Cycling in Jordan – Guided Tours and self-organized Bike Rides
in the last months I have been discovering and re-exploring several places in Jordan by bike. My first ever cycling experience here, was with Cycling Jordan from Amman over Iraq Al-Ameer to Kufrein Dam. I loved the diversity of this ride and joined Cycling Jordan for other trips as well. Last summer, I joined an incredible tour from Shobak to Litte Petra. Make sure to check out their shop, and website, which I contributed to as well. Furthermore, they have great tours, do excellent support, provide service and maintenance for bikes and are just fun to join. Of course, there are different shops, cycling clubs and tour organizers. Feel free to explore them.
However, if you want to explore Jordan by bike on your own, you can do so, too. Below, I present three different tours that I recently went on with some friends. They are diverse as Jordan. They range from hill tops to the lowest point on Earth, between cities and farmlands, from green forests to desert landscapes. I personally own a mountain bike. However, you can also do many tours with a road bike.
Cycling from Umm Qais to Al Mokhaba Al Tahta
This is a bike ride in the North of Jordan which starts at Umm Qais. The old Roman city sits on a hill overlooking Palestine, Syria and the Golan Heights. From the top, you can see Lake Tiberias. First, you can explore the site, if you haven’t done so, yet. After that you can get ready for an incredible downhill ride passing through a forest and leaving the Arab Dam behind you. At the end you will reach the Jordan Valley. From there you cycle between Orange and Lemon farms towards the Northern border. Once you are close to the Yarmouk river, you turn East towards Al Mokhaba before you need to get back to Umm Qais. If you do this trip on your own, make sure to either arrange transportation back uphill. Otherwise, be confident to ask someone to take you back.
Note that the route below does not include the entire trail. In fact, it is longer, around 27 km. You can cycle this with a mountain bike or road bike.
Amman to Madaba to the Dead Sea by Bike
Actually, this is two trips in one. However, if you feel fit enough and have the time, you can do both together. The first part is a bit harder as there some inclines. Also, make sure you are comfortable riding on the main street. I personally don’t like it and you need to be very careful when crossing the intersections on airport road. Apart from that the ride turns out to be nice later and the environment around Madaba is more on the country side. If you like you can discover the city, take a rest at Kawon boook store and café or head over to Mount Nebo. Kawon is an oasis in Madaba and has really good coffee as well.
From Madaba to the Dead Sea by Bike
After our coffee break we decided to head down to the Dead Sea. Apart from the commonly known roads from Amman or from Mount Nebo, there is another more secret way. It is an awesome road that winds its way down to the lowest point on Earth after a few inclines in the beginning. Also be aware of some dogs in that area. Additionally, make sure your brakes work and enjoy the breeze getting warmer and warmer as you descend. Accordingly, you can observe a rapid change of the surrounding landscape, which is always astounding in Jordan. Personally, I think this was one of the coolest bike rides ever. You can cycle this tour with a road bike. When you reach the Dead Sea, you can try to ask someone to take you back to Amman, if you have not arranged otherwise or intend to stay.
Cycling in the Desert near Qasr Amra
This tour you have to do with a mountain bike obviously. I recommend to ride clockwise. That way, you will have the sun behind you for a longer time. Of course, you can do it the other way round, too. The loop was very interesting as you experience a totally different terrain of Jordan. As far as you can see, the ground is covered in little lava rocks. Sometimes more red, sometimes more black. On the route you follow some car tracks, but it is a really remote area. Interestingly enough, even in this area you will find life. You might come across some shepherds with their sheep and goat. Other than that, you will not encounter much else except for scarce nature in its purest form. We cycled for about 2 hours which include some breaks and stops for taking pictures.