Welcome to Azraq

Azraq's shimmering lake and extensive wetlands were once famed throughout the entire region as both a refuge for wildlife and a beacon for pilgrims and caravans plying the trade routes between Baghdad and Jerusalem. Unfortunately, the draining of the wetlands has reduced the town's appeal; it is now perhaps more famous for the refugee camp on its outskirts, hosting those who have fled the Syrian civil war.

Top experiences in Azraq

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Azraq activities

$62.50 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.

$58 Day Trips & Excursions

Half Day Tour to Desert Castles from Amman

Jordan's Umayyad desert castles are beautiful examples of early Islamic art and architecture and stand testament to a fascinating era in the country's rich history. Take a half-day tour and delve deep into the history of Jordan under the expertise of a professional guide.The structures are called “castles” because of their imposing stature. The desert complexes once served various purposes as caravan stations, agriculture and trade centers, resort pavilions, and outposts that helped distant rulers forge ties with local Bedouins.Inside the castlesm, early Islamic art can be found. The fine mosaics, frescoes, stone and stucco carvings are inspired by the best in Persian and Graeco-Roman traditions and reveal to us countless stories of the life as it was during the 8th Century.Alongside the castles you will also visit the black basalt fort at Azraq, which had been in continuous use since late Roman times, and was the headquarters of Lawrence of Arabia during the Arab Revolt

$138 Day Trips & Excursions

Private Tour: Desert Castles from the Dead Sea

After Dead Sea hotel pickup between 8am and 9am, settle inside your air-conditioned car or minibus with your private driver, and travel through the deserts of eastern Jordan. Although your driver isn’t an official Ministry of Jordan guide, they will be knowledgeable about the area, and will point out landmarks on route. Local guides are readily available at each castle, and you can opt to hire them at your own expense. The region is littered with desert castles dating from the 1st-century Muslim rulers of the Umayyads. These powerful royals built the fortresses to serve as pleasure palaces, spas, and hunting lodges. After roughly 1.5 hours, reach the spectacular castle of UNESCO-listed Qusayr Amra. After roughly 1.5 hours, reach the spectacular castle of UNESCO-listed Qusayr Amra. Once an Umayyad hunting base, this well-preserved castle is famed for its 8th-century frescoes depicting hedonistic scenes of women, wine, and partying. Having explored here, reconvene with your driver and, if you wish, ask for their recommendations for nearby restaurants for lunch. Relax over a meal (own expense) at their suggested eatery, and then continue to Qasr Kharana, an imposing 2-storey fortress set on a vast desert plain. Believed to be built on Roman foundations, this beautiful castle displays Mesopotamian, Arabic, and Greek architectural influences. Next, continue to Qasr al-Azraq near Azraq town. Famous for having been used as a headquarters by T.E. Lawrence, the World War I British military officer known as Lawrence of Arabia, this impressive castle was used as an Umayyad hunting lodge before being fortified to defend against the Crusaders. Explore the courtyards and mosque, and be sure to see the impressive western tower and wall carvings. If you fancy visiting an additional castle (own expense), let your driver know: your itinerary can be adjusted around your interests. Your tour ends with an afternoon hotel drop-off at the Dead Sea.

$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.

$33.50 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.

$310 Tours & Sightseeing

A fun Day in Azraq Wetland Natural reserve

The guest will be picked up from Their Amman hotel with an English speaking guide and transferred to Al-Azraq Wetland Reservation where they will start the day with the Usaykhim Bus Tour : Grade: Easy to Moderate Distance on foot: 5 km Distance by bus: 40 km Time: 5-6 hours Description From the Azraq Lodge, a shuttle bus will take the guests to a desert entrance to begin your hike to Wadi Usaykhim, where they will view inscriptions written by humans thousands of years ago. Continue hiking two kilometers to the top of the highest mountain, where the Usakhim fortress stands, marking the easternmost point of the ancient Roman Empire. Here, the shuttle bus will wait to take them to a local home for tea and a light traditional meal before returning to the Lodge where they will have a Mudflat Biking Trail : Grade: Easy to Moderate Distance: 12 km Time: 2-3 hours Description The tour starts from Amra Castle and ends at the Azraq Lodge. The tour passes through the desert area that links Amra Castle and Azraq Lodge and stops by a desert well for snacks and juice, then continues to the local Azraq farms area to finally reach Azraq Lodge. On the way, visitors will learn about the nature, the history and the people living in the area. after all that guests will be head back to their Amman hotel