Israel Spotlight: Hiking Trails

Posted by Iris Hami

Mar 1, 2014 10:45:02 AM

Four Unforgettable Hiking Trails in Israel

No matter where and how you explore Israel, there are many gorgeous sites that you won't forget anytime soon. However, if you’re an avid hiker, you’re in luck! There are thousands of miles of hiking trails in Israel for hikers of all levels to enjoy. Whether you’re going on a group hike or doing it solo, whether you’re in the mood for a short hike or an extended hiking trip, there is a trail for you. Consider one of these hiking trails the next time you’re in Israel.

hiking trails in israel

[box title="1. Nahal Katlav" style="noise" box_color="#ecefb3" title_color="#000000" radius="6"]

Nahal Katlav is a 6 km (about 3.7 mi) in the Jerusalem area that you can complete in about four hours. The hike begins at the Bar Be'Har Café and circles the Soreq Nature Reserve. The trail is differentiated by color, one starts on the red trail, which merges into the blue, green, and black before returning to the red area. Hikers should be cautious on the black trail, there are some steep and slick areas around the end of it.

Note: The flowers along the hiking trail are protected by law, there are penalties for picking them.

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[box title="2. Wadi Qelt/Nahal Prat " style="noise" box_color="#79a6ec" title_color="#000000" radius="6"]The Wadi Qelt (or Nahal Prat) is a popular trail that spans 7 km (about 4.3 mi) and could take between four to six hours to complete. If you head west, towards Pisgat Ze'ev, there are many beautiful pools and numerous picnic spot along the trail to enjoy a leisure afternoon with nature and family. If you head east, towards Jericho, the trail goes through a desert gorge. It is an especially pleasant hike during the summer where the high canyon walls and the surrounding water shields the hiker from the summer heat. The trail ends at the Greek Orthodox Monastery of St. George.[/box]

[box title="3. The Jesus Trail" style="noise" box_color="#b4fba7" title_color="#000000" radius="6"]The Jesus Trail is a well-known hiking trail in the Galilee region. The 65 km (about 40.5 mi) trek highlights various sites that were important in the life of Jesus, along with places of historical and cultural significance in the area. The trail starts in Nazareth where you can see the church where Jesus was thought to have a workshop, as well as the Church of the Annunciation, and a site celebrating first century life in Nazareth.  From Nazareth, it is about 10 km (6.2 mi) to Zippori National Park, between the Mediterranean Sea and Galilee, the trail then descends into Arbel National Park. Hikers need to be careful– it is a steep route. About 2 km (1.2 mi) off the trail at Kibbutz Ginosaur, you can find Jesus Boat. The trail ends at the Sea of Galilee, the largest freshwater lake in Israel, where Jesus is said to have walked across water.[/box]

[box title="4. The Israel Trail" style="noise" box_color="#ad7261" title_color="#000000" radius="6"]The Israel Trail, which opened in 1995, is about 1000 km (620 mi) and crosses the entire country of Israel. It starts from the Gulf of Aqaba in Eilat and ends at Dan near the border of Lebanon. In 2012, National Geographic ranked the Israel Trail ranked as “the Holy Grail” of hikes. According to various sources, if you were to try and hike the entire trail, it could take between 30 and 60 days, depending on one’s experience and itinerary. As the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI) notes, the Israel Trail is a popular destination for celebrations, you will very likely meet hikers along the trail who are celebrating special moments, such as weddings or Bar Mitzvahs.[/box]

If a trip centered on hiking and exploration is what you’re looking for, Gil Travel can help you design your perfect getaway. Contact us for more information. Download our "Free Time in Israel Guide" for more activities to do during your Israel trip!

Topics: Fun stuff, Israel Travel