IF ALL THOSE people hiking the Camino, the Pacific Crest Trail, and the West Highland Way have inspired you to pack a bag and take a long-distance walk, know that there is a lesser-known path in the Middle East that is just as rewarding and much less crowded. The Israel National Trail is a 683-mile hiking trail that crosses Israel between the southern and northern borders. It is the perfect endeavor for those who are looking for something challenging, not just physically but philosophically, with a dab of cultural exposure and political reality check, as well as jaw-dropping landscapes. Here is why you need to trek the Israel National Trail.
Israel is small but incredibly diverse, and you’ll see all of it.
The fact that Israel is a small country is a good thing since you’re not only going to walk across it, but you’ll be on a meandering path that turns the roughly 283 miles north to south into 683, not including the irresistible side-trips. Here’s the lay of the land.
The Negev desert
The remote and physically demanding Negev desert is often considered the most rewarding, with its canyons and craters, moonscapes and oases. It has its logistical challenges, but they are relatively easily overcome — water and supplies can be cached by you or by an operator (we recommend Yonatan from Shelter Hostel in Eilat) or simply hauled on your back and rationed more carefully. For a respite, there is fairly frequent access to communities not far off the trail …