$ 2,450 / 6 nights - 7 days
Saturday Land in Tel-Aviv, transfer to the Dead Sea
Sunday Marsaba monastery and dates waterfall , 35km, 600m climb, 800m downhill
We start riding on 4 x 4 tracks, till the path narrows to a singletrack which passes under the overhang of a cliff, and we are on the edge of the Kidron Valley. We proceed, and find ourselves opposite a huge, impressive monastery which was build in the desert in the 5th century on the edge of the valley. Monks still live here. From here, the "monk's singletrack" takes us east towards the Hurkania valley, and on the way we have to do some hard riding over the stones of the riverbed, but eventually we reach the Dates Waterfall. What a pleasure to stop here and have some coffee. We ride uphill on a camel track till we reach an outlook point over the whole valley, and the Dead Sea beyond on the horizon. We end the day with a great downhill into the valley.
Monday Sugar Route (extended), 35km, 650m climb, 850m downhill
We start with a view east over Jericho, and then move south towards the top of the Sugar Trail, the most famous of the many single tracks in this region. We have some work to do in the morning with uphills, most of them on wide trails, but eventually this turns into a roller coaster of a 20km long singletrack, which drops 600m in height towards the Dead Sea. Together with the fun, there is some work involved, and some technical parts that must be handled, but opposite us the whole way is the valley and the Dead Sea, which give us motivation. We can take a rest at the picteuresque Nebe Musa mosque, where Muslim tradition has it that Moses was buried, and then we continue on the Almog singletrack, which takes us to the water edge of the Dead Sea itself.
Tuesday Pratzim riverbed and Sdom mountain, 30km, 300m climb
Today includes a half day of riding. After a one-hour transfer to the southern tip of the Dead Sea, we go off-road, at first on a wide trail, which brings us to the opening of a narrow canyon. We ride over the stones of the riverbed with a slight uphill incline, and stop to view the amazing rock formations around us. The canyon suddenly opens out into a wide plain, which we ride across, and then start a steep uphill to the top of the Sdom Mountain. From here, we have a birds-eye view of the Dead Sea beneath us, which is quite stunning. We ride back down to the plain, and then rejoin a different canyon, where we finish our ride with a downhill slalom which is great fun, and takes us back to the road. After lunch, we have the afternoon to enjoy the Dead Sea. We end the day with a transfer to our next base in the Negev desert.
Wednesday Halukim river bed and cameltracks, 45km, 700m climb, 700m downhill
We start with one of the finest desert singletracks in the country. The Halukim riverbed is usually dry, and we can make good speed along a marked path. After an hour, we come to a great view over the Large Makhtesh (crater), and then continue over bumpy terrain and hillside terraces to the Hatsats river. Here we stop at the sinkholes - if we're lucky in the winter, we'll see them filled with flood water. We make our way uphill along unmarked camel tracks, enjoying views over the huge Zin riverbed, before returning to our accomodations.
Thursday Rollercoaster, the Halleluja trail, 50km, 800m climb, 800m downhill
Today, we end our desert tour with a full day of arduous and exciting riding. We also get the best views, most challenging riding, and finish up our desert experience with a bang ! The singletrack was dug out by Ken, a Dutch pensioner who spends his winters in the Negev desert. Following old camel trails, he worked for years with a hoe and spade, and carefully turned the old trails into fantastic bike single tracks. Eventually, this became a series of 3 trails which join each other, and which we will ride today. The names are Hallelujah, Water melon and Mango, and from the names you get the idea - Hallelujah because of the feeling you get racing down the hills in the desert, Water Melon which takes you on a knife edge over the mountains, and Mango, because it ends the day so sweetly. Altogether, a great finale to our desert adventure.
Friday Farewell and back home
Say goodbye to your newfound friends, and we depart for the airport.
Summary of terms
Guided ride, starts on Saturday, ends 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.
Breakfast & lunch are included.
Includes local transport around the area.
This is an Enduro ride that explores two deserts, and offers the ultimate in exciting terrain for those who dare to take on some great technical cycling. We will first be near the Dead Sea, allowing two days of adrenaline rush down to -430m and great views along the way. We then transfer further south to the Negev, and take another two full days in the area, including camel tracks and a desert oasis right out of a movie set.
"The feeling of rushing down to minus 400m and then jumping into the warm water in the Dead Sea in November was unbelievable"
"This was hard-core desert downhill, and I loved every minute of it"