If you have an adventurous spirit and you love to discover unusual hidden spots, far away from tourists crowds, be ready to jump in a 4X4 and discover with your driver the wild offroad ways through the Eastern desert of Jordan. It’s a rocky, black, lunar landscape — yet full of surprises.
Along the rocky offroad ways, this itinerary is the unique result of the experience and the adventurous spirit of our expert driver Akram. A day-long trip where you will hit at least 6 sites. Discover Azraq Wetland Reserve, Shomari Reserve, Amra Castle, Harrana Castle Hallabat Castle and the ancient As Sarah Baths. A pop-out barbeque lunch will wait for you!
Meet Akram: his great experience in the area is behind this unique itinerary
Behind places, there is culture, and behind culture, there are of course people. At In2Jordan we constantly communicate as an extended team all over in Jordan with our suppliers, which often become our friends. We love to know their amazing stories and to share their knowledge. This makes the experience for our travellers unique and genuine, allowing them to live Jordan from a different perspective. We encourage everyone to bring up new ideas to create better and better experiences in Jordan. Akram is one of them! He is one of our drivers with the greatest experience, who always adds something personal to the trips with our travellers. Besides his great experience in driving, he is always happy to tell you about his country and culture as a proud Jordanian citizen, or to let you know the best local restaurant!
This unique day trip is his idea coming from his deep knowledge of the area, since he proudly served the national army there from 1982 to 1987. This allowed him to get know each step of the Eastern desert and he has great anecdotes to share with you. In a place where everyone else would get lost, Akram planned a unique itinerary to show you something far away from the standard and normal trips in Jordan, off the beaten track.
“I have great memories here and I would like to show to other people the beauties of this almost unknown area, where you can have on display History, Nature and Adventure at the same time. I hope I will bring people here every day!”
Start with As- Sarah Baths and Hallabat Castle
The trip will be a huge round starting and finishing in Amman, never passing through the same way. Your day will begin leaving Amman in the early morning. Then, along Zarqa’ area, the third biggest city of Jordan, reach impressive Hallabat Castle and its mosque’s ruins. It was originally a Roman fort to defend against raiding desert tribes. There is evidence that, before, there was also Nabatean settlement. During the seventh century, the site became a monastery, and the Umayyads then fortified it and decorated it with ornate frescoes and decorative carvings. About 3 kilometres east of Qasr Al Hallabat, you will visit ancient As-Sarah Baths ( Hammamat As-Sarah). An extensive renovation revealed the underfloor piping system necessary to heat the bathing rooms.
Azraq Wetland Reserve and Shomari Reserve
You will carry on your trip until the area around Azraq refugees Camp, after which you will start the offroad way. Here, your driver will challenge his skills just for your fun! Reaching through hidden ways and shortcuts into the black desert until you will reach Azraq Wetland Reserve and Shomari Reserve. Enjoy the precious work of people working there, protecting unique species and ecosystems. The Arabian Oryx is one of the famous examples. Classified as “Extinct In The Wild” in 1972, Jordan is one of the countries which has made great efforts protecting and reintroducing it in the environment. This species is one of the best desert-adapted large mammals, capable of living in a waterless, hot, high-wind habitat where few other species can survive!
Amra and Harrana Castles; a pop-up BBQ in the middle!
Then you will continue to visit the Amra castle, one of the best-preserved monuments and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its interior walls and ceilings with lively frescoes. While you are exploring Amra castle, a pop-up barbeque and minicamp will be arranged. You find everything ready when you come back. Relax under the shadows of the trees or the tents, enjoy the barbeque, soft drinks and, of course, tea!
After this relaxing lunch in full local style, carry on your trip visiting Harrana Castle. This is a well-preserved caravanserai, or resting place for traders of old periods. There are around 60 rooms on two levels arranged around a central courtyard. It has even a rainwater pool in the middle!
Back to Amman
Maybe have another tea and chat with the always welcoming locals under the tent near to the visitor center. Then, back to Amman through the airport road. It has been a long adventurous day! Have a shower and relax at your overnight accommodation.