This horse riding holiday offers a combination of the best riding locations in Israel with a chance to explore the historical and cultural sites which have so much significance for many religions. You will start by visiting a farm in the south of the country, nestled in the Negev desert and right on the edge of the unique and spectacular Makhtesh Ramon ‘crater’. The farm is host to many animals big and small, and your hosts here are the epitome of welcome and generosity. The horses are trained for endurance, although rides can be tailored to different riding lessons with advance notice. Canter through the desert and descend into the crater to see the fascinating geology of this special area. The views are incredible and the horses keen, two days riding are just enough to give you a taste of life in the desert and leave you wanting more!
One day of this programme is spent exploring the Old City of Jerusalem. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the 1km square walled area is host to Temple Mount, the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque to name but the most revered sites. With sacred sites for Jewish, Muslim and Christian faiths, Jerusalem is an intense melting pot of cultures and beliefs, but you don’t need to have strong religious convictions to appreciate the architecture or spiritual significance which surrounds you in the Old City.
After sampling a slice of history in Jerusalem you continue north to another area of renown; the Sea of Galilee. As you travel from the Negev to Jerusalem and on to Galilee you will notice the land becoming greener and more undulating. The Sea is in a fertile plain nestled between the mountains of Galilee to the west and the Golan Heights to the east. Here you will stay at a ranch on the hillside overlooking the water with around 30 acres of orchards, gardens and trails as well as a swimming pool and play area for children. With their own breeding programme, the ranch has a great selection of horses for all abilities and even runs therapeutic riding treatments. From here you can ride out to explore this region so different to the Negev, and you may even get the chance to take your horse for a swim in the Sea of Galilee itself!
This is the perfect programme for discovering the diversity on offer in Israel, and is particularly good for those with non-riding partners and children as there is plenty to do away from the horses too.
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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)
After breakfast you mount up for a full-day ride experiencing the highlights of the crater. 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)
Today you will explore the north side of the crater. Lunch will be taken on the trail, dinner is your own choice. (B, L)
After breakfast you will drive to Jerusalem to explore the Old City. Temple Mount, the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque are just some of the sites contained inside the 1km square walled area. You will need to dress modestly for this tour and show sensitivity to the religious significance of the sites that you visit. A guide can be arranged on request although the Old City is well set out for tourists so you will have no trouble finding your way around. You will be collected in the evening and driven north to your next riding centre based on the edge of the Sea of Galilee. (B)
In the morning you will have a tour of the riding centre and get your bearings before meeting the new herd. You will have an introductory ride and get used to your new surroundings. Dinner can be taken in the on-site restaurant (not included). (B, L)
After breakfast you set out on a full day ride to explore the area of Galilee, marveling at how different the environment is here compared to your first few days. If the weather is good you may ride to the Sea of Galilee where you can enjoy a swim, so remember to pack your swim suit! You return to the farm for the evening. (B, L)
Another full day ride today in a new direction. Explore Golan Heights and the Korazim hills overlooking the Sea of Galilee for some spectacular photo opportunities. Return to the farm at sunset for a farewell dinner in the restaurant. (B, L, D)
After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your flight home. (B)
Non-riders and younger children are welcome to join riding partners on this holiday as there are plenty of attractions on offer away from the horses. Both riding centres are located on working farms with a whole host of inhabitants, all with their own characters and functions. Alpacas, llamas, goats, horses and even a camel live on the first farm, and other activities available include llama walks, wool demonstrations, yoga and navigation courses. Having a go at the llama obstacle course is always highly recommended! The local town is a short drive away where you can visit the museum, shops or enjoy a refreshing drink overlooking the impressive crater. There is also a nature reserve showcasing desert wildlife often hidden from view and the ancient city of Avedat close by. You can also take a camel ride into the desert with some local Bedouin!
Join your riding partners for the visit to Jerusalem and then in the north you have the option of getting involved with the horses on a beginner’s level, learning to groom, tack up and ride. Young children can take pony rides on the lead-rein around the farm. There is also a spa, a range of walking trails, a swimming pool, children’s play area and ancient wine press on site. Other attractions near-by include the Ayyun Nature Reserve, Tel Hazor National Park, the Spice Farm in Hulata and many more.
Other outings to some of Israel’s other sites of interest such as the Dead Sea and Masada can be arranged as extensions on request.
To organise activities for non-riders and children please contact us and we will be happy to work with you to design a bespoke package.
