Meet at the group hotel in Amman. Group transfers from Amman Airport are provided. These transfers are normally in the late evening. We arrive at the hotel too late for dinner or for a trip briefing but en-route from the airport to the hotel your guide will explain the meetings times for the next day.
Taking time this morning to meet our fellow group members, assemble our bikes and enjoy breakfast we will receive a briefing from our guide about the cycling ahead of us! We start our journey with a about an hour's transfer to the West of Amman. After saddling up and leaving the outskirts of Amman we head south and ride through Dibbin Forest Reserve, one of the only forested areas in Jordan, where Aleppo pine, strawberry, pistachio and wild olive trees grow. The reserve was set up to provide a home for endangered animal species, such as the Persian squirrel. Riding through this reserve area, we descend towards King Talal Dam and ride beside the Zarqa River until we reach the main road between Amman and the north. We follow this road for 15 kilometres toward the Baqa’a Valley, before heading west and climbing into the beautiful green hills of Remeimin and Jalad, finally arriving at the town of Salt at the top of the mountain. Bypassing the town, we have amazing views to the Jordan Valley and the West Bank. Beyond Batna we begin our descent to the lowest spot on earth, by following the stunning and dramatic Wadi Shu’aib. Riding between farms and passing the Baptism site of Jesus, we descend to 430 metres below sea-level and our hotel accommodation beside the Dead Sea.
This morning we have the opportunity to relax, enjoy the Dead Sea's special buoyancy experience and get prepared for today’s challenging climb. The Dead Sea is 75 kilometres long and between 6 to 16 kilometres wide. It is fed by the Jordan River, but it has no outlet. As its name suggests, the Dead Sea is entirely devoid of plant and animal life, due to an extremely high content of salt and other minerals (350 grams of salt per kilogram of water, as compared to about 40 grams in the world's oceans). This concentration is caused by a rapid rate of evaporation. These natural elements give the waters of the Dead Sea certain curative properties, recognized since the days of Herod the Great over 2000 years ago. After a refreshing dip, we are reunited with our bikes and ride along the shore of the Dead Sea for around 7 kilometres. Turning inland it’s a truly a unique feeling as we start to climb from the heady heights of around 400 metres below sea level! En route we have a short visit to the Dead Sea Exhibition at the Panorama Complex and can admire the superb views to the Dead Sea and across to the Western Plateau on the other side. Over the next 20 kilometres we continue our climb to the top of the plateau at 850 metres, where we reach the holy site of Mount Nebo, reputedly the place from which Moses viewed the 'promised land'. On a clear day, it is even possible to see the spires of the holy city of Jerusalem, some 45 kilometres away. We will explore the site and its ancient mosaics before riding east to our hotel in Madaba.
This morning we leave Madaba riding southwards to Um Arrasas. Um Arrasas has recently become a UNESCO World Heritage Site especially because of its impressive mosaic which dates back to 785 A.D. The mosaic depicts beautiful scenes of hunting, agricultural and pastoral life all surrounded by a geographical border showing the cities of Jordan, Palestine and Egypt. After exploring the site, we'll get back on our bikes and cycle to Dhiban where we connect to the King’s Highway, which twists and winds its way through the heart of Jordan. We begin our descent to the belly of the famous Wadi Mujib - the Jordanian Grand Canyon - and after crossing the Mujib Dam, at 200 metres we have an 11 kilometre climb up to 900 metres on the Eastern Plateau. The King’s Highway is the world’s oldest continuously used communication route and is even mentioned in the Bible. Although we call it a highway, it is actually a local road with relatively low traffic. Situated on the outskirts of Karak (1050m), our hotel is perfectly located to receive us after a long day of riding. Depending on our arrival time, we may visit Karak Castle, one of the most impressive Crusader forts in the Middle East.
