Cycle the Holy Land

10 Days –  Cycle the Holy Land

Overview:

This trip takes you through an amazing variety of landscapes, towns, villages and cities.  From the history of Jerusalem, to the serene peace of the Sea of Galilee.  The archeological gems of Um Qais and Pella, to the astounding wonder of Petra, to the natural wonders of the Dead Sea and the Judean hills.  The trip takes you on quiet roads and tracks around the region with Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian guides, giving you the opportunity to ask a lot of questions and really engage with all the cultures of the region.

Tour Highlights:

Northern Israel – See Nazareth, Mount Tabor and the Sea of Galilee
Decapolis – Visit and cycle between the ancient Decapolis cities of Um Qais and Pella
Dead Sea – Descend over 1,000 metres to the lowest point on earth finishing with a swim in the Dead Sea
Petra – Hike through Petra and marvel at this ancient rose red city, one the new Seven Wonders of the World
Jerusalem – Visit the remarkable sites of Jericho, Bethlehem and Jerusalem
Green – Learn about various ecological and environmental initiatives around the region

Day 1 – Arrival to the Galilee

Arrive to Ben Gurion International Airport or Tel Aviv train Station and meet our representative. You will transfer by car to Nazareth where you will spend the first night. After the whole group gathers we will head out to a local Arab Restaurant bringing the best of the Galilee to the table.

 

Day 2 – The Jesus Trail to the Sea of Galilee

Distance: 32KM

 

We will start the day with a short walking tour of Nazareth, the biblical home of Jesus, including the Church of Annunciation and the local market. From here we will begin to ride to Mount Tabor, overlooking the Galilee. We will ride through the Beit Keshet Forest to the village of Daburia, named after the prophet Deborah who lived in the area of Mount Tabor. We will arrive at the foot of Mount Tabor and have an optional shuttle for those who want to skip the 6 km climb up the mountain. Mount Tabor is mentioned in the New Testament as the place of The Transfiguration, and houses a beautiful modern monastery as well as ruins of a Byzantine and Crusader fortress, and incredible views over the Jezreel Valley and the Galilee. We will return to the village of Kfar Tavor for a middle eastern lunch and then continue by bike towards the Sea of Galilee. Our Ride will end at Kibbutz Maagan, on the shore of the lake where we will be spending the night.

 

Day 3 – Along the Jordan

Distance: 58KM

 

We will leave the Sea of Galilee  and follow the bike lanes of the region heading south along the Jordan River. We will arrive at Beit Shean, the modern city built on the ruins of the Byzantine period capitol of the region and explore the fascinating ruins here. From here we will continue to Gan HaShlosha, where we will enjoy a picnic lunch and a swim in the natural spring water of this beautiful national park. After lunch we will bike towards the border crossing and cross the river in Jordan. Once on the other side we will continue to ride arriving to SHE Eco Park where we will enjoy dinner and a warm welcome.

 

Day 4 – Um Qais to Pella

Distance: 48KM

 

We start with a transfer from the Ecopark north up the Jordan Rift Valley, following the Jordan River on the left, and the King Abdullah Canal on the right, both providing water for irrigation for the valley.  We will drive north to the tip of Jordan and ascend past the Arab Dam to Um Qais.  We start with a short visit of this ancient archeological site, biblical Gedera, where the story takes place of Jesus casting the legion of demons into a group of pigs.  The Greek and Roman city overlooks the Jordan valley and the Sea of Galilee to the west and north, and down to the Yarmouk River and the Golan Heights.  We then cycle downhill on tracks through the hills to Tel Zira’a overlooking the Arab Dam.  Then we ascend, around various villages, and round the edge of Wadi Tibea.  Then descent along the ridge, to the Ecopark.  Depending on the pace of the group, we continue along the canal before ascending and finishing at another of the ancient Roman Decapolis cities, the remains of Pella.  Transfer on to Madaba..

 

Day 5 – Madaba to Dead Sea

Distance: 48KM

 

We start the day with a visit to St George’s church and the ancient mosaic Madaba Map of the Holy Land. Then we transfer north west to Mount Nebo, to where Moses looked across to the Promised Land before he died on this mountain.  We then start our cycling, heading south across the fertile plains of Madaba, passing orchards and agricultural fields.  We then start our descent into Wadi Zarqa Main, on a small country road.  The scenery changes from the green of the north to the dry desert of ancient Moab.  The route cuts through the dramatic wadi, continuing to pass occasionally green spots of farmland, irrigated by the river.  The route continues into the wadi, and the dramatic basalt gorge widens and deepens, reaching 100m high and wide.  We then head west along the gorge and dropping into the rift valley, reaching the hot springs of Zara.  We then continue south along side the Dead Sea to Wadi Attun, and time for a quick swim in the Dead Sea by a quiet secluded beach. After a swim, we transfer to Petra.

 

Day 6 – Petra

Spend the day exploring the ancient site of Petra.  Marvel at the beauty of the ‘Lost City’, the Red Rose City of Petra, exploring its many caves and tombs.  Walk through the canyon and be astounded at the magnificent Treasury, the entrance guarding the ancient Nabatean city, now one of the Modern 7 Wonders of the World. Return to Madaba.

