Sheep grazing alongside the Sea of Galilee. Photo via Flickr:Zachievenor

Always room for dessert after a long bike ride! Photo via Flickr:City Tree

Northern Star Bike Tour

Israel Bike Tours

Cycling Israel along the Shores of the Sea of Galilee

Cycling through the varied terrain of the Holy Land will allow you to experience this ancient land like no tourist bus can offer.

Biking has become more than just a sport in Israel. Athletes and casual cyclists alike have discovered that cycling unites the sport enthusiast and the lover of nature by providing a unique experience of immersion in the spirit of this land of historical and biblical significance.

You will cycle around the Sea of Galillee, really a lake, which lays on the ancient "Via Maris" a route that linked Egypt and Mesopotamia. Spanning over 3000 years of epic history, in a country no bigger than the state of New Jersey, Israel has more than just one story. It is the birthplace of the Hebrew language and is sacred to many ancient religions.

Your bike tour in Israel will be mostly based in Tiberias, nestled on the western shore. The eclectic mix of Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and British architecture and ruins give testimony to its varied and bountiful history. As early as Roman times, this thriving recreation spa, built around 17 natural mineral hot springs more than 600 feet below sea level, welcomed visitors from every part of the ancient world.

The hotel, which is located in the city center, close to both shopping and entertainment areas, is the perfect location. Just five minutes from the Sea of Galilee, it makes a convenient base to explore.

Highlights include, but not limited to:

  • Cycling the Judean Hills
  • Nazareth, birthplace of Jesus
  • Views from Mount Tabor
  • Cycling through Jerusalem
  • Gan Haschloscha National Park

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Where You’ll Stay

Accommodations in 3 hotels, 3  Kibbutz or equivalent

What’s Included

  • 6 overnight accommodations at 3* Kibbutz or equivalent + 4 nights for optional extension
  • Meals as per program
  • Transfers by mini bus
  • Licensed tour guide and cycling expert who will drive the escort vehicle for groups under 8
  • Licensed tour and + 1 support staff for groups of 8 +
  • Escort van with trailer for bikes and luggage transfer. Do note: you will be asked to pack light!
  • High quality touring bike rental with flat or cage pedals (upgrade with supplement to road bike possible)
  • Snacks and water while cycling
  • Daily handouts
  • Entrance fees to sites mentioned in itinerary
  • "I Bike Israel" T-shirt

What’s Not Included

  • Drinks with meals
  • Helmets
  • Mandatory gratuities for the guides (ask us)
  • Transfer to and from airport
  • Trip insurance
  • Bicycle protection
  • Trip insurance
Length7–11 days
From$2088 Rates
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Tour Dates

Departures on March 19, April 30, May 28, September 17, September 24, and October 29, 2016
2 participants necessary to confirm each departure. Tour with no confirmed departures will be cancelled 8 weeks before tour date.

Skill Level

This is a moderate tour with average daily distances between 20 and 47 miles (32 and 76 km). There are some significant climbs but on some days an optional shuttle is provided for those that do not wish to cycle these hills. See the itinerary for details.

Day-To-Day Itinerary

Northern Star Bike Tour Map


Day 1: Arrival in Tel Aviv (accommodation in a 3 * hotel)
Day 2: Carmel to Caesarea, 31 mi. (50 km)*
Day 3: Northern Mediterranean Coast and the Western Galil, 29 mi. (50 km)*
Day 4: Eastern Galilee and the Hula Valley, 31 mi. (50 km)*
Day 5: The Sea of Galilee, 46 mi. (73 km)*
Day 6: Golan Heights, 56 mi. (90 km)*
Day 7: Mt. Gilboa to the Valley of Springs, 25 mi. (40 km)*


Day 8: Modern Jerusalem, 12 mi. (20 km)
Day 9: Old Jerusalem, 3 mi. (5 km)
Day 10: Judean Hills, 44 mi. (70 km)*
Day 11: Departure

All distances are approximate.
*Shorter distances available for days marked with an asterik.

