Hiking in Israel is a many splendored thing. There’s no need to waste time singing its praises. Better to share as many options as possible among the seemingly endless list of worthy destinations to hit the trails.
The Jesus Trail
Established in 2007, the Jesus Trail is a series of hiking trails and pilgrimage sites beginning in Nazareth in the Galilee region. The 85-mile route links together Sepphoris, Cana, the Horns of Hattin, the Arbel Cliffs, the Sea of Galilee, Capernaum, Tabgha, the Mount of Beatitudes, the Jordan River and Mount Tabor. Needless to say, the trail is best tackled in bite-sized chunks. A good place to start is the 40-mile segment that winds its way from Nazareth in the north to the sweeping vista of the Sea of Galilee by way of several Arab villages and expanses of kibbutz farmland.
Mt. Hermon is the nation’s highest summit at just over 9,000 feet. The slopes are popular throughout the seasons with skiers, trekkers, hikers and other pleasure-seekers. There are numerous routes in the area worth trying out. Explore and enjoy!
Israel National Trail
Similar in principle to the Pacific Crest Trail in the US that runs from Canada to Mexico along the west coast of the country, the Israel National Trail (INT) is a carefully marked and tended hiking trail that runs more than 620 consecutive miles, crossing the entire nation from north to south. The most popular seasons to hike the trail are from October-November and February-May, during which times more vegetation and better access to water make the experience less grueling. Another tip from INT veterans is to begin your journey from the north, where the terrain is less challenging, thus giving your body a chance to acclimate and adjust to life on the trail. The entire trail can take anywhere from 40 to 60 days to complete, depending on the elements and your level of physical fitness and organization.