Amman - JerashWe’ll begin with a friendly introduction, and a small tour briefing. A detour to Starbucks to pick up your favourite coffee and snacks (included in the price) will take place after. From there, it’s a 1 hour (50 km) drive from Amman to Jerash in a luxury car 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.
JerashConsidered one of both the largest and most well-preserved Roman cities to still exist outside of Italy, Jerash is a marvel of both history and architecture that still draws the eager and curious eyes of tourists every year. With a story of woe and a set of ruins that still inspire awe, it’s certainly a marvel worth seeing. Few in the world can claim to have set foot in a settlement as ancient and full of intrigue as Jerash, the city that’s died over and over, but never really stayed dead. The city even hosts festivals, the most famous of them being the Jerash Festival of Culture and Arts in 1981, proving without a doubt that the city will continue to go strong for many more years to come.
Ajloun CastleBuilt on top of the mountain, this castle is a fine example of Islamic military architecture, marking it an important strategic link in the defensive chain against the Crusaders. Initially, it was built by Saladin’s nephew, Izz ad Din Usama bin Munqidh between 1184 and 1188, and revamped by the Mamluks at the later stage. Here, at the visitor centre, you can take a small break from driving while I settle admission fees, visit a souvenir shop or have a refreshment drink. Bathrooms are available at the entrance. Although information boards could be found everywhere, I will be happy to guide you through different parts of the castle, explain the history and unique architectural features. A small museum inside the castle has a collection of artefacts found in the region and is recommended for a short visit. We will finish the tour by taking a 15-minute walk around the outside walls of the castle to return to the visitor centre.
Tell Mar EliasTell Mar Elias and the nearby village are associated with Tishbe, mentioned in the Bible as the residence and birthplace of Elijah, a prophet venerated by Jews, Christians, and Muslims. After settling the admission fees at the visitor centre, I will guide you to the archaeological remains of two churches and adjacent buildings on the top of the hill. First, at a lower elevation, is the smaller of the churches, from the 6th century AD, then stairs lead to a large atrium and entrance to the remains of the main church overlooking the beautiful hilly landscape. The colourful pieces of cloth tied to the trees on the site left by pilgrims reveal that still until today, Tell Mar Elias is revered as a holy place.
Listeb MosqueA short visit to a small old Mosque not far from Tell Mar Elias on the way to our next attraction.
Abu El-HummusA beautiful hill-top with a natural wall and remains of the ancient Roman settlement. One can still find pieces of ceramic pottery around this site. Enjoy refreshment drinks and 360 panoramic views of the area.
Jesus CaveA small stop on the way to Pella to discover a Jesus Cave. It is said that Jesus and his followers stayed 42 days in this cave. You also can find here the oldest Roman oil press in Jordan, very well preserved to these days.
PellaJordan's ancient city of Pella, part of modern Tabaqat Fahl, is located overlooking the Jordan Valley, just 2 hours Northwest of Amman. Continuously occupied since the Neolithic period around 6500 BC, Pella enjoys one of the longest pre-classical histories of any site in Jordan. By walking around Pella’s extensive ruins you can experience fascinating glimpses of many of Jordan's key historical periods. It is a site that offers something to discover for everyone’s taste, although best known for its classics: the Roman theatre, bathhouse, nymphaeum and the remains of three Byzantine churches. Optional lunch at the local restaurant (not included in the price) will also offer spectacular views of Pella and nearby hills.
Pella - 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 ancient Ajloun and Pella, Jordan’s most famed archaeological sites.