Ride through deserts, roads and mountains on a journey through Jordan’s ever-changing landscapes

From the shores of the Dead Sea to the top of ancient Petra, Jordan is a country as rich in surreal landscapes as it is in natural charm. Places such as the ruins of ancient Jerash seem so perfectly preserved, it’s almost as if they froze in time; Mount Nebo, said to once be savoured by Moses as he looked on towards the Promised Land, offers views revered since antiquity; and the deserts around Wadi Rum seem to glow the colour of the earth’s blood. Experience the best that Jordan has to offer as you feel the winds of the desert shift into the breath of the mountain, all the while pedalling from the top of your faithful bike.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Madaba, Jordan
Finish
Madaba, Jordan
Country
Jordan
Style
Original
Theme
Cycling
Code
EEXC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 16
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why we love this trip

  • Spend a whole day uncovering the majesty and mystery of the world wonder of Petra. The first glimpse of the Treasury from the narrow path of the Siq is simply unforgettable.

  • Experience the best weightlessness this side of outer space with an effortless float in the super-salty waters of the Dead Sea

  • Hop in a jeep and experience the extraordinary desert scenery of Wadi Rum, a rugged moonscape of huge sandstone mountains

  • Meet Bedouin locals, learn about their ways, and sleep under the stars in a far-flung desert camp.

Is this trip right for you?

  • To complete this trip it is important that you are both confident and competent in riding a bicycle.

  • There is quite a bit of walking involved in visiting Jordan's historic sites, especially in Petra and Wadi Rum, so a reasonable level of fitness is required. Most of the time there is no shade so remember to bring a hat, sun protection, and sturdy, comfortable walking shoes.

  • Winters can get quite cool, so if you're visiting at this time, don't forget to pack some warmer layers too.

  • The desert camp in Wadi Rum is basic but incredibly memorable. There are tents and shared western bathroom facilities. Please be aware that while the desert may be very hot during the day, it will still be cool at night and warm clothes and a sleeping bag is highly recommended when travelling outside of the summer months.

Itinerary

Ahlan Wa Sahlan! Welcome to Jordan, cosmopolitan and contemporary, yet steeped in biblical history. Your adventure begins with a Welcome Meeting at 6 pm on Day 1. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please have these on hand. Should you require a transfer from the airport, this can be arranged on site for $30 a person, or $15 per person for groups of two or more.

Madaba is renowned for it’s Ottoman-style houses and beautiful Byzantine-era mosaics, including the famous 6th-century mosaic map of Jerusalem and the Holy Land at St George's Church. Other mosaic masterpieces found within churches and the Archaeological Museum depict a rampant profusion of flora and fauna, as well as scenes from mythology and daily life. Literally hundreds of other mosaics from the 5th to 7th centuries are scattered throughout Madaba’s churches and homes. You might want to arrive early to explore these ancient treasures, as there isn’t a lot of time spent in Madaba.

No riding today
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Depart from Madaba and travel to Jerash, once one of the grandest Roman cities in the world which currently stands as an excellently preserved insight into Greco-Roman times of old. The city thrived due to its position on the route of spice and incenses trade, reaching its zenith as a favourite of Emperor Hadrian around AD 130. The ancient walled town survives today as a remarkable evocation of life 2000 years ago, offering a striking collection of archways, theatres, public buildings and colonnaded streets. It’s a beautiful place to spend a day exploring.

After exploring the ruins, head towards the Jordan Valley for the first proper cycle of the trip. Stop to pick up a quick lunch, then begin cycling from the Jordan Valley to Amman Beach. Either choose to ride for 25 kilometres (16 miles) on flat terrain or start earlier along the trail for a 50 kilometre (31 miles) that begins on an initial downhill section.

Once the group reaches their destination, take some time to wash off the sweat at Amman Beach, lying on the shores of the Dead Sea. The water here is said to have excellent healing properties due to the high salt content, serving as the perfect way to wrap up a big ride. Afterwards, head back to Madaba to relax at the hotel for the rest of the evening.

Ride - appox. 25-50kms / 16-31 miles depending on option chosen
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
After a drive this morning, arrive at Mount Nebo. This legendary site marks the location where Moses looked across to the Promised Land – this would later serve as the location of his death and subsequent burial. Begin your descent into the lands below on a 44 kilometre (27 mile) ride towards Mukawir, the location of the Castle of Herod the Great. This fortified hilltop palace serves as the rumoured site where John the Baptist was imprisoned and executed while Herod’s son resided at the site.

