Horse riding holiday in Israel
Horseback vacation in Israel
Horse riding holiday Makhtesh Ramon
Horseback vacation Makhtesh Ramon
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Working farm horseback vacation in Israel
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Horse riding holiday in Israel
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Working farm horse riding holiday in Israel
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Enjoy the charms of a working farm set in the Negev desert on this short break in Israel. The farm has a whole host of inhabitants all with their own characters and bringing something to the daily running of the farm. Alpacas and llamas are bred and raised for their wool and move around in large herds. Goats are also kept for angora textiles. The large herd of horses ensures there are always plenty of fit and energized horses ready to take guests out to explore the unique surroundings of the Negev desert and the Makhtesh Ramon crater. Your hosts know this area intimately and can take you on rides to see all the most interesting points in the area. You might go into the crater and see wonderful multi-coloured rocks, or take a trip to one of the near-by vineyards and learn about the local wine-making industry, sampling some of the wears while you are there! These are endurance horses, so you will get plenty of faster riding and hours in the saddle. Other activities available on the farm include horseball, llama walks, wool demonstrations, yoga and navigation courses. Several of the team help local search and rescue teams so you know you are in safe hands with them! The weekend can be tailored to your own interests. Having a go at the llama obstacle course is always highly recommended.

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Day 1
Take an overnight flight to arrive at the airport in the morning and transfer to the farm. After settling in to your room you will have a tour of the farm before a relaxed lunch. In the afternoon you will have a short introductory ride to get to know the tack and style of riding. You have a chance to discuss the itinerary for your stay with your hosts over dinner in The Stone Hut café. (L,D)

Day 2
After breakfast you mount up for a full-day ride. You might venture into the highlands of the Negev National Park, or visit the local Bedouins, stopping for lunch on the trail and returning to the farm in the afternoon. Dinner is your own choice tonight, you can go into town and sample one of the local restaurants, get food delivered to your room or cook something for yourself with the facilities provided. (B,L)

Day 3
Today you will explore another area of this region. A ride into the ‘Makhtesh Ramon’ crater is always a highlight and a favourite of your hosts. Lunch will be taken on the trail, dinner is your own choice. (B, L) 

Day 4 
After breakfast you just have time to say goodbye to the friendly farm inhabitants before transferring back to the airport. (B)

Activities:
During your stay there are a number of activities you can choose from, subject to availability. When you arrive at the farm you can discuss which activities you would like to do and your hosts will help you to plan your stay accordingly. You can choose from the following:

Full/half day rides – Bedouin Camp; Waterfall; Vineyard; North Crater; Spice Route; Into the Crater; West Crater; East Crater; Painted Rocks; Negev highlands; Moonlight ride
Horseball (min 6 people required)
Llama walks
Wool demonstration
Yoga
Navigation course
Llama obstacle course

Please note: All itineraries are given for your guidance only and it may be altered on the ground and in accordance with the prevailing conditions by the organising team.

Horses & Riding

There are over 30 horses at the farm with a mix of breeds and sizes. Around half of the horses have Arab bloodlines and are used for the endurance trails. The horses are all well adapted to their environment and have been trained for endurance work. They are well tempered and fit to allow for long canters across the desert and equally steady climbs where the terrain dictates. With exclusive access to horse riding in the Negev Desert and Ramon Crater National Parks, the riding is often fast-paced across open desert or along trails. Trotting and cantering are the favoured paces and used as much as possible. Many of the horses are forward going and most prefer to be ridden with a very light contact. There is a selection of level-headed horses for riders who like to relax a little more on the rides but the horses are generally very keen! The horses are ridden in lightweight western saddles, although a few English saddles are used on some horses. There may be some walking required on steep or rough terrain.



It is compulsory to wear a riding helmet for this ride - we strongly recommend that you take your own properly fitted helmet, although there is a selection of different sizes available to borrow on site.

Rider requirements

Riders will need to be experienced and capable of maintaining trot and canter for extended periods of time. There may be some rough terrain on the rides and at times riders will need to dismount and lead their horse when going up or down steep ground. Guests are welcome to help groom and tack up the horses but this is not required. The minimum age for this ride is 16 years but the riders must be experienced. It may be possible to cater for less experienced riders on this programme with advanced notice, please discuss this with one of our travel consultants if you are unsure about your riding abilities.

