Not all the attractions in the Jordan Valley are archeological or agricultural. Tucked away in the hills about 9km south of Shuneh ash-Shamaliyyeh, and the same distance north of Pella, the SHARHABIL BIN HASSNEH ECOPARK offers a rare opportunity to explore the rolling valley landscape through walks, bike rides and nature tourism. Centred on the Ziglab Dam – and its long lake – the EcoPark was created by Friends of the Earth Middle East (FoEME), a consortium of Jordanian, Palestinian and Israeli environmental campaigners. From 2005 they have rejuvenated a damaged and heavily polluted stretch of terrain, which is now maintained mostly by volunteers, in conjunction with bedouin living on the land and villagers from local communities.

From the main gate, paths and driving routes lead to the Visitor Centre, set amid shady picnic areas, from where you can explore at will. Short circular walks of between thirty and ninety minutes lead around the protected area, with informational signboards explaining the work being done and identifying flora such as acacia and tamarisk, as well as birds, snakes, frogs and more (you can hire a guide to accompany you). Longer trails head out to explore further afield. Rising behind the Visitor Centre, the Ziglab Dam holds back a long, narrow lake of fresh water: it’s a magnificent sight, beneath raptors circling in the silent heat. Opportunities for walks abound – one route leads all the way around the perimeter of the lake (6.3km) – or contact Amman tour operator Tropical Desert Trips (w tropicaldeserttrips.com) for details of their full-day wet/dry adventure hike around the lake using inflatable boats. Mountain bikes are available to rent from the Visitor Centre.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Jordan features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Discovering Amman: why you should stay a while

Discovering Amman: why you should stay a while

One of the world’s top adventure spots, tourists to Jordan tend to zip right through Amman and head straight to the mountains, Petra, or the fabulous burnt-or…

16 Apr 2018 • Eleanor Ross insert_drive_file Article
Video: 5 reasons to hike the Jordan Trail

Video: 5 reasons to hike the Jordan Trail

Despite being a safe country with no shortage of breathtaking historical sites, friendly people and some of the world's most stunning wilderness, Jordan is ofte…

23 Jan 2018 • Colt St. George videocam Video
Rediscovering Jordan: why the time to go is now

Rediscovering Jordan: why the time to go is now

It’s one of the world’s top adventure destinations – and one of our top 18 places to visit in 2018 – and yet, in recent years, tourists have been es…

22 Jan 2018 • Sarah Reid insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Privacy Preference Center

Necessary

Mandatory - can not be deselected. Necessary cookies help make a website usable by enabling basic functions like page navigation and access to secure areas of the website. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.

PHPSESSID,aelia_cs_selected_currency,cookie_notice_accepted,RS,bp-message,bp-message-type,id,UIDR,w3tc_logged_out,__cfduid
__cfduid

Statistics

Statistic cookies help website owners to understand how visitors interact with websites by collecting and reporting information anonymously.

__utma,__utmb,__utmc,__utmz,_ga,_gid,__atssc,__atuvc,__atuvs,di,dt,ssc,ssh,sshs,uid,uit,xt
__utma,__utmb,__utmc,__utmz,_ga,_gid
__atssc,__atuvc,__atuvs,di,dt,ssc,ssh,sshs,uid,uit,xtc

Marketing

Marketing cookies are used to track visitors across websites. The intention is to display ads that are relevant and engaging for the individual user and thereby more valuable for publishers and third party advertisers.

__gads,PISID, BEAT, CheckConnection TempCookie703, GALX, GAPS, GoogleAccountsLocale_session, HSID, LSID, LSOSID, NID, PREF, RMME, S, SAPISID, SID, SSID,__utmv, _twitter_sess, auth_token, auth_token_session, external_referer, guest_id, k, lang, original_referer, remember_checked, secure_session, twid, twll,c_user, datr, fr, highContrast, locale, lu, reg_ext_ref, reg_fb_gate, reg_fb_ref, s, wd, xs
__gads,PISID, BEAT, CheckConnection TempCookie703, GALX, GAPS, GoogleAccountsLocale_session, HSID, LSID, LSOSID, NID, PREF, RMME, S, SAPISID, SID, SSID
__utmv, _twitter_sess, auth_token, auth_token_session, external_referer, guest_id, k, lang, original_referer, remember_checked, secure_session, twid, twll
c_user, datr, fr, highContrast, locale, lu, reg_ext_ref, reg_fb_gate, reg_fb_ref, s, wd, xs