DESTINATIONS israel bike-travel-10


Bike Travel

Biking has taken off in Israel, with tens of thousands of avid cyclists hitting the trails every year. With mountains, deserts, and wooded hills, this small country is ideal for two-wheel adventures. Off-road tours take you to remote archaeological sites and other places not reachable by car. The Keren Kayemet LeIsrael (Jewish National Fund) has information about trails through some beautiful areas. Keep in mind that the going can get rough due to the summer's extreme heat, and there are winding and hilly roads with aggressive drivers. The weather is best from September to June.

Urban biking is also becoming popular. Tel Aviv has 120 km (75 miles) of designated bike lanes and a bike rental system. Look for the green Tel-O-Fun pay stations throughout the city. Use a credit card to pay the daily fee of NIS 17 (NIS 23 on Saturday and holidays) or weekly fee of NIS 70. If you need help, dial *6070 to talk to the call center.

In Jerusalem, there are a number of bicycle paths to ride, including the landscaped 5-km (3-mile) pedestrian and bike path that goes along the old train tracks, starting at the First Station, where you can rent bicycles. A new circular bike trail opened in Jerusalem's Metropolitan Park, and there are plans to expand it in coming years.

Bikes are welcome on intercity buses with luggage holds. Trains accept bikes Sunday through Thursday during nonpeak hours (between 9 and 3 and after 7) and anytime on Friday. Folding bicycles stored in carrying bags are always allowed.

Bike maps in English can be hard to find, but Israel Bike Trails has comprehensive trail information listing elevations and level of difficulty on its website.

Bike Contacts

Israel Bike Trails.

Israel Cycling. 054/333–9543;

Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael. Jerusalem, Jerusalem.

Sovoo Jerusalem Bike Rental. First Station, 4 David Remez St., Jerusalem, Jerusalem, 9354102. 02/648–0334;

Tel-O-Fun. Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv.


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