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Umm Qais (Gadara)
Umm Qais (Gadara)

Umm Qais (Gadara)

Amman, Amman

The Basics

Because it’s difficult and time-consuming to reach the ruins at Umm Qais (also written Umm Qays) by public transportation, most visitors either drive themselves or opt for an organized tour. Some day tours from Amman combine Umm Qais with the Roman ruins at Jerash. Full-day Umm Qais tours often include visits to the site’s small museum. Few visitors will be interested in the modern town, although hiking, biking, and even foraging are possible in the countryside.

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Full-Day Tour: Umm Qais, Jerash, and Ajloun from Amman
Full-Day Tour: Umm Qais, Jerash, and Ajloun from Amman
star-4.5
$95.00 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Jerash and Nothern Jordan - superb day trip
Fantastic tour of Jerash and Nth Jordan. Our tour guide was Hakam Zatayma and he was superb. so knowledgeable and very personable. His English is excellent, as we speak no Arabic! He made the day a real treat with his passion for the area. Thank you Hakam. Our driver for the day was Hassan Al-khateb, and he was very good. He included some lovely personal touches - stopping for local coffees, purchasing local food for us for lunch/snacks. All totally unexpected, but very much appreciated. Thank you Hassan.
Teresa_F, Jun 2022

Recent reviews from experiences in Amman

star-5
Touring flexibility and the human touch
Marc_H, Jul 2022
Private Day Trip to Jerash, Umm Qais and Ajloun Castle from Amman
We took this tour knowing we wanted to concentrate on just two of the three listed destinations (Jerash and Ajlon Castle). The third destination, Umm Qais, would have required something like three or four extra hours traveling to the far north of Jordan. The driver was very accommodating and said we could do a city tour of Amman visiting the Citadel and Amphitheater in old Amman instead of the Umm Qais part of the itinerary. The driver spoke excellent English and told us about life in Jordan and was happy to answer all of our questions. At the two main historical sites we visited we were able to get in easily having purchased the Jordan Go pass prior to arriving in country. The Jordan Go pass covers the admission cost to something like 30 different sites across Jordan. It also covers the cost of the Jordan visa which is another plus. At both main sites that we visited we hired an official tour guide (for a small additional expense) to describe the history and significance of the place. Good guides and well worth the extra cost. The driver waited patiently nearby as we visited the sites and was there at each site entrance when we were ready to go to the next destination. My wife ended up hurting her knee as a result of several days of extensive waking and stair climbing during our several days of visiting sites throughout Jordan. The driver was very caring and accommodating to make my wife comfortable. On our return to Amman he stopped at a local pharmacy so I could buy a knee brace for my wife. We ended up driving past the Citadel and Amphitheater in Amman as we were done touring for the day. We did want to do so gold jewelry shopping though and the driver was able to take us to a part of town with several jewelry stores we could visit. So the day ended a little differently than we perhaps expected at the start, but the driver’s flexibility and kindness throughout the day allowed us to make very good use of our last full day in Jordan. Would readily recommend this tour to all interested in visiting comparatively well preserved historical sites.
star-5
Wonderful trip and experience!
Licen_X, Jun 2022
Private Day Trip to Jerash, Umm Qais and Ajloun Castle from Amman
We had a wonderful trip with Saad, our guide. The itinerary is great. This is the second trip we had with him. He is knowledgeable and very friendly - he bought local fruits and cucumbers for us to taste. When we were passing his mother-in-law’s house on our way, we had the pleasure to stop for a tea break and chat with the family. What a beautiful family and wonderful people! Thank you so much!! Saad also helped us booking and accompanied us the last day trip for baptism and city tour. The Jordan trip is so memorable filled with history learning and great experience of hospitality.
star-5
MohammEd was great!
Harvey_B, Oct 2021
Full-Day Tour: Umm Qais, Jerash, and Ajloun from Amman
We all appreciated our driver, Mohammed's suggestions and tailoring our tour to fit our wishes perfectly!
star-5
Amer, the best!
Francisco_A, Aug 2021
Full-Day Tour: Umm Qais, Jerash, and Ajloun from Amman
We booked transportation only since we wanted to go relax, nice and slowly. Amer, was kind, patient and always ready to give a hint or recommendation about the sites we visited. There was not even a single offer made by him to push for a place, restaurant or guide which was great, 5/5. Great driver, we felt safe the whole trip.
star-5
I booked this tour at the...
Stephanie_I, May 2022
Private Day Trip to Jerash, Umm Qais and Ajloun Castle from Amman
I booked this tour at the last minute and I am really glad that I did. When researching places to visit in Jordan Umm Qais and Aljoun Castle never came up. If the only reason you book this tour is for the amazing drive from Amman up through the lush green mountains of northern Jordan than that in of itself is worth it. Umm Qais is an obscure site with amazing well preserved Roman ruins high up in the mountains. The day I went my husband and I had to whole place to ourselves. It was a lovely hike among the ruins with breathtaking views of the Sea of Galilee with Syria to one side and Palestine to the other. There is a lovely open air restaurant at the site which I would recommend eating at since the only dining options at Jerash was a unappealing, over priced touristy buffet. Next we visited Aljoun Castle, a medieval looking castle, complete with a draw bridge and moat! It is a quick look, about an hour. The day my husband and I were there it was raining and very foggy but I am sure the views on a clear day are amazing. I think the fog and gloominess actually added to the spooky vibe of this place. Next to Jerash, which is huge and very crowded. The ruins were well preserved and awesome but it was a little bit overwhelming. I would definitely recommend spending less time at Jerash and seeing Umm Qais and Aljoun Castle within the same tour. Viator does offer tours just to Jerash but I thoroughly enjoyed this tour.
star-5
Very professional
Rachael_P, Jan 2020
Umm Qais, Jerash & Ajloun Castle Day Tour from Amman
Excellent communication prior to the trip. Very professional. Safe driver. Very knowledgeable about the local area. 10/10 would recommend.
star-4
One of the most complete Roman period buildings outside Italy
Derrick_Q, Apr 2022
Private Day Trip to Jerash, Umm Qais and Ajloun Castle from Amman
It’s a long trip between the 3 places. In the end, I only managed to do 2 out of the 3 destination as each places are far away from Amman and takes time to explore the place. I gave Aljoun Castle a missed as I was told it’s very similar to Shoubak ruin castle which I have visited. Jerash is a must as the place was almost a complete city by itself with Roman civic public places with marble and columns still pretty much intact. I spent too much time in Um Quais otherwise I would be able to visit Aljoun Castle. And all thanks to Ramadan period, ticket booth closed one hour earlier than normal time. Otherwise the tour would be fully completed. Thanks to my driver Murad who helped me the right decision to skip Aljoun Castle or else less time for Jerash. You need a good 3 hours in Jerash to explore all the important monuments and temples
star-5
Excellent
roman_c, Jul 2021
Full-Day Tour: Umm Qais, Jerash, and Ajloun from Amman
Excellent trip and excellent driver ask for MO. The views of the Castle, Scenery, and Ruins are a must See!
star-5
Northern Jordan
David_R, Feb 2020
Full-Day Tour: Umm Qais, Jerash, and Ajloun from Amman
Good driver and guide in Jerash was excellent. We loved Jerash. So much interesting history. Other 2 sites also worth while.
star-5
Highly Recommend
Bobby_D, Jun 2021
Private Day Trip to Jerash, Umm Qais and Ajloun Castle from Amman
I would highly recommend this tour for anyone wanting to explore Jordan north of Amman. I requested to not visit Ajloun Castle for more time at Umm Qais. The tour company accommodated and gave me plenty of time at both Umm Qais and Jerash. I had plenty of time to explore both locations and did not feel rushed. We stopped outside Jerash and enjoyed some local food. I will be using this company when returning to Jordan.
star-5
Wonderful Day Trip
Relax108905, Jan 2020
Private Day Trip to Jerash, Umm Qais and Ajloun Castle from Amman
We has an excellent time with Mohammed who not only drove us between sites but also helped us get breakfast on the road and showed us the local cuisine over a fantastic lunch. The sites themselves are large and well preserved with Jerash as the real highlight. Make sure you allow enough time (at least couple of hours) to really explore Jerash especially if it's the last stop.
star-5
Great personalized service with a private driver
Dean_C, Nov 2019
Full-Day Tour: Umm Qais, Jerash, and Ajloun from Amman
Private drivers are the way to go. You get to see each location at your own pace, and in between locations get to engage in conversation with the english-speaking driver.
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Things to Know Before You Go

