Discover the ancient wonders of Jordan on this 9-day trail riding from the mountainous area of Petra to the vast sand plains and steep rock formations of Wadi Rum. Enjoy long canters on enthusiastic and forward going horses, experience camping under the stars and taste delicious local food. Accommodation is a combination of hotels and basic wilderness camping in the desert.
Spend the first couple of days exploring Jordan's rich cultural history before embarking on the 6-day ride. The combination of mountain riding which offers stunning views over Petra, and Wadi Thugra for fast desert canters, await riders. The route takes in natural rock bridges, the highest sand dunes in the desert and the 5km-long Barrah Canyon. Each evening riders make camp and watch the sun set - a completely unique experience.
Before returning home, spend a day at the Dead Sea Spa Hotel, situated on the shore of the Dead Sea, 420m below sea level, the hotel offers breathtaking views of the world’s deepest salt lake and the surrounding mountains. Recline by the seemingly endless pool or stroll on the beach, this is the perfect place to end the holiday. Once fully recuperated from the 6 days of riding, it is time to bid farewell to the cultural riches of the Middle East and return home.
Please Note: The opinions expressed in these reviews are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Unicorn Trails Ltd. These reviews are "directly from the horses mouth" and unedited. Unicorn Trails may make additional comments for clarification clearly identified in red.
Review received from FC of Talent on 04/04/2023
On arrival in Amman riders will be met in the arrivals hall by a driver holding a name card, and transferred by private car / taxi (20min) to the hotel in Madaba. If time allow,s guests can visit the St. George church and the mosaics at the archeological museum. Enjoy a traditional dinner at a local restaurant before spending the first night in Jordan.
08.00am transfer from Amman to the hotel/B&B in to Petra (3 hrs), where riders can leave their luggage. A short walk takes guests to the visitor center of Petra to have their Jordanian passes scanned scan your Jordan Pass before starting your visit via the Siq, the Treasury, the street of façades, and the colonnaded streets. Climb up to the monastery or the high place of Sacrifice. Dinner is at the B&B with the guide for coming days.
08.45am transfer to the starting point of the ride in the mountains. Start the adventure with great views over Petra. Please wear a riding helmet on the first day as the area is very rocky. 3 hrs of riding brings riders to an area with natural springs an gardens with amazing views over Petra and Wadi Araba. After lunch, continue for another 2.5hr via the viewpoint of Dilagha before descending down into Wadi Thugra, the camping spot for tonight.
After breakfast, strike the camp, saddle the horses, and start the days ride by passing a small Bedouin village as the mountains become desert. After riding for around 2.5hr riders reach 'the 3 trees', the only shady place in this area, and the lunch top for the day. After lunch, ride towards the village of Humayma and lead the horses across the Desert Highway into the north part of Wadi Rum, the Kharaza area. It's a 2hr ride to the camp location; a beautiful U-shaped rock formation and sandy area where the horses love to take a sand bath. It’s the perfect spot to see the moon rise over the mountains and to see a beautiful sunrise.
After breakfast, the ride begins in a stunning part of the desert far away from any tourists. wonder at the natural rock bridges, including the "mushroom". There will be plenty of sandy roads for long canters. In the morning, ride about 2.5hr to today's shady lunch location. There is plenty of time to relax, enjoy lunch, maybe take a little nap, take pictures and enjoy the scenery. After lunch, continue for another 2,5-3 hrs with chance for more canters. The varying colours of the sand make for interesting photos.
Today's ride is via the mudflat to Um Salab where the route crosses into the Protected Area of Wadi Rum. A 3hr ride takes riders via a stunning canyon to Um Ishrin, where the group stops lunch. After lunch, ride another 3hrs to see the highest sand dunes in Wadi Rum and the inscriptions of the Nabateans. Ride via Laurence house to Burdah Bridge the camp spot for the night.
After breakfast and ride for about 2.5 hours from Burdah Bridge to the back of Um Fruth Bridge, Enjoy lunch in this unique spot before riding another 3hrs from Um Fruth Bridge to the 5km long Barrah Canyon to camp for the night and enjoy the silence of the desert.
After breakfast, continue the ride through Barrah canyon, through Siq Um Foos and Siq Um Atawaki where the group enjoys lunch (2 - 2.5hr). After lunch, ride via the mud flats, perfect for cantering. This afternoon, say goodbye to the horses and the team and transfer back to Petra. Check-in to the hotel and freshen up before being collected for dinner by the guide.
