Shobak is located in the south of Jordan, 240km away from the capital Amman. It was named after its interlaced trees; “tashabok” in Arabic. It’s a brigade follows Ma'an Governorate, and its estimated area is 640 km2, which is equivalent to 2% of the Governorate of Ma'an area. Shobak population is about 12,500 inhabitants, distributed in 14 villages; these are (Najl, Zubairian, Almgarayah, Hawalah, Aljuhair, BerKhadad “Khadad’s well”, Almuthalath “triangle”, Al Faisaliah, Al Mansoura, BerAldbagat“Aldabagatwell”, “Albaqa’ah” and Chamakh, AlHadadah, Al Zaytuna) and some communities in the traditional villages such as Abu Makhtoob and Jaiah.
Petra, the world wonder, is without a doubt Jordan's most valuable treasure and greatest tourist attraction. It is a vast, unique city, carved into the sheer rock face by the Nabataeans, an industrious Arab people who settled here more than 2000 years ago, turning it into an important junction for the silk, spice and other trade routes that linked China, India and southern Arabia with Egypt, Syria, Greece and Rome.
This is a stupendous, timeless place, virtually untouched by humanity and its destructive forces. Here, it is the weather and winds that have carved the imposing, towering skyscrapers, so elegantly described by T.E. Lawrence as “vast, echoing and God-like..."
Dana Biosphere Reserve
Dana Biosphere Reserve is an area of staggering beauty, history, and biodiversity. The only reserve in Jordan that encompasses the four different bio-geographical zones of the country (Mediterranean, Irano-Turanian, Saharo-Arabian and Sudanian), it is a melting pot of species from Europe, Africa and Asia. Such a combination of natural communities in a single area is unique in Jordan and many of Dana Biosphere Reserve’s animals and plants are very rare. So far, a total of 800 plant speciesand 449 animal species have been recorded in the Reserve, of which 25 are known to be endangered, including the Sand Cat, the Syrian Wolf, the Lesser Kestrel and the Spiny Tailed Lizard.
Feynan Ecolodge was constructed in 2005 by the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature and is the first of its kind in Jordan. In September 2009, EcoHotels took over the management and operation of the lodge, offering travellers an unparalleled opportunity to experience Jordan’s wilderness, meet its native people and explore its ancient history, with minimal impact on the environment.
The concept and design of Feynan Ecolodge was inspired by the historical caravanserai. These were camel caravans taking long journeys across, China, Central Asia, and Europe who would stop and rest at these inns along the silk route, restocking on their supplies and resting before embarking on the next journey. These staging posts were the world’s first global overland network, standing as a testament to the flourishing period of multicultural exchange in the Muslim world; a platform where travellers and pilgrims shared stories, discoveries and knowledge.
Shobak castle lies between Al Karak and Petra, it is 120 KM away from the south of Karak, and 35 KM away from the north of Petra, while it is 230 KM away from Amman through the desert highway.
The castle sits on top of The Sharah Mountains with an altitude of 1330 meters above sea level, while being surrounded with Al Hamat valley from the east and north, Al Raghayah valley from the south, and Madaqat Al Zbeeb from the west. The distance between the mountain and bottom of the valleys ranges from 100 meters on the north-western part to approximately 250 meters on the eastern side.
The castle which goes back to Ayyubid and Mamluk period is decorated with Islamic art and engravings, it consists of 9 towers and different sights on the inside such as the church, the Ayyubid castle, the lavatory, as well as the tunnel which leads to the bottom of the valley through 365 stairs steps.