Weight Limit

The weight limit for this ride is 198 lb/90 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.

Accommodation is in shared cabins on a farm which provides a base for the riding holiday. Guests will stay either in one of the cabins (2-3 people) or the family suite (3-5 people). Cabins are open plan with a double bed and 2 sofa-beds. The family suites have a double bedroom and separate living area with 5 sofa beds. All accommodations are completed with a spacious bathroom, fully equipped kitchenette (fridge, stove, oven, dishes and tableware), dining table, air conditioning and cable TV. Each cabin or suite also has views of the desert and farm, with a shaded porch overlooking the alpaca and llamas.


There is also an option to stay in 'Studio Khan', a dormitory-style cabin which can sleep up to 20 people (minimum 6 people). The sleeping in the studio is with sleeping bags on mattresses over a wooden floor. With heaters in the winter and cool natural breeze when summer. Blankets and bed sheets are available by request. Outside the studio is a large balcony and an equipped kitchen and large dining tables. There are also several showers and bathrooms and a large and cosy area for a big bonfire or star watching.



Your hosts are vegetarian and provide an array of delicious fresh local vegetarian dishes as described in the itinerary. Meat-based meals are available in the town as well as further selections of vegan and vegetarian dishes. Please note that pork is rarely available in Israel due to local customs. Portions are very generous and meals are usually eaten all together in a family style.

Breakfast: Bread, soft and hard cheese, yogurt, cereal/all grain, fresh vegetables, tahini, eggs, homemade sliced cake.

Lunch: Sandwiches, fruits, energy bars, pitta bread with vegetables and dips.

Dinner: Traditional dishes such as shakshuka, falafel, couscous and homemade soups. On the night camping in the crater you will be served Potjie, a vegetarian South African dish cooked over open fire in an iron pot containing of vegetables, grains, and rice and sometimes meat.

On evenings when dinner is not provided your hosts can recommend food suppliers from the nearby town that can bring the food to the room. There are also many restaurants in Mitzpe Ramon. Expect dinner in a restaurant to cost 100-150 ILS per person. The farm can arrange transport/taxi up to 50 ILS a direction. Please follow the links to see the menus of some local restaurants in English.





Innsense


Tzukim


HaHavit

Vegetarian or other dietary requirements can be accommodated with advanced notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests.

Documents - Visa and Consulate Info

The following information is provided as a guide and updated regularly however visa requirements can change quickly and depend on diplomatic relations. It is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documentation in place for your trip. Please request information from the appropriate Consulate in your home country. Unicorn Trails will assist with any questions you have or supply any necessary supporting documents as required by the consulate on request.

Visas:

British, EU, Canadian and U.S.A. passport holders don’t need a visa to enter Israel as a tourist for a period of up to 3 months.
It is for the Israeli authorities to determine the right of entry into Israel, if you have any particular concerns about visas or entry into Israel, you should contact your local Israeli Embassy. Visitors entering via Ben Gurion airport are given an entry card instead of an entry stamp in their passport. While this practice is in place at other ports of entry, there have been instances where passports have been stamped for entry purposes. You should keep your entry card with your passport until you leave. This is evidence of your legal entry into Israel and may be required, particularly at any crossing points into the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

You should expect lengthy personal questioning and baggage searches by security officials on arrival and departure from Israel. Electrical items, including laptops, may be taken from departing passengers for security inspection and either stored in the aircraft baggage hold, or returned to you in the UK. Damage may occur. If you arrive with valuable personal items (computers, camcorders etc.) you may be required to pay a deposit that is refundable on or after departure. Israeli security officials have on occasion requested access to travellers’ personal e-mail accounts or other social media accounts as a condition of entry.

The Israeli embassy in the UK can be contacted at:
Address: 2 Palace Green, London, W8 4QB. Telephone: 020 7957 9500. Email: info@london.mfa.gov.il Website: http://www.embassyofmongolia.co.uk/

The websites below give up to date travel advice tailored to their citizens on: Entry requirements; Health; Safety and Security including terrorism; Money and Local Customs. Please ensure you have checked the country you are travelling to is a suitable destination for your personal circumstances before booking your holiday.

