Sleep out in Wadi Rum, Jordan
Written by Louise Hepburn
Wadi Rum is arguably at its most spectacular after night has fallen, and what better way to indulge in this majestic desert landscape than to sleep under the stars.
There’s nothing quite like getting away from it all – and you can certainly do that at Wadi Rum in Jordan. Wadi Rum, which is a protected desert wilderness, is also known as the ‘Valley of the Moon’ and boasts sandstone mountains, including Jebel Um Ishrin, and natural arches such as Burdah Rock Bridge.
The magnificent 720km2 of landscape in Wadi Rum is a must-see for any visitor to Jordan. Located in the southern area of the country, near the border with Saudi Arabia, this dramatic scene is transformed at night.
Now you can sleep outside in the desert beneath a million stars – if you’re brave enough. Some tourists opt to stay in an organised camp, whilst others take the independent route. Leaving the comfort of your own bedroom in favour of a camp or bed under the stars could be a daunting experience, but it offers a unique opportunity to spot the Milky Way and blazing shooting stars. The temperatures in the desert are warm enough almost all year round, but you’ll usually be provided with a bivouac tent for the chillier winter nights.
From trekking on camels and preparing dinner on a campfire, to sleeping out in the open below a starry night sky, Wadi Rum has all of the ingredients for an unforgettable desert adventure.
According to UNESCO, the combination of 25,000 rock carvings and 20,000 inscriptions that can be found around Wadi Rum traces ‘the evolution of human thought and the early development of the alphabet’.
There are plenty of tours and guided expeditions on offer to ensure you get the most out of your experience.
Straight out of Hollywood
Matt Damon starred in the British–American science-fiction film The Martian in 2015. The movie was made almost entirely in Wadi Rum, showcasing the iconic landscape as the surface of Mars. Damon’s character is tragically stranded on Mars after his team assume he is dead, and he is left with a mission to survive with limited supplies.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
This 2009 blockbuster was partially filmed in Wadi Rum. The action-packed sci-fi movie plays out a struggle between the alien Decepticons and the human-friendly Autobots for world domination.
Distance: 1,693 km
Flight Time: 3 hours, 5 minutes
Frequency: 9 flights a week