Cycle the Jordan Trail to Petra

Pedal through vast desert landscapes and remote nature reserves, pausing at Wadi Rum for a snooze under the Milky Way

From

Trip Ref #10266

Cycle the Jordan Trail to Petra

Pedal through vast desert landscapes and remote nature reserves, pausing at Wadi Rum for a snooze under the Milky Way

DURATION

7 nights

LOCATION

Jordan

ANNUAL LEAVE

5 days off work

SEASON

Mar-May, Sept-Dec

GROUP SIZE

Up to 14 people

MEETING POINT

Queen Alia International Airport, Amman

ACCOMMODATION

Classic

Hotel · Wild camping · Glamping

OVERALL RATING

5.0

Based on 38 reviews
DIFFICULTY

Moderate

You'll need to have average fitness and should have experience riding back-to-back days with moderate elevation gain

Take on sections of the pioneering Jordan Bike Trail, all the way to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Petra

Cycle ancient camel caravan paths to the majestic Wadi Rum, hopping in a desert Jeep in search of the sunset

Swim, or float, in the Dead Sea. The lowest point on earth, famous for its healing properties

Day 1

Arrive in Amman

The start point for today is your hotel in central Madaba. You'll be met at the airport and transferred to Madaba and are free to check in after 2pm.

Day 2

And we're off!

Cycling

38km · 600m up · 700m down

Heading south, you’ll jump on the bus and head to Dana Nature Reserve where you’ll get set up with your bike before hitting the road. Cycling through this biosphere reserve is pretty spectacular - you’ll start at the Wadi Dana viewpoint before continuing on the ancient trade route known as the King’s Highway all the way to Shobak, home to one of the few Crusader castles remaining in Jordan. You'll head to a small hamlet for your first night camping, hosted by a local Bedouin family.

Day 3

The long and winding road

Cycling

47km · 950m up · 1400m down

After a substantial hummus-based breakfast, you’ll cycle straight from the camp, tackling a brief climb out of Shobak. Today is one of the most epic stages of the Jordan Bike Trail; you’ll follow the upper rim of the Araba Valley and gaze towards the mountains of Petra, proper wilderness riding on a mixture of dirt tracks and roads. Your reward is The Little Petra Bedouin Camp, scattered with fire torches and carpet through the desert, this is a deserving slice of luxury after a good day on the saddle.

Day 4

To the rose red city of Petra

Hiking

12km · 200m up · 200m down

Cycling

34km · 330m up · 1350m down

An extra early start today for a spectacular hike to Petra. You’ll enter the ancient city via the 'backdoor' and will have time to explore the sites and learn all about its ancient past with a local specialist guide before leaving the same way. Following a short jeep transfer to the hilltop village of Rajif, you’ll pedal off-road for the long descent towards Wadi Rum. Your overnight spot is a remote wild campsite set up by a local Bedouin family who will cook some traditional fodder. Time to hit the hay - either climb into your tent or grab your mattress and sleep ‘open-air’ - highly recommended for star-gazing fans.

Day 5

Cross the 'Desert Highway' to Wadi Rum

Cycling

60km · 400m up · 450m down

You’ll get a true taste of Middle-Eastern desert landscape today as you make your way through isolated caravan tracks, crossing the desert highway and marvelling at how ancient navigation worked in such vast spaces. Having made it to Wadi Rum, you’ll jump in a desert Jeep to explore the many valleys, canyons, gorges and vistas that make up this desert playground - hiking and scrambling is the only way to do it! Bed down in an established Bedouin camp with shared luxurious tents, this is basically glamping in the desert.

Day 6

To the Red Sea

Cycling

40km · 200m up · 400m down

Last day on the bike today. A Jeep transfer will take you out of camp and then you’ll spend a couple of hours cycling on the desert mudflats around Wadi Rum continuing your journey south. Later on, you’ll hop on the bus for a short ride to Aqaba, Jordan’s ‘window to the sea’. You’ll have a bit of time to kick back and relax or grab a snorkel and marvel at the underwater life that the Red Sea offers.

Day 7

Float away...

Driving

4 hrs

Having made it to the very south of the country, you’ll spend today road-tripping your way back up north. You’ll stop at a few points of interest and get to the Dead Sea for lunchtime. Enjoy the sunshine at the lowest point on earth, give yourself a mud bath, gaze towards Jerusalem or simply spend the afternoon trying to keep your balance in the Dead Sea's salty waters. You'll then continue on to Amman for the night.

Day 8

Back to the airport

After breakfast and final goodbyes with your team, you'll be returned to the airport in time for your flight home. Or if you choose to extend your stay, enjoy a wander around the many sites of bustling Amman.

