With a Mediterranean climate Ajloun is an outstanding forest reserve in the north west of Jordan, 70 Km north of Amman. Made up of mainly oak, pistachio, olive and wild strawberry trees. it is home to many species of woodland animals such as badgers, foxes, wild boar and roe deer. Because of its climate and rich, fertile soil Ajloun has been inhabited by humans for 1000’s of years, ruins of ancient settlements can be seen as well as many villages where locals work on the local farms growing figs, grapes and their world famous olives. In the spring Ajloun is a beautiful place to see many species of wild flowers.
The RSCN have set up several marked trails for hiking through the Ajloun Forest Reserve, some of which go through the local villages where you can experience a bit of local culture by visiting
Orjan Soap house – where women make handmade soap from olive oil and herbs/plants found in the reserve,
House of Calligraphy and learn to write in Arabic
Biscuit House – to see the locals make tasty olive oil and molasses biscuits
If history is more your interest, visit Ajloun castle on top of Jebel Auf. The crusader castle was built AD 1184-1185, by a commander nephew of Saladin, and was designed to protect the trade and commercial routes between Jordan and Syria. The castle dominates the Ajloun skyline and as you will see for yourself, the views are amazing and on a clear day you can see as far as The Dead Sea, Jordan Valley, the West Bank and the Sea of Galilee (Lake Tiberias).
Where to stay?
Ajloun forest lodge – open mid march to mid November