Israel as you have never seen it before

  • Location

    Israel

  • Duration

    6 nights / 7 days

  • Length

    20 - 130km

  • Climb

    hilly and flat

21 Mar 2020 - 27 Mar 2020 / 17 Oct 2020 - 23 Oct 2020

Israel - not on your radar? Think again as we love Israel.

In 2018, Giro d’Italia made history. It was the first ever Giro Grande Partenza outside of Europe – in Israel. Grand Tours Project was there as an Official Giro Tour Operator, and we fell in love with cycling in Israel.

Israel is one of many countries that make up the biblical and historical area called The Levant. “The crossroads or western Asia, the eastern Mediterranean, and northeast Africa”, the place where our ancient ancestors first settled after leaving Africa, where agriculture first flourished. It is a place where cuisine, customs, history and religion has inter-mingled and over the millennia, was relatively stable. People of various Jewish, Christian and Islamic faiths and variations of these, lived peaceably enough, and the evidence can be found in ancient and modern ruins, old city quarters, the cuisine and customs.

So we have designed a tour that will open your mind to the diversity of Israel, the tragedy, the hope and the immense joy of cycling in a land where our ancestors passed, where we can find historical and biblical places, savour delicious and diverse Levantine cuisine, smell the aroma and colours of spice markets, and we can experience the wonder cycling in beautiful and astounding landscapes.

Places like the startling white cliffs on the Mediterranean, ancient Safen, the flanks of Mount Hermon, the biblical Galilee Sea, ancient Jerusalem, the below sea level Black Sea, and of course the big sky and expansive Negev Desert. Epic does not adequately describe this tour.

This tour is for every cyclist, passionate or otherwise - some routes can be shortened and we offer support vehicles, cultural visits and experiences, so non-cyclist family members are welcome.

Total price: From €4,000

  • This trip has been designed and will be guided by former Israeli professional cyclist & Grand Tours Project guide Niv Libner
  • Discover a unique cycling destination
  • Escape the wet European Spring or Autumn to enjoy riding in warm weather
  • A pre or post cycle season tour
  • Excellent roads with minimal traffic in breathtaking historical places and landscapes
  • Shorter and longer options every day - this tour is suited for riders of all levels
  • Five carefully selected 4 star hotels and outstanding food
  • Bike rental available
  • Expert planning and support from our team (guides, mechanics, drivers)
  • Max group size of 14 (Max client to guide ratio 7:1)
  • Day 1 - Saturday, Arrival

    ברוך חבא לישראל BARUCH HABA LE ISRAEL!

    22km

    We will meet you at Tel Aviv airport and drive north to our hotel in Kfar Vradim. After lunch we’ll fit or help set up your bike before a late afternoon warm up ride to the beautiful white cliffs and underwater caves of Rosh Hanikra on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea, and with views back along the coast to Haifa. Back at the hotel, we'll adjust bikes, give out teh GTP kit and have a welcome meeting. Our first dinner together will be at the hotel.

    Hacienda Forest View Hotel****, Ma'alot-Tarshiha
  • Day 2 - Sunday

    KFAR VRADIM – TIBERIAS

    70km / 1,070m

    Our local expert cycle guide will join us in the morning lead us to ancient Safed, where we can visit the Synagogue Quarter and the amazing Artists’ Quarter. There is also the ruins of the 12-13th century former crusaders castle. Safed is the highest city in Israel at 900m so we have a long descent to our destination on the biblical Sea of Galilee.

    The Sea of Galilee is the lowest freshwater lake on Earth and is about 200m below sea level! Tonight, we will feast on local produce on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.

    Caesar Premier Tiberias Hotel****, Tiberias
  • Day 3 - Monday

    TIBERIAS – MOUNT HERMON

    80km / 2000m or 130km / 2150m

    Make sure to eat plenty at breakfast, today we have the longest and highest ride of the tour. We are heading to Israel’s only ski resort, on the border with Syria and Lebanon. The summit and Herman Hotel, “the highest permanently manned UN position in the world” is at 2,814m, although we will only ride to around 1,600m – but it is still a huge climb climbing from - 200m! The views are astounding and there is a well-deserved long long descent to our lunch destination at Golan Brewery. After a cold ale or two and lunch, we will transfer to our hotel in Jerusalem where we can change and relax before dinner will be at the hotel.

  • Day 4 - Tuesday

    JERUSALEM EXPLORER

    15km / 150m

    After the huge effort of yesterday, today we can have a leisurely breakfast…or you can rise early and enjoy a short morning sunrise ride through Israel’s capital.

    In the afternoon we have arranged for a private guided tour to see the magic of Jerusalem – including the Dome of the Rock, the Citadel, and the Jewish and Christian Quarters.

    You can wander the streets after the tour and experience the flavours and vibrant colours of the markets and food and spice stalls. We will meet up at the hotel before dinner in a really special place in the heart of Jerusalem.

  • Day 5 - Wednesday

    JERUSALEM – EIN BOKEK (DEAD SEA)

    107km / 490m or 117km / 900m

    We have a long descent to Ein Bokek for lunch. This a unique ride, it's not often you can boast of riding much of the day below sea level! We can also offer you the opportunity to do a 350 metre climb to Metsoke Dragot and take in the astounding view of the Black Sea. Fun fact – Metsoke Dragot is 7m altitude!

    At the hotel we can change and drive to the ancient fortification, the legendary Masada and have lunch there.

    You can also stay and swim or float in the salty waters of the Dead Sea.

    Oasis Dead Sea Hotel****
  • Day 6 - Thursday

    EIN BOKEK – MA’ALE ‘AQRABBIM – BE’ER SHEVA

    62km / 1,150m or 130km / 2,000m

    We will depart the Black Sea early and find the steepest climb in Israel - Ma`ale `Aqrabbim - The Scorpion’s Pass! In 1954, 11 Israelis were ambushed and killed. as a result, a new road was built to avoid future ambushes and the climb is now closed to traffic. There is an abyss and drop offs with no guard rails – an opportunity to check it off your list of world ascents!

    We’ll continue through the huge Negev desert until we reach the ancient and modern city of Be’er Sheva for lunch.

    Then we'll transfer to our hotel in Tel Aviv and have our last dinner.

  • Day 7 - Friday, Departure

    TEL AVIV - פרידה FAREWELL

    Sadly, today we bid you farewell. We’ll help pack up the bikes and after breakfast, transfer you to Tel Aviv airport or you may opt to stay and enjoy a weekend of exploring the hip city of Tel Aviv.

    We hope that this tour of Israel was inspirational and opened you to the idea of riding in places that are part of our history and continue to influence our contemporary world.

    Despite the news stories, Israel offers so much more and we trust you will have many photos and stories to inspire friends and family.