Jordan Places to Visit

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Amman

Also known as “The City of Brotherly Love”, Amman is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. This capital city is a blend of both modern and traditional cultures and one doesn’t have to look far to experience the best of both worlds.

Royal Automobile Museum
The Royal Automobile Museum is a car lover's delight.  Around every corner lies an expensive car even more fabulous than the one before. The late King Hussein was an avid car enthusiast. In commemoration to the late King Hussein, his son, King Abdullah II, commemorated the museum in his father's honor. Many of the cars are placed in settings that recreate the era or the situation in which it was used.

The Citadel
Towering above downtown Amman, the ancient Citadel is a good place to begin a tour of the archaeological sites of the city. It is the site of ancient Rabbath-Ammon and excavations there have revealed numerous Roman, Byzantine and early Islamic remains.

Roman Amphitheater
An imposing monument set into the side of the mountain. Its 33 rows of seats can accommodate almost 6000 spectators. The theatre, which dates back to approximately the mid 2nd century AD, comes back to life with musical and dance performances held regularly under the moonlit summer skies.

Ahl Al Kahf (Cave of the 7 Sleepers)
Also known as Cave of the 7 Sleepers or Sleepers of the Cave, this story was described by Bishop Stephen of Ephesus around 448 AD. and also appears in the Qur’an. The “Seven Sleepers” were seven young soldiers who around 250 AD took refuge in the cave to protect themselves from performing pagan sacrifices. The cave was then sealed and they fell into a miraculous sleep. Sometime between 408-450 AD, the cave was reopened and the sleepers awoke. Later, upon their passing, they were richly enshrined. Today, the sealed tombs can be seen along with the remains to two mosques and a large Byzantine cemetery.

Rainbow Street
In 2006, the Rainbow Street area was transformed into a heritage attraction by the Greater Amman Municipality. Located in Jabal Amman, the cozy and diverse atmosphere offers modern enjoyable hangouts, wonderful views and an old town feel.

Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts
The gallery, one of the major art museums in the Middle East is a gem full of modern art representing the Middle East and Asia.

Abu Darwish Mosque
This distinctive black and white mosque built in 1961 and commissioned by the late King Hussein of Jordan and Mustafa Jakazi is at the top of Jebel Al-Ashrafiyeh. It is located on a plaza that has some seating areas to relax. You can see wonderful views across Amman from here. The main mosque area inside is only used for the Friday Juma prayer and other day's prayers are conduct in the area that was originally designed as the wudu washing area, so do not expect a visit inside, but the exterior is amazing.

Ajloun

Ajloun is just a short journey from Jerash through pine forest and olive groves and boasts scores of ancient sites, including water mills, forts and villages, all in the beautiful hills and valleys of north Jordan.

Ajloun Castle
The castle was built by one of Saladin's generals in 1184 AD to control the iron mines of Ajloun. It was also used to defend the area from Crusader invasions. As part of a chain of forts, beacons were lit at night to pass signals from the Euphrates to as far as Cairo. The hill on which the castle sits, Jabal Auf, is a perfect location, offering bird’s-eye views over the surrounding countryside and over three major wadis leading to the Jordan Valley.

Ajloun Nature Reserve
The reserve was first established in 1988 by the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature. It comprises 13 square kilometers of rolling Mediterranean woodlands filled with oak, pistachio, pine, carob, strawberry trees and olive groves. There are several hiking trails where on any given day there is an opportunity to catch a glimpse of its amazing array of wildlife: foxes, badgers, wild boar, striped hyena, and wild cats as well as impressive collection of bird species. There is also a special area for camping.

Aqaba

In the 10th century, a Muslim traveler described Aqaba as ‘a great city’ and a meeting place of pilgrims en route to and from Mecca. From as early as the 10th to 5th centuries BC, it was at the heart of ancient trade routes transporting copper ore, smelted from mines in Wadi Araba, and transported by King Solomon’s fleets to far-flung destinations. Ceramics from China and coins from Ethiopia highlight the cosmopolitan nature of the port throughout its early history. Thereafter the Egyptians, Nabataeans and Romans all found their uses for ‘Ayla’, as it came to be known, and the discovery of a late-3rd-century purpose- built church – one of the oldest in the world – is suggestive of a prosperous community, embracing of change.

