Dead Sea Circuit

Day 1 Arrival

We meet at our Jerusalem hotel at 6 pm for a trip briefing and then head out for dinner together to mark the beginning of our adventure. Optional: If you arrive a day early, we offer a morning bike and walking tour of Jerusalem. Cycle through the modern city to the Tayelet viewing platform, the Old Train Station, Government Hill, Valley of the Cross, and Machane Yehuda produce market. Then walk through the Old City; visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Western Wall, and get a rooftop view of the Dome of the Rock. After lunch, exit the Old City through the Jaffa Gate. Please contact us for more information.

Ibis City Center

Day 2 Jerusalem - Masada

Depart Jerusalem through the quiet Sabbath streets and start your descent to the lowest point on earth – the Dead Sea. Leaving the European climate of Jerusalem, you will quickly feel the temperature change as we enter the arid Judean Desert. We pass the Inn of the Good Samaritan and see the impressive Masada plateau in the distance. Just before we finish our ride for the day we will cycle below the hilltop fortress of Masada, Our overall descending ride will end at the shore of the Dead Sea.

Prima Oasis Dead Sea Hotel
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ride 117km

Day 3 Masada - Hatseva

We have an early morning excursion up to the fort of Masada, returning via cable car for a late breakfast. We hit the road, biking south along the Dead Sea, below the hilltop fortress of Masada, on the Peace Trail on the Israeli-Jordanian border. Impressive desert agriculture is on show as we cycle past Dead Sea evaporation pools, the Dead Sea Works, and reservoirs that irrigate the fields of the Arava Desert. The mountains of Edom are also in view today. The first half of our day will be nice and easy, but the second half will be a gradual grind uphill. We overnight at a research station popular with bird watchers.

Hatseva Field School
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ride 71km

Day 4 Hatseva - Yeruham

We have an easy 20-km warm-up before we begin climbing out of the Arava Desert up the winding Scorpion's Ascent. The Romans built the ascent in the late 1st century when they controlled the Middle East. Under British control, the ascent was slightly rebuilt, and it has since been paved. The views from the summit’s stunning silence of the desert landscape are spectacular. We continue cycling through the Makhtesh Gadol, a large crater and one of five makhteshim (a closed, steep rock valley) in Israel and only seven in the world. We overnight in the sleepy town of Yeruham at a hotel that established on a combination Zionist and social-economical vision – a substantial part of the hotel’s revenue is to be invested in the local community, towards the development of its education and economy.

Desert Irus
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ride 53km

Day 5 Yeruham - Mitzpe Ramon

Riding through the Negev Desert, we have more of an ascending than descending day. We leave on the main desert road and pass Sde Boker, a kibbutz best known as the retirement home of Israel's first Prime Minister David Ben Gurion. Cycling on the edge of the Makhtesh Ramon, the world's largest at 40 km long, 2-10 km wide, and 500 m deep. The desert road takes us to our overnight in Mitzpe Ramon. Take a wander through the Spice Route Quarter, the old industrial zone of Mitzpe Ramon, now a hive of cute boutiques, bakeries, restaurants, and even a jazz club.

Ramon Suites
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ride 56km

Day 6 Mitzpe Ramon - Kibbutz Ketora

Cycling through the Makhtesh Ramon note the diversity of rocks, their fantastic red and yellow colours and their many different naturally formed shapes. Finally, a descending day as we ride out of the Negev Desert and back down to the Arava Valley. We overnight at the green oasis of Kibbutz Ketora, established in 1973. This ideological community is based on collective living and an eco-friendly lifestyle.

Kibbutz Ketora
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ride 100km

Day 7 Kibbutz Ketora - Aqaba

A short transfer to the start of today's ride, then a day of gains and losses. We have a very gradual ascent, 500 mover 40 km, and then lose 800 m over 30 km as we reach the border town of Eilat. Here we cross into Jordan. Once through the border formalities, we cycle to Aqaba’s city centre and our hotel.

My Hotel
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ride 76km

Day 8 Aqaba Free Day

Enjoy the day exploring the Red Sea shore and town. We can assist in arranging a boat tour if you would like to spend the day snorkelling.

My Hotel
Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9 Aqaba - Wadi Rum

We transfer out of Aqaba to avoid a busy road and a climb and start our cycling at the entrance of Wadi Rum Desert, also known as the Valley of the Moon. Cut into sandstone and granite rock, it is Jordan's largest Wadi, or valley. Shots of Wadi Rum in “Lawrence of Arabia” kick-started Jordan's tourism industry, but you may also recognize it from “Red Planet” and “The Martian”. We follow a quiet road and arrive in time for lunch at the Bedouin camp where we will also overnight. As skinny bike tires don't do well in the sand, a jeep will drive us through the reserve. Enjoy a night of Bedouin hospitality.

Milky Way Bedouin Camp
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ride 47km

Day 10 Wadi Rum - Petra

You have the option to ride back on the same route to the Desert Highway and ascend to Ras Al-Naqab, or spend more time at camp and transfer this section. From Ras Al-Naqab, it is downhill to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Petra. On top of the plateau, the route turns off the main road onto quieter roads to Rajif and finishes in the town of Wadi Musa, home to the archaeological site of Petra.

Petra Palace Hotel
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ride 100km

Day 11 Petra

Time off the bikes to explore by foot the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Petra. You will be guided through the ancient city, one of the new Wonders of the World. We stroll through the colonnaded street, where we stop for lunch. In the afternoon, you have several hours to explore on your own, with options including ascending to the Monastery and beyond to superb views across the Jordan Valley or taking the back route to the High Place of Sacrifice or ascending Jebel Khubtha, to view the Treasury from above.

Petra Palace Hotel
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12 Petra - Dead Sea

We ride out of Petra and climb up to Shobak, the first Crusader Castle built in Jordan. We catch our breath after the epic climb and explore this impressive fort. An undulating road skirting Dana Biosphere Reserve prepares us for our exciting descent to below sea level. From a high of 1,200 m we descend to -300 m! From here, we transfer by bus along the Dead Sea Highway to the hotel. This afternoon be sure to head down to the sea's edge for a unique float in the hypersalinic waters.

Holiday Inn Dead Sea
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ride 104km

Day 13 Dead Sea - Jericho

A short 30-km ride on a flat road will take us to the Allenby Border Crossing. Here we follow procedures to cross back to Israel. Once through all the formalities, we are back on the bikes to Jericho for lunch. Considered one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities, Jericho is of great archaeological importance. We transfer to Jerusalem after lunch and meet up in the evening to celebrate the end of our ride.

Ibis City Center
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ride 28km

Day 14 Departure

The tour ends after breakfast.