Amman to JerashWe’ll begin with a friendly introduction, and a small tour briefing. A detour to Starbucks to pick up your favourite coffee will take place after, on your request. From there, it’s a 1-hour drive from Amman to Jerash, our first stop, in a 4x4 vehicle which includes WiFi, sipping coffee and enjoying your selected snacks. Water and soft drinks are provided at no extra cost. There is also an iPhone charger, headphones and you’ll have access to an iPad with an internet connection, and Netflix.
JerashInhabited since the Bronze Age and still partially so, today, Jerash is one of Jordan’s most popular tourist sites, and for good reason. It’s the first stop along the private tour, as it’s perhaps among the most beautiful of Jordan’s historical spots – with such ancient structures as a Temple to Artemis, the famed Hadrian’s Arch, as well as the gorgeous Oval Plaza that is still guaranteed to impress. Jerash has a long history of woe and bloodshed, having seen destruction during the 749 AD earthquake, as well as near-total annihilation at the hands of the Crusaders in 1121 AD, at the command of King Baldwin II of Jerusalem. Today, much of this history can be explored, making it the ideal starting point for a tour of Jordan’s anciency.
Ajloun CastleBuilt in the 12th century and known throughout medieval times as the Qalʻat ar-Rabad, this ancient Muslim castle is the next stop on the journey, and as one of the strongest and most well-fortified fortresses in all of Jordan’s history, it’s well worth discovering. Dominating a large portion of the Jordan Valley, it was integral to the protection of the regional routes between Jordan and Syria. Large portions of the ruin still stand atop its hill, having survived earthquakes and invading Mongols alike. With it currently being open for tourism, many parts of the great fortress and its intact passages can be explored today.
Umm QaisWhat better way to end off the long day of exploration and adventure than with the Roman, Byzantine, and Islamic remains of Umm Qais? There’s plenty worth seeing here, from the ancient ruins that still stand proud, to the panoramic views that would put just about anybody to pause. The main attraction here is, of course, Gadara – which was founded by the Ptolemies after the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC. With Roman tombs, basalt structures and plenty more to awe at, you’ll find it a perfect way to end off the long and no-doubt exciting private tour. A nice restaurant at the site offers delicious local cousin and a recommended spot for lunch and a well-deserved break before going back to Amman.
Back to AmmanTo conclude the tour, we will drive you all the way back to Amman and drop you off at your hotel, where we picked you up. No doubt after a satisfying and inspiring few hours in some of Northern Jordan’s most famed archaeological sites and structures.