Aqaba Castle
The castle was built between 1510 and 1517, as attested by the Arabic inscriptions inside the monumental gateway, and was used as a khan (travelers’ inn) for pilgrims on their way to Mecca. The Ottomans occupied the castle until WWI when, in 1917, the fortress was substantially destroyed by shelling from the British Royal Navy. The Hashemite coat of arms above the main entrance commemorates the Arab Revolt that swept through Aqaba, ousting the Turks. The fort is located next to the Aqaba Flagpole which carries the flag of the Arab revolt again the Ottomans

Aqaba Museum
The museum, part of the Aqaba Fort complex, was previously the home of the great-great-grandfather of the present king, Abdullah II. The collection of artifacts includes coins, ceramics and 8th-century Islamic stone tablets.

Aqaba Bird Observatory
The Aqaba city, with its unique location between the Sinai desert and the Middle East, has become an oasis where migrating birds rest during their long journey. The Jordanian Society for Sustainable Development (JSSD) decided in 2003 to establish lagoons for bird watching at the natural waste-water purification plant. The lagoons are magnificent sites that attract many birdwatchers from around the world especially during periods of migration. There are more than 150 types of bird in these lagoons in addition to 90 migrating species. They include little grebe, the gray heron, the squacco heron, black stork and the white stork.

Green Creations
Green Creations started in December of 2009 as a World Associates project. The purpose of GC is to train individuals to use recycled materials to create green income generating products: beads, jewelry, bags, bowls, purses, baskets and more.

Noor Al-Hussein Foundation Shop
For a fine selection of handicrafts, it’s worth calling in on the Noor Al-Hussein Foundation shop, located in the Aqaba Fort complex, opposite the museum. Profits help support marginalized communities throughout Jordan. Items include silver jewelry from Wadi Musa, petroglyph designs from Wadi Rum, kilims, clothes, embroidery, basketware and ceramics.

Sharif Hussein Bin Ali Mosque
This beautiful and majestic white mosque is located between the souk and the beach. The mosque is named after the great grandfather of King Abdullah II.

Azraq Reserve

Established in 1988 by the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature, this wetland reserve is expected to be added to the UNESCO list. It is located in the eastern desert and is a magnet for migratory birds. From December through March, large flocks of birds, such as Temmiink's Horned Lark, Desert Lark, Hoopoe Lark, Desert Wheatear and Trumpeter Finch, Cranes, and Imperial Eagles, make their way from Europe to Africa. Leisurely hike the Marsh Trail, a 1.5KM pathway meandering though the towering reeds. Along the way take time to stop at the mud-brick "rustic bird hide", overlooking one of the reserve's lagoons and stop at Shishan springs where a handy platform extends out over the lagoon. Upon leaving the reserve, visit the local workshop where women from the local community produce finely painted ostrich eggs, silk-screened t-shirts, and range of other hand crafted items.

Bethany

Also known as Bethany-beyond-the-Jordan, this archaeological site is one of the most important biblical discoveries in the world. Excavations began in 1996 and has already uncovered more than 20 churches, caves and baptismal pools dating from the Roman and Byzantine periods.

Archaeologists are assured this is where John the Baptist lived, Jesus was baptized, and the first five apostles met. Many also believe this was the place where the Prophet Elijah ascended to heaven. The path leading to the Jordan River transform from a dry desert into a tropical oasis and it becomes clear why Prophet Jeremiah described it as "the jungle of the Jordan".

Bethany is also under review to be added to the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Dana Reserve

This hidden gem is an eco-tourist’s dream and also a destination for adventurers, history buffs, archaeologists, hikers, and nature lovers. It is the largest reserve in Jordan and includes a variety of unique terrain ranging from sandstone cliffs over 1700m high to a low point of 50m below sea level and contains four eco-systems (Mediterranean, Irano-Turanian, Saharo Arabian, and Sudanian penetration). For this reason, Dana now has achieved official ‘biodiversity reserve’ status and is under review to be added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.

