Jordan Holiday Bike Tour
Jordan Bike Tours
Bike and hike the best of Jordan - Petra, Wadi Rum, and the Dead Sea
During this bike and hike tour in Jordan, you will experience a varied biking experience from desert tracks to scenic backroads, with the perfect balance between climbs, with rewarding views, and the breathtaking descents. There are several opportunities to hike, so be sure to bring your hiking shoes!
Having just returned from this amazing country, we can say from experience that it is truly a place like no other. Despite being located in the middle east, a region often noted for conflict, Jordan is peaceful and safe and its people, welcoming and hospitable. It is brimming with ancient history, culture, ruins, and natural wonders.
During your adventure, you will explore Petra, one of the new seven wonders of the world, set admidst an incredible red sandstone landscape. Cultural experiences will include an authentic camp experience in traditional Bedouin style in the heart of Wadi Rum in desert wilderness. A visit to biblical Mount Nebo will satisfy the history lover and if a swim in the Dead Sea is on your bucket list, you can cross it off.
As the Jordanians say, "Ahlan wa Sahlan" or make yourself at home and experience this magical land.
- Spectacular desert tracks and scenic backroads
- 5 days cycling with 100% vehicle support
- Mount Nebo
- 2 days to explore Petra
- Bedouin camp out in Wadi Rum - fire, feast, and desert sunset
- Disi mudflats
- Dead Sea
Price £ 1173 $ 2,600 € 1381 $ 2080 NOK 13000 kr 12000 $ 1,560 Single Supplement: £ 98 $ 217 € 115 $ 173 NOK 1083 kr 1000 $ 130
Rates are per person based on double occupancy.
† Currency exchange rate set 90 days before travel.
Fly into Amman (AMM).
Your driver will be waiting at Amman (AMM) airport to take you directly to your hotel in Madaba, a 40-minute drive. At the end your tour, a 30-minute airport transfer is included as well.
All but 10 per cent of Jordan is desert, which means that the country has predominantly long, dry, hot summers with chilly nights and cold, crisp winters. Rain in the desert regions is sparse, falling in short, intense bursts during the winter and spring. The most fertile part of Jordan is the hilly region in the northwest which experiences high rainfall between November and March when weather fronts blow in from the Mediterranean.
To the west of the hills lies the long valley where the River Jordan flows into the Dead Sea, which is 400m (1,300ft) below sea level. This valley has very hot summers, warm winters and little rain. Expect sun throughout the year in Jordan.
Be sure to check local conditions before your arrival. You can find average temperatures and average rainfall here.
This guided and supported tour is rated moderate to difficult. A reasonable level of fitness is required, as this trip requires sustained endurance. You will bike and hike some steep trails and uneven paths. It should be noted that some of the day’s rides are longer with short, but steep climbs, however, usually half (or more) of the distance is flat or downhill. The desert rides and off roads can be challenging for people not accustomed to off-road cycling, however, this is the perfect tour to experience trail riding.
Riding distance: 210 Km: 40% off-road on dirt and desert tracks and 60% on quiet roads. 100% vehicle supported Max altitude: 1590 m
Where You’ll Stay
Hotels are simple yet comfortable. You will also enjoy a unique and authentic experience during your one night stay in a Bedouin campsite, with a traditional goat hair tent divided into twin ‘rooms’. There are proper toilets and showers on site (go easy on the water), as well as shaded seating areas for relaxing and dining.