Included

Guides

Local, professional, English-speaking guides and bike mechanics

Accommodation

3 nights in a hotel, 2 nights wild camping and 2 nights glamping in a Bedouin desert camp

Meals

All breakfasts, 6 lunches, 4 traditional Arabic dinners and snacks while cycling

Transfers

Both airport transfers and travel between locations

Equipment

Scott Aspect 740 bikes and all your desert camping equipment

Permits

All permits and entry fees to the sites

Luggage Transfer

A desert truck to carry all your overnight kit

Support Vehicle

To hop into if your legs need a rest

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Travel insurance

Personal expenses

Some meals as described

Tips for your guides

Visas where required

Day 1

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2

Wild camping · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 3

Glamping · Twin tent

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 4

Wild camping · Twin tent

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 5

Glamping · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 6 – Day 7

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 8

Departure day

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

For breakfast at the hotels expect a buffet typical of 3-star hotel breakfasts all over the world. Lunches will generally be buffet style at local cafes and will cost approx $10pp. Dinner (where not included) will be at local restaurants and will cost approx $15-$20pp. Your guide will be with you to make suggestions of where to eat and to arrange group meals.

For dinner while camping, you'll experience traditional Arabic food - typical dishes are Magloobah (rice with vegetables and chicken prepared in a traditional way with local spices) or Mansaf (rice served with lamb and yoghurt). All these dishes come with the classic Hummus, Mtabbal (fried eggplant) and salad. Dinner at Wadi Rum at the Bedouin camp is a real experience. Here they serve the famous Zarb - rice, veggies, lamb and chicken cooked for 4-5 hours under the ground on coal and served with salads and side dishes.

Vegetarians, vegans and other dietary requirements and allergies can be catered for - please just let your host know on booking.

What is the accommodation like?

Madaba, Aqaba and Amman

During your overnight stays in Madaba, Aqaba and Amman you will be tucked up in cosy local 3* hotels. The exact hotel you stay in will be confirmed nearer the time based on group size and availability, but all are chosen for their excellent reputation, location and welcoming service. Some examples are the Mosaic City Hotel in Madaba, My Hotel in Aqaba and the Toledo Hotel in Amman.

Rainbow Camp and Little Petra Camp

You will spend two nights in Bedouin camps nestled into the vast expanse of Little Petra and Wadi Rum. Each tent is equipped with beds, mattresses, blankets and pillows, with showers and toilets available also. You'll be treated to traditional Bedouin cuisine cooked on an open fire and both camps are the perfect place for a spot of star-gazing and to watch the sun rise the next morning.

Wild Camping

You will spend one night totally in the wild and one camping in the garden of a Bedouin family. Your crew will set up the campsite for you, as well as a 'washroom' for a quick spruce with some hot water and a toilet tent. A local Bedouin family will also be at the campsite to prepare some delicious meals for you to enjoy under the stars. Solo travellers will get their own tent by default for a little more privacy.

Upgrades

For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room and tent can be booked for an extra charge, see Optional Extras for the price. Please request this at the time of booking (this is subject to availability).

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Queen Alia International Airport, Amman

Catch any flight to arrive on Day 1

Ends

Queen Alia International Airport, Amman

Depart any time on Day 8

Transfers

Arrival transfers from Amman airport to the hotel in Madaba are included for any time you choose to arrive on Day 1 or Day 2 of the tour (some flights arrive after midnight so fall in the early hours of Day 2). Departure transfers from the final hotel to Amman airport are included for any time you choose to depart on Day 8. If you need a transfer on other days then your host can arrange a private transfer for you, at additional cost. See the Optional Extras section for prices.

Travel options

There are frequent flights to Amman from airports in the UK and Europe. Choose any flight to arrive on Day 1 and depart on Day 8 - or extend your stay if you wish. Some flights arrive shortly after midnight - if you arrive in Amman in the early hours of day 2 then your room will be ready and waiting for you but if your flight arrives in the early hours of Day 1, you will need to book an extra night's accommodation before the tour as rooms are not usually available for check-in until the mid-afternoon. Your host can arrange an additional night of accommodation, subject to availability. See the Optional Extras section for more prices.

Enjoy 12.5% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 12.5% discount to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What do I need to bring?