There are approximately 600 species of plants ranging from citrus trees and juniper, to desert acacias and date palms. Over 180 species of birds and over 45 species of mammals also inhabit the reserve including the caracal ibex, mountain gazelle, sand cat, red fox and wolf. Nearly 100 archaeological sites have been discovered in the reserve. Of most interest are the ruins of Khirbet Feinan, at the mouth of Wadi Feinan and Wadi Ghuweir. The copper mines here date back 6000 years, when they were the largest metal smelting operations in the Near East. Over eight major hiking, trekking and canyoning trails are available ranging from easy, moderate, to hard and for cycling enthusiasts, a mountain-biking trail.

Before leaving the area, it is worthwhile to stop by the nearby village where quality, Bedouin-made items are available - from organic herbs, fruit rolls, jams, and olive oil to soaps candles, leather goods, candles and silver jewelry.

Dead Sea

The Dead Sea is most famous for being “the lowest point on earth”. Lying some 400 meters below sea level, it is 75 kilometers long and from 6 to 16 kilometers wide. It is fed by the Jordan River, but it has no outlet, and due to the high evaporation rate, the water holds a tremendous amount of salt (33%) – so much that swimmers float on the surface without even trying. This natural spa wonder has fascinated people for thousands of years, and today people from all over the world come to enjoy its soothing therapeutic and medicinal properties.

The Dead Sea Panoramic Complex/Dead Sea Museum located on a steep cliff high above the Dead Sea. The museum is run by the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature and has some fascinating information about the geology, ecology, archaeology, history and industry of the Dead Sea. Watching the sunset from here is a wonderful experience.

Desert Castles

Qasr A-Kharrana
At first sight the construction appears to be a fortified castle, but in fact it was a palace used as a caravan station, built in 710 -715 AD during the reign of Al Waleed bin Abdelmalik. The palace consisted of two stories; they used the lower one as stables for horses, camels and other animals, while the upper storey contained housing units for the traders. The total number of all the rooms in both stories was 61: the lower had 25 and the upper 36.

Qasr al-Amra
Amra is one of the best-preserved castles and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was built by the Umayyad’s in the eastern Jordanian desert, as a place for hunting and relaxation for the caliphs. Its interior walls and ceilings are covered with lively frescoes, and two of the rooms are paved with colorful mosaics.

Qasr al-Azraq
This castle is one of the biggest desert castles and constructed out of black basalt. In some books it is known as the "Blue Castle" because of the dark blue colors and flashes that come from the basaltic stone. Because of its strategic location close to the borders of several countries and near a water supply, the site has been occupied by many different civilizations, including the Umayyads, Ayyubids and Ottomans. It was made famous during World War I, when T. E. Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia, used the castle as his military base during the Arab Revolt against the Turks.

Qasr Al-Mushatta
Visually striking because of the orange colored fired bricks used in its construction, this castle had a strategic location on the trade routes from the east to the west of Jordan. It is under review to be added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Qasr A-Tuba
Started during the time of Walid the second (744 AD), it was designed as a place where travellers along the caravan route could rest from the day’s journey. It was built of large square, fired bricks, placed on stone foundations, and the very thick walls make this palace one of the outstanding palaces in the region.

Qasr Al-Hallabat
Built by the Romans between 198-217 AD, this castle was originally used as a defense against raiding desert tribes. Hallabat once boasted elaborate baths, intricate frescoes and mosaics, a mosque and several reservoirs. With a fair proportion of masonry still standing, and some beautifully restored archways, this fort is an excellent example of the desert castles of the region.

Feynan

Feynan is an isolated rural community in Wadi Araba and is best known for its world-class eco-lodge. It is build entirely of local materials and reflects a unique arabesque design. The local architect incorporated traditional adobe building techniques and produced a functional, romantic atmosphere that blends in with its surroundings. It’s powered by day using solar energy and lit at night be candles produced by the local Bedouin women. It is run and staffed entirely by the local people.

