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Best Hiking Trails in Israel & Palestinian Territories

Overview

Known more for its religious and cultural significance, along with a protracted conflict within and outside of its borders, Israel and the Palestinian Territories have more than 9000 km of marked hiking trails and is a very accessible place for hiking.  There are a diversity of landscapes, from green mountains in the north, to desert highlands in the south, with canyons and waterfalls in between. Some of the areas to go hiking in Israel and the Palestinian Territories include: the Golan Heights, the Galilee Mountains, the Eilat Mountains, in the West Bank, in the Dead Sea area and the Negev Highlands.  The long distance trails include the Israel National Trail (running the length of the country), the Sea to Sea Trail (from the Sea of Galilee to the Mediterranean Sea) and the Jesus Trail.  The best months to hike in Israel depend on the area.  In general summer months are too hot for most of the country. Read below for more information on where and when to hike in Israel and the Palestinian Territories.

Capital: Jerusalem

**NOTE: As of October 7, 2023, following a terrorist attack by Hamas on Israel, there has been active violent conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, therefore travel to the region is not advised.

When To Hike in Israel & Palestinian Territories?

September – May: In the north, March – May and September to November are ideal; in the south, November – April.
October: early part may be warm enough still
June – August; December – February (North): In the north, the summer months are too hot and the winter months are too rainy; in the south, summer months are too hot and winter months ideal

Climate: Mediterranean along the coast (hot and dry in the summer; rainy, cool winters); semi-arid in other parts

 

Israel Monthly Weather

Accessibility of Hiking

Easy – Medium:  There are many well-marked trails in Israel, however maps are often in Hebrew.  In many places, such as in the West Bank, it might be better to hire local tour guide.

Transportation Required: Car; public transit to some places

Where to stay in Israel and the Palestinian Territories:

  • Jerusalem
  • Eilat
  • Nablus
  • Meron
  • Ein Gedi

Top Places to Hike in Israel & Palestinian Territories

There are many places to hike in Israel and the Palestinian Territories, the map highlights some of the more popular areas for hiking. There are about 60 national parks in the country. Highest Mountain: Mount Hermon (2814 m) in the Israeli-occupied area of Golan Heights.

Filter out hiking places of Israel & Palestinian Territories by month

Click on the red map pointers to see more info.

Golan Heights

  • March – May; Sept – Nov
  • Disputed territory but currently controlled by Israel – תיירות גולן 
  • Yehudia Natural Reserve
  • Mt Bental (volcano)
  • Mt Avital (volcano)

Eilat Mountains

  • Nov – Apr
  • Eilat is a good base

West Bank

  • Nov – Apr
  • Much of this Palestinian territory is hilly/mountainous and it seems that hiking is becoming increasingly popular with Palestinians; there are more than 70(!) walking/hiking groups in existence
  • Wadi Qelt
  • Around Jericho
  • Masir Ibrahim (Abraham Path)

Galilee Mountains

  • March – May; Sept – Nov
  • Mt Meron Nature Reserve – home of highest peak in Galilee

Dead Sea area

  • Nov – Apr
  • Ein Gedi Nature Reserve
  • Masada National Park – Snake Path
  • Mt Sodom – not really a mountain but still worth a climb

Negev Highlands

  • Nov – Apr
  • Negev Highlands
  • Makhtesh Ramon Nature Reserve – ‘grand canyon’, has a huge number of hiking trails, some of the best in the country; Mt Ardon

Israel & Palestinian Territories's Long Distance Trails

Israel & Palestinian Territories's Walking & Hiking Resources

Israel Hiking Books: 

  • Hiking in Israel: 36 of Israel’s Best Hiking Routes, by Ya’akov Shkolnik & Yadin Roman, 2008, Toby Press
  • Israel National Trail: And the Jerusalem Trail; Includes also the best 25 day hikes in Israel, by Jacob Saar & Yagil Henkin, 2011, Eshkol Publishing Ltd
  • Israel National Trail: Hike the Land of Israel, by Jacob Saar and Yagil Henkin, 2020, Eshkol Publishing Ltd – different from above, this is considered the definitive guide to the INT; includes maps
  • Walking Palestine: 25 Journeys into the West Bank, by Stefan Szepesi, 2012, Interlink Books
  • Walks in Palestine and the Nativity Trail, by Tony Howard and Di Taylor, 2010, Cicerone Press
  • Lonely Planet Israel & The Palestinian Territories, by Brett Atkinson & Charles Rawlings-Way, 2016, Lonely Planet Global Limited

 

Israel Hiking Associations:

 

Best Hiking Trails in Israel:

  • Masada Snake Path
  • Ein Prat – Ein Maboa (Wadi Qelt)
  • Nahal Jilabun
  • Mount Hermon
  • Mount Arbel
  • Mount Sodom
  • Ein Akev
  • Black Canyon
  • Ada Canyon

Easy Hiking Trails in Israel:

  • Red Canyon (in Eilat Mountains)
  • Arugot Stream hike
  • Nahal Og

 

Israel Hiking Websites:

 

Israel Weather Website:

 

Israel Official Tourism Organizations:

 

Israel Hiking Apps:

 

Israel Hiking Maps:

What Else To Do

  • Archeological finds
  • Religious stuff
  • Wineries
  • Alternative health

Other Important Points

  • Topographic maps are mostly in Hebrew
  • It seems many of these mountains have military posts at the top
  • Factor in holidays when planning for a long distance trek (ie. The INT)