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Welcome to Southern Jordan

Welcome to the home of the Bedouin, a people of legendary courage and bravado who inhabit a landscape of sand dunes, oases and weathered escarpments.

Wadi Rum is at the heart of any visit to southern Jordan, a landscape so magnificent that it leaves all but the most unromantic at heart dreaming of casting everything aside to lead the life of a nomad. And that’s possible – at least for a day or two amid the area’s camps, as you explore by foot, camel or 4WD, scramble up mountains or fly above them in a hot-air balloon.

The modern city of Aqaba and the neighbouring diving centres give access to another of Jordan’s natural splendours: the coral gardens of the Red Sea. Even if wetsuits aren’t your thing, Aqaba is a relaxed and pleasant destination in which to wash off the desert dust.

Jebel Rum

Mountain in Wadi Rum…….

The western flank of Wadi Rum is formed by Jebel Rum (1754m), which towers over Rum village. It is a popular destination for scramblers and climbers who tackle parts of the ancient Thamudic Way to the summit (guide required – ask at the visitor centre). 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.

Jebel Umm Al Ishrin

Mountain in Wadi Rum ……..

The deeply crevassed ‘Mother of Twenty’, a 20-domed mountain forming the east flank of Wadi Rum, is connected to the Seven Pillars of Wisdom formation. 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.

Ain Abu Aineh

Spring in Wadi Rum ……

Often mistaken for Lawrence’s Spring, the ‘Father of Aineh Spring’ is piped down the mountain into a large tank for Bedouin sheep, goats and camels. Look out for a large boulder near the tank: it is covered with Thamudic inscriptions, proving the spring has been used for a similar purpose for millennia. To reach Ain Abu Aineh, head south from the Rest House and follow the eastern side of Jebel Rum for 3km (a 1½-hour walk in soft sand).

Khazali Siq

Top choice canyon in Wadi Rum ……..

An easy siq to explore is the narrow fissure that cuts into Jebel Khazali. You can explore on foot for about 150m, far enough to appreciate the cool shade and to see inscriptions made by the ancients who used the siq for the same purpose. Look out for drawings of ostriches, pairs of feet and a woman giving birth. You need ropes and a guide to penetrate further and 4WD transport to reach the siq.

Burdah Rock Bridge

Top choice natural feature in Wadi Rum …….

The largest of Rum’s three arches is the Burdah Rock Bridge, precariously perched about 80m above surrounding rock. There’s a precipitous hike to the summit.

Alameleh Inscriptions

Archaeological Site in Wadi Rum ……….

Thamudic and Nabataean inscriptions, depicting camel caravans, hunting warriors and various animals, are common throughout the Wadi Rum area. The Alameleh inscriptions, near the Seven Pillars of Wisdom and on the edge of the Diseh district, are some of the most comprehensive and best preserved

Al Hasany Dunes

Top choice desert in Wadi Rum ……..

While there are dunes in several places around Wadi Rum, the most striking are the red sands that bank up against Jebel Umm Ulaydiyya. If you are on a 4WD or camel tour, drivers will stop near a pristine slope for you to plod your way to the crest of the dune. They’re particularly lovely at sunset.

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