Located in the Ajloun Highlands, this small (just 13 sq km) but vitally important nature reserve was established by the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN) in 1988 to protect oak, carob, pistachio and strawberry-tree forests. The reserve also acts as a sanctuary for the endangered roe deer, as well as wild boar, stone martens, polecats, jackals and even grey wolves. The landscape of rolling hills and mixed forest is lovely, especially if you’ve been spending a few too many hours in Jordan’s deserts or congested capital.
The RSCN has developed a good network of hiking trails, with a variety of paths suited to hikers of all fitness levels. At the edge of the reserve, the villages of Orjan, Rasoun and Baoun have linked together in a community-tourism initiative to promote hiking in the area with their own Al Ayoun Trail; they also offer homestays with local families.