Day 3: Negev To Arad
We will leave our Kibbutz and ride to explore the ruins of Beit Guvrin, a system of enchanting caves dating back to the Greek Period. Following our tour there we will ride along the quiet side roads of the region, passing the biblical Tel Lachish, and vineyards on both sides of the road as we move into the area of the Negev Desert. The ride will take us to the Joe Allon Museum of Bedouin Culture, where we will learn about the life and history of this nomadic People who have called the Negev Desert home for hundreds of years. From here we will ride by bus to the desert town of Arad, where we will spend the night.
Cycling Distance: 50-70 km
Day 4: Arad to the Dead Sea
Our ride will begin in Arad, a small town built in the 1950′s as part of the movement to make the expansive desert of Israel bloom. Leaving Arad we will ride along a small desert road with spectacular views. We will stop for lunch in a Bedouin tent before continuing to Masada. Once we arrive at the site, we will leave the bikes and walk up the ramp, built by the Romans on their way to the historic conquest of the mountain. At the top of the mountain, we will see the remains of one the last villages to fight the Roman Empire, and one of Israel’s most important landmarks. After touring Masada we will descend the mountain by cable car and meet our bikes for a short ride along the shore of the Dead Sea to our hotel. Once we reach the Dead Sea we will have time to relax and float in the water of this unique water body at the lowest place on earth.
Cycling Distance: 40 Km
Overnight: Dead Sea
Day 5: Dead Sea to Arava
Our morning will begin with a short transfer to Hatzeva where we begin our ride along one of the prettiest roads in Israel. Known as the “Peace Trail”, this route will take us along the Israeli Jordanian border. On the way we will ride in between fields and green houses, witnessing first hand the incredible desert agriculture which supplies Israel's large vegetable export market . We will stop at one of the small villages on the way for lunch and a swim in their pool (depending on season) and then ride back via the red rock “Wadi” to Hatzeva for the night.
Cycling Distance: 55 Km
Day 6: Arava to Mitzpe Ramon
Today will be quite a challenge, with two large climbs out of the valley to the plains of the Central Negev region. We will be riding on a peaceful road, following an ancient Roman route through the Large Crator, a geological form unique to the Negev Desert. The ride is beautiful, and the scenery is well worth the effort. We will stop for lunch in the Large Crater, and then continue to the town of Yerucham. From here there will be an optional transfer for those who wish to skip the last 20 Km leg. We will arrive at the Ben Gurion college in Sde Boker, the burial place of Israel’s first prime minister, and a modern community bringing Ben Gurion's dream of making the Negev bloom into reality. After a short walk on the cliffs looking over the Zin Valley we will drive to Mitzpe Ramon for the night.
Optional visit to local café/bar on the cliff of the Ramon Crater if time permits.
Cycling Distance: 85Km
Overnight: Mitzpe Ramon
Day 7: Mitzpe Ramon to Kibbutz Ketura
Following breakfast we will head down into the Ramon Crater crossing through this breathtaking part of the world. This unique geological phenomenon is credited to be one of the modern wonders of the world; featuring unbelievable colors and shapes in the ancient rocks, our ride today will be one you will never forget. As we continue south we will cross over the Pharan Wadi and will arrive at Shitim where we will eat lunch. This small community, set in the middle of the desert is home to a desert Ashram who will host us for the afternoon. Following lunch we will relax at the small pool there during the hot hours of the day. For the last part of the day we will ride to Kibbutz Ktora where we will spend the night.
Cycling Distance: 72 Km (more downhill than uphill)
Overnight: Kibbutz Ketura
Day 8: Kibbutz Ketura To Eilat
The last stretch of the tour is long yet very rewarding. We will ride along the border with Egypt, looking into the Sinai Desert. This small road will take us from the Southern Negev to the Eilat Mountains. The road will climb up to the pass near Mt Shlomo and from there we will descent towards Eilat on the shores of the Red Sea. We will ride straight to the beach and celebrate our arrival with a cold beer and a swim in the cool water. From here you can return with the bus to Tel Aviv or extend your stay at one of Eilat’s great hotels.
Cycling Distance: 87 Km
Overnight: Not included