Lisa Owen

Only a 45 minute drive from the Jordanian capital of Amman lies one of the best preserved Roman cities I’ve ever seen. You’ve probably never heard of Jerash – but it’s a must see on your Jordan itinerary. Jerash is one of the largest and best preserved Roman cities in the world and you can clearly see colonnaded streets, theatres, city gates, beautiful temples, fountains, and towering forums as you wander the ancient complex. 

Jerash

The area has been beset by earthquakes over the years, which meant much of Jerash was buried under layers of sand for centuries – but this lead to its well preserved condition. One of the highlights of Jerash is the colonnaded main street or Cardo Maximus – which runs north to south. It is intersected by another well preserved street, which runs east to west. This is a typical design for Roman cities – and you can still see chariot tracks in the stone road which has been ruptured over the years by earthquakes. Cardo Maximus leads from the city’s forum – a meeting place in the ancient city. You can get a great view of the forum and Cardo Maximus from the Temple of Zeus.

Jerash ruins

The city’s amphitheaters are also impressively well preserved and offer a great view of the Jerash ruins from the top of the stairs.

Jerash ruins

There is a fee to enter the Jerash ruins. You can reach Jerash by an organised day trip from Amman or catch a local bus. The bus journey takes about 90 minutes from the Tabarbour Bus Station in Amman’s north. Not far from Jerash is Ajloun Castle. The fortress sits on top of the Jabal Aluf hill, and was built over the ruins of a monastery in the 12thcentury. It features a labyrinth of corridors and stairways and you can spend hours wandering inside its well preserved walls. 

Ajloun Castle

Photo Credit: Caden Allison @cadenra 

While in Jordan’s north, you can also access the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is no ordinary sea. It has such a high salinity level that you’ll just float rather than swim. You’ll see chunks of salt lining the shore and you won’t feel completely dry until you shower due to the salt sticking to your skin.

dead sea

There’s even instructions accompanying your Dead Sea visit plastered around beach areas. Do not dive. Do not swim far from shore. Protect eyes and mouth from water. Try to float on your back. Along with the high salt content, the Dead Sea is also teeming with minerals that are good for your skin. However the high salt levels and minerals will start to burn your skin if you stay in too long. It’s recommended not to swim in the Dead Sea if you have recent cuts, and also don’t shave a day or two beforehand. While at the Dead Sea you can also take a mud bath by applying a layer of Dead Sea mud to your skin, letting it dry, then washing it off. You’ll have baby smooth skin in no time.

dead sea

The Dead Sea can be visited from both Jordan and Israel. If you’re accessing the Dead Sea through a resort area, you’ll have to pay a day use fee but this also gives you access to changerooms and showers.

Things You Should Know:

  • The minerals in the Dead Sea are good for your skin but you should shower after taking a dip as the minerals will start to burn on your skin after a while. It’s best to swim in the Dead Sea in a resort area which has showers provided.
  • The Dead Sea is not serviced by public transport network but guided day trips are possible from Amman or you can hire a driver.
  • Jerash can be accessed by public bus or organised tour. The public bus journey takes about 90 minutes and leaves from Tabarbour Bus Station in Amman’s north.
  • If you’re planning to visit a number of attractions in Jordan, it’s worth buying the Jordan Pass. It can be bought online at www.jordanpass.jo and includes the visa on arrival fee, and entrance to a number of attractions including Petra, Jerash and a number of castles and museums. The price of the Jordan Pass varies depending on how many days you want to stay in Petra.

 

Lisa Owen is a pint-sized Australian following her dreams to travel to as many places as she can, and loves to share her photography, travel hacks, hiking adventures, and food discoveries along the way. At last count, she has travelled to more than 40 countries in between working in public relations and discovering hidden gems in Australia's great outdoors. Instagram: @thelittleadventurer Facebook: The Little Adventurer Australia

The views, opinions and positions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and are meant as travel inspiration only. They do not reflect the opinions of Cover-More Insurance. You should always read the PDS available from your travel insurance provider to understand the limits, exclusions and conditions of your policy and to ensure any activities you undertake are covered by your policy.

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