Jerusalem to Eilat Bike Tour
Seven nights, six days of activity. Cycling in Southern Israel's Negev with an option to extend your trip to Petra in Jordan. Chosen one of the world’s best trips by Bicycling, Outside, and Men’s Journal.
“...a fabulous time... we loved the whole thing!” - Elaine E.
Start: Jerusalem, Inbal Hotel, 18:00, day one. One hour by taxi from Ben Gurion airport. We recommend arriving before noon Friday or after dusk Saturday, to avoid public transport shortage and other inconveniences associated with Shabbat. Please contact us to arrange alternate plans, if necessary.
Finish: Eilat, following breakfast on day eight, or with the Jordan extension at 15:00 on day nine.
18:00 meeting at your hotel in Jerusalem, for introductions, technical briefing, and dinner. D
Walking in Jerusalem
Jerusalem is (and always was) a small town by international standards, but 75% of humans round the globe have heard its name; people who never heard the names of New York, London, Paris, Tokyo, Rome or Beijing know something about the city that endured 87 regime changes, two thirds of them by battle. Your guided tour in Jerusalem is an essential introduction for those whose knowledge of Israel’s history is not complete. In the morning you will visit observation points round the city, then visit the old city to see the important sites that draw the attention of millions of tourists, pilgrims, poets, artists, philosophers, politicians, worriers, and media correspondents over the ages. In the afternoon you will walk the caves of City of David. B
Eretz Pleshet, Beit Guvrin, Arad 72km
Today starts with a short transfer to Herzls Tomb on the edge of Jerusalem where the cycling begins. Descend to the "flat land" or "Eretz Pleshet" as it is named in the Bible. You will see the Judean Mountains and ride through "Emek Ha'Ella" (The Goddess Valley) where young David defeated Goliath some 3000 years ago. You will visit the Roman Amphitheatre of Eleutropolis, and wander through breath-taking and famous Bell Caves of Beit Guvrin. After emerging to light again, you will transfer by vehicle from the southern tip of the Judean Mountains straight into the Judean Desert, and to the desert town of Arad. BLD
Yehelim Boutique Hotel, Arad
Masada, Ein Gedi, the Dead Sea 45km
Masada is a fascinating archaeological site. It has breath-taking views, and a heroic story to tell. It inspires an ideological debate, and it has a lot to do with the spirit that made Israel exist. You will enjoy an awe-inspiring early-morning ride from Arad to Masada, and then climb by foot up to Masada via the Roman Ramp. You will see the recently discovered and reconstructed sites, and enjoy spectacular views of the Dead Sea, the Moab Mountains, and Jordan across the African Rift Valley. You can descend from Masada on foot or by cable car then continue on bikes to the oasis of Ein Gedi and then the waters of Dead Sea. You will then have plenty of time to enjoy the water’s healing power, and to laugh at the amazing experience of enhanced buoyancy. Transfer back to Arad at day’s end. BLD
Mamshit, Machtesh Gadol, Mitzpe Ramon 65km
Begin with a bike ride from Arad to Giv'at Tzaffit along a quiet desert road. From there, you’ll transfer by van to Mamshit to visit the ancient Nabataean city. In the heart of the Negev, Mamshit was a prosperous city of great importance to the trade route that linked Egypt and India in the 1st and 2nd centuries. Afterward, cycle to Machtesh Gadol, the second largest crater in Israel. Finish with a short transfer to your luxurious inn at Mitzpe Ramon. BLD
Beresheet Hotel, or
iBike, Mitzpe Ramon
Negev Desert 10 to 20km hike or mountain bike up to 45km
This morning, you can choose between a gentle hike and a challenging off-road ride. The hike takes you to the Zin Canyon where the flora and fauna illustrate the delicate uniqueness of this desert region. It also leads to the Ein Advat Oasis, and the Ein Ma’arif observation point - a once prosperous city on the spice route linking Petra and the Mediterranean coast. The bike ride is on the well maintained Nahal Noked Trail, exploring the wonderful valley between the Halukim and Haboker Ridges enroute to an award wining winery at Kibbutz Sde Boker, also the home and burial place of David Ben Gurion. From there, both groups finish the day with a visit to the Nabatean ruins of Avdat, and a short transfer back to your brilliant inn to savour the Negev ambience. BL
Machtesh Ramon, Uvda Valley, Eilat up to 103km
