Best Driving Roads in Israel

You’ll quickly begin to wonder where the best driving roads in Israel are, as you drive through more and more spectacular and varied scenery that the country has to offer. Israel has some fantastic driving roads which weave through the magnificent landscapes of the country and provide drivers with amazing views and thrilling driving. In Israel, it isn’t so much about speed but more about the significance of the roads, along the same mountainous ridges that Biblical battles took place, or alongside some of the most impressive works of nature.

The Lowest Road in the World: Road 90

The Lowest Road in the World, alongside the Dead Sea
The Lowest Road in the World, alongside the Dead Sea

Probably the lowest road in the world, Road 90, which actually runs the whole length of Israel, from the Kiryat Shemona in the far north, to Eilat in the far south, is, for its 100km stretch alongside the Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth, the lowest road on earth, and the closest Israel has to a true West Coast USA style Coastal Highway. As it winds along following the shore-line of the Dead Sea, with its overpowering smell of sulfur (from the salty-water), and stark desert scenery to the other side, it is certainly a drive that won’t be fast forgotten.

Drive through the Carmel Mountains

The beautiful scenic drive through the Carmel Mountains features windy roads which present the magnificent scenery of the forest and down across the narrow Coastal Plain to the Mediterranean Sea. Heading north on Road 4, make a right at the Oren Junction onto Road 721. Continue along the road right up and through the passes of the Carmel Mountains. After about 10km you’ll come to the junction with Road 672. If you head left, you’ll continue for another 4km, arriving in the city of Haifa, and if you turn right you’ll have 15km until you reach Road 70 passing through the Druze towns of Isfiya and Daliyat al Karmel.

Switzerland Forest Scenic Road

The magnificent view from the Switzerland Forest across the Sea of Galilee. Photo KKL-JNF Photo Archive
The magnificent view from the Switzerland Forest across the Sea of Galilee. Photo KKL-JNF Photo Archive

The Switzerland Forest Scenic Road stands high above the Sea of Galilee. Built by KKL-JNF as part of their forestation efforts in the area, the amazing road is actually a vital part of the system for regulating the flow of extra water which flows down the very steep ascent of the Poriah Heights, through the city of Tiberias, to the Sea of Galilee. The 6km scenic route is located between Tiberias and the Poriah Hostel and offers some magnificent stop-off-points to enjoy the scenery.

Through the Jerusalem Hills

The roads that lead to Jerusalem from the Coastal Plain wind their way through the stark and impressive limestone scenery which dominates the landscape. Heading towards Jerusalem, turn off Road 1 onto Road 38 at the Sha’ar HaGai Interchange. Drive about 5km along 38 until the Esht’aol Junction where you should turn left onto Road 395. 395 ascends into the Jerusalem Hills, offering about 20km of beautiful forested scenery, eventually reaching the pretty town of Ein Kerem and then Jerusalem.

The Gilboa Scenic Road

The Gilboa Scenic Road provides panoramas such as this!
The Gilboa Scenic Road provides panoramas such as this!

An 18 kilometer road which carves its way along the Gilboa ridge, in the Lower Galilee a series of mountains caused by its location right by the Syrian African plate boundary (the northern part of the Great African Rift Valley). As the road winds its way across hilltops named after Biblical characters, stop off points are marked – perfect if you want to just admire the view, or take a proper stop for a hike or picnic.

Read more: Gilboa Scenic Road

Driving in Israel

Don’t be too daunted about driving in Israel – it isn’t as different to what you might be used to as you might fear. Check out our guide to driving in Israel.

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