Cycle 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, and with it's excellent and often traffic-free roads it is the perfect place to cycle. 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 on this 9 day cycling adventure.

10% OFF 1000+ Trips

For a limited time, get 10% OFF your next adventure departing September 1 - February 28.

Terms & Conditions

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

Why you'll love this trip

  • Cycle along often excellent roads where you are more likely to see a camel than a car

  • 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.

Madaba is renowned for its 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.

If you have prebooked an airport transfer your transfer driver will be waiting for you (with your name on a board) in the Arrivals Hall, after passing through Immigration, collecting your luggage & clearing Customs.

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. 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 couple of hours discovering with your guide.

After exploring the ruins, head by vehicle through the Jordan Valley and down to the Dead Sea for the first ride of the trip. Stop to pick up a quick lunch, do a quick check of the bikes and briefing, then begin cycling alongside the shores of the shimmering Dead Sea, with the hills of Israel in clear view. When we say ‘down’ we really mean it – this will almost certainly be the only ride you ever do that is done entirely below sea level! Cycle with the sea to your left and the towering cliffs and hills of Mujib Nature Reserve to your right for approx. 40kms along rolling but high quality roads. It’s a tough ride but an amazing introduction to cycling in Jordan.


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 - approx. 40kms / 24 miles, rolling terrain with occasional short but steep hills with approx. 500m/2420ft of elevation gain
Included Activities
  • Jerash - Roman ruins
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Drive to Mount Nebo, the legendary site marking the location where Moses looked across to the Promised Land – this would later serve as the location of his death and subsequent burial. Your undulating 44 kilometre (27 mile) cycle today is a truly interesting one as you ride through varying landscapes towards Mukawir, the location of the Castle of Herod the Great. Take a walk to the remains of this fortified hilltop palace – the rumoured site where John the Baptist was imprisoned and executed – for spectacular views across the Dead Sea!

After lunch, transfer to the Dana, a tiny village sitting on the edge of the plunging gorge of the Dana Nature Reserve. The views from this rustic stone village of the valley below and towering red cliffs above are breathtaking, especially at sunrise. Enjoy a leader-led walk around the village and local surrounds before watching the last rays of sun go down over the gorge.

Ride - approx. 44 km / 27 miles, on sealed roads, undulating with approx. 650m/2130ft of elevation gain
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Take a short transfer from Dana, stopping along the way to visit the official ‘smallest hotel in the world’ before continuing on to visit the imposing Shobak Castle, the first of the series of Crusader Castles built in Jordan.

From Shobak, start riding as you cycle the first off road section of your Jordan cycling adventure. Your leader will give you a briefing on how to cycle this section safely and confidently. The first 15 kilometres (9 miles) is on a mixture of dirt tracks and sealed roads and is a hilly one, stretching for 48 kilometres (30 miles) in total, contouring around the mountains of Dana and Petra while offering genuinely amazing views across the Jordan Valley. The final 19km descent is a thrill as you see the red stone canyons of Little Petra stretched out before you.

After a visit to Little Petra itself cycle on 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. Today's ride is the hilliest and most challenging of the entire itinerary, climbing over 1000m/3280ft but with some steep off-road descents as well. If you don’t feel confident about this day, please notify you tour leader in advance to arrange a direct transfer to little Petra as the support vehicle cannot travel along the cycling route.
Included Activities
  • Shobak - Shobak Castle
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
A short drive takes us to the Rose City of Petra, Jordan’s stunning highlight. We have no cycling today as we embark on a full day of exploration in what UNESCO has described as “one of the most precious properties of man's cultural heritage”.

Enter the city through the narrow gorge (Siq), lying flanked by towering cliffs of dazzling, colourful rocks. Once arriving at Petra, explore the hundreds of elaborate rock-cut tombs, Roman-style theatres, temples, sacrificial altars and colonnaded streets before continuing on to explore the city’s amphitheatre, multiple caves and tombs and of course the sublime Al-Khazneh (the Treasury), one of the New 7 Wonders of the World.

