Immerse yourself in the glory days of the Roman Empire on a private day trip to Jerash and Umm Qais from Amman! Surrounded by Jordan’s ochre desert dunes, the two ancient cities boast some of the world’s best-preserved Roman ruins and archeological finds. Learn about Jerash — the so-called ‘Pompeii of the Middle East’ — on a walking tour, seeing Hadrian’s Arch, the Forum and more, and then travel to Umm Qais at Jordan’s northwestern tip. Discover an Ottoman village set within the Roman ruins, and browse an array of historical artifacts at the town’s museum.
Leave your Amman hotel by air-conditioned minivan, and travel north with your driver to Jerash, passing through stretches of wide open desert. Arrive in town, and meet your friendly private guide to explore the Roman ruins within the ancient city boundaries.Pass beneath the monumental gateway of Hadrian’s Arch, and gaze in awe at the vast site spread out before your eyes. Immense wealth and power was bestowed on the city during the Roman Empire, evidenced by the grandiose amphitheaters, arches and colonnades that abound. Scout out highlights such as the oval-shaped Forum, Hippodrome, Temple of Zeus and Vaulted Gallery while hearing fun Jerash facts and history from your guide. Built at the bequest of Alexander the Great around the 2nd century, Jerash — or Gerasa as it was then known — prospered from its fertile land. Local farmers grew large amounts of sought-after fruits and vegetables, and successfully traded them to the rich Romans.After exploring Jerash by foot, enjoy a break for lunch in town at your own expense. Then, return to your air-conditioned minivan and continue your journey northwest to Umm Qais, the Decapolis town of Gadara. The site’s Roman ruins and ancient Ottoman village vie for your attention with sweeping views over Jordan, the Sea of Galilee and Golan Heights, as well as neighboring Syria and Israel.Stroll around Umm Qais’ ruins, admiring its Roman Mausoleum, Basilica Terrace and more, and then head inside the museum at the town’s Ottoman village. Set within an Ottoman governor’s house, the museum showcases well-preserved 4th-century mosaics, marble statues and other fascinating artifacts that were found around Umm Qais. Browse the exhibits, learning little-known facts about site’s history, and then return to your minivan.Relax on your journey south to Amman, and then finish your day trip with a hotel drop-off in the early evening.