Adventures / Remote Rides

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

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Trip Ref #10266

Adventures / Remote Rides

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

Hotel · Wild camping · Glamping

DIFFICULTY

Moderate

You won’t need to be super fit, but you 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

What's it like?

    See the photos our community shared

    All our reviews are verified

    We only invite travellers to leave a review if they have booked this trip with Much Better Adventures.

    Stephen, May 2022

    Jordan, what a beautiful country highlights are Wadi rum, Bedouin camp and the decent into Little Petra. Furat and Baraa were outstanding from day one they made sure we had everything needed and nothing was too much trouble. It was exciting, eye opening exhilarating trip that I just didn’t want to end. Stop reading the reviews just book it you won’t regret it.

    Ola, May 2022

    I really enjoy exploring Jordan on the bike. It was such a unique experience. The trip was well managed, we were never bored :) It was so much more than cycling! We did hiking, (little) climbing, jeep adventures, stars spotting and of course relaxing in the beach. One of my favourite things was food! So so so good🤤 We had amazing local dinners and so much biking snacks! The group was great! Mixture of experienced cyclists and beginners like me :) everybody was super supportive which made the hills just a little less painful ;) We had great time cycling access the desert and powering through sand. I can’t recommend the trip enough!

    Joanna, May 2022

    Often on a trip you have one or two moments that you know you’ll remember, but on this trip every day was unforgettable. I had high expectations but every one of them was far exceeded; this trip seriously under sold itself. Furat and Anton were exceptional guides and exuded both professionalism and fun. The way the ride was structured and planned meant everyday delivered something new and awe inspiring. They had thought about every last thing a rider could wish for; we even had cold cans of coke at the top of an epic hill climb. Aside of the stunning scenery, delicious food and beautiful campsites, the group was one of the best things about the trip- we just had so much fun together. There is no doubt that this is a experience I will never forget. Gazing up at the stars on top of a sandstone mountain in Wadi Rum will be a memory I’ll treasure forever. Thanks Furat! Thanks Anton!

    Kate, May 2022

    This is an amazing trip to a beautiful country bursting with geography, history and a warm, genuine welcome from everyone we met. So many breathtaking moments that I'm still trying to process them all. Our guides, Furat and Anton, were wonderful and taught us so much. Food was delicious and plentiful. On top of all this, so many hidden bonus moments that weren't even mentioned in the itinerary. I would highly recommend this adventure!

    Peter, May 2022

    Great adventure. Fabulous team, would do it again in a heartbeat but I believe you do need off road experience to be safe and gain the most out of it.

    Nick, May 2022

    If you want to climb old trails, fly down gnarly descents, sleep out under the stars and be amazed at the sights of the Jordan scenery then get your padded shorts on a plane

    Janina, April 2022

    Excellent trip

    Anna, April 2022

    A lovely relaxed cycling holiday with a fantastic local guide guide and support crew - thanks Furat and Ahmed! It was a great way to explore a fascinating country, experience local food and stay with Bedouin hosts. It was fun to have a mix of gravel tracks, road and sand, and the bikes were good.

    Kat, April 2022

    A fabulous way to see the highlights of this fascinating country. Challenging at times but we laughed through the sweat and pain... A great mix of sights/activities and authentic accommodation. The guide was excellent as was the support van driver. Highly recommend.

    Daniel, October 2021

    An amazing experience - beautiful scenery, knowledgeable guides and a real sense of adventure. Bucket list stuff!

    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, 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

    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

    2022 Departures: Private transfers between Amman airport and the hotel are included for any time (and day) you choose to arrive or depart.

    2023 Departures: 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.

    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, the Captain's Hotel in Aqaba and the Art Hotel in Amman.

    Milky Way 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 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).

    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 take a break 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

    40km · 950m up · 950m down

    After a substantial hummus-based breakfast, you’ll cycle straight from the hotel, 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. 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

    30km · 250m up · 800m down

    An extra early start today for a spectacular hike to Petra. You’ll enter the ancient city the 'backdoor' and will have time to explore the sites and learn all about its ancient past with a local specialist guide before leaving through the ‘back door’. You’ll ride all the way to your overnight spot, 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 and 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...

    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.

    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.

    15% Off Outdoor Gear

    In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 15% discount on us to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

    What do I need to bring?

    SLEEPING
    Sleeping bag (3-Season or 4-Season for Nov-Mar dates)
    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
    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

    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.

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