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On the way, I saw a valley running down to the river Jordan, remarkably beautiful and very well kept, and it was full of vines and trees because there was plenty of good water there. —Egeria, 4th century AD

Between the city of Ajloun and the Jordan Valley, walkers wander from a medieval citadel to Byzantine mosaics and Roman ruins through expansive forests and green wadis, enjoying the hospitality of villages along the way. At the center of the path lies the area of Al Ayoun in which three communities have pioneered community tourism and homestay hospitality.

In the oak-wooded hills, where a winter rain can clear the air and give incredible views over the mountains and valleys to the west, folk tales abound of ancient trackers and tricksters and their haunts in the caves and wadis. Neolithic burial markers, the homes of great Sufi mystics, and countless memories of the years in between demonstrate the cultural and historical depth to be found in the beautiful highlands and in the lush plains below.

For walking in this region, the Jordan Trail is recommended. Find detailed resources on www.jordantrail.org

Sites in the Ajloun Region:

Ajloun Castle

Feel like the king of the world clambering atop this impressive stone castle, a stone playground commanding an astonishing view over the Jordan Valley, strategically built to defend against Crusader invasion in the twelfth century.

Baoun

The Byzantine ruins at its edge testify to Baoun’s place in antiquity. But is is a female Sufi scholar, poet, and mystic that gives the village its distinct legacy.

Jesus Cave

Everyone in Jordan seems to know a local legend about the Jesus Cave, whether about Jesus hiking there with his followers, why the tree is always drunk, or why women tread grapes better than men.

Orjan

Walk along Wadi Orjan to explore the fruit basket of Al Ayoun.

Pella

From the few columns, stretches of stone pavement, and other remains which are visible in Pella today, it is hard to imagine the historical importance of this site or its once immense size. Pella has been inhabited for over 10,000 years, though, consistently from the Neolithic Period to the Ottoman rule of the area in the late 1800s.

Rasoun

The village of Rasoun lies at the heart of community-oriented tourism in Jordan. In addition to a walking trail passing millennia-old olive trees and dolmen fields, the village has also invested in recent enterprises like selling herbal soaps and biscuits around the world.

RSCN Shops

Temptations abound for walkers at Al Ayoun’s Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN) natural shops, where some of nature’s best tastes and smells can be sampled as everything from local soaps to trail mixes.

Tel Mar Elias

Amid stunning carpets of mosaics stands a sole prayer tree, its popularity indicated by hundreds of pieces of cloth that adorn the branches like blossoms; this site marks the location held by many to be the traditional birth place of the prophet Elijah.