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Desert Castles

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Earth : Asia : Middle East : Jordan : Desert Castles
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Desert Castles are old castles found around desert in Jordan.


Desert Castles are castles spanned in the desert, either completely standalone or with small towns around them. These castles once were getaway for Kaliffs from the Omayyad Period. There are too many of them, most ruined or off-limits to the visitor because they are under maintenance.

The most important of them are Ajlun, Kerak, Al Kharaneh, Quseir Amra, and Qasr Al Azraq.

Get in[edit]

Most castles are accessible within a 1-day trip from Amman via the Desert Highway. Kerak is also accessible through the King's Highway. There's a small fee (around 1 - 2 JOD) for entrance in each of them, but your tour operator has likely reserved the tickets for you beforehand.

Get around[edit]

The only trip is the trip back to where you have been before visiting the castle, with the exception of Kerak which offers an exit from both the King's Highway or the Desert Highway.

See[edit][add listing]

The ruins for each castle. Noteworthy are:

  • The Ajlun ruins.
  • The Kerak ruins.
  • The Al Kharaneh old-fashioned hostel.
  • The Qasr al-Azraq ruins, once used by Lawrence of Arabia.
  • The Unesco-preserved monument and paintings in Quseir Amra.
  • The Qasr al-Hallabat ruins.
  • Shobak, a large Crusader castle just north of Petra.

Do[edit][add listing]

Walk around and take pictures. What else would you do in a ruined castle?

Also go to the top of Al Kharaneh and watch the view (careful, it's dangerous).

Buy[edit][add listing]

Eat[edit][add listing]

Apart from Kerak and Ajlun which are small towns, there is nothing to eat in the castles except when visiting local tourist shops nearby.

Drink[edit][add listing]

Plenty of water. It's hot out there, especially in the summer.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Kerak and Ajlun have some resorts in case you decide to stay there, but in practice you will visit all these castles in a 1-day trip from Amman or Aqaba.

Stay safe[edit]

As almost anywhere in Jordan, the chance that you are mugged or otherwise assaulted in the Desert Castles is very low. Use common sense about pickpockets.

Also watch your step, for some places in the ruins require stable shoes.

Get out[edit]

From the very same road you got in.

  • Wadi Rum Protected Area 00962776671085 Wadi RumSleep in the desert in a Bedouin Tent and enjoy a tour of the desert.
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