London lifestyle & travels with kids and babies

Petra with kids and the back door to Monastery

For many of us, exploring Petra is a lifetime wish. And Petra with kids for us was a dream coming true. So vast and so popular, this UNESCO World Heritage gem sits on magic lands where timing and treks choices are crucial with little feet susceptible of little patience and physical resilience. The Treasury in Petra is the most accessible and iconic, but as soon as we looked at the maps we all knew we wanted to see The Monastery in Petra as well even if that meant an adventurous long Petra Monastery Hike.

Petra Treasury at sunset

Petra Treasury at sunset

We picked the backdoor to Monastery on our second day and this hike ended up as our best part of these 2 days on the magic lands. Spectacular and less travelled, the backdoor is little marked but left us to enjoy the peace and grandeur of the canyons and mountains away from the hordes of tourists, mules, camels, Johny Depp wannabes and souvenir stall sellers.

We arrived in Petra from Hyatt Aqaba the day before. My high level plan was to get the 2 days tickets, trek to the Treasury via the main trail starting early afternoon, wrap up by sunset and hopefully face less crowds. As soon as we got in, we have faced the first hasslers of the day.

Horse ride apparently included in the tickets price easily convinced our kids. It proved to be about 5min ride and the perfect occasion for the guys to ask for tips on the back of the 5 minutes presentation. Easily predictable and no offence taken, as after all these guys rely on tourists like us to put a bread on the table.

We continued by foot to Treasury, mouth opened wide at the beauty around us, the narrow tall gorges and rocks colours in the afternoon sun.

Finding the Treasury after 45 minutes felt like an adventure fairytale; and we continued to the Royal tombs and the Sikh with most of the crowds gone and the moon coming out.

Jordan adventure holidays - Petra

Jordan adventure holidays – Petra

7pm we made our way back, admired Petra museum about to be open the very next day and headed to Little Petra to our luxury glamping base. We knew we needed a different strategy than the the main trail to the Monastery given the crowds and lenghty 3 hours each way. So after some deliberation, online searches and conversations, we opted for paying a car to drive us to the ultimate off road point after Little Petra and opted for Petra monastery hike via the backdoor.

Petra backdoor to Al Deir - Petra Monastery Hike

Petra backdoor to Al Deir – Petra Monastery Hike

The tickets are checked but can’t be bought from Little Petra, so come prepared! If you are attempting the backdoor, you may decide to drive yourself – 4×4 definitely needed! Come also prepared with water and snacks as this is definitely the road less travelled.

Petra Monastery Hike

Petra the Monastery

We’ve just uploaded on Youtube the backdoor to Petra, the link in here, the hike and the adrenalin from few hazardous bits all worth it! Ad Deir (The Monastery in Petra) also known as El Deir, is monumental and iconic, the second most commonly visited monument in Petra after the Treasury. The rock-cut facade is 45 meters high and 50 meters, believed to be first constructed in 3 BCE as a monumental Nabataean tomb. The tomb has several incised crosses carved into the wall, which may indicate that the structure was reused as a church during the Byzantine period.

Reaching the Monastery felt just glorious ! We indulged into icrecreams, snacks, celebratory drinks and more pictures. Thereafter we got back to our car mostly on the main trail – more tombs, temples, an impressive amphitheatre and a Roman colonnaded street. It’s a long way for little darling feet but they’ve done unbelievably well, the 5 years old walking by himself over 10km and the 3 years old managing say a third by himself . The rest, many thanks to our resilient shoulders ! We wrapped up at 5pm, by our car in the main parking by Petra museum.

Interestingly enough we have not been the only family that day who attempted Petra with kids and the Monastery with little feet. We met one other family who was going back through the backdoor and a couple of others the main trek. The kiddies loved exploring, jumping around, collecting stones and sticks. One lifetime experience for sure!


The Rose City of Petra is believed to be first settled around the 6th century BC by the Nabataeans and has been rediscovered in 1812. And the back door to the Monastery leaves one to discover this place closer to what must have been 200 years ago, in its stark natural beauty and peacefulness.