In the UK the British Foreign Office gives travel advice on 0207 008 0232/0233 or at https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/israel

In the USA the Department of State gives travel advice at https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/israel.html

In Canada the Government of Canada gives travel advice at https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/israel-the-west-bank-and-the-gaza-strip

In Sweden the Ministry of Foreign Affairs gives travel advice at
http://www.swedenabroad.com/en-GB/Embassies/Tel-Aviv/


The British Embassy in Israel can be found at: British Embassy, 192 Hayarkon Street 6340502, Tel Aviv, Israel
Telephone: +972 (0)3 725 1222
Email: webmaster.telaviv@fco.gov.uk
Office Hours Local Time: Monday to Thursday, 8am to 4pm, Friday 8am to 1:30pm
Website: https://www.gov.uk/world/organisations/british-embassy-tel-aviv

US Embassy in Israel can be found at: 71 Hayarkon Street, Tel Aviv Israel 63903
Telephone: +(972) (3) 519-7575
Emergency after-hours telephone: +(972) (3) 519-7551
Email: amctelaviv@state.gov
Office Hours Local Time: By appointment only from 8 to 11am, Monday – Friday, except for the first Wednesday of each month and during Embassy closures.
Website: https://il.usembassy.gov/

Canadian Embassy in Israel can be found at: Canada House, 3/5 Nirim Street, Tel Aviv, 6706038 Israel
Telephone: (011 972 3) 636-3300; Within Israel (03) 636-3300
Email: taviv@international.gc.ca
Office hours local time: Monday to Thursday: 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Friday: 8:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Website: http://www.canadainternational.gc.ca/israel/index.aspx?lang=eng

Swedish Embassy in Israel can be found at: Embassy of Sweden, P.O.B. 9393, Tel Aviv 6109301
Israel
Telephone: +972 3 718 00 00
Email: ambassaden.tel-aviv@gov.se


Last update: 3/10/2017

Climate Summary

The best times to go riding in this area are in the spring (March-May) and autumn (September-October) when temperatures are slightly cooler and it is not too wet or dry. It can get very hot in July and August, and riding is often not possible during the middle of the day. In the winter it can get very cold in the desert, especially at night and ground frosts are common. Average rainfall is generally quite low, and the summer months often see no rain at all.

Climate Chart
Health

No special health precautions are required for visits to Israel, for further details please see your local doctor. We do advise taking plenty of sunscreen!

For up to date information on specific health concerns please contact the Medical Advisors For Travellers Abroad. Their website can be found at www.masta.org.

We strongly advise you to consult with your General Practitioner before travelling. The best medical advice regarding suitable immunisations and prophylaxis to enable you to travel safely requires knowledge of your medical history and therefore cannot be covered in this advice sheet. Recommendations are also subject to change and it is important to obtain the most up to date information available.

Health (ride specific)

There are no specific health warnings for this ride, although it is strongly recommended that you use plenty of sunscreen and drink lots of water.

Electricity

In Israel the power sockets are of type H. The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz. These sockets are unique to Israel, you will need an adapter to charge devices. In most cases, European style plugs can be used.

Film and Camera Equipment

It will be possible to charge batteries and cameras each night in the cabins.

Packing List

We have put together a suggested packing list for your trip. This should be used as a guideline as requirements may vary according to the time of year and your personal preferences.

• Riding Helmet - we strongly recommend that you wear a properly fitted riding helmet of the current standard which is PAS015. Please note that it is mandatory to wear a riding helmet on this ride and there is a selection of helmets available to borrow at the farm.
• Jodhpurs - jodhpurs, breeches or other comfortable trousers (jeans may rub and can also be quite hot)
• Riding Boots - it is important to have correct shoes or boots for horse riding. Jodhpur or ankle boots with a rubber sole are recommended but sturdy shoes with a definite heel are acceptable (such as walking boots).
• Half Chaps - these are great when worn with ankle boots and help prevent the stirrup leathers rubbing against your legs
• T-shirts and long-sleeved shirts
• Sunhat
• Sunglasses
• Fleece for evenings
• Warm layers
• Casual Clothes for when out of the saddle
• Raincoat - although it rains very rarely it may be a good idea to pack a waterproof/ windproof jacket
• Personal Items - toiletries, any medicines you require and please be sure to take insect repellent and plenty of sun cream
• Camera and Spare Batteries/Charger - an absolute must! It is also a good idea to take a camera case you can strap around your waist or onto a belt for whilst you are riding
• A copy of your passport

Water bottles are provided at the farm.

