The word famous Israel National Trail is going all the way from Dan to Eilat passing 1000 Kilometers. In the this Trek we will walk the first 75 Kilometers of the trail over the course of 6 days.
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Day by Day Itinerary
Day 0 – Jish (Gush Halav)
- Accommodation: Neveen’s home Aramic hospitality.
- No hiking on this day.
- We will meet in the afternoon for a welcome an briefing about the Trek.
- During the briefing we will :
- Make sure that the Navigation app is running smooth on your devices.
- Go over day by day over the paper maps to ensure the route is clear.
- Talk about dinning options along the route
- Answer any questions you might have.
Day 1 – Wadi Tzivon and Upper Dishon Stream
- A short Taxi ride will take you to the trail-head in Wadi Tzivon.
- Wadi Tzivon is a tributary of the Dishon Stream. It is dry. The main attraction is a beautiful and dense Mediterranean forest.
- The forest consists mainly on Oak trees, Who have grown to very large proportions relative to other places in Israel. The wood is thick with heavy shade, which keeps cool and fresh even in the summer months. The forest was preserved because it was the property of the Maronite Church. Many shrubs grow in the shade of trees, and in winter many species of fungi can be found.
- After about 3 kilometers the trail reaches the Dishon Stream. (Nahal Dishon).
- The Dishon is one of the larger streams of the Upper Galilee. During February and March (On most years) it is gushing with water. The rest of the year it is dry, But is always impressive with wild landscape of tall ridges and special rock formations.
- The route is simple along a dirt road near the stream bed, including many steam crossings that are a lot of fun when the stream is full with water.
- We follow in until the steam meets the paved road #886, from where a short shuttle will bring you back to Jish.
- It is a “mixed” Arab village with a majority of Christian Maronites living in coexistence with Muslims and Catholic Greeks. Jish dates back 3,000 years. The village is mentioned in the Mishnah as Gush Halav, a city “surrounded by walls since the time of Joshua Ben Nun”. Canaanite and Israelite remains from the Early Bronze and Iron Ages have been found there. Archaeological finds include two historical synagogues, a unique mausoleum and burial caves from the classic era. (Further reading in Wikipedia).
Day 2 – Wadi Dishon and Keren Naftali
- We start the day with a short car shuttle to to Nahal Dishon, to where we finished the previous day.
- We continue walking in the lower part of the Dishon Stream for about 2-3 kilometers, until the Israel National trail leaves the Dishon and start climbing on the north bank.
- The second and longer part of the day is a gradual ascend to this day highlight which is “Keren Naftali” (Horn of Naftali).
- One of the most spectacular View Points in the Galilee. To the east, an excellent view of the Hula Valley, the Golan Heights and Mount Hermon. To the south views of the Galilee. On the summit we can see remains of a fortress from the Hellenistic period, a shrine to the goddess Athena from the Hellenistic and Roman periods, cisterns and burial caves.
Day 3 – Along the ridge above the Hula Valley
- Distance: 13.5 Km (5-6 Hours) / Climb: 450 m
- Starting Point: Koach (Yesha) Fortress.
- End Point: Manara
- Overnight: Ramot Naftali
- Preferred Lodging: Aluma Bakfar
- The Day starts with a short car shuttle to the Nebi Yusha Fort.
- The Nabi Yusha fort, named also Metzudat Koach, is a police fort built by the British Mandate administration in 1936 and currently used by the Israel Border Police. The site around the fort contains a monument and a new museum (founded in 2014), together constituting the Metzudat Koach Memorial, which commemorates 28 Israeli soldiers who died during the 1948 conquest of the strategically important fort. (Further reading in Wikipedia).
- From the fort, most of the way is a long a scenic route along the Naftali ridge cliff overlooking the entire length of the Hula Valley below us and the Golan heights across the valley.
- At the end of the hike you will reach the Manara cable car station. Ride the cable car up to Manara, where a car shuttle will take you to the same accommodation as in day2.
Day 4 -From the ridge down to the Galilee Panhandle
- Distance: 8.5 Km (3-4 Hours) / Climb: 250 m.
- Starting Point: Manara
- End Point: Kibbutz Kfar Giladi
- Overnight: Kibbutz Kfar Giladi
- Preferred Lodging: Metula Travesl Hotel
- A car shuttle will take you back to Manara.
- Go down with the cable car to the mid station and continue walking along the scenic route where you left it the day before. The 1st half of the day has similar characteristics as the previous day.
- On the 2nd half we descend gradually to the Galilee Panhandle towards Kibuttz Kfar Giladi and the nearby National monument of the Tel Hai.
- Both are important locations in the history of the young Jewish state and the Galilee Panhandle.
- In 1919, the British relinquished the northern section of Upper Galilee containing Tel Hai, Metulla, Hamrah, and Kfar Giladi to French jurisdiction. Therefore, the few isolated settlements in this territory assumed a strategic value. This led to clashes with the neighboring Arabs that ended with the Battle of Tel Hai.
- The spot is famous for the “Roaring Lion” statue representing the bravery of the Jewish defenders of this strategic area. It is also possible to visit the Tel Hai Courtyard and Museum.
- From Tel Hai a short car shuttle will take you to your accommodation in the pleasant town of Metula which is the most northern town in Israel.
Day 5 – Across the Jordan River tributaries
- The day start with a short car shuttle back to where you finished your walk the previous day.
- The region is nicknamed “country of water streams” .
- It starts in Kfar Giladi and passes through many water streams that are tributaries of the Jordan River.
- You can choose to stop near a small stream between the trees or in a restaurant at a shopping center on one of the road junctions. You can also take a dip in the cool water if it´s a hot day.
- Towards the end you can choose whether to go into the beautiful nature reserve of Tel Dan, or go straight to your accommodation in Dafna.
Day 6 – The Hermon (Banyas) River
- Distance: 8.5 Km (3-4 Hours) / Climb: 100
- Starting Point: Hermon River Reserve.
- End Point: Kibbutz Dafna
- The last day is not along the Israel National trail. But since we reached the Hermon river it will be shame not to visit it.
- A delightful dessert to end a great trek; a short car shuttle to the Hermon Stream (Banias) natural reserve.
- A Combination of mythological stories, an interesting archaeological site, nature in all its glory, plenty of water, waterfalls and fascinating scenery all around.
- It’s an easy 8 Km route that you are expected to finish around noon at Kibbutz Dafna.
- If you have not visited Tel Dan the day before, you can do it now.