  • Though it’s not as well known as Jerash, Gadara is a must for history buffs.

  • Umm Qais is close to both Syria and Israel, so check your government’s travel advice before booking a tour.

  • At the Gadara site, the Umm Qais Resthouse offers not only sweeping views over the ruins and the Middle East but excellent seasonal cuisine.

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How to Get There

It takes at least four hours and four vehicles to reach Umm Qais from Amman by public transport, so most visitors opt to drive, hire a driver, or join a tour with round-trip transfers. The 78-mile (125-kilometer) drive north from Amman takes around two hours in a private vehicle.

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When to Get There

The beauty of Umm Qais’ location is best appreciated in spring (roughly mid-March to mid-May), when the hills are lush and green. April is the optimal time to see wildflowers flourishing in the hills and among the ruins of Gadara. The site is rarely crowded so there’s no need for an early start to your Umm Qais tour.

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The City of Gadara

According to the Bible, it was at Gadara that Jesus exorcised demons from two possessed men and cast the evil spirits into a herd of pigs, which then ran down the hill into a lake. During its heyday 2,000-odd years ago, Gadara was an intellectual hub known for its writers, artists, philosophers, and academics.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the nearest attractions to Umm Qais (Gadara)?
A:
Attractions near Umm Qais (Gadara):
Q:
What else should I know about attractions in Amman?
A:
As well as visiting the Umm Qais (Gadara), check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: