Posts for Adventure

Explore Sälen: A Year-Round Paradise for Outdoor Enthusiasts and Relaxation Seekers

Travel Blog, Travel Tips - Ross French - May 19, 2024

Sälen, Sweden

Nestled in the heart of Sweden, Sälen is more than just a popular ski destination; it’s a year-round haven for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike. Known for its stunning landscapes and family-friendly atmosphere, Sälen offers a unique blend of excitement and relaxation that captivates visitors from around the world. Whether you’re gliding down snowy slopes or basking in the summer sun, Sälen provides an unforgettable experience for all. Continue Reading

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Backpacking Jordan: Top 10 Tips for an Unforgettable Adventure

Travel Tips - Ross French - March 24, 2024

Backpacking Jordan: Top 10 Tips for an Unforgettable Adventure

introduction

With its rich history, diverse landscapes and warm hospitality, Jordan attracts travel buffs around the world to explore its wonders. Located in the heart of the Middle East, this small but mighty country offers a myriad of experiences for backpackers looking for adventure, culture and natural beauty

Important for hiking and camping

Here are some other important packs for backpackers planning to explore Jordan’s rugged terrain and wilderness areas:

  • Water bottle or water dispenser: Stay hydrated on the trails by carrying a refillable water bottle or water dispenser. If you want fresh water from natural springs, consider bringing water purifiers or filters.
  • Navigational devices: Bring a map, compass, or GPS device to navigate unfamiliar terrain, especially when traveling in remote areas. Become familiar with the trail route and facilities before you set out.
  • First aid kit: Carry a compact first aid kit with essential items such as bandages, disinfectants, pain relief and allergy treatment. Bring any personal medications you may need during the trip.
  • Emergency shelter: Take a light shelter, such as a compact tent or double-sided bag, in case you need a place to sleep overnight due to unforeseen circumstances.
  • Meals and snacks: Pack healthy light snacks like fruit, dried fruit, granola bars and trail mix to enhance your trail adventures. Don’t forget to install a portable stove or cooking fire for preparing meals at your campsite.

Advice on taking public transportation and renting a car

Taking public transportation and renting a car in Jordan can be easy when you are prepared and have the right knowledge:

  • Plan ahead: Investigate travel options and schedules in advance, especially for long trips or trips to remote locations. Websites and apps like Jordan Transport Map and Google Maps can help you find routes, schedules and fare information.
  • Official taxi stands: Use official taxi stands or book through popular taxi apps to ensure safety while taking a taxi and avoid fraud. Before starting your journey, agree to the fare and confirm that the taxi meter is working.
  • Negotiate a car rental: When renting a car, discuss the terms and price with the rental company to ensure a fair deal. Check the condition of the vehicle thoroughly before acceptance and note any existing damage.
  • Watch traffic: Traffic jams can be common in cities, especially during rush hour. Plan your travel time accordingly to avoid delays and extra time to manage traffic.
  • Safety: Use caution when using public transportation or driving in Jordan, especially in rural or unfamiliar areas. Keep your valuables, observe your surroundings and trust your instincts.

Tips on budgeting and managing expenses while traveling

To make the most of your budget when backpacking in Jordan, consider the following tips for budgeting and managing expenses.

  • Research and plan ahead: Research accommodation, food and activity costs in advance so you can budget appropriately for your trip. Look for easy options and prioritize activities that meet your interests and budget constraints.
  • Track your expenses: Track your daily expenses with a simple travel budget app or spreadsheet. Monitor your spending regularly to identify areas where you can cut back and adjust your budget accordingly.
  • Cook your own food: Save money on food by cooking your own food whenever possible. Hotels and guesthouses often offer kitchens where you can prepare simple meals with local ingredients from markets and shops.
  • Use public transportation: Opt for cheap transportation such as buses, minibuses and shared taxis to get around. Avoid spending unnecessarily on private taxis or rental cars unless it is necessary in your travel plans.
  • Take advantage of free activities: Look for free or low-cost activities and attractions to explore during your trip. Many museums, parks and cultural centers offer free or discounted admission on certain days.
  • Don’t negotiate prices: Don’t be afraid to negotiate prices, especially when shopping at the market or hiring local workers. Negotiation is a common practice in Jordan, so sharpen your negotiation skills and aim to get the best value for your money.

Must-See Destinations and Activities

Petra: The Rose City

Explore the iconic archaeological site of Petra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its stunning rock-cut architecture and fascinating history.

  • Overview: Petra, also known as the Rose City due to the pink hue of its sandstone cliffs, was the capital of the Nabatean Kingdom and is now one of Jordan’s most famous attractions.
  • Key Features:

?          The Treasury (Al-Khazneh): Marvel at the intricate façade of the Treasury, carved directly into the sandstone cliff, and discover its archaeological significance.

?          The Siq: Walk through the narrow gorge of the Siq, a natural geological formation that serves as the main entrance to Petra, and admire the stunning rock formations along the way.

?          The Monastery (Ad Deir): Hike to the Monastery, another impressive monument carved into the cliffside, and enjoy panoramic views of Petra from the top.

  • Insider Tip: Beat the crowds by arriving early in the morning or late in the afternoon to experience Petra in a more serene atmosphere. Avoid visiting during peak tourist seasons to enjoy a quieter and more immersive experience.

Wadi Rum: The Valley of the Moon

Embark on a desert adventure in Wadi Rum, where you can marvel at towering sandstone cliffs, go on a thrilling jeep safari, and camp under a blanket of stars.

  • Overview: Wadi Rum, also known as the Valley of the Moon, is a vast desert landscape characterized by dramatic sandstone mountains, red sand dunes, and ancient rock carvings.
  • Key Features:

?          Jeep Safari: Explore the desert terrain on a thrilling jeep safari tour, led by knowledgeable Bedouin guides who will take you to hidden gems and panoramic viewpoints.

?          Camping: Experience Bedouin hospitality by spending a night under the stars at a traditional desert campsite, complete with traditional meals, storytelling, and stargazing.

?          Rock Climbing: Test your skills on the rugged sandstone cliffs of Wadi Rum, a popular destination for rock climbers of all levels.

  • Insider Tip: Opt for a guided tour with a local Bedouin guide to gain insight into the culture and traditions of the desert nomads. Learn about Bedouin customs, folklore, and survival techniques while exploring the breathtaking landscapes of Wadi Rum.

Dead Sea: The lowest point on earth

Immerse yourself effortlessly in the warm waters of the Dead Sea, known for its high salt content and mineral-rich mud.

  • Overview: The Dead Sea is a salt lake bordered by Jordan to the east and the West Bank of Israel to the west. It is one of the saltiest bodies of water in the world, making it a unique destination for travelers seeking a therapeutic experience.
  • Floating Experience:

? Discover how weightless it is to float effortlessly on the surface of the Dead Sea, thanks to the extraordinarily high salinity, which is about 10 times saltier than the sea

? Enjoy the feeling of floating effortlessly while taking in the breathtaking views of the wilderness surroundings.

  • Mineral mud:

? Take a dip in the mineral-rich algae found on the shores of the Dead Sea, known for their healing and skin rejuvenation properties

? Let the mud dry on the skin before rinsing with running water, leaving your skin soft, smooth and fresh

  • Insider Tip: Don’t forget to stick to therapeutic mud baths to keep your skin warm and relaxed. Many resorts near the Dead Sea offer spa treatments and mud baths as part of their health packages.

Amman: The Capital City

Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Amman, where ancient landmarks coexist with modern amenities.

  • Overview: Amman, the capital city of Jordan, is a bustling metropolis known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and warm hospitality. From ancient ruins to contemporary art galleries, Amman offers a diverse array of experiences for visitors to explore.
  • Historical Landmarks:

?          Visit the Citadel, perched atop Jabal al-Qal’a, to discover ancient ruins dating back to the Roman, Byzantine, and Umayyad periods, including the iconic Temple of Hercules and the Umayyad Palace.

?          Explore the Roman Theater, a well-preserved amphitheater that once hosted theatrical performances and gladiatorial contests during the Roman Empire.

  • Cultural Attractions:

?          Wander through the bustling markets of Downtown Amman, known as Al-Balad, to sample traditional street food, browse for souvenirs, and soak up the lively atmosphere of this vibrant neighborhood.

?          Visit the Jordan Museum to delve into the country’s rich history and heritage through its extensive collection of archaeological artifacts, including the famous Dead Sea Scrolls.

  • Insider Tip: Explore the bustling markets of Downtown Amman, sampling traditional street food and browsing for souvenirs. Don’t miss the opportunity to savor local delicacies such as falafel, shawarma, and kunafa while immersing yourself in the sights and sounds of the city.

Jerash: The Roman Ruins

Step back in time at the ancient city of Jerash, home to some of the best-preserved Roman ruins outside of Italy.

  • Overview: Jerash, located in northern Jordan, is an archaeological site known for its remarkably well-preserved Roman ruins. It offers visitors a glimpse into the grandeur of ancient Roman civilization in the heart of the Middle East.
  • Key Features:

?          Hadrian’s Arch: Marvel at the triumphal arch built to honor the visit of Emperor Hadrian to Jerash in AD 129.

?          Oval Plaza: Explore the vast plaza surrounded by colonnades, once used for public gatherings, ceremonies, and performances.

?          South Theater: Admire the ancient theater, which dates back to the 1st century AD and could accommodate up to 3,000 spectators.

