OUR TOP 10

THE ALTERNATIVE LIST
A list of the “Top 10 things to do in Israel” can be found in many sources. It will include for sure the main highlights such as:

The old city of Jerusalem.
Nightlife in Tel-Aviv
The Dead-Sea
etc…

We don’t argue that these are “must-see” spots, but the hiker and nature lover will usually look for something more. Therefore “Israel by Foot” created this list that will spice-up your Israel experience. The list includes some lesser-known spots, along with unique angles on well knows.

GO ON A DESERT HIKE

View from Hod Akev, Negev Desert, Israel

Recommended period: December-April.
If you are a hiker, you probably know the feeling when the alpine trail reaches above the tree line how the view opens up. Well, in the desert, you are all the time above the tree line with the dramatic views surrounding you. In between the high ridges, we walk in deep colorful canyons.  If you have not hiked a desert before, expect a truly unique experience.

Israel by Foot gives you a variety of options to experience the desert. From leisurely strolls up to Multi-Day Treks with full logistic support.

Hiking above Ein GediMulti-Day “Inn to Inn” Desert Treks with luggage transport: 
Check out our 4-6 days Trek in the Judean Desert Going from Arad to Ein-Gedi via Masada, or our 3-5 days Negev Craters Trek, that passes through the 3 Negev craters.  READ MORE…

Ein Akev desert springDay Hikes In Makhtesh Ramon and Zin Valley:
Visit Ein Avdat for a short walk suitable for the whole family. Or go for a deep desert hike to Ein Akev or Mount Ardon. Don’t feel like walking? We got you covered with a Road Trip in Makhtesh Ramon.  READ MORE…

SPICE UP YOUR JERUSALEM STAY WITH A HIKE

Typical section in the Wadi Qelt Canyon

Jerusalem is a fantastic city for any tourist. It has something for everyone: History, Archaeology, Arts, architecture, Nightlife, shopping, and much more.
But the fact that Jerusalem is also a great Hiking Hub comes as a big surprise to most people. While hiking is by no means the reason for visiting this great city, for a nature lover, to mix a day of hiking in between the city, many attractions can be a great way to Spice-Up his visit.

Our  Favorites:

Spring Flowers Blooming in Wadi QeltIf you have to choose to do one hike near Jerusalem, Wadi Qelt is the clear first choice. Either join one of our guides for a hike in Wadi Qelt, Or walk there by yourself with our detailed  Maps and GuideBook. (And this fantastic hike is just 30 minutes drive from Jerusalem)

Sarig Spring near JerusalemIf you prefer a more leisure experience, we highly recommend the Spring Trail. 10 Minutes out of Jerusalem, You can enjoy a great day outdoors on this easy hike that visits 5 springs.

 

EXPLORE NORTHERN ISRAEL

The North is Israel’s “Green Lung”. Explore it in late winter and early spring when the landscape is fresh, green, and covered with Wildflowers. It’s a region where History and Archaeology blend beautifully with the landscape. Avoid the crowded National parks by exploring deeper with our recommendations:

Mount HermonMulti-Day treks: Walk all or part of the 125 kilometers long Golan Trail, Or the 70 kilometers “Yam le Yam” trail from the Mediterranean Sea to the sea of Galilee. Check out our “Inn to Inn” program that enables you to make a Multi-Day Trek while maintaining full comfort. EXPLORE MORE…

The sea of Galilee seen from Mount ArbelDay Hikes: Check out our full list of hikes in the Galilee and Golan. If you must choose only one or two hikes, we recommend going to Nahal Amud or Mount Arbel that are classics.

EILAT – MUCH MORE THAN YOU THINK

Many people mistakingly think Eilat is all about staying in a fancy hotel and lying on the beach. But there is much more to it if you know where to go. The colorful mountains around Eilat are one of the most beautiful desert areas in Israel with many hidden gems.

The steep walls of the Red canyon grogeThe Red Canyon is the most famous hike near Eilat. On the one hand, it is a short and easy hike. On the other hand, it is extraordinary and will give you a good taste of desert hiking. You can join our Guided Tour, or hike on your own with our Detailed Map. Want more? Check out our Eilat Page for additional hikes and tours.

Snorkeling at the coral reef in Eilat, IsraelSnorkeling in the Red Sea in an activity not to be missed. It is the northernmost coral reef of shallow water in the world. The colors and shapes of the fish, corals, and other underwater creatures are overwhelming. And what makes it so attractive is that you don’t need to be a professional scuba diver. Just hire a snorkel and a diving mask and immerse yourself in the magic. By far, the best spot is inside the Coral Reef Reserve.

