Azraq Castle is about 100 kms east of Amman and is in the middle of an oasis. Azraq means 'the blue one' and was on the old trade routes, even Lawrence of Arabia used the castle as his headquarters during his time there. The wetlands area is set up as a nature reserve as well as the Shaumari reserve which is 10 kms south of the town. When you enter...more
Well, that's not quite true!The Romans were here 'first' ----there was plenty of water (oasis) nearby.Then, in 1917, Lawrence was here. he called it the blue fort ----the almost black stone from which some of the fort is made probably look blue when wet ----as do Staffordshire blue bricks in UK!You can see the room in which Lawrence stayed, push...more
The castle sits guarding an extremely stragegic point in Jordan. It's close to the borders of Iraq, Syria and Saudi Arabia, but more importantly for such an arid region, it sits atop the Azraq Oasis, the only permanent source of freshwater in over 12,000 km of parched desert. The Romans built the first fortress. The Mamelukes turned it into its...more
When you walk around in Azraq Wetland Reserve you should follow the trails and not enter the tunnels in the reeds. The tunnels are made by water buffalos and they are not always happy to meet an intruder. Well, we didn’t see any water buffalos while we were there and not many birds either, but then we were not there in the right season. Visiting a...more
Azraq Wetland Reserve contains a large mudflat, pools and marshlands just in the middle of the Eastern Desert of Jordan. The wetland has suffered big ecological damage as water levels decreased when more and more drinking water was pumped to Amman. Now the wetlands, or at least a part of the original wetland, is being restored.This is a place where...more
Qasr Azraq is built in black basalt and was originally constructed by the Romans (about 300 AD). Through the years it was then renovated several times. During the Umayyad period it was used by al-Walid II as a military base and for hunting. In 1917 TE Lawrence and Sherif Hussain bin Ali based themselves at Qasr Azraq for a few months during the...more
I visited Azraq as part of a tour (only transport) organised from Farah Hotel in Amman. We were three people in the car sharing the price and I paid 13 JD. The places we visited were Qasr Kharana, Qusayr Amra, Qasr al-Azraq and the Wetland Reserve, Hammam Sarah and Qasr al-Hallabat.We had lunch in Azraq and the driver told us about a restaurant...more
In some books it is known as the "Blue Castle" because of the dark blue colors and flashes that come from the basaltic stone. It was use as a defense fortress against foreign invassions. There have been different castles or fortress during different periods, in fact, recent excavations have shown roman inscriptions from the third century. The...more
When you arrive to this castle the first thing that you can notice is its black colour. The castle is built with black basalto and it has got three floors. The main entrance is a unique stone of basalto.T.E.Lawrence said in his book The Seven Pillars of Wisdom that this door was closing with such a rumble and a blow which were the west wall of the...more
Many Greeek and latin inscription said that this castle was dedicated to Roman emperors Diocleziano and Massimiano. It was built between the 286 and 305 AD and it was called Dasianiss. This fortrees was very important because it was built along one of the main streets that go to Syria. But very important was also the water of the oasis of...more
You can catch this as part of any tour of the Desert Castles, but this one you can also reach by bus from Amman. It costs less than 1JD and takes about 1-2 hours. A taxi trip costs in the region of 40JD.
Maybe this should have been in the restaurant section ---but it is such a trap!
If you are in a large tour group you may end up here. There may be 300 people eating here at one time!
The service is appalling. The guides/waiters encourage you to eat the 'sandwiches'!
The chicken sandwich was just a mix of bones, scraps of meat and veg! I wouldn't feed them to my mother-in-law!
Drinks are too costly!
You have been warned!
Unique Suggestions: Eat from the buffet! Pay the extra and enjoy!