Arrival by 12 pm at Kibbutz Dahlia in the stunning Ramot Menashe region for introductions and a brief explanation. Immediately following we will drive to the Double Saddle Ranch. After matching horses and tack with riders, we will set off for an introductory ride in the Riding Adventure Park in Kibbutz HaZorea. This will give us an opportunity to bond as a group and to get to know the horses. Then we will head out for our first trail ride to HaZorea Stream and Shalom Valley – giving you your first taste of Israel’s beautiful natural landscape. We will sleep in a cozy country lodge located on Kibbutz Dahlia. Length of tour – 10 km/ 6.2 miles
Waking at sunrise, we will set out at 6:30 am by car to where our horses will be waiting for us in Adumim Plains near Jerusalem. After a picnic breakfast in the desert, we will ride towards Mt. Muntar for a breathtaking view of the area. Riding south through Hurknia Valley, we will ride on dried stream beds and learn to find natural water cisterns in the desert. Towards evening we will arrive at our campground near Dargoat Stream. Length of tour – 29 km/ 6.2 miles
Today we will pack our horses with our tents, food and camping equipment and set out into the desert expanse. Crossing Dargoat Stream, we will ride south through the desert heights (in the winter if we are lucky we might see a desert flood). In the afternoon, we will head out towards Ein Gedi – one of the most ancient settlements in the world which is based on desert agriculture. Ein Gedi is the biggest and most important natural oasis in Israel. Possessing a tremendous amount of water, the springs of this area sustain and affect the entire Judean Desert. Desert hares, birds, ibexes and leopards live around this essential water source. Archeological finds have also recorded the existence of people living here for thousands of years. We will see the oasis from above and then ride to the spot where we will spend the night. Dinner will be Bedouin pita (patir) – an authentic meal similar to what has been eaten for the last 2,500 years by caravan leaders and desert inhabitants.
Length of tour – 31 km/ 19 miles
Today will be a truly special day filled with the exhilaration of riding in the desert and learning about the fascinating history of the ancient peoples who once lived there. We will ride up the Essene mountainside and though channels of the Hever, Mishmar and Tseelim Streams to explore the caves where the Essenes lived. To these caves Jews and the first Christians fled after the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD. These caves are also famous for the rare archeological findings discovered within testifying to the Bar Kochva revolt (132-135 AD). We will spend the night near Tseelim Stream.
Length of tour – 31 km/ 19 miles
Another day of exhilarating desert riding ahead of us. After breakfast, we will pass through the expansive plains of the Kanaim Valley. Then we will head east riding above Tselim Stream until we again reach cliffs overlooking the Dead Sea. Along an old mule path, into the Dead Sea Valley, we will ride north until we come to a trail once used by the Roman Legion forces. Suddenly, Masada will stand majestically before us. Parting with our horses and trail guides, we will walk up the monumental site of Masada. Immediately following Masada, we will drive to a spa on the banks of the Dead Sea. As a treat after many days of hard riding, we will cover ourselves in the black mud of the Dead Sea and go for a dip in its healing waters. In the late afternoon, our tour officially ends.
Length of tour – 14 km/ 8.7 miles
On the first day of the trip, participants have the option of being picked up at 10 am from a hotel in Tel Aviv or at 10:45 am from Ben Gurion International Airport. This service costs an additional $35 per person and it is necessary to notify us ahead of time where to pick you up. It is also possible to arrive independently at Kibbutz Dahlia by 12 pm. The tour ends at 4 pm on the last day of the trip. At no additional charge, we will drop participants off in the area of the hotels in Tel Aviv, in Jerusalem or at the airport. Our staff will be happy to assist participants in finding suitable sleeping accommodations in one of the hotels near the Dead Sea for those who wish to continue to see this area. We reserve the right to change the itinerary as necessary to accommodate weather conditions or additional unforeseen events.