Guidebook

Hiking Through History: 8 of the Best Hikes in Israel

Hike to ancient historical sites on 8 of the best hikes in Israel

Greg Heil

Description

The country of Israel is home to some of humanity's oldest historical sites. The region "has evidence of the earliest hominid migrations out of Africa," along with evidence of Canaanite tribes in the Middle Bronze Age, according to Wikipedia. Most notably, Israel is known as "the Holy Land," serving as the birthplace of Judaism and Christianity, as well as Islam if you trace it back to the prophets of Abraham, Moses, and others. (Source)

While most tourists to Israel come to visit the ancient holy sites, a pilgrimage to the Holy Land can easily feature plenty of fantastic hiking, too! In fact, several of the hikes in this guidebook visit historical sites, such as the Masada Snake Path, Ein Gedi and David Falls, and Wadi Qelt from the Saint George Monastery. Even if you don't adhere to one of the world's three major monotheistic religions, you can still appreciate the incredible history found in these incredible areas.

If you truly want to experience the best that Israel has to offer, consider hiking the 1,000-kilometer Israel National Trail (INT). Spanning the entire country of Israel, the trail passes through an astonishing assortment of famous locations from ancient history. The INT begins in Upper Galilee, travels into Lower Galilee, through Nazareth, heads to Carmel, traverses along the coast of the Mediterranean, visits the city of Tel Aviv, heads to the Holy City of Jerusalem, and then traverses the desolate Negev Desert on its way to Eilat and the Red Sea.

If 1,000 kilometers is a bit too long, but you're still interested in a multi-day adventure, then consider the Negev Highland Trail. This 83-kilometer hike passes through the barren, rocky landscape of the famous Negev Desert.

For another desert adventure, try the much shorter 2-kilometer hike through the slot canyon known as Red Canyon.

Would you prefer a region lush with vegetation over the desolate desert landscape? Then head to Galilee in the north of Israel instead. There, you'll find hikes such as Mount Arbel and Mount Meron that rise dramatically above the landscape below.

Israel offers a wide selection of diverse hiking opportunities—these selections are just the highlights! As you continue to explore this ancient land, you'll only uncover more and more historical hiking gems!

Sources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Islam
https://jessieonajourney.com/best-hikes-in-israel/
https://www.hike-israel.com/nature-in-israel/masada/

Israel National Trail
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP's Editorial team.

Israel National Trail

1 day +
997.4 km
13,743 m
13,915 m
Experience the best that Israel has to offer on the long-distance Israel National Trail
Difficult
Private
Negev Highland Trail
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP's Editorial team.

Negev Highland Trail

1 day +
83.3 km
1,750 m
1,818 m
On the Negev Highland Trail, hikers discover the full diversity of the Israeli desert in six daily stages.
Moderate
Private
Red Canyon
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP's Editorial team.

Red Canyon

0 - 1 hrs
2.2 km
38 m
38 m
A beautiful slot canyon deep in the desert.
Difficult
Private
Wadi Qelt from Saint George Monastery
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP's Editorial team.

Wadi Qelt from Saint George Monastery

5 - 6 hrs
20.7 km
757 m
757 m
A stunning hike along a scenic canyon, beginning at the famous Saint George monastery.
Difficult
Private
Ein Gedi and David Falls
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP's Editorial team.

Ein Gedi and David Falls

3 - 4 hrs
5.9 km
1,222 m
1,221 m
Begin on the shores of the Dead Sea and reach stunning waterfalls deep in Ein Gedi.
Moderate
Private
Masada Snake Path
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP's Editorial team.

Masada Snake Path

2 - 3 hrs
6.3 km
486 m
486 m
Hike to the ruins of Herod's palaces and a fortress.
Moderate
Private