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Cycle through lunar landscapes, ancient spice trails and historic sites on this fast-paced tour of Jordan. Uncover the rock-carved city of Petra, pedal across the desert to sleep under the stars, and recoup with a float in the Dead Sea. Along the way, fuel up with fragrant Jordanian dishes and refreshing Bedouin tea.
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.
Our tour of Jordan starts in Madaba, a market town known for its Byzantine-era mosaics. If you arrive early, feel free to stroll through the town's many churches or dip into one of the cafes for a coffee.
There are no activities planned for today, so you're free to arrive in Madaba at any time. If you'd like an airport transfer, you'll need to arrive at Queen Alia International Airport (AMM), a 30-minute drive from our hotel.
Due to most flights arriving late in the evening, our Explore Leader will meet you for a welcome meeting the next morning. You'll find the meeting information on the notice board in the hotel reception.
Black Iris II (or similar)
This morning, we'll start our tour with a welcome meeting before uncovering the Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics of Madaba. Then, we'll hop on our bikes and start cycling towards Mount Nebo - the supposed burial place of Moses - where we'll enjoy views across the Promised Land.
After a picnic lunch, we'll freewheel down the stunning series of switchbacks towards the saline waters of the Dead Sea. This unique body of water is the lowest point on the earth's surface. With a salt content of 33%, it's almost impossible to sink and we'll take a dip to experience the mysterious floating sensation. There's also the opportunity to indulge with the water's rejuvenating mud, famous for its healing properties. Afterwards, feel free to unwind by the pool or at the bar - there are shower facilities to freshen up in, too.
Finally, we'll continue by bus to Shobak, our base for tonight.
Today's cycling covers a total distance of 36 kilometres/22.4 Miles with a total ascent of 86 metres and descent of 1273 metres/4176Feet. Filtered water, tea and season fruit and veg are included.
Montreal Hotel (or similar)
This morning, we'll take a short drive to Shobak Castle, the first in a series of crusader castles built in Jordan. After we've explored the ruins, we'll cycle along the King's Highway - the ancient road that once carried King Solomon's treasure-laden caravan - to Petra. The undulating landscape takes us through the fabled land of the Edomites, who found fortune trading copper and luxury goods and went on to create the rock-carved city as their stronghold.
We'll stop en-route for a picnic lunch before continuing southwards and skirting the slopes of the mountains that lead the way to Petra. A UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the seven wonders of the world, the ancient 'rose city' is Jordan's most valuable treasure. Depending on the day, we might arrive in time to experience Petra by Night.
Follow the candlelit Siq trail and watch how the light plays against the high canyon rocks, blanketed by stars, before coming upon the treasury, lit up by night. Settle into the sands in front of the ancient temple and listen to a welcome speech from the Bedouin community that still calls the city home.
Today's cycling covers a distance of 42 kilometres/26.1Miles with a total ascent of 800 metres/2624.8Feet and descent of 1014 metres/3327feet.
Edom Hotel (or similar)
Today we begin exploring Petra. This ancient city, carved into pink sandstone cliffs, has to be seen to be believed, but poet John Burgon beautifully described it as 'A rose-red city half as old as time'.
Our Explore Leader will guide us on a tour through Petra's highlights before a free afternoon to wander at our own pace. As you enter the site, you're led down a kilometre-long chasm (known as the Siq) where the towering canyon walls reach up to 200 metres/656 feet high. At the end of the Siq sits the beating heart of the city, the Treasury - miraculously well-preserved, the façade stands at 43-metres/141-feet high. Beyond the Treasury, the ancient city becomes a sprawl of tombs and temples waiting to be explored. The Bedouin community who still live within Petra sell their wares and offer refreshments along the colonnaded streets. As the day goes on, you'll notice the façades change colour with the light as the early morning and late afternoon sun brings out red, pink, and orange highlights in the rocks.
After an action-packed day, we'll refuel with a traditional Bedouin dinner. We'll visit a nearby restaurant and learn how to make Maklouba, an upside-down dish of meat, rice, and vegetables, followed by Um Ali, a creamy Arabic dessert.
