A Guide To Karak And Its Wadi’s


Karak is a unique city, mostly because when you start getting near the place, you’re thinking, “This is a small village, what’s so special?”

Then, as you move a little closer, you come upon one – if not the most – awe-inspiring and scary castles you have ever seen. The only thing that kind of describes it is the Wall from Game of Thrones. If you stand right below it and look up, you’re met with 60 meters of mountain until you start getting close to the castle walls.

So, the adventure to get there should be equally cool as the castle, right? We’ve got you covered.

Here’s a guide for those who want to experience what our ancestors (if you’re Jordanian) must have felt when coming upon the castle.

The Hike

Pro-Tip: Park your car in Karak and rent a taxi to the start of the trail. It just makes everything easier and allows you to change clothes and rest right after the hike.

The entry point to the Wadi is near the observation station. Pretty quickly, you’re wet as you walk through the valley surrounded by a constant water flow from a small creek lining the side of the canyon. In the spring, you’ll find pink flowers blooming around you throughout the walk. As you walk deeper into the Wadi, the walls change in color and get higher around you, and you hear water splashing into pools of ankle-high, pristinely clear water. After about a 2-hour walk, you will reach THE lunch spot that provides the best view from inside the valley. Waterfalls and huge rock walls surround you, and the realization hits you that this is the best nature retreat you can take yourself on!

The Food

As you exit the valley, you’ll be met by the castle and the surrounding town. First things first, you need to get some food in you, so the next step is to go to the crazy amount of amazing restaurants around the base of the castle. Most of the restaurants are small mom-and-pop places that are going to have a very small but very good menu that will be essential for your post-hike recovery (or walk, or for whatever reason, just go try the food).

The Castle

The castle, the attraction, is simply something else. Al-Karak has been inhabited since at least the Iron Age and was an important city for the Moabites. In the Bible, it is called Qer Harreseth or Kir of Moab.

In 1132, King Fulk of Jerusalem built a castle on a hill called by the Crusaders: Petra Deserti – The Stone of the Desert, and for good reason because this castle really seems something right out of a legend.


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