SLEEPING
3-Season sleeping bag, 4-Season for Nov-Mar dates (optional - mattresses, bedding and pillows are provided while camping) Sleeping bag liner (optional)

CYCLE KIT
Helmet (required)
Pedals and saddle if you would rather use your own (these will be fitted to the bike for you)

CLOTHES
Padded cycling shorts
Sports top or cycling jersey
Fleece jacket or similar jacket for the evenings
Rain and windproof lightweight jacket
Trousers/leggings for the evenings
Cycling gloves
Buff or neck scarf
T-shirts
Underwear & socks
Sunglasses and sunhat
Pyjamas/something to sleep in
Cycling shoes/trainers (bring your own pedals if using cleats)
Sandals
Hiking shoes or boots for hike into Petra

FOR NOV-MAR TRIPS ONLY A down jacket
Set of thermals (merino wool the best)
Hat
Gloves

OTHER
Swimwear (for hotels/beach)
Bumbag or small handlebar bag for riding
Quick-dry travel towel Universal travel adapter
Power bank or solar charger
Passports (and visas)
Travel Insurance documents
Earplugs
Suncream
Personal first-aid kit (including blister treatment)
Personal items (biodegradable toiletries, sanitary wear etc)
Alcohol hand-gel
Reusable water bottle
Energy bars and snacks

Pre-trip accommodation in Madaba (Single)

Payable Before Departure

Pre-trip accommodation in Madaba (Single)

Pre-trip accommodation in Madaba (Twin or Double)

Payable Before Departure

Pre-trip accommodation in Madaba (Twin or Double)

Post-trip Accommodation in Amman (Single)

Payable Before Departure

Post-trip Accommodation in Amman (Single)

Post-trip Accommodation in Amman (Twin or Double)

Payable Before Departure

Post-trip Accommodation in Amman (Twin or Double)

Optional Private Room and Tent Upgrade

Payable Before Departure

Optional Private Room and Tent Upgrade

Private Airport Transfer to/from Amman or Madaba Hotel (one way)

Payable Before Departure

Private Airport Transfer to/from Amman or Madaba Hotel (one way)

- Miles(November 2022)

This is the perfect way to see Jordan. The cycling is a challenge but it’s worth it for the views and the people you meet. It’s a very well organised trip which has an exceptional guide who is passionate and happy to teach you about the country. You will have so many memorable moments from floating in the Dead Sea to watching the sunset over the desert. Would highly recommend!!!

- Joe(November 2022)

This is a tough trip with lots of physical exertion. We are fit cyclists and it was challenging. Having said that, it was hugely rewarding and Jordan is stunning. This trip was everything because of the guide we had - Furat Mai. Memories made for the rest of our lives.

- Phoebe Khan(November 2022)

I had so much fun on this trip. Every day is different and exciting. Furat is the guide and he does an amazing job organising everything and making sure everyone is happy. He is very knowledgable about everything in Jordan. You are in safe hands. The cycling is beautiful and varied. The group was a lot of fun. The highlights were the snacks (!) and wadi rum :)

- Luc(November 2022)

A great trip that made me realise how much you can really pack in to a day. The cycling was fun and the scenery cinematic. The guide was terrific and the group was super fun. Had the best time!

- Paul(November 2022)

Phenomenal trip- thoroughly recommend. The riding isn't too challenging but an amazing way to immerse yourself in this incredible landscape. Furat, our local guide was incredible, adding detail, knowledge and colour to an impressive landscape and history. The route taken to little Petra was a bonus with the walk into Petra well thought out so that you get a much better experience of Petra than the tourist masses. A must do trip - just make sure to pack ear plugs!

- Richard(November 2022)

Great trip, strongly recommend. So much more than a cycling trip. Excellent guide and brilliant set of like minded people. Never a dull moment. Jordan you rock 🤘

- Joshua(November 2022)

Yes

- Trevor(October 2022)

This was an absolutely brilliant adventure holiday!

Furat, our guide, was fantastic. Whether it was on his bike leading us across the desert, in the campsites organising meals etc., or in the van making arrangements for our airport transfers, he made sure that every detail was covered and that we knew what was happening. All of the logistics worked out perfectly. He introduced us to the local camp site owners and acted as interpreter where necessary. He was a real ambassador for his country with great knowledge of Jordan's history and culture. He knew the answers to most questions that we asked and, for any that he couldn't answer immediately, he researched and got back to us quite rapidly. Together with Barra, the tour assistant, they made the trip really enjoyable.

The mountain bikes supplied were high quality and well maintained. During our hike through Petra the bikes were cleaned and checked before we got on them again at the other end.

Some of the hills were a bit challenging - but that was what we wanted and expected. The MBA website "Moderate" tour grading was accurate. The on-road downhill section into Little Petra felt great after the earlier 6km steady climb up the highest road in Jordan.

Eating and sleeping in the Bedouin campsites was an unforgettable experience - for all the "right" reasons!

Hotel accommodation was a good standard.

Difficult to believe that we packed so many experiences into a single week - highly recommended!

