BIKE TRAILS OF JORDAN
Day 1 Arrive in Amman
Welcome to the Kingdom of Jordan! We meet at the hotel for a welcome dinner and go over the details of our upcoming adventure.
Day 2 Amman - Dead Sea
After breakfast, we see the highlights of the city and visit the ancient citadel and the Roman amphitheater, a 3,000-year-old piece of history built into one of the many hills in downtown Amman. Time to see more of Jordan, so we transfer South to our cycling start point near the village of Fayha avoiding Madaba and its busy traffic. The cycling route starts by heading south on quiet roads across the plains of the Madaba plateau. We have a good mix of terrains today, road, dirt tracks, rocky paths and gravel roads – which makes it an ideal warm-up ride. The cycling route passes by a panorama viewpoint and follows a sweeping road wending its way down to the Jordan Valley. Once we hit the Jordan Valley highway, we'll have an option to keep riding to our overnight location for another 10 km on the road.
Day 3 Dead Sea - Dana
As we are starting below sea level, we have a 1,000-m transfer up the mountainside to the plateau for a visit to Mount Nebo, where Moses looked across at the Promised Land before he died. We continue to the Christian town of Madaba to see the mosaic map of the Holy Land, before we reach our start point. We cycle south on quiet roads across the plains of the Madaba Plateau and through the village of Ma’in. The route then starts a long descent following Wadi Zarqa Ma’in on smooth roads passing the Zarqa Ma’in Dam and continues following the river. This portion of the trail is another scenic highlight with rocky brown mountains on one side and lush green mountains on the other. The terrain includes road, dirt track, rocky paths, and gravel roads. We overnight on the edge of the Dana Biosphere, Jordan’s largest nature reserve and home to a great variety of wildlife. Our hotel is in Dana Village, occupied since about 4,000 BC. Today, Dana is inhabited mostly by clans of the Al Ata’ata, who settled in the area during the Ottoman period, about four hundred years ago, and built the present village. The crumbling village was nearly abandoned, but now 70 of the traditional stone houses have been restored, enabling some families to remain in the village.
Day 4 Dana - Little Petra
This morning, we drive a short distance to visit Shobak Castle. The first of the Crusader Castles built in Jordan, it was constructed by Baldwin I in 1115 and surrendered in 1189 to the Great Salahdin. We will have more climbing today than any other day, and we start with an incline on a paved road, curling around the castle, until we reach the top of the hill. Here, we hit a dirt trail and begin a stunning section, traversing the side of the mountain, overlooking the mountains of Ras Al-Feid, Mount Safaha, and Gbour Wahdat. The jeep width dirt track crosses dry streams and then climbs to a higher elevation giving us our first glimpse of Petra, Wadi Musa, and the small town of Um Sayhoun, with Aaron’s Shrine barely visible in the distance on top of Jebel Haroun. Finish with a slightly technical descent to the entrance of Petra. Then we take a tarmac road to the entrance of Little Petra. We walk through and clamber up to a dining room with 2,000-year-old frescoes recently discovered in 2010. It is a short cycle from here to our Bedouin camp for the night. We are in tents with cots and shared facilities.
Day 5 Petra Discovery
A highlight of any trip to Jordan is to see first-hand the archaeological wonders of Petra. Famous for its rock-cut architecture and water conduit system, the Rose City is not to be missed. After breakfast at camp, we drive to the modern visitors’ centre and start our walk to the narrow and famous entrance to the Treasury. Then, you enter the Siq, exploring the ancient rock carved ruins of Facades Street, the theatre, and the court. After lunch, you explore on your own to discover some of the less visited monuments, such as the monastery, the Khubtha Mountain, and the High Place of sacrifice.
Day 6 Rajif - Wadi Rum
A long, gradual downhill takes us through quintessential Middle-Eastern desert landscape on caravan tracks. We transfer uphill to the small town of Rajif where we get on our bikes for the desert descent. After a short section on the King’s Highway, the fun begins with a downhill dirt track through pure countryside. On reaching the desert highway, we transfer to Wadi Rum, also known as the Valley of the Moon. Cut into sandstone and granite rock, it is Jordan's largest Wadi. Scenes of Wadi Rum in “Lawrence of Arabia” kick-started Jordan's tourism industry, but you may also recognize it from “Red Planet” and “The Martian”. We go for a sunset jeep tour to experience a beautiful night under the stars in the desert.
Day 7 Wadi Rum - Aqaba
A morning cycle on the desert salt flats around Wadi Rum will give you yet another perspective on this stark and harsh landscape. Mid-morning, we transfer to Aqaba, Jordan's window to the sea, to enjoy and relax on a well-deserved boat ride on the Red Sea. We have a leisurely lunch onboard and ample opportunity to see the vibrant coral while snorkelling. Meet up for our farewell dinner at the hotel and the last night of the tour.
Day 8 Departure
After breakfast at the hotel, there will be one group drop off at Queen Alia International Airport at approximately 11:30 am. Please schedule your return flight accordingly. If you wish to extend your stay in Jordan, Aqaba is the perfect place to dive or snorkel the Red Sea.