The Negev Desert Tour

The Negev Desert Tour  – 8 days

Intro

Riding Level

Riding LevelRiding LevelRiding LevelRiding LevelRiding Level

Moonscape barrenness that hides an abundance of wildlife. Antiquated caravan trails from the spice trade. Fresh air, starry skies and open expanses untouched by humans. The Negev desert is the largest area of wilderness in Israel and its beauty will take your breath away.

Located in the south, the Negev is an exhilarating horseback riding vacation destination. The natural allure of the desert, in combination with fascinating archeological ruins of ancient nomadic peoples and elusive desert fauna, make for an inspiring horseback vacation. With little present human settlements or roads, exploring the desert on horseback is an unforgettable, rejuvenating experience.

Horseback riding in the Negev Desert

Far from civilization, on this horseback trip you experience the harsh, stunning desert beauty of the Negev. We will ride along cliffs, canyons and dunes as we explore the desert landscape. Following ancient caravan routes, we will discover the remains of the obsolete Nabatean culture. We will sleep in a working farm that grows grapes and herds goats just as the peoples of the desert have done for thousands of years. We will visit the desert grave of Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion to understand his vision of Israel. And, we will ride in the Ein Avdat Nature Reserve in search of shy ibexs, foxes and desert hares.

Dates & rates

Accommodations:

Country lodges, camping and one night in a hotel

Availability:

Year round excluding June, July and August

Rate:

$2900 per rider ($2100 per non-rider), single supplement $260

2018 Tours

From Date To Date Duration Reserve
Per request   8d-7n Open

Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival in early evening at Kibbutz Dahlia in the stunning Ramot Menashe region. After introductions and explanations followed by dinner, you will enjoy an enlightening lecture on the history of the Nabateans. We will sleep in a cozy country lodge located on the Kibbutz.

Day 2

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 – giving you your first taste of Israel’s beautiful natural landscape. Later, we will make the long drive south to the Negev (about 250 km/ 155 miles). Along this ride, we will see how the Israeli landscape gradually changes from fertile green to desert browns. We will arrive at the grave of Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben Gurion in Sde Boker. David Ben Gurion’s dream was to make the desert bloom. We will discuss his vision as compared to the modern Israeli reality. We will also witnessness the breathtaking landscapes of the Negev for the first time as we view Zin Stream from above. We will sleep in a country lodge on a working desert farm. Length of tour – 8 km/ 5 miles

Day 3

Today, your desert adventure begins in earnest. We will meet our horses near Kibbutz Tlalim in the north of the Negev and set our southwards. The beginning of the ride will be in sandy dunes but as we continue south, the land will become rocky with many dried river beds cutting through the Negev Heights. In the afternoon, we will arrive at cisterns dug by the Nabateans. The mysterious Nabateans, famous for their water conservation, built a desert empire in what is modern day Israel, Jordan and Syria. Skillful traders, they guarded the spice route that traveled from the Far East through the Negev on its way to Europe. Despite spectacular archeological testaments like Petra in Jordan, little is know about this ingenious people. Cantering in the afternoon desert light, we will arrive at the gates of the Nabatean city of Ovdat. Dismounting, we will explore the city’s ruins on foot. We will return to the farm for the night. Length of tour – 33 km/ 20 miles

Day 4

The silence of the desert will be our riding partner today as we explore the western Negev. The area of Eiloat Stream is known for its terebinth trees whose roots search for precious water in deep underground wells. Towards the end of the day we will reach the Lutz wells, dug during the reign of Uzziah, King of Judah – proof of the people who thrived in this harsh environment. We will spend the night camping under the starry desert sky. Length of tour – 28 km/ 17 miles

Day 5

Imagine riding on the moon. This is what today’s stunning ride will look like as we traverse the Ramone Crater. The largest crater in Israel, this unique geographical formation protects diverse flora and fauna. If you are lucky, you might catch a glimpse of an ibex or desert hare. We will ride down into the crater and finish the day at the Saharonim Spring in the crater’s center. We will spend the night on a farm in the area. Length of tour – 29 km/ 18 miles

Day 6

Another exhilarating desert ride is ahead of you today. Meeting our horses near Sde Boker, we will ride north along Boker Stream and then head east toward the Large Crater. With the endless desert expanses ahead of us, we will ride down the steep slopes of Maaleh Avraham into the crater – the landscape is simply breathtaking. After a walk in the crater, we will ride towards the Nabatean city of Mamsheet. In a camel farm near the ancient city we will spend the night. Length of tour – 36 km/ 22 miles

Day 7

Today is the most adventurous day yet. We will start in the Negev and end in the lowest point on earth. Our day will begin when we meet our horses in Peres Stream. We will ride north crossing dry river beds until we reach the area of the Dead Sea. Riding in Eshelim Stream, the river bed will become steep. We will ride down Maaleh Eshelim until we reach Amiaz plain. From there we can see Mt. Sdom. We will stop at a flour cave – named after the powdery sand found there. Then we will ride in the open air into Sdom Stream until we reach the Dead Sea – a fun, invigorating experience. This difficult and challenging day of riding will end with a fabulous dinner in the lowest point on earth. We will say thank you to our horses and guides and set out for the city that doesn’t sleep, Tel Aviv. Length of tour – 37 km/ 23 miles

Day 8

Today you have the option of either exploring Tel Aviv on your own or resting. After breakfast, the trip is officially over. You can relax in the hotel until the afternoon or our staff will be happy to advise you on what to see in the city.

Additional information

On the first day of the trip, participants have the option of being picked up at 4 pm from a hotel in Tel Aviv or at 4:45 pm 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 5:30 pm. The tour officially ends after breakfast (10 am). Trip participants can stay in the hotel until 12 pm. We reserve the right to change the itinerary as necessary to accommodate weather conditions or additional unforeseen events.