If your legs are still strong from yesterday’s ride 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.

For a different and evocative perspective take the Petra by Night tour, when the Siq and the Treasury are draped in paper lanterns and the usual hum of tourists is replaced by a respectful hush as a lone voice and traditional Bedouin music rings out against the night sky.

Ride - no included ride today
Included Activities
  • Petra - Guided tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Leave the Nabataean city and avoid the long climb by driving on towards Rajif, where the next cycling adventure begins.

Today is simply one of the best you’ll have on a bike! Chose to start your day on an 13 kilometre (8 mile) off road downhill adventure (not for the faint-hearted!) or take the support vehicle to where we regroup to start the ride proper.

The next 37 kilometre (23 mile) ride is stunning – a few serious uphills but mostly downhill, dropping around 1000 metres (3280ft) on a high quality winding country road through the soaring dry mountains of Wadi Araba into the lush greenery of the Jordan Valley. The views are truly amazing and you are literally just as likely to see more camels than cars today!

Once we hit the highway climb back into the support vehicle and drive on to the Red Sea port city of Aqaba

Ride - approx. 37kms / 23 miles (with an optional extra 13km / 8 mile ride), some steep uphill sections but overall downhill with approx. 500m/1640ft of elevation gain
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
After spending the night in Aqaba, enjoy a free morning at the beach before departing from the city and the shores of the Red Sea and continue on to the mountains. Transit by vehicle (approx. 30 mins) along the famed Desert highway, then cycle the flat roads alongside 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 of the famed ‘Valley of the Moon’. Take in the spectacle of the Seven Pillars of Wisdom, wind sculpted rock formations, towering dunes, and ancient petroglyphs before clambering onto the rocks above camp to watch the sun set. As the night rolls in, enjoy a traditional camp dinner with our Bedouin hosts by the fire over a cup (or 5!) of locally brewed tea. Take one last look at the endless star-scape above before tucking into your tent for the night, much as Lawrence of Arabia would have done over a century ago.

Ride - approx. 30km / 19 miles, mostly flat with approx. 265m/870ft of elevation gain
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Say goodbye to your newfound Bedouin friends and cycle from the entrance to Wadi Rum to Disi, embarking on a 40 kilometre (25 mile) cycle around the local salt flats. After all the hills of the last week this is a well-earned even ride that your tired legs will love, as you race your fellow travellers along the pancake flat terrain!

After taking in the haunting landscapes, take the long vehicle transfer back to Madaba (approx. 4 hrs) for the final overnight stay of the trip – perhaps sharing a dinner with your group to reminisce on your Jordan cycling adventure.

Ride - approx. 42km / 26 miles, flat with less than 100m/320ft of elevation gain
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.

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)

Included activities

  • Jerash - Roman ruins
  • Shobak - Shobak Castle
  • Petra - Guided tour

Dates & availability

Trip search is unavailable.

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.

Prices may change, so secure your trip today!
Jump to a departure month
Travel lightly with Intrepid. We’ve offset the main sources of carbon emissions from this trip on your behalf, including transport, accommodation & waste. Read more

Important notes

1. A single supplement is available on this trip with exception of Day 4 (Bedouin Camp) and Day 7 (Wadi Rum).
2. Bicycle hire is included in your trip price. Please advise your height at time of booking so as we can organise a suitable sized bike.
3. Bike helmets are compulsory on this trip. We are unable to hire bike helmets locally so please ensure you bring your own bike helmet from home.

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.

Reviews

Our Cycle Jordan (Petra & Wadi Rum) trips score an average of 4.89 out of 5 based on 9 reviews in the last year.

Cycle Jordan (Petra & Wadi Rum), May 2018

John Green

Cycle Jordan (Petra & Wadi Rum), May 2018

Liza Whitfield