• CONTACT US if you have any problems registering for the forums.

Israel Best Hiking Areas in Israel

This article was sent to us from Erez Speiser, Israel By Foot, hike-israel.com

The most striking feature of Israel's landscape is its variety. This tiny area has a dramatic desert in the South and the green Galilee mountains in the North. Two areas that are so different, but you can drive from one to the other in less than 3 hours.

When to come to Israel for Hiking?
Israel has a very dry and hot summer that is not attractive for hiking and in some areas even dangerous. The fall is still dry and dusty. Conditions start to be hiking friendly only in November. December till March is the best season. The "sweet spot" is between mid-February and mid-March, when wildflower blossom is at its peak and many streams and springs that are dry during other times of the year are full of water. From the end of March until May its still possible to hike, but the weather gradually becomes hotter, and the landscape dries out.


Admonit wildflower

Main Hiking Areas

Golan Heights: Vast open planes and deep basalt canyons.

The Golan is a flat high plateau that drops steeply towards the sea of Galilee and the Hula valley. The soil is mostly basalt rocks originated from ancient volcanic activity. The result is a series of gorges with waterfalls, pools and water that flow year round. The most accessible is the Yehudiya Nature Reserve that includes three of the major gorges - Zavitan, Yehudiya and Meshushim.

Galilee Mountains: A good mix of archeology, history and nature.
A very green area full of wildflowers (when you hike in the recommended season). Many hikes can be combined with archeological sites such as ancient synagogues, aqueducts, watermills and crusader fortresses. Or historical spots such as the Sea of Galilee, Mount Tabor or the Horns of Hattin. A good hiking hub to explore the area is the old city of Safed with its picturesque small alleys and galleries.


Mount Tabor

Jerusalem area: Judean Mountains and the Judean Desert.
Jerusalem is situated in a unique geographical location. Looking West, the scenery is of the Judean mountains western slopes, which are green and fresh. Looking East, the scenery is of the northern Judean desert which is rugged and dry. (The ridge creates a "desert shade" effect).

The western slopes are characterized by steep slopes covered with an evergreen forest and many wild flowers during winter and spring. However, the main attraction for hikers are the dozens of small springs that are scattered in the area.

The eastern slopes mark the beginning of the Judean desert. As we get further east and south we get deeper into the desert and the scenery turns very quickly dry and barren. It is a paradise for hikers with a variety of renown options such as Ein Gedi, Masada and Wadi Qelt.


Prat Stream in Wadi Qelt

Negev Desert: The Makhteshim (Craters) and much more
The Negev desert is the largest geographical area in Israel and offers a huge variety of hiking options. The most accessible section for hiking is the central Negev area between the towns of Yeruham and Mitzpe Ramon. This area includes the three craters (Makhteshim) and the Zin valley. The area offers a good variety of well-marked and attractive trails.

"Makhtesh" is a unique crater-like formation created by erosion. There are only seven such craters in the world, all of them located in the Land of Israel (five) and the Sinai desert (two). Hikers visiting Israel should include at least one of them in their itinerary.

Eilat Mountains: A festival of colors
The touristic city of Eilat is also a great hiking hub. Within a short drive from the city you can find amazing desert hiking options. What makes the Eilat mountains range unique is the contrast of colors. The sand and rocks change sharply between Black, Yellow and Red. In the horizon, you have in view the Edom reddish mountains and the deep Blue of the Red sea. The most famous and accessible is hike the "Red Canyon", but many other more "serious" hikes are possible in the area.


Eilat Mountains

More details on hiking options can be found on the Israel by Foot website. This website gives detailed descriptions of hikes throughout Israel with the option of purchasing digital maps for each hike. It also gives recommended road trips and picnic spots.

Erez Speiser created the Israel By Foot website (hike-israel.com ).


10+ Posts
Israel is a beautiful country with many great hiking options. Some of the best hiking areas in Israel include:

The Israel National Trail: This trail stretches from the southern tip of Israel to the northern border, and passes through a variety of landscapes, including deserts, mountains, and coastal areas. The trail is approximately 1,000 kilometers long and takes about 30-40 days to complete.

The Golan Heights: The Golan Heights is an area of highlands in northeastern Israel that offers beautiful views of the surrounding landscape and the Sea of Galilee. The area is home to many hiking trails, including the popular Bental and Hermonit trails.

The Judaean Desert: The Judaean Desert is located in the southern part of Israel and is known for its rugged beauty and unique landscape. Some popular hiking trails in the area include the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve and Masada National Park.

The Carmel Mountains: The Carmel Mountains are located in the north of Israel and offer a great variety of hiking trails. Some popular trails include the Zichron Yaakov Observation Point and the Ha-Mifratz Lookout.

The Negev Desert: The Negev Desert is located in the southern part of Israel and offers a wide variety of hiking trails, including the famous Ramon Crater, the Ein Avdat National Park, and the Makhtesh Ramon.

It's important to remember that the weather in Israel can be hot and dry during the summer months, so it's best to plan your hike for the cooler months of spring and fall. It's also important to be well-prepared for your hike, including carrying enough water and food, wearing appropriate clothing and footwear, and following the trail markers.

Please let me know if there is anything more specific I can help with.


Forums Admin
The Negev Desert is located in the southern part of Israel and offers a wide variety of hiking trails, including the famous Ramon Crater, the Ein Avdat National Park, and the Makhtesh Ramon.
Isn’t the Ramon Crater and the Makhtesh Ramon the same thing? We’ve stayed in Mitzpe Ramon twice and I loved the hiking in the crator.

The Judaean Desert is located in the southern part of Israel and is known for its rugged beauty and unique landscape.
Isn’t this more central Israel? Just north of the Negev? We’ve hiked many times in Ein Gedi.


New Member
Hi, I am new here so hello :)

Firstly - yes, Ramon Crater and Makhtesh Ramon are the same things ("Makhtesh " is literally "crater" in Hebrew). Maybe you referred to the "big crater" which is a different place.

Secondly, just wanted to add my two cents on the list here, as I have recently hiked the Sea to Sea trail in Israel (known as "Yam el Yam"), a 70 km long trail from the Mediterranean (north of Nahariya) to the Sea of Galilee (therefore the name). it took us 3 days to complete and it was utterly beautiful, and it's short so perfect for those who are looking for shorter hikes that are in the North of Israel (which is better in terms of weather vs. the desert of the South, especially in the summer).

I used this page as the main planning tool (hope it's ok to post), but in reality, the trail is clearly marked and always close to a settlement or main road so no need to worry too much :)

How to Find Information

Search using the search button in the upper right. Search all forums or current forum by keyword or member. Advanced search gives you more options.

Filter forum threads using the filter pulldown above the threads. Filter by prefix, member, date. Or click on a thread title prefix to see all threads with that prefix.


Booking.com Hotels in Europe
AutoEurope.com Car Rentals

Recommended Guides, Apps and Books

52 Things to See and Do in Basilicata by Valerie Fortney
Italian Food & Life Rules by Ann Reavis
Italian Food Decoder App by Dana Facaros, Michael Pauls
French Food Decoder App by Dana Facaros, Michael Pauls
She Left No Note, Lake Iseo Italy Mystery 1 by J L Crellina

Share this page