Desert Castles & Amman City One Day Tour
The Desert Castles served several purposes such as caravan stations, agricultural and trading canters and outposts that helped far away rulers form ties with local Bedouins.
The first stop during the tour is Qasr al Azraq, about 13 km north of the Azraq junction. The large black fortress dating back to the beginning of the 13th century is crafted from local black basalt rocks.
Qusayr Amra (the little Palace of Amra) is a bathhouse built during the 8th century. It stands at the bottom of Wadi al-Butum and consist of three main sections; a rectangular audience hall, the bath complex and the hydraulic structures. The palace is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to the importance of the fresco paintings inside the palace.
The castle the group stops to visit is Qasr al-Kharraneh, located 16 km west of Qusayr Amra. The castle remains a mystery to archaeologists and historians. Some believe it was a defence fort, while others think it was a caravansary for passing camel trains. There is also a theory that supports the fact that it was a retreat for Umayyad leaders to discuss state affairs.
Amman, meanwhile, is a unique blend of old and new, ideally situated on a hilly area between the desert and the fertile Jordan Valley. Almost half of Jordan's population is concentrated in the Amman area. The residential suburbs consist of mainly tree-lined street and avenues. The downtown area is much older and more traditional with smaller businesses producing and selling everything from fabulous jewellery to everyday household items.
Most of Amman's historical sites are clustered in the downtown area. The ancient Citadel, Jabal al-Qala'a, is the site of ancient Rabbath-Ammon, and excavations here have revealed numerous Roman, Byzantine and early Islamic remains. The group will also visit the Jordan Archaeological Museum, which houses an excellent collection of antiquities ranging from prehistoric times to the 15th century.
Downhill from the Citadel is the Roman Theatre, the most obvious and impressive relic of ancient Philadelphia that once served as a necropolis or graveyard. The small theatre, or Odeon, which is still being restored, was built at about the same time as the Roman Theatre, and is now used as it was in Roman times, for musical concerts. A short stroll takes one to the Ottoman-style King Hussein Mosque rebuilt in 1924. The area around it is the heart of modern downtown Amman.
The tour itinerary is as follows:
- pick up at 9 am from Amman
- transfer to Qasr Azraq, Qusr Amra and Qasr al-Kharaneh
- return to Amman for a city tour.
The tour cost is inclusive of transportation by car, with an English speaking driver, and entrance fees to the Desert Castles and Amman museums.
The cost of the tour does not include: meals, drinks, International airfare and travel insurance, tips, Individual visa to Jordan (Obtainable upon arrival for most, but not all nationalities - US$30 per person as of January 1st, 2011), personal expenses and anything not mentioned above.
Book for more than 20 people, contact us directly
The pick up is from Amman. Participants are requested to mention the point of pick up when making the bookings.