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Amman – Jerash – Ajloun – Umm Qais

A day trip from Amman to Jerash, Ajloun, and Umm Qais offers an incredible opportunity to explore three fascinating historical sites in northern Jordan. These ancient cities each have their unique charm and historical significance, making for a memorable day trip from Amman.


The journey begins in Amman, the capital city of Jordan, from where you’ll head north towards Jerash, located approximately 30 kilometers (18 miles) away. Jerash, also known as Gerasa, is one of the best-preserved Roman cities in the world. Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by the impressive Hadrian’s Arch, which serves as the entrance to the ancient city. Exploring Jerash’s vast archaeological site, you’ll encounter magnificent ruins, including the Oval Plaza, the Temple of Artemis, the Temple of Zeus, and the South Theater. The well-preserved colonnaded streets and ancient theaters provide a glimpse into the grandeur of the Roman Empire.

Jerash was a thriving city during the Roman period and served as an important hub for trade and commerce. The city’s ruins showcase the remarkable craftsmanship and architectural prowess of the Romans. As you wander through the streets, you can imagine the hustle and bustle of daily life that once filled these ancient corridors.

The Oval Plaza, surrounded by towering columns and adorned with intricate carvings, was the heart of the city and hosted various social and cultural events. The Temple of Artemis, dedicated to the goddess of hunting, represents an impressive example of Roman religious architecture. The Temple of Zeus, with its towering columns and intricate friezes, is a testament to the Roman Empire’s devotion to the king of gods. The South Theater, with its steep stone tiers, hosted performances and gatherings, offering a glimpse into the vibrant entertainment culture of the time.


After immersing yourself in the wonders of Jerash, the next stop on the excursion is Ajloun, a small town located west of Jerash, approximately 13 kilometers (8 miles) away. Ajloun is renowned for its stunning medieval castle, Ajloun Castle or Qal’at Ar-Rabad. Built in the 12th century by the Ayyubid dynasty, the castle was constructed to defend against Crusader armies. Situated on a hilltop, the castle offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Exploring Ajloun Castle allows you to admire its well-preserved towers, halls, and galleries, and gain insights into the region’s medieval history. The castle also houses a small museum where you can learn more about its historical significance.

Ajloun Castle stands as a testament to the strategic importance of the region during the medieval period. Its imposing structure and strategic location on a hill provided a vantage point from which to monitor and protect the surrounding lands. As you wander through the castle’s corridors and halls, you’ll get a sense of the defensive capabilities and architectural ingenuity employed by the Ayyubids. The castle’s towers offer panoramic views over the lush green hills and valleys, providing a glimpse into the natural beauty of northern Jordan. The museum within the castle provides further insights into the history of the region and the castle’s role in defending against Crusader invasions.

Umm Qais:

From Ajloun, the excursion continues to Umm Qais, located about 70 kilometers (43 miles) northwest of Ajloun. Umm Qais, also known as Gadara in ancient times, is an archaeological site that was once a prosperous Greco-Roman city. It is famous for its well-preserved ruins, dramatic views, and its unique location at the crossroads of Jordan, Israel, and Syria. Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by the majestic ruins of the ancient city, including a theater, colonnaded streets, temples, and a mausoleum. The highlight of Umm Qais is the panoramic view it offers of the Sea of Galilee, the Golan Heights, and the Jordan Valley.

Umm Qais stands as a testament to the city’s vibrant past and its strategic location at the intersection of three major ancient civilizations. The ruins of the city showcase the architectural influences of both the Greeks and the Romans. The theater, with its semi-circular seating arrangement, is a striking structure that once hosted performances and gatherings. The colonnaded streets, lined with columns and flanked by remnants of ancient buildings, offer a glimpse into the daily life of the city’s inhabitants. The temples, dedicated to various gods and goddesses, reflect the religious practices of the time. The mausoleum, a solemn structure, speaks to the city’s reverence for the deceased.

As you explore the ruins of Umm Qais, you can’t help but be captivated by the breathtaking views that stretch across the surrounding landscapes. The Sea of Galilee, the Golan Heights, and the Jordan Valley form a picturesque backdrop that adds to the allure of this historical site.

As you walk through the ancient streets of Umm Qais, marvel at the ruins, and take in the breathtaking vistas, you’ll be transported back in time. The site also features a museum where you can delve deeper into the history and significance of Umm Qais. The museum houses a collection of artefacts and exhibits that provide further insights into the daily life, cultural practices, and historical context of the ancient city.

After a full day of exploration, you’ll return to Amman, having experienced a captivating journey through history and archaeology. The excursion to Jerash, Ajloun, and Umm Qais provides a unique opportunity to delve into Jordan’s rich cultural heritage and witness the remnants of ancient civilizations. It highlights the country’s storied past and offers a deeper appreciation for the historical significance of these remarkable sites. This day trip from Amman allows you to connect with Jordan’s fascinating history and create lasting memories of the diverse and captivating heritage of the region.

In addition to the historical and archaeological significance, the excursion from Amman to Jerash, Ajloun, and Umm Qais also offers a chance to experience the natural beauty of northern Jordan. The journey takes you through picturesque landscapes, with rolling hills, olive groves, and glimpses of rural life. The region is known for its fertile land and stunning vistas, providing a peaceful and scenic backdrop to the historical sites.

Furthermore, the excursion provides an opportunity to interact with the local communities and experience Jordanian culture first-hand. As you travel through the towns and villages in the region, you can engage with the friendly locals, sample traditional cuisine, and learn about their way of life. This cultural immersion adds another layer of richness to the overall experience.

A day excursion from Amman to Jerash, Ajloun, and Umm Qais is an extraordinary journey through time and history. From exploring the well-preserved ruins of the Roman city of Jerash to witnessing the medieval splendour of Ajloun Castle and being captivated by the ancient Greco-Roman city of Umm Qais, this excursion offers a unique opportunity to delve into Jordan’s rich cultural heritage. The sites’ architectural grandeur, breathtaking views, and the chance to engage with local communities make this day trip a truly unforgettable experience. Whether you are a history enthusiast, a lover of archaeology, or simply seeking to immerse yourself in the beauty of Jordan, this excursion is sure to leave a lasting impression.

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