Hiking in Israel
Hiking in Israel is an amazing experience for both the beginner and the expert. Israel contains some of the most intricate trails in the world, with over 9,000 km (5,500 miles) designated for hikers and adventurists. These trails are visibly marked, and cover most of Israel, including the West Bank. This area is enjoyed by hikers, bikers, and even horse and camel rides. Even though the maps are in Hebrew, you will easily be able to find your way in an easy, safe, and fun manner due to the highly visibly marked trails. Beside the network of trails are topographical maps that show the country on a scale of 1:50,000. Even without a map, you will definitely be able to find your way and experience the journey of a lifetime!
How to Plan Your Hike
Whether you are a novice or an expert, the first thing that needs to be done is to find the right trail to suit your needs. Short hikes can be completed in under an hour, and other hikes may take days, or even weeks to complete. With so much luscious territory, Israel has a vast array of hiking options. If this is your first time on the Israeli trail system, it may be best to start with a short trail. Short trails are not necessarily easy but seek to offer a more safe and familiar starting point. For example, Ein Gedi, Sde Boler, Banias, and Mount Arbel are great places to begin each day with a walk and familiarize yourself with the surrounding territory and network of trails. Each offers a range of hiking options that vary from easy to challenging, so you are sure to find the best trail for you.
When and Where to Hike
The beautiful land of Israel is possible to hike in at any time of the year, but the summer can be extremely hot. If you do choose to go at that time, have plenty of water at hand and try to start your hike at the earliest time of day possible. It is very important to plan for and carry plenty of water due to the fact that there is not always water available along each route. If you are planning for a hike that will stretch the length of a day, incorporating a time to rest for two or three hours around noontime will help to recharge your body and mind. Although Northern Israel may be a more conducive place to hike during the summer, finding a shady place to rest and consuming some water, then resuming the hike at a cooler time is a great strategy. In addition, Northern Israel does have some shade and a network of trails with springs. It is imperative to know that two of the hottest regions of Israel include Eilat and the Dead Sea, and during the summer months of May – September, should be avoided.
Necessities for Your Journey
It is important to always have water at hand when hiking. If it is a short hike, take no less than two liters of water with you, but if it is a hike that will last a full day, three liters of water is a more appropriate amount. If it is a hot summer day, however, air on the side of caution and plan for at least four or five liters of water to stay fully hydrated. In addition, do not forget sunscreen and a hat!