  • Insider Tip: Visit during the Jerash Festival of Culture and Arts for a chance to witness live performances and cultural events against the backdrop of the ruins. The festival, held annually in July, showcases traditional music, dance, and theater, bringing Jerash’s ancient past to life in a vibrant celebration of Jordanian culture.

Dana Biosphere Reserve: Nature’s Playground

Hike through the diverse landscapes of the Dana Biosphere Reserve, home to rugged mountains, verdant valleys, and rare wildlife.

  • Overview: The Dana Biosphere Reserve is Jordan’s largest nature reserve, encompassing a variety of ecosystems, from rocky mountains to desert plains. It offers outdoor enthusiasts the opportunity to explore pristine wilderness and encounter diverse flora and fauna.
  • Key Features:

?          Scenic Trails: Embark on hiking trails that wind through the reserve’s diverse landscapes, offering stunning views of rocky cliffs, lush valleys, and winding rivers.

?          Wildlife Viewing: Keep an eye out for rare and endangered species that inhabit the reserve, including Nubian ibex, Syrian serin, and sand cats.

?          Eco-Lodges: Stay overnight at one of the eco-lodges within the reserve for a truly immersive experience in nature. These sustainable accommodations offer comfortable amenities while minimizing their environmental impact.

  • Insider Tip: Plan your visit during the spring or fall months for the best weather and optimal hiking conditions. Be sure to pack plenty of water, sunscreen, and sturdy hiking shoes, as temperatures can fluctuate and trails can be rugged.

Aqaba: Gateway to the Red Sea

Discover the underwater wonders of the Red Sea in Aqaba, where you can snorkel, dive, or simply relax on pristine beaches.

  • Overview: Aqaba is a coastal city located on the Red Sea in the southern tip of Jordan. It is renowned for its crystal-clear waters, vibrant coral reefs, and diverse marine life, making it a paradise for underwater enthusiasts and beach lovers alike.
  • Key Attractions:

?          Snorkeling and Diving: Immerse yourself in the vibrant underwater world of the Red Sea by snorkeling or diving at popular sites such as the Japanese Garden and Cedar Pride wreck. Explore colorful coral reefs teeming with tropical fish, sea turtles, and other marine creatures.

?          Beaches: Relax and unwind on Aqaba’s pristine beaches, where you can soak up the sun, swim in the warm waters of the Red Sea, or indulge in water sports such as jet skiing, parasailing, and banana boating.

  • Insider Tip: Explore the vibrant coral reefs and marine life at sites like the Japanese Garden and Cedar Pride wreck. Consider joining a guided snorkeling or diving tour led by experienced local instructors to discover hidden gems and maximize your underwater experience.

Madaba: The City of Mosaics

Marvel at the intricate mosaic artworks that adorn the churches and museums of Madaba, including the famous Madaba Map.

  • Overview: Madaba, often referred to as the “City of Mosaics,” is renowned for its exquisite Byzantine and Umayyad mosaic artworks, which adorn churches, mosques, and public buildings throughout the city. The highlight of Madaba’s mosaic heritage is the famous Madaba Map, a 6th-century mosaic map of the Holy Land.
  • Key Attractions:

?          Madaba Map: Visit the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George to admire the stunning Madaba Map, a mosaic floor map depicting the biblical sites of the Holy Land, including Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and the Dead Sea.

?          Mosaic Workshops: Learn about the ancient art of mosaic-making and watch skilled artisans at work at the Madaba Institute for Mosaic Art and Restoration. Participate in hands-on mosaic workshops to create your own mosaic masterpiece under the guidance of expert instructors.

  • Insider Tip: Don’t miss the opportunity to learn the art of mosaic-making from local artisans at the Madaba Institute for Mosaic Art and Restoration. Gain insight into the intricate techniques and meticulous craftsmanship involved in creating these stunning works of art, and take home a unique souvenir of your visit to Madaba.

Mount Nebo: Panoramic Views

Take in sweeping views of the Jordan Valley and the Promised Land from the summit of Mount Nebo, where Moses is said to have glimpsed the Holy Land.

  • Overview: Mount Nebo is a prominent mountain located in western Jordan, overlooking the Dead Sea and the Jordan Valley. It holds great significance in religious history, as it is believed to be the place where Moses stood and saw the Promised Land before his death.
  • Key Features:

?          Scenic Views: Enjoy breathtaking panoramic views from the summit of Mount Nebo, which offers sweeping vistas of the Jordan Valley, the Dead Sea, and the distant hills of Jerusalem.

?          Historical Significance: Explore the remains of the ancient church and monastery that once stood on Mount Nebo, as well as the memorial commemorating Moses’ biblical journey.

