Amman, Jordan

Expedition to Qasr Bshir, Lejjun, Umm Ar-Rasas, Karak

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Set at an elevation of ca. 800 m in a hard-to-access land of the vast, rocky plain, the Qasr Bshir (Castra Praetorium Mobene) isn’t an easy ancient monument in Jordan to visit for a common tourist. But, with a 4×4 vehicle and a guide with extensive knowledge of the ancient fortress and the area, it can become a real possibility.

An expedition to several hard-to-reach locations plus a bonus – the crusader castle of Karak, is a full-day trip in a comfortable 4×4 vehicle with WiFi, soft drinks, and snacks, providing constant enjoyment throughout the journey – at no extra charge of course! Explore the ancient structures on this private tour, off the beaten tourist path, and share the photos which will raise the eyebrow and wow your friends. The ride back to Amman will take you right up to your hotel where we picked you up, ensuring a peaceful end to a satisfying journey.

Departure Location
Amman, Jordan (your hotel or residence)
Departure Time
What's Included
✓ Private luxury transfer✓ Entrance fees✓ Bottled water, soft drinks, snacks✓ Coffee/tea (on request)✓ WiFi, iPhone charger, iPad with Netflix✓ Masks and hand-sanitiser
What's Excluded
✕ Professional on-site (local) guide✕ Personal expenses✕ Lunch
Tour Checklist
✓ Comfortable shoes✓ Sun hat✓ Sunblock✓ Sunglasses

Note: We will meet you at the hotel lobby or at your residence five minutes before the scheduled departure time for an introduction and small briefing. Please be on time.

After the tour, we will drive you back to Amman and drop you off at your hotel, where we picked you up or any other location specified by you, at no additional cost.

Tour Itinerary

Amman to Al-Qatrana

We’ll begin with a friendly introduction and a small expedition briefing. A detour to Starbucks to pick up your favourite coffee will take place after, on your request. From there, it’s a 1,5-hour (100 km) drive from Amman to Qasr Bshir, our first stop, in a 4x4 vehicle which includes WiFi, sipping coffee and enjoying your selected snacks. Water and soft drinks are provided at no extra cost. There is also an iPhone charger, headphones and you’ll have access to an iPad with an internet connection, and Netflix.

Qasr Bshir

This remarkably well-preserved fort constructed by the Romans for still-mysterious reasons has stood since about 293-305 AD. It’s very difficult to access given its location, but on this journey, it’ll be like a drive through the countryside. Known once more commonly as the Castra Praetorium Mobene, it’s suspected that it was used by the Romans to monitor local nomad groups. The still-standing, photogenic towers dominate this empty plain of sand, standing high as a reminder of the Roman Empire and its long-gone power. The miraculously surviving and rare inscriptions cut into its stone are a particularly impressive feature of this incredible monument.

Qasr Abu El-Kharaq

Originally having belonged to the defensive systems of the kingdom of Nabataea somewhere between the years of 150 BC – 105 AD, the Qasr Abu El-Kharaq is a grand and impressive watchtower that has withstood the tests of time. Later, too, used by the Romans to help in their efforts of conquering the region, about 22 layers had last been counted as standing – thus marking a preserved height of a whole 8 meters to the structure at its best-maintained corner. The tower isn’t entirely explored, due to certain ancient passages and hallways having been blocked up by debris, but with the marvellous view from where the tower sits atop a hill, it’s certainly worth the stopover.

Qasr Al-Qatraneh

Yet another surviving desert fortress, but this one is particularly well-preserved, and well worth a see across the historical trip. Built by the Ottomans for the purpose of providing water and safety across a long pilgrimage route, it’s largely known now for its massacres. Despite appearing as a ‘fortress’, it was particularly vulnerable to raids across its lifespan, largely serving more like a hotel or place of rest for pilgrims along the Syrian pilgrimage route – with an impressive water system developed over time!

El-Lejjun

Also known as Betthorus, this was another legionary fortress on the Limes Frontier that belonged to the Romans for a period of time. Though it had been significantly damaged by earthquakes in 363, 505, and 551, the structure still stands tall and proud in the northern part, having once been much greater with at least 20 towers flanking it in a semi-circular shape. Although today, the impressiveness of the fortress has lost its weight, it’s worth making a stop here across the journey to explore the remains.

Karak Castle

Perhaps one of the most interesting ancient military structures in all of Jordan, Karak was a Crusader castle, the construction of which began in the 1140s. It was later besieged in 1183 by the famed Saladin, who led the campaign against the Crusaders in the Levant. The siege would come to be relieved by King Baldwin IV, the Leper King of Jerusalem. The castle would live on, but this was only the beginning of its long and interesting history – a history just ripe for the discovery. As one of the largest Crusader castles in the Levant, there’s plenty to explore.

Moujib Panorama

In case you’ve been getting a touch too excited from all the ancient structures and Roman castles where blood was shed and soldiers tread, the panoramic view of the Moujib Valley ought to be a well-earned breath of fresher air. The view on its own is beyond captivating, but the journey there is just as gorgeous! Souvenirs and refreshments are also typically available around the viewing spots, which shouldn’t be missed out on! And of cause try to pick up the courage for a photo opportunity from the Thieban Rock.

Umm Ar-Rasas and Stylite Tower

With ruins left over from the Roman, Byzantine and early Muslim periods, there’s plenty enough to discover. The perfectly preserved mosaic floor of the Church of St Stephen, alone, is worth the trip to see. It’s the largest mosaic floor in all of Jordan, in fact. But what really makes this a memorable trip is the stylite tower, which once served for isolated Christian ascetics as a place to live, as well as a place of prayer. The tower’s survival is iconic, going against all odds, but chance made it possible. The perfect way to end off the perfect trip.

Back to Amman

To conclude the tour, we will drive you back to Amman and drop you off at your hotel, where we picked you up. No doubt after a satisfying and inspiring few hours in some of Jordan’s most famed Roman and Crusader sites south of Amman.

Photo Gallery

Additional Info

  • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Infants must sit on laps

Cancellation Policy

You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the tour for a full refund.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the tour’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the tour’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the tour’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on Jordan’s local time.
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from $208 (148 JOD)

Fixed price per group (1-3 travellers)

Free cancellation
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Tour Price: $208 (148 JOD)
Tour Price: $208 (148 JOD)
Tour Price: $208 (148 JOD)

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