$ 2,100 - 5 nights, 6 days

City to Desert

 

"We had watched the Giro d'Italia on TV and couldn't believe the desert scenery.   Now we were cycling through it..."

Marco, Italy

This might be the best biking vacation of your life.  What could be a greater feeling than cycling on the road out of the big city, out into the desert - and enjoying a unique downhill at the same time ?   This road ride takes you out of Jerusalem at 880m, all the way down to the Dead Sea at -430m, and deep into the desert.   This exhilarating ride will have some significant uphills, but breath deep:  you will love the scenery !   You will be riding part of the 2018 "Giro d'Italia" International Road Bike Event, which had the first three stages in Israel.   In a word - the best of Israeli road riding.

Itinerary

Day 1  Out of town and down the hill !

63km, 940m uphill

We leave Jerusalem at 880m above Sea Level on what seems an impossibly steep gradient, and continue towards Jericho and the Dead Sea.  On the way down, the trees and greenery of Jerusalem start becoming sparse, and in a short time, we find ourselves in the desert.  We end up at the lowest point on Earth at -430m, and will then make a stop at the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, where we can cool down by taking a dip in the fabulous natural pools and waterfall.   We continue on the road to our comfortable overnight accommodations.  

Day 2   Masada, Dead Sea and up the mountain

38km, 1170m uphill

We will enjoy a great buffet breakfast with stunning views over the Dead Sea.    We then take a cable car to the top of Masada, an amazing historical site which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.   You will see original army encampments from the Roman Empire, and get a feel for the way people lived 2000 years ago.  After a 2-hour tour, we come off the mountain and mount our bikes.   We continue south on the road, and hopefully the weather will be warm enough to take a dip in the Dead Sea on the way.  After a relaxing morning, we have a tough uphill ride to Arad at 630m above sea level.   The climb for today is all in the last 30km, so this is quite brutal, but - no worries - our support vehicle is there if needed.

 

Day 3  Deep Desert and Scorpions Ascent

95km, 1390m uphill

Enjoy the fine morning  air on the mountain at Arad.  We then go deeper into the desert on deserted roads, and ride to the top of the serpentine Scorpions Ascent from here ride through the Large Makhtesh, a stark crater with moon-like scenery.   We will stop and see the surprising coloured sand along the way, and after a steady uphill, we end up on the edge of the astonishing Ramon Crater where we spend the night. 

 

Day 4  Ramon Crater

96km, 930m uphill

We will begin the day admiring the amazing geological formations of the largest crater in the world of its type.   We then ride down the road into the crater, following the stunning route of the Giro d'Italia, and cross the entire floor of the crater before exiting.   Time permitting, we will hike a surprising canyon before reaching our overnight village.

  

Day 5   Through the plains and on to Eilat and the Red Sea

85km, 1220m uphill

We ride through the moonscape of the Ovda plains, and then start a series of high-gradient hills which will knock the breath out of us.   We will get some fantastic views into the Sinai desert inside Egypt, and enjoy some high-adrenalin downhills as we approach our final destination, the city of Eilat that sits on the Red Sea.

Day 6  Farewell and return to the City

After a leisurely breakfast, we return to Jerusalem, and bid farewell to the desert.

Summary of terms

  • Guided ride, starts on Sundays, ends on Friday.

  • Price is per person based on double occupancy in your hotel room, and a minimum group of 4 riders.  We offer discounts to larger groups.

  • Support vehicle during ride.

  • Includes pick-up from your hotel in Jerusalem and return to the hotel.

  • B & B included.

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