  • Insider Tip: Visit at sunrise or sunset for the most breathtaking views and atmospheric lighting. The soft hues of the rising or setting sun cast a magical glow over the landscape, creating a truly unforgettable experience.

Umm Qais: Ancient Decapolis City

Explore the ruins of Umm Qais, once a thriving member of the Decapolis league, and admire panoramic views of the Sea of Galilee and the Golan Heights.

  • Overview: Umm Qais, also known as Gadara in ancient times, is a historical site located in northern Jordan near the borders of Israel and Syria. It was one of the cities of the ancient Decapolis league, known for its prosperity and cultural significance.
  • Key Features:

?          Archaeological Ruins: Wander through the well-preserved ruins of Umm Qais, including ancient streets, theaters, temples, and Byzantine churches, which offer insight into the city’s rich history and architectural heritage.

?          Panoramic Views: Admire panoramic vistas of the surrounding countryside, including the Sea of Galilee (Lake Tiberias) and the Golan Heights, from strategic viewpoints within the archaeological site.

  • Insider Tip: Combine your visit to Umm Qais with a culinary experience at Beit Al Baraka, a local restaurant and cultural center where you can savor traditional Jordanian dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. Enjoy authentic flavors while taking in the stunning views of the surrounding landscape, immersing yourself in both the history and the cuisine of the region.

conclusion

In conclusion, backpacking in Jordan offers a unique and rich experience for adventurers who want to explore its rich history, stunning scenery and vibrant culture and through the top 10 tips mentioned in this guide a you will be well prepared for the journey of a lifetime in the Jordan. So pack your bags, lace up your hiking boots, and get ready to discover the wonders of this amazing place.

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Berber Villages in Morocco: Surfing through a Tide of Tradition

North Africa - Kyle Mirage - August 8, 2023

berber villages in morocco

Hello, sun-loving explorers! Get ready to swap your flip-flops for a pair of adventure boots, because today, we’re leaving the beach and diving into a cultural treasure chest. We’re adventuring to the land where golden desert dunes meet snowy mountains — the enchanting paradise of Morocco. And oh, it’s not just about the surf and sand, but also about the cultural waves crashing in divine Berber villages hidden in its landscapes.

Berber villages, where the vibrant tapestry of Moroccan history weaves a tale as fascinating as a moonlit beach party. Each village is a seashell, whispering stories of ancient civilizations, echoing the laughter of children playing in narrow, winding lanes, and carrying the aroma of tagines cooking on a clay stove.

These villages are alive with a rich cultural heritage that waltzes with the rhythm of daily life, adding a dash of allure to our exploration. So, expect a jamboree of earthen architecture joyously blending with lush orchards, handwoven carpets mirroring the colorful symphony of Moroccan tradition, and the soulful music of Berber language, Tamazight, humming across the valleys.

It’s time to hop onto our magic carpet as we set out to explore these hidden cultural gems. This blog is your Berber guide, your magic map, unfurling the beauty and authenticity of traditional Berber villages in Morocco.

So, are you ready to ride the wind of curiosity and dive into a vibrant current of tradition, exploring a side of Morocco that sunbathes beneath the brilliant sun, dancing away from mainstream touristic tracks? Hop aboard! It’s time for a cultural surf!

Greetings, sun-soaked travelers! As the balmy summer breeze carries you on your journey, allow us to whisk you away on an adventure beyond the ocean’s horizon. Set your sights on an enchanting new destination – the mystical land of Morocco, where the dance of Berber culture and tradition fills the air with a vibrant melody. So, grab your explorers’ caps, my beach-loving buddies, for we’re about to dive into the hidden depths of Berber cultural treasures. Continue Reading

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From Shakespare’s Birthplace to Butterflies: 10 Must-Visits in Stratford upon Avon

England, United Kingdom - Kyle Mirage - July 31, 2023

Stratford upon Avon

Ahoy, beach-loving adventurers! Imagine this: warm sand beneath your feet, the scent of salt in the air, coupled with the enchanting atmosphere of a town brimming with history and culture. Welcome to the sun-kissed paradise of Stratford Upon Avon! Just like uncovering a buried treasure chest on a sandy beach, there’s a world of rich stories and hidden gems waiting for us to explore. So, unfurl those sails, and let’s set sail on a truly unique adventure. Continue Reading

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River Cruise Seine: A Glimpse into the Heart of Paris and Beyond

France, Travel Blog, Word Travel - Kyle Mirage - July 23, 2023

River Cruise Seine

Calling all adventurers and dreamers, it’s time to set sail on a journey that will transport you to the heart of Paris and beyond. Get ready to immerse yourself in the beauty, history, and romance that can only be found aboard a River Cruise Seine. Prepare to be captivated by the iconic landmarks, enchanted by the scenic landscapes, and enthralled by the cultural wonders that await you along this extraordinary waterway. Continue Reading

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