• Location: Amman, Jordan
  • Duration: 10 hours (approx.)
From USD $ 106.25 View price calendar

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Look beyond Jordan’s most celebrated attractions to see some lesser-known historical treasures on this private Islamic desert castle day trip from Amman. Head east to Al-Azraq, a castle that ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ once used as a headquarters, and then explore the fresco-painted masterpiece of Amra and Kharaneh castles. Finish at Aljoun, a hilltop medieval fortress built to defend against the Crusaders. Your tour includes private transport, hotel pickup and drop-off, and entrance fees.


  • Private 10-hour Islamic desert castles trip fom Amman
  • Visit Al-Azraq, a medieval fortress once used by ‘Lawrence of Arabia’
  • Delve into UNESCO-listed Amra, an 8th-century castle famous for its interior frescoes and dome zodiac painting
  • Explore Kharaneh castle and Aljoun, a 12th-century hilltop fortress built to stave off Crusaders
  • Entrance fees included
  • Private transport by air-conditioned vehicle, including Amman hotel pickup and drop-off

What You Can Expect

Private Tour: Full-Day Islamic Desert Castles and Ajloun Castle Trip from Amman

Ajlun Castle

After early morning hotel pickup from Amman, journey east through Jordan’s rugged countryside by private, air-conditioned vehicle on your way to your first stop: Al-Azraq.

Built from black basalt rock in the heart of the Al-Azraq oasis, this impressively designed desert fortress was once a hunting retreat of Umayyad rulers, and used as a base by T.E. Lawrence, the 20th-century British soldier and Arab Revolt leader nicknamed ‘Lawrence of Arabia.’ 

Wander around the haunting ruins of the castle, with its arches and battlements, and then continue with your driver to Amra, the most impressive of eastern Jordan’s desert fortresses. This architectural masterpiece was built in the 8th century by Umayyad caliph Walid II, and is most notable for its faded-but-stunning frescoes, including a depiction of the zodiac painted onto the domed ceiling of the bath chamber.

After admiring the frescoes and vaulted chambers of this unusual edifice, travel to Kharaneh, a picture-postcard, square fortress complete with rounded turrets and a central courtyard. Another Umayyad construction from the 8th century, archaeologists believe the building served as a fortress, meeting place, or caravanserai, a resting place for travelers or high government officials.

Admire Kharaneh's simple design and early Islamic architecture, and view the rooms fringing the courtyard, seeing their ornamental pilasters and niches.

Having explored here, continue to the 12th-century castle of Ajloun, built in the time of Saladin to defend against Crusader armies. Head inside this semi-intact hilltop fortress, and roam the rambling corridors and staircases. See the ‘murder holes’ through which occupiers could pour hot oil or pitch on invaders, and admire the stunning views over the lush hills of the Jordan Valley from the towers.

Then, reconvene with your vehicle and relax on your ride back to Amman where your trip ends with a hotel drop-off.

Customer Reviews

Mark S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2017

This is a long day. There are 4 sites you visit. The first was probably a tavern, the next was a hunting lodge with amazing paintings on the wall. Although called castles they were not. The third site was a fort partly used by Lawrence of Arabia. It is then a long drive over to Ajloun castle, but this is an amazing castle right on the top of a hill. It has excellent views and an interesting small museum inside. As with Jordan you can have a guide picked up locally at each site. There are plenty of notice boards so this is not essential. If you do not want a guide they are not pushy about it and you can go round at your pace. My driver was friendly and let you have as long as you wanted in each place. Water was provided and is needed. If you want lunch you can ask the driver to pick a place, but it is not compulsory and I saw more by not having lunch which I felt was better.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

I loved this tour. There was just our guide and us which was fabulous.
I loved everything about this day and the opportunity to travel east and then north west and the variety of castles we saw.
A wonderful snapshot of Jordan!

jeanine a. h

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2016

So enjoyable and off the beaten path. Driver/ guide excellent!

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