This morning is free to continue exploring Petra or relax in Wadi Musa. After a traditional Bedouin lunch, we'll hop on our bikes to cycle to Little Petra. We'll also visit El Beidha to explore an excavated Stone-Age village where we'll see the remain of houses, fireplaces, and workshops that date back to 6000 BC. Finally, we'll return to Wadi Musa and have the option to relax with a traditional Ottoman Bath.
Today's cycling covers a distance of 20 kilometres/24.8miles with a total ascent of 399 metres/1309 feet and descent of 414 metres/1358 feet.
Today, we'll return to the King's Highway and pedal south, traversing upland roads before freewheeling down to the southern desert. We'll enjoy a picnic lunch with views over Arava and Israel beyond before cycling along the Old Desert Highway. Finally, we'll swap our bikes for our bus to journey onwards into Wadi Rum.
Wadi Rum occupies 74,000 acres with its monolithic outcrops of granite rock and sandstone rising out of the blankets of sand. Lawrence of Arabia famously said of the landscape, 'Our little caravan grew quite self-conscious, and fell dead quiet, afraid and ashamed to flaunt its smallness in the presence of the stupendous hills.', giving you an idea of its vastness. This afternoon, we'll have the option to explore the dunes further by 4WD or camelback with a ride through the sands at sunset.
Once we've watched the sun go down, setting the dunes aglow with fiery red and orange light, we'll settle into our camp to experience Bedouin hospitality. We'll be served a traditional Zarb, a BBQ of chicken or goat meat (vegetarian options will be available) cooked under the desert sand and served alongside a selection of mezze.
The Bedouins learned to live within this hostile environment 3000 years ago, and tonight we'll get to experience their nomadic way of life at our desert camp. We'll sleep in a traditional Bedouin tent, crafted from goat hair which offers the best protection against the extreme desert climate. Our communal tent has gendered compartments and is furnished with rugs, mattresses, pillows, and blankets. If you'd prefer to sleep alone, private tents are available free of charge subject to availability.
Today's cycling covers a distance of 58 kilometres/36.04 miles with a total ascent of 770 metres/2526 feet and descent of 1240 metres/4068 feet.
Salim Camp (or similar)
Comfortable Tented Camp
Today is our final day of cycling and we'll set off to cross the Hejaz railway line and tour the most desolate planes of Wadi Rum. We'll ride along the 'Jelada', the dried mud tracks left by the rare rains in the region. Few people visit this area, where mirages turn the towering cliffs into islands, but the terrain is perfectly flat and so easy to cycle across.
After our ride, we'll continue to Aqaba by bus, leaving the desert behind us and entering a landscape of tranquil palm groves and coral reefs.
Today's cycling covers 35 kilometres/21.75 miles with a total ascent of 181 metres/594 feet and descent of 210 metres/689 feet.
My Luxury Hotel (or similar)
Today is a free day for exploring Aqaba or relaxing at the beach. The port city is famous for its preserved coral reefs and sea life and our Explore Leader will be on hand to organise an optional sailing and snorkelling trip before we head back to Amman later in the afternoon.
Lilac Hotel (or similar)
Our tour of Jordan ends at our hotel in Amman.
There are no activities planned today, so you're free to depart at any time. If your flight is departing later in the day, luggage storage facilities are available at our hotel. If you'd like an airport transfer, you'll need to depart from Queen Alia International Airport (AMM).
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.
Jordanian hospitality is second to none and we choose our hotels to reflect that. However, due to the recent rise in tourism, many hotels are experiencing high demand and can become full quickly. Unfortunately, this can lead to lower levels of service and quality. While we try our best to make sure our chosen accommodation is available to us, it is subject to change. Refer to your final document for your departure's confirmed hotel list. Both hotels we use in Petra are three-star, however the location of your hotel will depend on your departure date. One is located on the main road, just a five-to-ten-minute walk from Petra. The other is a little further away in the town of Wadi Musa, a 25-minute walk from the site. On day four, transport to and from Petra will be provided. On day 5, there will be no transport, but if you'd rather not walk, you can take a taxi to the site for £2 to £4 each way. Our camp in Wadi Rum is situated deep in the desert. We camp in a communal Bedouin tent (with gendered compartments), furnished with mattresses and bedding - there are showers and toilets on-site, too. If you'd rather sleep alone, private tents can be requested on the day at a no extra cost, subject to availability. Note that some hotel swimming pools operate separate timetables for men and women.
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