Wadi Rum has always been one of the spots that I never get bored of. Although back in the old days it was mostly about off-roading in the crazy dunes, waxing my wakeboard to create an ocean culture sand-board pre dive day and catching up on some nice single malt (Laphroaig and its Edinburger memories) this is a great route to experience the Jordanian desert on a road bike (I cannot even imagine the great route possibilities on a mountain bike).
A very easy route in comparison to our usual Jordanian roller hills covering a total distance of 88km with only 370m of elevation. If you look closely at the map you will be able to note how close we are to our neighbouring countries.
Disi Village towards the airport Highway
Disi is a very small town alongside the boundaries of Wadi Rum. If you ever recall going into the Wadi Rum village there is a desert patrol checkpoint which leads to the WadiRum tourist information area. At that junction you can turn left to head towards al Disi town (instead of going straight towards rum). You can plan to stay at either or but its probably better to pick the disi side if you are planning on road biking. There is a ton of fun identical camps to choose from if you would like to stay there overnight and ride first thing in the morning.
The road leading to the main highway is fantastic. You get to cruise at high speed along a very flat surface passing through lots of sand dunes, camps, an old and rusty railway station and an old school horse and camel stable. Definitely a great part to keep repeating if you are to train with a TT Bike.
Airport Highway Aqaba bound
I would expect loads of people to be cry babies and say that this is a completely unsafe section but believe it or not you deal with minimal amounts of animals and the traffic is not so bad. The route itself is just a main highway with some great scenery getting you all the way towards Aqaba. You will pass by the customs checkpoint where you are forced to take an ID break and deal with some Jordanian politics. As Aqaba is technically a “free zone” you should head towards the customs authorities first thing in order to register that you have entered Aqaba with a bike in order to not go through customs issues when heading back to Amman.
After passing Wadi Al Yetum customs terminal you ride through a gradual downhill in between beautiful mountains leading you towards the Aqaba town. Just before entering the main town, you will get a great view of the Red Sea in the distance as soon as you hit an old wooden yacht on the side of the road. Just be aware of your surroundings as you cycle through the main town as traffic can sometimes be tricky.
Riding Along the Coast
After hitting the McDonalds circle you will head left towards the coast passing through the first public beach area (Shat el Ghandour) and the Jordanian port entrance. This is when the big stretch starts where you can roll down alongside the sea view. The only problem that arises here is that Aqaba is a very Windy City and you will be riding alongside the coast with a ridiculously hard challenge if you are to face some headwinds.
You will pass more public beaches which are well known to have some touristic dive sites like the Japanese garden, the cedar pride wreck, the tank, cable reef or the plane. These are all before the Tala Bay beach resorts which you will not miss. This is an area filled with hotels and colorful buildings. After you pass through this area you will reach a circle with a big wooden yacht marking the end of your right of passage not unless you want to head into Saudi or the Jordanian Navy base camp.
As soon you hit this circle you can go back via the same route or be adventurous and explore the route that leads you straight back out of Aqaba towards Wadi Al Yetum customs terminal. In that case you will experience a long challenging uphill alongside rough conditions (this area is always windy). The route itself though is usually free of traffic and mostly used by trailers and is to be treated as a ride on its own (this route will be posted separately soon).