This is a holiday for regular bikers, with reasonable technical skills and good endurance levels. Most of the riding on this trip is straightforward on quiet tarmac roads or dirt roads used by 4WD vehicles. A little less than a third of the route is on dirt roads or more basic off-road tracks. There are short sections of village footpaths and pockets of soft sand when crossing the desert on days 7 and 8, but very little that could be described as technical. There are, however, some longish days involving a considerable amount of ascent, most notably on days 3, 4 and 5. Factor in the likely hot and dry conditions and this bike ride is not to be underestimated. By fitting this biking holiday into a one-week break we have created a fairly challenging route that provides perfect winter and early season training. Having said that, the support vehicle is available throughout. This allows for groups of mixed ability and also provides the option (for those who are finding the going tough) to skip the most testing of the uphill grinds. BIKE HIRE AVAILABLE LOCALLY.
Day 1: Arrive Amman Airport. A single timed group transfer from Amman Airport is provided. KE Land Only group package services begin with the overnight at the group hotel in Madaba.
Day 2: Bike to spiritual Mount Nebo and admire dramatic views towards the Promised Land. The ride finishes at the village of Mukawir where we enjoy a traditional night hosted by a local family. Ride distance 68 km (42 miles) with 1090 metres of ascent and 1070 metres of descent.
Day 3: Early start and descent to the lowest point on earth, 400 metres below sea level, for a float in the Dead Sea. Then it is a challenging climb back up to sea level and up to the Crusader Castle at Karak. Ride distance 89 km (56 miles) with 1890 metres of ascent and 1620 metres of descent.
Day 4: We ride across Jordan’s Eastern Plateau and drop down into the spectacular Al Hassa Canyon. Then, back up to a high point at Jabal Ata’ta and on to the traditional mountain village of Dana. Ride distance 87 km (55 miles) with 1830 metres of ascent and 1750 metres of descent.
Day 5: Biking south towards Shobak Castle, another ancient crusader fortress, the route turns to interesting off-road riding across the high plateau, before a descent into the Valley of Moses and the town of Wadi Musa, the gateway to Petra. Ride distance 69 km (43 miles) with 1435 metres of ascent and 1670 metres of descent.
Day 6: After 4 days of continuous biking, we have a welcome day off the bikes. We spend the whole day visiting the ancient Nabataean rock-hewn city of Petra, recently voted for inclusion amongst the world’s ‘New 7 Wonders’. We spend a second night at our Wadi Musa hotel.
Day 7: We have a short transfer to Rajif, before biking into the desert on a route formerly used by camel caravans. We descend amongst amazing desert landscapes to the sandstone mountains of Wadi Rum, where we spend a night under the stars and enjoy a Bedouin feast. Ride distance 91 km (57 miles) with 600 metres of ascent and 1160 metres of descent.
Day 8: We have time in the morning to enjoy the desert scenery, before biking between magnificent sandstone mountains to the Red Sea at Aqaba. Time for swimming and relaxing, before taking a transfer back to Madaba and our hotel. Ride distance 52 km (32 miles) with 95 metres of ascent and 1020 metres of descent.
Day 9: KE land only package services end with the early morning transfer to Amman Airport.
DAY 1 – ARRIVE IN MADABA
NO MEALS INCLUDED
Your driver will be waiting at Amman airport (AMM) to take you directly to your hotel in Madaba – a 30-minute drive.
DAY 2: VIA MOUNT NEBO TO MUKAWIR
DISTANCE / DURATION: 68KM (42 MILES) / 6 TO 7 HOURS RIDING INCLUDING STOPS
TOTAL ASCENT 1090M / TOTAL DESCENT 1070M
MEALS INCLUDED: BREAKFAST, LUNCH, DINNER
After breakfast this morning, we have time to assemble our bikes before setting off on the first stage of our unique mountain biking journey. Bike bags and boxes will be left in storage at the hotel for those bringing their own bikes. Riding straight from our hotel, we follow quiet back roads leading westwards to Mount Nebo. Reputedly the place from which Moses viewed the ‘promised land’, Mount Nebo does offer a fantastic view across the Dead Sea and the Jordan River to the West Bank. On a clear day, it is even possible to see the holy city of Jerusalem, some 45 kilometres away. Heading south from Mount Nebo, we follow a minor road between isolated farms to the village of Main, then join the ‘King’s Highway’ (an ancient route linking Madaba with Petra, which is actually a little-used local road). After just a few kilometres, we drop off onto a dirt track and follow this to Libb, where we meet a narrow and hilly road that takes us back westwards to the ruins of King Herod’s palace, where John the Baptist was imprisoned and beheaded. We stop off at this viewpoint and enjoy another striking panorama across the Dead Sea. The day’s ride ends at the nearby village of Mukawir, where we stay in simple ‘homestay’ accommodation run by the village cooperative. Whilst this homestay is basic, the food is great, there are minimal facilities including a hot shower and there are 4 sleeping rooms which will be shared appropriately by the group. There really is no alternative accommodation in this area and being able to take our dinner with a local family does allow us a fascinating glimpse into life in a Jordanian household.
