Are you planning a visit to Jordan? I really recommend a trip to Wadi Rum Desert.  A red-rock wilderness between Petra to the North and Aqaba on the Red Sea to the south, it is a magical desert set amongst Sandstone rock formations and the most beautiful red sand.  Wadi Rum means Roman Valley or Valley of the Rum. Wadi Rum Desert – explore Jordan.

I drove from Aqaba, about an hour and a half drive and spent the night in a Luxury Desert Camp.  To be honest, I nearly didn’t bother going!  I thought, its just a desert, do I really want to go? Yes, Yes, Yes is the answer to that question.  As soon as I arrived at the camp I was completely enchanted by the magnificent landscape and complete peace and quiet.

PHOTO: Wadi Rum Desert entrance and visitor centre.

My taxi dropped me off at the visitor centre.  This was completely empty in mid January.  I chose the perfect time of year to visit!  The nights were chilly but the daytime gloriously sunny and warm but not hot.  Wadi Rum Luxury camp sent a 4 x 4 to collect me and take me to the camp.

PHOTO: Wadi Rum Desert Luxury Camp

After 10 minutes bumping along we arrived at the Camp.  My tent was very comfortable with heating and an ensuite bathroom.  My first time ever camping, or rather glamping!  A complete pleasure to sleep in the desert, looking out at the stars and enjoying the unique atmosphere of Wadi Rum.

PHOTO: My tent home for the night

The tent provided everything you could possibly need! Toothbrush, toiletries, strong shower, even a traditional Bedouin coat to keep me warm in the chilly evening air.

PHOTO: Inside my tent,wearing my Jordanian clothes

I wanted to hike, explore and take some shots.  What an adventure!  There were only 5 other people staying at the camp as it was low season, this suited me perfectly and it was like my own private camp!

PHOTO: Crisp clean air and vast expanses to explore at Wadi Rum Deert

The village of Rum is one mile above sea level.  Popular climbs are Jabal Umm ad Dami at 6,000 feet and Jabal Qatar 5,000 feet.  20,000 petroglyphs and 20,000 inscriptions have been documented tracing back 12,000 years are in Wadi Rum and there is evidence of Nabateans here from 300 bc. en route to Petra. The national park consist of 720 square kilometres of vast unpopulated very beautiful landscape.  Wadi Rum is a World Heritage Site.

PHOTO: Explore Wadi Rum desert by hiking and climbing

I love to hike but you can rent a guide and 4 x 4 to show you around the desert or take a Camel trek.  Next visit, yes …. I want to go back again … I would like to trek across Wadi Rum for a couple of days on a Camel.  You could take a short camel trek for an hour or so too!

PHOTO: Explore on a Private Camel Trek

The Camels are beautifully cared for by the Bedouin.  For me, winter or Spring are the perfect times of year.  The summer time is hot, so I guess it depends on what kind of weather suits you.

After a day exploring, enjoy a Bedouin meal in a traditional tent with Jordanian music softly playing in the background.  There is no WIFI, no mobile phone signal which is actually very liberating, especially for a blogger!  Sleep like a baby in a tent under the stars and wake up for breakfast and to explore some more!

PHOTO: Chilling outside my tent

INFORMATION:

What to pack:: Pack layers, because the weather is changeable.  Warm in daytime and colder at night.  Walking boots are an essential, really happy I packed my Teva walking boots, great for climbing and walking.

PHOTO: Wearing my Teva boots climbing in Wadi Rum

Don’t forget a water bottle, compass and snacks for hiking.  Your GPS won’t work! I love my traditional Jordanian outfit with beautiful embroidery. I have some beautifully embroidered shoes, made in Jordan too.

 

PHOTO: Jordanian embroidered sandals

Getting there:

Aqaba is  over an hour drive away to the south.  Petra is an hour drive to the north.  It is possible to take a day trip from either of these places and explore Wadi Rum.  However, I totally recommend at least one night camping in the desert.  It is an unmissable experience.

