5 Days Adventure Cycling Holiday in Negev Desert, Israel

Exciting Cycling Holiday Israel

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Take a short break from the freezing Europe and join this once in a lifetime biking adventure along the newly-built Israel National Bike Trail in the Negev Desert with Desert BikeAir! The rides, the landscapes, and the atmosphere are like no any other bike holiday. This is a totally unique adventure combining the special rides the desert provides with the special atmosphere at night in the middle of nowhere!

Key information

  • Trip type: Guided
  • Lodging: Point-to-point
  • Terrain: Mostly unpaved, rocky, hilly, mountainous, flat
  • Difficulty levels: Moderate (Cyclist needs to have a good level of fitness, terrain is mostly hilly or unpaved but they will ride on flat terrain sometime,31-45 miles per day); Challenging (Cyclist needs to have high level of fitness, must be an active rider, the terrain includes really challenging climbs/or 46-80 or more miles per day)
  • Total distance: 145 kilometers / 90 miles
  • Average elevation: 333 meters / 1,093 feet
  • Vacation type: Mountain biking, adventure cycling
  • Type of bike: Mountain bike

Meet the instructors

Nir
Read more

Highlights

  • 3 days bike tour
  • A downloadable GPS file
  • Service of logistical and medical supports
  • 4 x 4 vehicle equipped with necessary gears
  • Daily meals and local beers
  • 4 nights accommodation
  • Water refilling points
  • Airport transfers

Skill level

  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Styles


3 cycling days in English
Spoken languages: English
The maximum participants in the group is 50
Airport transfer included: Ben Gurion International Airport
Airport transfer included: Ovda International Airport
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Accommodation

You will stay in different desert camps. On the first day, you will stay at Desert Shade, a very basic but great vibe eco-camp, located right next to Mizpe Ramon. On the second night, you will stay at Nekarot Well Camp. On the third night, you will stay in a desert camp in Pharan. On your last night, you will stay in a desert camp in Timna Valley Park.

Program

Day 1 (Wednesday, November 14, 2018): Arrival

You will be picked up from Ben Gurion Airport (TLV) or Ovda Airport (VDA), whatever you choose. Meet the team, your tourmates, and prepare your bikes or get to know your hired bikes, and enjoy the opening dinner.

  • Accommodation: Desert Shade Eco-Camp

Day 2 (Thursday, November 15, 2018): Mizpe Ramon to Nekarot

Yo, Negev! Here you come! Celebrate the trip’s kick off by riding high up on a magnificent cliff, hugging the rim of Machtesh Ramon, the world’s largest crater, 40 kilometers long. Say hello to the Negev ibex and eagles who make this cliff their home.

Use an ancient camels' path to descend to the crater’s floor and ride through magnificent geological formations colored adobe red, turquoise green, pitch black, and desert brown. Exit the crater through the Nekarot Creek and ride along the world-famous Spice Road.

Make your way to the Nekarot Well Camp, in the middle of nowhere built especially for you. Campfire and a cold beer under a million stars, and a great vibe! The central tent concept is great fun, but if you wish to have your own small tent, you can pay a little extra and have it.

  • Total distance: 55 kilometers
  • Uphill: 190 meters
  • Downhill: 710 meters
  • Elevation gain: 520 meters
  • Accommodation: Nekarot Well Camp

Day 3 (Friday, November 16, 2018): Nekarot to Pharan

You will be starting at the very spot where travelers and merchants made camp for thousands of years, climb up a thrilling single track, and negotiating huge surfaces of the dark stone. Cross to the other side of the mountain range. You will slide fast to the remains of the ancient Nabatic town of Moah.

From there, ride south along the Arava Valley, smack at the center of the East African Rift. The ride ends near the Barak Canyon, where Desert BikeAir will invite you to a short and beautiful hiking. You will stay in a desert camp in the middle of nowhere built especially for you.

  • Total distance: 40 kilometers
  • Uphill: 350 meters
  • Downhill: 540 meters
  • Elevation gain: 190 meters
  • Accommodation: Desert camp in Pharan

Day 4 (Saturday, November 17, 2018): Shaharut to Timna park

From your night camp, you will be picked up by a private bus to Shaharut, a remote village and desert community, where you will start your trip’s last riding day and a most spectacular finale. From Shaharut, ride high up on a mountainous single track offering a dazzling desert scenery.

Riding way above the world-famous Timna Valley Park, you will observe the remains of ancient copper mines built by Kings Ramesses, David, and Solomon. You will also take in the incredible Timna sand rock formations and natural sculptures and arches.

From there, you will start a tantalizing descend heading to the Red Sea, riding along spectacular wadis, canyons, and mountain ridges. The ride ends at the amazing colorful Timna Park.