DAY 3: THE DEAD SEA AND KARAK CASTLE
DISTANCE / DURATION: 89KM (56 MILES) / 9 HOURS RIDING INCLUDING STOPS
TOTAL ASCENT 1890M / TOTAL DESCENT 1620M
MEALS INCLUDED: BREAKFAST, LUNCH, DINNER
Mukawir is at around 800 metres and the start of today’s ride will take us rapidly down to the lowest point on earth, on the banks of the Dead Sea, at an amazing elevation of 400 metres BELOW SEA LEVEL. We will have an early start and make this descent on a minor road with little traffic. Cycling along the shores of the Dead Sea, we arrive at the Mujib Nature Reserve and have the opportunity to take a dip and test theincredible buoyancy of the salty waters (10 times as salty as normal seawater). The Jordan River flows into this vast inland sea, but it has no outlet and this factor, together with a high rate of evaporation, is responsible for the extreme saltiness and lack of animal or plant life. After our swim, we can take a shower, before continuing our ride southwards beside the sea for around 20 kilometres. Reaching a junction, we turn off to begin the challenging 25 kilometre climb back up onto the Eastern Plateau at an altitude of over 900 metres. If you don’t want to tackle this amazing 1300 metre ascent, the support vehicle is on hand. Arriving at Karak, we should just have time to visit the magnificent Crusader fortress before checking into our hotel. Situated in a commanding position on the King’s Highway, this fort is an excellent example of 12th century Crusader architecture.
DAY 4: VIA WADI HASA TO DANA RESERVE
DISTANCE / DURATION: 87KM (55 MILES) / 9 HOURS RIDING INCLUDING STOPS
TOTAL ASCENT 1830M / TOTAL DESCENT 1750M
MEALS INCLUDED: BREAKFAST, LUNCH, DINNER
Today’s ride takes us southwards along the Eastern Plateau. After a short transfer away from the traffic of central Karak, we will follow the quiet King’s Highway again, passing agricultural fields, ruins and several small villages, until we reach the edge of the Al Hassa Canyon. We will stop to admire the views, before making our descent into this impressive rocky chasm. What goes down, must go up? It’s an 800 metre climb back out of the wadi, but we are spurred on by the thought of our picnic lunch and the
chance to rest once the 22 kilometre ascent is over. After lunch, it’s back on our bikes for the continuation of our southward ride. We avoid the town of Tafila by contouring around it’s east side on minor farm roads and gain height steadily, en route to a high point at around 1600 metres, close to the rocky summit of Jabal Ata’ta. A final descent of 400 metres takes us to the village of Dana (1250m) and our basic but friendly hotel. Here, we are on the edge of the Dana Biosphere Reserve, Jordan’s largest
reserve area, comprising hundreds of square kilometers of spectacular mountains and wadis along the face of the Great Rift Valley.
DAY 5: OFF ROAD ON THE EASTERN PLATEAU, THEN DOWN TO WADI MUSA
DISTANCE / DURATION: 69KM (43 MILES) / 8 HOURS RIDING INCLUDING STOPS
TOTAL ASCENT 1435M / TOTAL DESCENT 1670M
MEALS INCLUDED: BREAKFAST, LUNCH, DINNER
Dana village has been the home of the Al Ata’ata tribe for 400 years. This morning, we will have the chance to look around this tranquil settlement, before setting off on our bikes towards Shobak Castle. This is another of the great chain of Crusader fortresses, which stretches across Jordan and was built in the year 1115. Beyond the castle, an initial steep climb through small villages leads us to an excellent off-road track that contours around the edge of the Eastern Plateau and provides us with magnificent views down to the desert of Wadi Araba. Regaining the King’s Road, we cruise down to Wadi Musa (the ‘Valley of Moses’) which is the little town that acts as a gateway to the ‘Rose-Red City’ of Petra. Here, we check in at a comfortable hotel for 2 nights.