Wadi Rum is perfectly placed to be part of a driving tour around Jordan.  I felt perfectly safe at all times in Jordan and I travelled alone.  The roads are safe, the cars are driven sensibly, it is very easy to self drive or to book a car and driver.  Jordanian people are very friendly and hospitable.  The bedouin people could not be nicer.  They want people to visit and enjoy their country.  Do not hesitate to book a trip!

I also stayed in Movenpick Petra, Movenpick Dead Sea and Movenpick Aqaba.  Do read my other blogs about Jordan and my hotel reviews if you are planning a trip to Wadi Rum Desert.

Visit Jordan

Movenpick Hotels

Wadi Rum

Click on Booking.com in my right hand column to check out Wadi Rum Luxury Camp

http://luxurytraveldiva.com/petra

 

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Wellness at Zara Spa Tala Bay Aqaba

Who loves a beautiful Spa and superb treatments using both traditional and modern techniques?  Me!  I am sure you do too.  Zara Spa Tala Bay Aqaba is truly beautiful and uses mainly natural and local ingredients reflecting the culture and natural environment of Jordan.

Zara Spa Tala Bay is situated in the grounds of Movenpick Tala Bay Resort.  This is a beautiful hotel, about 10 minutes drive from the town of Aqaba is set amongst the most beautiful gardens and looking out over the Red Sea.

PHOTO: Enjoying my time at Zara Spa Tala Bay Aqaba

I spent a blissful afternoon enjoying Zara Spa. The spa covers an area of 1,200 SqM that includes 11 different types of treatment rooms, a sauna, a steam room, and a hydro pool with skylight. Zara Spa Tala Bay also includes Spa shop, a beauty salon, and a nail studio catering to the needs of its guests. Zara Spa at Mövenpick Resort & Spa Tala Bay Aqaba is open to hotel guests as well as to the general public.

PHOTO: Hydra Pool Zara Spa Tala Bay Aqaba

Choose from face and body treatments ranging from anti ageing facials using Dead Sea Mud to Marine wraps to detoxify the body.  I was lucky enough to try a Dry Flotation Body Wrap using Dead Sea Mud.  The Spa use a state of the art Dry Flotation bed which mimics the soothing motion of the Dead Sea.

The therapist slathered me in Dead Sea Mud wrapped me up and switched on the soothing Dry Flotation bed.  60 minutes later, I emerged detoxified with baby soft skin and super relaxed in mind and body.  I actually fell asleep it was so relaxing!

PHOTO: Hydra Pool at Zara Spa Tala Bay Aqaba

Then after a reviving cup of tea, complimentary to guests, I enjoyed the Hydra Pool, ice fountain, Sauna and steam room.  It is impossible not to emerge from Zara Spa feeling relaxed and revived and looking good after your treatment.

PHOTO: Zara Spa Tala Bay Aqaba by night

INFORMATION:

If you are staying at Movenpick Resort and Residences Aqaba you can arrange to visit this sister hotel

http://luxurytraveldiva.com/movenpick-aqaba-review/

Reservations call: +962 3 209 0300 email: resort.talabay.zaraspa@movenpick.com

Zara Spa

Movenpick Resort and Spa Tala Bay, South Beach Road, Tala Bay area, Aqaba, Jordan

Photo: Petra one of the Seven Wonders of the World

Where to stay for a visit to Petra, Jordan?  Well, I recommend a stay at Movenpick Hotel Petra.  The hotel is perfectly situated just outside the entrance to Petra and is a really relaxing and comfortable hotel with friendly staff, good food and lovely rooms.  Movenpick resort Petra Review, Jordan.

PHOTO: Beautiful Al Multaqa Lobby Movenpick Resort Petra

I loved the traditional design, with beautiful Jordanian furniture and lamps complimented by beautiful artisan created wall and ceiling art.

PHOTO: Lobby and Dining Room

The hotel is warm and welcoming and all the staff are a delight.

