- Follow scenic cycling routes through rugged deserts & mountains
- Soothe tired muscles in the mineral-rich Dead Sea
- Explore the ancient sandstone city of Petra
- Camp amid the martian landscapes of Wadi Rum
- Visit cultural highlights like medieval castles & Neolithic ruins
|Arrive in Amman, Transfer to Madaba
|Cycle from Madaba to the Dead Sea
|The Dead Sea
|Cycle from the Dead Sea to Wadi Mujib
|Cycle from Dana to Little Petra
|Explore the Wonders of Petra
|Cycle from Petra to Wadi Araba
|Cycle from Wadi Rum to Disi
|Transfer to Amman & Departure
Day 1: Arrive in Amman, Transfer to Madaba
Welcome to Jordan! Upon arrival at Amman's Queen Alia International Airport, your driver will be waiting to transfer you south to the small market town of Madaba.
After settling into your hotel, you can spend the rest of the day exploring at your own pace. Madaba is famous for its intricate Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics, including the spectacular Madaba Map, the oldest preserved mosaic map of the Holy Land. Nearby, the Madaba Archaeological Park displays the mosaic-rich Church of the Virgin Mary and artifacts from the Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, and Islamic eras. Depending on your arrival time, take the afternoon to explore the town's small streets and alleyways, and check out some of the churches. In the Church of St. John the Baptist, you can climb up the bell tower for stunning panoramic views.
As evening falls, you have the option of learning how to cook a traditional Jordanian dish at the local Hikayet Sitti restaurant—or skipping the lesson and sitting down to a delicious homecooked meal instead.
Day 2: Cycle from Madaba to the Dead Sea
Your cycling adventure kicks off this morning with a transfer to Mount Nebo. This elevated ridge of the Abarim range is said to be where Moses took in the view of the Promised Land. Follow in his footsteps and look out at the Dead Sea and beyond, before starting the day's ride down to the shore. The route winds through the village of Oyoun al Theeb ("Eye of the Wolf") and past mountains with amazing panoramic views across the arid landscape. This stretch is considered an intermediate-level bike route, mostly downhill and rarely traveled by cars.
Upon reaching the Dead Sea, get checked into your hotel and spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing. One of the most spectacular natural and spiritual landscapes in the world, this landlocked lake is the lowest point on earth and the world's richest source of natural salts, hiding wonderful treasures that accumulated throughout thousands of years. Soothe tired legs with a full body mud treatment, float in the salty water, or soak up some sun on the beach before dinner.
Cycling specifics: Distance: 22 miles (36 km)
EG: +1,033 feet (315 m) +9.0%
EL: -4,501 feet (1,372 m) -17.9%
Day 3: Cycle from the Dead Sea to Wadi Mujib
Today you'll cycle down the shore of the Dead Sea, continuing along the scenic Dead Sea Highway until you reach the Mujib Bridge. Along the easy and enjoyable bike route, you'll have the Dead Sea and Palestine on your right, and a series of breathtaking and bizarre rock formations on the left. When you reach Wadi Mujib, you'll be taken by car for the last stretch so you can skip the tough, uphill climb. Your base for the night is in Dana Village, on the edge of the Dana Biosphere Reserve. Jordan's largest natural reserve encompasses four distinct bio-geographical zones and is home to remarkably diverse flora and fauna.
Depending on your energy levels, you also have the option of taking a hike into the spectacular river canyons of the Wadi Mujib. Known as Jordan's "Grand Canyon," a hike through the "Siq" follows the course of the river between towering sandstone cliffs to the base of a large waterfall. Depending on seasonal rainfall levels, the journey can involve swimming or wading through refreshing pools of water, making it the perfect activity for hot summer days.
