Israel, a small country with as many climates as cultures. The Holy Land allows you to enjoy some of the finest MTB riding anywhere, together with being able to cycle through the winter months. Rush down the hill out of Jerusalem to the lowest point on earth to start this exhilarating road ride.
- Fully Guided with Support Vehicle
- Stunning winter cycling
- B&B basis in the towns with all meals in the desert
- 3-4 star accommodation & tents
- Start & end in the magical city of Jerusalem
- Ride down to the Dead Sea & dip in the water
- Desert riding
- Visit the Ramon Crater & Red Sea
- Ride the entire southern section of the Israel Bike Trial
Itinerary Day 1: Jerusalem to Mizpe Ramon
35km, 400m climb
On our way south, we start out with a superb desert singletrack called the Sugar Trail, which leads all the way through some great downhills to the edge of the Dead Sea at -430m (yes, with any luck, we'll go in and have a dip. We then drive along the Dead Sea and reach the town of Mizpe Ramon, which has become a centre for desert adventure activity. You will find the views over the huge Ramon crater awe-inspiring.
Day 2: It's out into the crater and wilderness!
60km, 700m climb
We wend our way along the rim of the Makhtesh, a 40km-long crater, the largest of its type in the world. We immediately get onto a fabulous trail including some singletrack that gives us glimpses of the fabulous scenery over the crater, and then wends its way down (careful now ! into the crater. From here, we head due East across the desert plains and set up camp tonight. BBQ supper and hot showers are provided!
Day 3: Going South on the spice route
47km, 800m climb
We leave our campsite and during the morning hours, we reach Moah, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which was a Nabatean fortress along the famed ancient Spice Route, where exotic spices were transported from Petra and Asia to the Mediterranean ports and from there to Europe. We ride south, getting a great view of the Jordanian mountains to the East - is that Petra in the distance? We eventually reach the Barak canyon, which is occasionally flooded during the winter months. Today's slightly shorter day might allow us to hike the canyon for an hour, a great experience. We bed down tonight in the village of Paran. Get a good rest, for the fun continues early in the morning.
Day 4: Boldly go where no man has gone before
58km, 750m climb
The feeling of being in the deep desert is overwhelming, as we proceed with the quietness of nature surrounding us. We start riding at Neot Semadar, a fascinating ecological commune somewhere in the middle of nowhere. No meat is allowed here by agreement, and even the local cafe serves vegetarian meals only - but the coffee and cheesecake are highly recommended. We leave civilization entirely on our way to Shacharut, a small village on an outcropping of rock. We ride through some outstanding sand dunes, and then enjoy great views of the entire desert surrounding you, and a jaw-dropping look over the mountains into Jordan. At the end of the day, we reach Malchan Well, which is where we set up camp for the night.
Day 5: Ending up with a bang (and a dip in the Red Sea)
62km, 780m climb
This really is a fitting climax to our cross-desert trip in every sense. The morning really gives no indication of what's to come, since the first hour is over the plains, but suddenly things pick up, and we find ourselves on some rolling trails with great singletracks thrown in for good measure. Eventually, we hit the Timna Park, with its stunning rock formations and ancient copper mines, used by King Solomon 3,000 years ago to trade and raise money for his Kingdom. We have the option of an exhilarating singletrack around the Park, and in the afternoon, we ride into Eilat, Israel's Red Sea capital. There's nothing like the feeling of reaching the sea after having crossed the fearsome desert on our own two legs. After a clean-up, we will have time to walk around this cool town, and proceed in the evening to a farewell (and very welcome supper.
Day 6: Farewell and back to Jerusalem
You will enjoy possibly the finest buffet breakfast you have ever had, and you then have a short time to walk around the sea front, and get a feeling for this exciting Red Sea port city. We then return to Jerusalem, a 4 hour drive north.