Using Israel’s public transportation system, you can arrive to almost every great hiking trail that Israel has to offer. Just remember that public transportation does not run during Shabbat, the Jewish holy day, which is from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset.
Though Israel is a country of small landmass, it offers a vast array of impressive landscapes, making it a natural phenomenon. Israel is rich with majestic deserts, some lakes and mysterious springs, both fertile and dead seas, recovered forests, ancient archeological sites, impressive agricultural fields, exotic flowers, cliffs, caves, waterfalls, colorful sand and rock formations, cute animals, and unbelievable quiet. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity!
Israel has a great system of painted trail markings throughout the country, which are frequently reviewed for accuracy. In the links to the hike descriptions below, we will give you some tips and pointers for each trail. All you need is a bit of self motivation to get out and explore, and you will be rewarded with seeing some of the most special places in Israel, and probably meet some friendly locals on the way.
Our advice? Don’t spend too much time deciding where is best to go. Go anywhere, and the journey will come to you!
Jerusalem is guaranteed to satisfy any traveler thirsty for historical and biblical sites. Avid hikers, take a multi-day trip across the Judean plains and mountains on the Beit Guvrin trek while dipping in cool springs along the way. If you want something easier, try a desert adventure in Wadi Qelt and see its functioning monastery and carved canyons. If you are needing a relaxed escape not far from Jerusalem’s city center, head to the springs trail for an easy circuit that covers five different springs. Lastly, for a more forested taste of the Jerusalem region, hike through the red Ktalav (Arbutus) trees of the Ktalav Wadi. Click here for hikes near Jerusalem!
Hikes around Masada and the Dead Sea offer a chance to trek through Israel’s most iconic and strangest sites in nature. Travel to Arad to find an oasis in the desert, deep canyons, and amazing views of these famous sites or get deeper into the desert with a trip to Qumran where the Dead Sea scrolls were found and in Ein Feshkha (Einot Tzukim), the lowest nature reserve on earth. Fancy another strange geological formation only to be found in Israel? Walk on the soils of Mount Sdom which are made up almost entirely of salt! This is also the home to the world’s longest salt cave and the setting of the Biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah. Click here for hikes in the Masada/Dead Sea region!
Hiking in the Negev will give you the most authentic feeling desert experience, with the fewest tourists. The Negev is also home to the world’s largest erosion formed crater, “Makhtesh Ramon”. Visit Ein Akev or Ein Avdat if you want to see the magic of lots of water in the desert, sometimes even a waterfall! And if you want the best view of Makhtesh Ramon with the option to walk back through colored sands, Mount Ardon is for you. Click here for hikes in the Negev!
If you are in Eilat, we highly recommend that you try one of these self guided hikes! Undoubtedly, “Red Canyon” is one of the most gorgeous and mystical mountains in Israel with its colorful, and at times narrow, walls. Timna Valley might also be for you if you rather see the colors of the desert from above, with the Edom mountain ridge in the horizon. Ever wondered about the black mountains you can see in the distance? Hiking through the dark granite of Black Canyon (Shehoret Canyon) will give you a chance to see both the dark and colorful mountain walls. Here, you will also get to see the intense red color of “the lost gorge”. Click here for hikes near Eilat!
Israel’s Golan and Sea of Galilee region is a must see for anyone who wants to explore Israel’s most fertile lands and ancient structures. The famous Mount Arbel fortress, synagogue, and wadi (valley) are all nestled here in Northern Israel. If ancient water-mills and beautiful wildflowers call to you, travel to the enchanting streams of Nahal Amud (Amud stream) and on the way back, hike up Mizpe Hayamim mountain for a picturesque view over the Mediterranean. For a culturally themed hike, try the Gush Halav stream hike which begins in Jish Village, a place where the where the local Maronite Catholics can speak Aramaic and are famous for their hummus, stuffed grape leaves, and the blossoming of almond trees in February and March. The iconic “Lonely Tree” viewpoint with trails that lead to overlooks of Lake Kinneret, the Jordan Valley, and the Gilad mountains are also in this region, as well as treks through the rich vegetation and oak trees of the Bashanit ridge that reach a viewpoint overlooking the Golan and Syria. And last but not least, if you’re an avid hiker, challenge yourself with a trek across the Golan heights from mount Hermon in the north to Ein Taufik in the south. Click here to find a hike in the North!
If it’s summertime, we have a lot of water themed locations for you! The Zaki Stream is nestled in shady lagoons, Dor Habonim beach is known as Israel’s most scenic coastal stretch with magical coves and a gorgeous blue cave, Gaash Beach is very close to Tel Aviv and overlooks Mediterranean sea from the cliffside, and the Jordan River tributaries of the peaceful banyas (streams) flow from the foothills of the Hermon mountain and from mountains in Lebanon! Click here for water themed hikes!
Things to bring
– 2 Liters of water
– Suitable footwear (Hiking boots or sneakers)
– Hiking poles
– Dry fit shirt
– Lightweight raincoat on rainy days
– Bathing suit
– Towel and change of clothes