Desert castles

Jordan and Desert Castles Tour: 8 Days of Culture, Religion and Beach

On this tour of Jordan, the castles of the desert They represent one of the attractive differentials with respect to other proposals of our agency. But there are many other incentives to embark on this route: without neglecting the great icons of the country, such as Petra and Wadi Rum, this tour includes the holiest places in Jordan and leaves time for the final rest on the Red Sea. Take note and discover one of the most complete travel packages in Jordan Exclusive

Religion and History of Jordan: Desert Castles and More

Religion and history are two interrelated aspects and protagonists in this circuit by Jordan. The castles of the desert They are a good example of this: with this name is known a set of fortresses, hunting lodges and caravanserai located in the desert, east of the capital, erected in the early days of the Arab conquest, mainly. There are few tourist circuits that come here, so the feeling of peace and retirement will be permanent during the day dedicated to this destination.

They are by no means the only castles in the Jordanian desert: this circuit also integrates important fortresses that take us back to the time of the Christian crusades to take control of Jerusalem, with the consequent Arab reaction and reconquest (Ayyubids of Saladin, Mamluks, Ottomans …).

But the history of Jordan not only leaves us with episodes of war, but also moments of great flowering. This can be seen in Petra, capital of the Nabataean empire, capable of fascinating by the originality of its tombs and temples carved into the rock. Or in Jerash, the ancient Roman Gerasa, where magnificent monumental remains are preserved: columns of the Oval Square, a triumphal arch in honor of Hadrian, the characteristic urbanism of that civilization, etc.

Moreover, religion has always been an engine for societies of the past, and the sacred places preserved here are a magnificent testimony to this. This circuit will take you, for example, to the place where Christ was baptized. Or to the mountain from the prophet Moses he saw the Promised Land. Or it will even make you enter Byzantine churches, with mosaics of extraordinary symbolism.

The most fascinating natural corners of the country

In addition to all the tourist attractions based on religion and history of Jordan, such as the desert castles or the place of the baptism of Jesus, this circuit also shows the most beautiful natural corners of the country. Places where the hand of man is diluted before the immensity of the landscape or the purity of the environment.

This is the case of the Wadi Rum desert, declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco, with its amazing rock formations and beautiful starry sky. Mention can also be made of the coastline of Aqaba on the Red Sea, whose warm, crystal clear waters are home to an incredible biodiversity of coral reefs and other marine life. And we can not forget the Dead Sea, a body of water of extreme salinity, which in addition to being beautiful is highly recommended for thermal treatments for its beneficial properties.

8-Day Jordan Itinerary: Castles, Desert & Sea

8 days and 7 nights. That is the duration of this circuit that runs through the best and most unknown of Jordan: castles, desert, sea and much more. It is a circular route, as it begins in Amman, the capital of the country, and also ends here, due to its proximity to the Queen Alia Amman International Airport.

  • Day 1: Amman Airport
  • Day 2: Amman – Ajloun – Jerash – Amman
  • Day 3: Amman – Desert Castles – Amman
  • Day 4: Amman – Madaba – Mount Nebo – Dead Sea
  • Day 5: Dead Sea – Bethany Beyond the Jordan – Shobak – Petra
  • Day 6: Petra – Wadi Rum
  • Day 7: Wadi Rum – Aqaba
  • Day 8: Aqaba – Amman Airport

Day 1: Queen Alia Amman International Airport - Amman

As is customary in many of our circuits, the first day of the program is dedicated entirely to the arrival in the country. After landing at Amman International Airport, the staff of our agency will be waiting at the foot of the terminal for assistance and transfer to the hotel, which will be in a private vehicle with driver.

Depending on the arrival time of the flight, you could enjoy a short free time to take a tour of Amman, the most vibrant city in the country in terms of leisure, gastronomy, crafts, etc. At the end of the day, dinner will be served at the hotel in Amman, booked on a half-board basis.

  • Meeting at Amman International Airport
  • Border formalities
  • Transfer by private vehicle with driver
  • Dinner and overnight at hotel in Amman

Day 2: Amman - Ajloun - Jerash - Amman

Although in this circuit through Jordan the castles of the desert are protagonists, the first one we will know on the route is not precisely located in an arid area, but quite the opposite: in the nature reserve of Ajloun, a huge place of Mediterranean climate and green environment.

To the Ajloun Castle we will move in the morning, after breakfast at the hotel in Amman. On the excursion we will discover this fortress so important in the period of the Crusades, at the end of the twelfth century, at which time the Ayyubid troops of Saladin began to gain ground from the Christians, who came to dominate Jerusalem They raised it where there were already previous Byzantine constructions, on top of a hill located at 1,250 meters above sea level, which makes the panoramic views of the surroundings spectacular. In addition, we will reserve a part of the time for the visit of the nearby church of San Sergio,

After that, the second excursion of the day will take us to Jerash, the Roman Gerasa: this city, which was part of the Decapolis, on the eastern limits of the Empire, is considered one of the best preserved in Antiquity. This is demonstrated by its impressive monuments within the archaeological site, which we will visit with a guide: the Arch of Hadrian, the forum in the form of an Oval Square, its temples and theaters …

After this excursion through the north of Jordan, you return to Amman: in the hotel of this city dinner will take place before the well-deserved night’s rest.

