Wadi Rum

Wadi Rum is a valley cut into sandstone cliffs 60 kilometres east of Aqaba and is the largest wadi, or valley, in Jordan.

The term wadi comes from the Arabic word for valley, and often refers to a dry riverbed which only receives rainfall and water intermittently.

The Nabataean people lived in Wadi Rum 2,000 years ago and are thought to have created the area’s elaborate rock art.

Jabal Rum, in the heart of the Wadi Rum, is the second highest peak in Jordan at 1,734 metres.

T. E. Lawrence’s book about his time in the area inspired the name of one of the most famous formations: “The Seven Pillars of Wisdom”.

The bright reds, purples, browns and oranges of the sandstone are caused by different chemical elements in the rock.

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Flying at 13,000m - The Valley of the Moon


Flying at 1,000m - Cultures of the Wadi Rum


Flying at ground level - The Zalabia Bedouin

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© 2017 Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)