Hiking in Israel is so special because the landscape really is quite diverse. Although the country is predominantly dry desert, people are often surprised to find green mountains in the north and a lush Mediterranian coastline. Since meeting my Israeli husband while travelling a few years ago, I’ve been lucky to enjoy lots of Israel’s greatest walks, including trekking the full length of the country on the Israel National Trail. Here are the 6 best hikes Israel for inspiration on walks not to miss!
You might also want to check out:
- 9 tips for hiking in the desert
- How to spend 2 weeks in Israel – Itinerary & budget
- Guide to hiking the Israel National Trail
A note on hiking in Israel
A note of warning! There are a number of dangers when hiking in Israel (especially in the more remote parts). Often my main concern when hiking is the heat and developing heat exhaustion or heatstroke. Being familiar with the symptoms and staying hydrated is important.
Make sure you have suitable maps and means of communication. It’s good practice to tell someone where you are hiking and when you will be back. If you are unsure, use a guide.
#1 HaMakhatesh HaKatan
This is the smallest of the 5 craters in Israel but incredibly beautiful. It’s my favourite day hike to do in the Negev desert. I love the sand formations and colours you find in the crater and the satisfaction of climbing to the edge of the rim and turning around to take in the view.
A great day hike can be done from road 25 to road 227. Alternatively, you can drive to ‘Satan’s Mouth’ in the crater (by 4×4 only) and do a day hike in and out from here.
#2 Carmel Mountains
The Carmel mountains offer great views of the ocean and interesting rock formations (plus some hidden caves along the way). A great challenging day hike is to start from Kfar Hasidim. Hike up and over the Carmel Mountain following the Israel National Trail markers (white, orange, blue stripe) until you reach Ein Hod.
Ein Hod is an artists village which is a really nice place to grab food and a drink.
#3 Sea of Galilee
The Sea of Galilee is the largest freshwater lake in Israel. It has great religious significance and also happens to be quite beautiful. There are lots of hikes to do in the area including the 35km Shvilv Sovev Kinneret which is signposted with white purple white markers.
My favourite day trail is hiking to the top of Arbel. It’s a bit of a climb but the views at the top are very rewarding.
#4 Beaches to Tel Aviv
The coastline stretching from Jsir Akarka to Tel Aviv offers a great alternative hike. The full stretch would take you 4 or 5 days but any section works well as a day hike. Most of the hike can be done on the beach although sometimes you need to avoid protected areas by going inland slightly and hiking on the cliff side or through towns. It is very easy to follow using Google Maps or the Israel National Trail signs.
What I like most is the flexibility to sleep on the beach. So bring a tent, pitch up at the end of the day and enjoy a sunset dip.
Note that currents can be strong. Also in summer, it is common for Israeli’s to put up permanent tent structures and to live on the beach for weeks at a time, so you might not have the beach to yourself!
#5 Ramon Crater
Ramon is another crater in the Negev desert. It offers a huge amount of hiking options in the region including a new Rim hike. The best place to base yourself for day hikes is in Mitzpe Ramon and do day hikes that take you in and out of the crater at various points.
#6 Israel National trail
Got 2 months to spare? Then how about walking the full length of Israel on the Israel National Trail!
This is the absolute best hike in Israel because you get to see the full diversity of the country. If you need any convincing check out these 25 photos that will make you want to hike the Israel National Trail.
This 1000km trail really is an incredible hike if you ever get the opportunity to give it a go. For more information see this full guide to hiking the INT.
Best hikes Israel
I hope this list of best hikes Israel has given you some inspiration. If you have any questions please ask in the comments box below.
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