10 Things to do in the North of Jordan

Discover Northern Jordan

The North of Jordan has plenty to offer including natural, historic, and adventurous sites. Especially in Springtime you should go and explore, as temperatures are mild and vegetation is green. You can see everything in a different setting and can go to forests, see dams, re-discover old ruins or just hike some of the less famous destinations that are not necessarily less beautiful. During March, April, and May, the most popular travel season for Jordan, flowers are blooming and temperatures are most likely mild and pleasant. This also applies to Northern Jordan, although you can of course visit the region in other months as well.

a group of hikers walking along a green scenery with trees and mountains in the background in Northern Jordan
Hiking the Jordan Trail in the North of Jordan

1. The Jordan Trail Thru-Hike

Previously I have written about the Jordan Trail. Today, the Jordan Trail Thru-Hike 2020 kicked off in Umm Qais and a group of hikers will meander through Jordan from North to South until reaching Aqaba. Don’t worry, you don’t have to go all the way but can rather join one of the eight regions or weekend hike, only. While there are plenty of highlights and Petra and Wadi Rum included in these adventures, I will join TREKS on one of the most stunning sections of the trail from Dana to Petra in three weeks this year.

View of the Canyon at Sunset at Dana Nature Reserve, Jordan
Canyon at Sunset at Dana Nature Reserve, Jordan

2. A day trip from Beit Idis to Rasoun

There are, however, many other sites to see, be they on the Jordan Trail or not. Last year we joined a day trip from Beit Idsis to Rasoun. It was a beautiful nature trip with plenty of chances for great pictures. If you are lucky enough, you might spot a Black Iris, Jordan’s national flower.

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3. Hike to Pella

Where to stay: Beit Al-Fenan

Pella is a relatively small leftover of the Byzantine time, located in the Jordan Valley, about 2 hours from North of Amman. Nature is lovely in Spring, everything is green and it is really relaxing. On the hike, you will not come across any people, apart from some local shepherds, probably. At the endpoint in Pella, there is a wonderful old artist house that provides accommodation. Beit Al-Fenan is located on a hill with a view over the old ruins.

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4. Exploring the old Roman city of Jerash

Where to stay: Villa Naya

Jerash is well known and Jordan’s second-biggest historical site after Petra. Although it is not a world wonder, it is a must-see on any Jordan trip and you can easily spend three to four hours or more there. The way Jerash presents itself during Springtime is just so different from what you will see in October or even in January. If your visit made you hungry, make sure to eat at Um Khalil, the Lebanese house right in Jerash, or make a stopover on your way back to Amman at Tal Al-Ruman Restaurant. You can combine this trip easily with Ajloun Castle.

a large gate built of stone with flowers in the front
Jerash – Main Gate in Spring

5. Have a picnic at King Talal Dam

Where to stay: Amman Rotana

King Talal Dam is a beautiful spot to just hang out, walk around, or have a picnic. Actually, you will also pass King Talal Dam on the Jordan Trail, so you might decide to take the section and walk towards the dam. However, you can also go there as a half-day or day trip from Amman and just enjoy nature and the views. There are plenty of spots, so you decide for yourself where you go. You see that the North of Jordan does not mean, you have to travel far from Amman.

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See here for a map of accommodation in Northern Jordan



Booking.com

 


6. Ajloun Forest Reserve and Ajloun Castle

Ajloun Forest Reserve is one of the many Nature Reserves managed by the RSCN in Jordan. You can either stay overnight in their cabins and/or just go for a hike in this beautiful area. It is a good spot from where you can embark on other destinations in the North of Jordan. Closeby, and also just about 30 minutes from Jerash, you can find Ajloun castle, which was one of the last strongholds of the Christians at that time. The views from the top are amazing.

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7. Watch over several countries from Umm Qais

Where to stay: Beit Al Baraka

One of the most Northern destinations in Jordan, about 2 hours from Amman and just a few kilometers away from the Yarmouk River that forms the border to Syria, you find Umm Qais. It is located on a hilltop from where you can see the Golan Heights and the Lake Tiberias. It has been originally a Greek city built both from the yellow sand and black basalt stones.

Roman theater made of black basalt stone at Umm Qais
Roman Theater in Umm Qais, Northern Jordan

8. Observe thousand-year-old olive trees in Wadi Al-Rayan

This is one of the most stunning valleys I have seen in the whole of Jordan, not just Northern Jordan. The contrast to the yellow/beige deserts and the wadis near the Dead Sea will blow your mind and most certainly be something you would never believe to exist in Jordan. Sometimes you cross water, sometimes the valley becomes a bit narrower, sometimes it is more open. Most of the time you will be surrounded by hundreds if not thousand-year-old olive trees. Wadi Al-Rayan is located in Southern Irbid Governorate, West of Ajoun Forest Reserve.

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9. Riding a 4×4 buggy near Tal Ruman

Where to stay: W Amman

Do you need action? Do you need nature? Or even better, a combination of both. Then you should try out Badia 4×4 Buggy or Quad tours near Tal Ruman and the Botanic Garden, near King Talal Dam. You will be driving automatic 4×4 vehicles and cruise through forests and rough terrain. It is really fun.

4X4 Badia
4X4 Badia

10. See Tigers and Lions

Where to stay: Mountain Breeze Resort

at the Al Ma’wa Wildlife Sanctuary. This Wildlife Sanctuary about 20 minutes away from Jerash hosts several Lions and also a few Tigers that have been rescued and are taken good care of at this sanctuary. They emphasize that they are not a zoo, but you can take tours and see how the animals live in huge gated areas with plenty of room to move.

Lion in Ma'wa Wildlife Sanctuary
Lion in Ma’wa Wildlife Sanctuary

See here a video of the Wildlife Sanctuary

Al Mawa Wildlife Sanctuary

If that is not enough, see my article on https://livinginjordanasexpat.com/2019/11/27/hiking-wadi-al-ruman-jordan-the-pomegranate-valley/ or a list of the Best Places in Jordan.

Jordanien

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