The perfect trip for a short weekend getaway to the countryside! Hike through the beautiful Ajloun forests, explore the almost 1000 year old castle of Ajloun and learn how soap is made. Of course, you will have enough time to relax and unwind. Jordan from a different perspective!

 

Guidance throughout this weekend trip

This short weekend trip offers to discover Ajloun and its forest reserve in the highlands north of Amman. You will stay at the RSCN forest cabins surrounded by oak, pistachio and strawberry trees. Each cabin has its own terrace on which you can read a book or relax. The Nature Shop is close by, where you can buy local handmade souvenirs to take home. Visitor centre and restaurant are also in close proximity.

On your arrival day, your driver will take you to Ajloun castle.It is very well preserved and offers stunning views over the Jordan Valley. Afterwards, you can spend the rest of the day discovering the small town centre of Ajoun, or relax at the RSCN forest cabins. On the second day, your guide will hike with you the Soap House Trail. This trail starts at the visitor centre and takes you through thick woodlands to the Eagle’s View Point before descending to the Soap House. Here, you will learn from locals how soap is made. In the evening, you’ll have dinner with a local family.

On the third and last day, your guide will show you another trail, called the Rockrose trail. It will lead you through dense woodlands, farms, orchards and villages. Along the way, you will get stunning views over the Jordanian countryside, West Bank and Syria.

If you find yourself with spare time, you can also visit the Biscuit House, where you can buy handmade Jordanian delicacies. Or go to the House of Calligraphy and learn more about Jordanian culture and the Arabic language.

 

What to expect during this weekend trip

Price:

260 JOD / 368 USD per person based on two people travelling

190 JOD / 269 USD per person based on three people travelling

 

What’s included:
Private transfers in AC tourism car
Hiking guide for day 2 and 3
Soap workshop at The Soap House
Overnight accommodation for two nights at RSCN Ajloun Forest Reserve Cabins incl breakfast
Dinner with local family in Ajloun


What’s excluded:
Jordanian visa and entrance tickets (see www.jordanpass.jo)
Flights
Personal expenses and tipping

 

Availability:
This trip is available all year round.

Optional activities:

  • House of Calligraphy – Have your name written in Arabic on leather or silk and learn more about Jordanian culture and Arabic language. 
  • The Biscuit House – Visit the local women who run the Biscuit house, try handmade Jordanian delicacies or bring some home to your family and friends.
  • Day trip to Jerash – Have another day to spare? Visit the ancient Roman ruins of Jerash! Stoll along the colonnaded streets and see the Hippodrome, Roman theatre, Temples of Artemis and Zeus.
  • Day trip to As Salt – Alternatively, you can go on a day trip to As Salt, which is nominated as UNESCO world heritage. Enjoy the historic charm of Salt with its Ottoman architecture. 

 

Day 1:
Depending on the time of your arrival, your driver will pick you up in Amman/ QAIA and take you north to the ancient market town of Ajloun. Firstly, you will be taken to Ajloun castle, which is almost 1000 years old and offers great views over the Jordan Valley. Then, you have the rest of day to discover the village of Ajloun, with its 600 year old mosque and its bustling little town centre, or simply relax at your hotel. Overnight stay at RSCN Ajloun Forest Reserve Cabins.

Day 2:
Start the day with a delicious breakfast from your hotel. You will spend the morning hiking in Ajouns Forest Reserve. When you’re ready, your guide will pick you up from the hotel and explore with you the Soap House trail (2-3 hours). This trail leads you through evergreen woodlands to a panoramic viewpoint and finally to the Soap House. Here, you can join the local women of Ajloun at The Soap House, who will show you how soap is made. In the evening, a local family will be ready to host you for dinner. Overnight stay at RSCN Ajloun Forest Reserve Cabins.

Day 3:
Once more, you can enjoy the breakfast at your hotel. You have the first half of the day to go for another hike (3-4 hours). This time, a guide will take you to discover the Rockrose Trail, a spectacular hike leading you through olive groves, wooded valleys, rocky ridges and great views over the Palestinian West Bank. Once you have returned from your hike, your driver will pick you up and take you back to Amman/ QAIA.

What is RSCN?

RSCN (Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature) is an independent national organisation in Jordan. They manage and protect natural resources and its wildlife, set up protected areas and promote the sustainable use of resources. RSCN is a pioneer organisation in the Middle East, as not many other organisations exist to conserve the natural environment.

Photo by Terhaal Adventures

What do they do?

Apart from that, RSCN also raises awareness on environmental issues and conducts research to aid conservation efforts. Moreover, they run a captive breeding programme, which saves endangered species from extinction. In fact, they have successfully reintroduced animals like the ibex, gazelles or the Arabian oryx into the wilderness. RSCN is also involved in socio-economic development projects, benefitting the local communities living in the nature reserves.

Where are they present?

To date, RSCN has successfully set up and is managing the following nature reserves:

  • Dana Biosphere Reserve
  • Wadi Mujib Biosphere Reserve
  • Azraq Wetland Reserve
  • Shaumari Wildlife Reserve
  • Dibeen Forest Reserve
  • Ajloun Forest Reserve
  • Fifa Nature Reserve
  • Yarmouk Forest Reserve
  • Wadi Rum Protected Area

And what is Wild Jordan?

In short, Wild Jordan is the eco-tourism and socio-economic division of RSCN. It is dedicated to developing nature-based business opportunities for local communities, such as eco-tourism or handicraft enterprises. These initiatives are very important as they provide an alternative livelihood for locals other than hunting or keeping livestock. It, therefore, contributes indirectly to conserving the natural environment and its wildlife.

Especially the handicraft enterprises provide enhanced livelihoods for women, particularly for the over 60 generation. The eco-tourism part offers to explore the nature reserves, with plenty of hiking, activities, canyoning, camping or cycling opportunities.

Photo by Maureen Barlin

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