Jordan Trail: a journey along the Route of Kings

Jordan Trail

Follow in the footsteps of the ancient caravan route of the Kings’ Highway and discover Jordan’s natural and historical treasures step by step!

Following the famous Route of the Kings, the Jordan Trail offers an exceptional hike, probably one of the best in the world. This trail follows the entire western face of Jordan! Offering a total of 40 days’ hiking over 650 kilometers, it is divided into nine sections. Each part takes between 4 and 6 days to complete. So you can choose the sections that interest you most, and put together the itinerary of your dreams!

This beautiful adventure leads past some of Jordan’s most beautiful natural, historical and cultural wonders. From canyons to mountains, from desert to medieval castles, from picturesque villages to Bedouin camps, all the country’s riches are laid out before us!

A journey through valleys and canyons

Gadara and its green hills

Ruines à Gadara, Jordanie

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Francesco Dazzi

The Jordan Trail starts in the town of Umm Qais, not far from the remains of Gadara, an ancient Greek city not to be missed! The route to Ajloun passes through the greenest part of Jordan.

Roman towns, centuries-old olive groves, caves and hot springs are just some of the treasures along the way. In Ajloun, you can admire a superb Muslim castle dating back to the 12th century.

From picturesque village to picturesque village

King Talal, Jordanie

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Ayman alakhras

The hike passes through the charming village of Burma, before descending to the King Talal Dam. Here, travellers will enjoy an incredible view of this man-made lake sandwiched between two wooded banks. The route then follows rich farmland to the village of Rmemeen, both Christian and Muslim. In four days, we’re finally in Al-Salt.

From Al-Salt to the Wadi Wala canyon

Château Iraq al Amir

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Anton_Ivanov

The trail from Al-Salt runs alongside a singular archaeological monument: the Iraq al Amir castle, dating from the 2nd century BC! It then descends along the spectacular King Hussein Road to the Jordan Valley. Here, the climate and landscape gradually begin to change, becoming increasingly arid.

The hike then follows an ancient Roman road to the remains of the Jewish fortress of Machéronte, built in the 1st century BC. Finally, the trail descends through basalt cliffs into the canyons of Wadi Zarqa Main and Wadi Wala.

The Three Wadis and Al-Karak fortress

Vue sur  Wadi Mujib

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Aleksandar Todorovic

South of Wadi Wala, you’ll find the Three Wadis region. On this hike, you’ll enjoy breathtaking views of Wadi Hidan and, above all, Wadi Mujib. The latter is known as the Grand Canyon of Jordan!

Once we’ve discovered it, we move on to the ruins of Magdelina and then between high plateaus and canyons. Before long, the trail leads us past the imposing Kerak de Moab, overlooking the surrounding landscape. This Crusader castle is an outstanding example of the architecture of the period: a sublime blend of European, Byzantine and Arab styles.

The desert’s not far off!

Réserve de Dana, Jordanie

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Sergio Ponomarev

The Jordan Trail then takes travellers to a fertile plain, where orchards and olive groves dot the path. Along the cliffs, you’ll discover typical villages. Suddenly, the impressive Wadi Hasa canyon comes into view!

We then follow a track between the formidable limestone cliffs of Tor al-Taboun. Here and there, we pass Bedouin encampments. Back on the plateau, we reach the Edomite ruins of Sela and Mi’tan. Then the village of Dana comes into view. It’s time to take a rest before starting the most difficult part of the Jordan Trail.

From Petra to Wadi Rum: the story of a legendary hike

A wonderful hike to Jordan’s most famous site

This is the most impressive part of the entire Jordan Trail. It was recently named one of the top fifteen hikes in the world by National Geographic. The trail descends from the mountain plateaus to the Araba Valley. It climbs up and crosses several climatic zones, diverse ecosystems and hidden canyons. All this is punctuated by spectacular labyrinths, hills and valleys. At the end of this journey, you finally arrive at the legendary city of Petra.

Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1885, the ancient capital of the Nabataeans boasts several hundred monuments. Most of them are carved into cliffs, and you’ll need several days to discover them all!

