From the north to the south, and east to west, there are trails to appeal to everyone, from families to intrepid trekkers: here are our top 5 hiking spots in Israel. In a country covered by so many natural and archaeological wonders, and so many outdoor adventurers, it’s no wonder that Israel offers a hike for every occasion! We know it can be hard to narrow down where to go, and that’s why we’ve done the work and curated the list below of our top 5 hiking spots in Israel. If you’re looking for even more places to go without the work, book one of our hiking tours!
This is one of the country’s most iconic hikes, taking you east to west from the Mediterranean to the shores of the Sea of Galilee. These 77 kilometers typically take 4 days to trek, and while the terrain is only rated as moderate and not especially difficult, it does require about 8 hours of daily walking to complete the entire trail, and you’ll be packing in and out all of your supplies. This is not a hike for the inexperienced, and there are a number of different paths that can be taken to stop at specific points of interest. Check out our guide to decide how you want to do your Yam L’Yam trek.
Offering one of the most iconic views of the Galilee, with a panoramic scene unfolding at your feet and across the slopes of Mount Hermon in the distance, the peak of Mount Arbel is stunning. You can also visit the fortress and synagogue, the only one in the world that doesn’t face it’s ark towards Jerusalem, and the Arbel Wadi. Here’s our full guide to Mount Arbel and the surrounding attractions. While there are a number of hikes, available from November to May, our favorite is the 8 kilometer main trail that takes you past all the points of interest and is only rated as moderate. You’ll begin from the foot of the mountain and wind your way to the top. It’s a popular hike for a reason, so make sure you start your day early to beat the crowds.
Wadi Qelt is a rushing stream that starts in the Judean Desert near Jerusalem and flows to the ancient city of Jericho, carving its way through gorges since time immemorial, and ruins of Roman aqueducts can be found scattered around the edges of the water. At the top of the canyon are two different monasteries, The Monastery of Faran and the Monastery of St. George of Choziba. The hike itself takes you through springs and pools, from lush greenery to stark deserts, and covers 9 kilometers of medium to moderate terrain. The trails are open from November through May, and you can start from the Ein Prat Nature Reserve or a number of points along the way for something a bit shorter or longer.
Ein Akev is a magical spring in the middle of the desert, laying at the bottom of beautifully sculpted ravines. This Zin Valley trek through the Negev Desert gives you the chance to explore the sweeping Zin Valley and the cool oasis of Ein Akev, as well as the gorgeous view from the top of Hod Akev, over the surreal lunar landscape that surrounds the mountain. This is an almost 18 kilometer hike, and is rated as difficult, but it is well worth the work. You’ll begin in Sde Boker, looping around to end in the same spot, but be careful to continue along the correct trail (whichever color you choose) as there are a number of hikes in this area. If you’re looking for something easier, there’s also the Zin Valley-Ein Akev hike that’s a little lest strenuous, but just as beautiful.
The Ein Gedi Nature Reserve is a thriving and lush oasis west of the Dead Sea and on the edge of the Judean Desert, marking a strong contrast between the rugged plains and the bubbling streams. Ein Gedi is a series of natural pools, brooks, waterfalls, canyons, and verdant pathways that wind through this area, interconnected by a number of different hikes. You can push yourself if you’d like, with the full and moderate 5 hour Nahal David loop, or take the simple 1.5 km Nahal David trail in and out for an easier time. All of the hikes leave from within the Reserve itself, which offers a number of other activities as well. With hikes that range from less than a kilometer to 16 kilometers, lots of spots to hop in the water, and a family-friendly atmosphere, Ein Gedi gives you some of the best hikes in Israel.