Lonely Planet Writer

Sign up now to hike the epic 40 day Jordan Trail this year

Trekking the forests, mountains and deserts along the Jordan Trail is one of the most enticing reasons to visit the Middle Eastern nation. Now, if you want a bit more inspiration to go, registration is open for the 2018 thru-hike, where you can join other travellers on the epic journey.

A Bedouin guide leads his two dromedary camels over the tall dunes of Wadi Rum. Image by ©Tom Mackie/Lonely Planet

The 2018 hike is run by the Jordan Trail Association, which promotes the trail and helps raise the money to develop it, reports the Jordan Times. The association is also designed to help support the local communities that the trail passes through. This year’s thru-hike will begin in Umm Qais on 2 March and will end in Aqaba on 14 April. But if you don’t have time to take part in a 40-day hike, travellers can book a one-day trip, a weekend trip, complete one of the week-long sections, or just hike the entire thing.

Ancient temple carved out of sandstone in Petra. Image by ©Anton Petrus/Getty Images

The Jordan Trail runs from north to south of the country, connecting Umm Qais and trailing through forest, mountains, deserts and more before ending at the end of the Red Sea in Aqaba. Covering the full route of more than 650 kilometres takes nearly 40 days, winding along the countryside and taking travellers by iconic sites like Petra and Wadi Rum. Since it’s such a long trek, the route is also broken up into different legs, which are each about 80 kilometres and a four- or five-day hike.

Jordan has been promoting itself as a tourism destination and the development of the trail has been a big part of that. A safe destination in the Middle East, many travellers are keen to see its incredibly historic and natural sites. The price on the thru-hike for non-Jordanian travellers is 3000 JOD ($4230 USD), or  prices range from 210 ($295 USD) to 500 JOD ($700 USD) for certain sections. The rates include things like guides, transportation, water, meals, accommodation and more.

The trail heads through Wadi Rum National Reserve. Image by ©Tom Mackie/Lonely Planet

European travellers hoping to visit Jordan will have a much easier time this year, as budget airline Ryanair has announced 14 new flights from European hubs like Rome, Brussels and Athens to Amman and Aqaba.

Learn more about hiking the Jordan Trail here.