Hiking is Israel is so great because the landscape really is quite diverse. Although the country is predominantly desert, people are often surprised to see the green mountains of the north and the lush coastline. Check out these best hikes Israel.
Hiking in Israel
A note of warning! There are a number of dangers when hiking in Israel (especially in the more remote parts). They include heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Getting lost and potential snake bites. Make sure you have maps and means of communication and always take plenty of water. It’s good practice to tell someone where you are hiking and when you will be back. If you are unsure, use a guide.
If planning a multi-day hike and need to arrange water drops, read my guide to the Israel National Trail for advice on this.
Related: 9 Tips for hiking in the desert
#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? You can get a taste for the trail with these photos.
This 1000km trail really is an incredible hike if you ever get the opportunity to give it a go. You can read my summary of the trail here.
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.
If you are planning a visit to the country these might also be relevant:
- Unusual things to do in Israel
- 2 week Israel itinerary
- 1 week Israel itinerary
- Jerusalem in a Weekend
- Visiting Tel Aviv on a budget