Jordan // Jerash and the north //

A two-day trek from Ajloun to Pella

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Outside the rainy (and occasionally snowy) winter months, the gentle terrain of north Jordan allows walkers to make their own explorations – preferably in the springtime, when the flowers are at their best. There are no marked trails, so you’re free to wander at will over the verdant hills.

A fine two-day trek leads 36km from the fortress of Ajloun down to the ruins of Pella. Bring water, since places to replenish supplies are widely spaced. From the castle walls at Ajloun you can see the line of the route: west along the ridge, then down right into the thickly forested valley and up west to a saddle between rounded hills, on the far side of which is concealed the Wadi al-Yabis (also known as Wadi Rayyan). The walk down this long and varied valley is particularly beautiful, first passing through natural forests to reach a knoll on its right side, with Ottoman ruins; this makes for an idyllic campsite, with a view to the setting sun behind the Palestinian hills. The second day covers about 20km, with a pleasant morning walk down through olive groves. The path crosses and recrosses the stream, until a larger stream enters from the right after a couple of hours. Cross the confluence and take a track north through well-tended orchards where birds dart between pomegranate blossoms in spring. The trail rises steeply to the hilltop village of Kufr Abil, from where various options down 6km of country lanes take you almost to the Jordan Valley, emerging above the village of Tabaqat Fahl at the ruins of Pella.

But don’t rely on our brief outline: this and other walks in the area are described in detail in Jordan: Walks, Treks, Caves, Climbs, Canyons by Tony Howard.

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