Programmes

This is a 4 day/3 night programme available on Fridays throughout the year excluding July and August when it is too hot to ride. Please note that in the winter (November-February) can get quite cold in the desert.

Departure Dates

2019: Fridays between February and June, September to November. Closed for July and August when it is too hot to ride. Please note that in the winter (November-February) can get quite cold in the desert.

Pricing
No single rooms available (on some or all nights). Riders must be prepared to share with someone of the same sex.
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description £
20194d/3n3double pp in double cabin (based on 2pax sharing)929
20194d/3n3double pp in family suite (based on 4pax sharing)865
20194d/3n3supplement 3 pax in family suite pp18
20194d/3n3extra person in room855
20194d/3n3Studio Kahn pp (minimum 6pax)795
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description
20194d/3n3double pp in double cabin (based on 2pax sharing)1,079
20194d/3n3double pp in family suite (based on 4pax sharing)999
20194d/3n3supplement 3 pax in family suite pp21
20194d/3n3extra person in room989
20194d/3n3Studio Kahn pp (minimum 6pax)925
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description $
20194d/3n3double pp in double cabin (based on 2pax sharing)1,249
20194d/3n3double pp in family suite (based on 4pax sharing)1,159
20194d/3n3supplement 3 pax in family suite pp24
20194d/3n3extra person in room1,145
20194d/3n3Studio Kahn pp (minimum 6pax)1,069
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description SEK
20194d/3n3double pp in double cabin (based on 2pax sharing)11,619
20194d/3n3double pp in family suite (based on 4pax sharing)10,779
20194d/3n3supplement 3 pax in family suite pp225
20194d/3n3extra person in room10,645
20194d/3n3Studio Kahn pp (minimum 6pax)9,935
Recommended Reading

Walking Israel (2011) by Martin Fletcher
The Lost Tribes of Israel: The History of a Myth (2002) by Tudor Parfitt
The Birds of Israel (1987) by U. Paz and Y. Eshbol
Red Sea Reef Guide: Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Arabian Peninsula (2007) by Helmut Debelius

Other Activities

The area around the farm boasts boutique wineries, a natural cosmetics manufactory, spas, cycling, hiking, galleries etc. Eilat, a seaside tourist resort on the Red Sea, is two hours’ drive away where the diving, snorkelling and seafood is superb.

Wildlife

Most of the flora and fauna in this area has specifically adapted to the desert conditions. The Asian wild ass has been reintroduced to Makhtesh Ramon. Other larger mammals of the area include Nubian ibexes, Dorcas gazelles, striped hyenas and few Arabian leopards. A small population of Arabian leopards, an endangered animal in the Arabian peninsula, survives in the southern Negev. The Negev Tortoise and the Negev shrew are only found in Israel

Other Information

You should expect lengthy personal questioning and baggage searches by security officials on arrival and departure from Israel. Electrical items, including laptops, may be taken from departing passengers for security inspection and either stored in the aircraft baggage hold, or returned to you in the UK. Damage may occur.

If you arrive with valuable personal items (computers, camcorders etc.) you may be required to pay a deposit that is refundable on or after departure.

Israeli security officials have on occasion requested access to travellers’ personal e-mail accounts or other social media accounts as a condition of entry.

Travel Summary

Meeting-point (getting there):
Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport, Ovda Airport or the farm
Transfer:
2019: From Tel Aviv 500 ILS or Ovda airport 350 ILS per vehicle (1-4pax) each way. Car hire is an alternative option.
Flight Guide:
London to Tel Aviv from £350
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