Welcome to Jordan, I invite you to a trip that will awaken your senses and also your legs, I have traveled the country in search of good trails to ride a bicycle and discover some things about local customs and traditions. Bike Destinations – Jordan with David Cachon
The trip will visit places of passage of the Jordan Trail, such as Umm Qais, Petra, the Dead Sea and of course Amman, the Jordanian capital.
Ancient History – Jordan
Jordan is a land full of history. It has been home to some of humanity’s earliest settlements and towns; housing hidden relics of the world’s great civilizations.
As the crossroads of the Middle East, the lands of Jordan and Palestine have served as a strategic nexus; connecting Asia, Africa and Europe. Since the dawn of civilization, Jordan’s geography has given it an important role as a conduit for trade and communications; connecting East with West. Jordan continues to play a leading role in geopolitical affairs.
An unforgettable path – The Jordan Trail
The Jordan Trail is a long-distance hiking trail that connects the length of Jordan from Um Qais in the north to Aqaba in the south. It offers more than 675 kilometers of trails, and runs through 75 towns and cities in its path. The trail traverses the diverse landscapes and views of the country, from the rolling forested hills of the north, the rugged wadis and cliffs overlooking the Jordan Valley, the pink rock of Petra, the dramatic sands and towering mountains of Wadi Rum, to the crystal clear waters of the Red Sea.
As you walk the Jordan Trail, it becomes a journey through Jordan’s history and an encounter with its diverse culture. Traveling throughout the country provides an opportunity to go through the different layers of culture, try Jordan’s various cuisines, meet the locals. It is also an opportunity to learn about the history of Jordan, the different civilizations that have left their mark on the earth. The trail moves through the main historical sites of the region, such as Um Qais, Jerash and Petra, while also being home to hidden ruins that rest among the earth.
The adventure beyond the bikes
I love finding destinations, countries and places that are able to offer you much more than just riding. Jordan is a country to savor slowly as it hides many secrets. Probably the most famous ones you already know or have heard of, Petra, the Dead Sea or the Wadi Rum desert, but it’s not just these magical places that I want to talk to you about. If you really want to get to know Jordan, its people and its authentic character… you should also visit the north of the country where you will discover much of its essence.
The capital is different
My trip started and ended in the capital, Amman. It was a rather quick trip for such an immense country, as far as sensations are concerned, but I enjoyed it 100% and brought back unforgettable memories from there.
In Amman I had the opportunity to discover different faces of the capital, the most typical and also the most artistic. Cycling through its streets and markets led me to some neighborhoods where many Jordanian artists had decided to leave their mark. Art on the walls, in the buildings and also in the locals and bars in the area. I was even lucky enough to find a cafeteria with a 100% biker atmosphere and whose owner was in love with bicycles.
In this adventure I had the opportunity to learn how they used to cook thanks to Beit Sitti, a restaurant that began as an association of women who wanted to pass on their knowledge of traditional food to others. There I was able to cook some typical Jordanian dishes with my own hands (Arab bread, Maaloubeh, Fattet Jaj…) which I later ate with my colleagues, luckily always thanks to the supervision and instructions of the real cooks (laughs).
Much to discover and to do
The history here is exuberant and a good example of this are some of the ruins that I was lucky enough to visit, I will highlight the ruins of Umm Quais, which are located in the north of the country, in a very strategic point since the borders meet at that geographical point. with Israel, Palestine, Syria and Lebanon. Located on a hill, at 378m. above sea level, from Umm Quais you can glimpse the Sea of Galilee or the Golan Heights. At Umm Quais are the ruins of the ancient city of Gadara.
Gadara was founded by Greek settlers in the 4th century BC. After being part of the Seleucid Empire of Antiochus III in 218 BC, it entered the history of Rome in 63 BC.
Trails, tracks and much more
Mountain biking is beginning to gain strength and relevance in Jordan but they still do not have a good network of trails, although the truth is that there are, but you need a local rider to guide you to find them.
On our trip, the trails did not take long to arrive, thanks to the guys from Jordancycling, first with a mythical track that is part of the Jordan Trail (Kafrain Water Dam) that, in addition to an infinite route through the desert, hid some extremely technical trails, of loose stone, leaving behind a majestic landscape on the way to the Dead Sea. Before reaching the sea some rock cliffs made their appearance and offered us a completely different and spectacular landscape.
For our last day in the country we left one of the great Wonders of the Ancient World, Petra. It is known as the Lost City because although its history dates back to the time of the Nabataeans, in the 7th century BC, in the Middle Ages it was completely abandoned and was not “discovered” by Westerners until the early 19th century. The main reason that Petra became the Lost City is its special location in a valley surrounded by high rocky mountains whose entrance is the deep gorge.
The surroundings of Petra are incredible, mountains of rock formations that reveal thousands of lines to ride a bicycle, a true paradise where I would have liked to spend a few days to explore in depth.
Jordan by bike
Cycle tourism, gravel or mountain bike, you choose how to discover this incredible country and all its jewels and secrets. The Jordan Trail makes our work easier and it is enough to follow its instructions to travel the entire country with guarantees of visiting the best places and locations. If what you want is to get out of the way, that’s up to you, you’ll find fun for sure.
If you need help planning your trip here I leave you with two good contacts:
– If you want us to be friends on social networks, here is my contact:
Text & riding: David Cachon
Photography: David Ponce