 

Day 7 – Jericho and Auja

After a morning transfer by bus to the Alenby border crossing, We will start the day with a walking  tour of Jericho, believed to be the oldest city in the world. We will walk through the sleepy center of town, see the ruins of the ancient city and then head to the Monastery of Karantal. We will head for lunch in the Auja Eco Center and then spend the afternoon in with the staff of EcoPeace in the center. We will see how this tri-national organization has succeeded   in implementing practical uses of sustainability with the residents of the area.  After our visit here we will transfer by bus to the Jerusalem, and walk from there to the Old City and then to our hotel in Down Town Jerusalem.

 

Day 8 – Bethlehem and the Judean Hills

Distance: 39KM

 

We will start our day cycling from Jerusalem to Bethlehem, where we will stop to see the Church of Nativity, and the famous Shepard’s Fields. After our visit here we will bike   out of Bethlehem towards the Judean Hills. Our trail will take us out of the city and into the village of Batir. We will devote time to see the village that has been registered as a UNSCO site do to the preservation of ancient techniques of agriculture. From here we will continue off  crossing back into Israel  into the Judean Hills. We will, stop to see some ruins from the Bar Kochva era in the Adolam region, stop for lunch and a wine tasting at one of the regions many wineries, and end our ride at the caves in Beit Guvrin National Park. At the end of the ride we will transfer to Jerusalem where we will spend our last night. After dinner we will meet to head out on a 2 hour night ride in the Old City of Jerusalem. Our tour begins in the modern city, exploring some of the historic sites relating to the development of Jerusalem. We then delve into the warren of alleyways that make up the Old City where your guide will masterfully lead you through the empty streets passing the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Christian Quarter, the Jewish Quarter and Mt. Zion, for a truly magical experience.

 

Day 9 – Jerusalem

Distance: 40KM

 

We will leave the hotel by bike and follow a unique cycling route through the different parts of Jerusalem. The city is full of shortcuts and passages known to the locals, allowing us to go through the whole city without dealing with any traffic. Our tour passes through the historic center of the city, the Calatrava Bridge, the Knesset and Supreme Court, the Valley of the Cross, Rehavia, Talbiya, the German Colony, the Hass Promenade, Mishkanot Sha’ananim, Jaffa Gate and the Russian Compound. Throughout the tour there will be stops in order to listen to a short but in depth explanation of what you’re looking at. For lunch we will head into the Old City and then take a short walking tour. We will start our tour with a visit to the Temple Mount and See the Dome of the Roack and the El Akatza Mosque. From here we will continue to visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Western Wall in the Jewish Quarter making our way through the bustling market. You will be free to explore the market, have a bite to eat and enjoy a free afternoon in the market and the nearby Ben Yehuda pedestrian mall. We will meet back at the hotel in the evening and head out to a final dinner together in a local restaurant.

 

Day 10 – Departure

Transfer to Ben Gurion Airport

Dates:

All our tours are private tours, so we run then whenever you want. Just tell us the time and date you want to start.

 

Bikes:

We recommend you bring your own bike, since it’s the one you know best. However if you rather not bring your own, we have a range of high quality bikes to rent. For this tour which includes road and dirt tracks, we recommend treaded tyres on a mountain bike or hybrid. All our trips are accompanied by a mechanic and support vehicle.

 

Meals:

FB: Starting with dinner on first day, to breakfast on last day.
Breakfast and dinner in hotels are buffet meals. Lunch is a pack lunch.

 

Transportation:

All tours are run in private, air-conditioned vehicles, with excellent drivers. Plus a support Vehicle during the cycling to support the cyclists for bike maintenance and in case of injuries and rest breaks.

 

Accommodation:

Accommodation is based on 3-star hotels, with options for upgrades if desired.

 

Guides:

We have English Speaking, Government-Licensed Tour guides and Cycling Guides available for all our tours. Also we can provide other languages speaking guides upon request.

 

Terms & Conditions:

Full details of our tour terms and conditions.

The cost varies depending upon the number of people and specific requirements of each group, including any additional sightseeing and services required. Please contact us with your particular needs to obtain a personal offer.

Cost includes:

  • Collection from the airport.
  • Return transfer to the airport.
  • Entrance fees for all sites.
  • Transport by experienced driver in air-conditioned vehicle.
  • Support vehicle to transport bikes with mechanic throughout trip.
  • 8 nights hotel accommodation in a twin share room. (Single supplement applies if you want a single room).
  • FB: Starting with dinner on first day, to breakfast on last day.
  • Porterage at hotels.

Cost excludes:

  • Bicycles and helmets. Assumes customers are bringing own bikes, helmets and spares. The mechanic will assist with any repairs, and supplies can be purchased from mechanic if required.  Bikes and helmets are available on request.
  • Visa fee to Jordan.
  • Departure taxes ($15 pp at land borders).  Airport tax is usually included on air-tickets. Taxes subject to change with no notice.
  • Personal items and drinks with meals.
  • Tips to driver & guide, hotels staff and porters.

Hotel Upgrades
You can upgrade your hotel to a 4 or 5-star hotel for the 5 nights in the hotels.

To book your Jordan tour, please complete the details below.  If you have any additional questions or information please include it at the bottom of the form.  We will check the details and respond within 24 hours with answers to any questions or payment instructions or further requests for information if required

Payment is online via paypal or by credit card over the phone or email.  Tours are confirmed on receipt of full payment