DAY 6: PETRA SIGHTSEEING
MEALS INCLUDED: BREAKFAST
You have a full day (off the bikes) to explore ancient Petra, accompanied for the morning (2-3 hours) by an expert English-speaking guide and then free to wander round the ruins on your own. An early start helps you to get ahead of the mass of tourists and walk through the quiet, atmospheric slot canyon or siq that leads down towards the city. After the long twilight of the siq the sunlit façade of the Treasury is a stunning sight, no matter how many times you’ve seen it reproduced on film. From the postcards, you’d think this was what you’d come to see. But it’s just the beginning. Petra is a vast archaeological site, most of it still unexcavated; you could spend days exploring the ruins and still not see it all. It was built by the Nabataeans, an Arab tribe who began as tent-dwelling Bedouin but soon came to dominate the most lucrative trade of the ancient world: incense. They used the money to create this city and to build an empire that extended from the Red Sea to Damascus. They also absorbed architectural ideas from Egypt, from the Babylonians, and from the Greek cities of the Mediterranean, using them to create the hybrid culture that you see in these ruins. The Temple of the Winged Lions, the High Place of Sacrifice, the Roman theatre, the Garden Tomb, the Byzantine church – any one of these monuments would be an archaeological treasure in its own right; in Petra, you can explore them one after another, and find them all set into one of the finest desert landscape in the Middle East.
A packed lunch is provided. We spend a second night at our hotel in Wadi Musa.
DAY 7: PETRA TO WADI RUM ACROSS THE DESERT
DISTANCE / DURATION: 91KM (57 MILES) / 9 HOURS RIDING INCLUDING STOPS
TOTAL ASCENT 600M / TOTAL DESCENT 1160M
MEALS INCLUDED: BREAKFAST, LUNCH, DINNER
After breakfast at the hotel, we have a short transfer south on the King’s Highway to Rajif (1565m), where we mount up and start the day’s ride with a swift descent to the village of Delagha, where we find an off-road track that takes us south-east through an amazing desert landscape (and by way of scattered Bedouin camps) to Al Humaimah. This is an old stopping place on the ‘Spice Route’, once used by camel caravans. We stop here for lunch and for a rest, then cross the Desert Highway (Jordan’s main north-south link) and head out into the desert towards Wadi Rum. On this part of our ride, we will be aware of the changing desert landscape, as the sandstone mountains start to get bigger and even more colourful. We will cross the 5 kilometre-long dry mud flats of Disieh, surrounded by amazing sandstone formations, to finally arrive at Rum Village (950m), between the towering peaks of Jebel Rum and Jebel Um Ishrin. Here, we will meet our Bedouin host and transfer by 4WD into the heart of the Wadi Rum Protected Area. Our overnight accommodation is in a traditional Bedouin camp and we will be able to watch the spectacular desert sunset, before sitting down to enjoy a well-deserved ‘zarb’, a traditional Bedouin dish of meat and vegetables cooked beneath the embers of the campfire. Wadi Rum has a unique desert landscape, described by T.E. Lawrence as ‘vast, echoing and
god-like’. Much of David Lean’s movie, Lawrence of Arabia, was filmed in Wadi Rum. Your accommodation is a simple but comfortable Bedouin campsite, with a traditional goat hair tent divided into twin ‘rooms’. There are proper toilets and showers on the site (go easy on the water), as well as shaded seating areas for relaxing and dining.
DAY 8: BIKE TO AQABA AND THEN RETURN TRANSFER TO MADABA
DISTANCE / DURATION: 52KM (32 MILES) / 3 TO 4 HOURS RIDING INCLUDING STOPS
TOTAL ASCENT 95M / TOTAL DESCENT 10200M
MEALS INCLUDED: BREAKFAST, LUNCH, DINNER
After breakfast and time to enjoy morning in the desert, we will start our last ride of the trip at the foot of the peak of Al Qattar. Crossing the western edge of the Wadi Rum reserve, we bike on hard desert trails with areas of soft sand, which can be challenging. After a couple of hours we reach a tarmac road that soon takes us to the main road that we follow into Aqaba. We bike right to the edge of the sea to mark the completion of this very special journey. We have a quick lunch at a popular local hangout in the town, then head to Aqaba’s South Beach to spend a couple of hours in a beach resort by the Red Sea. Whether you’d like to swim, snorkel or just relax on beach with a cold drink in hand, the choice is yours. After a shower and change, in the late afternoon, we transfer back to the group hotel in Amman, where we will repack our bikes for the journey home.