- All accommodation consisting of hotels (5 nights), basic lodging (1 night), Bedouin campsite (1 night)
- Bike rental (2010 Giant Yukon mountain bikes with front suspension, V-brakes and Shimano gearing)
- All breakfasts, 4 lunches and 2 dinners
- Water, juice and snacks during the rides
- Transfers and activities as per itinerary
- Arrival and departure transfers including bikes
- Professional local cycling guide and support guide
- Petra-specialized tour guide and a Bedouin host in Wadi Rum
- Entrance fees to all listed sites
What’s Not Included
Day 1: Amman - Madaba
Day 2: Mount Nebo, Mukawir & Dead Sea, 48 mi. (78 km) Total Ascent 650m/Total Decent 1700m
Day 3: Off-Road Eastern Plateau Scenic Trail to Petra, 22 mi. (35 km) Total Ascent 650m/Total Decent 790m
Day 4: Petra Sightseeing
Day 5: Petra sightseeing, visit Little Petra and ride an interesting off road trail, 19 mi. (31 km) Total Ascent 600m/Total Decent 600m
Day 6: Petra to Wadi Rum across the desert, 27 mi. (43 km) Total Ascent 270m/Total Decent 520m
Day 7: Wadi Rum and Mudflats of Disi, 25 mi. (40 km)
Day 8: Departure
Day 1: Amman - Madaba
Upon your arrival, an airport transfer is included from Amman Airport (AMM) adirectly to your hotel in Madaba. Hotel check-in time is typically after 2.00 pm. Early check is not guaranteed, but if you do arrive early, luggage storage is available at the hotel. There will be time to rest and settle in before you meet your tour guide for the trip. He'll be happy to answer any questions about the journey, and to make sure you're briefed on the program for the coming days.
Day 2: Mount Nebo, Mukawir & Dead Sea, 43 mi. (60 km). Total Ascent 450m/Total Decent 1500m
After breakfast we head Mount Nebo, a hilltop site with sweeping views down to the Dead Sea and west across the Jordan River towards Palestine. On a clear day you can see Jericho and even Jerusalem from here. For centuries Christians have believed this is the place where Moses died, within sight of the Promised Land, having led his people out of slavery in Egypt. In the early Christian period Mount Nebo became a place of pilgrimage, and it was at this time that craftsmen made the beautiful mosaics floors that have been excavated here over the last 80 years.
From Mount Nebo a short transfer (20km) on Kings Road south to Libb, mount our bikes and ride west for 16 km on a hilly narrow road through the villages of Bani Hamida to reach the hill of King Herod’s palace remains where John the Baptist was imprisoned and beheaded.
We then go to the nearby village of Mukawir where we get hosted by a local family over lunch—a great opportunity for a genuine local interaction opportunity. This is part of our responsible tourism programs to support the local communities at the places we visit.
We then ride downhill a 1000 meters to the Dead Sea—the lowest spot on earth to enjoy the Dead Sea’s special buoyancy experience.
In the afternoon we transfer south, bypassing the town of Tafila to Dana village and to our simple and friendly hotel. Here you are on the edge of Jordan's largest nature reserve, a spectacular wilderness of canyons and mountains that rise above the Great Rift Valley.
Do not be intimidated by the length of today's ride - the last 15km are entirely downhill and almost effortless.
Day 3: Off-Road Eastern Plateau Scenic Trail to Petra, 22 mi. (35 km). Total Ascent 650m/Total Decent 790m
A short transfer brings transports you to Shobak, another in the great chain of castles that guarded the eastern edge of the Crusader kingdoms and watched over the old trade routes that ran from the Red Sea coast up towards Damascus. It was built in 1115 by King Baldwin, one of the leaders of the First Crusade and the first to be crowned King of Jerusalem. Like Kerak, it was part of the principality governed by Raynald of Chatillon in the late 12th century, and it was here at Shobak that Reynald built the ships that he then transported to the coast at Aqaba and used to launch a raiding party towards Mecca. The castle was taken by the Arab Islamic armies of Salaheddin (Saladin) in 1189, and extensively restored in the 14th century by the Mamluk dynasty. There are two churches inside the castle, and if you ask your guides they will show you the steep underground tunnel that the Crusaders cut to get down to the water spring below the castle.
Leaving the castle, we ride along an excellent dirt track that contours around the edge of the Eastern Plateau and offers magnificent views down into the Wadi Araba. There are some short, steep climbs along the way, but this is a really enjoyable section of the ride, and the support vehicle is always at hand. Eventually we rejoin the King's Highway and continue south towards Wadi Musa. This little town is right on the edge of Petra's archaeological park, and will be our base for exploring the ruins. You'll check into a comfortable hotel here for a three-night stay.
