Three Bike Trails to Explore
There are many ways to explore Israel. Active travelers will have quite the experience if they choose to tour Israel by bike. The sport of bicycling has become extremely popular in the country over the years. With the recent development of bike trails throughout Israel, biking is a great way to explore the numerous historical and cultural sites of the region.
Similar to hiking, there are bike trails all over Israel, many of which follow hiking trails. The Israel National Bike Trail, which would go through all of Israel similar to the Israel National Trail for hiking, is currently under development. However, some completed segments of the trail are open for biking.
If you are planning an extended bike tour without a guide, please make sure you have all the necessary equipment and made preparations ahead of time. Fresh, drinkable water is hard to locate in many areas (especially in deserts), plan accordingly for the season, activity level, and personal needs. It is recommended to ride a hybrid or mountain bike on the trails as Israel's terrain varies throughout the country. Please note that bikers are required by law to wear helmets.
With the number of trails throughout Israel, one can easily find a trail to match his or her experience and activity level.
Here are three popular bike trails to inspire you.
[box title="Mount Eitan and the Jerusalem Hills" style="soft" box_color="#ad7261" title_color="#000000" radius="6"]Location: Jerusalem
Length: 8 km
This is a circular route on a moderately hilly, paved dirt road with marked routes. The trail is suitable for all level of bikers, and is quite popular with hikers and joggers as well. Enjoy views of the lovely countryside and perhaps catch a glimpse of a spring in the Sataf, a look out point on Mount Eitan. Depending on your direction and path, you may see parts of an orchard and the Monastery of St. John. At the end of the trail is a goat farm which sells locally made cheese, goat cheese, goat milk, and other cold drinks. [/box]
[box title="Alexander River" style="soft" box_color="#ad7261" title_color="#000000" radius="6"]Location: Hefer Valley
Length: 9 km
Considered one of the must-see sights in Israel, the Alexander River boasts an easy trail for bikers and hikers. If you're on this trail in warm weather, you cannot miss the Water Turtle Park, one of the best places in Israel to see soft-shelled turtles which can grow to be 1.2 m long and 50 kg in weight! Please refrain from feeding the turtles and touching them, they bite! If possible, try this trail on a full moon, it’s breathtakingly beautiful! The trail is well-marked and linear, hence easy enough to do at night. Beware: do not attempt during the day or night if it rained the day before, the rain makes the trail very muddy and dangerous.[/box]
[box title="Adulam-France Park" style="soft" box_color="#ad7261" title_color="#000000" radius="6"]Location: Judean Plains
Length: 23 km
The Adulam-France Park is another popular destination for bikers who want a challenging path while appreciating the park and enjoying the historical sites the area offer. There are a couple of biking options in the park, hence it is up to the biker to determine the kind of ride he or she prefers. Aside from natural beauty, there are a number of biblical and historic sites along the trail such as the tel where David hid from Saul, the Cave of Adulam, and the Burgin Ruins. [youtube url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lOR-pk07-8"][/box]
Biking is a unique way to experience the major historical sites and rich beauty while immersing yourself in the culture of Israel. There are numerous bike trails throughout the country, many of which would require multiple days or even weeks to complete. This is but a microscopic snapshot of some of the trails that are doable in one day to help you plan a longer trip or to spend a leisurely afternoon. Happy riding and be safe.
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