The epic new Jordan Trail opens up the country’s desert wonders, including Petra, Wadi Rum and the Dead Sea canyons, to explore on foot. Amjad Shahrour has all you need to plan a trip...
Hikers make their way through a canyon (Jordan Trail)
Length: 400 miles
Starts/Ends: Um Qais (Gadara), one of the Decapolis cities of the Roman Empire in the Middle East. The end point is at the Red Sea at Aqaba.
Number Of Days To Complete: 35
Taking in the view along the Jordan Trail (Jordan Trail)
One of the most exciting and diverse new trails in the Middle East, the Jordan Trail weaves through the lush forests of the north to the Dead Sea canyons, into the ancient cities of Karak and Petra, and to the dramatic desert landscapes of Wadi Rum.
Each day is sure to bring something new, as the trail takes you on a journey through Jordan by foot. You’ll encounter ancient sites, walk in deserts, explore canyons, meet Bedouins cooking traditional bread underground, and drink plentiful cups of tea from locals welcoming you to their homes.
The trail has been put together by the Jordan Trail Association, a not-for-profit organisation.
The Monastery at Petra (Dreamstime)
Dana to Petra is a 3-5 day section of the trail that finishes by entering the beautiful city of Petra from an old caravan route. The fantastic hikes follows the beautiful valley of Feynan to the dramatic mountain scenery of Wadi Araba, over a mountain pass, before a final canyon and wide valley builds up to the dramatic ascent to Petra’s ancient monastery.
Along the way, you’ll find secret pools of water to take a dip, smell local herbs and flowers, see Jordan’s birds and animals, and experience the diversity of terrain that Jordan has to offer.
Mountain sheep with bells (Jordan Trail)
Spring (mid February to end of April) greets you with flowers in full bloom, green canyons, lush trees and fruit in the north, complimented by perfect walking conditions.
Mid-October to December brings perfect walking conditions without the colour of summer, especially in the south.
Local man cooking food (Jordan Trail)
The Jordan Trail is as much enjoyable for the walking as the people and characters you meet on the way. Learning a few words of Arabic before you leave will improve your encounters along the trail and ensure you can thank the Jordanians who will without doubt extend hospitality and cups of tea to you.
Desert landscapes along the Jordan Trail (Jordan Trail)
Jordan is a safe and easy country to travel to, with numerous airlines flying into Amman from a variety of different countries. The trail’s website has excellent information on travel logistics and advice: jordantrail.org
On the website, maps are available to download, in addition to coordinates for GPS devices and contacts of local guides who know the trail well and provide a rich experience.
It can be hot, especially in the south. Precautions for the heat are recommended: sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, plenty of water, rehydration salts.
Accommodation differs along the trail from hotels, homestays and guesthouses to wild camping and Bedouin camps. Information and recommendations are on the website, but it is recommended to plan the trip in advance and ask advice locally before embarking.
It’s also worth following the trail's Facebook page: www.facebook.com/TheJordanTrail
The trail is ready and open for people to walk now. The Jordan Trail just launched their first thru-hike at the end of March, which will end in May. See www.jordantrail.org/thru-hike
Main image: Hikers on a ridge (Jordan Trail)