Hammamat Afra

About 26 kilometers north of Tafila, are the thermal hot springs Hammamat Afra. It contains one of the richest sources of hot springs water in the region. Fifteen springs emerge from the ground to fill the air with beneficial minerals as well as the therapeutic use of the water itself on the body. The area is also filled with cascading waterfalls and natural water slides each emptying into soothing, therapeutic pools formed naturally by the water.

Jerash

This is one of the best-preserved Roman cities in the world and during Alexander the Great’s reign, it had a population of 15,000 – 20,000. With all its gates still standing, along with the paved streets, colonnades, walls, theatres, forums, temples, and churches, one can feel the spirit of the past and almost hear echoes of a time long ago. Watch history come to life while gladiators and charioteers from the Roman Army and Chariot Experience perform before the crowd in the massive arena known as the Hippodrome.
Although it was not on a major trade route, the ancient city was of great wealth and importance because of its fertile soil. Even today, the area is rich with an abundance of groves and orchards. Figs, apples, plums, berries and olives all grow in the surrounding hillsides.

Jerash also celebrates a 14-day festival of culture and the arts during July and August each year in which many internationally known artists are invited to participate in array of plays, poetry readings, opera and musical concerts.

This ancient Roman city is also under review to be added to the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Kerak

Kerak has been a prized possession of a number of civilizations. It lies on the ancient caravan routes that used to connect Egypt and Syria, and its commanding position almost 1000 meters above the Dead Sea Valley made it a great strategic asset. Kerak is home to one of Jordan’s greatest highlights – the imposing Crusader castle. Built in 1142, the castle provides an interesting insight into the struggles for the Holy Land between the Crusaders and the Muslims.

Some claim when the wind blows in a certain direction, they can hear a wailing moan. Rumor has it that these are the ghosts of the victims of Renauld de Chatillon, a French crusader who inherited the castle soon after it was built. Here he imprisoned his enemies and later would have them hurled off the castle walls into the rocky wadi, 450M below.

The best-preserved areas of the castles are located underground and can only be reached through a massive door. As many of the halls and passageways are unlit, it is wise to bring a flashlight.

Little Petra

In the eighth millennium BC, pre-historic man settled in “Baydah” (Baydah means “the white one” and was the name given by the locals due to the white-colored rocks), and the remains of this ancient Neolithic site is one of the earliest co-operative villages on earth.

When the Nabataeans settled into the area, they established the area as an important caravan station and as a preliminary site for the ancient traders in preparation for the grand sales in the main part of Petra. Triclinums (big halls with three inner benches) were carved amongst the rocks of the Siq to provide accommodation for the traders. Water was also abundant due to careful “harvesting”.

As the style of architecture is similar to Petra itself, but much smaller, it is now known as Little Petra, a modern name given by archaeologists.

Ma'in

The hot springs here have been enjoyed for therapeutic and leisure purposes for thousands of years. Popular with both locals and tourists alike, the springs are located 264 meters below sea level in one of the most breath-taking desert oasis’s in the world. Thousands of visiting bathers come each year to enjoy the mineral rich waters of these hyper-thermal waterfalls.

Madaba

Travel along the 5,000 year old King’s Highway to Madaba better known as the “City of Mosaics”. Hundreds of mosaics from the 5th through the 7th century are scattered throughout the city. Most notable are the Church of St. George and Church of the
Apostles.

Church of St. George
Imagine the excitement, when builders came across this old church in 1884. Adorning the floor was an amazing mosaic representing the oldest map of Palestine in existence along with all the major historical sites from Egypt to Palestine. Crafted in 560AD, this original masterpiece once contained more than two million brightly colored pieces.

Church of the Apostles
This small church contains one of Madaba’s most beautiful mosaics dedicated to the Twelve Apostles. The mosaic is known as "Personification of the Sea" and it vividly depicts a woman emerging from the sea, surrounded by mythical aquatic creatures and a hodgepodge of rams, bulls, parrots and exotic vegetation.

Madaba Museum
For a true taste of culture, a visit to this museum should not be missed. Not only does it display a collection of mosaic collages, but the museum is actually setup inside an ancient chapel which is adorn with its own mosaic masterpieces. The museum also displays traditional embroidered Jordanian dresses, jewelry and pottery dating back to various ages.