Day 1: Arrival in Tel Aviv
Individual arrival to Tel Aviv. You are free to explore on your own!

Day 2: Carmel to Caesarea, 31 mi. (50 km)​*
Leaving Tel Aviv early in the morning, you'll be transferred to the Horn of Carmel. It is in this biblical site that Elijah overcame the prophets of Ba’al (I Kings 18). After enjoying a spectacular view of Sea of Galilee from the rooftop of the Church here, you cycle down the slope of the Carmel, passing several of the early Kibbutzim, or farming communities, through the Amikam region, known as the Tuscany of Israel. The route then leads to Caesarea. Built in the first century BC by King Herod, you'll cycle along the aqueduct all the way to the ancient port. After lunch in the Caesarea Harbor,  a short walking tour of the city that was once the Capitol of Judea, is on the agenda, and is today a true gem on the coast. From here, transfer by car to Tiberius on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. This evening, dinner is enjoyed in a local restaurant and there is opportunity to become acquainted with your fellow cyclists. Overnight  in Nahariya.

Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 3: Northern Mediterranean Coast and the Western Galil, 29 mi. (50 km)*
(You will be viting synagogues this afternoon so please be sure to have modest clothing in your day bag.)
You will ride out of Nahariya nestled on the northern Mediterranean Coast which you will  to the natural beauty of Rosh HaNikra on Israel’s northern border. Then traversing Western Galil, the route leads through Ma’alot Tarshiha and ends at Lake Montforte. Time permitting you may visit the grave of the famous 2nd Century sage, Rasbhi, before being transferred to Tzfat.

The afternoon will be spent touring the ancient city of Tzfat (Safed), the home of Jewish Mysticism and a paradise for those who love modern art. You will have an optional guided tour through the Old City and time to wander alone through the market street and artists’ quarter with its many galleries. Dinner this evening is on your own so you can explore! Overnight in Tzfat.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 4: Eastern Galilee and the Hula Valley, 31 mi. (50 km)​*
Today’s ride will take you from the giddying heights of the Upper Galilee right down in to the Hula Valley. Departing from Tzfat, the morning ride will lead to Baram where you will visit the ancient synagogue. Then, continuing on the northern border road, you ride into the Finger of the Galil, stopping along the way for a wine tasting. The route follows a scenic route and then descends into the Hula Valley. You will then circle the Hula Lakes with opportunity for a vast number of bird and  wildlife sitings in this natural watering hole on the bird migration routes.  The cycling itinerary ends with a transfer to Degania Bet on the southern end of the Sea of Galilee. Again, dinner on your own this evening. Overnight, Sea of Gaillee.

Meals included: Breakfast & Lunch

Day 5: The Sea of Galilee, 46 mi. (73 km)​*
(Today you will be viting churches, please ensure you have appropriate clothing with you.)
Today is a "loop ride" beginning and ending at the Sea of Galilee.Those wanting a long ride will bike right out of Degania Bet to start the route around the entire circumference of the Sea of Galilee, passing through the city of Tiberius and on to the northern shore of the lake. At Magdala the whole group will meet for a tour of the ancient home of Mary Magdalene and one of the most recent archaeological gems in Israel. Together you will visit the Mount of Beatitudes, the traditional site of the Sermon on the Mount and continue to Capernaum. All riders will continue around the eastern side of the lake, stopping at Ein Gev for lunch on your own at the famous fish restaurant there. Having completed the ride to Degania Bet there will be an optional tour for those who wish to go Nazareth where you will be taken on a walking tour and guided tour of the Church of the Annunciation, then return to the hotel and dinner. Overnight once again, Sea of Galilee.

Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 6: Golan Heights, 56 mi. (90 km)*
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the top of the Golan Heights. This vast plateau, overlooking the Galilee on one side and Syria on the other, is home to some of Israel’s most interesting places and people. The day begins at Mount Bental; a dormant volcano overlooking Israel’s North-Eastern border. Then by bike, the route follows the eastern border of Israel to the area of Ein Zivan and onwards to Gamla, a city that resisted the Roman Empire, several years before Masada.  From Gamla, you will ride along the back roads of the region. After a long descent to the shores of the Sea of Galilee you will stop for lunch on your own and continue to the hotel for some time to relax before departing independently for dinner on your own. Overnight again, Sea of Galille. 

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 7: Mt Gilboa to the Valley of Springs, 25 mi. (40 km)*
(This afternooon you will visit the natural pools of Gan HaShlosha, so be sure to have swimming entire with you!)
This morning you will check out of your hotel and be transferred to the foot of Mt Gilboa, overlooking the Jezreel Valley and the Jordan River. You will begin a climb up this quiet scenic road and enjoy the views of the whole of the Galilee (optional 10 km shuttle to the top). From here, descend to the valley below and ride along the streams fed by natural spring water leading into the Jordan River. Reaching the Spring Valley Park, your ride will end at the large pools in Gan Hashlosha National Park. Enjoy a refreshing swim and a picnic in this beautiful corner of Israel and toast the end of your ride. From here, you will be transferred to Jerusalem and for those going on to do the extension, overnight in Jersulam. (For those not including the extension, an extra night can be booked.)

Meals included: Breakfast & Lunch

Optional Extension:

Day 8: Modern Jerusalem, 12 mi. (20 km)
Today you'll take advantage of the Sabbath in Jerusalem and ride through the city streets and alleys. Today's tour will include the Israeli Parliament, The Valley of the Cross, the pioneer neighborhood of Rehavia, The German Colony, and an overlook of the Old City. This trademark ride follows small streets, bike lanes, short cuts and hidden alleys unknown to most. For lunch, stop at the Old City gates, and continue independently for a free afternoon in the Old City with its colorful markets, and local food. Tonight's overnight is in Jerusalem.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 9: Old Jerusalem, 2 mi. (5 km)
Today will focus on the Old City of Jerusalem, a world of its own, enclosed in walls and history. Today's route takes you through the alleys of the Old City, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, and the Western Wall. You'll also visit the Jewish Quarter and the underground tunnels that go along the walls of the Second Temple. After passing through the market you will be free to choose whether to return to your hotel or explore on your own in the Old City until meeting the group and guide again in the evening.

Around dusk, you'll leave for the breathtaking experience of a night ride within the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City. On the way to the Old City, pass the Prime Minister’s home and the Supreme Court before crossing the main market of the city to get to the Jaffa gate. At this point, delve into the warren of alleyways making up the Old City, exploring the different quarters under the cloak of darkness. The tour will end back at the Jaffa Gate where you can enjoy a refreshing cold drink and a midnight snack. Overnight in Jerusalem.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 10: Judean Hills, 44 mi. (70 km)*
The hills surrounding Jerusalem hold some of the best cycling routes in Israel and you will likely see dozens of other cyclists along the way. You'll begin riding from Bar Giora and head downhill towards Beit Shemesh (optional ride out of the city- additional 20 KM). You'll also cycle through the Adolam Park where you'll catch a glimpse of the famous caves where Bar Kochva and his supporters hid from the Romans in the year 135 CE. From here, ride to the Ella Valley, the Biblical site of David and Goliath’s battle, and continue for a lunch and a taste of wine from Israel’s leading wine region. After lunch, the route leads past the ruins of Beit Guvrin where you can explore a labyrinth of ancient caves dating back over 2,000 years. A transfer takes you back to your hotel in Jerusalem where you can enjoy a farewell dinner together to mark the end of our tour.

Meals included: Breakfast & Lunch

Day 11: Departure
Enjoy the morning in Jerusalem on your own. The tour guide will be happy to assist you in making additional travel arrangements.

Meals included: Breakfast

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