Offbeat Jordan

Posted by Crooked Compass

With the growing intrigue of the Middle East being a destination of choice for many travellers, the incredible Kingdom of Jordan has recently reignited its flame for travellers who are looking now more than ever to venture beyond its common trade route. With more to offer than ever before from stunning archaeological wonders, mountainous regions dotted with quaint villages, golden deserts to traverse inhabited with nomadic Bedouin, remote hiking trails and incredibly friendly locals known for their warmth and hospitality, Jordan is back on the radar of travellers. We share with you five unique and lesser known experiences for your next visit to Jordan. 

Stunning views from Mount Nebo overlooking Jordan - Crooked Compass
Stunning views from Mount Nebo overlooking Jordan

1.     Stay in the smallest hotel in the world

Perched in the wild and remote area of Shobak, approximately 190km from Petra lies the world’s smallest hotel. This small four-wheel hotel is actually an old car which is decked out with a comfortable interior consisting of mattresses and blankets. Whilst it looks absolutely tiny, the hotel will comfortably sleep two people and has stunning views of the surrounding desert landscapes and Shobak Castle. This is definitely a fantastic experience and a great way to explore the Jordanian desert in a unique way!            

unique hotel, different expierence, Jordan, Crooked Compass
Can you picture yourself here? Photo Credit: travellifeachieff.com

2.     Explore Petra a little differently

Petra, originally known as Ragmu, is a historical and archaeological city located in Southern Jordan.  Ever since explorer Jean Louis Burckhardt brought news of the pink-hued necropolis back to Europe, Petra has impressed travellers with its vast rocky landscape and a mood that changes with the shifting light of dawn and dusk. Whilst this is an incredible site and a true highlight of Jordan, why not see it in a different way? You can hike into Petra following the Jordan hiking trail which takes you through stunning desolate landscapes to the back entry of Petra- not through the siq with the crowds of tourists. Along the way you will see some lesser visited ruins of Petra and experience this amazing destination in a different way minus the masses.

The incredible red rock city of Petra.
The incredible red rock city of Petra.

3. Explore the Ajloun region and experience traditional village life in Jerash 

Ajloun, is the capital town of the Ajloun Governorate, a hilly yet beautiful town situated in the north of Jordan. Many travellers find this town fascinating due to its impressive ruins of the 12th- century Ajloun castle. Ajloun castle is placed on a hilltop belonging to the Jabal Ajlun district, a Bedouin tribe which had captured the area in the 12th century. From its high ground, the castle was guarding three wadis which descend towards the Jordan Valley. To make this experience even more unique, why not combine it with a homestay in Jerash. Experience traditional village life and stay with a local family for the night. Participate in their cooking, daily activities and learn about their cultural, traditions and customs. This is a great way to meet local people and gain a deeper understanding of their unique way of life!     

Ajloun region, tradition life, culture, crusader castle, crooked compass Photo Credit: ashwinbahulkar.wordpress.com

4. Umm Quais

If you enjoy incredible views and amazing sunsets, this destination is for you! Umm Quais, previously known as the Decapolis city of Gadara, is a small, secluded town situated in the hills of north-east Jordan. Umm Quais is an incredible destination as it showcases a striking juxtaposition of Roman ruins with an abandoned Ottoman-era village. Why not stay in a local guesthouse in Umm Quais and use this location as a base to explore nearby ancient ruins such as the ruins of Ancient Gadara. There is also a tremendous vantage point worth visiting with spectacular views overlooking three countries (Syria, Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Territories). 

Umm Quais, guesthouse, traditional village, unique destination, Morocco, Crooked Compass Photo Credit: wikiwand.com

5.     Mujib Biosphere Reserve

Located 410 metres below sea level, Muijab Biosphere Reserve is the world’s lowest and newest nature reserve on earth. It’s spectacular and rugged mountains border the Dead Sea coast and are divided by several water-filled canyons. Mujib Biosphere Reserve is a perfect place to explore for those adventure-seekers and nature lovers, offering four different hikes. Over 300 species of plants, 10 species of carnivores and numerous species of birds have been recorded. Parts of the mountains and valley areas are difficult to reach in the reserve, offering a safe haven for rare species of cats, mountain goats (Ibex) and other animals. The breathtaking scenery and the challenge of negotiating Mujib’s fast-flowing rivers make the Reserve one of Jordan’s most incredible and unique natural attractions. 

Mujib Biosphere Reserve, jordan, hiking, crooked compass Photo Credit: thecareyadventures.com

Want to make these experiences yours? Check out our range of Jordan small group tours!