25 comments on “Petra with kids and the back door to Monastery

  1. Kids of the Wild
    October 11, 2019

    I adore Petra but I visited before children so it would be quite different a second time. Married to a Bedouin by Marguerite van Geldermalsen is a fascinating book about life at Petra in the 70s and 80s

    • Zen Babytravel
      October 11, 2019

      Indeed! But with your amazing daughter the backdoor is the way to go! And yes have seen the book in one of the hotels we stayed and looked at it briefly – kids allowed me 20min, fascinating! x

  2. Nicola
    November 12, 2019

    I would love to visit Petra and stay in the magic bubbles!

  3. Nancy | MapandFamily
    November 18, 2019

    Funnily enough I’ve just read an extract from Married to a Bedouin. I’d love to visit Petra and glad to hear that you can still escape the crowds there sometimes. #fearlessfamtrav

    • Zen Babytravel
      November 18, 2019

      Haha indeed Nancy! Check the youtube video for a taster! Married to a bedouin feeling ON the back door to Monastery.

  4. Nicky Williams
    November 21, 2019

    We loved our visit to Petra with our three. We hiked the conventional way to the monastery through the ancient city but did hear about this back route in. Would recommend to anybody visiting Petra that they must get to the monastery. It’s a special place. Thanks for linking up to #feralessfamtrav.

    • Zen Babytravel
      November 22, 2019

      I know Nicky and took inspiration from your Jordan articles <3 Also our guys are way younger and their little feet needed a shortcut, just like my other half shoulders ;)

  5. Pingback: 10 days Israel and Jordan adventure holidays - Zenbabytravel

  6. Diary of a Londoness
    December 8, 2019

    Petra has always been on my list of places to visit. Sounds like the monastery is a must as is the bubble hotel. #CULTUREDKIDS

    • Zen Babytravel
      December 10, 2019

      ~Yes that Bubble hotel & setting is magic! X

  7. Tanja
    December 9, 2019

    what an amazing adventure! #culturedkids

    • Zen Babytravel
      December 10, 2019

      Thanks Tanja, we loved it even with young kids in tow!

  8. oregongirlaroundtheworld
    December 10, 2019

    OH! Petra is definitely on my dream list – we were so close last summer in Israel, but just couldn’t make it happen with restrictions on rental cars crossing borders. Next time! Such a beautiful place. The bubble hotel looks amazing – have never seen that. So cool. Cheers from Denmark. #CulturedKids

    • Zen Babytravel
      December 10, 2019

      This is exactly what happened to us years ago on a roadtrip to Israel! So we had to go back with a different plan (and kids in tow!), but the border crossing wasn’t too bad ! All pedestrian crossing and changing rental cars but if planned properly it’s feasible even with small monkeys. We are counting down to being back in the sun, London is festive but so windy, wet & freezing! X

  9. Shelley (Wander & Luxe)
    December 10, 2019

    The luxury camping has sold it to me – that looks amazing!! #CulturedKids

    • Zen Babytravel
      December 12, 2019

      Yes the bubbles & their setting in Little Petra is very special!

  10. Lydia C. Lee
    December 10, 2019

    Wow. The BubbleLuxe looks fabulous. What an amazing expereince #CulturedKids

    • Zen Babytravel
      December 12, 2019

      Would love to be there now, warm jacuzzi under those amazing starry skies

  11. scots2travel
    December 11, 2019

    That truly looks like an adventure, wonderful

    • Zen Babytravel
      December 12, 2019

      Indeed an adventure, you should have seen our faces mid way that backdoor trek 🙂

  12. museummum
    December 12, 2019

    What an amazing family adventure – I would love to visit one day, and that bubble hotel looks very special. #CulturedKids

    • Zen Babytravel
      December 12, 2019

      Hope you get to go soon Vicky, I bet your little guys would love it!

  13. Ladies what travel
    December 13, 2019

    I had no idea about the backdoor so this was a really interesting post. We have teens and would love to take them here! #CulturedKids

  14. Truly stunning. One definitely for the bucket list #culturedkids

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This entry was posted on July 30, 2019 by in Countryside, Jordan, travel and tagged , , , .

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