To the West of Baoun, walkers will stumble upon Ras al Qasr, Byzantine ruins that according to legend still hide some well hidden treasures. Yet the town’s greatest claim to distinction lies not with archeology but with scholarship. Baoun is the ancestral hometown of a family which produced a series of Islamic scholars.

The first among them is a woman called Aisha bint Ahmad al Baouni, also known as Aisha al Baouniya. Renowned within her own lifetime as a Sufi mystic, poet and calligrapher, Aisha preached and published in the great centers of 15th century Islamic thought, Cairo and Damascus. When she died in Damascus in 1516, Aisha was regarded as the finest scholar of her era. She is now recognized by UNESCO for her contribution to Islamic civilization. People in Baoun have established the Aisha al Baouniya Cultural Forum in her honor.

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.

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.

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.

Orjan

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

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.

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.