Petra:Worth the trip if we don't hike up to the Monastery?

Hello again with another question about Petra! I'm visiting Petra in December and as much as I'd LOVE to see the Monastery, I have an overwhelming fear of heights and narrow paths with steep drop-offs that worries me. The actual walk up itself is not an issue at all as I'm in great shape, but heights and drop-offs can honestly be debilitating for me. So, two qeustions: 1) Has anyone with a similar severe phobia climbed up and if so, how was it? (On this one, I'm interested in hearing from those who have a genuine, crippling fear of heights.) 2) If I visit Petra and skip the walk up to the Monastery, do The Treasury and other ruins down below make it a whorthwhile visit for the day? Any info much appreciated.

Posted by Lesley
Sidney, BC, Canada
439 posts

I suffer from fear of heights etc. I have never been to Petra though it is on my list - I have to say that everything I have heard from many people who have been there is that it is worth the trip even if you don't make the climb.The walk into site, the view of the treasurary as you come in from the Siq. The whole valley is full of temples, theatres and other sites and sounds like it is well worth day to visit. It is one of the iconic ancient sites.

Posted by Ed
9110 posts

I have no fears. Petra would be worth the trip even if El Deir did not exist. Jordan would be worth the trip even if Petra did not exist.

Posted by Norma
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
5302 posts

To answer Question No.2, YES, just seeing the Treasury would be worth your while! That is all that I was able to enjoy because my husband succumbed to heat & dehydration as we stood there in awe, so the tourist police put us in a horse-drawn buggy and got us back to coolness & lots of water.

Posted by allison
oakland, california
60 posts

Thanks so much, everyone,for the reassurance that its still a worthwhile trip. I'm so exited about seeing Petra, but I didn't want to be the party pooper waiting at the bottom!! Many thanks for
the responses!

Posted by gone
2081 posts

allison, dont they have chemicals to fix those prolems for a short time? ......better living through chemistry.... happy trails.

Posted by allison
oakland, california
60 posts

LOL..I would absoultely consider such a remedy and if I can find one that won't have me dozing off, I'm all in!! I've often wished for such a wonder drug...short-acting anxiety eliminator!!

Posted by Paul
Sioux Falls, SD, USA
230 posts

This is one area where psychologists have had a lot of success. Fear of flying, etc, can be either entirely solved or greatly ameliorated by systematic desensitisation. Fear of heights is one that is probably easily addressed. You may wish to call a psychologist in the area and ask if they offer treatments. I would think that a matter of a month or two can greatly address these concerns. I'm no longer a psychologist, but that is the word on my degree.

Posted by Ann
New York, NY, NY
89 posts

I've been to Petra twice, on separate trips. The first visit we spent the entire day in the valley. The second trip we hiked up the hills. I do not recall any of the paths being particularly narrow nor do I recall any drop offs. It was no different than walking up rather steep hills. There is a book on Petra by Ian Browning published in 1989 by Chatto & Windus Ltd, London. A lot more has been excavated since then but it is worth the effort to find a copy.

Posted by allison
oakland, california
60 posts

Thanks everyone. We've decided to go and are very much looking forward to it! We're spending the night prior at the Movenpick and will go early morning to see the Treasury and anything else the area has to offer an acrophobic!! Many thanks, again.

Posted by Diane
1400 posts

Allison, I went to Petra with my husband back in December 2001, staying at the Movenpick near the gate. We walked in and spent several hours, having lunch onsite, then went back in early the next morning. I vividly remember our first walk in and glimpse of the Treasury; exploring the rock-cut chambers that were open; and, poking around the ruins where the market, temple and main road used to be. What I distinctly remember of our afternoon walk to the monastery was how grueling I found it to be and how my first impression of it was: "um, it looks pretty much like the Treasury". So, the monastery would have been - for me anyways - "skipable". You will be so impressed with the Valley itself, that you need not go up to the monastery if you won't feel comfortable doing so. Do make sure that you have time to visit the little museum too.