  • Breakfast at hotel in Amman
  • Northern Jordan Tour
    • Ajloun Castle in the morning
    • Roman city of Jerash in the afternoon
  • Dinner and overnight at hotel in Amman

Day 3: Amman - Desert Castles - Amman

The third day is ‘consecrated’ to the destination that gives its name to this circuit through Jordan: the castles of the desert. And just like the previous day, it is an excursion departing from Amman, after having breakfast at the hotel.

On board our chauffeured vehicle we will leave for the east, where a huge stony and flat desert opens, where the gold and black of the rocks that make up the landscape predominate. In the heart of this arid and inhospitable environment we find these unknown jewels of Jordan: the castles of the eastern desert, some of them declared World Heritage Sites, and that we visited on this day.

The first of these will be Qasr Kharana, which could have been a caravanserai or a meeting pavilion between the Arab elites and the local Bedouin population, probably built around 714. The second of these is Qusayr Amra, located in what was a fertile valley and also erected in the early eighth century, probably by the Umayyad Walid I. This caliph, known for being a patron of refined taste, could have been the promoter of wall paintings with hunting scenes, nude women or portraits of other contemporary kings, which is a very interesting rarity in Islamic culture.

After visiting both structures, really unique in Jordan, the desert castles they will be left behind, for we will return to Amman. Depending on the arrival time, there will be free time to take a walk around the capital. At the end of the day sand dinner will be served at the hotel and rest for the next day of the circuit.

  • Breakfast at hotel in Amman
  • Excursion to the castles of the Jordanian desert:
    • Qasr Kharana
    • Qusayr Amra
  • Return to Amman and free time
  • Dinner and overnight at hotel in Amman

Day 4: Amman - Madaba - Mount Nebo - Dead Sea

On the fourth day of this tour of Jordan, the desert castles They give way to the holy places: on this day we will visit two full of symbolism, both for Jews and Christians. To do this, we will leave the hotel in Amman after breakfast and head to Madaba.

This city, near Amman (30 km) is famous for its interreligious coexistence and for its ancient Byzantine churches. In particular, that of St. George, which we will visit to contemplate the fabulous mosaic-map of the Holy Land, the oldest representation of this territory. The archaeological park, where you can still distinguish the layout of the old Roman road, will also be part of the tour of the city.

After that, we will travel by road to Mount Nebo, a sacred mountain because from here Moses contemplated the Promised Land and here he must have died at the age of approximately 120 years. From its viewpoint, the visitor will be able to experience a vision very similar to that of the prophet, with Jerusalem on the horizon on clear days. The memorial church and the entire enclosure in general allow us to understand the spiritual importance of the place.

Another of the places that can be seen from Mount Nebo is the Dead Sea, which is precisely the next stop of the day: up here we will descend in our vehicle first to visit the Dead Sea Museum and, later, to learn about this unique body of water, with an extremely high salinity level. That makes the bather float and is indicated for different health treatments. In the evening, dinner will be served at the hotel, located next to the shore of this unique place, which is also the lowest point in the world (altitude of -400 meters above sea level).

  • Breakfast at hotel in Amman
  • Road trip:
    • Madaba: visit of mosaics and archaeological site
    • Mount Nebo: visit of the sacred precinct and panoramic views
    • Dead Sea: visit of the Dead Sea Museum and free time
  • Dinner and overnight at hotel at the Dead Sea

Day 5: Dead Sea - Bethany Beyond the Jordan - Shobak - Petra

After breakfast at the Dead Sea hotel, we will head to one of the most symbolic places for all Christendom: the place where St. John the Baptist baptized Christ. It is known as Bethany Beyond the Jordan and is located in the bed of that river, where the original pool in which Jesus would have immersed himself is still preserved. It is an archaeological site that can be visited, where there are also other later structures such as remains of Byzantine churches, among others. All this has earned it its recognition as a World Heritage Site by Unesco.

After visiting Bethany during the morning, we will resume our road trip, in this case heading south: we will cross the entire eastern shore of the Dead Sea to link with the King’s Road. During the route, we will make a short stop along the way to photograph Shobak Castle from the outside. Unlike others located in Jordan, like the castles of the desert or that of Ajloun, this was built directly by the troops of Baldwin I, then king of Jerusalem at the beginning of the twelfth century. Called Mont Real at first, decades later it was conquered by the armies of Saladin in their advance towards the Holy Land.

With the echoes of the stories of crusaders still in our ears, we will continue our route and arrive at Wadi Musa, the town next to which Petra is located. There will be the hotel where you will have dinner and spend the night, with your mind already set on the visit of the ‘Pink City’.

