Welcome to Azraq

Meaning ‘blue’ in Arabic, Azraq once lived up to its name with a shimmering lake and extensive wetlands famed throughout the entire region. This magical oasis was both a refuge for wildlife in the middle of the arid Eastern Desert and a beacon for pilgrims and caravans plying the trade routes between Baghdad to Jerusalem. And then catastrophe struck: the wetlands were all but drained to supply the ever-increasing... Read More

Top experiences in Azraq

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Azraq activities

$87.50 Day Trips & Excursions

Private Tour: Desert Castle Tour of Eastern Jordan from Amman

Start with a hotel pickup from Amman by air-conditioned minibus, and then travel to the parched plains of eastern Jordan with your private driver. While not an official Ministry of Jordan guide, your driver is knowledgeable about the area and its history, and is able to point out sites of interest as you travel. Local guides are also readily available at each of the castles, should you want to hire one at your own expense.The region is strewn with the famous desert castles — many within a 15-minute drive of each other — that hark back to the days of the Umayyads. Hear fun historical facts about the dynasty, the first Muslim rulers of the Arab kingdom during the 1st century, and learn about their pleasure palaces, opulent spas and hunting houses.After roughly 1 hour on the road, your first stop is Qusayr Amra, a UNESCO World Heritage site and highlight of any trip to the region. Once an Umayyad hunting hideaway, the impeccably preserved castle is now best-known for its 8th-century frescoes that depict hedonistic scenes of nude women, wine and wild times.Ask your driver to recommend a nearby eatery for lunch, if you wish, and take a break to enjoy some food at your own expense. Then, continue to Qasr Kharana, the imposing 2-storey fortress that sits in the center of a vast and open plain. Believed to have been built on Roman foundations, the structure resonates with intrigue and Mesopotamian, Arabic and Greek influences are all apparent inside its walls. The final stop of your tour is at Qasr al-Azraq, on the outskirts of Azraq town. Famously the headquarters of TE Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia), the building was previously used as a hunting lodge by the Umayyads, and later fortified as a defense against the Christian Crusaders. Gaze in awe as you explore the setting, and discover its courtyards, towers and mosque.If you would prefer to visit another castle in the area at your own expense, simply let your guide know. The itinerary is flexible and can be tailored to your interests. After your final castle visit, relax on the journey back to Amman and finish with a hotel drop-off.

$138 Day Trips & Excursions

Private Tour: Desert Castles from the Dead Sea

Start with a hotel pickup from Dead Sea by air-conditioned car/ minibus, and then travel to the parched plains of eastern Jordan with your private driver. While not an official Ministry of Jordan guide, your driver is knowledgeable about the area and its history, and is able to point out sites of interest as you travel. Local guides are also readily available at each of the castles, should you want to hire one at your own expense.The region is strewn with the famous desert castles, many within a 15-minute drive of each other, that hark back to the days of the Umayyads. Hear fun historical facts about the dynasty, the first Muslim rulers of the Arab kingdom during the 1st century, and learn about their pleasure palaces, opulent spas and hunting houses. After roughly 1.5 hours on the road, your first stop is Qusayr Amra, a UNESCO World Heritage site and highlight of any trip to the region. Once an Umayyad hunting hideaway, the impeccably preserved castle is now best-known for its 8th-century frescoes that depict hedonistic scenes of nude women, wine and wild times.Ask your driver to recommend a nearby eatery for lunch, if you wish, and take a break to enjoy some food at your own expense. Then, continue to Qasr Kharana, the imposing 2-storey fortress that sits in the center of a vast and open plain. Believed to have been built on Roman foundations, the structure resonates with intrigue and Mesopotamian, Arabic and Greek influences are all apparent inside its walls. The final stop of your tour is at Qasr al-Azraq, on the outskirts of Azraq town. Famously the headquarters of TE Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia), the building was previously used as a hunting lodge by the Umayyads, and later fortified as a defense against the Christian Crusaders. Gaze in awe as you explore the setting, and discover its courtyards, towers and mosque.If you would prefer to visit another castle in the area at your own expense, simply let your guide know. The itinerary is flexible and can be tailored to your interests. After your final castle visit, relax on the journey back to dead sea and finish with a hotel drop-off.

$106.25 Day Trips & Excursions

Azraq Wetland Private Half Day Tour from Amman

The Ramsar Convention declared Azraq Wetland and the adjacent mudflat as a major station for migratory birds on the African-Eurasian flyway in 1977. Be picked up from your hotel in Amman at 8am to visit the wetland, a location of rich biodiversity, providing a natural habitat for numerous aquatic and terrestrial species, including the Azraq Killifish. A variety of birds flock to the reserve each year, stopping for a short rest along their migration routes, staying for the winter, or breeding within the wetland. The Azraq wetland is the only oasis in the Arabian Desert with a self-replenishing system that has allowed it to sustain itself throughout the years. After enjoying the wildlife you will be taken back to Amman.

$66.70 Day Trips & Excursions

Daily Tour from Amman to The Desert Castles

At 8.30am start the private tour from your hotel in Amman to the first fortress. Transfers from site to site last about 45 minutes each. The first stop is thought to have been built by the Romans around 300 CE, during the reign of Diocletian. The structure was also used by the Byzantines and Umayyads. Qasr al-Azraq underwent its final major stage of building in 1237 CE, when the Mamluks redesigned and fortified it. In the 16th century the Ottoman Turks stationed a garrison there, and Lawrence of Arabia made the fortress his desert headquarters during the winter of 1917, during the Great Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire.Heading back towards Amman on Highway 40, Qusayr ‘Amra is about 17.5 miles (28 km) from Azraq. This is the best preserved of the desert castles, and probably the most charming. It was built during the reign of the Caliph Walid I (705-715 CE) as a luxurious bath house. Qasr al-Harraneh remains an enigma to archaeologists and historians. With its high walls, arrow slits, four corner towers and square shape of a Roman fortress, Qasr al-Harraneh would appear to be a defensive castle.You will then be driven back to your hotel in Amman.