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Worth a detour
Rating 2.0 (145 votes)

Wadi Rum

Listed under Deserts in Jordan.

  • Photo of Wadi Rum
  • Photo of Wadi Rum
  • Photo of Wadi Rum
  • Photo of Wadi Rum
  • Photo of Wadi Rum
  • Photo of Wadi Rum
  • Photo of Wadi Rum
  • Photo of Wadi Rum
Photo of Wadi Rum
Photo by flickr user Effervescing Elephant
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Wadi Rum literally means 'High Valley' and is one of the most spectacular desert locations in Jordan - and consequently second only to Petra as a tourist destination. It's the place to go for an easily accessible 'desert' experience, whether hiking with local Bedouin Guides, or staying in a luxury tented camp. It's also famous as the site of some of Lawrence of Arabia's exploits - he based himself here during the Arab Revolt towards the end of World War 1. One of the most impressive local rock formations was named by him the 'Seven Pillars of Wisdom', which then became the title of his famous book. David Lean filmed large parts of his movie epic 'Lawrence of Arabia' in Wadi Rum.

It has also become a popular destination, since the mid-1980s, for rock climbing. The Jabal Rum peak is 1754 metres high, and on a clear day you can see as far as Saudi Arabia and the Red Sea.

For the best desert experience, hire a local Bedouin guide and go on a two or three day trek by camel - you will get right away from the minibus tourists, out into the virgin desert, and sleeping in the open under the stars beside the open-sided bedouin tents is an experience you will never forget.

Riding camels is strangely relaxing, though plenty of blankets help to minimise sore bottoms. the best way on a long trek is to alternate walking and riding, as the Bedouin do. Nights can be bitterly cold in the winter - the best times to go into the desert are spring and autumn, when the heat of the day is bearable.

Written by  James Dunford Wood.

Other expert and press reviews

“Wadi Means Valley in Arabic”

As it had been everywhere in Jordan, the landscape of Wadi Rum was astounding. Our driver told us to rap on the truck’s roof whenever we wanted to stop for a photograph and we ended giving our knuckles quite the workout. We constantly wanted t… Read more...

Written by  Dave and Deb.

“Excerpt from 'Peace in the Middle East'”

By Terry Slavin for The Observer First published May 12, 2002 ...For all its fascinating vestiges of ancient civilisations, surely the most unmissable destination in all of Jordan must be the stunning natural landscapes of Wadi Rum. Wadi Rum, where the… Read more...

Written by press. Full Article from The Guardian

“Excerpt from 'In the Desert where Lawrence once held sway.'”

By Iver Peterson for The New York Times First published June 19, 2005 ...It is easy to overdo this business about Lawrence and the Wadi Rum - he certainly embellished accounts of his own exploits there. Yet the Wadi Rum, "my private resort," … Read more...

Written by press. Full Article from The New York Times

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

Wadi Rum on horseback

For a sandy adventure Indiana Jones style, the landscape of Wadi Rum (The Valley of the Moon) in Jordan provides all the dunes you need to ride over and canyons you need to zoom through to feel like you’re really Harrison Ford’s stunt double all the way back in 1989 when he was filming 'The Last Crusade'.

The terrain is rough and so this is not one for beginner riders, however there are horse riding tours which will give you a chance to brave the Jordanian Desert and tour around the many amazing archaeological sites that Jordan has to offer on the back of an Arabian horse, known for their stamina. Most tours are designed to allow you to take in archaeological and ecological sites as well as spend time with Bedouin tribes, climbing and trekking, cooking, fetching firewood and most of all looking after your horse. You’ll be able to get off the beaten track to discover untouched areas as well.

You could also work your tour around a quick float in the Dead Sea and a look at the historical cities of Jerash and the temple façade at Petra, which is a must to finish off the Indiana Jones experience.

Best camp in Wadi Rum

In our last visit to Jordan, the highlight of our trip was wadi rum.

Words cannot describe this unique place. The CAPTAINS DESERT CAMP gave us the true taste of comfort and hospitality of the Bedouin.

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