How much does it cost to do the Israel National Trail?

by | Last modified on Sep 27, 2023 | Israel National Trail

Wondering how much does it cost to do the Israel National Trail? This is a breakdown of every penny I spent while doing Shvil Israel. I kept myself on a fairly tight budget, although splashed out occasionally on ice cream, drinks and expensive snacks. Everyone’s spending habits are different, but I hope it will give a rough idea of the costs involved.

It is worth noting that I have family in Israel which meant I could cut costs as I was able to get a lift from the airport and stayed with them before and after the hike. If you don’t have this luxury, you will want to budget for transport costs (buses and trains are relatively cheap – an hour train ride from Tel Aviv to Zichron costs around 30 shekels) and also accommodation, which can be pricey. For cheaper alternatives, look into couch surfing or you may be able to stay with a trail Angel (people who help hikers – often by hosting them for a night) for a couple of days before you start your trek.

There were other ways that I was able to reduce costs. Traveling with another person meant we could share toiletries and food. Occasionally friends or family would visit us on the trail and bring food with them (although you will find a lot of strangers offering you food and snacks).

All the costs below are per person for the entire trip.

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Cost of hiking the Israel National Trail

Return flights
UK – Israel (EasyJet): 580 NIS

Food
Food is very expensive in Israel (considerably higher than Europe). Heading to a falafel shop is a cheap and tasty way to fill up, otherwise you should stick to supermarkets if you are on a budget.

Food (including eating out): 1051 NIS

Miscellaneous
It is worth bringing toiletries and sunscreen with you as these are pricey in Israel.

Laundry: 25 NIS
Taxi: 75 NIS
Gas canisters (used 2 large between the 2 of us – lots of options to have fires): 49 NIS
Toiletries (2 sunscreens and Ibruprophen): 30 NIS
3 bus trips: 27 NIS

Accommodation
As I was raising money for charity and blogging about the experience, I was able to get some accommodation free of charge (6 nights in total). In all these instances though, there were free alternatives near by, either by camping or staying with trail angels. In Eilat there is a hostel called the Shelter which allows trail hikers to stay 1 night free of charge. As we mostly camped and used trail angels, we only paid for 2 nights the entire trip.

Bedouin accommodation (2 nights): 80 NIS

Water Caching
For the desert stretch of the hike, you will need to arrange dropping water in advance at the areas you plan to camp. Some people hire a car and do this themselves, but the easiest and cheapest option is using Yanir ([email protected], +972 54-2461066) as we did. He loves helping hikers so offers the water caching at a very reasonable price. He also has a guarantee, so if there are any problems, he will drive to you to sort it out.

Water caching (10 drops in total, 6 litres at each): 700 NIS

Total
Overall, the 2 month trip came to 2617 NIS (roughly $700).


There are other costs that you will need to consider such as insurance, equipment and, for some nationalities, visas. For all my long distance treks I used World Nomads. They offer special adventurous cover for trekkers as well as long periods of time away.

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3 Comments

  1. Sue and Ron Hayes

    More reasons why you should write up your experiences! Enjoy your rest. To say you both deserve it is an understatement! You are an incredible couple and we can’t thank you enough for doing the trek for ACE. Sue and Ron

    Reply
  2. Günther

    Thank you very much for your ecellent report. This will help many other plilgrims who will walk walk the Shwil. I will walk the Shwil from 15. th of May until 15. of June but only from Arad to Kibuzz Dan. I will sleep in my tent. At what time have you walked the Shwil last year. Please can you tell me anything about the temperatur in the night in May/June. Thank you very much.

    Reply
    • admin

      Thank you! I’m sure you will have a great time. South of Arad is the coldest section at night so you will miss this. I did the walk October and November. Most evenings were mild. I slept with my sleeping bag open like a blanket which worked perfectly.
      Occasionally, if I was cooking in the evenings, I would put a fleece on after dark (on top of shorts and tshirt) but nothing more. This kept me warm enough.
      I hope that helps 🙂

      Reply

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