  • Total distance: 50 kilometers
  • Uphill: 530 meters
  • Downhill: 820 meters
  • Elevation gain: 290 meters
  • Accommodation: Desert camp in Timna Park

Day 5 (Sunday, November 18, 2018): End of Tour

Following breakfast, Desert BikeAir will transfer you to the airport. Flying home from the Ben Gurion Airport (TLV), you can either use Desert BikeAir transfer (a five-hour ride) or board a 50-minute flight for 100 EUR.

Daily schedule

  • 07:00 Breakfast
  • 08:00 Preparing your gear
  • 08:30 Start riding (each rider choose his own starting time); sometime along the day, meeting the staff along the ride for beverages
  • 16:00 Arrival to the next chan, cold beer, shower
  • 20:00 Dinner, beers under a million of stars next to the campfire

Riding

The very high standard Israel National Bike Trail is a combination of flowing singletracks dirt roads, with a few technical challenges that can be easily negotiated on a bike or on foot. Bike-friendly for both experienced and casual mountain bike riders.

The Negev Trail is well-marked and easily followed without a map or a GPS. Each day, you will wake up and will start biking whenever you are ready. Biking is either on your own or in small groups, whichever suits you best.

Desert BikeAir experienced mountain biking guides will be last on the trail, bringing up the rear and helping out whenever necessary. After the first two riding days, you will enjoy a hot bucket shower which is another sort of adventure. After the third riding day, you will finally enjoy a real shower.

Safety

Desert BikeAir's four-by-four vehicles are equipped with all the necessary gear to help solve problems along the trail.

Gear

Desert BikeAir recommends a full suspension bike of 100 to 140 millimeters travel. Bring your own bike or hire one of Desert BikeAir's high-quality ones. Your personal bag will be transferred by the crew from each accommodation to the next, so there is no need to schlep anything along the trail.

Bike Hire

Desert BikeAir invites you to leave your bikes at home and hire one of their high-quality bikes for 120 EUR. All of them are 2018 models. Please inform Desert BikeAir of your height and weight, and they will send you a list of the bikes they can offer you. Helmet, reserve tube, and tools are not provided with the bikes. If you use SPD pedals, Desert BikeAir recommends bringing your pedals with you.

Skill level

Intermediate

  • Can cycle for 3-4 hours
  • Average riding experience
  • Little assistance required
  • Comfortable with extreme curves and leans
  • Average experience with unsurfaced roads
  • Steep ascents and descents

Advanced

  • Can cycle for 5-6 hours
  • Extensive riding experience
  • Assistance on demand (if required)
  • Experienced with riding a variety of bicycles
  • Comfortable with any terrain and weather conditions

Instructors

Nir Benjamini
Nir is the entrepreneur behind Club Giraffe, an ‘avid’ mountain biker with many desert days, in addition to vast experience in organizing mountain bike trips in Israel and abroad, producing desert events.

Location

This cycling holiday will take place in the Negev Desert, Israel. The Israel Bike Trail, Israel’s spectacular southern mountain biking path, runs mainly on flowing singletracks, along pristine and uninterrupted desert landscape.

Unlike any other desert, the Negev is a fascinating mosaic of wild geological formations, ancient historical landmarks, and the world’s most advanced and fertile organic agriculture farms. Immersed in biblical legacy, you will ride in the footsteps of the Israelis who crossed the desert from Egypt to the Promised Land.

Food

You will be provided with full board meals including breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as beers. Each riding day ends with a campfire and cold beer under the stars, leading up to a sumptuous dinner with meat and vegetarian options. Each day starts with a generous Israeli breakfast, then pick up or make your lunch pack, and head out for another incredible riding day in the Negev!

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Alcoholic beverages

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • 3 days bike tour
  • Service of logistical and medical supports
  • A downloadable GPS file
  • 4 x 4 vehicle equipped with necessary gears
  • 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners, local beers
  • 4 nights accommodation
  • Transfers from Ben Gurion Airport (TLV) or Ovda Airport (VDA)
  • Transfers to Ben Gurion Airport (TLV)

What's not included

  • Personal insurance (mandatory)
  • Flight from Eilat Airport (ETH) to Ben Gurion Airport (TLV) (~100 EUR)

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Eilat Airport (ETH), then book a domestic flight to Ben Gurion Airport (TLV) or Ovda Airport (VDA). Transfer from this airport is included in the price. Desert BikeAir will pick you up from the airport.

Airport: Ben Gurion International Airport Airport transfer included: Ben Gurion International Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.
Airport: Ovda International Airport Airport transfer included: Ovda International Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 28% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.
5 days / 4 nights
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Availability

Arrival: Wednesday February 27, 2019
Departure: Sunday March 3, 2019

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