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Cycle through some of the most spectacular scenery and sites of Jordan. Float in the Dead Sea at the lowest place on earth and camp in Wadi Rum desert under a blanket of stars. Visit the ancient city of Petra - a world class UNESCO site.
Explore Tour Leader
5 nights comfortable hotel
2 nights premium hotel
1 nights comfortable tented camp
Trip maximum 16 Explore Average 11
Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.
Arrive in Madaba, an interesting market town known for its Byzantine-era mosaics.
There are no activities planned today, so you are free to arrive in Madaba at any time. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you'll need to arrive into Queen Alia International Airport (AMM), which is a 30 minute drive from the hotel. You will meet your Tour Leader at the welcome meeting at 8.30am tomorrow.
If your flight arrives earlier in the day, perhaps you might choose visit the Madaba Museum, Visitors Centre or one of the many fascinating churches or you may wish to go to a café for a coffee and soak up the atmosphere of this market town.
Mariam Hotel (or similar)
After the welcome meeting we visit the spectacular Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics of Madaba including the famous 6th century mosaic map of the Holy Land. We then start cycling toward Mt Nebo, reputedly the burial place of Moses and certainly the site for a spectacular view over the valley below. We will stop en route for our included picnic lunch. Freewheeling down the stunning series of switchbacks towards the unique setting of the saline waters of the Dead Sea, at nearly 400m below sea level the lowest point on earth is a great way to start this trip! Surrounded by barren hills, this unparalleled body of water has an amazingly high salt content (33%), resulting in the absence of any form of animal life and creating an almost impossible propensity to sink. We will have the opportunity to 'swim' in its buoyant waters and enjoy the therapeutic properties of its mineral rich mud before continuing on up to Shobak by bus for our overnight stop.
On all of the rides you will be provided with filtered water, tea and seasonal fruit and veg for snacks (included).
Our total cycling distance today is approximately 36 kilometres (total 82 metres asent and 1273 meters descent).
Montreal Hotel (or similar)
This morning, we drive the short distance across the valley to Shobak Castle. The first of the series of Crusader Castles built in Jordan, it was constructed by Baldwin I in 1115 and only surrendered in 1189 to the Great Salahdin. After our visit to this isolated stronghold we will continue on our journey on the Kings Highway. An ancient road that once carried the treasure laden caravan's of Solomon, to the fabled Nabatean city of Petra, one of the highlights of our journey and surely one of the most spectacular archeaological sites on earth. We cycle the undulating landscape through the fabled land of the Edomites, once home to the largest of the three Transjordanian Iron Age kingdoms that inhabited these wild upland regions. Descendents of Lot's brother-inlaw Esau, the Edomites went on to become rich from trade in copper and luxury goods, before making way to the emerging Nabatean kingdom that went on to create the majesty that is Petra. We will stop en route for our included picnic lunch before continuing southwards as our route takes us from an elevation of some 1700m down to about 1000m and we skirt the lower slopes of the mountains that lead the way to Petra. Tonight there is the opportunity to visit Petra lit by candlelight, a majestic experience.
Our total cycling distance today is approximately 42 kilometres (total 800 metres asent and 1014 metres descent).
Edom Hotel (or similar)
Abandoned centuries ago Petra was the rock cut stronghold of the Nabateans, a fortress city built to protect the lucrative levies its citizens imposed on the rich caravans heading north. Surrounded by imposing mountains and approached through a deep, narrow cleft in the rocks, known as the Siq, it is a unique and unforgettable place and, enhanced by the play of light and shadow, an altogether overwhelming experience. We walk through the Siq this morning, following its towering sandstone walls towards the site of the captivating and iconic splendour of the beautiful Khazneh (The famous Treasury). A guided walking tour will take us to some of the key parts of this remarkable and ancient site, one of the most impressive and exciting anywhere in the world. We'll take in the Colonnaded Street and the Royal Tombs, enjoy the site of its amazing theatre, with its 8,000 seats carved from the solid rock. A free afternoon affords the possibly of climbing the steep track up to the magnificent sacrificial 'High Places' (altars) and the top of Jebel Harin (1396m) for a stunning view over Wadi Araba and the Negev Desert. Here we find the Monastery, the largest of Petra's monuments and certainly a highlight to any visit to the city. Towering to a height of 40m its doorway alone measures 8m in height, dwarfing anyone framed within it and it is certainly worth the steep climb up to it. This evening you have the opportunity to enjoy an optional Bedouin cookery demonstration and meal at a nearby restaurant, learning how to make a traditional Makloubah (upside down) dish, with meat, rice and fried vegetables, followed by Um Ali, a creamy Arabic dessert with croissant pieces, raisins and nuts (No cycling today).