8.30am transfer to the Dead Sea (3 hrs). Spend the afternoon at the 4-star Dead Sea Spa Hotel, where guests have access to the beach, the pools and other facilities. Enjoy lunch at the buffet restaurant (drinks are not included). 5pm transfer to the hotel in Madaba via the scenic Mt. Nebo road through the hills.
Pick up 2.5hrs before the first of the group's flights depart.
We recommend purchasing a Jordan Pass. By buying the Jordan Pass your visa fee will be waived upon arrival so no hassle with changing money at the airport, and your entry tickets to Petra and Wadi Rum will be included in the price of around JD70 (£80 2023) as well. You should chose the Jordan Pass with 1-day entry to Petra (Jordan Wanderer). Please be aware that you need a credit card to buy a Jordan Pass. Please PRINT your Jordan Pass so that the guide can take it to the visitor center in Wadi Rum. Speak to your travel consultant for help with this.
Please note: All itineraries are given for your guidance only and it may be altered on the ground and in accordance with the prevailing conditions by the organising team.
Riding tough, sturdy, local Arab and cross horses who are perfectly adjusted to the desert. All horses are responsive and forward-going. Heights range from 1.45m-1.55m and ridden in English tack. On the riding days of this tour the luggage is transported by 4X4 vehicle through the desert. Riders will have access to it during lunch stops and overnights. During the day riders are provided with saddle bags which have enough room for small items such as water bottles, cameras, sunscreen etc.
The riding on this trail is relaxed walking combined with long group canters and individual fast gallops where and when possible. Expect to be riding for between 5-6 hours per day. The ride will be in mountainous terrain on day 1 and on the morning of day 2, and will be in the desert on day 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of the riding portion.
This trail is for good intermediate to experienced riders only, who are confident riding in open spaces and comfortable at all paces on a responsive horse. Riders must be physically fit enough to spend between 5-6 hours in the saddle. Must also be happy to participate in horse care and camp activities such as grooming and saddling horses and pitching and striking tents.
The weight limit for this ride is 187 lb/85 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.
Spend the first two and last two nights staying in a comfortable hotel (day 1, 2, 8 and 9) in either single or twin rooms with ensuite bathroom. There is 5 nights camping (day 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7) in single or twin tents. Mattresses are provided but riders will need to bring their own sleeping bag. The camping is basic wilderness camping, there are no toilets or showers. Water, although limited, is always available and can be used for washing. Toilet paper is always available, you will be asked to burn it or to simply throw it in the rubbish bag.
All meals are provided during the camping part of the trip and are prepared by the cook & staff. It is local food; fresh, balanced and plentiful. Expect a continental breakfast, lunches are usually light, consisting of salads and other local dishes. Main meals for dinner, mainly rice, chicken, vegetables, lamb and other local dishes. All non-alcoholic drinks are included. Tea is always ready upon arrival at lunch and camp locations. The cooler boxes have water and soft drinks (usually Pepsi, Fanta and Sprite).
Vegetarian or other dietary requirements can be accommodated with advanced notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests.
Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documentation in place for your trip.
NB: Be sure to check the COVID status of the country you plan to visit including entry procedures and requirements while travelling.
Passport and Visa requirements can change from year to year depending on diplomatic relations. Please request information from the appropriate Consulate in your home country.
Unicorn Trails will assist with any questions you have or supply any necessary supporting documents as required by the consulate should you need a visa.
In the UK the British Foreign Office gives advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/jordan
In the US: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Jordan.html
In Canada: https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/jordan
Jordan has a combination of Mediterranean climate in the north and arid desert climates in the majority of the country. Average temperatures range from 12 to 25 0C with summertime highs of 40 0C in desert regions and lows to zero C at night. Average rainfall is as little as 50mm in the desert and higher in the northern hills some of which falls as snow. November to May are the best times to visit, December to February are pleasant in the day but cold at night.
COVID: Be sure to check the latest COVID regulations for travelling in any country you visit.
Basic modern medical care and medicines are available in the principal cities of Jordan, but not necessarily in outlying areas. Most hospitals in Jordan, especially Amman, are privately owned. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for services.
Please refer to your country’s latest health guideline for travel in Italy and contact your own GP for up to date advice on vaccinations and prophylaxis prior to travel.
Temperatures in summer months can be very high. Drink plenty of water and use high factor sun-block.
In Jordan the supply voltage is 230V. If the appliance is a single voltage rated appliance, it will need to operate at the same voltage as the supply voltage of the country i.e. 230V. If this is not the case it should be used alongside a voltage transformer or converter to allow the appliance to work safely and properly.