We continue riding southwards on the plateau, following the King’s Highway, passing agricultural fields, ruins and several small villages, until we reach the edge of the Al Hassa Canyon. We stop to admire the views, before making our descent into this impressive rocky chasm. What goes down must go up! and it's an 800 metre climb back out of the wadi, but we are spurred on by the thought of our picnic lunch and the chance to rest once the 22 kilometre ascent is over. After lunch, it's back on our bikes for the continuation of our southward ride. We avoid the town of Tafila by contouring around its east side on minor farm roads and gain height steadily, en route to a high point at around 1600 metres, close to the rocky summit of Jabal Ata'ta. A final descent of 400 metres takes us to the village of Dana (1250m) and our basic but friendly hotel. Here, we are on the edge of the Dana Biosphere Reserve, Jordan’s largest reserve area, comprising hundreds of square kilometres of spectacular mountains and wadis along the face of the Great Rift Valley. Dana village has been the home of the Al Ata'ata tribe for 400 years and we will have the chance to look around this tranquil settlement.
Today, our route will take us via Shobak Castle, one of the great chain of Crusader fortresses, which stretches across Jordan and was built in the year 1115. Beyond the castle, an initial steep climb through small villages leads us to Hisheh and magnificent views down to the natural white rock domes of Beida. We descend to Beida and stop to explore the site of Little Petra before we continue to Wadi Musa (1150m) the 'Valley of Moses’ which is the little town that acts as a gateway to the 'rose-red city' of Petra. Here, we check in at a comfortable hotel for a 2-night stay.
A welcome day off the bikes today, as we get chance to explore the ancient city of Petra, accompanied by a knowledgeable English-speaking guide. We set off through the narrow ‘Siq’ that leads to the heart of this site. The Nabataeans, an industrious people of Arab descent who came to this part of Jordan some 2000 years ago, created Petra. Ancient Petra was occupied for around 400 years at around the time of Christ. Later, it appears that the city lay entirely deserted and forgotten for a period of approximately 300 years before its more recent rediscovery in 1812. Approaching through the gloomy kilometre-long chasm of the Siq provides a dramatic contrast as we reach arguably the most spectacular of the city's rock-hewn buildings, the magnificent Treasury, with its intricately carved facade. There are over 800 individual monuments at Petra, including temples, tombs, arched gateways and entire streets,
carved from the colourful native sandstone. Other highlights are the High Place of Sacrifice, which offers views across the whole area, and the Monastery that is even bigger than the Treasury and is reached by way of 800 steps. The guide will be with the group for 3 hours or so, after which time you are free to relax or continue with independent sightseeing. We return to spend a second night at our hotel in Wadi Musa.
Still following the King’s Highway, we ride towards the villages of Taybeh and Rajef, along a scenic and undulating route with great views of the rugged peaks of the Petra Mountains. We descend easily to a junction with the Desert Highway (Jordan’s main north-south road) and turn south on the last leg of our journey to Aqaba and the Red Sea. The highway descends gradually all the way from around 1400 metres to the coast and for the next 40 kilometres m we have no alternative but to ride on this relatively busy road, but we will ride as a group, keeping an eye out for trucks and avoiding the debris on the hard shoulder (depending on traffic and weather conditions, we have the option to transfer this section). Descending into Aqaba we can take a well earned dip in the Red Sea and relax with a cold drink in hand! Having finished our cycling for the week, we take a private transfer to Madaba and enjoy a most deserved celebratory meal.
After an early breakfast there is a single timed airport transfers to Amman international airport. KE Land Only package services end on arrival at the airport. If you would prefer to stay in Aqaba at the end of day 9 and enjoy a few days relaxing at the Red Sea please contact one of our adventure travel consultants to discuss Aqaba extensions.
If you wish to extend your trip (for example, enjoy an extra day or two in Aqaba) please let us know and we'll be glad to assist.
We wish you a safe homeward journey and hope to see you again in Jordan soon.
A locally based English speaking bike guideTimed Amman Airport transfers at the beginning and end of the trip
One or more support vehicles and drivers
A specialist local guide in Petra
Entrance fees to Karak Castle / Petra / Aqaba beach
All accommodation as detailed under 'trip details'
Complimentary water, juice and snacks throughout the rides
What's not included
Tips for the guide and local support crew
Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc
All meals are included from breakfast on Day 2 to breakfast on Day 9.
During this trip the group will spend a total of 8 nights in comfortable 3 star or Tourist Class accommodation. All accommodation is allocated on a twin sharing basis. If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex. For hotel prices and single supplement costs please refer to the dates and prices page of the trip on our website.