Mt.Nebo

Here you will find the memorial of Moses, and the place from which he viewed the Promised Land. Think back to the time when Moses marched with his staff of the Israelites, all the way north from Egypt to Mount Nebo. On top of the mountain, a Christian church was built between the 4th and 6th century A.D. which is considered to be the most valuable church in the whole region, due to the fact it contains beautifully constructed mosaic walls and a superb mosaic floor. On a clear day from the top of the mountain, you can see Jerusalem, Jericho, and the Dead Sea

Mukawir

Within an hour’s drive from Madaba along the picturesque Kings’ Highway, is Mukawir, the hilltop stronghold of Herod the Great. Upon Herod’s death, his son Herod Antipas inherited the fortress and it is from here that he ordered John the Baptist to be beheaded after Salome’s fateful dance of the seven veils.

Namaleh

Linking Little Petra (also known as Al Beidha) to and Wadi Araba, this little-known road is filled with rocky canyons, dramatic vistas perched atop cliff-side lookouts, Nabatean carvings and exciting twists that hang precariously near the rugged cliff edges.

Commonly used by the Bedouins of Wadi Araba to reach relatives and friends in Wadi Musa and Petra, this drive is accessible from Little Petra (8.4 km north of Petra) or the village of Qurayqura (pronounced greigra), located off of the Dead Sea Aqaba Highway near Feynan Ecolodge. Wadi Namla is not for the faint-hearted and should not be driven after dark.

The scenery gradually shifts from desert sand to orange, brown and even green, with jagged rocks that cling to steep mountains.  Upon reaching the peak, you will see a fenced-in area protecting the remnants of an ancient settlement, thousands of years old.  Shortly after, you can spot gently rolling hills that support green farms.  Herds of goats often cross here and camels can be seen dozing or grazing on the side of the road.
 
 
 

Pella

In the middle of the Jordan Valley are the ruins of the ancient city of Pella. Because it has been continually inhabited since the Stone Age, it is considered one of the richest and largest archeological sites in Jordan and is also under review to be added to the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Pella was inhabited a million years ago by hunters and gathers who followed herds of game animals through the Stone Age forests. By 5000 BC, permanent Neolithic farming villages sprung up and attracted the attention of the Egyptians, who referred to the site in written texts in the 2nd millennium BC. Pella thrived due to its strategic position on the trade routes running between Arabia, Syria, Egypt and the Mediterranean. Luxury items, including ivory sculpture and gold jewelry have been excavated from the site, suggesting that Pella was a prosperous settlement throughout the Bronze and Iron Ages.

Under Greek rule, the settlement earned the name Pella, after the birthplace of Alexander the Great, but the Jews largely destroyed Pella in 83 BC as its inhabitants were not included to adopt Jewish customs.

Approximately twenty years later, the Romans entered the area and rebuilt the city. In 451 AD during the Byzantine era, Pella reached its peak where the population has been estimated to had been as high as 25,000 and it enjoyed an era of political and economical stability. The city was virtually destroyed by an earthquake that shook the region in 747 AD.

The last occupiers of Pella were the Mamluks during the 13th and 15 centuries and it enjoyed a brief recovery until the invasion of the Ottomans caused the residents to flee. This ended the 6,000 years of continuous settlement.

Today there is an opportunity to see the remains of Chalcolithic settlement from the 4th millennium BC, evidence of Bronze and Iron-age walled cities, Byzantine churches, early Islamic residence and a small medieval mosque

Petra

This “Rose Red City” is perhaps the most spectacular ancient city remaining in the modern world – so much so that it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and also listed in the Smithsonian Magazine as one of the “28 Place to See Before You Die”. Words cannot justly describe the site and feel

The Nabataeans established this great engineering marvel and made it their capital more than 2,000 years ago due to the area's natural fortification. 30,000 people lived hidden among the canyons, which was admired for its massive architecture and refined culture. They diverted all the trade routes so that Petra was at the centre of all the important civilizations in the ancient world.