We have a free morning to revisit the Petra site, relax or shop in Wadi Musa. After a traditional Bedouin meal for lunch we take to our bicycles again and ride to Little Petra - a satellite of the main site. We can also visit the important Neolithic site at nearby El Beidha to view an excavated Stone Age village where the remains of houses, fireplaces and workshops that date back to around 6000 BC have been excavated, providing visitors with access to one of oldest excavated Neolithic sites on earth. On return to Wadi Musa what better way to relax this evening than with a traditional Ottoman Bath (optional).
Our total cycling distance today is approximately 20 kilometres (total 399 metres ascent and 414 metres descent).
Returning to the Kings Highway we pedal south over undulating upland pastures including a few long but gentle ascents and finally, the five-mile freewheel down to the southern desert. Today's picnic lunch spot offers views over Arava and Israel beyond. Cycling along the Old Desert Highway and negotiating sand drifts across the road, we then transfer by bus the remaining kilometres to Wadi Rum. A place that seems more akin to the surface of a distant planet than to anything on earth. The combination of its immensity, colour and awe-inspiring shapes creates an atmosphere that is almost supernatural. Lawrence of Arabia, who held Wadi Rum in high esteem, wrote: 'Our little caravan grew quite self-conscious, and fell dead quiet, afraid and ashamed to flaunt it's smallness in the presence of the stupendous hills. Landscapes in childhood's dreams were so vast and silent'. We have the opportunity this afternoon for an optional 4WD exploration or a camel ride to enjoy the stunning sunset as we ride or walk through a landscape of sandstone mountains and white and pink coloured sands.
After sunset, we enjoy the Bedouin hospitality around the campfire under a blanket of stars; a great setting to share stories while sipping mint and sage tea. A traditional zarb, consisting of a chicken or a goat meat (vegetarian options available) cooked under the desert sand, is served as well as a delicious selection of mezze.
The campsite we use presents the opportunity to experience traditional Bedouin living arrangements in a large communal style goat hair tent, which provides the best protection against typical desert extremes of hot and cold weather. The tent is laid out with rugs, mattresses, pillows and blankets and is where each tribe would commune to eat, sleep and socialise, as well as a fire pit to sit around and enjoy some local sweet tea. Far away from the tourist centre, roads and within the Wadi Rum protected area, the camp is intimate and provides great views over the desert. A toilet and wash block with limited washing facilities is also available during our stay. Private tents can be paid for locally should you wish, subject to availability.
Our total cycling distance today is approximately 58 kilometres (total 770 metres asent and 1240 metres descent).
Salim Camp (or similar)
Comfortable Tented Camp
On our final day of cycling, we cross the Hejaz railway line and tour the desolate parts of Wadi Rum riding on the 'Jelada' the hard dried mud left from the rare rains. Few other visitors venture to these areas but for cyclists it is an easy riding surface and perfectly flat! A strange world of bleached bones and mirages turn the surrounding hills into towering islands. We then continue by bus to Aqaba, Jordan's only seaport. As we take our last views out across the Jordan Valley we reach Jordan's southern borders, leaving behind the desert and entering a landscape of palm groves and coral reefs, warm glistening waters and the impressive backdrop of the Jordanian Heights.
