Ajloun Forest Reserve

Ajloun Forest Reserve is located in the Ajloun highlands north of Amman and covers 13 square kilometers. It is dominated by open woodlands of Evergreen Oak, Pine, Carob, Wild Pistachio and Wild Strawberry trees. These trees have been important to local people for their wood, scenic beauty, and quite often for medicine and food.

The Ajloun area has a long history of human settlement, due to its mild climate, dense forests, and fertile soil. This rich history is reflected in the many archaeological ruins scattered in the wood-lands and surrounding villages. The reserve itself supports a wide variety of wild plants and animals and is a peaceful place to relax and enjoy nature. Among the more unusual animals to be found in the Reserve are the Striped Hyena, Crested Porcupine and Stone Marten. In spring, the reserve is a carpet of wild flowers, including drifts of anemones and rock roses.

Where to Stay:

We provide three different types of accommodation,  located in a large grassy clearing on the edge of the forest and offering beautiful views of the reserve and beyond.

Ajloun Cabins

Twenty three beautifully designed cabins provide the perfect way for you to experience nature with some additional luxury. Each cabin has comfort and style and is equipped with a private bathroom and a small terrace that invites you to sit for hours enjoying the soft breeze and rolling forest vistas. These cabins are open all year round.                                                              

 

Food and Beverage:

Ajloun Forest Reserve Restaurant

Ajloun Forest Reserve has on-site restaurant that serves home-made traditional local meals. Enjoy al fresco dining at the Reserve’s restaurant with winning local flavors.

Eat with local residents:

To experience a truly authentic cultural experience, guests at Ajloun Forest Reserve can enjoy home-cooked meals at local residents’ homes. Local hosts can also teach guests how to cook these meals!

Hiking Trails:

Roe Deer Trail

  • Guided or self-guided
  • Grade: Easy
  • Distance: 2 km
  • Time: Less than 1 hour
  • Group size: 4 - 18 people
Description:

This short circular trail starts at the campsite and offers great views over the reserve. Not far from the campsite you will find an old stone wine press. Early in the morning, you may be lucky enough to see Roe deer before you return to the visitor center.

Soap House Trail

  • Guided only
  • Grade: Moderate
  • Distance: 6 - 7 km
  • Time: 2 - 3 hours
  • Group size: 4 - 18 people
Description:

This trail begins at the Reserve's Visitor Center and takes you to the Soap House in the neighboring village of Orjan. On the way, you will hike through thick, healthy woodlands filled with oak, pistachio, and oriental strawberry trees. Take a short detour to view a ruined wine press before you pass one of the oldest strawberry trees in the Reserve on your way down into the valley. The trail climbs to 1,100m above sea level at Eagle's View Point, and then descends to the Soap House where local women follow the traditional process of making Orjan pure olive oil soap.

* You can continue walking the Houses Trail or the Village Tour once you have reached the Soap House

Orjan Village Tour

  • Guided only
  • Grade: Moderate
  • Distance: 12 km
  • Time: 6 hours
  • Group size: 4 - 18 people

Description:

Continuing from the Soap House, this tour takes you through wooded valleys to the lush green orchards of Orjan village, giving you the chance to discover the rural lifestyle of the region. A poplar-lined spring provides a wonderful contrast to the arid mountains of the previous stages of the trail. As you hike, note the dramatic rock walls, old water mills once used by local people to grind their seeds and the hollow walnut tree. Enjoy a delicious traditional meal in an orchard of fig, pomegranate, apple and apricot trees.

Rockrose Trail

  • Guided only
  • Grade: Moderate
  • Distance: 8 km
  • Time: 3 - 4 hours
  • Group size: 4 - 18 people
  • Requirements: Reasonable level of fitness
Description:
Named for the flowers that can be seen around the trail every spring, this hiking loop passes through thick woodlands, orchards, farms and villages in and around the reserve. It offers beautiful views of the West Bank, Syria, and the Jordanian countryside. About halfway through the hike, observe the wine and olive press from the Byzantine and Roman eras, and just before reaching the end of the trail, rest in the shade of a large Maloul tree. Each season has different vegetation to enjoy.

The first half of the trail is uphill and the second half is downhill; there are steep scrambles enroute that demand a reasonable level of fitness.

The Prophet’s Trail

  • Guided only
  • Grade: Moderate
  • Distance: 8.5 km
  • Time: 4 hours
  • Group size: 4 - 18 people
Description:
This hike takes you from Ajloun Forest Reserve Visitor Center to Mar Elias, the ruins of one of Jordan's oldest churches. It is named for the Prophet Elias, or Elijah, to whom Mar Elias is dedicated. The trail leads through fig and pear orchards, amongst forests of oak and oriental strawberry trees. The stone walls that crisscross the valley guard the farmers' crops inside from both the winter rains and wild boar. Relax in the shade with a glass of tea before climbing to the hilltop ruins, which provide sweeping views of the surrounding area. The hike also includes a locally prepared picnic lunch near the ruins.

Ajloun Castle Trail

  • Guided only
  • Grade: Difficult
  • Distance: 18 km
  • Time: Full Day
  • Group size: 4 - 18 people
Description:
Once you have reached Mar Elias, you have the option of continuing on this challenging trail, which takes you by small farm house and their adjacent orchards on your way to Ajloun Castle, built between AD 1184 - 1188 by Salahadin's nephew. In the first section of the trail you can enjoy views of the West Bank and Syria, before you descend into a wooded valley. The final difficult uphill is rewarded by the incredible Castle and the marvelous views that accompany it. The hike also includes a locally prepared picnic lunch.

Please note:

  • Plan to start any guided tour between 8:00 am – 10:00 am
  • All trails are available all year round depending on weather conditions.