What To Expect
Proceed to the north of Amman for a 45-minute drive to the best-preserved example of Roman civilization, the ancient city of Jerash.
The city features theaters, churches, temples (Zeus and Artemis), a Nymphaeum and colonnaded streets. Afterward, head to Ajloun to visit Qalat Ar-Rabad, which was built by one of Saladins generals in 1184 AD to control the iron mines of Ajloun, and to deter the Franks from invading Ajloun. Ajloun Castle dominated the three main routes leading to the Jordan Valley and protected the trade and commercial routes between Jordan and Syria.
Then head to Anjara to visit the Our Lady of the Mount Orphanage and Shrine where Mary and Jesus stayed on one of their many journeys, and enjoy lunch with a local family or continue to visit Umm Qais, also called Gadara of Antiquity. Gadara commands a magnificent view over the northern Jordan valley, the Sea of Galilee (Lake Tiberias), the Yarmouk River gorge and the Golan Heights.
The Graeco-Roman city of Jerash (Gerasa in ancient times) is remarkable for its unbroken chain of human occupation. The city's golden age came under Roman rule and the site is now generally acknowledged to be one of the best preserved Roman Provincial towns in the world.
Jerash reveals a fine example of the grand, formal provincial Roman urbanism that is found throughout the Middle East, comprising paved and colonnaded streets, soaring hilltop temples, handsome theatre, spacious public squares and plazas, baths, fountains and city walls pierced by tower and gates.
The Jerash festival, held in July every year, transforms the ancient city into one of the world's liveliest and most spectacular culture events. The festival features folklore dances by local and international groups.
The marvels of nature and the genius of medieval Arab military architecture have given northern Jordan two of the most important ecological and historical attractions in the Middle East: the sprawling pine forest of the Ajloun - Dibbine area, and the towering Ayyubid castle at Ajloun, which helped to defeat the Crusaders eight centuries ago.
Ajloun Castle (Qal'at Ar-Rabad) was built by one of Saladin's general in 1184 AD to control the iron mines of Ajloun, and to deter the Franks from invading Ajloun. Ajloun Castle dominated the three main routes leading to the Jordan Valley and protected the trade and commercial routes between Jordan and Syria, it became an important link in the defensive chain against the crusaders, who, unsuccessfully spends decades trying to capture the castle and the nearby village.
The original castle had four towers; arrow slits incorporated into the thick walls and it was surrounded by a moat averaging 16 meters in width up to 15 meters deep. In 1215 AD, the Mameluk officer Aibak ibn Abdullah expanded the castle following Usama's death, by adding a new tower in the southeast corner and a bridge that can be seen decorated with pigeon's reliefs.
The castle was conceded in the 13th century to Salah al Din Yousef Ibn Ayoub, ruler of Aleppo and Damascus, who restored the northeastern tower. These expansions efforts were interrupted in AD 1260, when Mongol invaders destroyed the castle, but almost immediately, the Mameluk Sultan Baybars conquered and rebuild the fortress.
Site of the famous miracle of the Gadarene swine, Gadara was renowned in its time as a cultural center. It was the home of several classical poets and philosophers, including Theodorus, founder of a rhetorical school in Rome. One poet called the city "a new Athens."
Perched on a splendid hilltop overlooking the Jordan Valley and the Sea of Galilee, Gadara is today known as Umm Qais and boasts an impressive colonnaded street, vaulted terrace and the ruins of two theatres. You can take in the sights and then dine on the terrace of a fine restaurant with a breathtaking view of three countries.
The Al-Himma therapeutic hot springs are located around 10 kilometers north of Umm Qais and were once highly regarded by the Romans.
Hotel pick-up and drop-off
Tips and gratuities
Children below 3 years old are free of charge provided they are accompanied by 1 paying adult.
Please bring a hat and be in comfortable walking shoes.
Please bring your passport.
Tour usually departs at 08:30, however, guests can request an earlier departure time.
All our card payments are protected by thawte to give you peace of mind.
2 days / 1 night
5 days / 4 nights
2 days / 1 night
2 days / 1 night