DAY 9: DEPART FROM AMM AIRPORT
MEALS INCLUDED: BREAKFAST
A transfer will be provided from your hotel to AMM Airport – a 30 minute drive.
If you wish to extend your trip (for example, enjoy an extra day or two in Aqaba) please let us know and we’ll be glad to assist.
We wish you a safe homeward journey and hope to see you again in Jordan soon.
Joining Arrangements and Transfers
Two group transfers will be arranged from Amman Airport to the hotel in Madaba. These transfers will meet the arrival of the Royal Jordanian and British Airways flights from the UK and will normally depart from the airport at around 2300 hours on Day 1 of the trip itinerary and 0100 hours of Day 2 of the trip itinerary. At the end of the trip there will be a single group transfer from the group hotel in Madaba to Amman Airport timed to meet the check in for the Royal Jordanian and British Airways flights back to the UK which departs at around midday. This transfer will be in the morning of Day 9 of the trip itinerary. Our representative will assist with the transfers between the airport and the group hotel. If these transfers do not work with your flights, you will need to make your own transfer arrangements at Amman Airport. The airport is 20 kilometers (12 miles) east of the town of Madaba. Fixed price tan-coloured airport taxis are readily available outside the terminal exit doors. They charge a standard fare of JD20 for the one-way trip to Madaba. There is an ATM and money changing facilities in the airport. Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation.
We don’t expect any problems (and nor should you!) but if for any reason you are unable to begin your trip as scheduled, please contact us immediately at one of the following numbers:
+962(0)7 7751 5919
+962(0)7 9755 9290
+962(0)7 9778 4433
+962(0)7 9553 6351
A locally based English speaking bike guide
A single group transfer from Amman Airport on Day 1 and back to the airport on Day 9
One or more support vehicles and drivers
A specialist local guide in Petra
Entrance fees to Karak Castle / Petra / Wadi Rum / Aqaba beach
All accommodation as detailed under ‘trip details’
Complimentary water, juice and snacks throughout the rides
Services not included
Tips for the guide and local support crew
Miscellaneous expenses – drinks and souvenirs etc
Bike hire in case you are not bringing your own bike: available upon availability for US$120
Tents single accommodation: not available
Hotels single accommodation: available on request for a supplement of US$315 – includes 6 nights hotel
All meals are included from breakfast on Day 2 to breakfast on Day 9.
Breakfasts can vary a little with the accommodation, but typically consist of labaneh (thick sour creamy yoghurt), hummus, cheese, beans, eggs, olives, za’atar (a mixture of thyme, sesame seeds, sumac and salt), tea and coffee. Lunch on days 2, 3, 5 and 6 will be a packed lunch (sandwiches, fresh vegetables, fruit and juice and tea). Lunch on days 4 and 7 will be a picnic lunch, with a simple hot meal such as Jordanian fresh tomato cooked with garlic, onion and olive oil. Lunch on day 8 will be at our favourite hummus / falafel cafeteria in Aqaba town. Dinner will again vary with the location, but we will aim to sample a variety of traditional Jordanian meals. Salad, rice, chicken, vegetables and yoghurt are usual dinner ingredients. In Wadi Rum, we’ll get to try the Bedouin ‘zarb’, a meal of meat and vegetables cooked under hot sand. Complimentary water, biscuits, cakes and fruits will be offered during the rides.
Approximately USD$170 (or the equivalent in Sterling pounts or euros) should be allowed for miscellaneous expenses. You should carry your travel money in the form of currency rather than travellers cheques, since you will exchange the majority of this on the day of your arrival at the airport in Amman. Sterling, US dollars and euros can easily be exchanged. The unit of currency is the Jordanian Dinar (JD). On arrival, you will pay 40JD for your Jordanian Visa. That’s approximately $55 (or the equivalent in Sterling pounds or euros). You should also allow a total of approximately $70 (or the equivalent in Sterling pounds or euros) for driver, guide and trek crew tips. The cost of the Petra visit is included in the trip price. If you are intending to buy expensive souvenirs, you should budget accordingly (credit cards can be useful in this respect). Also, if you expect to buy considerable quantities of drinks or other refreshments, you should allow for this.