  • Breakfast at hotel in the Dead Sea
  • Bethany Visit Beyond the Jordan (Place of Christ’s Baptism)
  • Road trip along the eastern shore of the Dead Sea
    • Short stop at Shobak Castle
  • Arrival in Wadi Musa (Petra)
  • Dinner and overnight at hotel in Wadi Musa (Petra)

Day 6: Petra - Wadi Rum

The sixth day is, for many, the most anticipated of this tour of Jordan and the desert castles. It is the day we will discover Petra, the capital of the ancient Nabataean empire, carved into the rock several centuries before the birth of Christ. And to your visit we will go as soon as you finish breakfast at the hotel of Wadi Musa.

The visit begins at the Visitor Center and we will use an invaluable help to speed up the displacements: the horses of the enclosure. That way, the 2 km of the Siq (rocky canyon) to the famous Treasure, popularized by Indiana Jones in his Last Crusade, will be much more bearable. But the enclosure does not end there and we will enter other spectacular corners, such as the Street of the Façades, the extension of the old city by the Romans or the theater.

We will visit everything that gives us time and energies allow us. And at the conclusion, in the afternoon, we will get back into our vehicle to move to the next highlight of the circuit: Wadi Rum. In this desert, a UNESCO World Heritage Site (like Petra), there is the Bedouin tent camp where you will have dinner and sleep in maximum comfort.

But these last hours of the day will not be a mere procedure of rest, but an authentic sensory experience: the first contact with this nature reserve will already offer moments of enormous beauty, especially at sunset and / or with the night closed, when above our heads a majestic sky full of stars will light up and around us a shocking silence will be created. typical of the desert.

  • Breakfast of hotel in Wadi Musa
  • Visit of Petra, Nabataean and Roman city carved into the rock
  • Road trip to Wadi Rum desert
  • Dinner and overnight at Bedouin camp in Wadi Rum

Day 7: Wadi Rum - Aqaba

If the last hours of the sixth day were special, the first hours of the seventh are no less: watching the sunrise in Wadi Rum is an experience that will remain forever engraved in the memory, thanks to the rays of light that here provide multiple nuances on the rocky mountains, the sandy terrain and the clear sky.

In this atmosphere you will have breakfast, included in the half board of our Bedouin tent camp. After that, we will start the visit to this desert, which will be aboard a 4×4 SUV to speed up the displacements and to enter the heart of this nature reserve. Only then will we be able to complete a route full of capricious geological formations such as rock bridges, red sand dunes, canyons full of vegetation and petroglyphs… and many other surprises.

And finished the route, we will return to the road to travel to Aqaba. In this port city, on the shores of the Red Sea, you will put the final icing on the circuit with an afternoon of authentic relaxation and disconnection: your time will be free to use it according to your preferences, such as a pleasant swim in the warm crystal clear waters of its beaches, diving of any level or other leisure proposal. This last night, in addition, the accommodation will be a holiday hotel with facilities designed for rest, where the last dinner of the trip will also be offered.

  • Sunrise and breakfast in the desert of Wadi Rum
  • 4×4 off-road tour of Wadi Rum
  • Road trip to Aqaba
  • Free afternoon in Aqaba
  • Dinner and overnight at hotel in Aqaba

Day 8: Aqaba - Queen Alia Amman International Airport

On the eighth day concludes this tour of Jordan, its desert castles and other great attractions of the country. After breakfast at the hotel in Aqaba, it’s time to head back to Amman, something that can be done in two different ways.

On the one hand, by road, in our comfortable vehicle. And on the other, by means of a domestic flight from Aqaba King Hussein Airport to Queen Alia Amman. Everything will depend on the schedules of this air connection and the flight back home from the capital.

Whichever option you choose, our staff will accompany you until the last moment so that everything goes according to plan. And already at the airport back, we will say goodbye full of gratitude for having chosen our agency to travel through Jordan and its castles, its desert, its holy places and its coastal areas.

  • Breakfast at hotel in Aqaba
  • Return to Amman and transfer to the airport:
    • Option 1: By road
    • Option 2: with domestic flight Aqaba-Amman
  • Farewell at the airport
  • End of our services

Services included in the entire Jordan Tour

Our agency offers all the necessary services to enjoy this circuit through Jordan, its desert castles and the rest of the destinations of the program. These are the ones included in the travel package:

  • Airport pickup and drop-off on arrival and drop-off
  • Transfers to/from the airport
  • Private vehicle with driver and/or companion in Spanish throughout the circuit
  • Tourist guide in Spanish for the visits indicated in the program
  • Entrance fees to the monuments and sites indicated in the program
  • 3 nights in hotel in Amman, half board
  • 1 night in a hotel at the Dead Sea, half board
  • 1 night in hotel in Wadi Musa (Petra), half board
  • 1 night in comfortable Bedouin tented camp in the desert of Wadi Rum, half board
  • 1 night in a hotel in Aqaba, half board
  • Horse service in Petra
  • 4×4 vehicle for route in Wadi Rum (2 hours)
  • Visa to Jordan (if documentation is provided two weeks in advance)

Services not included

The following services are not included in the package and your final choice is up to the traveler:

  • International flights in and out of Jordan
  • Midday lunches
  • Tips to the professionals of the route: driver, guides, restaurants, porters, etc.
  • Domestic flight Aqaba-Amman (optional)
  • Any other extra expenses or additional services not specified in this program
  • Travel Insurance

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