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.
The first farm in the south has over 30 horses 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. There is some walking required when going up or down the steep sides of the crater. The horses are forward going and used to being ridden in a loose style with only light contact.
Riding in the north there is more grass and farmland to enjoy the faster riding on. Here the rides can be tailored to your abilities and wishes. There are a number of routes available but the terrain is generally flatter and softer.
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.
Riders will need to be fit and experienced, 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. The minimum age for this ride is 16 years. Help preparing the horses is not mandatory but guests are welcome to join in the grooming and tacking up. Less experienced riders can be accommodated with advanced notice, please contact your travel consultant to discuss availability.
The weight limit for this ride is 198 lb/90 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.
On the first farm accommodation is in shared cabins. 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 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', an open-plan cabin which can sleep up to 20 people. The sleeping in the studio is with sleeping bags on mattresses over a wooden floor. There are heaters in the winter and a cool natural breeze in the 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 gazing. A discounted price may be offered for staying in Studio Khan depending on room availability.
All food served at the Alpaca farm is vegetarian, some meat options are available at the stables in Galilee.
Breakfast: Bread, soft and hard cheese, yogurt, cereal/all grain, fresh vegetables, tahini, boiled eggs, homemade sliced cake.
Lunch: Sandwiches, fruits, energy bars.
Dinner: On days when dinner is provided (see itinerary) this will be traditional local produce. Lentil soup, shakshouka, vegetable stew with rice, and lasagne are all examples of what you might be served. On other nights you will be able to go into town to enjoy dinner at a local restaurant, or cook for yourself in your cabin. Your hosts can recommend other food suppliers from the nearby town that can bring the food to the room. 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.
At the second farm there is a range of accommodation. The apartments come with a bedroom and living room with sofa beds and can sleep up to 5 people. They are equipped with a bathroom, coffee station, fridge, air conditioning and cable TV. The cottage rooms have a large bedroom with a double bed, living room with up to 3 sofa beds, bathroom, air conditioning, cable TV, large terrace and garden furniture. Studio rooms are open plan with a double bed and sofa bed that opens to double plus another single sofa bed, bathroom, a jacuzzi for two in a closed terrace, garden furniture, lawn and a view to the Sea of Galilee. There is also the option to upgrade to a private room or suite for an additional supplement, subject to availability. Please enquire.
There is a restaurant on-site where you will eat breakfast and set-menu dinners on the nights where dinner is included. The restaurant is run by an experienced and respected chef using fresh local produce. The restaurant will be open for other meals at an additional fee, or you can go to the nearby town or cook in your room.
Vegetarian or other dietary requirements can be accommodated with advanced notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests.
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.
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: email@example.com 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
The British Embassy in Israel can be found at: British Embassy, 192 Hayarkon Street 6340502, Tel Aviv, Israel
Telephone: +972 (0)3 725 1222
Office Hours Local Time: Monday to Thursday, 8am to 4pm, Friday 8am to 1:30pm
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
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.
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
Office hours local time: Monday to Thursday: 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Friday: 8:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swedish Embassy in Israel can be found at: Embassy of Sweden, P.O.B. 9393, Tel Aviv 6109301
Telephone: +972 3 718 00 00
Last update: 3/10/2017
The best times to go riding in this area are between October and April when temperatures are slightly cooler and it is not too wet or dry. It can get very hot in July, August and September, and riding is often not possible during the middle of the day. Average rainfall is generally quite low, and the summer months often see no rain at all.
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.
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.
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.
It will be possible to charge batteries and cameras each night in the cabins.
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
• 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.
This is an 8 day/7 night programme with 6 days riding available on request throughout the year excluding July and August when it is too hot to ride in the desert.
2020: Available all year on request excluding July and August.
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
There are many activities available in Israel including historical sight-seeing, walking, cycling, nature reserves, swimming, diving and theatre shows.
There is a noticeable difference in the flora and fauna in the two areas you visit. The Asian wild ass has been reintroduced to the Negev desert. 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. In the north there is more greenery and the Sea of Galilee is an important water source for the nature of the area. Cranes, eagles, storks, mongoose, boar, long-legged buzzards, lesser kestrels, snake eagles and horned owls, striped hyenas, wolves, golden jackals, red foxes, wild boars, European badgers, honey badgers, Egyptian mongooses and martens can all be found in the area.
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.