A tour of Petra starts either by walking or riding on horseback, but only as far as the entrance of the canyon Siq. The 'Siq' is one mile long, and the ancient road meanders around many bends and turns along on the way. Then suddenly - a magnificent view of one the most impressive facades in the world - the Treasury.

After the Treasury, each corner brings a new surprise. The ancient road leads to the Royal section, which includes houses and tombs for the Royal Family, the Theatre, the shops, the Court of Justice, the Corinthian Palace, Silk Palace, the Palace Tomb, the Nymphium, a Roman colonnaded street, the Arched Gate, and the Daughter's Palace.

Start climbing to see the highlights of Petra: the Monastery, the High Place of Sacrifice, Mother of Cisterns, Khubtha Mountain and Al Madras. Visitors can hike for the whole day to visit Aaron Mountain, the place where Moses presumably buried his brother Aaron, to the Snake Monument, Sabra, and many others. In other words, one may spend more than a day wandering amongst the wonders of the city.

Shouback

Shouback is the location of yet another famous Crusader castle. Constructed in 1115AD, by Baldwin I, the castle is perched on top a small hill. Within the fortress, lies great insight into how the day-to-day living must have been during this time. There are ruins of two churches, cisterns and rainwater pipes, in addition to millstones for pressing olives. A set of stairs cut into the rock tunnels down 375 steps to a spring below the castle.

Shouback is also under review to be added to the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Shoumari Reserve

Jordan’s first wildlife reserve established in 1975 by the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature, Shoumari is home to more than 193 species of flora, six species of carnivores (red fox, jackal, wolf, hyena, caracal, and wild cat) while bird sightings in the reserve include the Imperial Eagle, Pallid Harrier, and Egyptian Vulture. The reserve also is a breeding center for globally threatened and locally extinct wildlife such as the oryx, onagers (wild donkey), ostriches and gazelles. An observation tower provides a perfect lookout for spotting the reserve’s wildlife.

Umm Al Rasas

Most of this archaeological site, which started as a Roman military camp and grew to become a town from the 5th century, has not been excavated. It contains remains from the Roman, Byzantine and Early Muslim periods (end of 3rd to 9th centuries AD) and a fortified Roman military camp. The site also has 16 churches, some with well-preserved mosaic floors. Particularly noteworthy is the mosaic floor of the Church of Saint Stephen with its representation of towns in the region.

Umm Qais

Site of the famous miracle of the Gadarene swine, Umm Qais, in earlier times know as Gadara, was renowned in its time as a cultural centre. It was the home of several classical poets and philosophers, including Theodorus, founder of a rhetorical school in Rome.

Perched on a splendid hilltop overlooking the Jordan Valley and the Sea of Galilee (Lake Tiberias), Gadara is today known as Umm Qais and boasts impressive colonnade streets, vaulted terrace and the ruins of two theatres. After taking in the sites, dine on the terrace of a fine restaurant with a breathtaking view of three countries.

This ancient city is also under review to be added to the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Wadi Al Hasa

Wadi Al Hasa is the longest and the most beautiful wadis in Jordan and considered to be Jordan’s natural water park. Hidden deep inside, shallow streams babble over rocks that soon become foaming rapids where the water can, within a matter of minutes, become shoulder depth. Swim, wade, climb, jump and scramble to steaming pools of paradise.

Wadi bin Hammad

Hiking in the wadi is like hiking in a subtropical rain forest. Water seeps from every crevice while an abundance of plants and palm trees grows vicariously from the canyon walls displaying all different hues of green. The dripping water paints the underlying rock surfaces various shades of red while crystal-type stalactites dangle from above. Around every corner, there is another breathtaking view to be discovered.

Wadi Ghwair

Although Wadi Ghwair is one of the smaller wadis, it is home to an amazing hanging garden. The sides of the canyon walls are covered with moist green moss and ferns, while high overhead palm trees, reeds and oleander shrubs hang down to form a natural curtain. The stream vanishes underneath gravel and small rocks along the way only reappear every now and then along the way.