- Thomas(October 2022)

I cannot recommend this trip highly enough! Jordan is such a beautiful country, full of history and culture and cycling through it has to be one of the best ways to connect with it all. Furat and Anton have thought of everything - you will never be left wanting, and they have some amazing surprises that make everything even more special! Furat was great at pacing each section of the ride and is an amazing font of knowledge. He always answered our questions with so much information and, most of the time pre-empted them with lots of extra things we would never think to ask about! You don't need to be a seasoned cyclist, as Furat and Anton have designed it to be accessible. As an out-of-practice cyclist, there were challenging parts, but it was all achievable at your own pace. No one ever felt like they were being left behind, and there was a great group mentality. Plus, Anton's amazing supply of snacks helped during each of the breaks! Anyone remotely interested, put your deposit down now - you won't regret it! It is a once in a lifetime experience with some of the best other-worldly scenery to get lost in!

- Chris(October 2022)

Much Better Adventures deliver yet again. What a way to see this beautiful and historical country. Such a well planned out itinerary by Furat and Anton with some incredible surprises thrown in !! The cycling can be tough be it’s all worth it .. Value for money is incredible and the locations epic Book this 💪

We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.

What's the number?
It works out on average at 367kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal for 2022 to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

  • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
  • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
  • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.

Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

The terrain might be undulating and astonishing, but this trip is designed for cyclists of average fitness able to cover around 45km (average) each on back-to-back days. There are sections of smooth tarmac on deserted roads that are a joy to ride but also some prime gravel tracks that carve through the majestic desert.

No technical skill is required, just some strong legs and a sense of adventure! There will also be a desert truck to transport your overnight stuff, so if the going gets too tough or too hot, you can always jump in for a bit of respite.

It's no secret that we love cycling and many of us at HQ think it's the best way to see a country, however, we realise that organising your own trip can be a total faff. On our cycling trips, we've found a local guide who has put together a perfect route and will navigate for you all the way. We even send a van that transports your overnight luggage and provide high-quality bikes and delicious snacks to keep you going. Faff eliminated! All you have to do is turn up, pedal and take in the landscape with your fellow tourers. You don't need to be a lycra-clad 'roadie' although they're welcome too!

You'll be riding Scott Aspect 740 bikes. These are light hardtail aluminium mountain bikes - perfect for riding on-road and for the gravel tracks over the desert. They all come with standard flat pedals and male/standard saddles. If you would rather pack your own saddle and pedals (including SPD's), please do and these will be fitted for you.

The cycling terrain is approximately 60% on gravel/dirt tracks, 10% on packed sand and about 30% on roads. There is also a mixture of gradients, including undulating rides, flats, downhill and uphill sections.

Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Jordan has a hot, dry climate characterised by long, hot, dry summers and short, cool winters. The climate is influenced by Jordan’s location between the subtropical aridity of the Arabian desert areas and the subtropical humidity of the eastern Mediterranean area.

The optimal seasons to explore Jordan by bike are March to April and September to November. When the temperature is comfortably warm but not scorching! The daytimes are around 23-27 °C approximately and the nights are cooler but not cold. Travelling in December will be cooler but also means that the main sites are far quieter and while the days are usually sunny and around 15-20 °C, the nights can be very cold in the desert and on occasion drop to near zero. Your reward is crisp clear desert night skies!

Tips are not included in the trip cost. These are entirely at your discretion but there is an expectation to tip for good service. Your guide will help with advice however, we suggest the below as a guideline per person:

Guide: $5 per person per day Support staff (bike crew, driver, hotel and restaurant staff): $12 per person per day

Of course, you are free to tip more or less and the amount should be reflective of your perception of service and quality - a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

We recommend checking out the country specific information here and also talking to a travel nurse.

For current advice about travelling in Jordan, have a read of the FCO pages here.

The transfer vehicle will have a large vat of water that you are able to top your water bottles up with. Most hotels will also provide safe drinking water so single-use water bottles should not be needed.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our adventures. Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure.

Your insurance policy should also include specific Covid-19 cover, including cancellation and curtailment cover if you, your travel companion or a close relative are diagnosed with Covid-19.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

You're in good company. Our adventures are typically made up of a mix of solo travellers and small groups of two or three friends who simply love adventure, pushing themselves and meeting awesome like-minded people. See here for more info about our lovely bunch of Much Better Adventurers.

Want to book a private trip? Just tap ‘Private Group’ in the dates and prices tab.

Your trip is led by carefully curated local hosts and expert guides. See here for more info about the guides we work with.

From

Full Financial Protection

Your money is safe. Every booking is fully financially protected.

Pay In Installments

You can choose to pay for this trip in as many installments as you like, with no interest or fees.

Similar Trips

From