Well, folks, spring is officially in full bloom here in Jordan. And after the last couple of springs, you’re likely ready to get back outside and breathe in a little nature. Indeed, it’s been a while.
Nevertheless, if your travel plans include doing some of the world’s best hiking, Mediterranean-bound trekkers shouldn’t miss Jordan. You see, it’s in spring when you get the once-in-a-lifetime chance to experience Jordan’s desert and mountains in all their natural wonder. What’s more, when it comes to hiking routes, Jordan has plenty. So, we put our hiking in Jordan book down and asked members of Jordanian hiking groups which trails are best.
Here’s what they said:
Hiking in Amman
A stroll through the kingdom’s capital is really more of a walking tour than an actual hiking trail. Still, though it was initially built on seven hills, Amman spans over 19 of them today. As a result, any walk-in between neighborhoods can feel like a real hike. Anyway, you’ll need the walk up and down the city’s streets to work off the calories you’ll likely take in. You see, strolling through Amman’s downtown, you won’t be able to resist the smell of food wafting through the air. We’re talking street food like falafel sandwiches, shawarma and fries, and the local Palestinian sweet treat qanafa. Anyway, carb up while you can. You’ll need it for your later hikes.
Spanning 70 kilometers of mountains, valleys, and villages, Wadi Mujib is perfect for exploring Jordan’s great outdoors. And with some interesting hiking trails of varying lengths and difficulties, there’s something for hikers of every age and skill. The easiest hiking route is the Siq Trail which takes trekkers between sandstone cliffs and ends at a refreshing waterfall. The most challenging is the Mujib Trail which guides you through 15 km (9 mi.) of Jordanian flora and fauna. Finally, there’s the Canyon Trail where adrenaline junkies get their fix by descending a 20 meter high waterfall. Still, no matter which trail you choose, however, you’re going to get wet, so prepare accordingly.
However, if getting wet is what you’re looking for, then look no further than Wadi Hidan. Indeed, Wadi Mujab’s sister canyon is a natural Mecca for watersports fans. After checking into the welcome center, you’ll hike a beautiful black basaltic canyon and dive right into natural pools. For the slightly more adventurous, you can jump and slide off some natural platforms and slides that line the pools. Yes, Wadi Hidan is a bit more expensive than Wadi Mujib. However, that means it’s also much less crowded, so it’s well worth the price.
Ajloun Castle Trail
With so many trails to hike around this city and its nearby nature reserve, it makes choosing just one route difficult. However, one of the Ajloun hiking trails you surely don’t want to miss is the Ajloun Castle Trail. Here you’ll find a variety of vegetation including olive trees, Evergreen Oaks, carob, and pistachio trees. If you’re lucky, you might also see the Black Iris – Jordan’s official flower – growing wild on Ajloun’s hillsides.
However, as you might have already guessed, what you’ll certainly see on this hike is Ajloun’s eponymous Castle. When it was erected in 1184 AD by one of Saladin’s generals, the castle had four towers. Later, the Mamelukes expanded the stronghold as it became an important bastion against the Crusaders who never could capture it. In the years following, much of the castle has been destroyed by earthquakes.
Dana Biosphere Reserve
While walking the Dana Trail at the Dana Biosphere Reserve you’ll be amazed by the sheer quietness of the trail. The sound of birdsongs is all you’ll hear as you climb its steep grassy mountains. From the top are beautiful vistas and take in all the beauty of the canyon below. From here, it’s back down to the village of ruins and then a good night’s rest at your campsite.
You can find many hiking trails throughout the unearthly landscape of Wadi Rum where every mountain can be your own personal adventure. Whether it’s watching the sun rise or set, ask the local Bedouins for a ride to a hiking trail. They’ll be more than happy to point out the best spots to climb among the red rocks of Wadi Rum.
The Jordan Trail
We couldn’t write about Jordan’s hiking trails without mentioning the mother of all Jordanian hiking routes – The Jordan Trail. This trail is Jordan’s longest. Laid out adjacent to the Great Rift Valley, the trail follows a north-south route that features breathtaking vistas. What’s more, the trail itself takes about 40 days to complete. As such, it also highlights the kingdoms varied landscapes and archeological wonders.
While you’re planning out your hiking routes around Jordan, why not plan on learning Arabic as well? Whether it’s ordering the local dish mansef, or asking Bedouins about the best place to see the night sky, a little Arabic goes a long way. Start by downloading the Kaleela Arabic Language Learning app and speak Arabic by the time you step into the country. It’s fun and easy-to-use interface makes learning Arabic easy. Best of all, you’ll learn at your pace, where you want, when you want. Check it out at kaleela.com.
Kaleela – Learn Arabic the Right Way!