$ 2,500 - 5 nights / 6 days
Israel Bike Trail
"The mix of the trip was a brilliant one; started with the city night tour in Jerusalem, the Sugar Trail, the overnight camps in the desert etc."
This is a non-stop, point-to-point bicycle adventure tour through the Southern section of what will eventually be a 1200km long bike route, stretching from Israel's Hermon mountain in the North, till the Red Sea. A fabulous MTB holiday on some of the best purpose-built trails anywhere, starting at the Ramon crater, and ending at the sea in Eilat, this tour provides fantastic mountain biking and scenery . True Israeli desert cycling at it's very best.
Saturday Arrival at Tel-Aviv airport and transfer to Jerusalem
If we have time (and energy), we do a night ride around the Old City and see some sights of this fascinating city.
Sunday Sugar Trail and Dead Sea, 35km
We transfer 40 minutes east of Jerusalem, and quickly find ourselves in the desert. Quite an amazing sensation to leave the green Holy City on the mountain at 850m, and in a very short time see totally different scenery. Today will be a half day's riding since we have to complete our transfer to the desert. We ride one of the most famous local singletracks - the Sugar Trail - upon which camels would transport spices up and down from Jerusalem from the south. This track provides us with a lot of adrenaline for our first day of riding, as we bowl downhill all the way to the Dead Sea at -430m, the lowest point on earth. Along the way, we have great views over the Jordanian mountains. After lunch, we take a dip in the unique Dead Sea, and then proceed to Mitzpe Ramon to spend the night.
Monday Start on the Israel Bike Trail/Ramon Crater, 59km
We ride out of the hotel and along the crater. Stunning views greet us immediately, and we continue along the ridge for a couple of hours, before riding carefully down into the crater. At our lunch stop - if we are lucky - we will enjoy some ice cream, and then we continue till the Massa mountain where we spend the nights in tents in the desert.
Tuesday Katzra to Paran, 48km
Leaving our tent camp early morning, we continue riding east, and crossing between various river beds. Along the way, we pass the Moa UNESCO Heritage site, on the ancient Nabatean Spice Route, and then take the opportunity for a quick hike into the Barak canyon. We ride into our night's lodgings at the Paran village.
Wednesday Paran to Shacharut, 58km
We take a quick transfer to start the day's riding, and quickly find ourselves on a challenging uphill on the Keruta riverbed. The views from here are fantastic, and we clearly see the Moab mountains on the Jordanian side of the border. After a coffee stop along the way (yes, there's great cheesecake here in the desert), we proceed to the Neot Smadar village. After lunch, we find ourselves on Israel's largest sand dunes, where we can run down or go really crazy and try and ride it. From here, we reach an outlook over the entire Arava valley, where we stop and feel the views till the horizon and listen to the silence. It's only a short ride from here to our tent camp where we spend the night.
Thursday Shachrut to Eilat, 46km
The morning starts over the Ovda plains, and at first might seem not too interesting. But after a slow start, the terrain suddenly changes, and we find ourselves in some outstanding singletracks, which take us through some of the finest scenery of the Trail so far. There are a lot of physical challenges in today's ride, but we will enjoy every minute of the excellent riding, and in the afternoon, when we finally ride into the Red Sea city of Eilat, and see the water, we feel tremendous satisfaction at having crossed the desert on our own two legs. Tonight, we will have a welcome farewell dinner.
Friday Transfer to Jerusalem/Tel-Aviv
After a leisurely breakfast - probably the best one of this week - we set out by bus (or by air) to return to the centre of Israel.