region, partly for export to neighbouring Arab countries. Jordan's plans for agricultural development entail increased irrigation, which depends on the availability of water, a scarce commodity in the region and therefore a potential bone of contention between Jordan and its neighbours. Various projects to improve the availability of water are being considered.