1. Um Qais to Kufr Rakeb

Stage 1 of 12

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PHYSICAL CHALLENGE: 4 out of 5

DISTANCE: 63,2 km

APPROX. RIDING TIME: 5-6 h

ELEVATION GAIN: +1749 m

ELEVATION LOSS: -1549 m

PAVED: 50 km (80 %)

UNPAVED: 13 KM (20 %)

MAX. GRADE: 19 %

AVG. GRADE: 1 %

NEW FEATURE COMING SOON!

<< PREVIOUS:

PHYSICAL CHALLENGE: 4 out of 5

DISTANCE: 63,2 km

APPROX. RIDING TIME: 5-6 h

ELEVATION GAIN: +1749 m

ELEVATION LOSS: -1549 m

PAVED: 50 km (80 %)

UNPAVED: 13 KM (20 %)

MAX. GRADE: 19 %

AVG. GRADE: 1 %

Description

Start from from the remains of the Decapolis city of Gadara (today, Um Qais) and enjoy a bracing descent toward Al Arab Dam. From there, climb on paved and dirt roads through a number of smaller villages, before another long descent to the Jordan Valley — at -200m your low point of the trip. Ride a few easy kilometers along the King Abdullah Canal before climbing to Pella, where you’ll find the remains of another Decapolis city. From Pella, it’s a long, slow climb to Kufr Rakeb.

Food & Water

BEGINNING:
There are smaller shops, a bakery and some restaurants (falafel etc.) in Um Qais.

 

ON ROUTE:
The villages (after Al-Arab Dam and before the Jordan Valley) of Dar as-Si’nah, Sammou’ and Jenin have small stores and falafel shops (wider variety of options in Sammou’). Before beginning your ascent to Pella, there’s a small shop with drinks and snacks just off-route on the main road.

 

END:
Kufr Rakeb has a range of stores (shops with basic supplies, grocery stores, produce stores); the junction on the east end of town also has a number of stores and a falafel shop.

Accommodation Options

Um Qais: Beit al-Baraka (00962 7 7666 7660), Um Qais Hotel (00962 2 750 0080)

 

Pella: Pella Countryside Inn (00962 7 9876 9034) & Bella Tourist Resort

 

Kufr Rakeb: (+2.6km) Adnan Homestay (00962 7 766 89061) (simple family home, Arabic only)

 

Camping

There are possible campsites in Burqush forest, about 3.0 km past Kufr Rakeb.

Transportation

Beit al-Baraka may be able to arrange transportation from Amman to Um Qais (~60JOD).
Alternatively you can take a JETT bus from Amman to Irbid, and hire a taxi from Irbid.

Notes & Tips
    • Before Dar as Si’nah, you climb a short, steep, rough dirt road—a likely hike-a-bike.
    • In hot weather, get an early start. You’re quite low (-200m) before starting your climb to Kufr Rakeb; on a hot day, you’ll want to reach the start of the climb before the full heat of the day.
Sights
Local Contacts

Stage Photos

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