Israel hiking tours are a backpacker’s dream for enjoying the outdoor wonders of this compact yet striking country. A hike in Israel promises challenging terrain through various types of landscapes and trails in comfortable temperatures year-round, and the country’s national parks provide stunning settings. Trails might take you through lush tropical forests filled with cool streams, sheer cliffs, mountains, canyons, and rocky plateaus; desert hiking in Israel through the country’s sandy terrain is particularly popular.
Israel hiking is a favorite recreational activity among vacationers, from novices to expert adventurers, as there are numerous trail options. Popular among experienced climbers, many of the guided hiking excursions include climbing and rappelling along rocky cliffs.
For the ultimate outdoor experience, hikers can traverse the Israel National Trail. The 580-mile trail runs from north to south and winds its way through the country, crossing ancient pathways and archaeological digs. This hike in Israel takes you along forested mountain trails as well as scenic desert canyons.
Other areas where guided Israel hiking tours take place on the desert sands include the Negev, Har Tzfachot in Eilat, and Mount Sodom along the Dead Sea. At Mount Sodom, for example, hikers will climb the mountains and explore the caves and interesting formations composed entirely of salt.
In Ein Gedi National Park, a popular destination in Israel that’s also near the Dead Sea, hikers can enjoy desert landscapes, see the natural springs of Nachal Arugot and Nachal David surrounded by plants and vegetation, and observe a variety of wildlife residing in the park.
Ein Avdat National Park features a waterfall, refreshing pools, and gurgling brooks that draw a variety of animals to the area. The trail winds upward and becomes so steep at one point that hikers climb iron rungs secured into rock to continue on their way.
Israel hiking also offers the opportunity to hike through the caves in the Golan region and Galilee in the north. One of the best Israel hiking tours is at Nakik Shachor in the Golan Heights region, on the border with Syria. The trip takes a full day and requires hikers to rappel through waterfalls. This is a challenging adventure even for experienced hikers, but one that is well worth the effort. Other expert hikers might also head to Alma Cave, which boasts a four-hour trek through the caves with only flashlights to show the way.
Travelers who are looking to combine their hike with lessons about the country’s history might head for a particularly interesting hike in Galilee, site of the ancient burial site of Beit She'arim, where you will hike down long corridors to enter the underground catacombs that contain tombs and intricately decorated burial chambers.
Another Israel hiking adventure in the Golan Heights regions is along the Yehodia River. This half- or full-day hike winds its way along the incline and ends at the bottom of cascading waterfalls where hikers can cool off with a swim in the natural spring pools. Hikers can walk the trail to the bottom or rappel down the cliff side as an option making this hike a good choice for both novice and experienced hikers.
An especially challenging hike in Israel is at Nachal Hatzatzon; considered one of the most difficult hikes in the country, this adventure takes hikers for several hours through the deep canyon containing dry waterfalls. This trail is extremely difficult and requires hikers to rappel the canyon walls, but if you’re looking for an unusual, adventurous way to spend your vacation in Israel, this beautiful and challenging hike might be the perfect combination.