August 2013
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Travel – Azraq – Jordan – Part 1

Azraq is a compact town in the province of Zarqa Governorate in central-eastern Jordan, one hundred km east of Amman.

Overview of Azraq – Jordan

• The human population of Azraq was 9021 people in 2004.
• The Shaheed Mwaffaq Air Base is situated in Azraq.
• Azraq has always been a significant settlement in an isolated and now-arid desert section of Jordan.
• The ideal value of the city and the castle ( Qasr Azraq ) is the fact that it is situated in the center of the Azraq oasis.
• The Azraq Oasis is the only long lasting supply of fresh water in about 12 ,000 square kilometers of desert sand.
• The town is situated on a significant desert path which would have enabled trade within the area.
• The Azraq oasis has a lengthy history outset in the lower Palaeolithic time.
• Several Palaeolithic sites are actually recorded in the Azraq Wetlands Sanctuary.
• In the course of the Epipalaeolithic time, the oasis has also been an essential focus of settlement.
• Nabatean time settlement activity has additionally been recorded in the area.
• Qasr Azraq was developed by the Romans in the third century A .D. and was greatly customized in the Middle Ages by the Mameluks.
• In the Umayyad time, a water reservoir was built in south of Azraq.
• During the Arab Revolt during the early 20th century, Qasr Azraq was a significant headquarters for T. E. Lawrence.
• The region close to the Azraq Oasis is placed with a huge selection of geoglyphs, huge wheel-shaped structures made from stone that date back no less than 2, 000 years.
• These types of structures are usually situated on lava fields and range between 82 ft to 230 ft (25 meters to 70 meters) across.
• Archaeologists used to think that the Azraq Oasis wheels were utilized as a cemetery; even though that is right now doubtful.
• Azraq is also significant to be the area of one among Jordan’s 7 protected nature reserve locations (setup by the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature): the Azraq Wetlands Reserve in Azraq al-Janoubi (South Azraq).
• The standalone and bigger Shaumari reserve is likewise in close proximity to Azraq, being just 10 km south of the town.

Eco and Nature in Azraq

• The tale of Azraq is among st equally for destruction and renewal.
• The signals of damage are evidently visible.
• The 2 primary marshes as well as pools happen to be drastically reduced in the last years, because of substantial extraction of groundwater.
• Grazing pressure and slow-burning fires in the marshland further degraded remaining surviving vegetation, resulting in a great deterioration in the volume of birds visiting the area.

Best time to visit / climate

• Jordan has a sunny, dry weather characterized by lengthy, hot, dry summers as well as brief, cool winters.
• The weather is based on Jordan’s placement between the subtropical aridity of the Arabian Desert locations along with the subtropical humidity of the eastern Mediterranean region.
• January is the coldest month, with temperature ranges from 5°C to 10°C, and August is the hottest time of the year at 20°C to 35°C.
• Regular temperatures can be quite hot, particularly in the summer; on certain days it could be 40°C or higher, particularly when the Shirocco , a hot , dry southerly wind flies .
• These kind of winds can often be quite strong that will result in Sandstorms.
• Around 70 % of the regular rainfall in the country falls between November and then March; June through August tend to rain less.
• Rainfall differs from season to season and also from year to year.
• Precipitation is usually targeted in aggressive storms, leading to erosion as well as local flooding, particularly in the winter season.

Location on Google Maps

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Or click and paste the URL below on the browser:,+Al+-+Azraq,+Zarqa,+Jordan&t=m&z=16

How to get there?

To Azraq
• Azraq is a just one and a half hour travel from Amman.
There are 2 key routes which lead there:
The Desert Highway:
• From the Desert Highway, use the Madaba turn and go east (in the reverse direction of Madaba).
• Adhere to the path that signs to Azraq.

Zarqa Highway:
• In Amman, proceed east on King Abdullah Road, driving past the Roman Amphitheater to connect the Amman-Zarqa Highway.
• The path to Azraq divides off from the motorway before you approach Zarqa.

To Shawmari:
• On approaching South Azraq (Azraq al-Janubi), take a right turn onto the Saudi Arabian Motorway.
• Make a right turn after nearly 15 km at the entry road to Shawmari Wildlife Reserve.

1. By flight
• Jordan’s nationwide airline is Royal Jordanian Airlines.
Additionally, Jordan is operated by several foreign carriers such as:
– British Airways
– Air Baltic
– Lufthansa
– Delta Airlines
– Emirates
– Turkish Airlines
– Egypt Air
– Alitalia
– Air France
• Low-priced airline Air Arabia flies between Jordan and locations throughout the Middle East.
• United Kingdom based airline easy Jet has introduced plans to fly 3 times per week from London Gatwick to Amman from March 2011, cutting the price of reaching the Middle East from the United Kingdom considerably.
• Queen Alia International Airport is the country’s primary airport terminal.
• It happens to be 35km southern of Amman (on the primary route to Aqaba).
• It takes around 45 minutes to reach the airport terminal from the down-town Amman, around thirty minutes from West Amman.
• Transportation into Amman is given by the Royal Jordanian bus services to the city terminal close to the 7th circle, or by taxi (around twenty JD, intended to be fixed).

Along with Queen Alia, Jordan has 2 other international airport terminals:
– Marka International Airport in East Amman assists routes to neighboring Middle Eastern countries, along with internal flights to Aqaba
– King Hussein International Airport terminal in Aqaba.

2. By train
• The last functioning section of the well-known Hejaz Railway, twice-weekly trains used to turn up from Damascus (Syria) at Amman’s Mahatta junction just north-east of the down-town region, in close proximity to Marka Airport.
• But, services have already been cancelled since mid-2006 because of damage to the tracks, and it’s uncertain as to when they would resume.
• Even though they were running, trains consumed an incredibly long nine hours (significantly slower as compared to driving), and offered an awfully low standard of comfort.
• There are no additional passenger trains in Jordan.

3. By bus
• Long-distance providers run from several Middle Eastern locations including Tel Aviv and Damascus.

4. By boat
• Jordan could be entered at the harbor of Aqaba via the Egyptian port of Nuweiba.
• There are 2 providers, ferry and speedboat.
• Be prepared to shell out around $30 for the ferry.
• It can even cost around $60 for the speedboat (each one way).
• Egyptians are not expected to shell out the prices increased by the authorities.
• The slow-moving ferry could take up to eight hours that can be a challenge in bad weather.
• The speedboat regularly makes the crossing in approximately one hour, although boarding as well as disembarking delays can also add several hours, particularly since there can be no set hours for departures.
• You cannot purchase the ticket beforehand and the ticket office would not be familiar with the time of departure.
• It is possible to lose a whole afternoon and even a day awaiting the boat to leave.
• UPDATE: selling prices have risen.
• The speedboat is currently $70 and the ferry is $60 (+$10 or 50 EGP departure tax from Egypt).

Some Travel Books about Jordan

Jordan (Insight Guide Jordan) Jordan Travel Pack, 3rd The Rough Guide to Jordan

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers)

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Blogs / Sites about Azraq – Jordan

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Images and photos about Azraq – Jordan

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Videos of Azraq – Jordan

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