August 2013
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Travel – Umm Qais – Jordan

Umm Qais is a city located in northern Jordan, close to the place of the early town of Gadara.

Overview of Umm Qais

• It is actually located in the extreme north-west of the country, whereby the boundaries of Jordan, Israel and Syria come together.
• It is perched on a hilltop which is about 378 metres above coast level, looking over the ocean of Tiberias, the Golan Heights as well as the Yarmuk gorge.
• Umm Qais is within Jordan’s Irbid Governorate and is part of the Bani Kinanah Department.
• The Hellenistic-Roman city of Gadara was also sometimes referred to as Antiochia or perhaps Antiochia Semiramis or Seleucia.
• The contemporary name, Umm Qais, is Arabic word for “Mother of Qais”.
• Gadara carried on to be a significant city within the Eastern Roman Empire, and was the seat of a Christian bishop.
• With the conquest of the Arabs, following the Fight of Yarmouk in 636, it emerged under Muslim regulation.
• Around 747, it was predominantly destroyed by an earthquake, and was deserted.
• One of the Roman roads ran eastward to ?er?ah; and an aqueduct continues to be traced to the pool of ?hab, approximately twenty miles to the north of ?er?ah.

The damages includes:
– 2 theaters
– a temple
– a basilica
– other buildings
• These ruins reveal a former splendid city.
• A smooth street, with dual colonnade, ran from east to west.
• The ruts broken in the smooth road by the chariot wheels continue to be to be seen.

Roman Damages at Umm Qais

• Currently, Umm Qais possesses high ridges and steep slopes, down which pigs could possibly have run “violently right into the sea”.
• Above the harbor, are mountain hills which complement the Biblical account.
• The most likely place is located towards the end of a sequence of hills which includes a bank leading into the ocean – the site of Tell es S’alib in close proximity to the suburb of es-Samrah.
• A visual portrayal of this can be viewed in Mendel Nun’s “The Land of the Gadarenes”.
• Even though this tell might not have a sharp slope as that located at Kursi, it has a hill that goes into the ocean.
• It might accommodate a “large herd of swine numbering approximately 2, 000”.
• Additional features of this place match the Gospel accounts.
• In excavations by B. De Vries in 1973, a Roman tomb since that time of Jesus was located in a valley in close proximity to es-Samrah.
• This might correspond to “the tombs” wherein the Gospels’ demoniac survived.
• Furthermore, there is a neighboring place where swine might have grazed – and “the groves of pine trees on the plateau above might have offered the acorns they favored”.

Tourism in Umm Qais

• Numerous travelers arrive at Umm Qais on day trips from the capital, Amman, approximately 110 kilometres (68 mi) to the southern region, to watch its extensive ruins and get pleasure from its panoramic sights.
• The Sea of Galilee and Tiberias, Israel, are obvious, and basically across the valley of the Yarmouk River is the south end of the Golan Heights – proclaimed by and frequently known as Syria.
• Mount Hermon surrounding Lebanon is noticeable in the range on clear days.
• At Beit Rousan, previously the residence of the Ottoman governor and currently a part of the complex display Greek statues and also Christian mosaics.

Best time to visit / climate

• Jordan has a sunny, dry weather characterized by lengthy, hot, dry summers as well as brief, cool winters.
• The weather is based on Jordan’s placement between the subtropical aridity of the Arabian Desert locations along with the subtropical humidity of the eastern Mediterranean region.
• January is the coldest month, with temperature ranges from 5°C to 10°C, and August is the hottest time of the year at 20°C to 35°C.
• Regular temperatures can be quite hot, particularly in the summer; on certain days it could be 40°C or higher, particularly when the Shirocco , a hot , dry southerly wind flies .
• These kind of winds can often be quite strong that will result in Sandstorms.
• Around 70 % of the regular rainfall in the country falls between November and then March; June through August tend to rain less.
• Rainfall differs from season to season and also from year to year.
• Precipitation is usually targeted in aggressive storms, leading to erosion as well as local flooding, particularly in the winter season.

Location on Google Maps

View Larger Map

Or click and paste the URL below on the browser:,+Jerash,+Jordan&gl=in&t=m&z=15

How to get there?

1. By flight
• Jordan’s nationwide airline is Royal Jordanian Airlines.
Additionally, Jordan is operated by several foreign carriers such as:
– British Airways
– Air Baltic
– Lufthansa
– Delta Airlines
– Emirates
– Turkish Airlines
– Egypt Air
– Alitalia
– Air France
• Low-priced airline Air Arabia flies between Jordan and locations throughout the Middle East.
• United Kingdom based airline easy Jet has introduced plans to fly 3 times per week from London Gatwick to Amman from March 2011, cutting the price of reaching the Middle East from the United Kingdom considerably.
• Queen Alia International Airport is the country’s primary airport terminal.
• It happens to be 35km southern of Amman (on the primary route to Aqaba).
• It takes around 45 minutes to reach the airport terminal from the down-town Amman, around thirty minutes from West Amman.
• Transportation into Amman is given by the Royal Jordanian bus services to the city terminal close to the 7th circle, or by taxi (around twenty JD, intended to be fixed).

Along with Queen Alia, Jordan has 2 other international airport terminals:
– Marka International Airport in East Amman assists routes to neighboring Middle Eastern countries, along with internal flights to Aqaba
– King Hussein International Airport terminal in Aqaba.

2. By train
• The last functioning section of the well-known Hejaz Railway, twice-weekly trains used to turn up from Damascus (Syria) at Amman’s Mahatta junction just north-east of the down-town region, in close proximity to Marka Airport.
• But, services have already been cancelled since mid-2006 because of damage to the tracks, and it’s uncertain as to when they would resume.
• Even though they were running, trains consumed an incredibly long nine hours (significantly slower as compared to driving), and offered an awfully low standard of comfort.
• There are no additional passenger trains in Jordan.

3. By bus
• Long-distance providers run from several Middle Eastern locations including Tel Aviv and Damascus.

4. By boat
• Jordan could be entered at the harbor of Aqaba via the Egyptian port of Nuweiba.
• There are 2 providers, ferry and speedboat.
• Be prepared to shell out around $30 for the ferry.
• It can even cost around $60 for the speedboat (each one way).
• Egyptians are not expected to shell out the prices increased by the authorities.
• The slow-moving ferry could take up to eight hours that can be a challenge in bad weather.
• The speedboat regularly makes the crossing in approximately one hour, although boarding as well as disembarking delays can also add several hours, particularly since there can be no set hours for departures.
• You cannot purchase the ticket beforehand and the ticket office would not be familiar with the time of departure.
• It is possible to lose a whole afternoon and even a day awaiting the boat to leave.
• UPDATE: selling prices have risen.
• The speedboat is currently $70 and the ferry is $60 (+$10 or 50 EGP departure tax from Egypt).

Some Travel Books about Jordan

Jordan (Insight Guide Jordan) Jordan Travel Pack, 3rd The Rough Guide to Jordan

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers)

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Blogs / Sites about Umm qays – Jordan

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Images and photos about Umm qays – Jordan

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