Download GPX file for this article
31.8336.81Full screen dynamic map

From Wikivoyage
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Azraq (الأزرق) is a historic wetland in the Jordanian Eastern Desert.



Azraq means "blue" in Arabic and referred to the shimmering lake that stood at the centre of extensive wetlands, which turned Azraq into an important stop for trade caravans coming across the desert. Now the wetlands are mostly drained but the remnants provide a fascinating look at oasis life and Azraq makes for a good base for visiting the Desert Castles.

Get in


Azraq is around 2 hours' drive from Amman and minibuses run via Zarqa.

If coming from Aqaba, Highway 5, which turns off the main highway near Ma'an and goes through the flat inland desert, is an alternative. It is a good road mostly used by trucks with a 100 km/h speed limit, not much traffic, and few if any police check points – it takes 4 hr from Aqaba to Azraq, which should be faster than the main highway. There is one town, Al Jafr, and two roadhouses, but it might be safer to fill up beforehand and take some snacks with you.

Get around


The wetlands are close to the main Azraq T-junction, but Azraq Castle is 5 km north and the other Desert Castles are further away. You will need a taxi, car, or tour to visit them.


Azraq Castle
  • 1 Azraq Wetlands (in the eastern part of Azraq, look for the side road just south of the T-junction). Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN) facility that shows you how they are working to preserve the wetlands. You can follow the short, but expensive, Marsh Trail through the main wetlands section to get a glimpse of what they would have been like, complete with ruins of ancient dams. 7 JD. Azraq Wetland Reserve (Q11202572) on Wikidata Azraq Wetland Reserve on Wikipedia
  • 2 Qasr Al-Azraq (Azraq Castle) (on the main road 5 km north of the T-junction). A ruined Roman castle used as Lawrence of Arabia's base of operations. A large courtyard, lots of black rock from the desert, and a few places to explore. 1 JD. Qasr Azraq (Q2121495) on Wikidata on Wikipedia







If you don't want the lavish meals at Azraq Lodge, there are restaurants close to the t-junction with English signs. Hopefully they can all do decent Jordanian food. Azraq Palace Hotel is said to be the best of them.

  • 1 Mahran Restaurant (مطعم مهران), +962790856910. 09:00 - 01:00. Mahran Restaurant is just a stone's throw from Castle Al-Azraq. Their main menu item is shawarma(chicken and beef), and they also offer fried chicken, flatbreads, french fries, canned soft drinks, and a variety of pickled vegetables. The food is excellent and low priced. Parking can be an issue- if you're lucky you can find a spot on the street, or you can walk from Castle Al-Azraq or park at a grocery store two stores away. They only accept cash and staff speaks enough English for you to place your order and pay.




  • 1 Azraq Lodge (just off the road heading into Azraq, close to the T-junction — look for the sign). Run by the RSCN, this is a converted concrete hospital. Functional rooms looking over Azraq, but expensive. Staff can arrange tours, guides and education sessions. Lavish meals can be ordered (in advance) along with lunch packs. From 70 JD.

Go next


The other Desert Castles can be reached from Azraq, particularly Qasr Ussaykhim, 20 km to the east.

This city travel guide to Azraq is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. Please plunge forward and help it grow!