The Israel National Trail (INT) called in Hebrew “Shvil Israel”, is a project that will make possible to walk and hike through the whole country from Tel Dan on the Lebanese border in the North to the city of Eilat in the south. The scenery varies so much that you can think you are hiking a whole continent.
The springs of the Galilee is a great place to start the trail
From Dan to Eilat
It zigzags its way from the border with Lebanon via the Sea of Galilee, Nazareth, Haifa, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and the Negev Desert all the way through the Arabah to Eilat on the shores of the Red Sea.
It consists of 1000 Km of marked trail through rivers in the north to the wilderness of the landscape of the Negev Desert in the south, passing through the modern city of Tel Aviv and the holy City of Jerusalem
Once you visit the Sea of Galilee or the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth Israel you will be brought back to the time when Jesus walked these same trails. Close your eyes and you may see all the Bible stories of your childhood unfold in front of you.
You have many options how to do this trail. You may take supplies for five days or for one day and resupply daily. You are always near a big road or a city. You will always be near water supply. So hiking the INT is a personal experience.
The English language is widely spoken in Israel so it is easy for you to communicate.
Due to time restriction some people chose a sector of the Trail and on a second visit they do another one. Take into consideration that it may take between 40 to 60 days to complete the trail.
The amazing Kineret as seen from a section of the INT
Inaugurated in 1994
The Israel National Trails was officially inaugurated by the late President Ezer Weizman in 1994. In 2003 a portion was diverted from the Sharon area and now runs along the coast. Many reasons caused this diversion; among them the construction of the expressway # 6 known as Kvish Shesh or Rabin Expressway, among other considerations.
For those who wish to walk through only part of it, the Israel National Trail website divides the entire route into 11 smaller sections:
Hiking the Negev Desert is very challenging
Best time to Hike the trail
The best times are October to mid December and February to mid May. During the spring the north landscape is very green and you’ll see flowers blooming sometimes making a real carpet of flowers. In the northern part of the trail you may experience rain in northern Israel, so it’s better to be warned.
It is recommended to allow 5 liters of water per day per person. In the Negev desert south of Arad you may find a few natural springs in the several canyons and craters. I think that while in the southern part of israel, the Negev you should stretch the amount of liters to sefe.
So far it has been very safe and welcoming by local residents to do the trail. It has been reported that Jewish and Arab Villagers welcome the hikers with great hospitality.
The trail is marked all the way in orange, blue and white. It's difficult to get lost.
The trail passes through towns and villages where one can by food and drinks. Every one of the Kibbutzim or Moshavim has their grocery store.
Where should one start?
As mentioned you may do different sectors of the trail at different time, but for one that wants to do it completely, we recommend starting on the north. The terrain is much easier for hiking tha the south and it gives your body the ability to gain strength as you go.
But it also depends on the season you want to hike. For example during winter the north is cold and rainy all the time, while the Negev Desert except for a few days of big rains and floods, the rest of the time is great.
The INT committee: phone number
Please visit their website:
Israel National Trail
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