Guidance on Tipping
Tips are the accepted way of saying ‘thank you’ to your local guide, drivers and other support staff. They do not form part of their wages. Terhaal pays its crews at the fair rates of pay. We advise our local staff that tips are a bonus and entirely dependent on the service that they provide. We recommend that you pay tips only where you receive good service. As a rough guide we suggest you allow a total of $70 (or the equivalent in Sterling pounds or euros) for tipping your crew. More detailed guidelines on tipping will be provided by your guide.
Group Leader and Support Staff
The trip will be led by an experienced, English-speaking local bike guide.
There will also be one or more support vehicles and drivers.
We provide an Equipment List for each of our holidays. These highlight any specialised equipment you will require and also act as a packing check list. You can find the Equipment List at the end of this page.
Taking a bike on an aircraft is usually straightforward. Different airlines have differing policies with regard to baggage allowances and transporting bikes. We strongly advise that you check the current policy of your chosen airline for carrying bikes and their baggage allowances before purchasing your air ticket. The baggage section on your chosen airline’s website will usually contain this information. We suggest that you are aware of the weight and dimensions of your intended check-in baggage in advance of your arrival at the airport as airlines may charge for both excess and oversize baggage, or refuse to carry oversized baggage. If you are using a domestic flight to connect with your International flight then it is likely that a different baggage policy will exist for the domestic and international flight sections. Again you should check the baggage policy with your chosen domestic airline prior to booking your domestic flight tickets. Any additional charges incurred for transporting your bike on any of the flights required for this adventure (international, domestic and internal flights within the trip itinerary – if applicable) are the responsibility of each individual client.
During this trip the group will spend 5 nights in hotels, 1 night in a basic lodge, 1 night in a basic homestay and 1 night in a Bedouin camp. Most of the accommodation is arranged on a twin-share basis and if you are travelling by yourself you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex. At the homestay, the 4 available rooms will be shared appropriately by the group.
We recommend SEMI SLICK tyres for this trip. Your Bike MUST BE at least a mid level Mountain Bike such as a Specialized Rockhopper or a Trek 6500. Please call us if you are unsure about the suitability of your current bike. Front suspension will make the journey more comfortable but is not essential. We cannot stress enough the importance of ensuring that your bike is in perfect working condition before you start this trip. You are depending on your bike to transport you throughout your trip, across demanding terrain. It is VITAL to ensure it is THOROUGHLY SERVICED to guarantee it is in good mechanical order before departure. If you are not mechanically minded, get your local bike mechanic to service it for you. For home mechanics, points to note particularly are:
a) Check rims and if they are worn / cracked / dented replace with a new rim / wheel to avoid wheel failure. It is especially important to check that the rims on rim-braked bikes are not worn concave by the brake blocks –
replace them if they are.
b) Check wheels are true and spoke tension is tight.
c) Check and, if required, adjust / grease ALL bearings and quick release skewers.
d) Check. If required, replace brake and gear cables.
e) Check disc / brake pads, mounts and cables / hydraulic lines – replace if necessary.
f) Check – lube / threadlock and tighten – all bolts (esp. suspension pivots, bottom brackets, disc rotor bolts and disc mount bolts).
g) Check chain, cassette and chain rings for wear – replace as necessary.
h) Make sure you have the right tyres, inner tubes and BIKE SPECIFIC SPARES for your bike.
Whilst not essential, it is a good idea that you familiarise yourself with how to carry out at least some basic repairs to your bike e.g. fixing a puncture, changing an inner tube. Naturally our bike guides will always be happy to assist with any repairs, but due to the often remote nature of our trips, being able to carry out a simple repair can save time and the inconvenience of waiting for assistance.
Travelling With Your Bike
Travelling with a bike is usually as straightforward as travelling with any other type of baggage – providing you have packed it adequately. Our of experience we think that the best way to travel and fly with a bike is to partially dismantle it and put it into a purpose made soft bike bag. Although more expensive than a cardboard bike box, they are smaller in size to transport and are considerably easier to handle. To pack your bike you simply remove both wheels and pedals and prepare it for travel as follows. Obviously, extra care when packing your bike can minimise the chances of accidental damage occurring in transit. Ask your local bike store for plastic wheel hub protectors (which will prevent damage to your bike bag) and plastic fork and frame spacers, insert the spacers into the dropouts, tape them in place and then put extra padding over this area. Use pipe insulation lagging (from your local DIY store) to cover frame tubes, forks and seat post. If required, remove your bars from the stem and attach them carefully to your frame/forks using plastic ties or pvc tape – ensure that your Ergo/Sti levers are well padded to minimise the chance of damage. You may also wish to remove your rear gear mech, pad it with foam and tape it to the chainstay out of harms way. Finally, you should partly deflate your tyres, but leave some air in them to help absorb any impact on the wheels. Don’t forget to pack wheel skewers, pedals and any bolts you have removed, these are the items that tend to get left behind. Finally, find an old cardboard bike box and cut out panels to fit inside your soft bike bag for extra protection. Don’t forget to bring sufficient packing materials to pack your bike on the way home.
