Site of the famous miracle of the Gadarene swine, Gadara was renowned in its time as a cultural centre. It was the home of several classical poets and philosophers, including Theodorus, founder of a rhetorical school in Rome, and was once called “a new Athens” by a poet. Perched on a splendid hilltop overlooking the Jordan Valley and the Sea of Galilee, Gadara is known today as Umm Qays, and boasts an impressive colonnaded street, a vaulted terrace, and the ruins of two theatres. You can take in the sights and then dine on the terrace of a fine restaurant with a breathtaking view.
Pro-tip: While some tourists drive directly from Amman to Umm Qais, most take the opportunity to visit Jerash or Ajloun along the way
Umm Qais to Ajloun
In the most northern region of the trail, lush, green hills and canyons carry you to ancient Roman sites, over rolling hills, and through oak forests. The diverse and fertile landscape here with its ancient olive trees and hot springs bursts into bloom every spring, with the trees laden with fresh fruit. The villages here are pioneers of community-based tourism with homestays, home-cooked meals, and handicraft stalls adding a true cultural experience to this beautiful northern corner of Jordan.
Total Length: 80 KM
Days: 6 Hiking days
Main sites in the region:
- Ruins of Roman Decapolis cities at Um Qais and Pella
- Ziglab Dam
- Jesus Cave, Beit Idis Church
- Byzantine monastery ruins at Tel Mar Elias, birthplace of the prophet Elijah
- Community tourism and rural scenery in the al-Ayoun village
- Medieval mountaintop site of Ajloun Castle