Distance: 17 miles (28 km)
EG: +875 feet (267 m) +5.4%
EL: -908 feet (277 m) -5.2%
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 4: Cycle from Dana to Little Petra
The difficulty ramps up today as you embark on an advanced bike route with some major climbs. Starting from Dana at approximately 4,900 feet (1,500 m) above sea level, you'll climb through rugged mountains and rural villages. An amazing downhill portion cuts between the trees at Al Shobak to reach the dramatic ruins of Shobak Castle. Built by 12th-century Crusaders, this fortress withstood attacks by Saladin until he finally overtook it. You can even see what is purported to be Saladin's simple throne in the catacombs, along with Islamic tablets and Christian carvings.
Back on the road, rolling terrain and panoramic views continue all the way to Little Petra (Al Beida)—the smaller, quieter neighbor of the famous Nabataean wonder which dates back to Neolithic times. After taking some time to explore, you'll be transferred to your hotel in Petra for dinner and a well-earned rest.
Distance: 44 miles (71 km)
EG: +6,131 feet (1,869 m) +20.4%
EL: -6,948 feet (2,118 m) -21.6%
Difficulty: advanced/mix of on and off-road
Day 5: Explore the Wonders of Petra
Today you'll swap bikes for walking boots and explore Jordan's beloved archeological treasure on foot. Known as the "Rose City" for the area's distinctive red sandstone, it's easy to see why Petra was named one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. Its intricate architectural design is hundreds of years old, and remarkably well maintained. You can arrange for a guided tour, or spend the day exploring the canyons and temples at your own pace.
Enter through the Siq, a dramatically narrow gorge flanked by towering cliffs, and spend your day wandering at your leisure through Petra's seemingly endless temples, tombs, and colonnaded streets. Navigate the impressive water conduit system of the historic Nabataean city, paying a visit to Qasr al-Bint, a grand temple that was once the population's primary place of worship.
If you're feeling adventurous, climb your way up the 800 steps to the Monastery, Petra's largest and lesser-visited monument. For a stunning view overlooking the Treasury and jagged mountains beyond, hike the steep stone-carved staircase to the top of Jabal al-Khubtha.
After a full day of exploring, return to your hotel to rest up and cool down before dinner.
Day 6: Cycle from Petra to Wadi Araba
After a day of rest, it's time to hop on your bike and set off again on today's rolling, intermediate-level route—starting from Al Taybeh and heading through the mountains to Wadi Araba. Along the way, you'll experience stunning views of the mountains, and likely share the road with some local Bedouin and their camels.
Upon arrival, you'll be met by your driver and transferred south into the wilderness of the Wadi Rum, a protected expanse of desert dubbed the "Valley of the Moon" by Lawrence of Arabia. After passing through red valleys, rock canyons, and dunes, you'll reach your base for the night at a Bedouin-style camp, where a mouthwatering traditional dinner and a night under the stars await.
Distance: 31 miles (50 km)
EG: +1,689 feet (515 m) +14.8%
EL: -5,974 feet (1,821 m) -17.7%
Difficulty: intermediate/ on-road
Day 7: Cycle from Wadi Rum to Disi
After an unforgettable desert sunrise and a hearty breakfast, you'll continue cycling towards Disi. The mostly flat, intermediate-level route starts from Wadi Rum Village and takes you through 1.8 miles (3 km) of off-road terrain that crosses the mountains to Al Disi. From there, you'll continue across the stunning red sand of the "Moon Floor" and finish the ride at a local camp for a sip of tea. Afterward, transfer back to your camp for another overnight stay in the desert.
Distance: 36 miles (58 km)
EG: +961 feet (293 m) +2.5%
EL: -961 feet (293 m) -2.7%
Difficulty: intermediate/mix of on and off-road
Day 8: Transfer to Amman & Departure
Your adventure draws to a close today as you say your goodbyes to your desert hosts. When the time comes, your driver will be waiting to transfer you back to Amman and the airport for your departing flight. Safe travels!
Depending on your departure time, you can also arrange for a stop en route at Aqaba to spend some time relaxing on the beaches of the Red Sea.
More Jordan Itineraries
Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Jordan? Check out these other Jordan itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights.
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