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UMm Qays Archeological Site

40 Reviews

UMm Qays Archeological Site

40 Reviews
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Jordan Horizons Tours: Best of Jordan (4 day 3 night) from Eilat Border to Amman
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Jordan Horizons Tours: Best of Jordan (4 day 3 night) from Eilat Border to Amman

This 4 day3 night tour from the Eilat Border visits the main sites in Jordan. In Wadi Rum explore the majestic desert and be in awe of the monolithic rock mountains rising out of the sand, whilst in Petra, discover the Rose Red City, lost for centuries to the outside world. You will travel on the Kings Hwy a route that has been in use since ancient times to Amman visiting Karak Castle, Madada and Mt Nebdo. On the last day you will visit to Jerash, the spectacular Roman ruins.
US$830.00 per adult
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LegalRover wrote a review Aug 2020
1,186 contributions127 helpful votes
+1
Historic Umm Qais (not the town where locals reside) is the ancient city of Gadara; known as one of the most brilliant ancient Greco-Roman cities of the Decapolis. Gadara was known as the center of Greek culture in the region during Hellenic and Roman periods. It also has biblical significance in that it is the spot where Jesus performed the Miracle of the Gadarene Swine (cast out the devil from 2 mad men into a herd of pigs). On a clear day, there are beautiful views of the Sea of Galilee, Nazareth, Golan Heights, Palestine/Israel, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan. The site houses Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine ruins with ongoing excavations. There is a small museum where the Greek statues and Christian mosaics outside are more impressive than the small artifacts inside. Many of the structures were built using black basalt versus the natural-colored stone primarily used in Jerash. Umm Qais highlights include the amphitheater, mausoleum, and the series of old tunnels found by the main gate. If you choose to go through the latter you may end up with a few scrapes. While Umm Qais is smaller and less visited than Jerash, it complements what you will see in Jerash. I would recommend visiting Umm Qais, Ajloun Castle, and Jerash (in that order) from Amman. All 3 sites can be covered in 1 day. Umm Qais is about 2 hours from Amman and Jerash is less than 1 hour. Also, the Acropolis showcases a nice contrast between the black basalt columns and the natural-colored stone columns. You can walk along the colonnaded street (miniature version of the one in Jerash). Additionally, Umm Qais was the end point of a 170 km long water supply system called the Canal of the Pharaoh (Qanat Fir’aun); 106 km ran underground. This was the longest water supply system tunnel of ancient times. You can see a portion of it hewn out of the rock below the Acropolis. The Umm Qais site ruins have not been preserved as well as some of the other sites in Jordan like Jerash but considering it suffered bombardment during the 1967 Six-Day War, I guess it’s held up pretty well. There are 2 trails you can choose to take to walk around the grounds. The first is the Acropolis Trail. It covers mainly the external perimeter and takes about 1.5 hours. The second is the Village Trail which cuts through the old village which is a handful of small empty stone structures. This trail takes about 30 minutes. I recommend doing the Acropolis Trail. There is a nice restaurant where you can sit outside with gorgeous views. If you want something on the less expensive side, there is a café on the grounds. Umm Qais is covered under the Jordan Pass. Otherwise, it costs 5 JD per person. Guides can be hired from 10 – 20 JD. I don’t recommend hiring one if you read up on the site before-hand but hiring a guide for a few JD to point out the different locations on the horizon (while standing up by the restaurant) is worth it.
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Date of experience: October 2019
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Jim Dalton wrote a review Feb 2020
Weedon, United Kingdom69 contributions30 helpful votes
A must see place, just try to imagine it in its hey day A very big site, it takes some walking but its worth it. Taking in the views of the golan heights and galilee from the view point as well. very well preserved roman theatre too Easy to get too and to get int
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Date of experience: February 2020
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world1explorer wrote a review Dec 2019
Bay Harbor, Michigan263 contributions106 helpful votes
With Jerash and Petra being the obvious historical sites when visiting Jordan, it's easy to overlook the ancient site of Gadara (UMm Qays). We did UMm Qays and Jerash as a day trip from Amman, and highly recommend doing both, but definitely do UMm Qays (Gadara) first. The drive out is through a different land/cityscape than other parts of Jordan, and is currently the only place within 5 miles of the Syrian border that is considered safe for tourists according to most UN government state departments. The principle draw for us was the views across Palestine, the Sea of Galilee, Nazareth, the Golan Heights, Syria, Mt Hermon and Lebanon. Our driver picked up a local guide before we got to the Roman city of Gadara, who took us through a couple of near border checkpoints (well within Jordan) to a deserted site with the best views. Later we saw pretty good views from Gadara but if you go to the GPS location below right above the caves of Jesus, you'll get some of the best views we had in our 12 days in Jordan. Gadara was a decopolis city, is the origin of the phrase Gadarene swine in biblical stories, and the Roman theater was particularly well preserved. We enjoyed walking through the site, and while it's no Jerash it clearly was an important city in its day. Most of all, just enjoy the drive there and back, a first taste of Jordanian antiquity if you can do this early on your tour of Jordan like we did (first day) and a pre-taste of whats to come at Jerash. But its a must visit for the views. TIP: Drive to nearby GPS 32° 39' 47.88" N 35° 39' 2.112" E for the very best views across the Sea of Galilee to Lebanon, Syria, Golan Heights, Palestine/Israel and Jordan. You may need your passports at two military checkpoints as its near a base and of course near the Syrian border. At time of writing this area was considered safe and excluded from all governmental travel warnings TIP: Follow the steps near the outdoor cafe at the Museum site for good views of the Gadara site. TIP: Dont spend hours here if going on to Jerash, allowing an hour max gives a great overview
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Date of experience: December 2019
2 Helpful votes
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Kaća B. wrote a review Dec 2019
72 contributions34 helpful votes
One of the most amazing views I saw whilst in Jordan. A similar setting in some respects to Jerash, but way quieter and more intimate. The view of the Sea of Galilee was spectacular. The helicopters lined up, awaiting tourists to opt for a short flight over the Sea of Galilee added an element of glamour, although I did think it highly unlikely that anyone would use this experience, so it did feel a bit pointless, but novel never the less. Very pretty site, included within the Jordan Pass. Doesn't take too long to walk around Umm Quais but sturdy soled shoes are still highly advised. Left here as the sun was going down, so the (pretty much) straight line drive down to the Dead Sea (our next point of call) was a lovely drive with regards to the view and the sunset. Very beautiful.
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Date of experience: November 2019
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Ed E wrote a review Dec 2019
5 contributions1 helpful vote
Not as famous as Jaresh or Petra, but equally as impressive. The on site information is lacking but just wandering around the site is fantastic.
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Date of experience: December 2019
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