Petra is a magical place to visit and I will be sharing another blog dedicated to advice for a great trip to Petra.  The Lost city of Petra, magical, full of history dating back to the second century A.D. when the Nabateans built the centre of their trading empire here.

If you stay at Movenpick Resort Petra you will be able to visit early in the morning and late in the afternoon and all evening.  This means you will avoid the big tour groups and most of the tourists will have left!  Enjoy the magical experience all to yourself and transcend time walking into history.

PHOTO:  The Treasury, Petra, Jordan

A ‘must visit’ at least once in a lifetime!  Petra is vast and you will be exhilarated and tired after a busy visit.  This is why Movenpick Hotel is the perfect place to stay.  It is right outside the entrance and you can pop back to the hotel to rest and revive.

PHOTO: Al Maqa’ad Bar, Movenpick Resort Petra

Relax in the beautiful bar, which is really a work of art in itself.

PHOTO: Al Maqa’ad Bar

Make sure to sample some of the Jordanian wines and Beer which are very good. Enjoy some snacks from the bar menu.

PHOTO: My Room at Movenpick Resort Petra

PHOTO: Delicious Jordanian treats and Jordanian Wine

Then I needed a delicious glass of Jordanian wine (really very good indeed! This is a bottle of St Georges) and a nap!

PHOTO: Breakfast time at Al Saraya Restaurant, Movenpick Resort Petra 

RESTAURANTS:

Enjoy one of the seven places to eat at the resort.  There is a roof top bar, which was closed during my visit. Afternoon tea at Al Baraka Tea Room.  Buffet dining at Al Saraya restaurant pictured above. Al Maqa’ad Bar, Al Multaqa Lobby Lounge or Burckhardt Lounge.

Enjoy a delicious breakfast after a good nights sleep.  Everything you could possibly want provided at the buffet breakfast.

OUTDOOR POOL:

Take a refreshing dip in the lovely pool.  My early morning dip didn’t go according to plan because I slept so well in the super comfy bed that I didn’t wake up in time!  Make sure you make time to enjoy the Pool and well equipped gym.

PHOTO: Movenpick Resort Petra Pool

Entrance to Petra viewed from the rooftop of the Movenpick Resort Petra.  This shot shows just how close the entrance to Petra is from Movenpick Resort.

PHOTO: Entrance to Petra

PHOTO: Entrance to Movenpick Resort

The distance between these last two photographs is literally a stone’s throw!  Enjoy a wonderful stay at Movenpick Petra.  Do message me if you have any questions.

Helpful information:

Fly to Amman Airport

I flew to Amman Queen Alia Airport.  An impressive, modern airport.  I paid for a Jordanian Visa when I arrived at the airport.  Check on the website, different nationalities have different requirements.

Getting Around Jordan:

I hired a limousine and driver and drove from The Dead Sea to Petra.  The roads are good and safe.

The Limousine Company is based at Movenpick DeadSea. Call Ibrahim to arrange your car.  The cars were large, new and comfortable with good drivers. Tel: 00962977683681

My original plan was to hire a car and self drive but I discovered the night before my trip that my driving licence had expired!  So that was the end to that! One of my famous ‘blonde moments’ …regular readers are familiar these moments!

Safety:  I travelled alone and felt perfectly safe at all times.  Jordanians are polite and respectful to women travellers.  I received so many messages from followers concerned for my safety during my road trip, but it is a very safe country.

WHEN TO GO:

I travelled in November, the weather was perfect, sunny days but not too hot around 24 degrees.  Evenings were a little cooler and I needed a shawl to keep warm.  November and December are high season at Petra.

Entrance to Petra: I bought a 2 day ticket and this cost me 55 JD

CONTACT: Movenpick Resort Petra  

Telephone: +9623215711

Jordan Tourist Office: http://www.visitjordan.com

After Petra I drove to Movenpick Resort DeadSea

Read my review of Movenpick Resort Dead Sea

 

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