Shutterstock / Leonid Andronov


The ancient Crusader stronghold of Karak (or Kerak) lies within the walls of the old city and is one of the highlights of Jordan. The fortified castle that dominates the town was a place of legend in the battles between the Crusaders (Franks) and the Islamic armies of Saladin (Salah ad Din). Now one of the most famous Crusader castles, in its day Karak was just one in a long line of Frank defences, stretching from Aqaba in the south to Turkey in the north.

In late 2016, Islamist terrorists tried to take hostages at Karak, resulting in 10 deaths. The attack had the effect of galvanising the community, with residents pulling together to refurbish the town's mosques and churches and creating volunteer groups to improve local services.

Explore Karak

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Karak.


Learn more about Karak

Uncover the heart of travel and be inspired to see new sights with one of Lonely Planet’s in-depth, award-winning guidebooks.