Our total cycling distance today is approximately 35 kilometres (total 181 metres asecent and 210 metres descent).
My Luxury Hotel (or similar)
We have a free day to relax or perhaps enjoy some more of the 17km of sandy beaches, splendid coral reefs and clear warm waters for which Aqaba is famed. You may like to take the opportunity to swim or snorkel in the Red Sea, or view the coral and marine life from a special reef-viewing boat. Late afternoon we depart the coast and return to Amman.
Lilac Hotel (or similar)
The trip ends after breakfast at our hotel in Amman.
There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart from Amman at any time. If your flight is departing later in the day luggage storage facilities are available at our hotel. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you need to depart from Queen Alia International Airport (AMM), which is a 40-minute drive from the hotel.
Total distance : 191 kilometres
During April to November days are generally sunny and hot without rain with temperatures around 32°C. In spring and autumn evenings can be cool and night temperatures can drop suddenly especially in the desert. Expect cold nights in winter (December to February) when temperatures can drop to around 0 degrees. Some rain should also be expected at this time of year.
2 Pin Round
Petra - Petra by night JD17.00 pp; Ottoman bath JD25.00 pp; Cookery demonstration and meal JD25.00 pp Wadi Rum - Camel trek JD20.00 pp. 4WD excursion approx JD15.00 pp Aqaba - Snorkelling on coral reef including lunch and snorkelling kit JD35.00 pp; Snorkelling from Boat (snorkelling equipment included) JD35.00 pp; Berenice Private Beach club - entrance fee JD10.00 pp.
When cycling: quick drying cycle tops, padded cycle shorts, lightweight wind and water proof jacket and warmer breathable layers where local conditions require. General: Pack essentially for hot, cold or mild weather depending on the time of the year.
If you are not bringing cycle shoes then try to bring stiff-soled shoes as these are better for cycling - transmitting your energy into the pedals more efficiently. This becomes more relevant and recommended the more demanding the grade and distances to cover. SPD cycle shoes are not well suited to trips that combine sightseeing with cycling. Comfortable shoes, trainers, sandals or flip flops are useful when not on the bike.
We recommend you bring a daypack and one main piece of luggage (total allowance: 44lb/20kg) which will be transported between hotels while you cycle. Check the bike details section to see if a pannier or handlebar bag is provided on the bike. Hotel porters are not always available, so don't overload yourself. Please note you will only carry what you need to the camp in Wadi Rum and main luggage will be transported directly from Petra to Aqaba.
On all Explore cycle holidays we strongly recommend you bring along and wear your cycle helmet. It is a legal requirement in Jordan to wear a helmet that meets current safety criteria. In case of an accident resulting in personal injury, certain insurance policies are invalidated in cases where a helmet was not being worn. Cycle glasses to protect against dust, pollen and the sun, padded cycle gloves and a water bottle or water delivery system (e.g. camelback or platypus) are also useful. You may choose to bring your own gel seat cover for added comfort. If a handle bar bag or pannier is not provided (check bike details) then you may like to bring a small rucksack to wear while cycling. Other items to consider bringing are a sunhat and sun cream, torch, earplugs and insect repellent. Please carry some or all of your cycling equipment e.g. helmet as part of your hand luggage.
Jordan's tourism infrastructure is well developed and standards are generally good. However, due to the recent considerable rise in tourism in Jordan, hotels are experiencing very high demand for rooms, particularly in and around Petra. This high demand can lead to lower levels of service and quality, as well as occurrences of overbookings, which are often notified to us at a late stage. For this reason, we would like to emphasise that hotel accommodation, including the standard, is subject to change and facilities are often simple. Depending on your chosen departure date, your hotel location in the Petra area may vary. All the hotels we use are three star and are either located on the main road very close to the main Petra gates, or are a 25 minute walk away in the small town of Wadi Musa. For groups based in Wadi Musa transport will be provided to and from the site on day four, and on day five you can either walk or take a local taxi for around £2-£4 each way. From the hotel in Wadi Musa you can enjoy excellent views of the sprawling town and archaeological site below. Our chosen desert camp in Wadi Rum boasts a stunning location in a little visited part of the Wadi. We camp in a communal Bedouin tent and all bedding is provided. There is even a proper toilet! This campsite also has a handful of separate tents, and if availability allows there may be the option to upgrade to your own twiningle tent if you wish. The cost for this should be paid in cash to your Tour Leader and is $40 per twin tent and $30 for a single. Please note that some hotel swimming pools in Jordan may operate separate timetables for men and women. Please ask an Explore Sales Consultant or refer to your final documentation for a final hotel list.
