Cycling in the Jerusalem Hills

An Introduction to Cycling in the Judean Hills

The Judean Hills are just 40 minutes from Jerusalem (or 50 minutes from Tel Aviv) — but you feel like you’re several worlds away from the city with the area’s postcard-pretty landscapes that are comparable to those in Switzerland. Aside from their natural beauty, the Judean Hills are also rich in history. One of the best ways to explore this scenic region is through biking.

Some of the highlights of biking in Judean Hills:

  • Enjoy lots of breathtaking scenery as you pedal (and walk) along.
  • Explore ancient ruins that tell a fascinating story in 2,000 years!
  • Visit the land where some of the world’s oldest agriculture meets the modern world — winemaking, then and now.
  • Explore hidden caves that were once home to the Jewish rebels who revolted against the Romans.
  • Relish the tranquility and natural beauty of the Judean Hills, in the heart of Israel.

You may sign up for guided bike tours (complete with an English-speaking guide and even including a snack with wine or beer at the end of the trip), or you may want to venture out on your own. Follow your own trail!

Biking in the Jerusalem Hills

The Jerusalem Hills, located in the northern part of the Judean Hills, are a paradise for mountain bike lovers (and also for road bike lovers!).

There are many fine and challenging routes available. Many choose to start near the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo towards Ein Lavan (the White Spring). It is possible to start on this trail and cycle your way to the sea entirely off road – a total of around 120 kilometers – you will arrive at the Tel Aviv Port.

Jerusalem Hills — recommended cycling routes

One of our favorite Jerusalem Hills cycling routes starts on Road 386 (where the railway lines cross the road) and follows the river bed and railway lines for about 6 kilometers (roughly south east). The riding is not technically difficult, but it is a very beautiful route.

It is then possible to choose a variety of options – continuing along the river bed towards Jerusalem or one of several more challenging climbs. The last time that we visited we chose the climb towards Yad Kennedy. This is not a technical climb, but it is very steep and very long. The views along the way and at the top make it worthwhile. There is also something very rewarding about this route as the tough climbs are in the first half of the route making the return leg a real pleasure.

See the Jerusalem Hills Photos Album.

Getting to the Start — Jerusalem Hills Cycling

Route 386 – where the railway crosses the road. Pull of the road and park.