PLEASE DO NOT USE a purpose-made rigid bike box – these are heavy (which can put you over your baggage allowance) and are also too bulky to be easily stored or transported on the group’s support vehicle.
Throughout this trip (with the exception of one very short section) we have the back up of one or more support vehicles. Each morning our main baggage will be loaded onto the support vehicle which will follow the group on the day’s ride. The local biking leader and the support vehicle driver will watch over the group and will carry mobile phones, allowing you to contact them in the case of a breakdown or other incident. We want everyone to enjoy their cycling experience on this trip and we recognise the importance of group members being allowed to cycle at their own pace. This means that there can be a fair distance between the front and rear cyclists in the group and there may be times when you are out of sight of other group members, vehicle support and the biking leader. However, our regular stops mean that it is never long before the group reforms. The support vehicle can pick up anyone who chooses to take a break from cycling at any time.
One idea is to use your own bike for this holiday. It is, after all, the bike you know best and will provide you with the best riding experience. However, another option is to hire a bike locally. We have a mix of new Trek 4400 and 4300 mountain bikes (sizes 16, 18, 19.5, 21 and 22.5 inches), with front suspension, V-brakes and Shimano gearing. The cost of hiring a bike for the duration of the trip, including insurance against accidental damage is US$120 (March 2014 and subject to change). This must be paid directly to guide on arrival in Madaba in US dollars cash. Please note that the hire bikes have flat pedals. You will need to take your own SPD (or similar) shoes and pedals, as well as your own saddle, which will go a long way towards making the hire bike feel like your own bike. You will also need to take your own helmet, which must be worn at all times when riding.
Please note this is a KE Adventure holiday operated by Terhaal, Jordan adventure specialists. Terhaal operates and sells this cycling holiday in conjunction with Hauser, the German adventure specialists and the UK tour operator, KE Adventure Travel as this enables us to gather together sufficient numbers of like-minded adventurers to get the trip up and running quickly. The cosmopolitan nature of the groups will be an important part of the experience! The holiday will be led by an English-speaking guide.
Preparing For Your Holiday
The better conditioned you are the more you will enjoy your holiday. We suggest that you adopt a sensible weekly exercise regime and fit in a number of long cycle rides in hilly country to ensure you are physically capable of taking part in this trip – this will also provide you with an opportunity to make sure all your riding kit is tried and tested before you travel. Cycling is obviously the best activity to prepare for this trip, however, running, squash and swimming are also good for developing aerobic fitness and stamina.
This holiday does not involve any significant ascent to altitude and we would not expect any altitude issues with this trip.
A medical kit will accompany each group. You should also bring your own personal first aid kit, which should include
The best period for biking in Jordan is in autumn through to late spring season, from October through to early June. Outside of this period it can be very hot, with temperatures, rising to 39 degrees centigrade in July and August. In October and in April, the maximum daytime temperatures are likely to range between 25 and 33 degrees Centigrade, falling as low as 10 degrees centigrade at night. Heading into November the temperatures begin to cool and by December/January, typical daytime maximum temperatures are around 12 to 15 degrees centigrade, falling as low as 5 degrees centigrade at night. In December and January it can even snow in Amman and Shobak.
valid passport (with at least 6 months remaining validity) and a current Jordanian Visa are required. Nationals of certain countries – including all Western European countries, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan – can obtain visas on arrival at the airport in Amman. This visa costs 40 Jordanian Dinars (approximately $55 or the equivalent in Sterling pounds or euros) and must be paid in local currency. There are facilities for changing money at the airport.
You should attend your own doctor and dentist for a check-up. Your doctor will have access to the most up to date information on the required vaccinations for the country you are visiting. In general we recommend vaccinations against the following: Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis ‘A’. Yellow Fever is not required unless you are entering Jordan from a yellow-fever-infected country. Malaria prophylaxis is not recommended. A very good online resource is the National Health Travellers website at www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk
Booking Your Flight
We do not sell flight tickets. The dates and prices for this itinerary are LAND ONLY. Amman International Airport is the most convenient for transfers to the group hotel. Please refer to the ‘Joining Arrangements and Transfers’ section above for further details.
