1 Umm al-Jimal

This ruined city, out in the “black desert” near the Syrian border, offers romance, isolation and fascinating history.

2 The “Desert Castles” loop

Take one or two days from Amman to follow a circuit around the eastern desert, visiting ancient sites and modern villages.

3 Qasr Hallabat

Magnificently restored palace-fort, with fine mosaics and bags of atmosphere – it’s a richly satisfying place to visit.

4 Qasr Kharana

Atmospheric “desert castle” with magnificent views, cool, dark and musty.

5 Qusayr Amra

Bawdy eighth-century frescoes adorn this diminutive desert bath-house.

6 Azraq

Palm-fringed oasis town, with a unique wetland nature reserve and splendid eco-lodge.

7 Burqu

Wander on the shores of a mirage-like lake guarded by a ruined black castle, out in the deep desert.

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