Escape the chaos of the city with a trip to the beautiful and tranquil Dana Biosphere Reserve.
By Jane Hosking
The sand and crimson colored rock features of the Dana Biosphere Reserve, shaped by water and wind over thousands of years, have created an isolated retreat away from the bustle and fast pace of city life. Visitors to Dana Village can take in a breathtaking view over the vast expanse of the reserve, which is one of the largest protected areas in Jordan and is home to a diverse array of terrain, wildlife, and fauna.
Whether it’s for a day trip, weekend escape, or company retreat, Dana is the perfect place to relax and refresh. The reserve is managed by the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN), which also provides accommodation for visitors, including the Dana Guesthouse, Rummana Campsite, and Feynan Ecolodge. Each comes with its own charm and experience.
The Dana Guesthouse, located in Dana village, is made up of quaint sandstone houses built by the Ottomans on the edge of a cliff as a trade route rest stop. While the guesthouse accommodation is simple, containing just nine rooms with shared bathrooms. It is nonetheless picturesque with its surrounding olive groves and stunning views from the private balconies that look out over the cliff-face.
The Rummana Campsite is just a short drive from Dana village and is accessible via the regular shuttle service that runs down the hill and into the reserve. The campsite consists of 12 simple but comfortable Bedouin tents placed amongst the grasslands, rocks, and wildflowers. Camping at Rummana may take you away from electricity and the comforts of modern living, but there’s no better way to experience the natural beauty and simple tranquility of Dana.
From Dana Village it takes about a two-hour drive or a four-hour hike across the valley to reach Feynan Ecolodge. Set against the desert landscape at the western edge of Dana, this cozy, candle-lit ecolodge is considered one of the best in the world by National Geographic. With 26 rooms that can sleep up to 60 people, plus a fully equipped meeting room, the ecolodge is the ideal location for group visits, workshops, or team building retreats. But whether you are in a group or come for a weekend getaway, there is plenty to do in and around Wadi Feynan. Activities include mountain biking, hiking, canyoning, as well as Bedouin cultural activities, and the chance to explore the area’s 4,000 year old copper mines.
Due to its unique position between the continents of Asia, Africa, and Europe, Dana contains a diverse range of vegetation and rare wildlife, such as the Grey Wolf, the Caracal, and over 200 species of birds.
But whichever location you choose to visit in Dana, there are treks and walking trails to suit everyone, providing the opportunity to soak up the serenity of Dana’s natural environment.