Later on in the day, transfer to Dana, a scenic town sitting on the edge of the gorge of Wadi Dana. The views of the valley below are breathtaking to say the least.

Ride - approx. 44 km / 27 miles
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Take a short transfer from Dana and continue on to visit Shobak Castle, the first of the series of Crusader Castles built in Jordan; which was constructed by Baldwin I in 1115 and only surrendered in 1189 to the Great Salahdin.

From Shobak, continue on as you cycle off road for 15 kilometres (9 miles) on a mixture of dirt tracks and roads towards Little Petra. The route, stretching for 48 kilometres (30 miles), contours around the mountains of Dana and Petra while offering great views across the Jordan Valley. Finish with a visit to Little Petra, then cycle to the Seven Wonders camp hiding within the rocks. As you prepare for an overnight stay, the comfort and the hospitality of the Bedouins provides a more than welcome finish to a big day on and off the road.

Ride - approx. 48kms / 30 miles
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Leave the camp at Little Petra and head towards Petra visitor’s centre for a full day of exploration. Enter the city through the narrow gorge, lying flanked by towering cliffs of dazzling, colourful rocks. Once arriving at Petra, explore the hundreds of elaborate rock-cut tombs, the treasury, Roman-style theatres, temples, sacrificial altars and colonnaded streets before continuing on to explore the city’s amphitheatre, multiple caves and tombs.

If you’re feeling courageous, perhaps avoid the crowds to visit the monastery, the Khubtha Mountain or the High Place of Sacrifice. To explore this area, take a steep climb up ancient Nabataean steps to a point near the summit of Al Khubtha to enjoy a magnificent panorama overlooking the treasury before descending to Petra’s main entrance. Alternatively, continue on and hike up to the High Place of Sacrifice to enjoy more spectacular views over the rocky desert terrain. At this point, the option to push past 800 steps offers the reward of the stunning monastery, lying carved and exposed in a rock face.

Ride - no included ride today
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Leave the Nabataean city and drive on towards Rajif, where the next cycling adventure begins. Enjoy a stunning 47 kilometre (29 mile) descent, dropping to about 1300 metres (4265 ft) on a winding country track through the dry mountains of Wadi Araba into the lush greenery of the Jordan Valley. At this point, consider either riding on and off road on a 11 kilometre (6 mile) ride towards the Jordanian port city of Aqaba or transferring by vehicle to give yourself a rest.

Ride - approx. 47kms / 29 miles (with an optional extra 11km / 6 mile ride)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
After spending the night in Aqaba, depart from the city and the shores of the Red Sea and continue on to the mountains. The top of a hill serves as the starting point of the next leg of the ride as you cycle along the highway, taking a snack break as you travel across the ancient Hejaz Railway en route to Wadi Rum.

Upon arrival at Wadi Rum, enjoy a late lunch before hopping in a jeep and departing for a 3 hour safari across the sandy canyons and mountains in the area, Take in the spectacle of the Seven Pillars of Wisdom rock formation before stopping to watch the sun set. As the night rolls in, enjoy a camp dinner with the Bedouin hosts by the fire over a cup of locally brewed tea. Take one last look at the endless star-scape above before tucking into your tent for the night.


Ride - approx. 40km / 25 miles
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Say goodbye to your newfound Bedouin friends and travel to Disi. After arriving at Disi, embark on a 40 kilometre (25 mile) ride around the local salt flats, taking a break to recharge with lunch along the way. After taking in the haunting landscapes, transfer back to Madaba for the final overnight stay of the trip – perhaps sharing a dinner with your group to reminisce on the journey just passed.

Ride - approx. 40km / 25 miles
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
This trip comes to an end today. There are no activities planned and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time before noon.

Should you require a transfer back towards the airport, transfers can be arranged for $30 a person or $15 per person for groups of two or more.

No included riding today
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

8 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners

Transport

Bicycle, Support Vehicle, Jeep

Accommodation

Hotel (6 nights), Desert camp (2 nights)

Dates & availability

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There are currently no scheduled departures on our Cycle Jordan (Petra & Wadi Rum) trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

A single supplement is available on this trip. On the following nights the Single Supplement is not available on Days 4 & 7

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.