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The Desert Challenge – 6 Days (5 riding days)

This tour is mainly designed to experience Israel’s desert area. The tour will stop for a short visit in cities like Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Jaffa but will mainly be in the desert area east and south of Jerusalem. We will ride along the Syrian-African Rift and ride in the lowest place in the world, the Dead Sea. The tour will go all the way to the southernmost city in Israel, Eilat, which is situated on the Red Sea. The route is designed to mainly go on roads with only few easy trails so any rider can join.

Highlights

Jerusalem, Dead Sea, Eilat, Makhtesh Ramon, Small Makhtesh, Masada, Jaffa, Tel Aviv.

Overview

Tour starts/ends

Netanya

Rest days

No rest days

Route

About 1,200 km
Daily distance 75-260 km a day

Riding time – about 5-7 hours a day
Most of the tour runs on asphalt and some of it on easy trails.

This tour can be done as a self-guided tour or a group/privately guided tour at any time of your preference if bikes are available. You can also rent a bike and follow the route described here.

Please not that we are closed from Friday 12:00 Till Sunday morning. Bikes can be returned Saturday from about 40 minutes after sundown.

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What is included in the tour:

A guide on a motorcycle

Usage of our Yamaha Tenere XT660Z/Suzuki V-Strom650/Suzuki DR650

Scala Rider Packtalk communication system

Wi-Fi in all the hotels

Comprehensive vehicle insurance for motorcycles

Maps, detailed itinerary

Accommodation for 6 nights based on double occupancy

Hotel information

Breakfast and dinners at all hotels (6 nights)

Airport pickup and drop-off in the case the whole group arrives together

Luggage transfers

Entrance fees

Unlimited mileage

What is not included:

Deductible damage up to 2,000 Euro. You can either use your credit card or cash deposit. Please not that touring will not be possible if this is not cleared.

All services not mentioned as included like personal nature such as presents, food, drinks etc.

Any fines for speeding and other traffic violations etc.

Any tolls incurred while using highway.

Gasoline

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All riders must have a valid motorcycle license (at least A1).

The tour is based on staying the night before the tour in Netanya and starting the tour the next morning. If you use your own helmets I will bring the communication equipment to the hotel so you can install it in advance to save time.

The tour is based on having a full day in Israel on the last day.

The tour route and hotels are subject to change depending on weather, road conditions, travel arrangements etc. In case a hotel is changed to a different one, it will be similar in quality and standard as to the original.

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Tour Itinerary – Based on arriving on Saturday and starting on Sunday

Day 1:  Saturday

Arrival

Overnight in Netanya

Day 2: Sunday

Pick up the bikes and head toward Jerusalem. In Jerusalem we will stop at a viewpoint and pay a do walking tour of the old city and its holy places. Following the tour, we will start descending into the rain shadow desert east of Jerusalem. We will visit the Jordan River and see desert monasteries about 1,500 years old at over 300 meter below sea level From here we will ride south along the Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth, stopping at Kumran, the place the Essenes sect lived secluded in the desert and the place the Dead Sea scrolls were discovered, At the end of our day the day we will try the amazing experience of floating on the Dead Sea.

About 240km

Overnight at the Dead Sea

Day 3: Monday

We will start making our way towards Eilat, the southernmost city in Israel.   Should the road of the Scorpions Pass be open, we will ride it and descend back to the Arava valley. Otherwise we will ride via the Syrian African rift. From here we will continue riding along the Syrian African Rift south towards Eilat,  the southernmost city in Israel. As much as possible, we will ride on the smaller roads, staying away from the busy route 90. We will visit a few interesting points on the way, as well as Timna, the possible site of King Solomon’s copper mines. Eventually we will reach Eilat which is situated on the Red Sea, neighboring with Aqaba, Jordan.

Overnight in Eilat     About 240-300km

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Day 4: Tuesday

In the morning, we will have a chance to dip in the Red Sea and ride to Tabah, the border point with Egypt. Then start riding north. The ride will lead us through the southern Negev desert along the Egyptian border towards the city of Mitspe Ramon. Before arriving at our destination, we will pass through Makhtesh Ramon, a crater like phenomenon, one of only 8 in the world and the largest of them and we will stop at a few spots at the bottom of this valley which serves as an open geology book.

At night, those of us who are not tired will ride back down to the makhtesh for star gazing (also possible from Mitspe Ramon but with some light prolusion).

About 200km

Overnight in Mitspe Ramon

Day 5: Wednesday

In the morning we visit the Ramon visitor center and A short ride from here will take us to Ein Avdat Canyon for a short hike in a desert oasis. We will also visit the grave site of David Ben Gurion, the first prime minister of Israel, and hear his amazing story. From here, we will continue to the city of Yeruham for a view of the Small Makhtesh. Our way will take us to the Nitzana area sand dunes where we can try dune riding. We will end our day at kibbutz Revivim and stay at a special hotel (based on availability).

About 230km

 Overnight in Yerucham or similar hotel in the Negev

Day 6: Thursday

We will start our day riding to the city of Arad at 550 meter above sea level. From Arad, we will descent via a beautiful road winding in the desert, towards Masada the 2,000 year old fortress in the desert, now a world heritage site. After visiting Masada, we will have a chance to ride camels and eat lunch, Bedouin style. After lunch we will start making our way back to Netanya. On the way we will stop at Jaffa and Tel Aviv for a brief tour and then ride on to Netanya to return the bikes and go back to the airport.

About 300km