Sites to visit
The Jebel and valleys
The desert of Wadi Rum, known as “Valley of the Moon”, consists of two vast deserts with spectacular rock formations, the “red desert” and the “white desert”.
This desert surprises with its mountains that rise abruptly, made of sandstone ranging from black to light yellow with a predominance of red. They are about 30 million years old, and they are the oldest known geological strata on earth. The sun and wind have sculpted the rocks called ‘jebel’ the highest of which, Jebel Um Ad Dami rises to 1854 meters.
Jebel Ash can be easily climbed in a 4 hour-round trip with the best views of Wadi Rum, Um Ad Dami and a large valley.
An arch is a natural rock bridge. The highest among them, Burdah arch, is 35 meters high. It requires a 3 hour-long round trip with good shoes and with a guide. Um Frouth arch is smaller with 20 meters high and is very easy to climb.
A siq (or canyon) is a crack in the mountains that allows a passage into or through the mountain.
The desert of Wadi Rum offers several siqs, including the Siq Khazali, which is a great place to walk through in the afternoon, in the shadow of 30 to 50 meters high cliffs (30 minutes round trip).
Burrah Canyon where the Romans made a dam, still visible today, is the longest (2 hours round trip).
The desert of Wadi Rum does not look like the Sahara desert with its succession of sand dunes. Here are only a few dunes, made of a very fine red or tan sand, formed at the foot of some Jebels. Children (and parents) love to slide down the dunes. Bring your own sled!
In the footsteps of the Nabataeans
The Nabataeans, who controlled southern Jordan between the fifth century BC to the first century AD, have left traces of their civilization in Wadi Rum. The Nabatean alphabet is close to the Arabic alphabet, and also written from right to left. Wadi Rum is rich in Nabataean inscriptions that can be found indented on rocks as you walk among them: at Khazali Canyon, Lawrence of Arabia Spring….
The stones are sometimes seen in the shape of a mushroom.
Wadi Rum has three sources of clean water, the most beautiful being “El qatta” located 11 km from the village where herds of sheep and goats come to drink.
Lawrence of Arabia
This famous man Lawrence of Arabia gave his name to two sites, Nabataean ruins of a house where he stayed for one month and offers superb views of the desert, and also Lawrence’s Spring.