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Half Day Tour - Desert Castles & Cave of the Seven Sleepers

Delve deep into Jordan’s history as you visit 3 of Jordan’s remarkable desert castles.

These are beautiful examples of early-Islamic buildings scattered around the eastern desert. Their fine frescoes, mosaics & carvings, portray life during the 7th & 8th centuries.

Called castles due to their imposing nature, however they served several purposes such as caravan stations, resort pavilions, trade & agriculture centres. They stand testament to a rich era in history; namely the flourishing beginnings of Islamic-Arab civilisations. Explore UNESCO-listed Qusayr Amra, known for its 8th-century frescoes of hedonistic scenes, Qasr al-Azraq, and Qasr al-Kharrana

Visit the Caves of Seven Sleepers. The legend of the ‘seven sleepers’ involves seven Christian boys who were persecuted, then escaped to a cave and slept there for 309 years.

Enrich your stay in Jordan and trek through the desert as you visit these castles. Get off the beaten track as you visit the Cave of the Seven Sleepers.

per adult from




5 hours


Hotel pickup available


Mobile ticket

Select Date and Travellers

No tour options available.

  • What's included :
    • Bottled water
    • Transportation (hotel pickup, air-conditioned vehicle, on-board WiFi, Fuel Surcharge .)
    • English speaking driver
    What's excluded :
    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Gratuities
    • Any other service not mentioned
    • Fees
    • Entry/Admission - Quseir Amra
    • Entry/Admission - Qasr al-Kharrana
    • Entry/Admission - The Cave of the Seven Sleepers
  • This is a typical itinerary for this product

    Stop At: Qasr Azraq, Azraq Oasis, Azraq Jordan

    Some of the most noteworthy remains of human habitation east in Jordan are the castles built by the Ummayad caliphates during the growing days of Islam (7th & 8th centuries CE). During the height of the Umayyad dynasty, architecture flourished due to the cultural exchange, which was also accompanied by major trade routes. The Umayyad dynasty was later overthrown by the Abbasids, in 750 CE, and architecture consequently changed and evolved which can also be exhibited in Jordan.

    Many relics and remains of the early and medieval Islamic periods still stand today in Jordan and are dotted around in the deserts of eastern Jordan. These ruins include castles, forts, baths, towers, and fortified ruins and are collectively known as the desert castles. The fine frescoes, mosaics, stone and stucco carvings, inspired by Persian and Greco-Roman traditions, unveil and portray life and customs during the 8th century.

    Begin the tour with a morning pick up from any hotel in Amman. Travel in a climate-controlled vehicle with a private English-speaking driver across Jordan’s rugged countryside. Journey out of Amman and into the arid landscape and observe the hot dry sand of Jordan spread out every direction.

    Pull up at Qasr Al-Azraq; a large fortress named after a nearby oasis. Built from black basalt rock, this fortress was once a hunting retreat for the Umayyad rulers and an important military base during the Byzantine period. This imposing castle was used by T.E Lawrence (the 20th-century British soldier and the Arab revolt leader) during the Arab Revolt against the Turks.

    Duration: 30 minutes

    Stop At: Quseir Amra, Azraq Jordan

    Move on to Qusayr Amra; a UNESCO-listed World Heritage site. This architectural masterpiece sits in the desert’s heart, and is most notable for the lively frescoes on the ceiling and the inside walls, which depict hunting scenes, pictures of animals and birds, hunting scenes, and portraits. The representation of the zodiac on the domed ceiling of the hot room is one of the earliest surviving portrayals of a map. It is actually a remnant of a larger complex, however what remains today is a small country cabin without any military function. It is one of the most important and remarkable examples of early Islamist art and architecture.

    Duration: 30 minutes

    Stop At: Qasr al-Kharrana, Route 40, Amman Jordan

    After taking in the beauty of these frescoes and vaulted chambers, travel to Qasr al Kharrana; a picturesque squared fortress with rounded turrets and a central courtyard. This castle remains an enigma to historians and archeologists. Some believe it was a defensive fort, while others believe it served as a resting place for travelers, a meeting place or caravanserai. Amazingly still inside, it is one of Jordan’s most beautiful and atmospheric ancient buildings. Admire the architecture and view the rooms fringing the courtyard and their ornamental niches and pilasters.

    Duration: 30 minutes

    Stop At: The Cave of the Seven Sleepers, Amman Jordan

    Reconvene with your driver and carry on to the Cave of the Seven Sleepers. According to the age-old legend, this cave (Ahl al Kahf) was a refuge place for 7 Christian men and their dog who were forced to flee their homes after being persecuted by Roman Emperor Trajan for their religious beliefs. They slept there for 309 years, awakening at a time when their spiritual beliefs were no longer a reason for persecution. Nowadays, the cave has become a religious and historic site of great importance. It is surrounded by ruins, and the tombs of the men and some remains are still visible inside the cave.

    After indulging and experiencing these sites, reconvene with your driver for the return journey, ending with a hotel drop-off in Amman.

    Duration: 30 minutes

  • Departure Point :
    Amman, Jordan
    Traveler pickup is offered
    Pick-up is from any location in Amman.
    Departure Time :
    9:00 AM
    Return Detail :
    Returns to original departure point
    Hotel Pickup :
    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • Wheelchair accessible
    • Stroller accessible
    • Most travelers can participate
    • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate
  • You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.


English - Guide, English - Written, English - Audio

Age Req.


Fitness Req.


Group Size


Organised by R&H VIP Transportation Services & Car Rental

Activity ID: V-22721P91

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