Coast to Coast Cycling

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Cycling is becoming more and more popular in Israel. More and more trails are opening and existing ones are being constantly upgraded. In fact, every Regional Council has their own cycling guy. Stunning tracks run across the country, suitable for everyone from the most experienced to novice bikers. This one article from Australian Mountain Bike Magazine recounts one such trail, from the Mediterranean to the Sea of Galilee. A snippet of the article is below, or you can read the whole thing here.

Israel isn’t the obvious choice for overseas mountain biking. I, for one would never have expected that this tiny fleck of land wedged into the nexus of Africa and the Middle East and struggling with endless conflict, would even have enough space to build trails, let alone the time and energy. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

Though it’s a fraction the size of Tasmania, Israel is a land of many scapes – from dusty desert in the south, through undulating semi-arid hills or humid coastal shrubbery in the centre, to fallow fields, fragrant pastures, mountains and snowfields in the north – and even on a relatively short ride, you can end up crossing streams, negotiating soft tilled soil, picking your way through rocks and, as it’s quite densely populated, negotiating traffic. With its immensely varied terrain, and trails a matter of minutes from cities and towns, putting rubber to dirt in Israel is super-accessible.

Israelis are super active and keen on the outdoors, and are increasingly drawn to the knobbly tyre. Riding guides and groups are able to run multi-day trips, taking in the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the region, without losing the mud-and-grit emphasis. The Holy Land is becoming a major riding destination. I took a three-day trip northern Israel with the Israel Travel Company, run by ex-Melbournian tour guide Zel Lederman in conjuction with a very professional mountain biking crew: our guide Yoel, and the logistics and catering team, Oded, Guli and Amanda. The route starts at the Carmel National Park behind Haifa (Israel’s third-largest city), overlooking the Mediterranean, to Yardenit on the Jordan River, by the shores of the Sea of Galilee.
For more information on cycling in Israel, see the pages on our site, or alteratively contact a guide such as Zel Lederman (www.israeltravelcompany.com), who carried out the tour from this article.

be cool in israel
www.touristisrael.com

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