There’s no possibility to recharge camera or phone during the camping portion of the ride so bring a power bank or extra batteries. The desert is very sandy and dusty, be aware this is hard going on camara equipment!
A pair of comfortable boots (Ankle boot with half legs chaps are favorite for comfort)
Comfortable riding trousers
Riding gloves (if you're used to riding with them)
Flashlight or headlamp
Sunscreen and lip balm
Long sleeved, light-weight shirts and some warm clothing (nights can be cool)
Camera and spare batteries
Scarf or bandana for wind and/or dust and sand
Rain jacket (rain is possible till early May)
Bathing suit and small towel for your visit to the Dead Sea
A pair of slippers to protect your feet at the rocky Dead Sea shore
This is a 10-day / 9-night programme with set departure dates available from mid-March to end of May and mid-September to end of November.
2023: 16 (FULL), 25 (FULL) Mar; 6 (FULL), 15 (FULL), 27 (FULL) Apr; 6 (FULL), 18 , 27 May; 7, 16, 28 Sept; 7, 19, 28 (FULL) Oct; 9 (FULL), 18 Nov.
2024: 8, 15, 22, 29 Mar; 5, 12,19, 26 Apr; 3, 10, 17, 24 May; 6, 13, 20, 27 Sept; 4, 11, 18, 25 Oct; 1, 8, 15, 22 Nov
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- Our Last Best Chance by King Abdullah II of Jordan
- Leap of Faith: memoires of an unexpected life by Queen Noor
- Married to a Bedouin by Marguerite van Geldermalsen
- Desert Queen by Janet Wallach
- Lawrence in Arabia by Scott Anderson
- Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T.E. Lawrence
- Lawrence of Arabia (1962-1963), by David Lean
- Indiana Jones and the last crusade (1989), by Steven Spielberg
- Transformers 2 : the Revenge of the fallen (2009), by Michael Bay
- Mission to Mars (2000), by Brian de Palma
- Prometheus (2010), by Ridley Scott
- The Martian (2015) , by Ridley Scott
- Aladdin (2019), by Guy Ritchie
Jordan has a great variety of wildlife, not least because it lies at the crossroads of the Mediterranean, Arabia and Africa. The deserts, which may initially look devoid of life, turn out to contain a rich flora and fauna especially adapted to the harsh environment, and there's even life in the Dead Sea – you just need a microscope to see the two species of bacteria which are known to occur.
Mosaics, rock art and frescoes paint a picture of Jordan's wildlife at a time when its significance was as a source of food and later sport. Ancient rock art in the eastern deserts depicts gazelles, ibex and ostriches, and stone corrals remain as evidence of systematic trapping by previous generations of Bedouin.
- We recommend purchasing a Jordan Pass. By buying the Jordan Pass your visa fee will be waived upon arrival so no hassle with changing money at the airport and your entry tickets to Petra and Wadi Rum are included in the price of 70 JOD as well. You should chose the Jordan Pass with 1-day entry to Petra for 70 JOD (Jordan Wanderer) in 2023. Please be aware that you need a credit card to buy a Jordan Pass. Please PRINT your Jordan Pass so that the guide can take it to the visitor center in Wadi Rum. Website: www.jordanpass.jo
- Please note when travelling in the Middle East you need to be aware that some Western familiarities can be misconstrued. To avoid any misunderstandings try to remain politely formal and dress modestly (long trousers and covered shoulders for ladies).
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is a constitutional monarchy with a developing economy. While many aspects of Jordanian life are modern and the government is Western-oriented, Islamic ideals and beliefs provide the conservative foundation for the country's customs, laws and practices. Tourist facilities are widely available, although quality may vary depending on price and location. The local workweek for Jordanian government offices and most businesses is Saturday through Thursday.
Jordan is one of the most welcoming and hospitable countries in the world. It is a rare place where you can leave your belongings on the side of the road and still find them there when you return, or be invited into a complete strangers home to eat with their family in a completely altruistic gesture. Due to the problems associated with the Middle East, tourists usually steer away from Jordan, but this fear has little basis in fact and you will find a beautiful country that is relatively trouble free.
Be aware that Bedouin culture is wonderfully friendly, however there is a fine line. Invitations to watch the stars and the like should be regarded with care: be absolutely sure they are platonic before accepting!
Jordan is two hours ahead of GMT and they use the metric weights and measures system, so kilometres and kilograms instead of miles and pounds. There is approximately 1.6 kilometres in a mile and 2.2 pounds in a kilogram.
The international dialling code is +962.