Start with a visit to Camel Rock from where you can see the first 30 miles of today’s ride. The optional hike on the edge of the 1500ft. cliff is extra stunning at sunrise when there is better chance of meeting the wild ibex and soaring griffons. From Mitzpe Ramon, you will cycle the mountains of the Negev and across the desert, starting with a magnificent descent into the Machtesh Ramon crater. This fabulous ride through wide open Uvda wilderness is real desert, real desolation, and real cycling in a wonderful landscape. You will ride into the Eilat Mountains then descend to Yotvata where you can sample their renowned dairy products before a final transfer into Eilat. BLD
Royal Beach Hotel, or
Queen of Sheba Hilton, Eilat
Snorkelling, transfers and Farewells
Sleep in late or wake early with an option to snorkel and explore some of the most beautiful reefs of the world. The narrowing of the red sea rift valley makes for a spectacular natural wind tunnel, perfect for wind surfing. Finish in time for afternoon flights back to the center of the country, some 300km north, where your Freewheeling Adventure started. There are several daily flights back to Tel Aviv operated by Israir and Arkia. B
*Petra extensions are arranged through our Jordanian partners; contact us for options and details.*
Note about the route:
A moderately easy ride, mainly on paved roads, with some hard-packed desert tracks, punctuated frequently with interpretive stops. Lodging is mostly high-end full service hotels with two nights of simpler boutique style lodging in Arad.
Israel is full of wonder-filling culture, history, and geology, where many roots of Western Civilization are clearly evident. It is where the Torah and the Bible were lived, and is a great place to celebrate or dream. This quiet route will immerse you in exciting archaeology and carry you through green valleys, pine forests, and the Negev Desert. You will explore caves, hear epic tales, and learn about Jewish, Greek, Roman and Christian history. Beginning with an informed introduction to the sites and sounds of Jerusalem, you will then see David and Goliath’s field of battle before riding into the Judean Desert from Arad and on to the powerful fortress of Masada. You will see stunning views of the African Rift Valley, the Dead Sea and the Mountains of Moab. You will float in the Dead Sea, and will see Israel's largest national park. Finish in Eilat, where you can enjoy beaches, warm water, and world famous snorkelling or scuba diving. You can also extend your adventure to experience a night at Petra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the world’s most amazing archaeological landscapes. This adventure will fascinate you with new and old world pleasures; between the wonderful people and magical places, it will deepen your understanding of the marvellous complexity of Israel.
Maps & Elevations
Jerusalem, 18:00, day one. One hour by taxi from Ben Gurion airport. We recommend arriving before noon Friday or after dusk Saturday, to avoid public transport shortage and other inconveniences associated with Shabbat.
Eilat, 13:00, day eight
US 3795 C 4495(per person, includes 8 days, 7 nights, 7 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 6 dinners, entrance fees, luggage handling, van and guide support, maps and route notes)
N/ANot available for this tour.
US 1365 C 1595
Hybrid: US 225 C 265
*Petra extensions are arranged through our Jordanian partners; contact us for costs and details.*
All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.
Custom or Private Tours
Want to go but on different dates?
Want to make a change to the itinerary?
We can adapt for you!
Here are some terms:
Bring your friends. We will run most of these trips for you whenever you want, at the advertised price for a group of four or more on a guided trip, or two if it's self-guided! We reserve the right to make changes if the original inns, etc. are already booked.
If you cannot find others, let us advertise the trip for you! Give us a commitment as far in advance as you can. As long as we have the minimum number of guests at the start, the price will be as advertised. The catch is that if it is just two of you and you want a guided trip, you must be willing to pay a 20% premium in the event that others do not join you. The bright side is that, once reserved, you can count on the trip, whether it remains private or becomes a larger group.
Ask for changes to the itinerary.
We are very flexible, and given enough time, can create a new itinerary to match your desires.