Wadi Al- Mujib

Adjacent to the Dead Sea, this amazing area ranges from 900m above sea level to 400m below, and was originally established by the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature. It supports over 400 species of plants (including rare orchids), 186 species of birds and 250 animal species including the Syrian wolf, striped hyena, caracal, and fox. It’s also an important post for migratory birds traveling between Africa and Europe.

There are 4 main trails traversing the wadi all with varying degrees of difficulty: Siq Trail, Malaqi Trail, Ibex Trail, and Mujib trail.

Wadi Rum

Wadi Rum is accessed from a tarmac road off the main Desert Highway, an hour’s drive from Aqaba. Along the way are fields of watermelon for as long as the eye can see but after crossing the railway line, the scene begins to change dramatically. Also known as “The Valley of the Moon”, it is the largest wadi in Jordan and the place where Prince Faisal Bin Hussein and T.E. Lawrence based their headquarters during the Arab Revolt against the Ottomans in World War 1.

The Bedouins are the indigenous people of the desert and are renowned for their generosity. They are not wealthy people but their tradition of hospitality obliges them to take great care of their guests with all they have.

Despite its barren appearance, Wadi Rum is home to a complex ecosystem. Small medicinal plants dot the desert and are used to this day by the Bedouin, and during the infrequent rains parts of the desert bloom with over 200 species of flowers and wild grasses. For most of the year, the extreme heat and lack of ground water mean that animals only venture out at night. If you sit tight, you may well see a hedgehog, hare or hyrax (a small furry animal implausibly related to the elephant). If you’re extremely lucky, you could catch a glimpse of a jackal, wolf, caracal or giant-horned ibex. Dusk and dawn are the most magical times to view the desert and the best vantage point differ according to the time of year.

Seven Pillars of Wisdom
Named in honor of Lawrence’s book, this large rock formation, with seven fluted turrets, is easy to see from the road.

Jebel Umm Ishrin
The Seven Piilars rock is connected to the deeply crevassed “Mother of Twenty”, a 20-domed mountain forming the east flank of Wadi Rum. The mountain acquired its name, according to local legend, after a woman killed 19 suitors; she was outwitted by the 20th, so she married him. The whole range turns a magnificent white-capped auburn during sunset.

Jebel Rum
The western flank of Wadi Rum is formed by Jebel Rum, which towers 1754 meters over Wadi Rum village. It is a popular destination for scramblers and climbers who tackle parts of the ancient Thamudic Way to the summit. Similar pathways once used for hunting ibex and collecting medicinal plants link one massif to another throughout the area giving limitless scope for hiking, scrambling and climbing.

Nabataean Temple
In Rum village are the ruins of a 2,000-year-old temple, dedicated to the deity Lat. The ruins are important because they are evidence of a temple built by the Arab tribe of Ad. The baths in a villa behind the temple are the earliest so far discovered in Jordan. Near the temple are some inscriptions by hunters and nomads dating back to 2nd century BC.

Lawrence’s Spring
Together with other springs in the area, this natural waterspout tumbles into a leafy paradise just five feet square. It was an important watering hole for caravans traveling betweenSyria and Arabia.

Other notable sites are Al-Hasany Dunes, Little Rock Bridge, Khazali Canyon, and Umm Fruth Rock Bridge.

Wadi Shuieb

The Wadi Shuieb, an eastern side wadi of the Jordan Valley near the capital Amman with elevations ranging from -200 meters below sea level in the southwest up to 1240 below sea level in the northeast.

The area belongs to the Balqa Governorate and comprises 5 distinct municipalities (As-Salt, Fuheis, Mahis) and several small hamlets with a total population of approximately 108.000 people. The population density, as well as most agricultural activity is concentrated in the higher altitudes in the northern part of the Wadi.

In 1968, a dam was constructed in Wadi Shuieb in order to catch the water from the seasonal rain and from several springs in the area. As a result, there is a permanent flow of water and in the spring, a profusion of wild flowers blanket the landscape, which in turn makes this wadi and excellent location for bird watching.

Recent discovers in the wadi have also unearthed bronze bracelets and coins ranging from the Hellenistic to the Ayyubid period.