Riding through the heart of the Syrian-African Rift
This is a long segment through a relatively level area, where you’ll enjoy the captivating savannah scenery of the Arava Valley and the Mountains of Edom on the eastern side of the Syrian African Rift.
You’ll pedal across the broad plain of Wadi Hayun to Notsa Ridge, the highest point in the Arava and part of the area known as the Arava Ridge. This is the Arava’s watershed; from here, streams flow either northward to the Dead Sea or southward to the Gulf of Eilat.
The route is mainly level and along unpaved roads, and so it doesn’t require major technical ability.
You’ll leave Moshav Paran and head east through an underpass toward the moshav’s greenhouses. Right after you’ve emerged on the other side of the road, you’ll come to the Hikers to Petra memorial, where you’ll find picnic tables and shade. Continue riding to the lookout over the Hatseva Reservoir. In the winter the reservoir is full and attracts many birds.
From the reservoir, continue your ride along the Jordan border, with its interesting history you’ll want to get to know.
Pedal on through the arid Arava plains where vegetation, shade and natural water sources are meager. And yet, you’ll see amazing agriculture that has made the desert bloom by advanced water management that makes possible abundant harvests of fruits and vegetables.
Your day of cycling ends at Kibbutz Yahel, where you’ll find country lodging, water and a warm welcome.
Do not go off the marked trail under any circumstances because it passes close to the Jordanian border.