For those coming from the UK, Royal Jordanian and British Airways have flights to Jordan.
Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the trip is showing ‘Guaranteed’ or ‘Limited Spaces’.
For worldwide clients, you can book your flights through a travel agent, directly with an airline, or online using a variety of travel search engines and consolidator sites. There are many websites offering deals on air tickets which can be booked directly online. In addition many airlines operate their own online booking facilities. If you are considering buying flights online, we recommend kayak.com. While Kayak.com does not sell flights, it quickly searches several hundred websites to find the best deals available.
Adventure Travel Insurance
It is a condition of joining any of our trips that you are insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs,
air ambulance and helicopter rescue services). We also strongly recommend that you take out holiday cancellation insurance, as all deposits paid are non-refundable. Please ensure that your insurer is aware of your itinerary and can agree to cover the activities being undertaken. You will then need to advise us of your policy details and complete an Insurance Declaration Form.
CAMPBELL IRVINE DIRECT travel insurance is available to EU residents and will cover the majority of KE Adventure holidays. It has been designed to provide cover for activities normally excluded by other insurers such as trekking, mountain biking and climbing. Please note that certain activities may attract a higher premium.
TRAVELEX is a USA based insurer offering travel insurance which can be used by US citizens and US residents only. We, gernerally, recommend the “Travelex Select” package for our holidays. If your holiday involves using mountaineering equipment (ropes, harness or crampons), for climbing, you should consider the “Adventure Plus Pak” optional upgrade on the Travelex Select Plan. Please refer to the ‘Description of Coverage’ for a summary of the terms, conditions, exclusions and limitations of the applicable Protection Plan.
The official language of Jordan is Arabic. Using an alphabet very unlike your own, it is one of the most difficult of languages to learn. We do recommend that you take a pocket phrase book and learn some basics such as common greetings. Some Jordanians, especially those in affluent areas and those who work with tourists, will speak English and possibly French.
Jordanians are famously friendly and welcoming towards guests, especially in rural areas. It is quite normal for Jordanians to invite foreigners in to drink tea or have a meal in the family home. Meeting the local people in spontaneous encounters of this sort is one of the great pleasures of travelling in Jordan.
Electric Supply and Plug
The voltage in Jordan is generally 230v and the current is 50Hz. It is capable of taking part in this trip – this will also provide you with an
opportunity to make sure all your riding kit is tried and tested before you travel. Cycling is obviously the best activity to prepare for this trip, however, running, squash and swimming are also good for developing aerobic fitness and stamina.
Reference Books and Maps
Jordan. Lonely Planet
Treks and Climbs in Wadi Rum. Tony Howard. Cicerone Press
Jordan – Walks, Treks, Caves, Climbs and Canyons. Taylor and Howard. Cicerone Press
Walks and Scrambles in Wadi Rum. Jordan Publishers
Jordan – Reise Know-How Verlag 1:400,000
Double-sided and detailed map, dividing the country horizontally just underneath al-Karak. Combines clear road and tourist detail with general relief indicated by contours, altitude tinting, mountain passes and peak heights.
We believe in low impact or ‘positive impact’ tourism. Broadly speaking, this means that we try to minimize the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit, while maximising the positive aspects of the encounter. Jordan is a small country with few natural resources. Water scarcity is a big issue in the region, so please go easy on the water. Terhaal designs these tours in a way that maximizes benefits for local communities. Whenever possible we hire local staff in the areas where we operate, and our guests stay in locally owned hotels. We also include some volunteering activities where appropriate, such helping farmers to harvest their olives. Terhaal also contributes towards efforts that strengthen environmental advocacy and the environmental education of Jordan’s children.
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make your destinations such special places. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession. It is also unsafe to drink alcohol while out hiking / cycling, so please wait until you’re back at the hotel to enjoy a drink.
After your trip we hope you will send us your photos and any stories or feedback you may have. Your feedback not only helps us to improve the trips, but also helps other travelers to decide on the right tour for them. We would appreciate it if you could take a couple of minutes to complete our feedback form, just follow this link: http://www.terhaal.com/feedback-form
Our blog – ‘Treks & Trails of Jordan’ – is a collection of stories posted by a variety of people that reflect the natural, environmental and cultural aspects of Jordan. It is also a great way to give feedback and to share your Jordan experience with others. All you need to do is write one or two paragraphs about your trip with Terhaal, attach some photos if available and send it to us at this email: team[at]terhaal.com. You can find the blog here – blog.terhaal.com
The following is a basic checklist to help you with your packing. We recommend using the layering principle of clothing for varying climatic conditions.