VISIT MASADA IN A “DIFFERENT” WAY

Masada is on the top of any shortlist and justly so. A truly remarkable sight!
The problem with such sites that they cam become overcrowded and a little banal. 95% of the visitors visit in 3 ways:

  1. The laziest ones take the cable car.
  2. The more active climb up the “Snake Path”.
  3. The most ambitious climb the “Snake Path” to watch the sunrise over the Dead-Sea.

Check out our Ultimate Guide and find unique ways to reach the Masada Summit, or Embark on a 4-6 days Desert Trek, and climb to Masada along your journey.

VISIT A MAKHTESH (CRATER)

Hiking to the small Maktesh, Negev, Israel
Small Mkhtesh By Mboesch [CC BY-SA 4.0]/Wikimedia

Makhtesh is A crater-like geological formation created by erosion. There are only seven such craters in the world, all of them located in the Land of Israel(5) and the Sinai desert(2). Of the five located in Israel, two are tiny ones near the top of mount Arif. That  leaves us with the three main Makhteshim (craters):

  • Makhtesh Ramon: It is the largest makhtesh in the world at over 40 km long, 10 km wide, and about 400 m deep.
  • Makhtesh Hatira (also called the “Big” Makhtesh) is the 2nd in size. 14 km long, 6 km wide, and about 400 m deep.
  • Makhtesh Hazera (also called the “Small” Makhtesh) is the 3rd in size. 7 km long, 5 km wide and over 500 m deep.

Standing on the edge of the cliff and looking down on a Maktesh is a definite must for any nature lover!

We provide a variety of options to experience the three Makteshim:

TAKE A WALK ON A BEACH

Typical scenery on the hiking trail
A cove near Habonim Beach

Recommended period: All year-round.
You can find a list of the “best beaches in Israel” on many websites. As you come to expect from “Israel by Foot”, our angle is different. We give you the best beaches in Israel that are also a natural gem. You will not find a Bar or Beach beds for hire. But you will find magical picnic spots and scenic beach strips, perfect for a sunset walk.
All the spots described are great destinations all year round. In the summer, you have the advantage of a swimming opportunity, however, from October-May, you will avoid the crowds and enjoy great tranquility. Continue Reading

  • Gaash: The best Beach hike Near Tel-Aviv.
  • Dor-Habonim: The most scenic Beach hike in Israel.

EXPLORE THE LONGEST SALT CAVE ON EARTH

Rappalle with us 80 meters down a natural chimney into the depth of Mount Sodom. Then crawl between magnificent salt formations. The soil is composed of 80% Salt, and the scenery resembles a Stalactite cave. In 2019 the cave was officially titled as the “longest salt cave on earth”. An unforgettable experience! READ MORE…

TAKE A “WATER” HIKE

A Classic Israeli Summer water Hike

A “water” hike is a classic Israeli outing during the exhausting summer, and one of the best ways to enjoy a hike during this period. It means a hike that includes sections of wading & swimming inside a stream.  Check out some of these “Classic” options.

The Black Canyon (Hanakik Hashachor) - Canyoning in IsraelOur top recommendation is a Canyoning adventure in the Black Gorge. Walk inside the Zavitan Canyon in the Golan heights and rappelle down waterfalls directly into natural pools.

BIBLE WALKS – ONLY IN ISRAEL

Sodom and Gomorrah afire, by Jacob Jacobsz. de Wet d. J., probably Köln, c. 1680, oil on canvas - Hessisches Landesmuseum Darmstadt - Darmstadt, Germany
Sodom and Gomorrah afire, by Jacob Jacobsz

Only in Israel, you can literary walk to the places where the famous bible stories took place. Climb on Mount Sodom and follow the story of Sodom and Gemorah, or Climb to Tell Azekah, and view the Elah Valley where David fought and knocked down Goliath. You will find these and many more in our Bible Walks section.

HIKE A SECTION OF THE INT (ISRAEL NATIONAL TRAIL)

Amud stream, Upper Galilee, Israel
Nahal Amud

The “Israel Trail” is approximately 1100 km long. The trail stretches from the Dan Kibbutz, near the Lebanese border, to Eilat on the Gulf of Aqaba, and was named by National Geographic as one of the 20 best “epic hiking trails” in the world.   While you probably don’t have two months to hike over 1000 Km, you can pick one or two sections of the famous trail to get the taste of it. (Or share a Selfie – “Me on the INT”)

Check our Akev, Amud, or Arbel hikes that include some great sections from the trail.
Or go on Six days long Trek along the North section of the INT.

Written by Erez Speiser

I am Erez Speiser. I live in the Galilee region in Israel. By education, I am a mechanical engineer. In 2018 I founded "Israel by Foot" to promote hiking tourism in Israel. Learn more in the About me Video. Do you want me to help you plan your hikes in Israel? Check out here. Or contact me erez@hike-israel.com