Can you drink the water?
The water quality is poor and therefore it is recommended to avoid drinking tap water during your trip.
We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK citizens, check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice.
Please refer to our COVID-19 entry requirements page for any country-specific conditions of entry. Whilst we strive to update this on a regular basis we recommend you also check the FCDO website for the latest advice on entry requirements in this fast-evolving situation. Information can change at any time.
Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.
Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. However, please note that if you voluntarily make any changes to your booking including changing your trip or departure date, any additional costs or charges incurred will not be covered. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions
Jordan: Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the time you arrive. Visa fees are waivered for tourists of British, American, Australian, New Zealand and Canadian nationalities on arrival at an international Jordanian airport. There are however, certain conditions that each tourist of these nationalities must meet in order to gain the free visa. Most of these are already met by Explore trips; however flight information, passport details and arrival date into Jordan all have an effect on qualifying for the free visa. Please see below for the category that is applicable to your flight arrangements: The following information relates to the above nationalities travelling on flights to Jordan arranged by Explore arriving on the first day of the tour: In order to qualify for the free visa, the above nationalities must advise their passport details at least 16 days prior to your departure date to Explore and must be met by a representative who will assist with the visa process, this is already arranged by Explore as part of the transfer arrangements from the airport to the start of the tour. The following information relates to the above nationalities with Land Only arrangements arriving on the first day of the tour: In order to qualify for the free visa, these tourists must advise their passport details at least 16 days prior to your departure date to Explore and must be met by a representative who will assist with the visa process. Land Only customers of the above nationalities arranging their own flights to arrive in Jordan on the first day of the tour must advise their full flight details to Explore at least 16 days prior to your departure date. We will then arrange for the representative to meet you as part of the transfer arrangements from the airport to the start of the tour. The following information relates to the above nationalities arriving in Jordan prior or after the first day of the tour: In order to qualify for the free visa, tourists of the above nationalities must advise their passport details at least 16 days prior to your departure date to Explore and must be met by a representative who will assist with the visa process. To qualify for the free visa, you must contact Explore at least 16 days prior to your departure date to arrange and purchase a private transfer. We will then arrange for the representative to meet you as part of the transfer arrangements. Please Note: For all tourists of the above nationalities that do not advise their passport details and for all above nationalities that arrange their own travel arrangements and do not advise their flight details to Explore within the above specified timelines, the Jordanian visa fee of JD40.00 (approximately £45) will be applicable. This must be paid on arrival at an international Jordanian airport in order for individuals to gain a visa to enter the country. All other nationalities should consult the relevant consulate to determine if they are applicable for the above free visa on arrival or must gain a visa prior to departure.
If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may be able to apply through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.
Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.
Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information.
You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.
Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.
The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.
Free transfers are not available for Polar customers.
If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.
For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here
It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.
Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.
You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.
We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.
On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.
An ability to swim is essential for your safe enjoyment of the water based activities on this trip. If you wish to participate in these activities then we insist that you are able to swim.
Nothing compulsory, but we recommend protection against typhoid, tetanus infectious hepatitis and polio. Consult your travel clinic for latest advice on different prophylaxis available against malaria. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.
In 2024, Ramadan runs from the 10th of March to 9th of April. Read more about travelling during Ramadan.
The following 2024 departures will coincide with Ramadan:
09 March 2024
30 March 2024