Across the Wadi Rum desert

Arbre dans le désert de Wadi Rum

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Hamdan Yoshida

Once you’ve explored the sublime and magical city of Petra, it’s time to head for the fabulous Wadi Rum desert. Wadi Rum is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A week-long hike links the two legendary sites. It crosses one of the longest stretches of wilderness on the Jordan River.

In this empty, high-altitude desert, you’ll be all alone in the world. Every night, you can gaze up at the stars and take in the absolute tranquillity that reigns here. Bright green oases appear from time to time, offering us a striking contrast. You can also enjoy the exceptional hospitality and generosity of the Bedouins, and discover some unique relics.

To the Red Sea and its crystal-clear waters

Aqaba, port, mer rouge, Jordanie

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Hamdan Yoshida

Six short days then separate Wadi Rum from Aqaba. The trail then passes beneath imposing cliffs: Jebel Rum, Jebel Um Ishrin, Jebel Khazali and Jebel Qattar. Each has its own special features, which you’ll have plenty of time to admire on your adventure. We finally arrive at the Bedouin village of Titen.

From here, the hike follows ancient shepherd’s paths, through desert and granite mountains. Suddenly, the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea unfold before our eyes. A few more steps and we’re finally close to the warm, welcoming waters. It’s the end of the Jordan Trail!

How to hike the Jordan Trail

Carte du jordan Trail

Photo credit: Earth Magazine

To reach any stage of the Jordan Trail, we recommend that you land in Amman, the capital of Jordan. From there, you can take a cab to your starting point. If you don’t want to walk part of the trail, you can take a cab between two stages.

When?

The trail is best explored in spring (March and April) and autumn (October and November). You should also be aware that the north is cooler than the south. Hiking from May to September is not recommended, especially in the desert.

At what price?

For your trip along the Jordan Trail, you should allow at least €100-120 for cab fares, €11 for entry to the Dana Biosphere Reserve and €65 per day in Petra. If you pass through the Jordanian desert, water deliveries by a guide are compulsory. Allow at least €60 per person for two weeks’s trail. To this must be added nights in hotels or camping sites, as well as all other expenses: food, restaurants, drinks, etc.

A few tips before getting started

The Jordan Trail is aimed at experienced hikers who are used to this type of adventure. It is essential to contact a local guide before setting off. The trail is sometimes poorly signposted and the network connection is often non-existent. You need to be well equipped to survive in the wilderness. Hikers should bring several days’ food,water, a GPS and a map, as well as a survival kit.

We also recommend that you test your equipment before doing the Jordan Trail. If you can find sleeping options along the way, it’s best to bring your own tent and camping gear. You’ll need good shoes and a hiking bag. Your clothing should also be suitable for each stage. Nights can be cold, and during the day you’ll need effective protection from the sun. You’ll also need batteries to recharge your phone.

You can also expect not to come across many hikers, so you need to rely on your guide and fellow hikers. A guide is essential if you are to be replenished with water along the way. Indeed, it’s not uncommon for the springs indicated on the maps to be dry or undrinkable. Rest assured, however: the Jordan Trail is renowned for its safety. All you need is to be well prepared to enjoy an extraordinary and unforgettable adventure!

For more information, visit the official Jordan Trail website and its  » Plan Your Trip  » section. The site is in English only.

Other wonders of the region

We’ve already mentioned the many magnificent sites to visit and admire along the Jordan Trail. However, there are a few other wonders to discover that are not on this trail. These include:

Amann

Ruines à Amann

Photo credit: Shutterstock – amnat30

The Jordanian capital is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world. Amman is dotted with historic remains and sites, such as the Abu Darwish mosque and the citadel. You can also visit the Roman Theater, discover Jordanian culinary specialties and stroll through its souks to soak up its unique atmosphere!

Jerash

Temple, Jerash, Jordanie

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Ganna Glushakova

Not far from Ajlun, you can visit this ancient Greco-Roman city, probably the best preserved in the Middle East! Ancient Gerasa was part of the Decapolis, a group of ten Greek colonies mentioned in biblical writings. Today, visitors can admire extraordinary remains such as Hadrian’s Arch, the Temple of Zeus, the theater and the hippodrome.