See ancient mosques, towering castles and some of the most pristine forests in the Middle East in this city known for its natural beauty and history.
Ajloun is surrounded by some of the best natural scenery in Jordan and has 10 centuries worth of history to share. As the capital of the Ajloun Governate, this sizeable town provides access to all of the region’s best features. See the town’s ancient landmarks and learn about its lengthy religious history. Take daytrips through the Jordan Valley and the Ajloun Forest Reserve.
The city of Ajloun reached its height of importance as a stopping point between the ancient economic powerhouses, Damascus and Cairo, in the 11th century. With a Mediterranean climate, fertile soil and proximity to good vantage points, it was the perfect place for an easily defendable community. Delve into its history with visits to the various medieval landmarks.
Climb the slopes of Mount ‘Auf to find the most well known of these sites, the Ajloun Castle. Browse exhibits that uncover some of its history, which dates back 800 years to the age of the Crusades. Once you’ve explored the castle, enjoy panoramic views of the Jordan Valley from the castle outlooks. Closer to town, admire the Great Ajloun Mosque, whose prayer tower can be seen from all over the city. It is the oldest of its kind in Jordan.
Discover more about the area’s religious roots and take a daytrip to the nearby Tell mar Elias. These early ruins contain mosaics from a byzantine church and a shrine where pilgrims come to pay tribute to St. Elijah. On the way, pass through some of the villages surrounding Ajloun and try freshly grown figs, grapes and olives in family-run restaurants.
When you’ve seen enough history, drive north through Jordan’s pine forests. The 3,210-acre (1,300-hectare) Ajloun Forest Reserve attracts visitors because of its cool temperatures and fresh air. Hike one of the trails past oak and pistachio trees, camp in grassy clearings and, if you’re lucky, spot some of the region’s roe deer. Organize tours through the reserve’s visitor center.
Get to Ajloun by bus or hire a car and drive a few hours north from Amman.