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The rock-strewn plains of the eastern desert extending hundreds of kilometres east of Amman lie in an unbroken line to the Iraqi border and on to Baghdad. This desert is perhaps the most hardened and least populated part of Jordan, with a bare handful of roads linking small, dusty towns and frontier villages.
Renowned for mosaics and a remote atmosphere, Qasr Hallabat makes for an excellent opener for the Desert Castles loop. Matched by elegant Qasr Kharana and the uniquely frescoed Qusayr Amra, at the circuit’s farthest point, 100 kilometres east of Amman, lies the castle and twin villages of Azraq. Lawrence of Arabia’s desert headquarters, set in a majestic oasis in the heart of the northern Badia, stretches out to the Syrian and Iraqi borders.
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