Good padded cycling shorts are essential.
Your bike MUST be at least a mid level Mountain Bike such as a Specialized Rockhopper or Trek 6500. Front suspension is essential. It is vital that your bike is THOROUGHLY SERVICED and in perfect working condition before the trip.
PERSONAL CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES
Stiff-soled cycling shoes or SPD’s
Base-layer – short sleeve cycling top (x 1)
Long sleeved cycling top (x 1)
Lightweight waterproof jacket
Lightweight Fleece jacket or jumper
Thin buff/neck scarf
Regular biking gloves
Padded cycling shorts (x 2)
Cycling tights or tracksters
Baggy overshorts for modesty
Eyewear – Biking glasses
Cycling helmet – mandatory
Trek Bag Contents
Travel and apres biking clothes
Training/Leisure shoes for apres biking
Wash bag and toiletries
Sheet sleeping bag (bedding is provided at the fixed camps)
Small padlock (to lock trek bag)
Headtorch or small torch
Daypack and contents
Cycling daypack (e.g. Camelbak) of at least 15- 20 litres total capacity is recommended
Water bladder – min. 3 litres
Lightweight waterproof top
Puncture repair kit
Small roll of gaffer tape
Lightweight loose trousers to wear for modesty in villages
Basic First Aid Kit. Including: antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), painkillers, plasters and blister treatment, Insect repellent, and re-hydration salts (Dioralite).
Please note At the time of our November and December departures it can be quite cold early and late in the day, especially in the desert. You should make sure you have a warm fleece jacket or even a lightweight down jacket or gilet and also take some warmer full-fingered biking gloves.
PERSONAL TOOLS AND SPARES
Please note: If you are hiring a bike you do not need to bring spares just a pump, repair kit and a couple of standard 26 x 2 to 2.25 inch inner tubes with Presta valves.
If you are taking your own bike, you should bring the following with you as a minimum. Whilst not essential, it is a good idea that you familiarise yourself with how to carry out at least some basic repairs e.g. fixing a puncture, changing an inner tube. Naturally the bike guide will always be happy to assistwith any repairs, but being able to carry out a simple repair can save time and inconvenience waiting for assistance.
Tyres – for this trip you will need: 1.9 to 2.2 inch semi-slick tyres suitable for mostly dry tarmac/dirt road conditions.
Plastic tyre levers
2 x inner tubes
Liquid chain lube (bottle not aerosol)
Multi-tool with Allen keys
Chain link extractor (if not on multi-tool)
2x puncture repair kits
A rag and brush for cleaning bike and drive train
Spare chain links
Spares specific to your bike if applicable
KE tools and spares
On all of our trips we carry a toolkit and a basic range of spares for emergencies. As bikes become increasingly part specific it is impossible to carry a comprehensive range of spares compatible with all makes and models of bike. ** Please ensure you bring any bike-specific spares, which might be needed – such as disc brake bleed kits (and appropriate fluid), shock pumps etc.
Energy Gels/Sports Drinks/Power Bars
Our back up vehicle will carry ample supplies of water, snacks and lunches but if you like a particular energy gel, sports drink or power bar we suggest you bring a selection of your preferred choice along.
It is possible to hire bikes for this trip. We have a mix of Trek 4400 and 4300 mountain bikes (sizes 16, 18, 19.5, 21 and 22.5 inches), with front suspension, V-brakes and Shimano gearing. Please refer to Bike Hire section above for hire costs. When you request bike hire, we will ensure that a suitably sized bike is available for collection and you will collect and pay for the bike directly on arrival in Madaba. Please inform us in advance if you wish to hire a bike for this trip and let us know your frame size. Please note that the hire bikes have flat pedals. You will need to take your own SPD (or similar) shoes and pedals, as well as your own saddle and helmet.
Please do not hesitate to call us for further advice about what to bring or any other aspect of this trip. We are more than happy to offer you the benefit of our experience. Further helpful information can also be found in the Your Bike, Baggage Allowances, Climate and Travelling with Your Bike sections of the detailed trip dossier.
The information in this document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and Terhaal.