Israel: North to South Cycle Challenge

Israel: Cycle and Trek


27 Oct – 3 Nov 2019

9 days/6 days cycling/594km

After the successful celebration of 25 years of Norwood Challenges in Israel in 2017, we return in 2019 for a late Autumn challenge that revisits the iconic North to South route – but this time, in a more achievable 6 days of cycling.

Starting from the most northern tip of Metula and traversing the length of Israel to its most southern tip of Eilat, we’ll be taking on a staggering 594km that encompasses the splendor of the Dead Sea, Masada and the unforgiving Negev Desert.

Our Norwood trekkers will be out in Israel at the same time – crossing the country from the Mediterranean to the Galilee Sea – offering the perfect opportunity for family, friends and work colleagues to undertake a challenge at the same time, share in the excitement and meet in Eilat to celebrate.



Day 1Saturday 26 October
Meet in Tel Aviv for an early evening transfer to Tel Hai for our bike fitting and full briefing of the challenge ahead.
Day 2Sunday 27 October
Metula to Degania Beth – Cycle 85km
It’s a short 7km transfer (or optional additional cycle) to the official start of our North to South journey – Metula. From here we descend the Golan Heights into the Jordan River Valley, skirting the Sea of Galilee to our finish at Degania Beth.
Day 3Monday 28 October
Degania Beth to Almog – Cycle 121km
Following one of the most picturesque routes in the country, it’s a long, fast descent on road 90 all the way to Almog, at the tip of the Dead Sea.
Day 4Tuesday 29 October
Almog to Masada to Arad – Cycle 109km
Cycling the length of the Dead Sea, it’s another 100km+ day with a blistering 40km (781m height gain) in ascent up to Arad.
Day 5Wednesday 30 October
Arad to Mitzpe Ramon – 126km
Leaving Arad, we’re inland on the edges of the Negev, cycling towards Midreshet Ben Gurion, through Maktesh Hagadol and onwards to Mitzpe Ramon.
Day 6Thursday 31 October
Mitzpe Ramon to Yahel – 100km
A day of tough climbs, exhilarating descents and the sheer beauty of the desert landscape – with the end of Eilat nearly in sight.
Day 7Friday 1 November
Yahel to Eilat – 53km
A brief bus ride to start the day and we are on the most direct route to Eilat, with a hot shower and some home comforts to look forward to after a tough week of cycling. A short Shabbat service to reflect on the achievements of the week and it’s time to celebrate with friends, family and our Norwood trekkers at the Queen of Sheba hotel.
Day 8Saturday 2 November
A day of leisure and a relaxing meal at the Ranch House restaurant in Eilat.
Day 9Sunday 3 November
Day of departure. Transfer to Eilat airport for internal flight back to Tel Aviv or coach transfer at an additional charge.
Note: You will need to book your own flights for this challenge and be at Tel Hai Youth Hostel the evening of Saturday 26 October to be ready for your bike fitting and first day of cycling on Sunday. There is a long transfer to Tel Hai and we therefore advise our observant participants to fly out on Friday 25 October and check in to a hotel in Tel Aviv (we recommend the Tal Hotel). We will then collect you post Shabbat on the Saturday for your transfer.

What’s included

Airport transfers if taking the recommended flight/meeting at the scheduled times.
Accommodation. 6 nights twin-sharing in local kibbutz with two nights in good standard hotel in Eilat. Limited singles available on request, subject to availability and at an additional charge.
All meals (exclusive of Friday 25 October, Saturday 26 October – breakfast and lunch – and lunch on non-cycling days).
Bike hire – comfortable, well-tuned hybrid bike.
Fully supported ride with organised waterstops, lead rider, mechanics, support vehicles and medic.
FREE Norwood cycling jersey.

What’s not included

Your flights (international/internal). We will advise on the recommended flights following registration. You will be flying into Ben Gurion, Tel Aviv. You will finish your challenge in Eilat.
Airport transfers outside of the times of meeting the recommended group flight.
Personal cycling equipment and kit.
Travel insurance.
Any personal expenses, drinks, tips and gratuities.

How challenging is it?

This is a challenging ride with some long daily distances, challenging climbs and up to 8 hours in the saddle. Ideally you should be a keen cyclist, enjoy training and ride regularly. You need to have a good level of endurance with an ability to sustain the level of effort required over a period of days. You should be used to doing long rides in the countryside of 6 hours +. You should be doing regular exercise – with some serious cycle training.


Any questions?

This event is now full, but places do occasionally become available. Please contact Julie Braithwaite to be added onto the waiting list.

Talk to Julie on 020 8420 6811 or email