AJLOUN CASTLE (قلعة عجلون)

The castle commands views of the Jordan Valley and three wadis leading into it. It is an essential strategic link in the defensive chain against the Crusaders and a counterpoint to the Crusader Belvoir Fort on the Sea of Galilee in present-day Israel and the Palestinian Territories. This historic castle was built atop Mt ‘Auf (1250m) between 1184 and 1188 by one of Saladin’s generals, ‘Izz ad-Din Usama bin Munqidh. After the Crusader threat subsided, Mongol invaders largely destroyed the castle in 1260, only to be almost immediately rebuilt by the Mamluks. In the 17th century, an Ottoman garrison was stationed here. Earthquakes in 1837 and 1927 badly damaged the castle, though slow and steady restoration continues.

The castle is a challenging 3km uphill walk from the town center, but the Ajloun Teleferique (🎟️ 8 JOD), the first project of its kind in Jordan, has been open since June 2023. It offers panoramic views of the mountainous forest landscape. Over 20,000 people rode in it in the first 10 days! The cable car system covers a distance of 2.5 kilometers in about 10 minutes.

Parking location – Ajloun: 32.327611N 35.727553E (🚻)