Day 4: Petra Sightseeing
You have a full day (off the bikes) to explore ancient Petra, accompanied for the morning (2-3 hours) by an expert English-speaking guide and then free to wander round the ruins on your own. An early start helps you to get ahead of the mass of tourists and walk through the quiet, atmospheric slot canyon or siq that leads down towards the city. After the long twilight of the siq the sunlit façade of the Treasury is a stunning sight, no matter how many times you've seen it reproduced on film. From the postcards, you'd think this was what you'd come to see. But it's just the beginning. Petra is a vast archaeological site, most of it still unexcavated; you could spend days exploring the ruins and still not see it all. It was built by the Nabataeans, an Arab tribe who began as tent-dwelling Bedouin but soon came to dominate the most lucrative trade of the ancient world: incense. They used the money to create this city and to build an empire that extended from the Red Sea to Damascus. They also absorbed architectural ideas from Egypt, from the Babylonians, and from the Greek cities of the Mediterranean, using them to create the hybrid culture that you see in these ruins. The Temple of the Winged Lions, the High Place of Sacrifice, the Roman theatre, the Garden Tomb, the Byzantine church - any one of these monuments would be an archaeological treasure in its own right; in Petra, you can explore them one after another, and find them all set into one of the finest desert landscape in the Middle East.
Day 5: Petra sightseeing, visit Little Petra and ride an interesting off road trail, 19 mi. (31 km). Total Ascent 600m/Total Decent 600m
This morning is free for you to decide what you would like to do, whether you'd like to pay Petra another visit or rest, the choice is yours. In the early afternoon, you will ride on the tarmac road from the hotel to Beida (12 km north of Petra). You will stop to visit the site of Little Petra. The route then leads on an interesting off-road track that leads to the ledge behind the mountains of Petra at a secluded area which provides amazing panoramic views of the breathtaking Wadi Araba desert to the west. At the viewpoint you can rest while enjoying the scenery before we retracing the trail back to Beida and transfer back to the hotel.
Day 6: Petra to Wadi Rum across the desert, 27 mi. (43 km). Total Ascent 270m/Total Decent 520m
You begin with a short transfer by vehicle, getting on your bikes at the village of Delagha and heading south on an unsurfaced desert track. After a couple of hours you reach an old caravanserai or roadside inn where travelers could rest and recover at a place called Humaimah, where you stop for lunch. After a good rest you continue south until Jordan's main north-south road, the Desert Highway. Here you put the bikes on the van and drive south to Wadi Rum, where you meet your Bedouin hosts and transfer to their 4x4 jeeps to get to camp in heart of the Wadi Rum's protected area.
There'll be time to relax and take in the sunset before enjoying a Bedouin feast of meat and vegetables cooked in the zerb, an oven of fire-heated sand and stone. If you're still not tired out by the day's adventures you can stay up around the fire, talking and laughing with your Bedouin hosts and watching the night sky.
Your accommodation is a simple but comfortable Bedouin campsite, with a traditional goat hair tent divided into twin ‘rooms'. There are proper toilets and showers on the site (go easy on the water), as well as shaded seating areas for relaxing and dining.
Day 7: Wadi Rum and Mudflats of Disi, 25 mi. (40 km)
Every guidebook to Wadi Rum repeats the description written by T.E. Lawrence of Arabia almost century ago, and with good reason. "The Arab armies would have been lost in the length and breadth of it," he wrote, "and within the walls a squadron of aeroplanes could have wheeled in formation. Our little caravan grew self-conscious, and fell dead quiet, afraid and ashamed to flaunt its smallness in the presence of such stupendous hills. Landscapes, in childhood's dream, were so vast and silent."
After a breakfast in the peace and quiet of the camp you'll join your Bedouin guides for an exploration of Wadi Rum by jeep and on foot, exploring the incredible eroded cliff faces, the ancient rock inscriptions, and the red sand dunes of the desert. At a shady spot you'll enjoy lunch, tea made on the fire, and maybe a siesta, before heading off in the jeeps towards the Disi mudflats - a vast plain surrounded by spectacular sandstone formations. This is a great place to enjoy a bike ride on level ground and to take in the scenery of colored sandstone mountains.
At the end of our ride we will meet our bus and transfer back north to Madaba for the last night.
Day 8: A transfer will be provided from your hotel to AMM Airport which is a 30 minute drive.
The holiday itinerary set out below offers a good overview of the trip, but should be taken as a general guide only.